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Thread: Protective Gear Recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Default Protective Gear Recommendations?

    Currently I only have a pair of cheap gloves and a helmet as riding gear. I'm looking for a decent pair of riding pants at the very least. I have a pretty nice jacket but it is back in the US. I don't remember what to look for in gear and my Japanese is limited so I'm not sure what to get or where to go. Most of the gear I've seen on amazon don't even have reviews. I saw this set for about 10k (https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B01I6K5XTS https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B014ZSJHT2 https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B01MEHZZGP https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B01N52AV4Q). Does anyone have any suggestions for a set or nice riding pants without breaking the bank?

  2. #2
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    Check Komine's product line. Decent products at decent prices and they resist putting Engrish slogans on their gear. Also, their online listings are all bilingual. If you see something you like, just go over to Amazon and run a search on Komine plus the item number.

    http://www.komine.ac/products.php

  3. #3
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    Just go to your local motorcycle goods store, like Naps, Nankai, or whatever else you can find, and try stuff on.

    Take a look at gear reviews online on Amazon, or (even better) revzilla, because they have video product reviews and discuss the benefits in detail. They even have videos about how to look for gear.

    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle-gear-guides-2017

    Get as much information as you can and make an informed decision. Accept the fact that not every piece of gear is going to be perfect, and that you may have to buy multiple sets of gear before you start to learn what works well for you.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Mage View Post
    Currently I only have a pair of cheap gloves and a helmet as riding gear.
    In the Kanto area, in the summer, on paved roads, that's really all you need. Helmet has a full faceplate, yes? A lot of the flying creatures here are large and crunchy.

    I have 2 sets of outerwear. One is a rain set which lives under the seat in the summer and only worn when it is, well, raining. The other one comes out in October, it's big enough to go over a fleece jacket in December. Both were purchased at NAPS / 2-Rinkan for about 10,000 each and both have lasted many years.

    Unless you know you are an off-the-shelf **Japanese** size I recommend you buy in a store where you can try it on. Short sleeves / legs, shoulders too tight, excessive branding etc. etc. For some reason black, navy blue and dark green are popular colours for rain gear - no idea why people want to disguise themselves as a speed bump.

    If you want very cheap raingear go into any reasonably large home center. Unidy, Kuroganeya, Beaver Tozan etc. They have vinyl sets for well under 5000 (sometimes under 1000) but they are usually not very durable - good for a dozen uses. Good for guests or the time you get caught 2 hours from home and a storm rolls in.

    Unless you are doing offroad or racing you definitely do not need anything armoured, fitted, leather, or over Y15,000. Leather is a zero-sum product in the summer - it protects you from the heatstroke-induced wipeout it caused.

  5. #5
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    I just realized that while we all know the names of the stores with the gear, he probably doesn't.

    Just copy-paste the following individually into a google search and the search results page should pop up a map with pins showing locations near you:

    南海部品
    ライコランド
    ナップス
    ライダーズスタンド

    Of course, in-store stock will vary quite a bit by location and by chain. There is usually a changing room available, so feel free to try stuff on until you find what you like. You can save money by then buying the items online, but do try to patronize the stores sometimes for some purchases.

    With pants, make sure you squat so you can get an idea how they're going to fit when riding. Maybe even hike your leg like you're getting on your bike. You don't want to buy something that felt just fine when standing normally and then find it binds when mounting or riding.

    With jackets, raise your arms into riding position and make sure the shoulders aren't binding due to the width being too narrow and that it doesn't make the whole jacket ride up on your torso.

    "Year-round" or "three-season" jackets are misleadingly named. You'll either be broiling in the summer or freezing in the winter if you try to go the whole year with a single jacket. You'll eventually want two. That doesn't mean you have to buy two right now, but that you should keep in mind you'll probably end up getting two at some point when you're deciding what to buy now. It makes a difference if you're going to be adding any accessories to the jacket (removable liners, neck braces, optional protectors, etc) and if the model of jacket was made with a bottom zipper that is designed to match with a top zipper on certain models of riding pants. A certain amount of forethought and careful consideration will let you buy stuff now that will work well with what you buy later. Look carefully through the Komine catalog I linked and you can get an idea what I'm talking about. You'd be amazed how much difference something like a simple zip-in windproof liner can make to your comfort just in a single day if the ride involves wide changes in temperature, and you'll appreciate how little space it takes up. Similarly, you might appreciate the additional warmth of a zip-in quilted liner in the winter.

