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Old 11-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Yakima OP
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Location: Central Washington State
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Dressing the part: any shortcuts?

I've been riding three years now and go ATGATT ATT.

ATG = strap-on knee to ankle armor; riding boots; armored jacket; full face helmet; jeans with armored overpants; armored gloves. I add long underwear and a sweater depending on the weather and ride in everything except snow/ice. Heated grips and grip mitts complete my fashion ensemble.

On long trips, the gear is no big deal. But short trips...

Here's the question: Sometimes I'll hop in the Honda (car) instead of on the Honda (bike) because the thought of putting on all the gear makes me think "Meh!"

How do you commuters/frequent riders deal with the hassle of putting on the gear? Have any tips or shortcuts? Or is it just a cost of doing business and you suck it up and do it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
Crisis management
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Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, we each have to evaluate our risk aversion level and behave accordingly. Me, I will grab an old helmet and ride locally in shorts & Tee shirt in summer otherwise I'm a "most of the gear" rider. The only thing I won't do again is ride the trail bike naked, those foot pegs leave nasty indentations in your feet and gorse prickles are the absolute worst thing to have to get out of your arse.

You will however get far more "expert' advice than the above...

Orange...cause it makes me look like I know what I'm doing!
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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A fall 5 min. away from my house will feel the same as hours away from my house,therefor ATGATT. Took me 10 years to come full circle again,but I'm finally convinced to wear it all the time.
My short cut is: buy good riding gear that is comfortable,easy to get on and off,and you like the way it looks. As great as Motoport's riding gear is,I didn't like the looks or the way it felt;sold it and now ride gear that I feel good in. Sure did like just putting on a pair of boots with my jeans & T-shirt,no helmet,but I'm used to it now,and am happier for it. Good luck.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Meh, a meteor could fall on you as well, you could slip in the shower, and if you get hit by a truck all that gear won't necessarily save you anyway..

Helmet , gloves, full skin cover is my minimum. I used to fall off a LOT (averaged once a day over three years, mostly dirt ) with no serious damage. All I was wearing then was army boots, crappy leather gloves, heavy cotton overalls.

So while I do wear decent gear, the knee protectors don't go on for commutes and the like.

Your call, but my experience is that most of the damage mitigation is avoiding skin loss.

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Old 11-21-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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I have a good selection of gear and it takes about a minute to put it on. The reward is getting to ride instead of being locked away in a cage.

I am ATGATT but I do so for comfort from the elements. Crash protection is low on the list.
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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I view the gear as just part of the process, no different than turning the key and hitting the starter button.
For most errand trips I take off the gloves and helmet, leave them with the bike, and head into the store or wherever wearing all the rest of it. It saves tons of time.

Only rarely do I get comments or WTF looks, and from my end, I don't care at all about what someone thinks about what I look like wearing the stuff in the grocery checkout line.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
Scary Jerry
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Funny that you asked this question.

I counted the zippers today as I was getting out of my gear.

Boots 2
Pants 4
Jacket 5
Vest 1

Total 12

I just laughed, as I figure this is part of the process.

I went into the gas store to pay for my fuel this morning.
A dude come up and says " nice day for a ride" I answer yes.
He then tells me, I wish I had on gear like that when I went down earlier in the year.

I tell him, I am too old to bounce, and he agreed to that.
X the DY.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
Charlie Gary
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Years ago I bit the bullet and bought one of these.

Quick to get into, and good for most things below 95 degrees F.

Go for the ride, dress for the crash
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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You could tone done your at I guess. I never considered strap on knee and ankle protection necessary for atg. I think street great should focus on abrasion protection, so pick the great that covers that.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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My "atg" is armored jacket, armored pants, light leather gloves, light touring boots and full face helmet.

