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Old 21st March 2017, 14:30   #1
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Default Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

Hey all,

With the purchase of my riding boots in December, I almost completed my armoury of riding gear. Except riding pants/knee guards, I have everything I need. The list of my riding equipment:

1. AGV K5[Deep].
2. Studds Pro-Shifter[Matte Black].
3. Dainese RainSun D-Dry[Red, Grey and Black].
4. Dainese Carbon Cover S-ST[Black].
5. Dainese Air Hero[VR46 edition].
6. Dainese Dyno D1[Black and Fluo Red].
7. Dainese Torque D1 Out Gore-Tex[All Black].

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0750.jpg
All my gear in one picture!

I have used everything but the boots, for a long time now - almost 3 years and counting. I will continue with detailed reviews of everything I've owned long term. I will also give a short-term review for the boots - well, at least one of them.

Studds Pro-Shifter: This is my oldest piece of equipment. I'd been through plenty of helmets before this one, but I've never owned one for as long as this one. This was the last helmet I purchased as a student and it's one hell of a helmet for the price. It's the most VFM product I've invested in. As a matter of fact, it has saved my head in a crash once. Impressions:

1. Build Quality - it's simply like nothing I've seen at this price range. True, it's a thermoplastic shell, but it saved my head just fine.
2. Wind Noise Cancellation - Simply crappy. No other words.
3. Fit - I trusted their size chart and ended up with one size larger.
4. Padding - a bit thin. It's not the most comfortable either, but it gets the job done.
5. Ventilation - can use a huge improvement.
6. Optical Correctness of the visors - poor. I'm most unhappy with this aspect of the helmet.
7. Buckle - Micro Metric style.
8. Safety Rating - ISI.
9. Aerodynamics - It's a light weight, round-ish shaped helmet. While good for commuting around town, I find that it could use a bit more stability at higher speeds. The helmet is comfortable at sub-100kmph speeds. I wouldn't recommend it for touring or high speed runs.
10. Cost - Rs.1800/- as of 2013.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0799.jpg
You can see the scratches from the crash on this poor guy.

AGV K5: Hands down the best helmet I've ever owned. I paid a good price for this marvellous piece of equipment and according to me it's worth every penny. Impressions:

1. Build Quality - Stupendous! Everything about the helmet screams quality. The finishing is exquisite. The paint is very good. The rubbers and plastic on this helmet are still look new after 3 years of using it.

2. Wind Noise Cancellation - It lets in a bit of wind noise, especially when all the vents are open, but it's not a lot. Quietest helmet I've had in any case. I've done 120kmph runs with this on my noggin and had the wind noise sound like I was doing 40kmph(compared to the wind noise from an LS2 phobia). With a pair of ear plugs on, you'd feel like you're sitting in your room!

3. Fit - One word: perfect. I had tried on AGV helmets at the Dainese store in Bangalore, but I hadn't seen what my size was. I followed their size guide when I ordered my helmet and it fit perfectly.

4. Padding - So. Bloody. Comfortable. The padding is soft against my skin. Over three years, it's had to bear with my sweaty head and the padding hasn't lost it's softness. They are brilliantly sweat wicking, and while that's great when I'm riding, they do start stinking very fast too. I hand wash them every 6 months in some comfort and spray Motul helmet interior spray to deodorise them whenever I feel the need to. They have gotten discolored overtime. But, I don't see the need to replace the pads - even after 3 years of use.

5. Ventilation - simply amazing. I've seen helmets with a lot of vents(10 on the Icon Airmada!) and if the ventilation from the modest 5 vents on my K5 is as good as this, those other vented helmets must feel like your head's in the wind! The chin vents are a boon! At speed, I can actually feel the air from the brow vents through my hair. The exhaust vent obviously does it's job well. I like the little tab at the chin that let's you create a small opening in the visor seal. This is meant to help un-fog the visor, but also adds to the air blowing at your face. To finish it off, there's that little spoiler at the back that creates a low pressure zone behind the helmet, allowing better exhaust action. Overall, I'm very happy with my K5.

6. Optical correctness - Both the visor and sun visor are an absolute pleasure to look through. They are by far the most optically correct visors I've worn. They're also extremely easy to scratch, so the fact that a replacement costs 5 grand is a scary proposition. The FOV on the helmet is as good as the FOV I have without the helmets. The K5 is a race derived helmet, so it's meant to perform in a tucked in position, so the window large and allows clear vision even in the tucked in position.

7. Buckle - Double D-ring. How these manage to stay so tight is a mystery to me. At first look - mind you, this was my first time setting eyes on a double d-ring set up - I was disappointed. I wore the helmet and tightened the straps and it took me a full 15min to take them off. Except for yanking the little red stub on the rings, nothing will loosen the buckle!

8. Safety Rating - it's got a DOT rating. It'll keep your head safe. Nothing else to say here.

9. Aerodynamics - Ever since I've experienced helmet stability in the form of my K5, I've always wondered why round helmets like the Bell Bullitt Retro exist. I used to own a round vega helmet that made life difficult at 50kmph. Tuck the K5 in and your head will stay there. Not much effort goes into keeping it stable. BUT, it's no good if you're in an ADV riding position. You can feel the wind, the weight of the helmet and all. It's definitely meant for a very specific riding ergonomic.

10. Cost - Rs.27000/- as of 2014.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0803.jpg
Beauty shots come with bragging rights!

