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Thread: In need of basic gear.

  1. #1
    Adventurer Adventurer22's Avatar
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    In need of basic gear.

    New to MOA and in the process of making travel plans to pick up a '04/GS. Its been 25 years since I last rode and then it was police model Harleys, so I've been out of the loop for a very long time. This also will be my first BMW. Right now I'm just looking for enough gear (borrowed or used so I can ride it back (1000 miles). The bigger question is the permanent basic gear I should purchased model/style that will get me off on the right foot and yet not totally break the bank. I'm clueless at this point, though I know I'll eventually get up to speed, it's just there seems to be so much out there. Regards to helmet, I'll be taking a X large, some models must be more fit friendly for this size I would imagine, just don't which ones they are. Also basic outer gear. Open to suggestions and vendors. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Well, you've got a bunch of catching up to do! You might start by just browsing through this section of the forum. There are innumerable threads on all of these topics. The days of a bomber jacket and Levi's are over.

    Probably the fastest way for you to get an idea of what's out there and what will work for you is to visit a motorcycle accessories store, if there's one near where you are. For example, there's a chain called Cycle Gear. Or, find a big motorcycle dealership that has a lot of stock.

    Different helmet makers make different shaped helmet interiors. Sometimes they are different even among models of the same maker. Whatever you get should be comfortable and fit very snugly (because it will break in and loosen up some). Even if it seems to fit at first, it's worth test wearing it for a while to see if you feel any pressure points.

    Also, are you sure that getting on a tall GS is the right first move after a 25 year layoff from riding a low seat Harley? You will no doubt be amazed with the performance, handling and braking, but you're also talking about going up 6 inches or more in seat height. Handling such a tall (albeit lighter) bike will be very different, even just pushing around the garage.

    Consider taking an MSF class to get your skills going again. People find that they are "rusty" after a winter's layoff, so don't become a statistic. If you need to get your endorsement again, you can take the beginner course, in which they supply small bikes. You might find it tedious at first, as they train complete novices about clutching and shifting, but the exercises in that, or the experienced rider course where you bring your own bike, will be very good to get you back up to speed.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  3. #3
    Registered User rcliffor's Avatar
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    Suggest that you visit Newenough.com and subscrbe to their emails. They are clearing a lot of gear and have great customer service.
    2007 R1200GS

  4. #4
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    Take the MSF course.... you will learn a lot about gear... and get to reacquaint yourself with the basic skills...

    Since you rode HD motors previously, the "muscle memory" will return quickly and you will have a great time in a controlled environment.

    In Texas, the MSF course completion, if successful, allows you to waive the "riding" portion of licensing exam.

    Welcome back to the wind!

  5. #5
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    rcliffor and cathdeac (previous two posts) must be caprenters, because they both hit nails square on the head for your situation.

    Visit New Enough.com . They are not brand-exclusive, so you'll have lots of choices and the prices usually can't be beat (and don't let the title fool you - yes, everything is brand new).

    An introductory MSF course (the Basic Riders Course) would be well worth the time and $$$ invested, not only to educate you about gear, but also to refresh your riding skills.

    Good luck, and see you down the road!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  6. #6
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    I would also suggest checking out local clubs for the camaraderie and information/advice available there.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep, camping chair

  7. #7
    Adventurer Adventurer22's Avatar
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    Still have my endorsement as I never lost it, traveled with me from state to state as I have moved around, now have it on my Fla. license. MSF course, I'm already looking into, actually might be able to get one under my belt in in the Tampa area on my way up to Louisiana to pick up the bike. I agree on the height difference mentioned. I'm 6'0", 200 lbs., and lucky to be in better than average shape, thinking this issue will clear up in short order. With regards to helmets, top 3 to 5 brands to think about? Which brands to absolutely pass on?

  8. #8
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Any helmet for road use must have a DOT sticker. Snell certification is a good idea but not an absolute necessity. Find the helmet that fits you properly, then wear it. You don't need the most expensive brand as long as it meets the standards. It also does you no good if you don't wear it.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
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  9. #9
    Registered User TOMRUNNING's Avatar
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    Helmet

    So far all good advice. To learn more about helmets go to www.webbikeworld.com they test helmets a do a good job. Arai, Shoei, Nolan, Shark, AGV etc. all good brands but the best helmet you can buy is one that fits your head. Don't just buy a helmet because you think you take an XL. Also be aware that not all XL in the same brand will fit the same. If you go to a shop to try them on make sure you try on the one you are going to buy as it may fit different then the display model. And I know you will look stupid but sit around the shop, read a book or something but keep in on for 15 or 20 minutes. Then you will be sure it will fit. A lot of money is wasted on helmets that don't fit right. Be aware of the shape of your head the the design of the helmet shell. Also be sure to look into joining a local MOA Chartered Club.
    Tom Running, 51141 Greenville, WI
    "Love is when you like something as much as your motorcylce." Sonny Barger in Hells Angels
    by Hunter S. Thompson 1966

  10. #10
    Registered User robsara's Avatar
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    Probably all alone in the corner, but if I haven't ridden for 5 years, I'm probably taking that thing home on a tailgate. Most people recommend short little jaunts to hone in gear before a long trip, let alone personal protective clothing. To say nothing about how a bike handles/acts/etc. Or how reliable it is.

