Protective Gear

Street rides, bike nights, etc.
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Apex_It
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Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:29 am

I'm reviewing my gear over the winter, and would like to make some purchases before the next season starts (regarding Street only). Safety first! :beer:

Right now, I'm using the following every time I ride:
AStars GP Plus R Jacket
- AStars Nucleon KR-Ci Chest Protector
- AStars Nucleon KR-1i Back Protector
AStars GP Pro Gloves
AStars SMX Plus Boots
HJC Helmet (Included with first bike purchase in 2013)

Been looking at better/different helmets for a long time, just need to pull the plug. It would be used on street AND track, so open to suggestions. We'll call the budget a max of $600. I'll need a good argument on the selling points if it's at the top of the budget. :poke: The lighter, the better. Also, something a bit more aerodynamic. Sounds odd, but I remember lifting my head just a little bit at full tuck on the track this year and the air flow instantly wanted to rip my helmet off. I don't have a whole lot of experience yet, but it just struck me that it seemed far too easy for that too happen. Something with a wide and clear view in the riding and tucked position. Current helmet has terrible visibility if your head is down and you're looking up/forward. Wind noise...

I'm definitely lacking in leg/knee protection and honestly...it's always bugged me a bit, so I want to do something about this. However, I'm not terribly interested in going full leather on the street. I always wear jeans though, so looking at riding specific jeans (that still LOOK like jeans...) made for the slide. I've been considering the Bull-It SR6. Also willing to wear proper knee pads that will fit under the jeans, not be TOO bulky, and the more air flow the better. I still wear all the gear even when it's just about 100F. Not afraid of some heat, but if there is a product that could add a bit more comfort...that would be great!

What do you guys think?

What about the current gear? Should alternatives be considered, and why?

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shagzomatic
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Re: Protective Gear

Postby shagzomatic » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:52 am

Current gear seems decent enough to me. I've got an older version of the same boots, been wearing those since 2009 and they've served me very well.

If you're thinking about a new back protector, consider Forcefield -- wife & I both wear those (we both have a Pro L2K Evo, and I also have a Blade) and they're awesome. She put hers to the test in a big way in 2015 (where she absolutely obliterated her old GSXR and shattered bones in her wrist), and the ER doctor was amazed she had no bruising or injury of any kind to her back.

I have Icon Field Armor for my legs that I wear underneath my jeans sometimes on the street. Can't say I'd recommend it unless they've made some changes however. The protection seems OK (haven't put it to the test), but the leg straps are comically too short. I don't even have huge calves and they were still nowhere near able to reach far enough to fasten properly -- I extended them with double-sided velcro strips. Forcefield has a couple options here (and I'm a fan of their other stuff), but I have no experience with it.

Helmet-wise....beware, this is probably going to get long. :mrgreen:

First and foremost, find something that fits your head well. This is something I didn't realize how wrong I was doing it until I found a helmet that actually did fit well....I went from an HJC CL-14 to an Arai RX-7 Corsair and hooooooly shit what a difference. Try a bunch on, find some that fit the shape of your head well (no pressure points and it stays where you put it on your head), and start from there. I haven't been in quite a while, but the motorcycle show in Chicago was a good place to try a wider variety of stuff on in the past...our local dealers don't carry shit for helmets, and what they do is largely low-end. I have a pretty standard intermediate oval shaped head -- I've had an Arai Corsair, Shoei RF1100, Shoei RF1200, Bell Star, and Bell Race Star, all of which fit very well. Wife had a scorpion that was ok, but honestly kinda cheaply constructed. She's really liked her Shoei RF1200 and Nexx XR2. I know price isn't necessarily an indication of quality in all cases, but I find myself rarely looking at anything that costs under $500 these days, FWIW. :dunno:

Comments on recent helmets we've ridden with...

The Bell Race Star is what I'm wearing on track these days, and I think very highly of it. It's above your max budget ($700ish), however their 3-layer EPS liner design (called Flex, very similar to their MIPS liner) is something I think is pretty awesome (it's what got me looking at Bell in the first place), and the viewport is noticeably tilted upward for better vision in a race-oriented tucked position. My Star fits exactly the same and is almost as light (Race Star is carbon fiber shell, Star is not), just doesn't have the race-oriented viewport or the MIPS liner system. They've introduced a new Star MIPS for 2018 that has the MIPS liner system as well, and is in your budget zone ($500ish). Ventilation in both is ridiculously good, probably the best of any helmet I've owned. I crashed pretty hard in my Race Star in July and it did its job perfectly. No concussion, no injury, etc. Yes I'm sponsored by Bell, which may make this seem a bit shill-ish, but I was attracted to Bell for the features and safety aspects, and was going to buy one anyway before I applied for support. :fact:

Shoei RF1200 is also around the $500 mark for solids, but graphics are damn near $600. I rode in an RF1100 for several years, then picked up a 1200 after those were introduced. Fit well, good ventilation, quite lightweight. They made a lot of improvements over the 1100 that I was pretty impressed with, most specifically weight and noise reduction. The wife had her monster crash in her RF1200, and walked off with no injury to her head and no concussion. Vision on track is good, I rode with an 1100 or 1200 on track from 2012-2016 with no complaints.

