Jun 2, 2018

Protective riding gear.

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When I was in the west I was always dressed in what would be considered the right gear. I always had quality gloves and boots, either a leather jacket or if I was riding a long distance or was intending to push the limits I would wear a custom made one piece. I always thought those riding in anything less were crazy.

 

Jacket for dedicated riding trips

 

My suit for when pushing the pace.

 

 

However, here in the Philippines, I have adapted to the local riding conditions. The key element here is the temperature. If I wear a leather jacket in stop start traffic I cook (40+ in the sun). I have a one piece for when I am going out to push the limits but for everyday riding I always wear good gloves and have what I consider the best helmet but what else I wear depends on what I am doing. During the week I am often riding in business attire, weekend more pace focused. If I wear protective kit I will arrive at work soaking in sweat and it is not really an option

 

 

My week day riding attire!!

 

Of course I ride in a very different way. I still travel quickly but everything is done with a more careful approach. Corners are taken no where near the limit, due care is taken in regards to other road users etc. I know, I know, what about the unexpected you will say. Well, in my experience, driving and riding in Asia, you expect everything and ride accordingly. In the safety conscious west people will criticize but hell, some risks are worth taking and it is always a calculated risk. It also harks back to the 60's when I was sitting on the petrol tank of my fathers Brit 650 with no one wearing a crash helmet or leathers.

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  • What to wear when riding, Mmm, a very emotive question. Some say that you should wear the maximum protection at all times when riding. Others take a less strict approach. I go from one extreme to the other. When going out for a ride when I know I am going to be pushing the limits I wear full race leathers with gloves and boots to match, however, when riding normally I will wear jeans and a lightweight jacket. When riding to the office I wear business attire. Gasps of shock from some people! The fact is, it is unfeasible to wear full leathers when riding day to day. They are too hot, they take too much time to put on and walking around like a power ranger is not really on. Wearing business attire going to work is fine by me. It means I will not have to have a shower as soon as I stop. I arrive at the office and I am ready to go. Now, when I am wearing a suit I dont get my knee down on the bends but I do travel quickly. If I dont use the advantages of the bike I might as well use a car. I always use good gloves and always have proper footwear. The weather here just does allow the use of fully protective gear all the time. Just my view.
  • In the west I always had waterproof clothing. I do not need to explain the reasons why but if you ride all year round they are essential. Here in the Philippines it is not such a straight forward decision. It can rain a great deal however it is never cold. Humidity is always high and I have found that if I don a set of waterproofs I end up just as wet as I would have been if I had not bothered. The reason of course is that I sweat a great deal, and by sweat I really mean sweat, your clothes can be soaking. Now, given a choice I would rather be wet with fresh rainwater than salty secretions. Also, because it is so warm I find that my wet clothes will dry quickly if I am not wearing waterproofs whereas I will stay wet if I am wearing my proofs. Suffice to say, my waterproofs have remained in the wardrobe for the last several years.

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