Dainese RainSun D-Dry: This 3 weather touring oriented jacket is my one and only riding jacket. I had no experience with riding jackets before buying this one. I did have jackets, but they were all textile and had no protection in the form of guards at high impact zones. When I had enough money for the DSG Aero, I found that I was too big to fit into the jacket. This scared me. I spent the next 2 years looking for jackets that would fit me right, but found none. Since I had no experience with jackets and also had a severe dearth of knowledge with buying protective gear, I always thought every jacket was too tight for me. Buying the RainSun was a decision made in desperation, because I had a penchant for crashing and every jacket I owned had failed me. I needed abrasion resistance and protection, so when the jacket fit my reasonably well, I paid the heavy price for the jacket and bought it. Have I regretted the decision since? Definitely.

The sizing of this Jacket was meant for people with bigger bodies than my own. This meant that even though the Jacket fit around my waist and allowed me to zip it up, the arms were too long for me. The elbow protection moves around too much and the cuffs don't sit where they belong. The jacket is visibly too large for me, what with all the creases and folds forming around my shoulders, chest and arms. This was purely my mistake for rushing into this investment. Nevertheless, the confidence this protection affords me has been irreplaceable. I have never ridden without the jacket since I bought it. Impressions:

1. Build Quality - Top notch. I have tried a lot of Jackets since making this purchase and failed to find anything that beats the Dainese in quality of material, stitch, technicality or style(purely subjective). Sure, there are plenty out there that are it's equal, but they cost the same as this one!

2. Shell Material - The outer shell is made of Dainese's Motegi fabric. I can't comment on the abrasion resistance of this material(and hope I never have to). However, I have to say, it seems on par with some of the Ballistic Cordura jackets I've tried. The outer shell has a bit of high reflection portions to help with night time visibility, but I don't know if it's enough. The most interesting part about this jacket is that it has essentially two standalone shells. The outer waterproof, quick dry shell and the inner mesh shell. The inner shell has all the protection and is made of mesh and textile - for summer use. Each shell has two zippered storage pockets on the outside. The inner shell is fastened to the outer shell using socket type buttons which are absolutely secure.

3. Protection - CE armour for elbows, forearms and shoulders come included with the inner shell. There is a slot on the back of the inner shell which can hold any of Dainese's back protectors. I don't know what the industry standards are, but I don't see the sense behind this move. I haven't bought a back protector in any case, since I won't be holding on to the jacket for much longer.

4. Weather Proofing - The outer shell is water resistant at best. It can take light showers and short heavy downpours. But if you ride for too long in a heavy downpour, you'll get soaking wet. I can, however attest to the quick drying feature of the Motegi fabric - it works as long as you're riding at speed. But on the drying line, it dries like any other jacket. The outer and inner shell combined make for good protection against the cold. I haven't tested what the minimum temperature the jacket will protect you against, but even at 14 degree Celsius the jacket keeps you warm - as long as the ventilation zippers are closed. The zippers and the ability to take off the outer shell make the jacket very much wearable during summers.

5. Ventilation - Possibly the best aspect of this jacket. There are large zippered vents along the sides of the torso, stretching from the bottom of the obliques on the front all the way to you upper traps on the back; along the length of your inner arms and in the form of foldable flaps on your shoulders. Keeping them open allows you to brave the Indian weather conditions with ease - as long as you are touring. Summers beg for you to ride in the inner mesh shell - which is breezy and comfortable in any heat.

6. Usability - I would highly recommend this jacket as an all rounder touring jacket. While the inner shell is good for traffic, I don't know if the abrasion resistance of the mesh material is enough. In any case, it can technically serve you as the one jacket you will need for everything.

7. Cost - Rs.29000/- as of 2014.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0815.jpg
The inner shell, A.K.A., the summer liner.
Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0816.jpg
The outer shell, A.K.A., the waterproof winter liner.

Dainese Carbon Cover S-ST: These were my first pair of all leather gloves. Being leather, obviously they took a while to break in and fit me, but once they did, there was absolutely no going back to wearing anything else(except my air hero, of course). The gloves fit my hand like they were made for my hands - the magic of leather I guess. These are street gloves, so, no gauntlets. I love this pair of gloves, although they get terribly hot for Bangalore traffic. These are made for rather sporty ergonomics and not for touring or street use - something I'd have known if I had done my research. I'm stuck with these for a while anyway, so I use them as my touring gloves. Impressions:

1. Build Quality - I could never get tired of praising Dainese's quality of construction. Everything about the gloves scream quality. In the three years of use they've seen, not as much as a single stitch has come loose. The leather is still beautiful and supremely comfortable.

2. Materials - Carbon knuckle and finger joint sliders, TPU sliders on the high impact portions of the glove(little finger, side of palm), cowhide leather construction, goat hide on palm and velcro fasteners. Everything is in top notch condition after longterm use in heavy traffic and single day rides.

3. Protection - Not much to say here, the glove is built like a damn tank. Carbon fibre and TPU inserts and all leather construction. Only thing missing is a full gauntlet.

4. Weather Proofing - its great for cold weather riding, sucks for use in summer(or for that matter winter) traffic. It's leather, so it won't do well if used in the rain for too long.

5. Ventilation - perforations in between fingers allow for some airflow at speed, keeping your hands dry and cool. Apart from that, there's really little breathability in the glove.

