Dressing the part: any shortcuts?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Yakima, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Yakima

    Yakima NC 700

    Mar 28, 2010
    Central Washington State
    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... :puke1

    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?
  2. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

    Feb 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    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... :D

  3. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Nov 28, 2009
    Little Rhody
    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.
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    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.

  5. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    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. :puke1

    I am ATGATT but I do so for comfort from the elements. Crash protection is low on the list.
  6. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

    Sep 13, 2011
    Live Free or Die
    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.
  7. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

    Oct 5, 2005
    Louisville, Tn
    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.
  8. Charlie Gary

    Charlie Gary Been here awhile

    Sep 28, 2009
    Near Seattle, WA
  9. PachmanP

    PachmanP Long timer

    May 17, 2009
    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.
  10. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Feb 11, 2012
    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.
  11. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Flamed out

    Apr 6, 2007
    Annapolis, MD
    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.
  12. donmac

    donmac casual angler

    Jun 26, 2010
    East Coast
    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.
  13. tvpierce

    tvpierce Been here awhile

    Sep 5, 2011
    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).
  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Aug 19, 2008
    New(er) Mexico

    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.
  15. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    By the Great Lakes
    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.
  16. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

    Oct 29, 2009
    My wife has a bit of a chuckle every time she sees me getting my atgatt on, admittedly, when it's 4celsius ,32f, it takes me awhile, in the summer it's quicker, leather jacket and pants. If i just go to the shop down the street, i'll take the car or walk. I've gotten so used to wearing all the stuff, that last time i went for a short burst wearing jeans, it felt as if i had nothing on. To be honest, there are times when i think, fucking hell, this is pain in the arse, piling all this gear on:D
  17. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

    Aug 16, 2007
    In regards to not wearing the gear for low speed rides:

    I wrecked/dumped the bike at walking speeds (at idle in first gear on a geared down DR650) and knocked myself out cold as well as destroying my helmet. Without the lid I think it would have been very bad for me...
    I had just taken my armored pants off and , outside of the concussion, the worst damage to me was the swollen hip that turned black all the way down to my knee and inner thigh.
    There's also a thread on here where a guy went to move his bike from his driveway to the garage, fell and wound up with some pretty serious damage.

    Pants and jacket. I dumped the same bike in a 10/15 mph lowside (being stupid...) and rashed/busted a set of Thor knee/shin gaurds as well as tearing the sleeve of my jacket. I wasn't hurt.

    The wife dumped her XT in a corner doing 35mph and rashed her jacket, burnt holes in her pants (hips, thighs, knees and shins!) , scuffed her boots and trashed her helmet. No damage to her except her confidence.

    All these were low speed drops and I can guarantee that without the gear there would have been trips to the hospital involved at a minimum.

    There are times I'd like to just hop on the bike and go, just like I did in the 80's. But then I think about how long it takes to gear up vs. the time it takes to heal up and it's a non-issue.
  18. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Mar 18, 2012
    I always wear my FF helmet, don't own any armor though. Jeans, leather boots that come over my ankles, I need to find a pair of gloves I like.

    That's enough for me, I rode one time since PA dropped the helmet law I rode once without it, I felt naked, never do it again.
  19. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Aug 12, 2010
    dumfrie scotland
    i allways were my ff helmet when riding on the road as well as my textile jack and trousers what i were over my jeans. and a set of bike gloves and boots. for my ride to work ect.

    if i am going off road i dont were any bike kit and somtime times a helmet
  20. nukemm

    nukemm Been here awhile

    Jun 9, 2011
    Mukilteo, WA
    I have a few different combinations based on where I am going, what the weather is like and what I am doing when I get to my destination. The only thing that ever changes is which pants I wear.

    Helmet (non-negotiable)
    Jacket (non-negotiable)
    Gloves (non-negotiable)
    Boots (Thor 50/50 for every day fair-weather riding, a pair of insulated waterproof boots for inclement weather)
    Pants change depending on the situation:

    Commuting/long trip/dedicated ride - AGV Telluride over gym shorts as they have the best crash/weather protection due to multiple liners and padding.
    Casual ride/I have to look like a human - Over-pant style over whatever I'm wearing. Not as good of padding nor as comfortable as my AGV pants, but better protection than just jeans with the added bonus of being able to remove them without taking off my boots. A must if the highway is on the route.
    Surface streets only during fair weather while already wearing jeans - whatever pants I'm wearing. I care about safety, but if I'm heading to the farmer's market 2 miles from my house taking surface streets I could easily traverse on my bicycle I am willing to compromise for the convenience of not having an extra article to stow when I get to where I'm going.