Pants or Armor? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Pants or Armor?

Hello, I'm a new member here. I'm thinking about getting a V as my first bike, and am in the process of gearing up while saving money. I rode a friends bike (a lot) about 5 years ago, and just wore a helmet and Jeans, Now I'm married and have a kid, and want to be a little more careful. Most of my riding will be commuting between home and work sites (40mi a day, mostly city streets), and the occasional twisties. The only time I will ride in the wet is if it is an unexpected shower, and I'm already out.

My main question is I wear slacks to work. and am trying to decide what to get for leg protection. I have thought about getting pants to wear over my slacks, or as an option getting some knee and shin armor. I teach at two different colleges everyday, so I would have to take whatever I got off for class, and put it on to drive over to the other school which I spend a lot of time at grading, then I going to dinner, and back for class. I don't want something that is a big hassle with me having to take it off, and put it on three times between when I leave the house, and when I get home.

In addition I will be wearing A full Helmet, Textile armored jacket, "jungle" combat boots, and of course gloves.

On the gloves I saw on another post that someone wore mechanix gloves when they rode I thought about this also. What are your thoughts on them as riding gloves?

Sorry for the long post, any suggestions would be helpful.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 07:47 PM
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I live in Canada and for the cooler weather I purchaed Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 Jacket and Pants and I think it's one of the best purchases ever. Priced around and ridersdiscount.com was the answer for me.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 08:14 PM
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Clearly armored pants are the best way to go. Quite often 'though I wear a set of chaps. I decided to make my own out of 1000d cordura. The only material with better abrasion resistance is competition leather - regular leather isn't as good as cordura. They're really quick to put on and take off and fold up small enough that they fit in saddlebags or backpack.

If you don't sew, I'm sure you could find someone who does. Just make sure you use the strongest thread you can get and triple stitch all seams.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 10:01 PM
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Make sure your over-pants have padding in knees and hips. Both my mesh summer pants and my winter pants have side zippers that go all the way up to the hip for easy on and off.

I'd suggest getting motorcycle gloves with knuckle protection. In a motorcycle accident many years ago I rolled a long way on the road. My knuckles were in BAD shape.

Don't forget to buy some motorcycle safety books to read. They have very good info.

Best wishes to you.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 10:12 PM
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It depends on the weather. You might find that wearing normal pants inside riding pants is just too bulky and hot. Why not get two sets of riding pants - one heavier and one lighter - and a pair of velcro closure riding boots? That way you can get in and out of your gear fairly quickly.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 10:40 PM
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Thumbs up

Good you are thinking of armored pants, smart...I wear the Olympia airglide pants, super comfortable, removable liner, armor is built in and adjustable....
Check it out. I'm in construction so I put them off and on a couple of times a day, no prob...

http://www.olympiamotosports.com/home.html
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 11:11 PM
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I have Firstgear overpants with knee armor for cooler temps and wear them over my jeans. During the summer I wear mesh pants with armor over my underwear. I change into my pants and shoes at work.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 06:57 AM
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I have a pair of Tourmaster Venture Air mesh pants. They are great and easy to get on unless you have either of the liners in. The pants have zippers that go almost all the way up making them easy to put on with your shoes or boots on. The liners don't have zippers and you have to take your shoes off to when putting them on or off. As for wearing slacks under them, I do that all the time and they don't wrinkle my pants anymore than sitting in the car does.

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 07:01 AM
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Armor every time.
I recently got up after a 30+mph slide down the road with not even a bruise. My leather trousers had the knee worn right out of them.
What would that have done to my knee without the hard knee armor?
I was alone and thousands of miles from home at the time which wouldn't have helped.
OK it's a bit inconvenient at times but being seriously injured would have been inconvenient too.
At least these days other bikers don't take the piss out of me like they used to. That's real progress.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 11:36 AM
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ATGATT. I had a spill in May when I was 1000+miles from home. If I had been wearing armoured pants I wouldn't have ended up in the ED for 2 hours.

My Hein Gerrick armoured jacket saved my right arm and good boots my right ankle & helmet of course.

I went out and got some summer armoured pants from BMW the next day-spendy, but so is a visit to the ED.

It was 103degrees when I fell off, but regardless of temp I always wear full gear now-you won't regret it.



I have pair of heavy duty Fieldsheer for winter wear.

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, I found these on newenough, does anybody have experience with them?

http://www.newenough.com/protective_...overpants.html

Also I don't think I was clear in my OP, when I said pants I meant armored overpants, and when I said Armor, I meant hard armor over my slacks. I like ATGATT, and won't be riding w/o protection of somekind on my legs.



Machog, Were you wearing any armor, or just jeans?
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Machog, Were you wearing any armor, or just jeans?
Just jeans unfortunately, smacked my knee and it swelled up like a grapefruit. Nothing permanent, but I had another 1500+ miles to do, ended up putting a pair of vice grips my H&B crash bars.



The way the doc strapped it up, I couldn't bend it enough to get it on the regular peg. I now have a more permanent solution-knee is fine, but I like to stretch out on long days.