6. Usability - It's a well built, great pair of gloves. But, I wouldn't recommend these. For a few more thousands, you'll get the full gauntlet Carbon Cover gloves. These gloves come across as very confused, because of their sporty construction and the lack of a gauntlet. You can't trust them to provide cover to your entire arm, so touring/track riding on these might be asking for it. At the same time, the low breathability of the glove makes it hard to use on the street. I look at these and wonder if the safety they provide justifies using them on the streets of India. One neat feature that makes it easy to use is the pre-curve they've given to the fingers. This allows for effortless grip on your handlebars.

7. Cost - Rs.10,999/- as of 2014.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0787.jpg
Built like a tank!
Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0791.jpg
Support and Sliders for the high impact area of the side of you hands.

Dainese Air Hero: This pair is a recent investment, so I won't make a long term review. However, the gloves have impressed me so much, that I simply have to mention them. I bought these in the December of '16 and I haven't touched my Carbon Cover S-STs since then, for street use. The Air Hero was made for riding on Indian streets. It's by far the most VFM and cheap product I've bought from the Dainese stable. Impressions:

1. Build Quality - I'd give this one a 4 on 5. Mostly because, they one thing that makes it amazing also makes it not so amazing. To allow for ventilation, the gloves have a mesh build on the upper side of the glove. When you're unsticking the velcro that straps on your gloves, the mesh tends to get caught on the velcro and starts getting frayed. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, maybe the quality of the mesh is poor or maybe Dainese can improve the design. In any case, this leaves things to be desired.

2. Materials - a combination of cowhide, goat hide, TPU inserts, velcro and mesh bring this glove into existence. The mesh is on the top allowing for a very breezy ride, even in hot Bangalorean summer traffic. Goat hide is used to reinforce the palm. Cowhide pretty much covers the rest of the glove.

3. Protection - these are quite low on protection. The leather will give you enough abrasion resistance for street crashes at low speeds. However, the knuckles are the only part of the gloves that come with sliders, which are made of TPU. There are no sliders anywhere else on the glove. These are, after all, made for comfort over protection.

4. Weather proofing - these are clearly hot weather riding gloves. No form of rain/winter/ice protection on these. They've been engineered and bred for street use only.

5. Ventilation - TONS of it. Mesh on the back of your palm, TPR vents on fingers, intake and exhaust on TPU knuckle sliders. Breezy level over 9000!

6. Usability - Two words - summer streets.

7. Cost - Rs.7000/- for VR46 edition. Rs.6500/- for regular colours. Prices as of Dec '16.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0779.jpg
The Sun and Moon themed Rossi Graphics!
Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0781.jpg
Notice the frayed fingertips? They should have been leather capped!

Dainese Dyno D1: I had used a lot of stand in riding shoes over the years. I never felt that these were a necessary investment. Right up until I tore off a toenail inside one of the pairs I used as a riding shoe. Not only did I ruin an expensive shoe with that crash, I also ruined my feet. The shoe promptly split at the seams and I have scars on my feet as a mark of my stupidity. Enter the Dyno D1. Dainese had riding shoes that looked like sneakers, I was really tempted to get these. But the price difference between the Dyno and the plainclothes shoe was so small and the difference in technicality so high, that it made no sense in going for the "street riding" shoes. Impressions -

1. Build Quality - based on three months of use, it seems to have top notch build quality. I'd give it a 5/5.

2. Materials - Some form of Nylon Mesh, TPU, plastic toe sliders, microfibre stretch fabric on the ankle covering the speed lacing system, stretchy elastic and some reflective inserts on the back.

3. Protection - CE protection from the metal toe box and heel protection, metal reinforced sole, plastic toe sliders, malleolus protection baked into the shoe, heel TPU slider. One downside(over the obvious fact that it's not full length) is that to make these more street friendly, Dainese has allowed for you to be able to bend your feel. This means there's a lack of continuity in the sole reinforcement. While this translates beautifully to the street usability of the shoes, I don't know how big of a compromise it will be safety wise.

4. Weather Proofing - Even though no wether proofing is baked into the shoes, it should be good for everything but riding in extreme cold. No leather parts to this boot, so it's okay to get wet. However, it's not waterproof, so your feet will definitely get wet.

5. Ventilation - it hasn't got any dedicated ventilation. It's as airy as riding boots can get. They don't get too hot as long as you're riding at speed. You definitely couldn't walk around town all day in these shoes without feeling like your feet are being cooked. They do make for decent office shoes - as long as you aren't meeting your boss or any clients. I'd definitely go for the stealthy all black version, because, let's be honest - they say "red" but it's actually pink.

6. Usability - Great for short rides and street. I would recommend full length boots for long rides. You can't use them to go on a trek - you'll ruin the thin soles, but you can go shopping with your better half in them. All in all, great protection, a little on the costly side. However, looking at the tech that's in the pair, I'd recommend it very highly.

7. Cost - Rs.18,000/- as of Dec '16.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0751.jpg
Best street boots? Well, definitely not colour wise.

Dainese Torque D1 Out Gore-Tex: I have not used these till date, mostly because I bought these for my long rides. I will begin breaking in the boots as Suzaku(my CBR250R) completes run in. I can't give you any information apart from what's already out there. So, I'll save the review for when I've used it enough to get some solid impressions about it.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0766.jpg
Can't wait to break these in!

