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Old 20th September 2013, 10:39   #1246
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

I need some advise on gear. I am waiting to take my 390 delivery and that end I have


1) A* Bionic Jacket
2) A* Gloves
3) A* SMX1 Shoes

Now I am okay on the gloves and shoes for now (eventually investing in Sidi's) but the bionic will get damn cumbersome for city rides and I need lower body support as well. To that end

Lower Body Support Options:

1) A* Bionic SX Knee Guards
2) A* Bionic Knee Guards
3) Spartan Adonis Pants
4) Spartan Odysseus Pants
5) AGV Solare Pants

Now Options 1 & 2 do not provide hip protection but do provide some excellent Knee protection. 3 seems great since they are Jeans, I do not know if they offer adequate protection in that they only have knee guards. 4 seems to be good VFM, I was wondering if I could upgrade the hip protectors from foam to Knox EN certified (is this possible for option 4?); finally 5 also seems good, don't know how good the armor really is. Which ever option I go for, I'd like to add proper hip armor and not use double density foam. If the bionic knee guards are that much better, I am open to buying good riding pants for city rides with bionic knee upgrades for my Sunday morning longer rides.

Jacket Options:

1) Source shoulder, elbow, back and chest guards from good company (like Knox, Dainese, A*) and get a custom made leather jacket (wouldn't know where to start though)

2) Buy a Spartan Achilles or Hyperion jacket

What would you guys suggest for lower body? how about for the jacket?

Finally I'd like to know just how good Spartan Jackets and Knox armors protection really are. I am somewhat inclined to Jacket option 1 since I get chest protection as well which spartan does not offer and I can get Dainese styling
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Old 20th September 2013, 16:16   #1247
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

I have shortlisted RJays Swift online from Bachoomotors. Costing me 5.5k + shipping.

Any other suggestions in that range.

Last edited by Altocumulus : 20th September 2013 at 16:18.
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Old 20th September 2013, 20:23   #1248
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

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Been on the look-out for a riding jacket in the 5-6k range.
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Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
I have shortlisted RJays Swift online from Bachoomotors. Costing me 5.5k + shipping.

Any other suggestions in that range.

You guys ought to check out Spartan Jackets as well. They seem really good value for money. And though their cheapest jacket is around 6K, the Knox Armor seems to be quite reputed (although I'm still researching it)
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Old 20th September 2013, 20:58   #1249
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Originally Posted by imp! View Post
You guys ought to check out Spartan Jackets as well. They seem really good value for money.
Can you tell me from where to source this in Bangalore from? It's for a friend residing there. He says he visited a lot of stores but most of them are out of stock and the sellers are asking him to buy high end jackets instead which cost ~10k atleast.
Even a trustworthy online option too will suffice.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 20th September 2013, 21:56   #1250
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Can you tell me from where to source this in Bangalore from? It's for a friend residing there. He says he visited a lot of stores but most of them are out of stock and the sellers are asking him to buy high end jackets instead which cost ~10k atleast.
Even a trustworthy online option too will suffice.
Thanks in advance.
I don't think the so-called high end ones here in India are anything to write home about. Most seem to be A* knock offs. I've bought all my A* from the US when people were coming down. Costs the same but is more reliable. However there are a few options depending on his budget,

1) Lets Gear Up in HSR layout has good stock and helpful owners
2) Biking Spirit in Church Street is pretty good too.

I should be going to both this weekend if he wants any info. Please tell him to buy the best he can afford, make sure the Armor is CE and EN certified, otherwise it's next to useless. Be very wary of 90% of the "good gear" here, the quality seems iffy.
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Old 21st September 2013, 00:28   #1251
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

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Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
I have shortlisted RJays Swift online from Bachoomotors. Costing me 5.5k + shipping.

Any other suggestions in that range.

You can check out the Spartan range at B.P.Roadies, Shyambazaar; Cramster range at Bikerz Nation, near Airport; DSG and Zeus gear at Gear Up, Bhowanipore.

Visit www.spartanprogear.com. They have a wide variety of jackets starting from as low as Rs.4800/-
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Old 26th September 2013, 19:50   #1252
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

Here's a brief review of my SOL SF-1 and DSG Nitro gloves.

SOL SF-1
Price paid: Rs. 5660 at Biking Spirit on Church street, Bangalore.
Using since: 2 months of daily use

Pros:
Quiet - wind roar is not terrible
Great finish
Very good quality lining
Removeable lining for washing
Very clear, distortion-free visor
Very clear, distortion-free internal sun visor. The retraction mechanism is easy to use and works well
Ventilation really works but only over 20 km/h or so to get a current of air

Cons:
Breath guard not effective - visor fogs up easily at low speeds if I breathe heavily
Double D-ring strap system is fiddly and requires two ungloved hands to operate

Recommend to others? Definitely!

