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Background...  Rode street bikes 10 years ago and gave it up due to the danger.  I have been riding solely dirt (trials bike and Enduro bike).  Recently I moved to a rural area onto a dirt road.  Because of all the dirt roads and very low traffic two lane paved roads I got the itch to get a dual sport bike so I picked up a used DR-Z400s recently.  I've been really enjoying tooling around on the back roads, up to the grocery store to pick something ip, etc.  my riding on this bike is 65% dirt roads, 25% low traffic two lane paved country roads, 5% city roads, 5% off road (I have a KTM 350 XCF-W for the serious stuff).

Ironically I tossed my street helmet that I've held onto for the past 10 years just a few months ago when we moved.  Go figure.  In the short time I've had it I've been wearing the a Fox V2 helmet, goggles and gloves that I usually wear on my Enduro bike.  I'm not currently wearing a jacket or boots.

It's time to get some proper gear.  I'm curious what kind of helmets people like for DS?  Pure Dirt style?  Road style?  Or maybe one of those hybrids that looks like a dirt helmet?  I do live in Michigan and plan to do a whole lot of riding in the fall when daytime temps can range from 30s to 60s.  So while I don't mind a dirt type helmet with goggles, I'm wondering if something with a face shield would just be more convienent and a bit warmer when the temps drop.

How about a jacket.  I'm looking for something that would offer some protection if I was to go down on the pavement.  If possible I'd like something that can be worn in the heat of the summer and the cool fall weather but if that's not possible, I'll get something for the fall weather now and a different jacket for the summer next year.   I've seen people wearing the heavy nylon jackets.  Are they a good choice?  Anything specific I should be looking for?  Can anyone recommend a brand?

How about boots?  I'm used to wearing Fox and Alpinestars boots when I ride trails or observed trials.  They are just too inconvienent, stiff, uncomfortable and look pretty silly when I'm hobbling around in the grocery store.  Is there a more casual, boot that will be a good compromise between protection, convienence and look like a normal boot?

I'm sure I can figure out the gloves but if anyone has any suggestions I'll take a look.

 

Thanks!

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

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You know in Michigan your KTM is legal in many counties.
As for gear, I have the adventure type helmet. But the wind noise is bothersome in them. I wear my Fox comp 5's, 1- I'm poor, 2- I "need" the protection. 3- I hobble anyway. 4- I am silly. I did buy a pair of street boots but they offer no protection, and mostly sit in my closet. I have 3 jackets, all bought on sale or closeout. All three together were less than my cheap fox boots. One is mesh for our few hot days. One is my fancy, for riding to church. One is my "play" jacket for when I'm riding mostly dirt.
It's hard to fine inexpensive gear that fits. Being a old, short squat female. Gloves should be easy but are not. Im still using an old pair of street gloves. They are leather with gel pads. But fit me well and are comfortable. I recently found them new on close out so I bought another pair.
Many people on the TW200 forum like the "oiled" Gaerne boots. They claim they are easy to walk in, yet offer protection.

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Hi Doc

my suggestions for gear are going to be costly but I've been riding street long distance and  dual sport big bike adventure for about 12 years, and now traditional dirt for about two years and have moved through a lot of street gear and so when I started riding dirt I went straight for stuff I knew would be light in weight, reliable, comfortable, offer great protection and have more than one function (as in street or dirt or dual sport and waterproof so no need for rain gear).

Jacket = Klim Badlands.  It's durable, breathable and cool in summer, comfortable and water proof so no need for rain gear.  Lots of useable pockets.  Rest assured it is waterproof because I've ridden in downpours for 100s of miles at a stretch.  Just don't forget to close the vents.  If you want an extra layer of protection get a Hellite air vest.   For warmth wear a down or synthetic lightweight jacket as a liner.

Helmet = Klim Krios.  Comes with two face shields (clear and sunglasses version), they are easy to change, an adjustable visor, which may be removable - I'm not sure.  I also believe the eye area is big enough to wear traditional goggles if you take off face shields.  It's about a lb lighter than the Arai XD-4.  I also have a straight dirt helmet in the Arai VX-Pro but have started using the Klim as my choice because of light weight and good visibility.

 

not sure about boots as I have strict street boots and strict dirt big clunky boots.  But some people I know like the MSR dual sport boots, the Gaerne Balance waterproof and the Forma low boots. 

 

Hope this helps - sorry I didnt provide more economical solutions, but over the years, I moved from cheaper to more expensive because in this case I've found there is something to that old adage - you get what you pay for.  

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1 hour ago, Padilen said:

You know in Michigan your KTM is legal in many counties.
 

Thanks Padilen!  What brand of jackets do you have and do you like them?

My KTM is plated so I can stay legal when connecting trails.  I don't ride it on the road on a daily basis because the maintenance would be oppressive.  To put it into perspective, my DRZ requires an oil change ever 3,500 miles.  My KTM would require 10 oil changes, 3 valve checks and 2 piston replacements in that same timeframe.

