Motorcycle Gear for Big People - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Motorcycle Gear for Big People

Hello (n00b h3r3),

I've recently become interested in learning how to ride a motorcycle and plan on getting my motorcycle endorsement here in Michigan. The local community college has it's next MSF Basic Rider Course in April 2014, and prior to attending that class I need to purchase some motorcycle gear.

Required For Class:
Code:
- DOT-approved helmet (still required for all classes, even though the helmet law has changed)
- Long sleeve jacket or heavy shirt
- Heavy duty long pants
- Eye protection  goggles or glasses (required even with a face shield helmet)
- Full fingered gloves
- Boots: Your ankles must be covered and the boot must have a hard sole. High heels or high-top tennis shoes are not permitted.
- Rain and cold weather gear, as needed
- Pencil or pen
So, I figure I can start by requesting opinions and advice as to the gear I should look at purchasing.

I don't think gloves, boots, and a helmet are going to be an issue (I still would appreciate any input on these items). I think I'm going to have a problem with finding a jacket and pant...and probably more so the pants.

You see...I'm a big guy...5'11'' and anywhere between 260 - 275 lbs. Finding decent fitting clothes can be a challenge for a guy my size, and I can imaging finding protective motorcycle gear even harder.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks,

MyndkryM

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 10:35 PM
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I'm 6'2" 300lbs. I've had go luck here and the prices are good also. http://www.motorcyclegear.com/browse/best_deals

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 11:24 PM
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Olympia Gear is currently on sale at 31% off at www.Revzilla.com.

A multi season jacket is going to probably be more expensive but also a lot more versatile as you can use it in both hot weather and cold weather. Helmet reviews on www.webbikeworld.com

Last edited by versys_rider; 08-14-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 02:27 AM
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Im like 6"1 and about 280 pounds. Jackets can be obtained quite easily. The pants however it always a challenge as there are just too many measurements to take care off ( waist, crotch, seams, length,etc... )

Suggest for you to tailor make your riding pants. OR get knee pads and strap them over your jeans.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 02:58 AM
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Welcome,
I suggest that you don't buy off the internet to start off with, you need to try things on, which you can't on the internet. Depending on what you want to spend (the requirements that you posted were fairly general) you could just some starting gear (or just a normal jacket, jeans, boots) and if you want to continue then buy full armour gear.

Expect your gear to be larger size than normal, (I'm 6'3 and about 260lbs) usually wear an XL in most things, my jacket is a 3 season jacket and is a 3XL. Motorcycle jeans (Dragin, RST, etc) are generally longer then normal to accommodate bent knees/armour, I generally have to roll the cuff up about 3inch.

I have a good shop who spent time with me fitting me for what I needed, I suggest this as some of your gear needs to be snug to stop it ripping if you were to come off, and not flap in the wind, but loose enough to be comfortable.

Good luck.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:45 AM
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MyndkryM: I'm your size. The best fit, I've found, is with First Gear stuff. Well made and cut to fit big guys. Good armor protection, too. I have several jackets and overpants and am very pleased.

MotorNurse hit on something, too: Real sizing. I wear the same size in First Gear that I do in "street" clothes.

I've had Olympia gear: it's good, but in general, I find the sizing and cut off. Where I wear a 2X jacket in First Gear, I had to wear a 4X in Olympia.

Helmets, boots, gloves - all this stuff should be easy to find.

I usually buy gear from Revzilla, as I don't have much of a local selection. They have great customer service and easy returns.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:23 AM
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As far as I'm concern, at 6'2" and around 330#, not that muscular, Joe Rocket fit's my bill

So might be a place to start

I've ordered a first gear jacket, was a 4xl, and altough it does fit me, I feel like a sausage in that, further more it's quite a bit short and does not come fully to my waste, so, not for me ...

My 2 cent

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 01:17 PM
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If there's a "Cycle Gear" near you - they'll have lots to try on.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
If there's a "Cycle Gear" near you - they'll have lots to try on.

