Hello commuters, what is your gear ?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by mac inger, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

    Oct 30, 2010
    Los Angeles - Chicago
    I have been meaning to start a thread like this for a long time. I have been hoping for it to become a serious gear discussion/list for the people that commute everyday...meaning you do not have a car or you borrow your wife's when you have to pick up folks at the airport (grudgingly).

    There are as many variables as there are environments, i'm sure, big city vs rural, 4 seasons vs ca, steady job vs jumping around.

    I would love to hear from the commuters what their train of thought has been in choosing their preferred gear and how it has made your lives easier or more miserable,... in an effort to streamline our gear while being protected and flexible enough for all day/everyday riding.

    I will start with my stuff... and will say that im not a good example and i would like to improve my gear.

    Helmet : Arai Corsair V with Sena smh10. No tinted visor because i won't switch visors for coming back home from work at night. So, sunglasses.

    Jacket: BMG Adventure. Very pleased with it. I have gone to hell and back with it. The adventure has a pouch with a waterproof exterior shell on the back that i put on when it rains hard.
    Sometimes an old 60s leather jacket with no armor given to me by a neighbor widow of a guy who loved to ride...(i do think theres a guardian angel situation attached to it).

    Pants: Jeans. I know..not good. I have the BMG adventure pants but that will not cut it for everyday use. I have waterproof overpants in the top case.

    Gloves: KLIM Dakar for hot weather (awesome little gloves and they have lasted way more then i initially thought they would. I have crashed several time with them offroad but i dont really want to test them on tarmac). Revit Phantom GTX h2o for rain and cold weather (they are not great for cold, but good for rain and are sturdy as can be in case of getoff).

    Boots: Normal shoes/boots/sneakers most of the time (bad! i know). TCX Infinity Goretex when i can manage to wear them (love the boots, rode around the country on them and they are amazing all around. Can definitely wear them all day for several days. But to wear them every single day in hot weather,..walking around the office...a bit too much).

    Bikes: 2x Buells 1x KLR. I ride the Klr most of the time because i find it more comfortable for commuting. I can carry things easier and it has enough power to not make me loose my license.

    Work: I am a freelancer. I do not work more then a month or two, at the most, at the same company. So leaving shoes and jeans at the office to change into, is not really an option.

    So, what works for you ? Please share your thoughts.

  2. SnowMule

    SnowMule still learning what is and isn't edible Super Supporter

    Jul 2, 2009
    Have a truck, but much prefer the bike.

    AFX FX39DS, bright fkin orange
    Fieldsheer adventure jacket, bright fkin orange
    Scorpion Exo mesh gloves
    Work boots
    KTM 525

    Commute's <10mi round-trip, speed limit 40/45 most of the way.
    Have a pair of overpants if the weather's shitty. Grip warmers are great in the colder months.
  3. Oldschooljeep48

    Oldschooljeep48 Adventurer

    Mar 27, 2013
    I hope the thred takes off, I'd like to see what everyone uses as I am just starting out. I got my bike last July and rode almost everyday until the begining of December. once the morning temps droped below 25F I had to stop.

    Helmet: Gmax GM68 - and I do change the visors everyday
    Jacket: Some heavy Harley jacket from my buddy as I havent bought one yet.
    Pants: Jeans - But I am looking into pants or overpants
    Gloves: Icon 29ers
    Bike: Honda Nighthawk 750 - Red
    Commute: 36mi each way from north west burbs of Chicago to even farther north west.
    Tarmac Kid likes this.
  4. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Aug 23, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Aerostitch Roadcrafter,
    Powerlet heated liner if needed

    Sidi Adventure Rain Boots I carry a pair of sneakers for work.

    Bell Revolver Cheapo helmet ( need a better one)
    Sena SMH10 for the tunes
    First Gear Kathmandu gloves or FG heated gloves

    The Roadcrafter is the best for commuting, in and out in 5 seconds
  5. gozirra

    gozirra Spam?

    Oct 6, 2011
    Helmet : XL JoeRocket something something abyss blue with a light tint screen (the helmet everyone is selling for like $100 or less deals. Should have gotten the pinlock shield. fogs at a moments notice, and i run hot.

    Earplugs : Switch between 3M purple things (39db?) and Hearos (37db?) in a tan color. Also carry a molded set of silicone plugs as a backup in my jacket.

    Jacket: Fieldsheer big silver thing. 3/4 length with no real venting and non removable rain liner. shopping for new.

    Pants: usually running Built vented overpants, easy enough, but when not using pants under (or for rain, not for hot days) I run Firstgear solid riding pants. still need to find a better solution.