As far as boots go, convienence is the big thing for me.  It's common for me to jump on the bike with no notice to run up to the grocery store or bank.  While I do longer planned rides, what I don't want is gear that makes getting ready for the ride a 20 minute ordeal when the ride itself is going to be 5 minutes.  I just want to slip on a pair of boots that offer better protection than tennis shoes and that I can walk around in without being uncomfortable or looking completely goofy and out of place at a restaurant or bank.

1 hour ago, flemmings27 said:

Hi Doc

my suggestions for gear are going to be costly but I've been riding street long distance and  dual sport big bike adventure for about 12 years, and now traditional dirt for about two years and have moved through a lot of street gear and so when I started riding dirt I went straight for stuff I knew would be light in weight, reliable, comfortable, offer great protection and have more than one function (as in street or dirt or dual sport and waterproof so no need for rain gear).

Jacket = Klim Badlands.  It's durable, breathable and cool in summer, comfortable and water proof so no need for rain gear.  Lots of useable pockets.  Rest assured it is waterproof because I've ridden in downpours for 100s of miles at a stretch.  Just don't forget to close the vents.  If you want an extra layer of protection get a Hellite air vest.   For warmth wear a down or synthetic lightweight jacket as a liner.

Helmet = Klim Krios.  Comes with two face shields (clear and sunglasses version), they are easy to change, an adjustable visor, which may be removable - I'm not sure.  I also believe the eye area is big enough to wear traditional goggles if you take off face shields.  It's about a lb lighter than the Arai XD-4.  I also have a straight dirt helmet in the Arai VX-Pro but have started using the Klim as my choice because of light weight and good visibility.

 

not sure about boots as I have strict street boots and strict dirt big clunky boots.  But some people I know like the MSR dual sport boots, the Gaerne Balance waterproof and the Forma low boots. 

 

Hope this helps - sorry I didnt provide more economical solutions, but over the years, I moved from cheaper to more expensive because in this case I've found there is something to that old adage - you get what you pay for.  

Thanks for the suggestions Flemmings, I'll take a look at those. 

Doc

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Doc,
I have a Fly I think it's a Butane, and a Fly cool mesh. The other jacket is a women's Scorpion Lilly. The Scorpion is by far a better jacket. But I have short thick arms. The sleeve length is good on the Scorpion, but tight. The Fly Butane they are way too long, and wide. The Fly mesh is about right for length​ and width, but jacket sizing runs small. I had been happy with Fly but I no longer will recommend them. As my zipper broke and customer service was slow and not very helpful.
As I do not care how I look, I wear my gear where I go. I don't care what people think, it's not part of how I'm made. I only care about pleasing the one who made me. And clothing isn't going to do that.
While I've never had Klim or any of that $ stuff. I do not believe that paying for a name is automatically better gear. Or that it will protect you better than cheaper gear.




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You're welcome Doc - Also, other stuff I used in past, which was less expensive and very reliable - never had any problems with it = Joe Rocket mesh jacket.  I had the textile one, and my friend has had a leather mesh jacket by them for about 16 years and it's still holding up zippers and all.  Boots I tend to go for Alpinestar because they are the right fit for me and no break-in time.  I bought my Klim jacket for street riding a few years ago to eliminate the need to carry rain gear, warm gear and cold gear--because I ride a lot in lots of climates and now I live in California, which means you can cross several climates literally in one day or over a few days.  It's never failed me in any climate, including snowstorms in the Colorado Rockies - neither have the zippers, and I think there is lifetime warranty on the product.  When I started dirt biking, I use it when it's cold enough to require a layer that's bigger than a windbreaker over your chest protector, etc.   Whatever you get, I hope it works well for you!  also, here's an internet store that has good prices.  There used to be an online store called Motorcycle Accessories Warehouse which had absolutely fantastic prices, but alas, they went away a few years ago - the one below can be very good sometimes.

 

http://motorcyclecloseouts.com/

Edited by flemmings27
wanted to add something
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To add my 2 cents:  (Might add a bit to your prep time, but then again I hardly ever use a bike for a 5-minute ride.)--I always strap on a good-sized backpack that includes waist-belting--- for carrying water, lunch, emergency tools, etc.--also gives space for colder/warmer/wetter/dryer clothing changes en-route.  I find that a balaclava/full-head sock cap/ski mask/sand blaster head sock, etc. is helpful for colder conditions, prevents helmet head itch, and keeps inside of helmet cleaner longer.  My rides are often in Eastern Sierra mountain areas in temps ranging from 30s to 80s F.

