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Boots, Other protection, I'm Discouraged

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Been off a dirt bike for many many years. Just bought my XR650L and I'm trying to get my old body and my bike up and running. The bike (after mods) is so sweet I can't stand it, but the whole clothing thing is racking my a-s. My son says you gotta have boots, so I go out and buy Alpinstars Tech 6 boots. Sheesh I feel like I'm in a cast. I can't find the shifter or the brake. So I fight on past the absence of feeling and I'm out bouncing around and sure enough I go down. My elbow is all skinned up. My shiney new bike has a couple scratches on it, and my son says gee dad, that's why you need this other protective gear......... I'm 58. I have no interest in competition. I just wanna be with a few friends, ride some trails, and enjoy my other son who isn't such a smart a-s.

SO TO THE POINT. Is my little spill part of the curse. or is it a seldome thing???? From looking at the pic's all the old duffers have more stuff on than mine sweeper in Iraq...

I wonder if I have no business trying this.... I'm a very active guy but did I bite off more than I can chew??

Curt

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new boot breakin procedure...

swimming pool, creek, river, some form of water to cover the boot.. jump in over boot tops.. wear boots for a min of 4 hours while wet.... bend, flex, squat... then let dry infront of a fan.

works every time.

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no, not if you just ride what you are capibale of riding. Don't go out there over your head and try to be "the man". Just go out there and have fun and I'm sure you'll be fine. Have fun!

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G'day Curt,

Your little spill isn't a seldom thing, you stand a better than average chance of coming off just about everytime you climb on(nature of the beast and the terrain we ride them in)

trouble with riding trails, even slowly, is that even a small off can cause a lot of damage to you. Boots you'll get used to, they are probably the most restrictive item of protective clothing. You really should get knee guards and a pressure suite(661, dainese, O'Neil and heaps of others make them). I had an off at 80kph in fairly rocky terrain and my 661 pressure suite saved the day... I came out of it very sore but no breaks or blood.

Your son maybe a smartass but he is right about gear... The quicker you buy it and get it on, the quicker you'll get used to riding in it...

Blue

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Buy all the gear and wear it. The older we get, the longer breaks take to heal. Better prepared than hurt. I wore everything BUT elbow guards. Thought that was overkill. Shattered elbow in April taught me that lesson. Learn by that. Steny 🙂

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You may feel like Captain Fantastic, but the slight discomfort of the protective gear (including chest protector) will be worth it. Just like seat belts and airbags in a car.

Boots and helmet are a minimum. A minor get-off can easily tweak your ankle, and at our ages, we don't heal like we did at 20. The point of the boot (if the impact is hard enough) is to move the point of injury to the calf area, which will heal more easily than a shattered ankle. At the same time, it will help avoid sprains in mild accidents, and breaks in not-so-mild accidents.

Same goes for other protective gear. Someone here reported a chest protector being broken, but stopping a manzanita branch from penetrating their back after flipping over the bars. The pressure suit is nice, but I find it too hot here in SoCal, and just wear a Fox hard plastic roost guard. It offers chest, back shoulder, and upper arm protection.

Elbow and knee guards are just added protection. Knee braces ($200+) do the same for your knees that boots do for your ankles... move the break point away from the joint. I don't think non-competitive riders really need braces.

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the older we get the more breakable we are. a busted knee at 58 and you could be out of biken for good. starting at the feet--good comfortable boots:gearne sg10, asterik knee braces, rockgarden flak jacket, helment, gloves. i weae it all everytime. taken a fall here and there, just jump up good as new and go on....bill

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boots are some of the most important pieces of gear! jsut get used to them, it wont take too long to break them in! just wear them around the house for a while (seriousely), go wash the car and the bike.... it only takes a few hours!

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I bought a pair of Tech 6's and at first I was pretty bummed, extremely stiff compared to anything else I'd worn. I wore them riding, around the farm working and the house and they broke in well. They are now a favorite pair of boots. I wear full gear unless I'm just doing trail work, dress for the crash, not the ride as they say on the Tasky's site.

Norman

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Curt, I understand. You are older than me, but not so much that I can't understand.

