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Old July 22nd, 2018, 02:27 PM   #1
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Name: Steven
Location: Central Valley CA
Join Date: Feb 2018

Motorcycle(s): 2007 Ninja 250

Posts: 35
My gear. Better than nothing?

I find myself buying Cyclegear's housebrand stuff more often than not, mainly because I want to save up for a 'proper' one piece suit, but don't want to skimp on gear (iow, wear jeans instead of leather pants and shoes instead of riding boots) to try to save a buck now and end up spending a lot more at the local meat stitcher.

Started with a Bilt leather jacket for $100, it works, and I'm not about to spend $500 on a jacket when that's halfway to a great leather suit.

Bought an AGV KV-S3 helmet at the same time as the jacket. $200. It is a nice helmet minus the fact that it is noisy because it has the ear foam cutouts for bluetooth speakers. Some ear plugs fixed that issue.

A week or so later bought TCX armored shoes $100 (should have just purchased boots, I regret wasting money on these shoes, but they're better than my Vans, right? )

Bought Alpinestars SP-8 gloves to replace the cheap bilt gloves I bought for gokarting years ago.

Recently I found some Bilt Racing pants on closeout for $79. I figure since I can zip the pants to my jacket, I have a defacto two piece riding suit on the cheap.

Now I am riding with the pants, but my shoes make the leather pants bunch around the tops and don't really tuck into the shoes nicely.

Next step for me is some decent riding boots. I noticed bilt has some for $100... Or should I spend a little more money and get some Cortech/AStars/Dainese boots and be done with it?

Still 'saving' for the better quality A-Stars or Dainese one piece riding suit. Spartan Leathers is one that was mentioned on the ninja250forum faq and it also seems like a nice suit but I don't want to buy a size without trying it on first. (40 jacket and 32 waist should put me at a size 40 one piece suit, right? 5-8, 170lbs)
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 03:38 PM   #2
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Name: Chris (aka Reactor)
Location: Northern KY
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Motorcycle(s): 2010 250 (track), 1992 250, 2006 R6 (street/track), 2008 R6 (track)

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Any gear is better than street clothes.

Any thoughts into used gear? You can save a ton of coin and get "known, well made" gear cheaper than the off brand stuff if you are open to buying used and then give it a good cleaning. And can be again resold once you are finished with it.

Just a thought...
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 04:13 PM   #3
Caoboy member
Name: Steven
Location: Central Valley CA
Join Date: Feb 2018

Motorcycle(s): 2007 Ninja 250

Posts: 35
I have actually been looking at used gear.

I was looking at an older 2 piece suit, but I figure because the person was making it difficult to meet up to try it on and buy it, it was easier to go buy some new pants and save some money at the same time.

Boots, I haven't been able to find any street boots in my size. Mostly motocross boots. But I do look every couple of days. Craigslist, OfferUp, etc.
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 05:21 PM   #4
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Location: Alexandria, Louisiana
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Motorcycle(s): 05 Blue Ninja 250

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Very good start! You will find yourself collecting more and more gear as you progress in your riding.
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Old July 24th, 2018, 04:23 AM   #5
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Name: Gort
Location: A secret lair which, being secret, has an undisclosed location
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Motorcycle(s): 2012 Triumph Street Triple R (street), 2006 Yamaha R6 (track)

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Yes, good start and you've got a good mindset regarding safety. I second Chris's recommendation of used gear. Craigslist and regional/local riding group forums for stuff nearby. We've got a gear for sale section here too (it's where I bought my current jacket). Also poke around on Facebook for used motorcycle groups (TDJ Yard Sale for race-oriented gear, etc.) and the Marketplace. The WERA BBS also has a used gear section.

Cheap gear can be okay (my street boots are Bilts), but think of it this way: A cheap jacket/pants/pair of gloves/whatever may be a one-use item. Seams might blow apart, whatever. A higher-end piece of gear might still be usable, or more repairable. What's cheaper overall? An item you have to replace or one you can keep using? It's a balance of cost and value.

Name brand alone does not make gear good. The cheapest A*-branded gear might not be a lot (or any) better than the Bilt-branded stuff at Cycle Gear. You have to move up the line to get better quality. At Cycle Gear, that means go Sedici instead of Bilt.

We all have those times in life when money is tight and every dollar matters. I'm no exception. But try to take the long view and look at gear as an investment. You've already put money into gear you know you're going to replace. That makes the total cost of your safety equipment just that much more than it would have been if you'd just bought the right gear in the first place.

Thing is, it's a learning process. Looking at it from the tail end it's easy to say "just buy good gear in the first place" but when you're starting out you don't know what will be right for you or what "good gear" really is. Your decision to buy shoes instead of boots is a perfect example. It's just the cost of doing business.

Stick with it. When you find the right stuff, you'll know it.
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Old July 24th, 2018, 07:34 AM   #6
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I think you're going about it in a level-headed way. It's better to choose gear by looking carefully at the quality than looking at the name on it anyway. Sometimes price goes up because the company buys lots of full page ads in all the cycle magazines, and not because it's really better. And then sometimes name brand stuff really is the best.

I wanted a second pair of leather riding pants that weren't perforated. has a pair that is obviously a clone of my AGV Sport "Willow" pants for $90 instead of $200, so I got them. They're made well enough, with similar but not as neat stitching, and the leather is about 3/4 the thickness. My pro seamstress daughter examined them very carefully and prefers the AGV Sport pants, but admitted that the cheap ones don't look like they're going to come apart at the seams or anything terrible.
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Old July 25th, 2018, 09:53 AM   #7
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Name: dan
Location: philadelphia
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Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Name brand alone does not make gear good. The cheapest A*-branded gear might not be a lot (or any) better than the Bilt-branded stuff at Cycle Gear.
I second this. Some of the worst gloves I've owned were lower tier A*. Also the best cold weather glove I own is A*.
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Old July 25th, 2018, 11:23 AM   #8
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You’re doing good so far
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Old July 25th, 2018, 06:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JohnnyBravo View Post
You’re doing good so far
Ditto the above!
Good work, Caoboy Steven.
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