    Gloves: Alpinestars sp-1, Black full cuff and leather, not bad, fingers slightly too long.

    Boots: TCX XSquare, change into others at work. want to get better footwear. 4500mi on them and on/off twice a day and one lace is wearing through, not bad.

    Bikes: 1 Ducati Multistrada 620 (usually ride), 1 KTM adv 950 (maybe once so far). No bags on bikes yet but I wear an Ogio pack to carry supplies (lunch, snacks, locks, small toolkit, cellphone, spare socks, plastic bag or 2)

    Work: Design/Market/Adv, hate my current gig, have something new?

    Commute: 42 miles a day (21 each way) 90% highway riding at 35-70mph, light lane splitting and on really bad days I take surface streets and that tacks on 4 miles extra each way. Commute 5 days a week, ATGATT

    Lock : onguard bulldog cable for the helmet, larger version for the bike. looking into disc locks as finding something to secure the bike at work is difficult. carried in pack.

    Most gear is what i bought to start out with, figured get something on first and change things as I found what I needed. So far I have been too lazy to upgrade to what I need/want. everything works well, jacket is a little hot and the overpants are a little low quality but I always have my gear on. Helmet is not a bad fit, but being the only real helmet i have put miles in on a bike I cannot compare yet. If i get a better 3/4 jacket and some pants with protection and venting i would be shiny, I have no real need for "waterproof".
  6. lilolita

    lilolita fahr mit mir

    Dec 18, 2008
    Probbydense, RI
    Helmet: HJC CL-16 with reflective tape for winter months
    Jacket: Rukka Julia (waterproof exterior, winter-spring-fall); Olympia Airglide or an old Rukka Air Power (summer)
    Pants: Rukka Focus (waterproof exterior, winter-spring-fall); Olympia Airglide (summer)
    Boots: Gaerne Black Rose (winter-spring-fall); BMW AirFlow (summer)
    Gloves: Held Steves (spring-summer-fall); Gerbings 12V hybrid that run off battery pack or hard-wired (winter); Rain-Off overgloves
    Bikes: Genuine Buddy 150 scooter, Honda Elite 250 scooter, Vespa P200 scooter, Suzuki DR350, Honda CT90
    Commute: 4 miles dense, urban riding; add 20 miles for second job (spring-summer-fall)
    Location: Rhode Island (northeast)

    I'm very fortunate as I have my own office where I can keep shoes. I always wear overpants as I'm often in dresses/skirts or thin dress slacks. Makes for a good look walking into the office.
  7. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Sep 22, 2012
    SE Michigan
    Helmet: HJC IS-Max. The integrated sunshade is priceless for commuting and just riding in general. I likely won't ever buy another helmet without one. Very handy for me because I wear glasses and don't own any prescription sunglasses.

    Jacket: "Shadow Distributing" 3/4 length leather jacket. Cheap offbrand jacket but has held up well to daily use. I did upgrade the armor, though, the original "armor" was abysmal. In the summer, it's a Firstgear mesh jacket.

    I also have a blaze orange Carhartt rain coat when the weather is dicey that keeps me perfectly dry, no leaks at all.

    Pants: Fieldsheer Slip On pants. Good budget overpants with pretty decent knee armor. 7/8 length side zips make them easy to put on or take off without removing boots. The only real issue I have with these is that they're not waterproof at all. They'll keep you dry in a drizzle but anything more than that, they soak through in about 5 minutes.

    Boots: Normally, I wear some old-school leather mountaineering boots. They're probably more protective than a lot of actual motorcycle boots, and they just look like regular brown leather boots. Completely waterproof with application of Sno-Seal every 3-4 months, I've ridden in all-day downpours with these and my feet stayed dry. I have more protective motorcycle-specific boots for when I'm out for a ride, but I feel these are good enough for the commute. I'm always on surface streets, speeds are usually 35MPH and below.

    Gloves: Some old Cortech gloves that I want to replace but they just won't wear out. Not waterproof at all, but I have yet to own gloves that are. At least they dry quickly. Would like to get some nicer gauntlet-style gloves with a bit more armor.

    Bike: '96 DR350SE currently - great commuter. Light and agile, deals with ruined pavement without batting an eye. I have a couple of Pelican cases which will go on once I have a chance to build a rack.

    Lock: none, I park right by the rear door of the building which is hidden from street view and at a dead end so no foot traffic to speak of and no vehicles except employee parking. Also there are regular police patrols and my bike looks like a rolling turd anyway.

