Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Questions about gear

A friend of mine, who is looking to buy her first motorcycle shortly after taking a motorcycle safety class, has been asking me all sorts of fun questions. It's great to think about how far I've come as a rider and how much fun it still is to ride. It also helps me to think about all the stuff I still have to learn. Today we talked about gear. I'd been thinking about gear and the question of whether or not the gear has a shelf life or mileage life span even before she and I started this conversation.

For example, I've had my boots since August 2008. I think when I bought them I was told three years was a good long life for them if I only wore them on the bike and not for walking around in or at work all day. I do wear them at work but not very often because they are so hot and bulky. They are pretty scuffed up and most of those scuffs I really can't explain. The toes for some reason are quite scruffy looking. Is that from debris on the road?? I can't think of any other reason they'd get that way.

I've also had my mesh Olympia jacket and pants for a long time. The pants I've had since at least September 2007. The jacket since April 2008. The jacket is in pretty good condition. But I don't wear it year round like I do with my boots and even the mesh pants. The pants are looking a bit worse for wear. I've had one of the belt loops repaired and now another has come undone. The piping on the side of the legs is wearing thin. There's a hole in one of the front pockets. Oh, and they are stained and pretty filthy looking. But, by using a velcro brush that I bought recently, they still function just fine.

I'm planning to buy some winter pants this year. I'd also like to get a new Olympia winter jacket but my Tour Master still works just fine. It fits a bit tighter than I remember for some reason. Mostly I like the Olympia gear and I can get a hi-viz color too.

So, dear readers (I think I'm up to three now), how often do you buy new gear? Assuming no unexpected get offs, will gear wear out?


  1. My FirstGear pants (3 years) are pretty worn and will be replaced this winter probably with a different brand. The material feels pretty light weight. The toes on my left boot (4 years) has a lot of wear from the shifter but I suspect that they'll last another season. But they are not riding boots just heavy leather work boots. The FirstGear coat still looks like new but this summer, I added a mesh jacket to the mix. Granted, our riding season is only 5 months long so my gear doesn't get as much use as yours. All my gear has about 8K miles in all kinds of weather and only gets washed at the end if the season.


  2. Like a favorite pair of shoes, gear does eventually wear out.

    I could write a novel on motorcycling gear durability, but the short answer is that the age-old adages apply: quality gear tends to last longer, but quality is also more expensive.

    I'm pretty hard on my gear since I ride every day. That means using all the velcro and zippers at least 4 times a day, and even more when I ride for pleasure. I've gotten a little more life out of my jackets since I have three of them (one for each Oregon "season"). I blew out a pair of Rev'it boots in less than a year.

    Can you tell us a little more about the velcro brush? A cursory google search revealed some interesting items, but I'd like to know what you're using and where you got it.