Commuter ATGATT Gear

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by SpeedIsMyNeed, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

    Jun 9, 2010
    Chasing the Apex
    Hey Guys, so after my recent crash I have been looking into new gear. At 30mph, I burned a nice hole in my Fieldsheer mercury pants and beat up my jacket. :D

    I am having a hard time deciding whether I want a Hi-Vis jacket like the Tour Master Transient 2 in Yellow or Hi-Vis, but those colors are backordered everywhere! I was also looking at the Joe Rocket Survivor 1 piece suit. What would you all reccomend for all weather/all year commuting? What are the benefits/downfalls of each? :ear

    I hear a lot of people on this site say that they just patch the suits after they go down.:huh

  2. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

    May 13, 2009
    Dearborn, MI
  3. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    In the sand
    Knowing your location would help.

    A skilled tailor could repair some serious damage if you provided new armor. I don't put much faith in non-mesh gear for warm-weather ventilation in FL, or gear that can't stop the wind in northern winters.

    I'm really happy with the Tourmaster Sonora jacket in Hi-Viz Green/Yellow and Black. It looks much like the Transition 2, but the outer shell is mostly abrasion-resistant mesh for good warm-weather ventilation. It also has a wind-resistant/rain-resistant liner, and a WARM quilted thermal liner. This jacket has a LOT of big pockets, including a huge one in the back. I roll my wind/rain liners for my jacket and pants and stuff them in this pocket. My neck-gaiter easily fits in 1 of the many front pockets. I'm fine in just this jacket and a t-shirt for at least an hour at a time, from slabbing in humid 95-degree FL summer to about freezing in a Chicago winter. Adding a layer of poly-prop or silk long-underwear in winter, and/or a cooling vest in summer, I can easily extend these temperature extremes even further. Slabbing the 25 miles to work in 5-10deg F Chicago was fine with just long undies and jeans/t-shirt under my gear.

    If you want something shorter than 3/4-length, Tourmaster also has the similar Intake Air 2 in Hi-Viz Green/Yellow and Black. I sometimes want something a little more different from the Hi-Viz Green/Yellow 3/4-length Sonora though, so I'm going to try the Icon Hooligan 2 Mil-Spec in Hi-Viz Orange and Black soon. It has similar features, with the outer mesh and the foul-weather liner(s). The best prices I've found for these jackets is at MotorcycleSuperstore, BikeBandit, Iron Pony, and CycleGear...depending on who has the best coupon/certificate/AMA discount/sale at the time.

    To keep my Hi-Viz bright and more water-resistant, I ScotchGuarded it several light coats before the first use. When I pull the armor out and wash it in a gentle cycle, it comes out looking new. Then I ScotchGuard it again.

    For pants, I really like the Tourmaster Flex pants. They have a mesh chassis for warm weather, with textile panels that zip on for cool weather. They have the same kind of wind/rain-resistant liner and WARM quilted thermal liner that zip in when the weather gets really nasty. The pants are easy-on/off, with their 3/4-length side zippers. They come with knee/shin armor, but could be upgraded. They have pockets for hip armor too, but you may just want to wear armored compression shorts and independent knee/shin armor underneath for best protection. The best price I've found for these pants is at the above 4 places, or catch a sale at The Helmet Shop for an even better deal.

    I ScotchGuarded all the pieces for the pants too, to aid water-resistance. You may know of a better rain-repellent spray, but ScotchGuard seems to be working ok for me as a general repellent for both water and stains.

    Supplied with a wind/water-resistant balaclava or neck-gaiter that tucks way down into the jacket, weather-appropriate gloves, a cooling vest for summer, a weather-appropriate helmet, and some sturdy waterproof moto boots of decent height, I'm OK for at least an hour in any weather I'd bother to ride in (no lightning, no ice on roads, no polar bears looking to huddle up, no vultures falling out of the sky from heat-stroke, no swimming more than throttling). I'm outside a lot though. You may want waterproof heated gloves for really cold days, especially if your handguards don't offer full coverage, and dedicated raingear may be nice if you're out in torrential downpour for hours at a time.
  4. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Dec 1, 2005
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    When you see the prices, keep in mind two things:

    1) A 'stich probably would have survived a 30mph crash;
    2) If it doesn't survive the crash, they can fix it.

    That's aside from the fact that you can get one tailored and pick from lots of colors.
  5. Wobbleside

    Wobbleside Been here awhile

    Oct 23, 2011
    South Bay, SF Bay Area, California
  6. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Please insert title here

    Sep 26, 2008
    Southern Maine
    +1 on anything Aerostich.

