Motorcycle Gear 101 is a starting point for you riders that just entered the motorcycle world, which will consume you until it becomes an addiction. Maybe you haven’t been on a bike in years and are ready to throw the leg over the saddle again, but don’t really know where to start. If you want to avoid my ramble, scroll on down and check out our break down of motorcycle gear basics. Continue reading Motorcycle Gear 101
A Motorcycle Rain Suit is one of those things you know you should probably have, but kick yourself for not buying when you are caught out on the road when the rain starts to come down. Not all rain suits are created equal, either. In this guide, we take a look at the differences between the different types of materials used, different price points, and what each feature can mean for you when you are stuck in the rain.
With motorcycle rain suits, you essentially have 3 types of construction:
PVC Rain Suits are the least expensive types you can buy. They are very basic, pack down small, and get the job done when you need to stay dry. There are some downsides to this material, however. PVC melts extremely easily, and most inexpensive PVC Rain Suits do not have any type of heat shielding – so you will probably want avoid this style if your bike has exposed pipes. PVC is also the least durable – once it has a hole or a tear, the wind tends to make quick work of destroying the rain suit. Since they aren’t too expensive to buy, this may not be a total deal breaker. PVC Rain Suits are a great option if you need that “just in case” rain suit that probably won’t see too much ride time. They also block wind more than any other type in this comparison – making them one of the warmest options, good for winter time, not so great for summer thunderstorms.
Fall can make for some wonderful riding weather. With temperatures and humidity finally dropping down, it can feel very refreshing after a long, hot summer. It can also pose some real challenges for your riding gear though, especially if you live somewhere that experiences large temperature swings from night to mid-day, or somewhere with a lot of elevation change. There are a few key things to look for if you need a versatile motorcycle jacket that can keep you comfortable from a 50 degree early morning to an afternoon in the 80’s or 90’s. In this video, we take a look at several types of jackets and how they perform in varying conditions.
There are few things you must know going into this. First question – how important is waterproofing to you? Sure, it can get pretty rainy and wet in the fall. But do you usually pack a motorcycle rain suit anyway? Keep in mind, a waterproof layer usually means hot and sweaty once you get much over 80 degrees – depending on how well the jacket vents (we’ll talk about that, too). The compromise solution here is to get a jacket that has a removable waterproof liner, so if you are caught in the rain, you can install it, and if it’s really hot, you can remove it and stay comfortable.
The next layer we need to discuss is the one that will be keeping you warm: a thermal layer. Some jackets come with a fully sleeved quilted thermal liner, while others use a thinner fleece or even just a vest style liner (leaving your arms a bit more exposed to the cold). A vest style liner has the advantage of not being as bulky to store or pack, and is a good option in milder weather, but if you need to stay warm in true cold weather, go for the fully sleeved, quilted option.
Three of the motorcycle jackets in the below video have a two stage liner system with a mesh outer shell. These were the Tourmaster Intake 3 and the Sliders Kevlar All-Season 2 and the Sliders Carmel Jackets. Using this design, we get a jacket that will let tons of air through during hot summer months, but will also keep you surprisingly warm when the weather gets chilly. As discussed in the video, the downside to these types of jackets is keeping track of two liners, as well as the changes in the sizing of the jacket when both liners are installed vs no liners.
Another option is a jacket that converts from a mesh jacket to a textile jacket. Examples would be the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0 and the Tourmaster Flex 3 Jacket. Both of these jackets incorporate an armored mesh jacket with a removable outer shell. Joe Rocket lists theirs as waterproof while Tourmaster only claims water resistance. This design allows the jacket to remain a bit more fitted to the body, although it leaves you with an outer shell to deal with if you need to strip a layer while out on the road (they both have vents built in as well though).
The Shadow Pikes Peak Jacket is another great option, especially if the jackets waterproof ability isn’t high on your priority list (either you are a fair weather rider or bring a motorcycle rain suit anyway). This jacket has a removable wind blocking liner that can keep you a bit warmer if it’s chilly, but the beauty of this jacket is that it has 4 large vertical vents that allow a significant amount of airflow when things warm up.
Lastly, we took a look at the Tourmaster Transition 3, a waterproof textile jacket that is fantastic for cold weather riding. Thanks to the pipeline ventilation system, the Transition 3 also provides a decent amount of airflow into the jacket, although it will certainly be the warmest jacket in the lineup.
If you have any questions about any of these jackets, feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail. We also have full detailed reviews on all of them on our website, so be sure to check those out by visiting any of the links in the above article.
Love your Goldwing? Then sport the Joe Rocket Skyline 2.0 Womens Jacket to show that Honda pride while you’re out riding. And don’t be jealous guys, Joe Rocket didn’t leave you out, there’s a mens version available too.
A great lightweight summer womens motorcycle jacket, it has a Free-Air™ mesh torso, along with tough textile material in the impact area’s, to give you tons of air flow along with abrasion resistance. A waterproof liner that is easy to remove can be used when there’s a hint of rain in the air. CE rated armor in both the elbow and shoulders keeps you safe in case you have a date with the pavement and a removable foam back pad offers extra cushioning.
To get a precise fit there are adjustment straps along the lower back as well as on the arms & wrists. A drop waist in the back protects you from getting too cool and the 8″ zipper allows you to attach your favorite riding pants to this great womens mesh jacket. Several pockets give you a place to stash your stuff and reflective piping helps to keep you visible on darker days of riding. And to top it off you have a bold Goldwing logo on the front and back to show your spirit.
A lightweight riding jacket with armor for protection, the Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus Womens Jacket is ready for all you sporty gals who are looking for a new motorcycle jacket.
Constructed of a 600 denier poly fabric that is durable and has been PU coated so it’s water resistant, you will keep dry if you get sprinkled on, as well as having that abrasion resistance you want. This womens motorcycle jacket also provides some great protection with the integrated removable CE certified Bio Armor located in the shoulders and elbows. Along with a PR chest pad and a PE back pad, you’ll be covered front to back if you happen to have a date with the ground.
Alpinestars Womens Gear includes pants, boots & gloves and this womens textile jacket comes with a zipper attachment so you can pair it up with your favorite Alpinestars riding pants. It also has several storage pockets, waist & wrist adjustments and a pre-curved sporty fit made especially for a womens body type.