Edited by BSAVictor
clarity
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Background...  Rode street bikes 10 years ago and gave it up due to the danger.  I have been riding solely dirt (trials bike and Enduro bike).  Recently I moved to a rural area onto a dirt road.  Because of all the dirt roads and very low traffic two lane paved roads I got the itch to get a dual sport bike so I picked up a used DR-Z400s recently.  I've been really enjoying tooling around on the back roads, up to the grocery store to pick something ip, etc.  my riding on this bike is 65% dirt roads, 25% low traffic two lane paved country roads, 5% city roads, 5% off road (I have a KTM 350 XCF-W for the serious stuff).

Ironically I tossed my street helmet that I've held onto for the past 10 years just a few months ago when we moved.  Go figure.  In the short time I've had it I've been wearing the a Fox V2 helmet, goggles and gloves that I usually wear on my Enduro bike.  I'm not currently wearing a jacket or boots.

It's time to get some proper gear.  I'm curious what kind of helmets people like for DS?  Pure Dirt style?  Road style?  Or maybe one of those hybrids that looks like a dirt helmet?  I do live in Michigan and plan to do a whole lot of riding in the fall when daytime temps can range from 30s to 60s.  So while I don't mind a dirt type helmet with goggles, I'm wondering if something with a face shield would just be more convienent and a bit warmer when the temps drop.

How about a jacket.  I'm looking for something that would offer some protection if I was to go down on the pavement.  If possible I'd like something that can be worn in the heat of the summer and the cool fall weather but if that's not possible, I'll get something for the fall weather now and a different jacket for the summer next year.   I've seen people wearing the heavy nylon jackets.  Are they a good choice?  Anything specific I should be looking for?  Can anyone recommend a brand?

How about boots?  I'm used to wearing Fox and Alpinestars boots when I ride trails or observed trials.  They are just too inconvienent, stiff, uncomfortable and look pretty silly when I'm hobbling around in the grocery store.  Is there a more casual, boot that will be a good compromise between protection, convienence and look like a normal boot?

I'm sure I can figure out the gloves but if anyone has any suggestions I'll take a look.

 

Thanks!

Doc

I ride the drz from 25 to 80F in a 2 peice Aerostich Road Crafter. It's amazing how much that suit increased my riding comfort in the "shoulder seasons". Gore tex isn't cheap but I never wear all the other gear I own now. After about a year of searching I found my Roadcrafter on Craig's list for 400$, best money I've ever spent on motorcycling period. When this one wears out, I will pony up the full 1400$ freight for a new one. Also a micro fleece balaclava is absolutely necessary.

 

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I wear my Gaerne SG12s for DS because why not wear your most protective boots, Kreiga R20 pack with 3l bladder (highly recommend), start with Fly Hipor waterproof gloves then switch to moto gloves when my hands start to sweat. I wear my moto helmet with Scott Velcro helmet straps which are awesome for all those little DS stops. The moto helmet isn't ideal at first for high speed stuff but with regular use your neck will get super strong which is a good thing. Finally, and i can't stress it enough, foam ear plugs greatly reduce mental fatigue. My regular DS rides are 8+ hour days of straight pounding, 150+ miles.

 

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After doing a bunch of reading on various helmets, jackets and boots I finally ordered up some gear.   I also was trying to keep the budget reasonable, so I know the Klim gear is better, but this is what I chose trying to keep the budget in check.  I'll probably add pants at some point so that I could ride in the rain and stay relatively dry.  Again my main goal was to have some decent gear that wasn't so oppressive to put on that I'll wear it even for 5 minutes quick trips into town but also that will keep me warm and dry on longer rides.

 

Helmet - I went with the AFX FX-41 in Frost Grey.  It's a budget helmet that seems to get good reviews and I love the extra retractable tinted shield so I don't have to always have sun glasses.

afxfx41_ds_helmet_zoom.jpg

Jacket - I ended up going with the Alpinestars Andes V2.  It seemed like it offered a lot at a reasonable price point, and I've been impressed with my Alpinestars trials boots so I trust them.  I went with the black but was very close to getting the army green version.  I kind of wish I would have.  From what I've read this is a 3 season jacket and I'll probably have to get something else for the heat of the summer.  But this will get me through the Fall and Spring and I think having two jackets probably works better than trying to have a single 4 season jacket.

alpinestars_jacket_andes_detail.jpg

 

 

For the boots I went with Alpinestars Roam 2s.  I already have boots for enduro and trials.  I wanted something a little more casual looking and easier to get on and off so that I'll always wear them, even for those 5 minute quick trips.  These are waterproof. 

alpinestars_roam2_waterproof_boots.jpg

 

For gloves I went with AGV Tellurides .  There were so many glove choices over such a wide price range I eventually just got frustrated and just picked something near the right price point that had good reviews.  They are primarily a cool/cold weather glove, so like the jacket I'll be shopping for a summer glove next summer.

AGV_Sport_Telluride_Touring_Gloves.jpg

 

I won't have the gear until later this week but hopefully it all works well for me.  Thanks for the advice everyone!

Doc

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