The penguin's motorcycling and Jeep blog

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Proper protection

Now, one thing I gotta say about riding a motorcycle. It's dangerous. All those damned fool drivers are trying to run you over, and all you have going for you is your superior acceleration and maneuverability (motorcycles brake about the same as cars, so alas that's not an advantage you have over cagers). And you won't win every time. I'm missing a chunk out of my foot and have a wrist that tells the weather to prove that.

Yet I still see damned fools riding motorcycles wearing t-shirts and jeans. Well, and a helmet, since this is Californication and thus a helmet is required by law, but if not for that law, I betcha they wouldn't be wearing a helmet either.

Now, one argument I hear from the damned fools is the whine, It's hot!. Yeah? So? Guess what. There's this new shit on the market called mesh riding gear. Lets air flow through it. Just like your t-shirt that's riding up your ass and flappin' so I can see your butt-crack as you crouch over on your crotch rocket (eww gross). Except it's got impact armor so your stupid knees don't get shattered to shards when you hit the pavement, and a back protector so you don't get paralyzed when your backbone hits the pavement, and so forth. You know, protection. Duh.

So anyhow, that's what I spent the last couple of weekends doing, was shopping for some new mesh riding gear. I have some old mesh gear I bought in, hmm, must have been 2004, closeouts of the 2002 model year gear that I got for cheap. But technology has moved on since then. Mesh gear was new in 2002, and wasn't very good. Now they got EU-spec armor in them and more Cordura nylon or other such abrasion-resistant materials in places where your ass would get road rash.

Now, the cream de la creme of mesh gear is the Motoport Kevlar mesh gear. That shit don't rip or burn if you fall down. It's stout. It's also heavy as hell and a full suit of this gear costs around $1200. Eeep! I ain't payin' no $1200 for gear that is just gonna shrink so I can't wear it in a few years! (Now, some folks say I eat too much herring in cream sauce and it's not my clothes shrinkin' but the other way around, but same effect, okay?).

So anyhow, I got some Olympia Airglide gear. The jacket looks like this: You betcher life I bought the hi-viz yellow jacket. Like I said, those damned fools out there are tryin' ta kill me! Now, imagine my shark lawyer holdin' that jacket up in a court of law and sayin' to a jury, "This is what my client was wearing. Do you really believe that Damn D. Fool did not see my client?" I betcha that jacket would be worth an extra half a million bucks in punitive damages for general stupidity on the part of the damned fool. Anyhow, it's about half and half Cordura nylon (very abrasion resistant) with nylon mesh panels (so I don't damn well suffocate when it's hot outside), with the Cordura everywhere that you'd normally slide on the thing, plus has a winter liner that'll let me wear it in a wide variety of conditions. Then there's the pants:

I actually got the black, not the silver, but the mesh vs. Cordura nylon shows up better on the picture of the silver. As for why black, well, because when you're riding a motorcycle you're often kneeling on your knees and shit to oil your chain, check your oil level, that kinda stuff. Not to mention that when you're riding in the rain all the oil and shit from the road gets kicked up onto your pants by the cars in front of you. Any other color starts looking like crap after a while. So black it is.

So anyhow, take it from a wise penguin. Wear your fuckin' gear, dipsticks! And now that good mesh gear is available, heat ain't no excuse. And look, that flappin' t-shirt showin' your butt crack as you crouch on your little crotch rocket? Bad taste, dude. BAAAAD taste. Ugh.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


coldH2O said...

I live pretty close to the Aerostitch place, so I think I'm going to try them. Any comments on their stuff?

BadTux said...

Aerostich makes good stuff, but hot as hell. Good for fall, winter, spring. Not so good for summer riding, that's heat stroke time in a 'Stich unless you live in Alaska. But it does generally do a good job of keeping you warm and dry when the weather ain't (warm nor dry, that is), as well as offering pretty good protection. And the Aerostich guys stand behind their product, the First Gear guys lost my business forever when they wouldn't respond to my complaint of a leaky HT overpant...

- Badtux the Gear Penguin

deuddersun said...

Safety or not, there is no way I am riding my Hog looking like a banana. I'll stick to my Brando leather jacket and a cutoff denim jacket with leather chaps and boots.

Gotta have style my Penguin! And that shit just screams "yuppie"!


BadTux said...

Ain't nothin' wrong with a good leather jacket made of motorcycle-grade leather, though you might want to put some light armor in it to protect your elbows, shoulders, and back. But them thare assless chaps... you really will be assless if you have a getoff with *those* things!

As for the notion of style being more important than safety, well, maybe when I was a young penguin I cared about that kinda thing. Nowdays, I just don't give a shit. I just ain't metrosexual enough to care about stylin'.

- Badtux the Ornery Penguin

BadTux said...