These are all the protective gear I have in my arsenal. Special mentions to the Dainese riding socks, summer balaclava, Quechua tube scarf and Wedze baselayers, without which I'd be left chaffed in uncomfortable areas from all this protection.

Reading through posts like this is what helped me choose my gear. I hope the information contained in this post will help someone make a decision!

Last edited by GTO : 25th March 2017 at 09:30. Reason: Spacing :). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th March 2017, 09:34   #2
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th March 2017, 16:39   #3
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Been some time someone did a thread on Motorcycle Riding Gear. There have been details in articles where TBHPians have bought an exotic ride but I guess there hasn't been an independent thread for Riding Safety Gear.

That is an amazing collection you have got. I am currently building my own collection. Needs a lot of money. I have started off with the below as I ride my P180,

- LS2 Helmet:
Using this for 5 years now. Got it from my first salary. Add to that I got a discount of 900/- as it was a special consignment. It cost me 2.5k that time. Weighs 1.5 kg and is super comfortable. The vents in this actually work unlike my old Vega helmet.

The dust pad is helpful. The cushioning is still great after 5 years and has not come off or worn out.


- Pro-Biker riding gloves:
Cost me 700/- then. They are a bit worn out now and I rarely use them.
These are good for summer rides.

Would not recommend to buy the ones that are sold currently at 300/-. These are cheap in quality and protection. Also, the material used is not the same as mine. I inquired about it and the shopkeeper said that few years ago the same gloves were sold for 1200/-.


- Fox Raptor Knee and Shin guards:
These were for 700/- as well. I ran out of budget that time so got these. (Something is better than nothing). Too plasticky and flimsy in build quality but that is the best you get at that price.

One of the rivet's came off when I had a small crash. Nevertheless, it saved me from getting scratched.


- PGS Motor Bike Mesh Jacket: Model: 2328 - Black
Got this for 6500/-. Has a removable Rain Liner. Have tried it in heavy rains and works really well.
The mesh provides good air during summer rides. This has been very comfortable. Has good abrasion resistance. It has elbow, shoulder and back protection.

The latest model has a windcheater lining and it costs the same. Will save you from the chills of winter.

In the minor crash that I mentioned above, this jacket has saved me from my left upper body getting bruised. All it left was a few small scratches on the left arm of the jacket that are hardly noticeable.


- ASPIDA Poseidon Water Proof Motorcycle Gloves:
These cost 2900/-. It takes time to get used to them as the fingers lack free movement when these gloves are new. They are comfortable only for riding, you cannot handle or grab tiny things with these. I have a hard time getting a hold of my helmet strap if I am wearing these gloves.

Got them after I had done my solo ride in Rains in Satara last year. Since, then have not had a chance to use them in Rains.

Will not recommended to use in Summer as your palms will feel super hot. Currently experiencing this as I have been using them. I have yet to get an alternative.


- ASPIDA Bionic External Knee Guards:
Cost of 3,500/- and worth every penny. I currently use these. I have felt them to be provide good protection and support on long rides. The straps are good and don't tend to come off easily.


Yet to get riding boots. Have shortlisted XDI riding boots. Don't know when I will eventually buy it.

Moral: It is not what you ride that matters, your safety gear is more important.


Regards,

aghate
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Old 26th March 2017, 08:44   #4
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Originally Posted by aghate View Post
I guess there hasn't been an independent thread for Riding Safety Gear..aghate
I've always wanted to do my part in increasing awareness about riding gear, so I thought I'll make this review. I guess it was so long that the mods had to make it an independent thread. I only hope it benefits someone.

I always sway to the side of vanity, hence the elaborate collection. It's a controlled impulsive reaction I have - if that makes sense at all.

I really like your Moral. I've used all of this riding gear even when I was riding around on my 110cc Twister. There should be absolutely no compromise on wearing enough protection. There have been times when I could have atleast worn a full sleeve jacket, a pant and a pair of shoes but I neglected it and ended up with huge skin wounds from simple minor crashes. ATGATT, especially in India!

I did think hard about Bionic knee protection, but somehow they never convinced me as being safe enough at speed. So I'm planning to jump directly into a pair of riding pants - for which I've shortlisted aspida's Odysseus touring pants. But I'm big on vanity, so I may get myself a pair of those riding Jeans from alpinestars or triumph.

I have been looking into Aspida for full gauntlet gloves since I don't have any. A lot of my friends own a pair and praise them too. Could you tell me exactly what materials it's got?

I've always thought that fox products were for bicycles, flimsy that they are. They could even pass for supermoto gear if you're off reading or a beginner, but they never impressed me enough to buy them.

I've owned a pair of those early probiker gloves. Flimsy material on the palm as well as fingers and won't hold up to crashes even at 50kmph. My pair promptly tore open and allowed my fingers to get hurt through the tear. There's not a lot of engineering that's gone into making these gloves by the looks of it.

I love LS2 helmets. They are(were?) VFM and very good helmets. I went through 2 LS2 helmets before I got the studds. One both were the same family but different designs. The first one I had to dispose of after it saved my head from being split apart in a major crash. This crash solidified my belief in LS2 helmets. So I bought a second one - a phobia(one of the best designs) and this one served me for 2 years before it got stolen from my bike. But unlike you I hated the quality of the padding. I had to change the padding atleast once a year because it became thin, hard and picked up a stink that didn't leave even after washing.