DSG Nitro Gloves
Price paid: 2650 at Let's Gear Up, HSR layout, Bangalore
Using since: 5 months of daily use

Pros:
Comfortable but only after being broken-in
Comfortable even when wet and allows easy control of handlebar switches, etc.
The finger ventilation is actually effective!

Cons:
The knuckle protectors are wrongly placed on the gloves. They are too far backward from the knuckles to protect them.
The rubber-like material lining parts of the palm wore out within a month of daily use!

Recommend to others? Maybe, if there were no alternatives.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 28th September 2013, 21:15   #1253
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These are the real thing :

Attachment 946709

They are full grain buffalo leather (easily 2-3 mm thick), the soles are indestructible and resistant to a wide variety of chemicals, fire, electricity, skidding, oil, and puncture penetration, plus they never come off the leather upper for the life of the boots (I have been using mine since 2004 now and the sole is worn down but still not holed through - the leather upper is also intact though begining to fray at the toe stitch), has a one piece moulded leather tongue that is stitched full length to the side of the boot lace area making the entire boot a leathe full ankle length sock, and has hard leather reinforced heel and toe protetion caps (not steel - those are the cheaper and cruder and way less comfortable ammo boots one gets in the NCC).

These are/were best when made by FLEX, but those are no longer available. These usually come in black, but if you are lucky (and very patient and persistent) you can also get dark tan ones (that are isued to the BSF). Around 500 bucks at Makatee Army Surplus store off MG Road in Pune.
I got the "real thing" today. Was tired of scraping my a stars during the midnight cornering sessions. Cost me 450 bucks. Picked it up from gopinath bazar in Delhi. It has no lining / padding on the inside. The tongue is stitched to the body of the boot. The toe n heel area is harder / stiffer than the a star ridge riding boots. Breaking these in wont be fun.

Forget padding, these don't even have an in sole. Seems built to last though. Only complaint - doubt if the laces would last too long.

Question - these have some black paint over the toe area. Will regular polish help getting rid of this or is there a process around it?

I enquired about boots made by flex. The shopkeeper laughed n said its been years that the factory burned down, n u r still looking for them. Current ones r made by "charli". Nope, did not misspell it, no "e".

N thanks for posting the pic. It helped me to straight away look through the designer versions of it (600 bucks range)
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Old 30th September 2013, 11:02   #1254
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Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
I got the "real thing" today. Was tired of scraping my a stars during the midnight cornering sessions. Cost me 450 bucks. Picked it up from gopinath bazar in Delhi. It has no lining / padding on the inside. The tongue is stitched to the body of the boot. The toe n heel area is harder / stiffer than the a star ridge riding boots. Breaking these in wont be fun.

Forget padding, these don't even have an in sole. Seems built to last though. Only complaint - doubt if the laces would last too long.

Question - these have some black paint over the toe area. Will regular polish help getting rid of this or is there a process around it?

I enquired about boots made by flex. The shopkeeper laughed n said its been years that the factory burned down, n u r still looking for them. Current ones r made by "charli". Nope, did not misspell it, no "e".

N thanks for posting the pic. It helped me to straight away look through the designer versions of it (600 bucks range)
Some tips on breaking in brand new DMS boots.

Soak in warm soap water and then let dry on newspaper indoors (not under direct sun). When semi dry/still damp, layer copious amounts of Cherry Blossom / Kiwi polish all over and let it stand like that. Do not buff to a shine, the waxes and polish will just get sucked into the new leather.

Do this 2-3 times to make the stiff new leather more supple. I usually use an entire new box of polish for this. In the long run, the leather will pay you back big time in long lasting, water resistance, and suppleness.

When almost dry, start wearing the boots with preferably two pairs of socks (to protect your instep and Achilles tendon areas as well as to stretch the leather a bit more). Always lace them up tight. Walk around in them, wear them wherever you go, ride in them, keep them on as long as you can, and wear them as often as you can. 1-2 weeks of this is all it takes, for you to get used to the weight, and for the boots to become like a sock/second skin.

What I usualy do (like old Bullets, all DMS boots are different) after I take them off the first time is check my feet for redness/pressure indentations or sores. The next time I wear them, I make sure I cover those areas with some band-aids. That helps you get over most of the shoebite related stress in the early days.

Once broken in, you can literally wear these boots barefeet without socks. They become so soft and comfortable. Once broken in, give the boots a good polish and buff shine. There is a technique used by the Army guys for that too. Layer with polish, then hold the boots over a candle flame and move them over the flame (dont get too close - just the heat from the flame is sufficient) so that the waxes melt and go deep into the leather. Then buff this heated polish to a high shine. The toes and heel areas have a different non-grain leather which really gleams to a mirror shine compared to the rest of the boot.

Happy DMS break-in!

P.S. These boots do not require fancy insoles. What works best is to go to a mochi and get an insole shaped piece of leather cut and stuck permanently into each boot. This is what I do, and it lasts the life of the boots, without getting worn out or slipping and sliding.