Wife really likes her Nexx XR2, it's lighter than the Shoei and the viewport is larger. Price is lower as well ($400ish, or $500ish for the carbon version). No crash test data here, though. :) She'll probably have either another XR2 next year, or a Bell Race Star.


Let me know if you're in the neighborhood and want to look at any of this stuff...might even have something you could try on too if you happen to be the right size. :thumbup:
With enough profanity, you can accomplish anything.

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:34 am

I'll check out the Forcefield Back Protector for the track, from what I understand that style external protector is better. I'd like to stick with something that snaps into a jacket for the street, not sure if that locks me into AStars stuff due to proprietary design.

Wish there were a place I could check out the Bull-It jeans, but Revzilla does have a great return policy. Just not sure what to wear under it for knee armor. There are some great hard shell options that also offer some shin protection. If they fit well under jeans without being TOO bulky, the only other downside could be sweat/heat. May be some trial and error here to find something that works.

Thanks for all the helmet info! I did a bit of research on the Shoei RF1200 earlier this year and liked what I saw...just never committed to buying something. I think that was the top one on my list. The Bell Race Star looks good as well, so I'll compare the two directly and decide if the cost difference is worth it. It's crash tested and racer approved, so it's a fair endorsement. :mrgreen: I did buy a couple Scuberth SR2 helmets early last year from Revzilla, but just couldn't get the sizing right. It was a super tight helmet to wedge into my head since the opening was so small. Gave up after ordering the 2nd one then got distracted by other projects and never went back to choosing a helmet.

The Nexx XR2 Carbon looks great. I admit, I'm attracted to the design quite a bit so I don't want to get too sidetracked on that vs safety feautures/quality. They have a white/carbon version that looks fantastic.

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby shagzomatic » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:16 pm

This popped up today...pretty timely. :) Story & video about Hayden Gillim's monster crash earlier this year. It's definitely a Bell promo piece, but still worth a look: http://www.motorcycle.com/mini-features ... njury.html
With enough profanity, you can accomplish anything.

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Pirate Dog Motosport: www | fb | insta

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby shagzomatic » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:11 pm

FYI... Riders Discount is blowing out Bell Race Stars in a few of last year's paint schemes that have been discontinued for 2018. $350, which is over 50% off. https://www.ridersdiscount.com/motorcyc ... ch_max=352
With enough profanity, you can accomplish anything.

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:15 pm

Oh man...I really like that RSD Chief Helmet. Deciding whether or not to pull the trigger, that's massive savings.

No clue if it would fit properly. I purchased a Simpson helmet last year to use in the car and nailed the sizing, so I'll have to take a look at that helmet shape since I can't remember. Going to do some measurements tonight to double check. :thumbup:

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:47 pm

Going with the Bell Race Star - RSD Chief. Will double check measurements tonight and get it ordered. Hopefully it fits well and I can nail the sizing down on the first try.

Thanks for the link!

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby shagzomatic » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:02 pm

Riders Discount are really cool about returns and such, so if you run into any issues I would expect a pretty easy experience. :thumbup:

When you try it on, expect a snug fit in the Race Star. The pads will break in a bit over time. If it fits your head but not your cheeks, you can get different size cheek pads for about $35 IIRC.
With enough profanity, you can accomplish anything.

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:04 pm

Bought it, thanks again! Looking forward to trying it on.

With the helmet out of the way, I really just need riding pants and knee protectors. I'll take a look at a stand alone back protector to use for the track as well. I'll stick with the in-jacket protection on the street for now so I don't have to remove it/carry it wherever I go.

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Re: Protective Gear

Postby Apex_It » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:28 pm

Helmet arrived on Friday, and looks fantastic. It does fit tight, as expected. However...maybe a bit TOO tight in the cheeks. I took the cheek pads out and the top felt fight, so I think I'm just going to order cheek pads. Just don't know which! It came with the 35mm pads, and the other options are 30 and 25. You didn't purchase any of these did you?


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