    Work: Legal aid clinic in Detroit. I normally can wear jeans and a button-down, but sometimes have to wear a suit. I ride every day unless I need to carry more than the bike is capable of or there is ice on the road. Next winter I'm planning on studding a set of tires so I can really ride year-round. I don't use heated gear currently, I just layer up.

    Commute: 8 miles of rough surface streets south into Detroit with fairly heavy traffic during rush hour and plenty of idiots who don't watch what they're doing + clueless pedestrians that wander around in the street + the occasional mentally unstable bum that darts out into traffic.
  8. Prefader

    Prefader n00b

    Jul 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Helmet: HJC CL-15, homebrew audio setup.

    Jacket: Summer - cheap-o mesh with armor (want to replace this jacket). Winter - leather.

    Pants: OTB-style MX pants (Shift Recon?) worn over jeans/slacks/whatever. These are probably more of a nod to the fact that I ought to be wearing protection on my legs than actual protection. I suspect they'll withstand abrasion better than jeans, though.

    Boots: Fly Milepost. 1 year old and leaking, need replacement. I keep a pair of low-top chucks in my backpack.

    Gloves: Icon 29ers / Alpinestars Radiant Drystar

    Schampa neck gaiter when temps get below 50.

    Columbia rain suit - waterproof pants go under MX pants when cold/raining.

    Backpack: Moose Racing Expedition pack: I can fit my boots, pants, and rain gear in it when I get to where I'm going. Bulky, but handy and has a rain cover.

    Bike: KLX250s

    I use the helmet lock on the bike whenever I can't carry mine with me.

    Luggage: Wolfman E-12s and an enduro duffel. These are always empty if I'm leaving the bike unattended.

    Commute: 12 miles one way daily (Baltimore to suburbs), 2nd job 20 to 30 miles one way between one and three miles /week. Once I installed grip heaters, I was warm enough to make it through the entire winter. Didn't ride when there was snow/ice on the roads, only about 4 or 5 days this year.

    For what it's worth, I'd love to (and probably should) get a full set of newer, better gear. $$$ :cry

    Looking forward to seeing what other people are wearing.
  9. chaddhamilton

    chaddhamilton Just the tip

    Apr 3, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    I have a 12 mile commute to my office riding a PC800 which provides pretty good protection from the elements. I live in South Carolina where it's nice 9 months out of the year, so my commuting gear is pretty light and on the economical side.

    Pants: I usually wear jeans, but when it gets cold I wear Triumph Explorer Riding pants.

    Boots: I have an old pair of Justin ropers (pull-on) with oil resistant soles. I wear these on and off the bike because they are the most comfortable boots i've ever owned.

    Gloves: Leather tourmasters in the winter and usually wear Fox mx gloves otherwise.

    Jacket: Icon textile for most of the season, but july and august i wear a light honda brand jacket.

    Helmet: I have several, but mostly wear a Bilt 3/4.

    Rainsuit: I keep a basic yellow pull-on rain suit in the trunk of the PC.
  10. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Viking Berserker

    Jul 18, 2010
    Mountain Home, AR
    Jacket: Klim Badlands
    Pants: Klim Traverse
    Helmet: Shoei Qwest
    Boots: something really cheap. Vega, I think.
    Gloves: too many to list. I'm a glove whore.
    Heated gear: Gerbing's jacket liner + gloves

    I bought my stuff because it would do everything well, but not necessarily everything great. I just wanted one set of stuff that would do everything, despite a few compromises. The Klim stuff is waterproof, and so I don't need to carry a rainsuit. It's comfortable in most weather, warm enough in winter with the heated gear, and vents well enough in the summer. Sure, I'm sweating when it's 105° but who isn't?

    For me, boots are boots and they just need to keep my feet warm and dry, and the cheap Vega boots do that for me.

    The Shoei Qwest helmet was supposed to be very quiet, which is why I purchased it, and it's the quietest helmet I've tried, so I'm happy. It doesn't vent as well as other helmets in hot weather, but that's the tradeoff for quietness.

    I go through gloves like nobody's business. I like gloves for all weather, all temps, all occasions. I buy lots of gloves. Have I mentioned that I'm a glove whore?

    I ride unless there's ice on the road, then I take my car. Last year, I drove less than 500 miles in my car; everything else was on the bike, including a couple long trips and weekly trips to the grocery store.
  11. Nitro1970

    Nitro1970 Been here awhile

    Mar 30, 2011
    Helmet: Scorpion EXO 700 with clear visor and shades cause I don't like switching plus the tinted one broke. Also has a Sena SMH-10 mounted.

    Jacket: 70* and hotter a Fieldsheer air mesh Congo. Less than 70* a Hein Gericke of some sort that I bought a long while back.

