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Life Coach
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm strongly considering buying a motorcycle this afternoon and if I do, I'm going to need a helmet, gloves, leathers, etc. Where should I be looking either online or in terms of a national chain of brick & mortars for that stuff? i.e., who are the Performance/Excel/Colorado Cyclists of motorcycles? Also, I'm in Tucson, so I'd take a local pick if anyone knows one.
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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Val_Garou said:
Hey all,

I'm strongly considering buying a motorcycle this afternoon and if I do, I'm going to need a helmet, gloves, leathers, etc. Where should I be looking either online or in terms of a national chain of brick & mortars for that stuff? i.e., who are the Performance/Excel/Colorado Cyclists of motorcycles? Also, I'm in Tucson, so I'd take a local pick if anyone knows one.
can't give ye a local pick but i will tell ya what i did:

bought at the shop, financed everything.

no leathers, tho. already had them. :)

my helmets are HJC, pretty much knock-offs, about $100 each. cheaper on ebay.

don't skimp on gloves yo.

and post a pic!
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Personally, I'd shop locally--you just never know how a helmet is going to fit, and other gear is similar. You can get a jacket online, though, and that's a pretty big-ticket item.

For an online source that has pretty much everything motorcycle, try:

http://www.denniskirk.com

They've been the main mailorder bike stuff place since I don't know when. There may be others, but I don't know them.

Though it wasn't solicited, I'll hand out my standard advice: Get a full-face helmet that fits (really fits), don't skimp on the gloves (as J's pointed out), and go for rugged over fashionable in a jacket. Wear boots that come up over your ankles. If you think it's too hot to wear proper protective gear in the summer, just think how uncomfortable it'll be to lay around covered in road rash.

My safety motto: Any part that sticks out is likely to be ground flat in a crash. This includes knuckles and that little knob on your ankle.
 

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cyclist
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Val_Garou said:
Hey all,

I'm strongly considering buying a motorcycle this afternoon and if I do, I'm going to need a helmet, gloves, leathers, etc. Where should I be looking either online or in terms of a national chain of brick & mortars for that stuff? i.e., who are the Performance/Excel/Colorado Cyclists of motorcycles? Also, I'm in Tucson, so I'd take a local pick if anyone knows one.
Ditto the LCS (local cycle shop) route. But try and find a non-bike dealer supply shop, meaning a shop that sells just parts and accessories. These are usually much cheaper than buying parts and accessories/clothes from the Honda dealer, Kawi dealer, etc...

Try on the helmets, each brand fits different from each other (Arai, Shoei, HJC, etc...)

I buy mostly dirt bike stuff, but I have street bike stuff too. These shops sell mostly dirt, but do have street stuff, and I have bought with good results from:

http://www.ironpony.com

http://www.motosport.com/

MotoSportOutlet is a biggie, like Performance for motocyclists. Better than Denniskirk IMHO.

If you're into SuperMoto or Alpinestars stuff, check:

http://www.motostrano.com/

They are a local shop here, and they have the best prices on Alpinestars stuff.

Ditto the gloves recommendation, too. Very important.

And a nice, vented (for Tucson) leather jacket.

Have Fun!

-g
 

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Life Coach
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many thanks to all who replied, or read this post and didn't reply because they had nothing to say.

So, I finally did it and went out and bought a motorcycle--no more stupid pedaling for me. As you can see, J's, financing everything wasn't an option.

I'm taking everyone's advice and going local, at least for the helmet and gloves. The jacket is pretty spendy and, I imagine, a less finicky fit, so I'm remaining open to the mailorder guys on that one. Thanks for the names, gregg. Full-face helmet is a given, as are quality gloves.

Of course, now I'm going to ask--what are quality gloves? How does one tell the cosmetic carbon fibery bits from the real gauntlets out there? Do I have to spend 200 bucks for the real deal? I mean, I will if I have to, but if an $80 pair will work just fine, I'd rather have those. And bikeboy, as you emphasized the boots, I'll put the question to you: motorcycle specific or no? I have a pair of sturdy Redwing construction boots I was going to use, but if something like the Alpinestars or Sidis is better, sell me. . .

Thanks. . .
 

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cyclist
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Nice ride, but don't forsake the pedaling for it!

I had an '82 Seca 400 way back when. Nice little twin.

You do NOT have to spend $200 on gloves. I have a pair of Kushitanis that matched my leathers. I'd say around $80 - $100 is a safe pricepoint-for-quality level. Material is important, leather is most common, there's a local manufacturer here in the Bay Area that uses Kangaroo skin (nice but pricey). Don't get sucked in by the carbon fiber padding, they are more rocket boy rider style. A descent pair of all leather will suit you fine.

If you have a comfortable set of Red Wings or Docs, these should be good enough. Tough, but with a at least a little bit of ankle support/protection. But, the motorcycle specific boots have nice touches like scuff pads over the instep (on the left boot) that protect the boot (from repeated shifting).

Enjoy.

-g
 

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Government Mule
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Nice bike! Looks to be in good shape. I have an old Honda, mine is single overhead cam. I buy parts and such at a cycle recycle place here in town. I wear chaps on my bike and picked them up from a kiosk guy who does a lot of leather. In Tucson I imagine you'll have a few months when you will burn up in leather. Some riders opt for heavy denim instead when it get real hot. Not as safe but cooler. Fulmer makes some decent helmets as does HJC if you don't want to plunk down for a Shoei. Enjoy the ride!
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Val_Garou said:
Of course, now I'm going to ask--what are quality gloves? How does one tell the cosmetic carbon fibery bits from the real gauntlets out there? Do I have to spend 200 bucks for the real deal? I mean, I will if I have to, but if an $80 pair will work just fine, I'd rather have those. And bikeboy, as you emphasized the boots, I'll put the question to you: motorcycle specific or no? I have a pair of sturdy Redwing construction boots I was going to use, but if something like the Alpinestars or Sidis is better, sell me. . .