The tongue stitched along the sides of the boot is what gives you the all round portection as your entire foot is enveloped in thick leather. It also does a great job of keeping the water out as you splash through puddles while riding your bike.

These are basically desi Doc Martens for 1/20th the price.

Last edited by ebonho : 30th September 2013 at 11:08.
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Old 30th September 2013, 18:55   #1255
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

What would be the best type of riding jackets for Indian conditions? Mesh or Textile? and when buying a jacket what should i look for? what makes a riding jacket a good buy? The armour? visibility? breathability?

cheers!
sai

Last edited by sai_ace : 30th September 2013 at 18:57. Reason: Wrong question.
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Old 30th September 2013, 20:02   #1256
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What would be the best type of riding jackets for Indian conditions? Mesh or Textile? and when buying a jacket what should i look for? what makes a riding jacket a good buy? The armour? visibility? breathability?
Lots of discussion in the previous few pages. But to make it short, the protection the jacket offers is what makes it a good buy. So the armor it has, and the spots which have the armors matter most. All good riding jackets come with reflective piping so visibility should not be an issue. Breathability is important in our weather conditions but come last on the list for the simple reason that once you are on open roads you will not find it hard even if the jacket is not very breathable (Ex: DSG Nero).

If its purely city use with very few highway rides, a Mesh jacket would be a good compromise. Else look for better jackets from Spartan, RJays etc which have a range of breathable yet materials which offer good protection.
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Old 30th September 2013, 20:24   #1257
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

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What would be the best type of riding jackets for Indian conditions? Mesh or Textile? and when buying a jacket what should i look for? what makes a riding jacket a good buy? The armour? visibility? breathability?
Sai, below are some tips that will help you make a decision:

Textile jackets which are built using cordura material such as in the DSG Nero, Spartan, etc. are far superior in protection than mesh jackets.

Mesh jackets are also equipped with armor but focus more on maximum ventilation.

Abrasion resistance is best in this order: Leather > Textile (cordura, etc.) > Mesh.

So buy the one which suits you best.

Mesh is good if your riding is mostly within the city but if you're a tourer then textile is recommended.

Leather is your best bet but is uncomfortable in summers and requires lot of care and attention (avoid riding in rains, etc.). It is heavy too and they cost quite a bit. A good 2 piece leather suit will cost upwards of INR 40k.

Last edited by n_aditya : 30th September 2013 at 20:25.
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Old 30th September 2013, 20:43   #1258
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Happy DMS break-in!
Thank you doc!

"Immerse leather boots in soap water" .... who would have thunk it. Very innovative.

I feel very silly posting this but need further help.

The toe area and the sides of the soles had some black paint on them (all boots at the shopkeeper had the same "issue"). I tried cleaning it yesterday with some thinner / turpentine. The toe area after a while started turning reddish (slightly lighter than burgundy). I spent half a cherry blossom cake to try and make it go away but no luck.



Do I live with it; or is there something else I can do?
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Old 1st October 2013, 10:35   #1259
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Default Re: The Riding Gear thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by sai_ace View Post
What would be the best type of riding jackets for Indian conditions? Mesh or Textile? and when buying a jacket what should i look for? what makes a riding jacket a good buy? The armour? visibility? breathability?

cheers!
sai
As important as the abrasion resistance of the material and the quality of armor of a jacket is the FIT of a jacket. The armor should be positione perfectly over the bony points it is supposed to protect and NOT MOVE FROM THERE. Like a helmet in case of a fall, the best armor in the world is useless if it shifts and rids up or away at the point of impact. So for me at least, fit and armor anchor retention are paramount. In pants too, where most guys try to fit into generic sized pants regardless of where the knee armor is sitting when they wear them and sit on the bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
The toe area and the sides of the soles had some black paint on them (all boots at the shopkeeper had the same "issue"). I tried cleaning it yesterday with some thinner / turpentine. The toe area after a while started turning reddish (slightly lighter than burgundy). I spent half a cherry blossom cake to try and make it go away but no luck.



Do I live with it; or is there something else I can do?
Just keep polishing the boots and wearing them. These are not pieces of high fashion. The more scuffed they get as you wear them in, the better they look (and feel). By using thinner/turpentine, you've washed away the outer layer of leather paint (all shoes have that, as leather per se in its natural form is beige/skin colored onc cured). Just go to any mochi and ask him to reapply some black paint soution over that area.

Last edited by ebonho : 1st October 2013 at 10:42.
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Old 1st October 2013, 11:09   #1260
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P.S. These boots do not require fancy insoles. What works best is to go to a mochi and get an insole shaped piece of leather cut and stuck permanently into each boot. This is what I do, and it lasts the life of the boots, without getting worn out or slipping and sliding.
For better comfort (and to absorb vibrations) one can also consider buying the silicon gel insoles from Dr. Scholls. They can be cut to size and placed inside the shoes. They do not move around and provide excellent cushioning for quite a long time without any deformation in the gel layer. Gel pads are also available but these are only good for the heel area.
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