For your fall down. I'll put this as accurately as possible.

1) Accidents WILL happen, it's not a matter of "IF", it's a matter of "WHEN".

2) Even though #1 is a true statement, it does not mean they will happen often or that will be bad. You, your gear, AND YOUR WISDOM, will determine how often and how bad!

3) In order to control #2, this is what you have to do.....

* A) Ride at your level, NOT someone else's.

* 🙂 Know YOUR limits, if you're getting tired, don't feel up to par, then either don't go, or ride at a lower level than you normally do. In other words don't push yourself.

* C) Know YOUR bike. Keep it maintained well. And if you think your bike is running a little funny, then don't push it. A malfuntcion can easily cause a crash.

Out of all the gear that you wear, the two most important things in my opinion are boots and helmet. Other protection CAN BE nice, but are not required, it depends on you and the type of riding. Boots are made to be that stiff and tough. You will get used to them and they will become more comfortable. Just take it easy for a while and do some light riding like an open field or an easy trail . It will give you the chance to get used to shifting and things without exposing yourself to high risks.

It also helps to do some shopping and not allowing yourself to be talked into buying more gear or even which name brand to buy. While all gear protects, the type of riding and your preferences will determine what is necessary. The fit and feel will even vary by name brand. There are differences for these very reasons. I know when I got back into riding I looked for the gear that wasn't "real rigid". I found gear that was suitable for what I was doing at THAT time. I found good boots that allowed enough feeling to be able to shift and brake without a bunch of trouble. The protection was more than edequate for what I was doing at the time. By the time I was ready to "step up my pace", I felt the gear had done it's job and didn't consider it wasted money. As a matter of fact I still have it and still wear it on occaision.

Discouraged? --> Don't be, it will get better! 🙂

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new boot breakin procedure...

swimming pool, creek, river, some form of water to cover the boot.. jump in over boot tops.. wear boots for a min of 4 hours while wet.... bend, flex, squat... then let dry infront of a fan.

works every time.

Then thety get all moldy eww.. 🙂

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Like you I just got back in to riding and I struggled with the samething. I didn't want to look like some hoedad wearing all that advertising clothing. I'm 46 and just want to go riding and not look like a MX fashion show. This is what I wear for protection; Helmet (if I could find one that was a dirt bike model that didn't have all that flashy graphic crap on it I would buy it), boots, gloves, elbow pads and knee pads, Levi's (riding pants don't tear as often) and a long sleeved t-shirt. The knee pads and elbow pads go under the pants and shirt so you don't look like your right out of a Mad Max movie. I haven't found a need for a chest protector yet as I'm not riding behind anyone that's going to throw a bunch of roost up.

Once you go down you're glad you've got it all on. You don't even have to go down hard to appreciate it

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the older we get the more breakable we are. a busted knee at 58 and you could be out of biken for good. starting at the feet--good comfortable boots:gearne sg10, asterik knee braces, rockgarden flak jacket, helment, gloves. i weae it all everytime. taken a fall here and there, just jump up good as new and go on....bill

I'm 47 and I ride in protective gear all the time. I found out that I don't bounce back on the bike as I use to. It takes me a while longer 🙂 .

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G'day Curt,

Your little spill isn't a seldom thing, you stand a better than average chance of coming off just about everytime you climb on(nature of the beast and the terrain we ride them in)

trouble with riding trails, even slowly, is that even a small off can cause a lot of damage to you. Boots you'll get used to, they are probably the most restrictive item of protective clothing. You really should get knee guards and a pressure suite(661, dainese, O'Neil and heaps of others make them). I had an off at 80kph in fairly rocky terrain and my 661 pressure suite saved the day... I came out of it very sore but no breaks or blood.

Your son maybe a smartass but he is right about gear... The quicker you buy it and get it on, the quicker you'll get used to riding in it...

Blue

I've been thinking about trying one of those pressure suits. Are they worth the money and are they better than a stand alone chest protector?

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Last December I also got back into off-road riding after a 20+ year layoff....nothing but street bikes since the early 80's. I'm 59 and barely in reasonable enough shape to ride more than a few hours, but it's getting better.