You're absolutely right about getting gear being a pricey proposition. Motorcycles are so popular that the market is very inflated. Off late I've been noticing a lot of Indian brands popping up with very affordable high quality gear. I had never even heard of XDI till you mentioned it. Those boots seem very well built!

Last edited by mobike008 : 27th March 2017 at 17:00. Reason: Please dont quote full post
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Old 27th March 2017, 16:33   #5
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Really, a detailed thread of your gear. Nice to see you have not skimped when it comes to safety. Where are planning to get your riding pants from? Any plans on getting a back protector? Or does it come along with your jacket? (Maybe I missed it, but did not notice it in your review)
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Old 27th March 2017, 17:44   #6
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Very nice gear you have there!

I am currently using the Studds Professional helmet. It is a pretty nice helmet for the money but I am looking to get a better one. Can you suggest one under 4K? I ride the avenger 220, so a helmet which is comfortable for the long rides would be useful.
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Old 27th March 2017, 20:05   #7
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Originally Posted by Doc_nikhil View Post
Really, a detailed thread of your gear. Nice to see you have not skimped when it comes to safety. Where are planning to get your riding pants from? Any plans on getting a back protector? Or does it come along with your jacket? (Maybe I missed it, but did not notice it in your review)
I may very much end with a pair of Dainese riding pants. But I am looking at the Aspida Odysseus touring pants. I am doing this mainly because I want to get a pair of riding Jeans. Icon, Alpinestars or Triumph pants it will be.

And you're absolutely right. I haven't got a back protector and I've mentioned it in the review of the jacket. I haven't bought one yet, but I'm holding off on it because like I mentioned in the review, I bought the jacket in desperation. I used to be about 20kg heavier when I bought the jacket. I've set off on a weightless journey and will soon be unable to use the jacket as it's already too big for me. The protective armor moves around too much and that's not a good thing when it comes to protective gear.

So my next investment in riding gear will be when I've reached my goal weight. Both the jacket and the riding pants will only come in December or January, if things go as planned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avikbrio View Post
Very nice gear you have there!

I am currently using the Studds Professional helmet. It is a pretty nice helmet for the money but I am looking to get a better one. Can you suggest one under 4K? I ride the avenger 220, so a helmet which is comfortable for the long rides would be useful.
First of all, most of the folks that ride Avengers and such that I've interacted with, dismiss my arguments that they should get full-face helmets as half-faced ones are almost pointless. That being said, it's difficult for me to suggest a good helmet for you because the best helmets I know are all in, what's popularly knows as, the "intermediate oval" shape. These are helmets that are aerodynamically inclined to sport riding and I only have experience with such helmets. Like I've mentioned in the review of my K5, it's a horrible helmet to ride with in a cruiser/upright position.

The helmets you're looking for should be lightweight, specifically built for cruisers and with your budget requirement - inside the 4k range. My best recommendation for you is to get yourself a Studds Scorpion or a Studds Rhyno. If you are inclined to buying a half faced helmet, get the Studds Downtown. It comes with a flip off chin guard and the chin guard actually securely latches on to the helmet. A word of CAUTION: You will sacrifice safety with the downtown. Also, the Studds Motocross is a good helmet for using in upright positions. I never recommend Vega helmets because I find the build quality to be horrible. I would not recommend Studds' flip up helmets because they are heavy and over time the flip up feature just stops working like it's supposed to.

Hope this helps. The forum has a sticky thread specifically for riding gear, you'll find loads of reviews and experiences there too.

Don't skimp on riding gear! Ride safe.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 28th March 2017 at 09:20. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 29th March 2017, 15:10   #8
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Thank you for the review of your riding gear.
It is indeed worth it spending good amount of money for quality gear.
You mentioned that your AGV-K5 is race oriented helmet; would you or anyone else be able to recommend a good full-face or flip front helmet for a more upright cruising position.
I am presently using a MT flip-front, it is on the heavier side -1650 +/- 50 gm. But I suppose absolute weight is not a factor for rider comfort. What is important is how the weight is distributed and also the riding position.
Keep riding.
Cheerio!.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:27   #9
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Default Re: Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

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Originally Posted by alphadog View Post

would you or anyone else be able to recommend a good full-face or flip front helmet for a more upright cruising position.
Helmet suggestions are in bold in my previous reply. Those are the lightest helmets I know of.

1500gm is the standard weight for helmets, though I find that flip up helmets come across as much bulkier and heavier than regular full face helmets. I don't know your budget, but I recently saw good reviews for Revolt Tourismo helmets. Please know that I have no experience with this helmet, so I'd recommend you check it out for yourself.
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Old 4th April 2017, 15:36   #10
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Default Re: Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

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Originally Posted by Avikbrio View Post
Very nice gear you have there!

I am currently using the Studds Professional helmet. It is a pretty nice helmet for the money but I am looking to get a better one. Can you suggest one under 4K? I ride the avenger 220, so a helmet which is comfortable for the long rides would be useful.
I have a Vega, full faced DOT certified helmet. It has better-than-average padding, and is very durable. You can check that out.
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Old 6th April 2017, 13:29   #11
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Default Re: Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

I am not sure if this is the right thread - because there's another thread for riding gear. This seems like a more dedicated review space whereas the other one seems more like a buy this or that consultative forum.