    Gloves: Most of the time Tourmaster Adventure Gel. If real cold (less than 40*) my leather work gloves with wool liners. Sometime thin liners are used with the Tourmasters.

    Pants: Carhartt double front dungarees. Not the best but oh well. "Real" riding pants one day... When cold I put on some insulated bibs I bought on sale at Cabelas.

    Boots: Ariat steel toe work boots...

    Edit. Forgot the ear plugs... Box of 50 pairs from harbor freight. 29dB reduction I think..

    Plus I think I just stumbled onto my cold weather suit. Carhartt X06 coveralls. Water repellent 1000 denier Cordura nylon shell with artic weight insulation...
  12. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

    Apr 15, 2009
    I don't moto-commute every day , but I do it frequently enough. I have been using the gear below for several years, and I'm pretty happy with it, especially waterproofness and durability.

    Helmet: Scorpion EXO 700 Neon with yellow tinted visor
    Earplugs: blue Hearos
    Jacket: Aerostich Darien with Technic back protector velcroed in.
    Pants: Aerostich Darien
    Gloves: Olympia gel-palm gauntlets or Held Steve
    Boots: TCX Infinity
    Heated gear: Oxford Hot Hands wraparound grip heaters; Aerostich Kanetsu
    Other: EMS glove liners; silk scarf, 'Stich triple digit rain covers

    Bike: '03 Kawasaki Concours with bar risers, tall windshield, aux. lights and top case (I do not commute with the Ural).

    The Commute: 75 miles one way, mostly on the expressway. :eek1:cry I am at the end of my tolerance for this and am actively seeking something closer.
  13. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

    Oct 11, 2011
    Eastern Panhandle, West Virginia
    Helmet: Nolan N014, or sometimes N103
    Jacket: Olympia Viper
    Pants: Olympia Airglide 3
    Gloves: Olympia Kangaroo Curve
    Boots: Original S.W.A.T. Metro Air
    Heated: Gerbings

    Commute: 36 mi one way; Interstate and 2 lane
  14. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

    Sep 14, 2012
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    I commute on my Monster everyday, about 15 km one way. I've been commuting on bike for 11 years now, previous 10 years on a Sportster.

    Helmet: HJC Harley open face (I think it's called ultra jet) and Arai RX7 RR5. I wear these two alternately. Skull cap, face mask and ear plug.

    Jacket: Dainese Air Frame with Forcefield pro-back insert, alternate it with Alpinestars GP-M perforated leather. Every now and then I would wear my old HD denim jacket or my favourite, my old Levi's trucker jacket.

    Boots: A* web gore tex or HD cruiser boots. I leave a pair of dress shoes in the office.

    Pants: I don't wear/have riding pants. When commuting I wear my dress pants with forcefield strap-on knee protector underneath.

    Bag: Kriega tail bag or Courierware messenger bags to carry my dress shirt, gym clothes and my breakfast. When commuting I always wear a t-shirt underneath my jacket. I carry my dress shirt in my bag, to keep it fresh and to keep it from sweat, and change to the dress shirt in the office.

    Sena SMH 10 for music.

    I seldom carry a rain gear, and I seldom wear rain gear. I usually wait until the rain stops before I go, but when I don't want to wait I just ride in rain and enjoy it :D I change to dry clothes later in the office or at home.
  15. Milosh

    Milosh Been here awhile

    Nov 19, 2008
    astride a river of ones and zeros
    Helmet: Shark RSi D-Tone Hologram in White. The easiest shield system in the world. Quiet, light, and safe.
    Earplugs: Yes
    Jacket: Teknic Freeway. The best overall jacket I've owned. Hi-viz yellow, waterproof, and has a liner for when it gets cold.
    Gloves: Teknic Accelerator in the warm, Knox Zero Outdrys in the cold. I like scaphoid protection and won't buy a glove without it.
    Pants: Jeans (bad) some of the time, Teknic Sprint pants the other. Also has a liner for when it gets cold.
    Boots: Sidi Adventure Rain
    Backpack: Alpinestars Tech Aero. A great backpack. Waterproof shield, helmet holder and many pockets.
    Other: Turtle fur Shellaclava in the cold, bright red bandana in the warm.

