Continuing our focus on motorcycle gear, here's another portion of our tutorial on how to choose the right products and stay as safe and comfortable as possible in your motorcycle travel. Remember, you can always download the entire document here Free Download: "Motorcycle Gear Advice."
This document focuses mostly on the 'adventure riding' type of motorcycle travel but the principles discussed apply to all types of motorcycle riding. We think it's a fairly unique look at creating your own combination of motorcycle gear to handle the widest variety of climates while offering the best protection possible.
Part 2: Innovative Padding Solutions by Alpinestars
As you’ve probably noticed, most motorcycle jackets and pants come with some basic padding built in. Is that your best or only option though? For reasons of a) better protection, and b) greater comfort under the hot sun, we think you should wear a separate body armor system like those in the Alpinestars Bionic series.
To understand why, first take notice of the soft foam padding included in your jacket and pants. Sure, each pad will absorb impact considerably, but will these foam pads always be in position when your elbow or knee hits the ground? Remember: We said in the part about "staying warm and dry" that your motorcycle gear should be loose enough to allow for layers to be worn underneath. As such, that “looseness” allows the elbow, knee, and shoulder pads to twist out of the way just by wiggling them with your hands. Now imagine how much those pads might shift out of place in a high-speed impact situation with much more force, and you might agree those built-in pads are not something to depend on.
By removing the original foam pads from your jacket and pants, you can replace those pads with the Alpinestars Bionic gear and vastly improve protection. The Bionic gear is meant to be worn as a first layer (well, outside your underwear and base layers) and therefore is fitted so that the pads stay in place in the event of a crash. Try on a properly fitted Bionic setup and attempt to wiggle the elbow, shoulder, and knee pads out of place: You’ll feel the difference!
In addition to fitting better and staying in place, you’ll find that the hard shell exterior of the CE rated pads that come in the Bionic series offer a far superior level of impact absorption than any foam pad can ever claim. Furthermore, each pad in the Bionic series tends to wrap around your elbows, shoulders, and knees far better than other pads do, offering superior protection from multiple angles of impact. As was witnessed in the motorcycle crash shown on this link, wearing this padding could mean you simply get up, brush yourself off, and keep riding! (The rider was wearing the Alpinestars gear shown on this page and walked away without injury.)
As a bonus to wearing a separate armor system like the Bionic Jacket, we are not obligated to wear a full heavy jacket with padding built in just to stay protected. Think about it: Under the hot summer sun, aren’t you tempted to skip the riding gear? While RIDE Adventures will never condone riding without full motorcycle gear, a nice compromise might be to just wear your Bionic armor jacket and leave the outer shell and insulation off while you ride. Protection against skin abrasion will certainly be reduced, but at least your skeleton is protected in this scenario while you ride and stay cool with full padding on and in place.
In Summary: For your Alpinestars Bionic Series Gear, have a look at the links below and pay close attention to their fitting instructions when ordering. You can expect to get many miles and years out of each of these items (as we have) and the costs associated with them will likely be very insignificant compared to the medical bills and down time you might suffer, had you not utilized these great products. As a reminder of what we mean, take another look at that crash shown above where the rider was able to get up and walk away with nothing but a damaged ego! (Well, the barricade obviously was not seen until the last second.)
Alpinestars B2 Carbon Knee Brace - For top-of-the-line knee protection, upgrade to the B2 Carbon Knee Brace and see how lateral rigidity and protection against hyperextension provides you with the best knee protection money can buy. Particularly if you’ve suffered previous knee injuries or have the tendency for dislocations or other aggravations, the dependable structure provided by the B2 Carbon set up can make a huge difference in terms of “keeping your parts in place.”