Doesn't look like it.....http://www.cyclegear.com/store-finder/findStore

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:04 PM
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 06:01 AM
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Not to be a stick in the mud but if you're "just starting" you may want to (literally) go slow. You can drop a lot of money (especially if you buy high quality versatile equipment) only to find that riding is not for you. You may even want to explore shopping used gear (via Craigslist, etc) before dropping $400 on a dual purpose jacket. Just a thought. Good luck on getting started.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 07:42 AM
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If you are not going to take the class until April 2014, may I also suggest that you stop by the Progressive Motorcycle Show. I think there may be one coming near you this winter. There a lots of vendors where you can try on gear.


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 08:18 AM
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Wonder if the OP is reading us ???


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 10:59 AM
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Tourmaster have a wide range of sizes and styles to fit most. I'm vertically challenged and I can find pants that fit. Their gear is generally sized generously to fit the american ever expanding waist sizes :-)

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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I am for sure reading this

I definitely appreciate everyone's feedback. Right now, there's a lot to take in ! It looks like some gear manufactures like First Gear may make sizing a little easier, and it appears a lot of the on-line retailers have some pretty liberal return policies.

Right now I'm looking at helmets and reading up on the different ratings (DOT, Snell, etc). I'm looking for a full-face in the sub-$200s, and there seems to be quite a few people that really like helmets with internal sun-visors.

Thanks a bunch.

MyndkryM

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee-Houston View Post
Not to be a stick in the mud but if you're "just starting" you may want to (literally) go slow. You can drop a lot of money (especially if you buy high quality versatile equipment) only to find that riding is not for you. You may even want to explore shopping used gear (via Craigslist, etc) before dropping $400 on a dual purpose jacket. Just a thought. Good luck on getting started.
Ditto on this
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
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.... You can drop a lot of money (especially if you buy high quality versatile equipment) only to find that riding is not for you. You may even want to explore shopping used gear (via Craigslist, etc) before dropping $400 on a dual purpose jacket.....
Have to agree. Gear is expensive and if you are going to buy stuff then you need to know that you are committed to continuing to ride. Also consider what type of riding you are going to do (commute/tour/adventure).

Second-hand is good, but not when buying helmets.

It's a pity you have to have your own gear to do the course (helmet). We were given helmets to use and just had to wear jeans, long sleeves and solid shoes. At the end we were given a talk on the type of gear out there and considerations when buying. I had been looking at $200 helmets and ended up go for a $400 after finding out more about helmet construction.


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyndkryM View Post
...It looks like some gear manufactures like First Gear may make sizing a little easier, and it appears a lot of the on-line retailers have some pretty liberal return policies....
I have two FirstGear Kilimanjaro jackets, but had three. They make them BIG (my first was a LARGE, but TOO big - I'm 5'10", 180#, 31.5" inseam), so now I have MEDIUMS. I'm not sure if that carries thru to everything they make, but be sure to try some on for sizing.

GREAT jackets tho'...!

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 04:50 PM
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First Gear and Tourmaster/ Cortech have a good size selection, and their textile jackets are competently designed.

This mail order company is great to deal with and has very good item descriptions with lots of pictures and editorial content.

www.motorcyclegear.com
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 11:06 AM
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It's a pity you have to have your own gear to do the course (helmet). We were given helmets to use and just had to wear jeans, long sleeves and solid shoes. At the end we were given a talk on the type of gear out there and considerations when buying. I had been looking at $200 helmets and ended up go for a $400 after finding out more about helmet construction.

It is kind of sad that you have to have this gear before you can do the MSF Course. This stuff is not cheap!

I'm in the same boat - looking for gear to do my MSF Course. Great suggestions by all, so thanks! So far, I've gotten the Scorpion Tornado Jacket while looking for a helmet. I almost got the helmet, but it was fogging on me when trying it in the store. Therefore, I got the jacket because it fits me nicely, although I was surprised about the sizing. I'm 6' 2", about 220 lbs and I had to get a 2XL size jacket. XL felt a little tight. I'm not sure if this is a good jacket for a beginner or not, but the reviews by others are plus-plus.

As for the helmets, boy are all of the choices confusing! So many different features!! How does one pick? The one at the store that I almost got was a Scorpion EXO-900, but since then I've been doing more research on helmets and so far I'm interested in Nolan N104, but the prices are up there!

Because of the initial cost for everything, my experience in getting into riding has been postponed for months But I'm not giving up, as it's something I've been wanting to do for a long time! I just tell myself to take everything one-step-at-a-time.. And I'm researching EVERYTHING before I spend my hard-earned $$.
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