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What is the current thinking on what I should buy for protection in case I and my trike separate at high speeds? draggin jeans? bohn body armor? both? and also for upper body? and.... any specific make/ model #'s and best/lowest places to buy? Thanx gentlemen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I'm not going to give you any particular names or brands. I'm very happy with my Vulcan jacket and over the ankle non-slip/oil resistant boots from Wal-mart where as another rider will tell you to buy AlpineStars and FLy Sports. Frankly if your like me you have to balance the cost of your gear with your budget. I bought my jacket on Closeout from Motorcycle Superstore. My gloves from a local dealership. My Bell Helmet came from Bikebandit.com I realized that helmet wasn't going to cut it so I found a full face helmet at a local dealer I love. It's a Fulmer.

I don't think the brand name matters that much as your comfort and safety.

My only suggestion is to buy quality gear, something that will last and will surely protect you if you go down. The jacket should be at least 1 size larger than what you normally wear so you can wear layers under it in cooler weather.
 

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Asking what is the best protective gear to buy is kind of like asking what is the best oil. You will get lots and lots of opinions. Some will be very vocal that you have to buy XYZ brand or type or you aren't protected at all. As Houndguy said you have to balance all this with your budget and what you feels comfortable wearing.

I buy most of my stuff from http://www.motorcyclegear.com on closeout. I like it because their web site gives fairly honest and complete reviews of the stuff they sell in the "Our Two Cents" section. They give some indication of the level of protection it provides. They will usually make comments if they find the sizing or fit differs from normal.

I've had good luck with Joe Rocket, TourMaster, FirstGear and Fieldsheer stuff. Most of the stuff I am using right now is TourMaster and Joe Rocket. My riding pants are TourMaster Flex overpants. These are very flexable. They are mesh pants with outer panels that zip over the mesh for cooler weather. For even cooler weather they have a windproof liner and a quilted liner that can be added. With outer panels and both liners and worn over jeans I can ride in sub freezing temps. With the liners out and the outer panels removed and worn over shorts I can ride in 100+ summer weather.
 

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I concur with those who hesitate to recommend specific brands.
Points to consider:
1) Armor - HEAD, spine, elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, hands, ankles (the one I missed when I went down)
2) Mesh - with separate wind/rain proof & quilted liners
3) Upsize the jacket for additional warm layers
4) Bright colors, with reflective areas
5) If separate jacket & pants, zip them together
 

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SPSTools has a good short check list, though "mesh" is not what I would normally think of for riding clothes material just because it is normally used in warmer climates than I live in. Lots of people like draggin jeans, but I always wonder about those. If you're worried about protecting your skin when you slide across the pavement...hence the draggin jeans...then why aren't you worried about your knees and hips when you hit? Well, actually, you can add knee and hip armor but you pay another $54 for it...which gets you up in the realm of textile riding gear.

Tom, I'd look at just what conditions you intend to ride. Are you a fair weather rider who doesn't ride below 55F? Or do you ride all year long?

I tried to pick gear that would work all year long for me. The jacket has removable panels that leave you with the armor in the elbows, back and shoulders, and you're left with mesh panels that allow the air to flow through. And of course the zippers to remove those panels allow the air to flow through if you leave them in place. My explanation is probably not that clear, so I suggest you take a look at the product video. http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/olympia-nomad-jacket Here's the point of that muddled explanation. I wear the same jacket in temperatures at or over 100F...and down to freezing. I don't have to buy two jackets...just one.

Also, when comparing gear, look to see what kind of armor is in it. For instance my first TourMaster jacket had no back protector. Some offer a foam pad now. My current jacket has some of the best around, CE approved Motion Flex armor at elbows and shoulders and a CE approved Motion Flex articulated back protector.

Another thought is what color to get your gear in. Some laugh because hi-vis "don't hit me" yellow doesn't fit the image of a mean biker dude like "run me over" black does. But perhaps it'll help you avoid testing your gear on the pavement...

Revzilla has excellent product videos. MotorcycleGear.com has a good product offering, plus at the bottom of the description on the right side of the page, is "Our Two Cents Worth". It's a description in real terms of what they think of the gear. They also have detailed photos of what the gear looks like on a real person. Anything looks good on a skinny mannequin. I do not look like that. :lol:

The videos and descriptions are only so good though. Try going to several local motorcycle stores and see what they have. If you know what you need when you get there, then you can narrow things down a bit. I got a better deal on my Olympic jacket simply by asking for a discount. Sales were slow and they were hungry.

Chris
 

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Another thing to consider, if you can get a good deal on a jacket but it doesn't have really good armor you can often upgrade to higher quality armor. For instance, some of the TourMaster jackets come with a foam back pad but you can get a TourMaster articulated back protector for about $15 that will fit into the pocket where the foam pad goes.
 

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My take;

As a former road racer we always used leather , later we added the protector pads and armor as they became available. Now it is required by all sanctioning bodies.

I wear armored jackets , full fingered gloves , boots that cover and support my ankles, a good helmet, and sometimes armored pants.
My suggestion is to buy the best gear you can afford that is comfortable. Do not fall into the trap of buying gear and hoping it will break in and become comfortable. If it is not then you will not wear it or look for reasons not to .

All armor is not created equal !!
Lot's of good info available on what is what when it comes to armored pieces.

Recently read a good article about the Kevlar lined pants that everyone raves about. The Kevlar degrades very quickly after washing was the gist of the article. I tried a couple of pair and found them to be hot and uncomfortable, for me at least.
 
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