Thursday 12 August 2021

Thrifty Motorcycle Gear

Think it's too hi-vis for riding
in the rain?  Really?  You
want hi-vis in the rain... and
the hundred bucks you save!
I got into alternative motorcycle gear when I came across a $400 rain suit that didn't do as good a job as the rain gear they sold at a fraction of the cost at our local farm store.  If you have access to an industrial clothing outlet used by tradespeople, you've got an angle on quality gear at a fraction of the cost of name brand, 'moto-specific' clobber.

For the people who have to work all day in rain, you know the stuff they use will be tough and properly waterproofed, and it is!  Instead of dropping hundreds on 'moto' rain pants I was happier with the $40 construction rain pants from the farm shop.

A construction rain jacket with a removable hood comes with fully seam sealed and very waterproof specs, even in the wind of riding it does the trick and compared to a $200+ moto-rain jacket, it's a fraction of the cost (<$50).  Both the Forcefield pants and jacket have lasted for years and are still super-waterproof.  The bib on the pants also stops water ingress at the waist while riding in the wind and does a good job of keeping me dry even in torrential rain.

I still depend on moto-specific gear for certain things, like boots which have ergonomic design features specific to riding or jackets and trousers that are properly armoured for riding, but there are a lot of thrifty and effective alternatives for the peripherals if you're not a brand model who wants to look like they fell out of a dealership catalogue.

Today I saw a pair of mechanic 'impact pro' gloves that are armoured leather, impact and abrasion resistant and look tough as nails.  For someone who rides bikes he's proud of fettling and maintaining himself, the branding is spoton too.  I'd be curious to see how these compare in moto-specific durability tests (not that any magazines that play consumer reports for moto-gear do any of that kind of crash testing).

These gloves promise to be flexible, well ventilated and tough, and they look disco too.  A pair of moto-specific leather mits will set you back $80-100 or more and probably wouldn't protect your hands as well.  Next time I'm in Canadian Tire I'll give this a look.

If you're a celebrity/brand hound then these suggestions won't do much for you, but if you're more interested in putting your money towards riding rather than looking like a catalogue model, this'll help you not get skunked by overpriced moto-branded gear.  Motorbiking doesn't have to be as expensive as moto-gear manufacturers suggest.