US West Tour -- Riding Gear Recommendations - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
alexg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
US West Tour -- Riding Gear Recommendations

Beginning in Arizona in the month of June, I will be touring throughout various US states in roughly 4'ish weeks. The states include Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California . . .

I'm packing as light as possible, focused on functionality and within a reasonable budget, for I am a student still attending university. I have a helmet (no visor) and gloves and jacket (a sporty-esc Joe Rocket). For boots I was thinking my everyday, above-the-ankle hiking boots. Otherwise, any recommendations on riding boots/shoes? Will the jacket and helmet suffice?

My main question is this, however: Any recommendations on pants and/or protective gear? The southwest will be hot, and the northwest may get occasional showers. I am not packing numerous pants for various climates -- I want one that will tackle the elements, keep me mostly dry in a shower, and not make me sweat too much when under the sun.

Thanks.
alexg1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 06:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,606
Frogg Toggs work pretty good and are not too expensive.
waltermitty is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 08:36 PM
Member
 
texrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 93
Waterproof cycle boots that are comfortable to walk in would be a must, and a rain suit.
A dry bag for your gear should round things out.

2014 Valkyrie 1800
texrider is offline  
 
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 10:14 PM
Member
 
BaileyMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 601
How much of a budget are you on?

I'm sure it can be done cheaper than I go, but I budget at least $50/day that includes gas, food, camping and the occasional treating myself to a good burger somewhere.

If you do 400 miles a day, that's about 2 tanks of gas which alone can be $30 (in the expensive parts of the country). If you're not back country camping, some campgrounds are $5, but most are closer to $20 and up. I usually shoot for the $10-$15. That's up to about $40/day. If you stop at grocery stores regularly, you can save some money on food, but less than $10/day on food would be hard for me. Then there are the little incidentals, the bottled water, soda, coffee, beer, snacks, etc that you might want to get. If you visit State or National Parks there are entrance fees too. It can add up pretty quick...suddenly your looking at a minimum of $50/day x 28 days = ~$1400 and that doesn't include gear if you need to purchase any...I don't want to burst your bubble, I just want you to have a realistic picture of the actual cost involved...

Maybe someone else will chime in with tips for reducing your costs. I guess it depends in part on how much you like to rough it.

The range in temps and climates can be a lot between Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.

FWIW, I had a below freezing morning in the Southern Cascades in Oregon in the end of July last year. I was not expecting it and was very minimally prepared. Thankfully the RV next to me had about a months worth of wood and they were very generous with it...

Keep us posted about your trip, we'd all love to know about it. If you need a place to stay in SF, let me know, depending on the in-laws' plans we may be able to put you up for a night.

2011 Imperial Red
Givi V46 / V35's SW Motech mounts
Skidmarx hugger Moto Werks bar riser
Mondo Motors LED Driving Lights
A little bit of road rash
BaileyMan is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
alexg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
I'll definitely look into those recommendations. As for the budget, I'm looking at $2k-$3K for the trip total, which includes gas, gear, prepping the bike, etc. I'm an outdoor enthusiast. I intend to camp wherever I can, especially around BLM land or wherever some grounds may be first-come-first served.

I hope to only have to acquire a cheap hotel/motel once-or-so a week, primarily when I need to wash clothes. Otherwise, my cousin lives in Colorado. I intend to stay with him for some time. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho will require roughing it unless I can couch serf here-and-there. Same with Washington. Oregon, I have a couple connections; and all throughout California. Plenty of friends in the Bay Area. Thanks for the hospitality though. I'm sure as time progresses, I may throw a feeler out there on who would potentially be willing to house a rider for a night around various states.

As for food, I once survived a week on nothing but trail mix, PB&J, and protein powder when overlanding in the Jeep. Thus, I intend to keep food costs short; only treating myself to things more extravagant when temporarily acquiring a roof over my head.

Prepping for the change in weather is my ultimate concern. Waking up beyond cold, getting stuck in the rain or sleet; I feel this will be my nemesis, hence why I don't intend to short change myself on the proper riding gear; granted, I don't intend to be purchasing $500+ pants.

