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Friends, this newbie could use some advice on a topic that's mighty important to a rider: Rain gear.

As I'm riding further and further afield with my new 400, I see I'm going to need rain wear that I can keep under the seat, just in case. Browsing web sites offering motorcycle supplies surprised me: Most of the stuff offered is relatively "low tech", mostly coated nylon.

1. Is coated nylon sufficient for most uses? If so, is any type of coating better, or worse?

2. Is a rain suit specifically designed for riding any much different from what I can buy at my local sporting goods store?

3. Are pants with suspenders really necessary?

4. What's the big deal about Frogg Toggs, anyway?

Thanks greatly,
Chris
 

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ChrisLucey said:
Friends, this newbie could use some advice on a topic that's mighty important to a rider: Rain gear.

1. Is coated nylon sufficient for most uses? If so, is any type of coating better, or worse?

2. Is a rain suit specifically designed for riding any much different from what I can buy at my local sporting goods store?

3. Are pants with suspenders really necessary?

4. What's the big deal about Frogg Toggs, anyway?
I'll take a stab at this. I'm no expert, but I have owned a few rainsuits over the years - and have had to wear them occassionally.

1. The material can make a difference. A good rainsuit should keep rainwater out, but it should also breathe - allowing your own prespiration to escape. A cheaper material that doesn't breathe well might work fine for a short time. But for a longer rain ride in hot muggy conditions, you can get just as soaked from your own trapped prespiration as you would if the rainsuit leaked. Nylon gives structural strength to the suit. WHAT it is coated with is the key. A rubber-like coating probably won't breathe well, if at all - but there are other more advanced coatings that do breathe pretty well.

2. A rainsuit designed for motorcycling will have better sealing at the cuffs, ankles and waist (if 2 piece). Pockets and zippers will have better rain seals. Arm length, leg length, and general suit cut will be designed to support a seated position. The pants have stirrups, to hold the legs down over your boots. Reflective material will be incorporated to help you be seen. Hunters and joggers can get by without some of these features, but on a motorcycle the rain is being driven onto the suit with much greater force. Yes - a suit designed specifically for motorcycling will work better.

3. No. Suspenders are usually not used for motorcycle rain gear. A sportsman's rainsuit, which breathes due to a loose fit at the waist between the jacket and pants might be more likely to utilize suspenders. None of the rainsuits I've owned have had suspenders.

4. There is no "big deal" about Frogg Toggs. It is not a suit designed specifically for motorcycling, but one or two of their suit models are somewhat popular with folks that ride behind windscreens and fairings. (The scooter kind of falls into this category.) The material is good. Light weight and breatheable. The pocket sealing is not good - in a driving rain you'll get some leakage. There is no reflective striping, but the suits do come in a variety of bright colors. There are no stirrups on the pants legs. This is a "light use" rainsuit, if used for motorcycling. That said, I bought a Frogg Toggs suit this year. I don't intend to do a lot of rain riding. I like the material. It's probably one of the better suits not specifically made for motorcycling. The price wasn't too bad - and they were helpful in fitting my tall self (unlike two motorcycle rain suit companies I called).

One other consideration is that most of the fabric motorcyle jackets are highly water resistant. You should invest in one of these anyway. They have many features not found in a rainsuit (body armour, copious pockets, removable liners for extra warmth when needed, good abrasion resistance if you fall, etc.). So if you have a jacket like that, you might get by with just buying rain pants. Frogg Toggs will sell their pants separately - some other manufacturers will not.
 
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