Here is what gear I have and why. For starters:
*Leather Motorcycle Jacket - Leather protects your skin from road rash. Most motorcycle leather is cow hide. My jacket in the picture is lamb. There are a bunch of other hides you can use. Like I said, Cow is the most common. Lamb is not recommended as it is thinner than and not as durable as Cow against abrasion. (The zipper on my cow jacket broke, so this is my fallback jacket.) I have heard that the ideal leather to wear is Kangaroo as it is extremely abrasion resistant and lighter than Cow hide.
Since my lamb jacket doesn’t have any quilted lining, I wear a light knitted/quilted jacket underneath it when it gets chilly. My cow jacket has a removable quilted lining.
The best jacket to get is one with armor or padding in it along the spine and at the elbows. There are also many synthetic alternatives to leather, most which come with padding.
*Chaps – My chaps are cow hide with a light nylon lining. While chaps are very important for safety gear, I have to admit that the main reason I wear mine is the warmth factor. If you insist on riding in jeans, which you might as well ride bare legged if you do, there is a company called Draggin’ Jeans that puts removable armor in the jeans at the hips and knees.
*Boots – I bought my boots at Sketcher. They are leather with a rubber sole and very durable. With boots what you are mostly looking for is ankle protection, and good grip on the bottom. I tried on a few Harley boots, figuring they would be especially designed for cruisers, but found them very stiff and uncomfortable. Few even had padding in the inside. My boots were bought for $60.00 total and that was for a brown pair and a black pair. I prefer the brown to the black as the black have buckles and a tongue on the front and a zipper on the side. When it is very windy or rainy, they both manage to work their way in around the tongue of the boot. The brown pair just zip on the side and are more weather resilient.
*Gloves – I am a glove fanatic. I must have at least 5 pairs. I have a fingerless pair; a regular leather pair; a nylon pair; a thick, padded, gauntlet style pair; and a pair of snowboarding gloves.
The snowboarding gloves were purchased during the rainy season I was riding my bike and said they were water proof. To test this I put my hand in them and stuck it under a faucet. On that test they passed. However, about a week after wearing the gloves in the waterfall that was California during the winter of ’04, the gloves were not even water resistant. In fact they seemed to adsorb the water.
The fingerless pair I wear when it is hot, as well as the nylon pair. The leather pair I wear when I don’t want my fingers to get cold, and layer them with a pair of felt gloves I bought at Old Navy on those slightly chilly days. The gauntlet pair are nice and padded and fit perfect over my jacket sleeves. They are the best for cold riding. The snowboarding gloves have been kicked out on their thumbs and are never to be spoken of again.
*Helmet – I know it’s not pictured, but I still wear one. I have a ½ helmet (size XXS), a full face helmet (size child S/M) and a shortie helmet (size XS). The full face is my oldest and my most worn. It is the best for cold days and for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. My ½ helmet hasn’t been used much since the purchase of my shortie. I look like a mushroom head in the ½ since they use the same helmet shell as the medium sized helmet and just put more padding in it to make it a XXS. My shortie is my favorite. It fits really well, and matched perfectly the burgundy color of my Vulcan. I had it pinstriped black and silver at the Easy Rider show by Hot Dog and LOVE IT! It is not the best helmet for cold weather riding, even with a face mask.
*Other – My additional accessories are a dickie, a face mask, and several pairs of assorted goggles and sunglasses. The dickie is basically a mock turtleneck that keeps my neck nice and toasty. The face mask is made of neoprene and fits under my full face helmet in a pinch. It is mostly used with my ½ and shortie helmets. The goggles are used with the open helmets and the sunglasses used under my full face visor. I have yet to find a tinted visor for my full face helmet.
So, that is it!! I should make myself into a paper doll so you can dress me in all of my gear! That would be funny.
Please leave any questions or comments, or reminders of any gear I may hve left out, or any gear you CAN NOT live without.
A moment of silence
I have mentioned my friend Tay in here before. He is this big bear of a guy I meet in my jewelry design and fabriacation class last fall. He does ride (actually just got himself a new Harley) but he alos does custome metal and fabrication work for many of the builders here in So. Cal. He told me about this one guy named Johnny Chop
who had a shop in Wesminister. I cruised over to his site and chaecked out his work. He had a bunch of really cool frames and handelbars. Tay wanted me to contact Johnny to see about getting some roll bars put on my Vulcan, since, as I have mentioned before, the Vulcan 500 had no after market accessories to speak of. Sadly I was very strapped for cash at the time and hesitant to even venture a call or a ride to his shop to even chat or get an estimate.
Anyhoo, Tay called me on Sunday to let me know that Johnny had passed away on March 28th of heart failure at the age of 33. Johhny spent the beginning of his carrer in Chica
's shop in Huntington Beach.
Stop by the sites and take a look at Johhny's genius. I wish now I had not let money hinder my desire to learn about choppers and to meet some of the key people in chopper customizing right now. I won't let another chance slip by.
Rememberance Information is here
I had a request to post a picture of me in my hair glove. I am really sorry for not getting to this sooner, and actually still haven't taken a picture. So, here is a picture borrowed from the Hair Glove
You should go check out the site. I usually buy mine at OC Road House
. I have a 8" one I used when my hair was longer, and bought a 4" one when I cut off 11 inches.
I love mine. I usually just braided my hair before I bought one, and the briad would fall out and my hair would get all ratty. This keeps it nice, and it looks cool. They have at least 20 different types of hair gloves on the site. They also sell some with a hole in it so you can put on your favorite biker pin, without damaging the leather. Very biker chic!
There hasn't been much to blog about in motorcycle world. The new battery is working great, and I added a whole bunch of new links over on the side (check them out!) and I also was granted membership to the Biking Bloggers ring.
On a news worthy note, I have been offered membership to www.motorcyclebloggers.com
! I will be one of the authors to the blog there! Yeah! So expect to see me there soon. I am the only girl (thus far) and I think the only cruiser rider there.
Other than that, it has been on and off rain here. I was able to ride to work once this week. I know, I have woosed out since getting a car, but Alexia hasn't yet been exposed to rain, and I would really like to keep it that way for as long as I can. Rhonda was ridden in the rain A LOT and the frame got quite rusty. Rhonda also had a belt drive, which fairs better in rain than a metal chain drive.
So I have been stuck driving to work. I just checked Weather.com
and it looks like a clear weekend, but another rainy week. Jabberknockers!