Anyway, here goes my list from under the christmas tree (in the order of purchase - earliest first in the span of 10 months):

1. HJC CL17 (one size bigger for my head - shelved now)

2. Revit Sand Pro gloves from Royal Enfield

3. TCX Track Evo WP Shin height Adventure Boots

4. Rynox advento pants (shelved now + up for sale! Medium)

5. Klim Badlands Pro Jacket

6. Klim Overland Pants

7. AGV K5 Helmet

8. Revit Cayenne Pro summer gloves

9. Revit Dominator Goretex gloves

10. Dainese Summer mesh jacket

11. Surefire earplugs

12. Maybe a klim induction shortly to replace the dainese.

I'm trying to find the time to do a few reviews of some of the things I have. I ride a Versys 650 at the moment.

Last edited by Red Liner : 6th April 2017 at 13:41.
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Old 9th April 2017, 22:37   #12
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Default Re: Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

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5. Klim Badlands Pro Jacket

6. Klim Overland Pants

7. AGV K5 Helmet

12. Maybe a klim induction shortly to replace the dainese.

I'm trying to find the time to do a few reviews of some of the things I have. I ride a Versys 650 at the moment.
Where are you sourcing your Klim stuff from? Also, could you share your review of the K5? Just want to know what you think of it compared to the HJC. I was checking out MT helmets today and I was shocked to see that the visor on that helmet made my K5 visor seem like a piece of paper. The optical correctness is top notch too!
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Old 10th April 2017, 18:09   #13
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Originally Posted by Madhav Nayak View Post
Where are you sourcing your Klim stuff from? Also, could you share your review of the K5? Just want to know what you think of it compared to the HJC. I was checking out MT helmets today and I was shocked to see that the visor on that helmet made my K5 visor seem like a piece of paper. The optical correctness is top notch too!
Klim from the states.

I found the visor on my k5 pretty good. Ofcourse I can only compare to the hjc, which was also reasonably good. Nothing that could affect my judgement on the street.

5 massive advantages over the hjc i have rather quickly:

1. Superb build quality. Visor action is solid and not creaky.
2. Much more aerodynamic. Cuts better through the wind imo.
3. Very light. Carbon fiber innards.
4. Internal sun visor.
5. Available in my size = small.

However, if i do upgrade, i will upgrade to the next iteration of the shoei gt air (due soon) or one of the newer schuberths (c4?). I am keeping the shark in consideration too (speed r pro). Internal sun visor is very important to me, hence not considering the arai.

I also feel that india has now become a big dumping ground for helmets that dont sell much anywhere else. I am quite happy to spend good money on a lid with a history of safe performance that fits me perfectly and keeps me comfortable for long hours on the bike.

Last edited by Red Liner : 10th April 2017 at 18:20.
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Old 10th August 2017, 14:08   #14
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Default Re: Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)

Hey all, It's been a while since I posted this thread. I have an couple of additions to make: I've used the Gore-Tex boots for a couple of long rides, so I can finally review the boots; I invested in a Viaterra Fly GT magnetic tank bag to aid with luggage when I travel on my bike. Additionally I have also made a makeshift hydration pack, for about half the price of the most affordable hydration pack available in India at the moment. I will be reviewing all of these in this post.

Dainese Torque D1 Out Gore-Tex: Before I get into this review, a word on why street boots are important. A lot of my friends have an extreme reaction when they find out that I have separate street riding boots and touring boots. A lot of them deem it unnecessary for me to own a pair of street boots as any hard soled pair, like the brilliant trekking boots from Decathlon, can do the job with ease. I don't see it that way. I genuinely think that have a dedicated pair of boots is the way to go. They come with all sorts of creature perks like a hidden lace system, metal reinforced soles, sliders in impact areas and ballistic impact resistant build materials; the feedback and comfort(no kidding) of a dedicated pair of street riding boots is unparalleled. No step-in shoes can do the same job as a pair of street boots do. While it may seem overkill for mere street boots, and I have to admit, if it weren't for my experience with crashing in the simplest of ways and as a result suffering a disproportionately high amount of pain, I would agree. Having gear that doesn't fall off you or fall apart when you crash is important. It will cost you the same as you would spend on hospital bills from the crash, while saving you the discomfort, pain and suffering. You get away with a couple of welts and bruises and that is much better than having skin wounds and waiting for them to heal.

Curious wise-guys that my friends are, they cleverly point out that if my street boots are so good, why would I invest in a separate touring/track pair, which just looks like the street boots with extra materials that covers my legs? To put it simply, that is the very reason. Street boots, while providing top notch protection for street speeds and ease of use by cutting off at the ankle, can't be as effective at the high speeds that tracks and highways beg of motorcyclists. Having protection from the ankle above is tantamount to saving yourself some very painful broken bones. In a high speed crash, your body is subjected to all kinds and strengths of forces, attacking you from so many different directions that you can't tell left from right or up from down, while contorting your body into shapes and sizes you previously thought weren't possible of a human body. Any attempt to keep your limbs in their original position will lead to extreme pain when your bones break and your skin splits, but giving into the force doesn't do anything better. This is where the form maintaining features of your riding gear comes into play.