    My current commute is 12 miles each way.
  16. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Dec 1, 2004
    Elk Grove Village, IL
    Helmet: Fly Trekker (white). Clear visor, used with sunglasses but considering a tinted visor for Summer
    Earplugs: Yes (Heros and/or Mack's)
    Jacket: Early Spring & Late Fall I wear a Fieldsheer Adventure (black with yellow) - waterproof and warm. Spring thru Fall I wear an Olympia Bushwacker (hi-viz) - waterproof can can be warm (w/liner) or cool (w/o liner). I use a cycling rain jacket as the waterproof liner in the Summer.
    Gloves: Early & Late Season/Rain - Tourmaster Cold Tex, Spring & Fall - Icon Barrier, Summer - First Gear Velocity
    Over-Pants: Darien (black) - waterproof but can be hot in mid/late Summer
    Boots: Gaerne Balance Pro-Tech
    Other: Turtle fur neck gaiter, waterproof rain covers for the boots

    My current commute is 8 miles, each way. I work on the O'Hare Airport perimeter.
  17. RunningWild

    RunningWild ADV Wannabe

    Aug 23, 2009
    San Diego
    Helmet: Shoei RF 1100
    Earplugs: Always
    Jacket: Summer: Motoport Stretch Kevlar Marathon; Winter: Aerostich Darien
    Gloves: Elkskin Ropers; Insulated ropers if its cold. Rain-off overgloves when it's wet out
    Pants: Summer: Motoport stretch kevlar overpants; Winter: Aerostich Darien
    Boots: Aerostich Combat lites
    Other: Thin balaclava year-round

    Commute is 70 miles highway round trip, been without a car for 2+ years now.
  18. CafeRacer99

    CafeRacer99 Been here awhile

    Apr 6, 2012
    Commute 12 miles each way, mostly highway.

    Bike: Super Tenere.

    Jacket is either Aero leather or Olympia Moab depending on temperature.

    Pants are my ACU uniform pants (I'm Army.) If it's cold or wet I'll wear some Army issue rain pants.

    Boots are regular combat boots. Goretex in winter, desert boots in summer - this is Vegas, after all.

    If I go in in civies, I'll wear jeans and usually some Red Wing Beckman boots.

    Bell Helmet with the photochromatic face shield.

    Various leather motorcycle gloves, depending on weather.
  19. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Aug 11, 2010
    In the middle...
    Helmet: Shoei RF1100
    Boots: AlpineStar Web GoreTex
    Jacket: Motoport Marathon AirMesh Kevlar (Electric Liner when necessary)
    Pants: Motoport AirMesh Kevlar Overpants
    Gloves: Held Steve II's

    Bike: '09 GS 1200
  20. V-Tom

    V-Tom Long timer

    Aug 26, 2006
    Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
    My daily commute is 116 km/72 miles round trip. Half of my commute is rural, the other half is a combination of major highways and Urban. After May I am moving and it will be 160km/100 mile round trip. The temperature swing from my work to home can be as much as 10c or almost 20f. I commute rain or shine with only the possibility of snow on my roads near home making me drive. In 2012 I only took my car to work three times from March 12th until later in November. I wear a suit and tie to work most days. Last year I rode 43,000 km. The year before 57,000 km.

    Helmet: Used to use HJC as my head fits them better than Shoe, etc. Last HJC was SYMAX II. Got tired of keeping on breaking the sunshade and found Scorpion EXO 900 same fit but seems to be better quality.

    Jacket/Pants: Used other stuff previously but have been using a Roadcrafter two-piece as my outer gear since fall of 2009 and have put about 160,000 km or 100,000 miles on my Roadcrafter. This is designed to go over dress clothes and has proven to me to be very waterproof. It goes on and off in 15 to 20 seconds so great for changing at work!

    Gloves: I have about 5 pair of various gloves plus Aerostich triple digit rain overgloves.

    Boots: I really love my Alpinestar Web Goretex boots. I wear Tilley Dress Socks under them in all conditions except for all day rides at or near freezing point and the Tilley socks are my only normal socks I wear.

    I have found that what I wear under the Riding Suit makes a huge difference. Aerostich Fleece pants are great for commuters as they are warm and also they have zippers on the outside of each leg and go on diaper style. This means they go on without wrinkling or dragging up the legs of the dress pants. Up top in cold weather is a technical soft-shell and/or a heated jacket. In hot weather I generally can commute to work in the AM with my suit pants on and my jacket in the top case. At night I may put shorts and T-Shirt on and put my suit top and pants in the topcase and the Roadcrafter over the shorts and T. If I am going to a social event I may put on my draggin jeans and leave my Roadcrafter pants in the topcase with my suit.

    Bikes: I have a 2006 DL650 V-Strom that I rode until March 12, 2012. I still have it but it is basically retired with 202,000 km on it. I replaced it with my 2012 DL650 V-Strom that currently has 47,000 km or 29,000 miles.

    Work: I have sold Porsches for a living for the last 18+ years.