Oh, you can buy the Airglide in black or silver as well as safety yellow too. My winter jacket (a First Gear Kilimanjaro) is black and gray, and I wear a construction zone safety vest over it so I end up with that banana look anyhow.

-- Badtux the Visible Penguin

Gordon said...

I think if you eat a buncha herrings'n cream, the fumes will clear the road all directions as the drivers pull over until their eyes quit waterin'...

I just bought a Tourmaster Transition 2 jacket. Haven't even worn it yet. The weather's been so nice and warm that I'm one of the idiots in a t-shirt and jeans. I hope I'm not getting complacent after only fifty years without an accident.

I took all the shoulder, elbow, and back pads out of the thing. It's a bitchin' jacket, as is the First Gear Kilimanjaro that Mrs. G just got.

I used to wear an old English Barbour-style riding jacket, but it fell apart 30 years ago. Been using a H-D brown leather comp-style jacket with a mandarin collar since then, but it musta shrank as the zipper halves will no longer meet up. Perhaps the chile rellenos and enchiladas had a hand in that.

ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) is good advice. Whether we take it or not is up to each one of us. If I was in the Bay Area or L.A. I would.

Gordon said...

...maybe when I was a young penguin I cared about that kinda thing

I doubt if d's "style" is anything remotely like 'metrosexual', my young Penguin friend. Heh.

Also, d is considerably older than you are and just about as considerably younger than I am.

Ya can't tell us old farts shit. We'll keep makin' our own mistakes, thank you very much, the same way we always have.

deuddersun said...

Right on, Gordon!


BadTux said...

Heh, I was funnin' D-man with the metrosexual crack, Gordo. But he dresses just like all these metrosexual dentists and lawyers and shit 'round here in the Bay Area, who are out there on sunny weekend days riding their $30K Harleys around from bar to bar with their assless chaps and their colors that might as well proclaim "Born to be Mild" doh!

As for 50 years without an accident, I wish that was me, but it isn't, and won't be. Luckily all my accidents over the past few years have been slow-speed accidents of the "Doh!" kind, mostly off-road (overloaded KLR's don't come down off scree-covered slopes too well, doh! I shoulda turned around rather than going up that slope!). I'd still be picking gravel out of my hide if it wasn't for my gear though. But as often as I gotta evade cell-phone-gibbering morons driving BMW's while holding the cell phone in hone hand while waving the other one in mid-air to an imaginary audience to punctuate the conversation... wait, hold on, I can't call them morons. Morons got better manners than weavin' all over the freeway like that. Anyhow... if the Maker calls me home, it ain't gonna be on account of me not wearin' my gear.

Oh, I looked at that Tourmaster Transition. I kinda soured on Tourmaster gear though, it hasn't lasted for me. The LD guys used to love the Kilimanjaros, but now that First Gear has "improved" them with a cheaper/worse liner and less waterproofing, most of the long distance types are going with the Olympia gear, those who aren't doing the 'stich anyhow. You got guys riding 40k-50k miles a year, they learn quick what gear works and what gear don't, and I ain't dumb enough to ignore what they find out the hard way.

- Badtux the Motorin' Penguin

Gordon said...

Me'n Mrs. G just got back from a ride. We rode over to Squaw Valley to listen to some Celtic music and have a bite to eat. I put my new jacket on and took it right off before we left the house and rode 25 miles in a t-shirt and jeans.

Mrs. G wore her new Kilimanjaro and said it was OK once we hit the highway and could roll a little, but she was roasting the rest of the time.

I think we're gonna look at some of the mesh gear. Thanks for the tip.

And by the way, my t-shirt is plenty long so the motoring public is protected from my ass crack. Harrumph.

BBC said...

Now, one thing I gotta say about riding a motorcycle. It's dangerous.

No shit, because in general mankind has no respect for other life than his own.

Well, maybe not even that. When younger I rode through lots of nasty weather but now I like to just ride when it is nice.

BBC said...

You sound like a man that is afraid to die.

BadTux said...

Afraid to die? No. But I ain't interested in dyin' stupidly. Sorta like jumpin' out of an aeroplane. I might do it once or twice on a lark -- wearin' all the proper safety gear and parachutes and shit, of course. But jumpin' out of an aeroplane without a parachute -- well, that'd just be dyin' stupidly.

- Badtux the Smart Penguin

deuddersun said...

But he dresses just like all these metrosexual dentists and lawyers and shit 'round here in the Bay Area, who are out there on sunny weekend days riding their $30K Harleys around from bar to bar with their assless chaps and their colors that might as well proclaim "Born to be Mild" doh!

What? What?

You better check yourself before you wreck yourself, son.


BadTux said...

Heh. I knew that one was gonna get a rise outta ya :-). But there certainly ain't no shortage of posers herebouts...

- Badtux the ain't-no-poser Penguin

deuddersun said...