Monday, March 02, 2009
It was rather hot Sunday the 1st of March. I decided to go for a ride all the same since fine days have been a bit scarce this year.
There is many ways of approaching riding in peak summer here, some perhaps better than others. Riding in shorts and t-shirts is the stupid way however riding in full leathers IMO isn't the answer either. I have seen riders with severe heat exhaustion because they are riding in leathers in the sun when its 35 degrees in the shade, to me that is also dangerous.
There is some good summer riding gear out there, but not everyone may be aware or willing to shell out the money required for a 2nd riding outfit. I find the motorcycle shops in Brisbane to have a very limited range of motorcycle clothing. I have talked about this before however I recently did the rounds again because I want to update a couple of items only to come home empty handed and start surfing the online shops.
So what to wear in Summer, well depending on how you want to go there is three main styles. If you have to wear leather then get something perforated. It will still be warm in our summers but not a sauna. I still have my perforated leather but I have not worn it for many years as I found it too hot.
An intermediate and common choice might be the every popular Draggin jeans with a textile jacket. This is a big improvement over leather cooling wise however on the real hot days both may still be warmer and less comfortable than some may wish for.
My pick is a good mesh jacket. These flow so much air that even on a really hot day you won't be uncomfortable. Mine has all the usual armor and even a back protector as well as lots of extra padded sections. As for pants the full summer mesh/textile items are going to deliver the same or if you prefer to wear jeans then look at ones with a baggy fit with suitable kevlar/nylon protection. Or that have a lining like my loose fit Alpinestars Jeans that lets the air really circulate.
I met a guy once in summer who was saying despite the heat he wouldn't dream of not wearing his leather jacket as nothing else offers as good protection. Now this guy like many seems to be a bit out of touch.
The wear resistance that is always quoted for leather ie Will last 5 seconds abrasion on the road is for special 1.4mm leather. Problem is virtually nothing except top label competition wares use this thickness of leather, all the cheaper race suits and jackets use 1mm or .8mm which delivers a much lower abrasion resistance. Super soft or older worn leather will be less again. The other item that gets over looked is the stitching. Without proper burst proof stitching then that favorite old jacket is going to separate apart on impact.
Now the level of resistance of textiles is actually rather good. Kevlar for example is actually 10 times more abrasion resistant than leather and there are a number of other nylon fabrics which compare favorably as well. The stitching issue still remains and needs to be examining closely.
If in doubt then consider a European brand, reason is only the EU has a mandatory quality standard that motorcycle apparel must achieve along with testing. Other brands of course do meet similar standards even if they are not required to in their own country however some of the cheaper brands might not so do some research on sites that review things like Webbike and Newenough as well as read buyer comments on the major US online stores.
So back to that guy - well I didn't say anything, it's pointless however as he gets on his bike I notice that he is wearing everyday regular Levi jeans - so no protection on his legs which they say is the part much more likely to be injured in a spill than your upper body.
Sundays ride report
So back to my ride. The route can be found -here- I did a bit of a small loop over the coastal roads back to Mooball in the opposite direction of travel to my ride last weekend. Then via Burringbah and Stokers and ended up over at Uki pub for lunch where I kicked back with a icy cold ale in the shade with a few other riders. Then home via Numinbah valley and Advancetown. Plenty of bikes out despite the heat. Enjoyed the company of a nice rider on Blue (I think) ZXR the way down the coast which let me later on ignore the wanker on the 999 in the Currumbin range.
I think I have my 1000km up now so I have booked my first service anyway. Gotta really as only 6 weeks till I start the Buell Muster tour - I can't believe its coming up so fast.