    -1 on anything Joe Rocket

    But, let's take a step backwards here.

    You said you had a crash.

    What worked with your gear?

    What didn't work with your gear?

    I got the part about the hole, was this from a slide? How long were you sliding?

    Also, you will probably get more responses over in the Equipment area (if this doesn't get moved).

  7. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    Scorpion gear is triple stitched. You may want tohave a look that direction.
  8. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Aug 11, 2010
    In the middle...
    I commute daily in my Motoport over pants and Motoport Marathon Jacket. The pants slip over my suit pants, my suit jacket goes in the pannier, Alpinestars boots with the dress shoes living under my desk at the office.

    No more than a minute on and a minute off and a guy would be hard pressed to find better protection IMO.
  9. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

    Jun 6, 2010
    Having had my own high-side in what I will call "mass market" gear I would generally agree with the above comments. I'm sure I will get fragged for this but reality is that, generally, you get what you pay for. Not sure how anyone can expect to pay LESS for a "technical" motorcycle jacket that is supposedly made from a high-tech abrasion proof fabric and some magical armor that is soft, strong, thin, and protective for a price LESS THEN the cost of a decent fleece from any well-known manufacturer. Obviously 99% of us do not have an unlimited budget. With some patience and luck you can buy GREAT gear at a massive discount like new or gently used on boards such as this. If your some sort of jedi knight rider then just ride in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. If you are the rest of us don't fool your self into thinking you are protected with sub-par gear. Here endeth my rant. Frag away. Let's here from guys that have gone DOWN in their gear, walked away, and didn't need hundreds of dollars of repairs. I'm not sure the point of bringing a jacket or pant that cost $100 for repair when the cost of repair will exceed the original purchase price.
  10. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

    Dec 10, 2006
    I still commute a most of the year and before I was married I pretty much rode everywhere all the time.

    I've been wearing an Aerostich RoadCrafter One Piece. I've been down twice on the pavement (maybe a third time that I can't remember?). Noticable marks, a stich or two undone but no real damage done. After 8 years and almost 100K miles I sent it back for repairs. (Aerostich has great customer service) This was mostly due to the main zipper starting to have some problems. It still worked but you have to take a bit more care/time w/ the zipper. It was sent back better then new and should be good for another ten years. I should also note that I have also replaced the armor pads (shoulder, elbows, knees) after about 5 or 6 years. They slowly break down and will probably need to be replaced in the next couple of years.

    I'm not saying you need an Aerostich, I'm sure there is other stuff out there that is cheaper and just as good or better. I'm just telling you my personal experience. Even if you go for something other then an Aerostich, you still might want to think about getting a one piece "coverall" type suit. I think they are great for commuting. You can have one your work gear underneath, and just take it off when you get to the office. For a short while I worked in an office where I needed a shirt and tie every day. I left a pair of dress shoes under my desk and just changed my boots when i got to work. To me it is very convenient. I work odd hours so rarely have to deal w/ the full heat of the summer sun in the heavy traffic. Depending on where you live, this could cause some serious sweating for your work clothes under a coverall type riding suit.
  11. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

    Feb 15, 2010
    Cairns, Australia
    +1 I don't see how anyone can suggest much without knowing about the weather you ride in.

    Most gear is suicide where I live. You will cook and be so "drunk" you won't even realize your judgment is completely gone.

    Safer to ride squid than leathers here. I wear the thinnest mesh jacket I could find, and still get to work drenched in sweat sometimes.
  12. MikeJansen

    MikeJansen Lost

    Nov 21, 2004
    Essex, UK - Still looking for home
    +1 on Aerostich.

    I ride in: Roadcrafter 2 piece in High-Viz/black jacket and black/black trousers, a Shoei RF1000, Daytona Roadstar GTX boots and some old Olympia gloves. I am looking to replace the gloves and the helmet this year.

    I work as an engineer and need to be in 'dress casual' but have to wear safety shoes at work. These I keep at the office under my desk and change when I get in.

    In the heat of summer the dress shirt comes off on the way home and in the winter I have Gerbings for body and hands. The other 10 months a year I use a 'Mountain Hardware' fleece that is wind and water proof under the 'stich and either a polar-tec buff or thin HEDZ type buff.

    8 years of use, but no get offs. The velcro on the front pockets and one sleeve zip got replaced at Aerostich this winter.