The Torque D1 Out Gore-Tex boots from Dainese, were probably the one pair of protection that I bought doing all my research. I needed an all purpose boots that simply refuse to die with simple use. Experienced that I am at riding motorcycles, I will never intentionally put myself in the danger of crashing, so the day I will need to test the protection these boots claim to offer will never come. In such a case, I wanted a pair that can not only protect me, but can also live long enough to see the day I might need them. I couldn't have a pair falling apart after fifteen or twenty thousand kilometres, without ever having been wrung for their worth. I also needed the boots to be all weather - so breathable and waterproof at the same time. Gore-Tex is a magical fabric membrane invented by Wilbert and Robert Gore(father-son duo, in case you were curious) all the way back in 1969. The beauty of the boots is that it has an abrasion resistant outer shell and a soft inner shell, encasing the Gore-Tex membrane. The membrane itself is the the soul of the the level of comfort provided by the boots. Gore-Tex is a material that is extremely porous to gases and almost not porous to anything else. As a result, it is impossible for water droplets to penetrate the membrane while it is very easy for sweat to evaporate out through the very same membrane. The end result is that you have an extremely comfortable and dry ride, with almost no stink sticking to your boots at the end of it. With the right pair of socks(read sweat wicking), your feet and socks won't stink either. There is one downside to this as I experienced on my very first ride - if you manage to get water inside the boots, you will have a very hard time for the rest of your ride. You see, the layer is waterproof both ways, so any water that's inside the boots will stay there. The inner soft lining is regular fabric, so it soaks water just as a regular cloth would, but there's nowhere for that water to go, so it stays there, converting your waterproof riding boots into a squelchy, uncomfortable mess. I never face this problem again as I ensured that this never happened again. I've had many happy rides through pouring rains and deep puddles since, with my feet 100% dry. The waterproofing is so good that a blind and deaf person probably will not even know it's raining while wearing these boots.

Time for the impressions:

1. Build Quality - Mostly top notch. The boots come with torsion resistance hardware that prevents your ankles from twisting sideways in the event of a crash, saving you from sprained/broken ankles. While the mechanism itself works flawlessly, the beautification - caps covering the retention system - seem to loosen and come off after a few hours of riding, especially if you are doing some spirited braking and shifting. I expect nothing lesser than perfection for the price I'm paying, so it's a 4.5/5 for this one. However, considering how long I want this pair to last me, I will reserve judgement for a few years more.

2. Materials - TPU, magnesium toe and heel(back and sides) sliders, microfibre fabric, Gore-Tex membrane, perforated synthetic leather shell and while there are no visible reflective strips, there seems to be some reflective action going on under the perforations enough to make the boots visible, velcro calf adjusters and zippers behind the calves to close the boots.

3. Protection - CE level ll rated, magnesium toe sliders, metal reinforced sole, metal heel and toe boxes, malleolus protection from the magnesium sliders, heel magnesium slider, D-Axial torsion resistance system.

4. Weather Proofing - At least a three weather boot, these can do it all. They're waterproof thanks to the legendary Gore-Tex membrane, it dissipates sweat and heat through the same waterproof membrane, porous synthetic leather allows for even better airflow making them very comfortable even in heat. In the cold they keep you warm.

5. Ventilation - Porous synthetic leather, air canalisation system, exhaust vents and the Gore-Tex membrane all make for a well ventilated, if not airy, pair of boots.

6. Usability - Great for long rides. These are definitely made for the track, so they're not ideal for walking around in, though Dainese has left a little give at the ankles to make it easier to live with. You can't trek with these- forget ruining the soles on these boots, you'll be lucky to have even a single patch of your foot not covered in blisters. Very high tech boots, worth every paisa and seems to be extremely well built.

7. Cost - Rs.21,000/- as of Dec '16.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-dsc_0766.jpg

Viaterra Fly GT Magnetic: As I got out and about the city and went on many rides with Suzaku, it became apparent that I need some motorcycle specific luggage solution. A backpack is just an extra load to carry and tires you out quicker than you might think. As my first long ride approached, I knew that bungeeing my rucksack to the pillion seat was not the way to go. It would've sufficed, but it was time to get myself something motorcycle specific. Viaterra immediately stood out, being as good as Rynox but also more affordable and modern. I considered different styles of luggage - tail bags, saddle bags and tank bags. Personally, I preferred the tail bag as this would leave the tank unencumbered, which is how I like it. I doubted that I would need saddle bags anytime in the near future, so I decided not to get these. As I researched tail bags, one thing became apparent - while they did great on the bike itself, carrying them around would be a hassle, not to mention the process of mounting them on the pillion seat. This also meant that I couldn't take a pillion with me while I used a tail bag. Added to this, most of the time, my beautiful girlfriend was the only pillion I ever took and most of the time, both of us had bags with us. This previously translated to one bag sitting on my tank.

The signs were obvious - I needed a tank bag. Now, my Suzaku has a metallic tank, so a strapless magnetic tank bag was an option for me, as opposed to my unfortunate fibre tank equipped *cough*duke*cough* colleagues. Viaterra's Oxus and Fly GT immediately caught my attention. The Oxus was the handsomer of the two, but in my experience the vain are just all talk. Which is why I decided on the Fly GT. Only checking the two bags out and buying one was left out.

I rode down to Torq-92 and checked out both the Viaterra bags. The Oxus was too small for anything but a bottle and a camera. It would make a very useful city bag, but it would make for a useless touring companion. It's sling-bag style harness for when I had to carry it around meant it had to be packed light, or my shoulder would face the music. The Fly GT on the other hand had a dual strap backpack style harness, making it very useable off-bike. For when it was on the bike, it had a magnetic back, with neodymium magnets that are very strong magnets.

