In addition to my brother, it seems like I’ve had a quite a few friends looking into starting motorcycling either as passengers or riding. Of course they come to me for advice on gear, which surprisingly I have some trouble answering. Most likely because I’m not entirely sure what I would be buying if I had to do it all over again, and there is a huge range of prices and vastly different budgets. Any gear is going to cost a bit and it’s tough to put a lot into your initial gear when you have no idea if it’s right for you.
Of course just because I’m not sure of what to say about this doesn’t mean I won’t make an attempt. Mainly I want something that they can look at to get them started and this is it. First I’m going to link some websites that talk about what to look for in gear and the differences between Leather and Textiles in gear. Then I’m going to talk about what I think on the whole thing.
So first there are these articles on the difference between Leather and Textile. Part one and Part Two, this is one of the best I could find that spells out the differences between the two types of gear. This website is good for just a general rundown on what to look for in gear, focusing mostly on leather but has some other good points about things to look for also.
What do I recommend?
First (I know this won’t be a surprise) I think you need gear to ride so get something, anything even the cheap stuff is better than nothing. In someways I think it might be better to not spend too much right away since you really won’t know what kind of riding you’re going to be doing. If you drop a bunch of money on race leathers then decide that you’re more of a commuter you’re going to rarely use those leathers and want something that’s more comfortable and easier to wear work clothes under. Of course the opposite could prove to be true and you could go for the Touring textiles and find that all you want to do is carve canyons and do track days where you would want/need that full set of leathers.
So that’s why I think you might want to not drop thousands on something that you may not use.
However, there is a reason the good gear costs so much, it really is better. Better materials and construction do matter when your ass hits the asphalt. So don’t be too cheap if you can afford not to be.
Of course the best way is to borrow some gear (if you know someone who rides) and try and get to know what you want before you buy it. As long as it fits (fit is important to protection) this is a great way to get some time riding and figure out what you want to spend your hard earned cash on.
Finally here are some more websites that I think are worth checking out while looking at gear.
Last but not least there is www.webBikeWorld.com, which is a great site for gear. Once you have an idea of what you want you can bet they have some suggestions and reviews on many varieties of the gear in question.