Thanks again.
alexg1 is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 12:11 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: sandpoint, id.
Posts: 61
i've gone several times into the southwest from n. idaho. i use air pants and jacket(with gerbings heated jacket) when it's cold and or raining use rain gear and sweat pants. i also have rain covers for my boots. this combo packs small and covers you for a wide range of temps. heated grips are nice too.
marc is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 07:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 19
You had a quation about pants. Any of the good vented pants will be just fine for these states at this time of year. The only time you might need a base layer for the pants would be on the Oregon and Washington coast. I have ridden all these areas at that time of year. While you can not ignore the idea of rain, it would more liklely be showers. If you want to go low tech and low weight garbage bags work great. A $2.99 roll of static cling like used in the kitchen can seal some other areas. I'm currently using it to seal my leg cast while taking showers. IMHO, good motorcycle specific boots are worth the money as is a helmet with a visor.
Enjoy.
patsmith is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 07:09 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 19
btw, I purchased my boots and vented pants from CL. I saved a ton of money.
patsmith is offline  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 07:13 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 110
A heated jacket liner is practically a necessity as far as I'm concerned. They pack small and keep you warm and toasty in just about any weather.

Decent quality rain gear is a must. In addition to keeping you dry, it keeps the wind out to keep you warm as well. You can probably pick something up at Cycle Gear for around $50.

You'll want some nice warm and waterproof gloves too.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

2013 Kawasaki Versys, 2012 BMW K1600 GTL, 2013 Triumph Street Triple R, 2006 HD Electra Glide Classic
mtcycle is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 09:36 AM
Member
 
BaileyMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexg1 View Post
I'll definitely look into those recommendations. As for the budget, I'm looking at $2k-$3K for the trip total, which includes gas, gear, prepping the bike, etc. I'm an outdoor enthusiast. I intend to camp wherever I can, especially around BLM land or wherever some grounds may be first-come-first served.
Sounds like you got it worked out and you've got some experience. You never know who's a 19 year old with grand plans that aren't really all that thoroughly planned...

Sounds like it will be a great trip!

2011 Imperial Red
Givi V46 / V35's SW Motech mounts
Skidmarx hugger Moto Werks bar riser
Mondo Motors LED Driving Lights
A little bit of road rash
BaileyMan is offline  
post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 10:04 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,606
Cemeteries make great stealth camping spots.
waltermitty is offline  
post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 12:15 PM
Member
 
twowheeladdict's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,197
Garage
When (no visor), do you mean no face shield? The bugs will keel you if you run without a face shield.

When I travel light in the summer I wear mesh gear and carry a thin fleece zip shirt for warmth, and use the rain gear to break the wind and the rain when necessary. I was a backpacker so I used my Gore-Tex mountain gear for rain gear on the bike until I could get some hi viz rain gear. I also use a compact sleeping bag and plan on layering my gear over it if it is cooler than expected.

My bike does have heated grips which really helped when climbing beartooth pass in July.

My Versys Travels:


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
twowheeladdict is online now  
post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 03:12 PM
Super Moderator
 
fasteddiecopeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
Posts: 17,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcycle View Post
A heated jacket liner is practically a necessity as far as I'm concerned. They pack small and keep you warm and toasty in just about any weather.

Decent quality rain gear is a must. In addition to keeping you dry, it keeps the wind out to keep you warm as well. You can probably pick something up at Cycle Gear for around $50.

You'll want some nice warm and waterproof gloves too.
I agree w/ ALL this. I usually wear a heated jacket liner ALMOST every day on my Alaska trips, sometimes turned ON, sometimes NOT, but it's a GREAT help under your gear when you need to ride in rain (w/ proper rain gear OVER top!).

When it's REALLY hot I soak my tee-shirt, which cools me for around 1.5 to 2 hours, then repeat as necessary....


Ed
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
fasteddiecopeman is offline  
post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 09:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 614
For that kind of riding I'd wear my BMW Rallye 2 Pro pants. They might be available used.

