Riding Gear

Riding Gear 1000 562 Michael

Riding Gear is the most important gear on a motorcycle trip. You’re in it if you don’t feel comfortable you will not have fun. If it doesn’t protect you from the elements and impact your health will suffer. Invest less money in the bike invest more money in your gear. Don’t say it’s just a jacket, pant, glove, boot or helmet it’s more. You’ll find some recommendations in the links section. Here you find more an explenation of the development of my current gear.

Riding GearWestern Alps 2013Eastern Adriatic 2013 Iceland 2014Primus Rally 2015Balkan Compact 2015Siberia 2016Baltic Sea 2016Alpide Belt 2017
Total Weight10,1kg11kg13,4kg11kg9,8kg12kg11,7kg11,9kg
Worn Weight8,1kg8,2kg8,1kg10,7kg8,2kg10,1kg9,6kg9,5kg
Alpinestars Enduro-gloves Octane155goutworn111111
Klim Enduro-gloves Dakar Pro122g11
FLM Street-leathergloves385g16 years old heay stiff but still usable1
Held Touring gloves275gwarranty case money back111
Held thin gloves (wear below possible)30gless handling
Thermoboy Wintergloves285gwarranty case money back1
Noname Shoftshell gloves (wear below possible)50gjust for winter camping1
Outhorn Snow gloves165gjust for winter camping1
Held Touring Glove air n' dry 2242340gless handling in goretex part compared to a pure goretex glove11111
Heizteufel Heated Touring Glove310gvery warm even without heating just usable below 0°C1
Alpinestars Boots Scout Waterproof2455glight waterproof touring enduro boot.11111
Forma Boots Dominator Competition not Waterproof4370gpure enduro boot with removable inner shoe111
Safety Equipment2530g3026g2194g2465g2614g2614g2614g2508g
Madhead Neckroll237gsenseful but hinders the look back1
Vaude Bicycle-pants175gtough riders don't need that111
Alpinestars Enduro googles with bag149g111111
Shoei Helmet Hornet DS1640ggreat helmet but very nosy1111111
Airoh Helmet Warrior1530gbroken during Western Alps 20131
Sas Tec SC 1/15 560mm Back-protector368gfits in my jacket and shirt1111111
Sas Tec SC 1/02 Ellbow-protector 125gfits in my jacket and shirt1111111
Sas Tec SC 1/01 Shoulder-protector102gfits in my jacket and shirt1111111
Sas Tec SC 1/07 Hip-protector106g1111111
Sas Tec SC 1/02 Knee-protector124g11111111
Riding Cloths3836g3836g6226g3836g2952g2952g2591g4038g
Klim Motorcycle Jacket Overland (without Armour)1185gnot enough Ventilation. diffcult to wear above gloves11
Klim Motorcycle Pants Overland (without Armour)1406ggreat ventilation due to that fit is horrible.11
Vanucci Motorcycle Jacket Okovango (without Armour)1607goutworn111111
Vanucci Membrane Jacket Okovango486goutworn1111
Vanucci Thermoliner Jacket Okovango241goutworn
Vanucci Motorcycle Pants Okovango (without Armour)1345goutworn111111
Vanucci Membrane Pants Okovango398goutworn1111
Vanucci Thermoline Pants Okovango251goutworn
Klim Tactical Pant432g1
Thor KTM Jersey250g11
Held protective shirt Kendo2140gwarranty case money back1
Acerbis MX Soft Pro Body Armour (only with Chestprotection) 765gSas Tec Protection fits1
insulation for cold249g181g185g314g181g181g214g37g
Buff Scarf37g11111111
Fleece windstopper collar48gessential item1
Fleexe Scarf33gnot necessary with woolpower turtleneck11
Büse Kidney belt144gscratchy and still breezy111111
Thermoboy Windstopper Balaclava100gperfect for winter11
rain protection640g640g1625g1072g1072g1412g1412g340g
Rainprotection640gbroken during easter adriatic sea11
Held Rainprotection Rano Jacket/Tempest Pants1072g11111
Wading Pants553gbroken at first use1
Seal Skinz Mid Weight Knee Length Sock170gessential with pure enduro boots222

Iceland is challenging terrain for you gear. Just the Alpine stars gloves survived that trip. The Thermoboy gloves weren’t waterproof from the start. The Held Touring gloves were waterproof as long the conditions stayed average. But after a few days with 8h driving in rain the liner unglued from the leather and came out every time. I see it as very accommodating that I got my money back without troubles in both cases. One reason why I didn’t hesitate to buy the air n’ dry, again a Held glove. The other reason was they fitted best. It’s the same thing with the replacement for the now outworn Alpinestars. The Klim Dakar Pro fitted best and hasn’t that useless hard protection. I hit the ground often but never on my knuckles. My old FLM Street Leathergloves are nice for on-road summer riding. The have slightly more protection than the Klim Dakar Pros. Mostly I keep them because they are too good to throw them away. The heated gloves are just useful for the extremes.  Wear below gloves are a bad compromise the handling is significant worse.