    Another consideration for jackets is which protectors come standard and their ability to accept optional protectors. Most specifically, jackets vary quite a bit regarding chest protectors. Some have them and some don't. If the jacket doesn't have them and you want them, you need to check to see if the jacket was designed to accept them or not.

    Riding gear is (or should be!) ruggedly built, as it is meant to take the beating of being dragged across asphalt with you inside it, so the stuff lasts for years. Spending a little more and getting something better now often ends up being more economical in the long run than getting something cheap now and having to replace it later because it ends up not being comfortable or adequate to your needs. Same goes for helmets, gloves, etc as well as for pants and jackets.
    Last edited by Mike Cash; 13-08-17 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6

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    ライダーズスタンド also known (and more commonly signed as) 2りんかん.

    And it wouldn't be a proper Japanese company without a conflict between the website ( driverstand,com ) and the signage ( Riders Stand )

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'll stay away from the Duhans. I'll see if I can find one of the pants they list on revzilla here. $150 is a bit more than I was looking to spend but I don't have any back home so it will be worth it for sure.

  8. #8
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    Default Protective Gear Recommendations?

    Look out for end of season sales on gear. Twice a year they change the gear on display, summer and winter. They typically mark down the end of season stuff 20 to 50% to get it cleared out.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Mage View Post
    $150 is a bit more than I was looking to spend.
    10-15,000 is about the minimum for anything decent. As I said, the home centers have cheaper stuff but it doesn't last. Limit yourself to recreational riding on good forecast days only and you can get away with a super-cheap plastic poncho. Otherwise the cheap stuff eventually costs more: what you pay for the cheap one plus what you pay for the better one after the cheap one falls apart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    10-15,000 is about the minimum for anything decent. As I said, the home centers have cheaper stuff but it doesn't last. Limit yourself to recreational riding on good forecast days only and you can get away with a super-cheap plastic poncho. Otherwise the cheap stuff eventually costs more: what you pay for the cheap one plus what you pay for the better one after the cheap one falls apart.
    I don't know, I bought a 3000 yen rain suit from a home center after my gore-tex suit fell off my bike somewhere, and it has kept me dry since July 2016. The pants aren't long enough, but I've supplemented that with a good pair of gaiters, also purchased at a home center. If you're careful about what you buy, you can get halfway decent gear. I used the gore-tex suit for 2 years and it was pricey. Granted, it would have lasted much longer if I hadn't lost it, but the pinch hitter from the home center has served me very well.

    You just have to look for things like:
    • Pants without a fly opening (this is probably my number one requirement).
    • Velcro closing storm flap over the jacket zipper.
    • Laminated (not coated) ePTFE or PU (pollyeurothane).
    • Taped and treated seams.
    • Bungee straps (or good Velcro) for tightening the jacket waist.
    • A good high neck that comes up to the bottom of your helmet.
    • Cuffs that fit under your waterproof gloves, or if you prefer them to be over your waterproof gloves, make sure the cuffs can get tight enough to seal out water ingress at speed.
    • Vents in the back to let the heat out.


    The more of these features you find, the higher the price. Look at the home center's rain suit options carefully, and make sure it fits over your gear.

  11. #11
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    Rain gear is definitely an essential, but is that the kind of protective gear he was asking about? If so, then $150 is definitely way the hell too much for a pair of britches. If not, then it is a bargain, especially as compared to the cost of bandages, ointments, and skin grafts.

  12. #12
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    Nobody ever regretted having knee, elbow, shoulder protection whenever they went down, where ever, why ever it happened.
    Anytime, any speed, that simple.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk2ride_ride2wrk View Post
    Nobody ever regretted having knee, elbow, shoulder protection whenever they went down, where ever, why ever it happened.
    Anytime, any speed, that simple.
    Quite true, no one is likely to say elbow guards made it worse.

    But there are plenty more cases where all of the above provided no benefit.

    Anyone on an urban commute that considers body armor essential probably needs to adjust their riding style more than their attire.

  14. #14
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    I don't see where he suggests he an "urban commute" rider.