I tried the slip on armour under my jeans, but it irritated the back of my leg, so for me armoured pants are the way to go.

Machog
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 04:40 PM
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When I armor up I wear dirt bike knee-and-shin guards under my jeans. They work - I've proved it - but I'm sure they don't work as well as proper armored pants.

PS: Do not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do a Google image search for "mesh pants"

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Machog View Post
I tried the slip on armour under my jeans, but it irritated the back of my leg, so for me armoured pants are the way to go.
I was thinking if i went that route to put them over my slacks, keep them from flapping around.

Quote:
PS: Do not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do a Google image search for "mesh pants"
How many people just tried that?
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 12:49 PM
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James, you didn't mention where you ride. Pants like those Tourmaster Venture would be good for what you described, with the exception of summer months, which depending on where you are they could be anywhere from OK to uncomfortable to unbearable. Tourmaster's Rainguard waterproof/breathable barrier is a lot more waterproof than it is breathable. You'll need something that breaths (or preferably vents) better for summer riding with slacks on. Firstgear makes these TPG Escape pants that get very good reviews from some of my riding buddies.

The dirt style knee armor is better left for off-road adventures. It's not comfortable to wear (especially when it's warm outside) and it only offers protection for direct impacts to the knee. Wearing those under/over street pants (even jeans) gives you no abrasion protection, which is one of the more common causes of injury on pavement.

If it's not too hot where you live a one piece suit like an Aerostich Roadcrafter would make your commuting in professional attire a lot more comfortable. The down sides are that it's not cheap and it doesn't vent very well, so when it's hot, it''s not going to be any better than the Tourmaster pants. If you ride a lot more in warm weather than cold/wet, maybe pants like these would be better for your purpose:

Tourmaster Venture Air

Joe Rocket Alter Ego

Hope this helps,

Gustavo
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 04:06 PM
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hey guys im new here but not to motorcycles... in my opinion armor plus pants... until september this year i rode a honda 919... now its a pile in my yard... i was wearing icon soft gloves with knuckle protection my knuckles came out of the deal ok but i broke two fingers... gauntlet style gloves arent overkill ... i also broke my left leg in multiple spots and got three nice size holes in it... shin plus knee guards would have saved me 12 days in the hospital not to mention $5000 in doctor bills... regular work boots will help more than sneakers but true riding boots are the answer...
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 05:07 PM
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i was wearing icon soft gloves with knuckle protection my knuckles came out of the deal ok but i broke two fingers... gauntlet style gloves arent overkill ... i also broke my left leg in multiple spots and got three nice size holes in it... shin plus knee guards would have saved me 12 days in the hospital not to mention $5000 in doctor bills... regular work boots will help more than sneakers but true riding boots are the answer...
Man, sorry to hear about the accident, but good to see you are back. What were you wearing (other than the gloves you mentioned) when the accident happened?

I buy all my gear with crashing in mind. If it doesn't meet my (albeit perceived) crash-worthiness criteria, I don't use it. Mesh gloves are comfy when it's hot, but I wouldn't wear gloves not made out of leather. Perforated leather vents OK but offers much better abrasion resistance. I don't buy riding boots that don't have shin and ankle armor. Sidi makes (used to?) a very nice waterproof boot that many people swear by, but when I saw them in person it turned out there is little ankle and no shin protection. Not the right boot for me.

But, even with all the right gear, there is nothing that will guarantee that you don't not get injured in an accident. If you race (or go to see local club races) you'll see guys crash in front of you in what looks like horrible accidents and just get up, dust themselves off and walk away. OTOH, some innocent looking falls sometimes result in broken bones and more serious injuries. I mention races because there is no doubt that everybody there is wearing good safety gear (granted, people make different choices, but it has to pass the club's safety inspection) so it's sort of a fairly comparable gear and conditions.

Just keep this in mind - ATGATT can only help you make it through an accident. Buy it and use it.

Gustavo
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 06:51 PM
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ill catch hell for this im sure but i had on a skorpion full face helmet, my soft gloves, and a jogging suit with hi tops... yeah stupid really does hurt... i dont have another bike yet but will soon... not to advertise another site but if you need a reason to spend a grand or less on gear go to wristtwisters.com and search '' 06 919 parting out or whole'' thats my leg in those pics... i totalled a jeep cherokee and my bike but lived and am even walking again after only two and ahalf months... im almost 100% again and wont ride without armor... so if you need a reason or just need a reminder of what could happen check it out
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Docteric View Post
Quite often 'though I wear a set of chaps. I decided to make my own out of 1000d cordura.
I was just thinking about doing that also, and I came across this site http://www.coloradochaps.com/motorcycle_chaps.html

Has anyone used them? I saw good reviews on a couple other sites, How well do chaps protect in a slide? If I went this route I would get them with armor.

I'm trying to think of ways that I can be well protected while not spending all the money I'm saving for the bike. and as my wife is always saying I'm a "Cheap Bastard"
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 11:52 PM
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Armor, dudes, ARMOR.

How cheap is ACL surgery?

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