I decided to get the Fly GT based off the following impressions:

1. Build Quality and Materials - made from a tough denier fabric, it comes with triple reinforced stitching and YKK sippers. As far as I can tell, the bag is built like a bloody tank.
2. Features -
a. The zipper is designed so that it opens wide with a U-shaped trail. This makes it very easy to use when it's on the bike itself.
b. The top of the bag has a pouch with a clear window for your phone so it can sit there happily while giving you directions on your favourite nav app.
c. It has two small pockets on either sides, each able to hold documents and small items(knife, lighter, first aid, small toolkit, wallets, tissue, cables, agarbatti dabba etc).
d. Right under the mobile pouch is another zipper that is big enough to hold big, but thin items(power bank, cables, books, tablets, kindle, hairband,
balaclava, etc)
e. A zipper just above the main compartment zipper opens up to add an extra 6 litres of space to the already available 13 litres. This allows the bag to make an excellent bag for single day rides as well as rides spanning a couple of days(if you're a light packer).
f. Two straps that tuck into a space behind the magnetic back of the bag,
can be pulled out and attached to loops at the bottom with provided hooks to convert it into a highly useable backpack. The straps are not the most comfortable and the plastic hooks and loops don't inspire a lot of confidence if you've packed the bag to it's fullest.
g. A little zippered crevice at the bottom of the bag houses the raincover.
While this rain cover is highly efficient at keeping the water out and being super lightweight, it properly fits the bag only in it's 13 litre avatar. When you expand the bag into it's 19 litre avatar, the velcro at the bottom just doesn't attach, and the cover itself barely encloses the bag completely.
h. Inside the main compartment, the bag has a mesh pouch with a zipper that can hold next to nothing. Maybe a few cables, some flat cards, fast cards(mosquito repellent), money, etc.
Inside the main compartment there are no divisions or provisions to attach dividers, so carrying a DSLR will require you to get the DSLR ready variant of the Fly GT or just go ahead and use your clothes as padding for your precious camera.
3. Cost: The price as on May '17 was Rs.2900/-.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-lredit9097.jpg
The Fly GT sitting on Suzaku's tank with the rain cover on.

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Packed for a single day's ride!
Items include: A full change of clothes(shorts, shirt, underwear), spare socks, hanky, gorillapod, selfie stick, deo, liquid soap, comb, towel, a pair of lightweight shoes, protein bar, lube, power bank, earphones, spare balaclava and the basic Kindle.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-img_9750-2.jpg
Top view, notice the phone pouch.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-img_9753.jpg
Bottom/front of the bag.
The bottom zipper is the rain cover housing. The top zipper is the expansion zipper.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-img_9754.jpg
Bottom View, notice the three magnetic extensions and soft feel back.
Observe the two straps hiding beneath the bag, visible at the bottom of the picture and the two loops at the top.

Jugaadu Hydration Pack by yours truly: A common problem with me is neglecting hydration, profuse sweating and a very small bladder. You can see I tend to dehydrate very quickly. The problem I've faced so far with long rides has always been keeping up my hydration levels. When I looked online for a solution, I saw the hydration packs. But lord were they preposterously priced. Viaterra's marine hydration pack was priced at a very dear Rs.2700/-. I found that Wildcraft also sold one for Rs.1600/- but this was a little bulkier than I would've liked and not built to last. I decided to try the local Decathlon. I always found that Decathlon had superior quality products for very affordable prices. This one time, I was let down. Decathlon's Hydration pack was a whopping Rs.3000/- and that too without a bladder, which ranged between Rs.500(1 litre) to Rs.900(3 litres).

This is a classic case of inflation due to demand. 3000 Gandhis for a glorified water bottle? You've gotta be kidding me. My inner middle-class Indian sniffed the air hopefully. Subdued under all my quality-conscious bravado, the middle-class monster I had slowly tamed could taste the opportunity. He isn't one to let an opportunity pass, so he sprang into action, pelting my consciousness with clever ideas to circumvent the dilemma I was in. The 3 litre pouch costed me Rs.899/-. When I entered, I'd seen a Quechua 10 litre hiking backpack with an introductory offer, selling for just Rs.99/-. I put the two together and I had a perfect hydration pack, with one litre more water than the industry standard and it costed me just under a thousand Gandhis! Suffice to say, my inner middle-class monster was proud of this achievement.

Impressions:

1. Build quality: The Hydration pack is completely leak proof, approved for storing drinking water. The supply pipe running from the pack has a bite valve to allow me to drink by just biting it, sealing the water in at all other times. The water supply can be completely turned off by a hand-operated redundant push-pull valve. All these are of the highest quality. The storage bag for the water pack is made to be slightly water resistant. It is lightweight, so you're mostly just carrying the weight of the water in the pack itself. The zippers are high quality and the shoulder straps are padder to make it comfortable. The back of the bag is designed to be sweat wicking, so it doesn't get uncomfortably wet on your back.
2. Cost: Rs.998/- as of May '17.

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-img_9759.jpg
The complete package, with a little storage too!

Review of my riding gear (AGV, Dainese & more)-img_9758.jpg
The 10 litre Quechua backpack and the three litre water pack are nearly the same in height, so the water pack sits almost flush inside the bag.

I hope my last experiment saves a few of you some petrol money!
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