  15. #15
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    I've seen accidents involving "urban commuters" in Tokyo, in which the urban commuter was seriously injured. I've also seen "urban commuters" lying dead on the street.

    Protective gear isn't just for situations where you expect to be going fast and/or situations where you think you might go down due to your own error or a patch of gravel in a curve or something.

    In 2016, there were 40 motorcycle fatalities in Tokyo. Of those, only 15 were single vehicle accidents. A graph of the time of day shows quite clearly that morning commute time is especially deadly. (See graph labeled 発生時間帯別 here).

    Further, of the 40 riders who died in traffic accidents in Tokyo in 2016, 50% sustained head injuries and 25% sustained chest injuries. (data at bottom of page linked above). In 35% of cases, the rider lost their helmet during the crash. In their summary the police strongly suggest making sure your helmet is securely fastened and that you use chest protectors.

    For anyone interested in reviewing the areas of the body injured during those fatal crashes, the following is a list in order of the left-hand column:

    Injuries all over
    Head
    Chest
    Abdomen
    Face
    Neck
    Back
    Hips
    Arms
    Legs
    Other

    Perhaps most importantly, data at the top of the page indicates that the motorcycle fatal accident rate in Tokyo is higher than the national average (first two pie charts) and that it is an annual thing, not a fluke (first line graph).

    Attaching some images:

    One shows what you all probably already know or suspect....if you get killed or inured, it is usually the other guy's fault.

    Another shows that if instead of being killed you are merely seriously injured, the places on your body most likely to be injured probably could have benefited from some other-than-helmet protective gear, because it turns out your brain bucket does a pretty good job protecting your gourd, on average.

    Lots of good info online regarding all this stuff.
    https://www.itarda.or.jp/itardainfomation/info91.pdf

    I'm not trying to preach ATGATT to anyone. Wear what you want, when you want, and more power to you as far as I'm concerned. But if you are of a mind to wear gear when you think you need it, please don't think that there is no need for it on an urban commute; years of statistics indicate otherwise.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1256.JPG   IMG_1258.JPG  
    Last edited by Mike Cash; 15-08-17 at 05:59 PM.

  16. #16
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    Wow great post Mike! Thanks!

    Many times you die because of multiple injuries. The cumulation is what does it. So if you can avoid some of the damage you have a better chance of survival. Abrasion is probably the easiest form of damage that you can totally prevent. Wearing good gear mostly protects you from sliding on the road (abrasion), and maybe some tumbling. Straight into a solid object (like a car coming at you, a curb, pole, wall, etc) there isn't much in the way of gear that is going to save you. Still you should gear up as best you can. I wont get on a bike without full leather anymore. I have multiple different sets depending on the weather, riding style. I've bought most of it used, except helmets and boots, and sometimes gloves.

    I also advocate a real full face helmet. Not the fake lift up units, or any skid lid, 3/4, or whatever. Get an honest to goodness full face helmet. Something like 80% of the impacted zones on the helmet tend to be the frontal area. This is because you tend to go in the direction you are facing, and your face is right out in front.

    I've heard folks state they want the flip up to smoke, or some other stupid shit. Well smoking is just fucking stupid so stop that, for the other stuff just take your helmet off if you need to eat, or whatever. The flip ups can have latch failure, and are weak at the seam/hinge. It's not worth the risk. Gear is about risk mitigation, not providing opportunity.

    Kevlar jeans are a total joke. If you want to walk the fashion runway then they are fine. If you want to ride a bike they are just stupid. They don't add any significant protection over jeans, and jeans offer you basically none. Just get some leather and deal with it.

    For rain with leather you need a rain suit. There are a lot of options. They are all somewhat of a pain in the ass, but nothing so big that you can't deal with it. The one piece suits have some benefits (they stay dryer), but the two piece suits are a bit more convenient in some ways.

    Back protecters. Get one. I like the non-inserted type because they come with a kidney belt. They really do work. Sure not in all back injuries, but they do protect from some, and for that it's worth it.

    Gauntleted gloves. Yup make sure they cover the interface between your hand and arm. Your wrist is an extremely vulnerable area. If you ever get hurt there you'll know what I'm talking about. MotoGP riders can break a collar bone and still race, but if they break a scapho´de they are out for weeks to months, and it sucks. So with regards to gloves don't get those dainty little things that don't cover your wrists. I usually spend more on gloves than I do for the full suit. Hand injuries really suck.