    I appreciate your ambition, and I'm sure all will go well, but...

    Flame away.

    rob
    Rob R
    1994 K75 My first bike.

  11. #11
    SGRIMSON
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    clothing has changed

    Since then, folks wear a lot of amoured clothing. Knees, hips, shoulder, back and elbows are now covered with protective pads of different materials. Do some research.
    And instead of black and brown, most big companies supply jackets in higher visibility colours. This could, depending on opinion, add to safety. Research also shows that a simple white (usually the cheapest) coloured helmet is found to be worn by almost 25% less accident victims. White is safest, cheaper, and less likely to get ripped off.
    Boots are also made motorcycle specific so they will protect you if you need it. Ankle protection is important. One study showed that most injuries are in the lower legs and body and become less in number as you go up. Since you bought a GS you will expect ride in more challenging terrain so prepare for it. And remember to wear all the gear all the time. ATGATT!

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by rhbowen2 View Post
    Still have my endorsement as I never lost it, traveled with me from state to state as I have moved around, now have it on my Fla. license. MSF course, I'm already looking into, actually might be able to get one under my belt in in the Tampa area on my way up to Louisiana to pick up the bike. I agree on the height difference mentioned. I'm 6'0", 200 lbs., and lucky to be in better than average shape, thinking this issue will clear up in short order. With regards to helmets, top 3 to 5 brands to think about? Which brands to absolutely pass on?
    Many good or 'preferred' lids out there, so this is by no means some sort of definitive reply, but since you're looking for actual advice and watching your wallet (who isn't?!), take a look at HJC helmets.

    Huge variety and any dealership that carries them usually has dozens in stock, so trying one after another on until you find a good fit is often not a problem (and also sold by NewEnough.com ).
    Stylish, comfy and affordable.

    Yes - I own 2 HJC's at present, but have also used Shoei's, Bell, Hondaline and Caberg.

    Not trying to sound flippent, but the brand to avoid is simply the one that doesn't fit well, regardless of cost. I had to pass on a white Shoei Multitec that I really liked, because it didn't fit my head like the non-modular Shoei I was currently enjoying.

    If you need any more bad advice, just PM me, but it will cost you at least two shells from Sanibel Island!

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 01-04-2011 at 10:03 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  13. #13
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Gear -

    I was in your situation a few years ago.

    I used Webbikeworld.com to research the helmets, wound up with a Caberg, but later found that I preferred the cheaper Vega modular helmet because of better venting. Might be a consideration in Florida.

    As far as gear, I went to eBay and the classified sections here at MOA. Deals on recent vintage textile gear can be found all the time. I'll second the other writer's comments about the quality and protection of modern gear - it's light years ahead of what used to be commonly worn.

    All said I probably spent $400 on boots, 3/4 length jacket, 3 season gloves and protective padded pants. Add in $140 for the new Helmet and I was properly attired and protected.

  14. #14
    Dale Rudolph
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    I was also in your situation two years ago, having not riden a bike in over 30
    years. The thing I will never regret is taking many short trips and gradually putting
    more miles on it. It was a big deal to me the first time I put 25 miles on it, then
    50 miles , then 100. When I last rode 30 years ago, I had never come close to riding a 600 pound bike with 75 HP. The weight and power takes some getting
    used to. Back in those days, it never accured to me that it was foolish to ride
    without a helmet. Shorts, sandals, and tee-shirts were fine. I also took the MSF
    classes . I spent over a month looking at helmet reviews at webbikeworld and
    ended up with a new Shoei Mulitec,which I'm very happy with, I never thought
    a modular helmet would be for me. Bought a Tourmaster Epic jacket in high
    visability yellow and found a pair of BMW pants at a close-out sale. I never
    ride without all the proper gear. I'm never in a hurry to get anywhere, and
    I have never enjoyed riding a motorcycle more than the last two years. We
    are not kids anymore and have to accept that our hearing, sight and ballance
    are not what they were 30 years ago. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  15. #15
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    I'll second the suggestion that you use the search function here as there are a lot of good reviews. You can find many more reviews at ADVrider.com's "Equipment" forum. Do a search at BMWSporttouring (bmwst.com) as well. And WebBikeWorld is a great site.

    But, if you're like me, I'm afraid you'll have to go through a couple years of at least some trial and error. I got back into riding in the late 90s, and bought stuff that I'd no longer get. It takes a few years of consistent riding to figure out what works for you. Now, when I replace boots, gloves, or other gear, its far less of a crapshoot.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

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