    No complaints about the gear and I feel safe.


  13. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

    Oct 6, 2011
    Washington, D.C.
    I don't see why you should get fragged, you're right. But, you're also wrong.

    Meaning, unless you're dealing with the lowest end of the mass market gear, you're still likely getting gear that's good enough for ONE spill. You take a slide, you'll have to throw the stuff out (and you SHOULD throw the stuff out), but it'll protect you well enough casually riding on the street and the dirt.

    An Aerostitch will likely survive a low-speed getoff and be repaired. Less expensive, lower quality gear won't survive the accident, but almost all of the mass market gear will protect you nearly the same.

    Bottom line: as long as you're okay with replacing your gear after an accident, you can most definitely find great quality at a lower price than the high end gear. If you're planning on getting into plenty of accidents, than sure, spend your money on better, repairable gear :D.
  14. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

    Mar 19, 2009
    East La Jolla... it's just Clairemont!!
    Members of my club are unanimous in their approval of MotoPort gear, but they all went to the shop and got fitted. A couple of my riding friends also swear by their Aerostitch astronaut suits and evn in warm weather, just don't feel right without it. My buddy Ted slides in and out of his quicker than you can say Clark Kent.
  15. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Aug 23, 2010
    New Hampshire
    ++1 on Aerostich...I love my roadcrafter for commuting. Easy on and off...great all weather protection and crash tested...

    No cheap by any means but I'm to poor to buy cheap....
  16. Tallgears

    Tallgears Adventurer

    Jan 18, 2011
    DFW, TX
    I have learned to love 1 piece suits for commuting. It is easy off and on and high level of protection in the event of a crash. (no jackets sliding up because you didn't zip your jacket/pants together)

    I have the hi-viz olympia Stealth suit because its mesh and very high quality. It has plenty of protection and padding. They also make nearly the same thing in full textile called the phantom, also great gear. (for colder weather) You can find both of these suits for 300-400$ depending on where you shop, which is usually what I would be spending for a jacket and pants combo anyway.
  17. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

    Dec 10, 2006
    One other nice point about getting a one piece suit is that you have to wear the whole thing. I know if I had a separate jacket and pants. Alot of days in warmer weather I would leave the riding pants behind and just wear jeans or something.
  18. hmmwv15

    hmmwv15 young grasshopper

    Jan 25, 2011
    north-ish Georgia

    Should have done more research. The one piece olyimpia stuff looks tits! The whole idea of one piece easy on and off for commuting is really what got my attention for such a suit. Just bought a new jacket/pants combo for summer though... (I think I can still return the mesh pants, that almost 1/2 the cost of the "stealth" suit. hmmmm)

    That being said, I'm definitely getting a "phantom" suit for next winter since I had planned on updating my winter gear anyway.
  19. frontiercat

    frontiercat on the wheel

    Feb 2, 2011
    Tulsa, OK

    Olympia Phantom on my office floor...great piece of gear...bought it used on this site, still had the tags on it!
  20. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

    May 11, 2009
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Everybody has different priorities. I am a daily commuter, 12 months a year in an area that gets up to the upper 90s to 100 in the summer (lots of humidity) and down to the teens in the winter. We often get pop-up showers in the afternoon which are impossible to predict.

    My priority was something that goes on and off quickly at work, waterproof outter shell, warm in the winter but not stiffling in the summer for trips of an hour, abrasion resistant and good armor, including hip pads. I ruled out a one piece because I frequently go places where I can take off the jacket and carry it but leave the pants on (think kids soccer games) where a one piece is just too cumbersome.

    My solution starts with Darien pants. They do everything I need. The zipper is very long which makes it easy on and off. They are waterproof. They are unlined which means I can wear them 12 months as long as I wear heated liners in the winter.

    The jacket is the BMW Tourance 2. It is the least expensive BMW jacket and is actually cheaper than an Aerostich once you upgrade the Stich with a liner and back armor (both standard on the Tourance). The shell is waterproof so the liner is only for cold days.

    I also have a mesh jacket for really hot days, but if I had to stick with just the Tourance, I could. A cooling vest would work well with this combo but I haven't invested in one yet.

    Boots are BMW All-Arounds wich have a zipper and velcro so again, they are easy to take off at work. They are light and are too cold in the winter so I use a Gerbing heated insole. They are good in hot weather and are waterproof.

    That's my solution and works well for me. My commute is 37 miles each way and I can do it every day as long as there is no snow on the road.