Sunday, June 28, 2009

Riding Gear

The bets way I have found to get over a set back is to spend some money. No sooner did I get my Bonneville back to the house than I was figuring out to to get the damage repaired as soon as possible after my 45 mile-per-hour fall. I took a few thumps myself but my Tourmaster Intake mesh jacket ($160) did it's job nicely and paid the price:
I got a few grazes on my elbow through the jacket and on my fingers, through the leather gloves I was also wearing, but my back was saved by the armor in the jacket which showed a few scuff marks there:My boots saved my feet though i got a nice bruise and an ache on one ankle, though no broken skin there happily. It was my legs that took the worst blows and I have a few scabs and gouges on my knees, which had I been wearing these pants would probably have been avoided:Tourmaster's Flex pants ($170) had been on my mind for a while but the Fort Lauderdale shop didn't have them in stock so I hit the ground without them...Tough I guess but there it is. I am quite fond of Tourmaster products, reasonably priced and apparently effective. These are the first dedicated motorcycle pants I have ever owned (in 39 years of riding!) and though they are hardly fashionable they look like they will do a nice job. For the climate prevalent in the Keys they are mesh with armor but have leg covers that simply zip on for added wind protection:Just like the Intake jacket......the Flex pants come with a set of padded liners that keep you warm, warmer than I will likely ever need if I only ride in South Florida in winter:But they also come with what is for me, much more useful: waterproof liners:And both layers can be added together or separately inside the mesh pants and jacket. But, not content, I have added an extra layer to the pants, and this one came out of an aerosol can:As an experiment I added a whole bunch of silicon spray to the outer pant legs, the ones that come unzipped from the mesh base.My thinking is that if I get caught in some rain waterproofing the outer shell will help keep me dry enough to get home on my commute, but if I face heavy rain I can retrieve the waterproof liners from my saddlebags to keep me dry. To that end i also carry expensive Aerostich boot and gloves covers, at $50 each they keep my extremities warm and dry, and because I've had them a while they got some silicon spray too:Add to this my spare summer riding gloves to replace my torn ones, a new face shield for my flip up full face helmet (I was wearing my half face at the time of the accident though my head never touched anything) and then an added coat of silicon spray for my Triumph boots and I am ready to ride, should I ever get the Triumph back! It's a lot of stuff to be dealing with which is why from time to time I just jump on the bike and ride. For people who make the motorcycle a weekend activity, an occasional thing, it must be hard to understand how someone like me just gets on and goes to the store, or visits a friend as casually as though I were driving the car. That is the profound pleasure of the motorcycle as my daily machine, it is atrue car substitute for me. People wouldn't drive if they felt they had to wear all this paraphenalia every single time. And that goes for motorcycles too I guess.