    Hip pads. You can get some underwear/ bicycle shorts looking pants that have hip and tail padding. A lot of leather suits don't have protection there, but you can easily add it with the shorts.

    Chest protectors. There are a number of different possibilities here. You can go with the underwear style, or the full on riot gear style. I can't really say they are going to save you because most impacts to the chest are going to be brutal, but every little thing can make a difference so why not?

    Lots of folks like the whole Aerostich thing. They are expensive, and really only offer one potential save. If you are on a long trip and you have an incident you are pretty much screwed. Yeah they are super convenient, but is that convenience really worth it? It doesn't take that much more time to leather up and add a rain suit if needed. For me that extra protection is totally worth it.

    Also, while black gear is super goth, and looks great it makes you way more likely to become a victim. Get a very bright helmet. It is by far the easiest thing to see on a rider. The florescent orange/yellow/green really stands out. The whites, and yellows also are easy to see. Black, and dark colors will blend right into the background. Sure you are going to look like a Power Ranger with all your gear on, but that's cool. Power Rangers are cool.

    Put a camera on the TOP of your helmet. You want it on the TOP because it's more likely to be seen by the cagers. It's totally uncanny, but when drivers see a camera (which is why you put it on the TOP of your helmet) they all of a sudden become much better citizens. Now this wont do anything with regards to Betty on the App, but for people that are having road rage it calms them right down--or at least forces them to control their rage. I like the Contour cameras for this because they actually look like a camera. Grandma isn't going to have a clue as to what a go-pro is--she'll just think you are cosplaying a Tele-tubby. Get something that they will recognize.

    Getting hurt totally sucks. If you can do something to prevent it then it's totally worth it. There are lots of inattentive drivers out there just waiting to do something stupid, and take you out. The only two things you can do about it is be hyper aware, and gear up. Well I suppose you could not ride, but is that truly an option? :P
    Last edited by ToraTora; 16-08-17 at 02:35 AM. Reason: added more stuff

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Unless you are doing offroad or racing you definitely do not need anything armoured, fitted, leather, or over Y15,000. Leather is a zero-sum product in the summer - it protects you from the heatstroke-induced wipeout it caused.
    Yeah I totally disagree with this. The fucking cagers don't give a fuck what kind of riding you are doing. They just plow over you. Certainly a chest protector isn't going to save you if they four wheel over you, but impact gear can give you a better chance of survival if they just knock you off the bike.

    With regards to heat stroke if it's hot get perforated leather. For all practical purposes nothing even comes close to the protection of leather with regards to abrasion--at least at prices most humans can afford. But even MotoGP riders still employ leather, and they have lots of money to spend on gear.

    You don't have the buy it new. There is always someone selling off nearly new gear because they have a wife, or some other BS. I've bought brand new Dianese gear at great prices because someone was moving on. You just have to keep an eye on the listings, but they pop up with a fairly high frequency. The trick is knowing what sizes fit you.

    The reason why you want things to fit is because in a crash if the gear is loose it will slip around, and not protect you. That's why riders wear fitted gear. It doesn't have to be so tight that you can't breath or move, but it should be tight enough that you'd have a little trouble getting out of it.

  18. #18
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    Regarding the kevlar jeans, I would hope that anyone contemplating them would first investigate how much kevlar there is in them and make an informed decision rather than assuming the name "kevlar jeans" means there is kevlar throughout the entire garment....there isn't.

    I like chest protectors in my jackets, not because I think they're going to save me from anything and everything, but because I'd rather have any impact spread out over a larger area. Maybe they can hold what would have been cracked ribs down to nasty bruising, what would have been broken ribs down to cracked ribs, and I'll take whatever help I can get to avoid a punctured lung. I've always sort of expected that one of these days I'll die due to my own stupidity, but I'd hate for it to be because I was stabbed to death with my own rib.

  19. #19
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    I wear a chest protector summer & winter ( not my daily commute into Tokyo ), the benefit in summer is if you run it under a tap every other combini stop you have got yourself excellent aircon. In winter over heated gear, it contains the heat to your core perfectly even at sub zero.

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