Waterproof or not Waterproof boots. Not waterproof with waterproof socks is safer and more modular. That’s why it’s my preferred setup now. The Waterproof boots do still a good job in daytripping and the average way to work. The Forma Dominator and the Alpinestars Tech 8 are expensive but the removable inner shoe has two significant advantages. You can wash it and dry it quite fast. Both are very useful if you use them for touring. Getting a wet enduro boot totally dry takes up to 2 days, if you don’t boost with some kitchen paper it can take even longer.

All the riding gear is for safty but some items are specialised on damping impacts. That’s why I also added the bicycle pant 😉 they damp the impact from the 640s vibrations. It helps but getting used to it helps more.

According to Helmets the most important fact for me is the possibility to wear googles but still having a visor in backup. The Hornet offers that since that time a couple of new helmets entered the market. I still keep an eye on the ultralight new carbon helmets to reduce the stress for my neck. Weight is also the argument for not having a sun visor. Mostly you don’t need it anyway. I’m currently not well informed about what is on the market because my Shoei is still in good shape. I can’t say that about my old Airoh warrior it saved my life after a failed jump in the western alps.  The neckroll had made that accident less painful. But I learned soon on Balkan Compact it hinders me looking back and that can make accidents much more painful.

A bit disappointing was the protection of my new Klim suit. I don’t understand why they sell it with lazy level 1 protection. It’s designed as light offroad suit but we are not taking about so much more weight. It’s not just critique in direction of klim it’s more directed to the whole business. Selling a Jacket and Pants with a complete Protection Package as option would make much more sense. There are many different solutions for the impact protection on the market and I don’t want to pay something I don’t need just because the press always criticise that the protection is not included! Luckily the Level 2 SAS-Tec Protection of my much cheaper Vanucci suit fitted into them. I prefer the SAS-Tec protection compared to the D30 anyway. I haven’t found information about the current D30 products but the old ones lost all impact tests against the SAS-Tec products I could find.

The Vanucci Okavango you see on most pictures was my first suit and it worn out and repaired so many times that I replaced it after Siberia. It’s one of these often sold all-purpose suits that are dominating the market. I used it in all these purposes and in combination with a good rain cover it’s at least possible. In the history you see the liners and protection separate and that for good reasons. The thermal liner is useless my woolpower underwear is much more effective comfortable and flexible to use. The membrane liner is good for reducing wind chill and protects from average rain up to 30 minutes. If a suit has space for all these liners it’s obvious that the protection can move. That’s why I made an experiment with a protective shirt during Iceland. The idea wasn’t thought very well. The protection didn’t fit into my jacket so it made me not very angry when I got my money back after the seams were broken after the trip. For the Alpide Belt I plan that setup again. This time the protection fits into my Overland suit too. That means I can choose between a breezy setup with jersey and protective shirt and a fully integrated suit. That all with nearly the same weight then the old suit with rain protection. I’m starting a comparable experiment with the Klim Tactical Pant with Alpide Belt the results will follow.

This chapter is about reducing windchill especially around your neck. My preferred buff scarf also prevents that my jacket is rubbing my neck. Not unimportant is the fact that it also keeps dust away from you neck. Just wash it after a day of dusty ride and you will be staggered. In combination with a fleex scarf on top it works god even in cold conditions. The windstopper collar is too much in combination with my woolpower turtle neck shirts. For extrem cold conditons the Balaclava does a great job. The Neopren half mask is more an optical gimmick for insulation it’s not very effective and the Velcro scratches. Everybody told me that a kidney belt is something essential. Every time I wear it I sweat horrible below that thing. During breaks I can choose by walking around with wet cloths or still with that thing. During Baltic Sea is started to take it off my clothes stayed dry and It doesn’t felt cold around my Kidneys. Keep in mind Baltic Sea was in Ocotober and it was cold. I asked my doctor who drives motorcycles too. He explained that there is just a high risk of consequences if you drive around in t- shirt or wet clothes. I’m not sure if I take it with me for the next trip.

Rainprotection is essential if you don’t use a fully integrated riding suit. The only suits I trust are the 2 or 3 layer laminated gore-tex suits. Currently I know just suits from Klim, Stadler/Touratech, Rukka and Held that are produce with that technology. In any other suit I wouldn’t drive without rain protection. I don’t remember the name of my first rain protection, I ruptured it during a drop on Eastern Adriatic Sea. The Held Rain I protection works good. But my favourite items in this chapter are the Seal Skinz. Wearing them is much more comfortable then wearing my waterproof boots. It’s also possible to walk into deeper water with them. And if it’s too much you have s small chance to get out before water flows in from above.

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