I do know from my old MX days (late 60's to early 80's) that protective clothing is your best investment. If you're hurt, you're not riding. If you're not riding, you won't get any better at it and certainly not having fun.

I also don't like all the flashy graphics and brand labels all over the riding gear, but sometimes you just can't avoid it...

--The first item is a good helmet. You can get a plain white (or other solid colors) if you hunt around. I got a plain white Shoei MX helmet....expensive, but worth it. Also get good goggles and a couple of spare lenses...some tinted, some clear.

--Next I got real MX jersey and pants. If it's going to be hot where you ride, get ventilated gear....you'll need the airflow to keep you cool. Yeah, they're all covered with all sorts of graphics, but the stuff is designed for the riding you'll be doing. You can shop a lot of websites that have leftover gear from the previous year (yeah, even dirt bikes have become fashion conscious!!). I also got one set of vented gloves for hot days and another one that's better for wet riding. Wet hands can make you miserable.

--For good body protection, I went with the Rock Gardn Flak Jacket (www.rockgardn.com). 6-6-1 (www.sixsixone.com) also makes a similar item called the Pressure Suit. Expensive ($150-$200), but again it's well worth it. I have tumbled end-over-end down very rocky hills several times and the only place that was bruised was my butt...and the Flak Jacket doesn't cover that part. The body armor must be worn under your jersey against the skin....otherwise you'll quickly melt. The material that holds all the armor together soaks up your sweat, so when you're moving, you'll be cool. If you stop and there's no breeze, you'll quickly be grabbing for the zipper! I ride in Africa and can say that I've been very surprised at how cool I stay in the body armor in the heat.

--Knees are very vulnerable, so I got a good set of knee guards. They feel funny when you try them on (as does the body armor), but once on the bike you don't even know you're wearing them. Mine are from Fox, but I don't remember the model (I'm back in the U.S. for a few weeks and don't have any of my gear here). They cost about $50. You can get cheaper ones, but these are double-hinged to follow the natural movement of the knee.

--You've already got a good pair of boots and, even though it doesn't seem like it now, they will break in and feel comfortable.

--If you ride in the heat, there's one more thing you'll need....a Camelbak (or similar) hydration system. Off-road riding works you hard and you'll need plenty of water. A backpack Camelbak will also give you a little storage area for a few extra things you might need....energy bars, cellular phone, money, ID, etc.

You'll feel like a Star Wars storm trooper the first few times you go out, and might even get a little ribbing from your riding buddies. However, you'll be riding safe and have really cut down the chances that you'll get injured out on the trail.

Welcome to the rest of us old farts that have started riding again after long layoffs....and most of all, have many great times out in the dirt!

Cheers,

Mac

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no shit.. how about the readers digest condensed version please..

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two words...TECH 10 (no matter what they will say, they are WORTH it!) I have used the SG10, forma pro, tech 10, tech 6, tech 8.

None can touch the Tech 10, they are so easy to move in and get bike feel. They also are very light.

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OK - you are right. The new moto-protection boots SUCK!!!!

I'm 57 and haven't missed any real riding for the last 25 years...but I gave away my expensive FOX formas because they were plastic crap.

For trail riding or CC racing I am a buyer of low-end 150 dollar boots. They have feel and are light pretty much out of the box. Any break-in amounts to about an hour or two max - but in the meantime you still have enough feel to brake safely in the slip stuff. You don't need that plastic crap, if you manage to run over your own foot it won't matter anyway (and I have on more than one occasion).

I ride in wooded places, my chest protector has taken direct hits from tree branches that lifted me clear out of the saddle and you can attach a water bottle to it. Can't imagine not wearing one.

My plastic knee pads look like they were ground down on a sanding belt...I can only wonder what my pretty pink flesh would look like without them.

I use a full ACE hardware back support because when you're old you still have to lift up the bike. Those pretty little fox kidney belts don't provide enough back support.

Yeah, all that logo crap that costs a fortune is just bull for the youngsters.

Rock on, most of the kids today are slow because they all practice styling instead of jammin - so pretty soon you can feel young again by blowing them off the trail. Be sure and take you helmet off afterwards so they can see gramps did em in! 🙂

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