Thanks. . .
Nice bike! Is that a 750? I almost bought a Seca 750 for my first bike, but wound up getting a steal on a Honda 500 Interceptor from a guy who dropped it the first day he rode it and never got on it again (it was already a beater when he bought it, but it was worth a lot more than $200).

Boots: Anything that's pretty tough and covers your ankles will do, so the Redwings will be fine. Moto boots have things to recommend them, but not that much.

Gloves: After seeing any number of decent gloves disintegrate in crashes, I will only wear Held gloves now. They're pretty spendy (last pair I bought was $200--several years ago), but they are the biz. Nothing better, IMO. I've seen enough crashed pairs of them (all my friends wear them) that looked almost like new to stay sold on them. You'll generally be OK with a glove from a reputable manufacturer, but I'd really stick with names that make a lot of race stuff like Alpinestars, Joe Rocket, Vanson, etc. You don't need the ultra-mega-race stuff that has the carbon this and that, but stay away from budget lines. Used to be that Hein Gericke made a bunch of very good non-race leather goods, and I'd feel OK about them too. (I just checked online, and Held gloves have come down in price a bit. The top line gloves push $300, but the have some as cheap as $90).

Jacket: Go with a jacket in a style you like from a reputable maker and you'll be in good shape. I went all out with a custom Vanson suit because I intended to race (and did), but you needn't go that far. I look at Vanson like I look at Held for gloves. Spendy-ish, but the best quality you'll find. They're heavy and stiff until broken in, but I've seen Vanson suits that have been down the track at 90 mph come away with scuffing and nothing else, whereas I've seen $3000 custom Italian race leathers that left the rider looking like a peeled banana from a 50 mph get-off in wet grass.

You might also look into some of the ballistic nylon jackets out there--Joe Rocket makes some my friends like--because they're a little more ventilated and require less break-in. That way you can have armor (a feature of the best jackets) without roasting when you have to come to a stop in the sun.
 

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Val_Garou said:
Many thanks to all who replied, or read this post and didn't reply because they had nothing to say.

So, I finally did it and went out and bought a motorcycle--no more stupid pedaling for me. As you can see, J's, financing everything wasn't an option.

I'm taking everyone's advice and going local, at least for the helmet and gloves. The jacket is pretty spendy and, I imagine, a less finicky fit, so I'm remaining open to the mailorder guys on that one. Thanks for the names, gregg. Full-face helmet is a given, as are quality gloves.

Of course, now I'm going to ask--what are quality gloves? How does one tell the cosmetic carbon fibery bits from the real gauntlets out there? Do I have to spend 200 bucks for the real deal? I mean, I will if I have to, but if an $80 pair will work just fine, I'd rather have those. And bikeboy, as you emphasized the boots, I'll put the question to you: motorcycle specific or no? I have a pair of sturdy Redwing construction boots I was going to use, but if something like the Alpinestars or Sidis is better, sell me. . .

Thanks. . .

This place has good prices. I have a Joe Rocket Phoenix 4.0 jacket and like it. It cost about $150. One thing I really like is it has a pocket for a face shield. That way I always have a clear and dark one on me. I have a fullface HJC CL14 helmet,

New Enough
 

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Val_Garou said:
I have a pair of sturdy Redwing construction boots I was going to use, but if something like the Alpinestars or Sidis is better, sell me. . .

Thanks. . .
Don't get steel toe; dangerous for a bike.
 

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morrison said:
Don't get steel toe; dangerous for a bike.
Good point. I bought RedWing hiking boots. I didn't want the Engineer boots and am too cheap to pay $200 for the proper mc boots. The hiking boots offer more protection than athletic shoes which is what I used to wear when I last had a mc.
 

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MSF Rider Class

I gather from the original post this is your first motorcycle. I strongly suggest you consider taking a Motorcycle Safety riding class. It's fun, informative, will save you money on insurance, and could save your life. At the very least it will make you a better motorcycle rider. Ask around at the motorcycle dealership for class information.
 

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Dog Trainer said:
I gather from the original post this is your first motorcycle. I strongly suggest you consider taking a Motorcycle Safety riding class. It's fun, informative, will save you money on insurance, and could save your life. At the very least it will make you a better motorcycle rider. Ask around at the motorcycle dealership for class information.
I never even thought to mention this, because all my friends went the MSF route, as did I, so now I just assume it's on the list.

I heartily recommend these courses. They're not very expensive, and they really get you going nicely on the basic (and often neglected) skills. Spend a weekend and increase your chances.

Also, once you're comfortable, it's fun to take a quality track school or attend a track day--it's fun to find out a little more about what your bike can really do. Nothing like riding truly fast on the track to make you ride like a granny on the street (which is a good thing, IMO). Your bike isn't a racebike by any stretch, but I've seen guys at track days with all kinds of stock street bikes--even some cruisers.
 

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Life Coach
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Again, my gratitude to everyone who's so generously helped me into the world of motorcycling gear. A lot of good advice, a lot of fun websites to further my procrastination at work.

To clarify and reassure, the bike is an '83 Seca 550, and I have to say, has been amazingly well cared for. I took the balance of price and condition as a sign that it was finally time for me to make the plunge. It is indeed my first bike, but I took the MSF course well before buying this and have already added the certification to my license. Believe me, the substantial risk of riding these things has impressed me to the point that I'm not going to be playing fast and loose with safety in any way.

Speaking of which, I've never heard the thing about steel-toes. What's the risk there?
 
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