I don't think they're they most rugged/protective gear, but the armor is good, the temperature range is broad--not the greatest for freezing and below, but good for as hot as your adventures should get. And with the knee armor removed they're good for hiking, climbing, etc. If I'm planning on hiking or climbing I might remove the knee armor before the trip, and use strap-on knee armor underneath them instead--faster to remove/install.

Also with the liner in, mine have been all-day waterproof.

Cheap rain gear is generally a better bet than expensive motorcycle gear for staying dry in the rain though. By "cheap" I mean fully waterproof stuff like vented PCV, rather than waterproof/breathable stuff. If you were talking about the humid Southeast, I might lean toward breathable, but out west, cheap, vented PVC or similar is better.
davidg is offline  
post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 10:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 614
I agree with others: I strongly recommend heated grips.

I'd likely take a heated jacket liner & gloves too, but I like to camp in the mountains in the Summer. Temperatures will drop below freezing at night, and some roads may still be closed due to snow.

And I used to do that without heated gear. It just might mean being a little uncomfortable at the beginning of the ride, or waiting a bit before riding.
davidg is offline  
post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
alexg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 28
Thanks for the advice everyone. I greatly appreciate it. It's looking like mesh-type pants will do, and I'll just use my sweats or some base layer if it does rain; though, I'm thankful chances are that showers will be it around the Northwest.

As for the helmet, I don't have the visor/bill -- like a ball cap has. My helmet is more street, not touring. Any recommendations on one?

As for the boots. I'll definitely look into some. For now I'm going to test out my hiking boots on the bike, because I want to save space; but if I fell they're too thick, then I'll see what's around.

Thanks again!
alexg1 is offline  
post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 19
helmets are a tough one to recommend. It is like oil, we all have our opinion.
I have found my decision to be easy. I went to my local cycle gear and tried on every brand they had. Because I wear glasses there was only one helmet that worked for me and my glasses. I wish that wasnt the case as it was on the high end of the price range. For my Arai is what works with my glasses and fits my head. If you have a cycle gear near you it would be worth the time to go try on a bunch of them. Good luck.
patsmith is offline  
post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 07:24 AM
Member
 
twowheeladdict's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,197
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexg1 View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I greatly appreciate it. It's looking like mesh-type pants will do, and I'll just use my sweats or some base layer if it does rain; though, I'm thankful chances are that showers will be it around the Northwest.

As for the helmet, I don't have the visor/bill -- like a ball cap has. My helmet is more street, not touring. Any recommendations on one?

As for the boots. I'll definitely look into some. For now I'm going to test out my hiking boots on the bike, because I want to save space; but if I fell they're too thick, then I'll see what's around.

Thanks again!
If you are going to wear hiking boots, I recommend figuring out a way to contain the laces. If they catch on the bike while you are trying to put a foot down, you could be in to a surprise. I wore my Asolo backpacking boots on a trip to the smoky mountains, and I wore gaiters over them to contain the laces. Those boots are stiffer than most motorcycle boots.

I would recommend the lightest comfortable helmet you can afford for long days on the bike. I love my bell helmet with the transitions shield. Don't have to worry about stopping to change shields in varying conditions.

You should start a thread on must see places and roads for the states you are travelling to. I did an epic ride out West in 2012 on the Versys. Forum members helped with must see places.


http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=20371

My Versys Travels:


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
twowheeladdict is online now  
post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 11:27 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexg1 View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I greatly appreciate it. It's looking like mesh-type pants will do,
I strongly recommend against mesh. It might be useful if you were facing humid heat, but for the dry heat you'll be facing vented textile is fine--or better. And vented textile is vastly better for all the other temperature conditions you'll face. In addition to offering vastly better protection than mesh. Most mesh is garbage as gear, and mesh isn't the easiest gear to be comfortable in across a range of temperatures.
davidg is offline  
post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 01:44 PM
Super Moderator
 
fasteddiecopeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
Posts: 17,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
If you are going to wear hiking boots, I recommend figuring out a way to contain the laces. If they catch on the bike while you are trying to put a foot down, you could be in to a surprise....]
This is EXTREMELY GOOD advice!!!


Ed
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
Ride to D2D 2013, June '13

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2015, June '15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Ride to D2D 2016, June '16

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
fasteddiecopeman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome