I usually hit a few different dealers and even Americade vendors and try on my gear before I buy it. I want to make sure my gear is a good fit, has quality workmanship and something that will last a long time. A brand name wont make or break my decision, but I like to know that if I have a problem with it, I will be able to contact the company and they will stand by their warranty.
Jackets – I currently have a Tourmaster Saber 2 jacket that I use as my main jacket. It is a 3/4 length jacket with a waterproof lining and a quilted zip-out liner. I bought it early this year, so I haven’t tested it in the extreme cold yet. I really like this jacket. The only complaint I have is that the waterproof liner obstructs the air flow from the many vents on the jacket. On really hot days, the waterproof liner sticks to your arms when you get hot and sweaty. It has tons of storage space for all of your small items that you want to keep dry. I have been caught in some monsoons with this jacket and it works very well. I highly recommend it.
I have two Harley jackets that are four or five years old. One is a nylon jacket with zip off panels that converts into a flow-thru jacket for those really hot days. The other is a Harley FXRG jacket that weighs a ton, but is an awesome winter jacket. I have been on the bike for over an hour at 26 degrees and this jacket kept me warm. It costs a little over five hundred dollars, but well worth the investment. As I went to find the link for the FXRG jacket, I found out that the price of this jacket has gone way up in the last five years.
Pants – You’ll probably laugh at me when you read this, but I use a pair of Karbon ski pants for colder temps. Not only are they waterproof, they are extremely warm. I don’t care how I look, as long as I can stay warm on those cold rides. I would really like to find a similar type of pants with armor in them.
Boots – I have a pair of Harley FXRG boots that are about five years old. They are Gore-Tex and have been a great pair of boots. I will need to replace them soon as I am wearing the sides of the heels down from dragging them on the pavement in the corners on the V-rod.
Gloves – I have a few different pairs of gloves. I like everything from my Harley flow-thru gloves to the heavy winter gauntlets. I want to look into getting a few different pairs with a little more padding and some protection built in.
Helmets – I have always used HJC full face helmets. My last two or three helmets have been modular helmets that flip up. Having glasses, it makes life much easier. It also makes talking to people and gassing up much easier, as you don’t have to take your helmet off.
I am much more concerned with what is comfortable and good quality than looks. I could care less what people think of me out there. I am out there to ride, not to be in a fashion show.
So, how do YOU pick you gear?