Buying Motorcycle Apparel Online
Author: Lance Turnley Date Posted:2 June 2022
Including a quality helmet, riding boots, jacket, and pants, the gear you ride in is probably the most important and possibly the second biggest investment you’ll make after choosing your adventure motorcycle. What few people take into consideration though, is that good quality riding gear could be around for a lot longer than the latest and greatest adventure bike you’re currently riding. Some riders will change bikes more often than they will their favourite helmet or jacket.
Sure, everybody wants to look good on their bike while confident that they have maximum protection in the unlikely event of throwing themselves and their bike down the road. But how important is looking absolutely fabulous on a day of riding through driving rain and muddy conditions. The “wearability” and “functionality” of your gear adds your level of comfort while riding, which soon takes over from whether your jacket matches your pants, or both match the colour of your bike.
Fatigue is the real enemy
Comfort on your motorcycle is your priority. Bike setup, set height, handlebar position and even foot peg position is just the start. In any case fatigue is the main danger that any rider faces on a long ride. Bike setup is your starting point but if you’re too cold or too hot, and your helmet is noisy, or your vision is compromised with dust or mud, the resulting stress on your body and senses will fatigue you causing a lack of focus. This may result in putting an end to your ride, your day, or even worse. That’s why nobody should compromise on correct fitting gear. We all come in different shapes and sizes so buying gear online can make you a little nervous and that’s why Adventuremoto.com.au has a Size Fit Guarantee on their premium range of KLIM adventure riding gear.
It’s a long term investment
So what should I buy and how much should I spend? As a pretend freelance motorcycle journalist over the past 15 or so years I’ve been fortunate enough to experience and test almost every brand of motorcycle gear available in Australia. From BMW to Touratech, KLIM, Revit, Ixon, Akito and Dririder. I’ve liked different features of all of them but the suit I keep coming back to is my KLIM Badlands Pro jacket and pants. Back when I purchased this gear, the jacket alone was around $1200, and I remember spending around $800 for the pants. That’s a lot of “farkles” for my bike I could have spent on. But that was almost 15 years ago, and now looking back on it, it was money well spent on me. Looking after the gear I purchased over that time has meant it is money well spent and the KLIM jacket and pants are still waterproof and looking as good as almost new, while different bikes have come and gone out of my garage. In my eyes it's been a great investment.
In Australia we are lucky enough to be able to ride all year round and depending on where you are, it can be cold and wet to hot and dry so riding gear needs to function in all conditions and be everything to everybody. How you ride, where you ride, when you ride, and choosing the gear you add on top of your base layers will make all the difference.
So when it comes to your riding suit, ensure it has proper CE Level protection, lots of vents, it is waterproof, and above all is a comfortable fit, This should be your starting point.
It should have extra layers where it counts, have CE rated armour in all the high impact places, like built in lightweight D30 armour, and Gore-Tex construction that breathes while still being waterproof. KLIM GTX adventure suits tick all those boxes.
One of the features that I see in many motorcycle suits are zip in waterproof liners on top of zip in thermal liners. I just don’t get it. Having to stop, strip off and zip in or out gear only after you find a safe place to pull up, and in the case of rain you’re soaked after 5 minutes at 80 to 100 kph, and by then what’s the point? What I choose to do is add layers of quality technical gear, like Merino wool or kit you might buy from an outdoor gear shop that you would wear on a hike or go camping in. Having said that, most rides I still wear my favourite Enduro Jersey under my jacket, unless I am on an expedition and we can cover packing for a major trip in another blog. So in winter, my preference is a T-shirt, long sleeve thermal and a fleecy vest to keep my core warm. I’ve found that combination works for me. The Badlands Gor-Tex construction is waterproof and actually regulates temperature pretty well. The vents act like windows to a building allowing cross ventilation when needed. I can quickly shed or add those base and mid layers quickly and they take up very little room in my backpack. A Klim Override Alloy Jacket will also do the job of a fleecy vest. It’s lightweight overall with thicker material at the front to stop the chill with a thinner panel at the back to reduce bulk. So when you’re trying on gear leave a little space for extra layers.
My Klim Badlands jacket is the most waterproof jacket I’ve owned but no garment is 100% waterproof. To prove this point gear up and jump into a swimming pool. Riding all day in driving rain moisture will find its way in somewhere. So, when the conditions look like getting really bad and likely to last for hours my final layer is a waterproof spray jacket. While it does help keep the moisture out and the temperature comfortable the biggest benefit is it eliminates that road grim that makes your gear look like crap and reduces the amount of time it takes for your jacket to dry out at the end of the day.
Your riding gear can be accessorised much the same as the accessories you buy for your bike for the rides you plan on doing. It's the little things that can make a big difference. Let’s say you already have a quality helmet that is quiet and the right shape for your head. That’s right. Not all helmets fit the same so to get the best helmet for you try on as many different makes as you can. We’ll cover helmets another time.
When it comes to the neck up you can’t go without a Klim Tek Sok or a lightweight Buff of any description. It keeps your neck warm in winter, cool in summer especially when wet, and stops those vicious insert hits. Any beetle, grasshopper or blowfly at 100kph feels like a paintball strike at close range. In addition to that try custom fit ear plugs. Helmet wind noise causes the equivalent to industrial deafness. But for me the combination of a Buff and ear plugs surprisingly made a massive difference to reducing fatigue.
I’ll usually carry three pairs of gloves. Winter gloves for obvious reasons, water resistant and lightweight Klim Dakar gloves for more technical riding when I’m looking for better feel on the controls. As for socks this is another area not to skimp on. Those footy socks will not do the job. Invest in the best quality and I usually take at least three pair on a long trip so I have a fresh pair for the next day. I’ve had my Klim socks for over five years and they are on par with the best socks on the market.
Build your kit
I’ve been fortunate enough to build a handful of project bikes and when it come to riding gear my approach is generally the same. Start with the basics, do a bit of riding and build from there. You’ll quickly figure out what works for you. Before you purchase think to yourself what sort of rider am I, what sort of riding do I like, where will I be riding and for how long? Most important is helmet, jacket, pants and boots. Helmet and boots which we’ll cover next time are your first priority but your riding suit is what ties it all together reducing fatigue and making your ride that much safer.
Whether you’re male or female, tall or short check out our Klim Fitting Chart. We also have our Klim Human size chart videos. We talk to our customers we ride with to find out what works for them.
Adventure Moto have a wide range of jackets, pants, gloves, socks, boots, helmets, goggles and a bunch of other apparel options available like base layers and mid layers. So when you order from Adventure Moto try on your gear with any base layers you ride with, sit on your bike and ensure that the gear has a snug but relaxed fit on you. Klim sizes tend to be a little larger than European sizes and the arms are longer than normal so when you stretch forward to reach your handlebars you don’t expose your wrists. If you’ve ordered the wrong size simply return the gear clean with all labels intact within 30days and we’ll exchange it or provide a full refund. Please read the terms and conditions here. If you have any questions you can call our staff in Sydney or Brisbane or email email@example.com.
Great adviceBy: Mark Howard on 6 July 2022Thank you for your advice. I found this very helpful as I am just starting out in the adventure motorcycle world