At home I mostly wear jogging pants. My cards, driving licence, mobile phone etc. are in my motorcycle jacket, so I redress anyways when I leave home. The motorcycle gear is comfy and sexy so why should I use something other? If I add the gloves and the helmet depends on my mood and the distance/speed I'm about to go.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:51 AM   #11
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It isn't time for me because I can get in and out of my gear in seconds. But there is no way I am going all out when it is a sauna outside and I am just running a quick low speed errand in town. I hate broiling alive at stop lights. Yea, yea I know the odds of getting nailed around town.

I have been been doing this a very long time. Plus I have been hit on the motorcycle twice and a bicycle twice. But I am still not going full astronaut to zoom over to the library then get there soaked in sweat. The trade off isn't worth it to me. That said, I do have minimum gear level.

Helmet, gloves, armored jacket, leather shoes and usually strap on knee /shin pads. In other words I usually draw the line at armored riding pants. Though I do frequently wear Kevlar jeans. But even those are brutal in the summer here when stuck in traffic. So I ride in jeans a lot in summer.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TrashCan View Post
I tell him, I am too old to bounce, and he agreed to that.
LOL I like that one.

I grew up riding dirt bikes, so learned about the value of protective gear early - mostly the hard way - by crashing, feeling the pain, and then buying gear to prevent future pain. ;)

Also understand the OP's point. When my commute dropped to 3 miles I stopped riding to work. Took longer to get the bike out and get dressed than to get to work in the car. Not worth it for a 3 mile jaunt.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:56 AM   #13
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I've been known to just hop on the bike every once in a while with none of the gear for a quick run to the store. The way I figure it, 35 mph is bicycle speed... and I wouldn't think twice about hopping on a bicycle without a helmet and riding a mile or two.

That being said, I generally only skip the riding pants if I'm just running to the store. (so just helmet, jacket, gloves & boots).
The laws of the road are superseded by the laws of physics.

"But I had the right of way!" makes a pretty crappy epitaph.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Yakima View Post
How do you commuters/frequent riders deal with the hassle of putting on the gear? Have any tips or shortcuts? Or is it just a cost of doing business and you suck it up and do it?

Cost o' business. It seriously takes like three minutes to put on all my gear and I wear everything you do except the strap on lower leg armor. In the long run of things it's not a big deal.

I can agree with the comment about making sure you are wearing gear you like. I currently hate my riding pants because the armor sits in weird places. As such I am tempted to leave them at home from time to time. But I never ride without my A-stars boots, because I love the comfort, look and control.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:23 AM   #15
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Get mesh armored gear (jacket and side-zip pants, or a 1-pc) that fits and leave the strap-on armor for riding offroad. My Tourmaster Flex pants are more comfortable for walking around in than most other pants I have. My jacket can stow in my topbox in a matter of seconds.

Get a pair of sturdy BOOTS, with sturdy zippers if you're concerned with speed. I don't see the point of riding SHOES or flimsy canvas boots. They don't protect shins, calves, or ankles as well as a tall sturdy boot. 'Even better if you find a pair of boots that overlaps the knee/shin armor in your pants. I like boots that have at least heavy leather and padding over the ankle bones and shins. Armor layered below the leather is even better. I wear offroad boots for long days in the dirt. For running around town, I wear a tall, leather, steel-toed workboot. I haven't found a decently-priced, comfortable, moto road boot yet that I could wear all day at work, and many don't even feel as protective as my workboots. The offroad boots are more protective, but they aren't as good for walking around in.

A helmet and gloves are the toughest thing for me to get in and out of quickly, especially on a sweaty day. A quick-release helmet strap is frowned upon by some, but I've never had an issue with one. I also have a pair of armored gloves with a slightly looser fit, for running errands.

I either take the helmet and gloves with when parked, or stow them quickly in the Givi topcase. An E45 will fit 2 smaller FF helmets, but you'd want a taller 52L or 55L for big FF helmets. I don't leave my helmets out in the open unattended. I've encountered too many pinheads in life. With a big topcase, a helmet, gloves, and jacket stow in less than a minute.
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