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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If this has been mentioned in the forums somewhere I apologize for not looking very hard. I just got an 06 Ninja 250, and am picking it up this coming weekend (never rode a road bike before!). I plan to attend a MSF course in early April since that is the next time it is offered in my area. Anyways, I have been reading up on all different sorts of riding gear with great success on what I plan to buy. That is, except for the boots! I don't care to spend $400 on a pair of boots because of the name stitched on them, but I do want adequate protection. Money really isn't a concern, but I am sure everyone can agree, the cheaper the price tag the better! I was looking at something more along the lines of this -

Joe Rocket Big Bang Mens Leather Sport Boots - KneeDraggers.com

There are mixed feelings about low cut riding boots though, so I thought I would get some opinions from more experienced riders here since the forums already seem very helpful.

I know it don't matter about how often, or how far I will be riding seems how accidents can happen coming out of your drive way. However, I wont really be riding in wet conditions. Every long trip (5+ hours) I take will be well planned with family and friends. I know at times I might hit one of those sudden unexpected down poors, and I could live with getting a little wet if that happened as I am sure it would be seldom. If these aren't as safe as they should be riding, can anyone recommend a link to some that are?

This is my list of gear I will be buying within the week -

• KBC VR-2R Helmet - Graphic Alien Black/Silver
KBC VR-2R Helmet - Graphic Alien Black/Silver - KneeDraggers.com

• Fieldsheer Johnny TX Jacket
Fieldsheer Johnny TX Jacket - KneeDraggers.com

• Joe Rocket Sonic Leather Glove
Joe Rocket Sonic Leather Glove - KneeDraggers.com

• Still undecided on pants... Anyone know somewhere to buy pants that provide good protection, yet look somewhat "normal".

Did I miss anything? Like I said, money is not really an option. I would like to spend as little as possible, but if $50 more on a "better" pair of gloves is the difference between keeping all of my fingers (you get the point) then I would spend it not thinking twice. The question is, am I going overboard? Is this decent gear so far for "warmer weather riding" (probably 65+ degrees) mostly riding in the city? Any tips, pointers, criticism, etc? I just want to find what I need, buy what I need, and be done with it until I need it again. Haha!

In case anyone is wondering, the bike is an '06 Ninja 250 with 8,000 miles, full carbon fiber 2-1 Muzzy muffler, Upgraded sprockets, K&N filter, fender eliminator kit, brand new rear tire, jet kit, 2 service manuals, and all the original parts. It was about 3 hours away from where I live, so he gave it to me for $200 less than he was asking (got it for $1,600), and delivering it about an hour south of him to a family members house. Sounded like a pretty good deal, and definitely the best one around here! :)
 

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IMO I'd go w/leather over textile. Especially if money is not an option. I'd rather be hot in leather than go down in textile & have to shell out another 100 bucks for another coat. Most textiles usually last one fall but leather will last much longer. I went down in my leathers & only got a few scuffs. If it were textiles 'd have some holes & such to deal with.
Everything else on your list seems pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IMO I'd go w/leather over textile. Especially if money is not an option. I'd rather be hot in leather than go down in textile & have to shell out another 100 bucks for another coat. Most textiles usually last one fall but leather will last much longer. I went down in my leathers & only got a few scuffs. If it were textiles 'd have some holes & such to deal with.
Everything else on your list seems pretty good.
Thanks for the quick reply. My instinct tells me leather would be better, and I was getting mixed opinions searching the web that's why I just decided to ask here. My main concern was boots. I skateboard a lot so most of my shoes are "skate shoes" (dc, etnies, etc...) and I KNOW I don't want to ride in my regular shoes like some people do just because they seem like they would be a little wide. Do you think the low-cut boots I listed above are good protection compared to the boots that go higher up your leg?
 

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If they fit you right, they should be fine. I say that because I did not like the fit myself, but I am hard to fit. My biggest concern is the ankle and that is covered.

I never personally have seen any high shin damage that a boot could have prevented. Knee and elbow, collarbone and hip, finger and hand? yes.

Still concerned and want the pant protection? Look at Icons Field Armor. I have riding pants and worry about the armor moving under a fall because I don't wear them skin tight. The field armor is easy on/easy off and will not slide as much as my armored pants will. Several companies follow the Draggin Jeans concept with serious pants, and I have read somewhere that Carhart carpenter or heavy duty jeans have reinforced areas that would be of motorcyclists benefit.

Also look to newenough.com: they may have the same stuff cheaper, and their customer service is top notch. Nothing against Kneedraggers, I just really like newenoughs service and track record across the board.
 

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I think as long as they cover your ankle you should be good. But I would definitely try them on before buying them IF you can. That way you can see how they fit you.
I have these Alpinestars Stella S-MX 5 Ladies Boots - KneeDraggers.com & they have them for men as well. I had no issues w/them when I went down & my foot absorbed a lot of the impact.
So your best bet would be to try some on then find them online for a cheaper price. I lucked out & got them on ebay never worn for less than half of that price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a first time rider, my main concern is gear. I go absolutely crazy on quads and snowmobiles so I thought it was smart getting a ninja 250 vs bigger bikes. I even found a great deal on a 600r locally, and still opted to go for the newer, higher priced 250 more than 2 hours from where I live. That's how intimidating it was knowing that with that extra power, I would eventually want to use it, and most likely sooner than I should, haha! I definitely plan to try every piece of gear on, and was only using the example of the boot on knee draggers as just that, an example.

It seems everyone has mixed feelings about lower cut (just above ankle) boots when you do some searches on google. I am mainly going to be riding with my stepdad and brother, mostly casual riding on back country roads with VERY VERY (if any) traffic, but will also be riding in the city (where I live) short distances. I think I will go with a decent pair of low cut boots for now and when I get a bigger bike (yes I am already thinking about it before even getting my 250 delivered!) I will upgrade gear as well.

If nobody else has anything to say that will change my mind, or a picture they can post of a mangled foot inside a mangled low cut riding boot then this topic can be closed. Thanks for information!

EDIT: I am not a big fan of buying clothing, shoes, etc... from ebay, but I decided to look just to see what I could find. As stated before, money really isn't an option, HOWEVER, I wouldn't mind saving some :) I found these, and thought I would post the link to get some opinions.

Alpinestars Ridge Waterproof Boots 44 / 11 NEW $110/130 : eBay Motors (item 400098938065 end time Jan-28-10 14:24:48 PST)

They are new in the box, and for Alpinestars + being waterproof don't sound like too bad of a price. Which raises another question... When buying Alpinestars gear, are their products really "that much better", or are you also paying a little bit for the name? An example would be, I can buy a generic POS pair of shoes at Walmart that would probably last me maybe a month for $20, a pair of DC's that would last 3-4 months for about $60-$80 and pay for the name stitched on the side of the shoe, or I could buy a pair of Etnies for $90-$100 that would last a year+ (obviously paying for the name, but also the quality seems so much better IMO). Is it the same with boots? If so, I'd rather pay extra just for the name as long as quality came hand-in-hand with it.
 

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Personally, I'm a big fan of work boots for new riders. They're cheap, they'll cover the ankles (which is important), and offer decent protection in a fall.

The thing with gear is, you don't know what you need or want until you start riding. I rode with a pair of Carhartt boots for about a year before getting a nice pair of Sidi's (sport touring...not full on race like those $400 boots you found). I've just now upgraded to a nice pair of gloves...I also started with a cheap helmet and a jacket I had laying around before upgrading to nicer stuff.

So get whatever will do the job first...then as you start riding, you'll figure out what bothers you most...change or add stuff as you go. Trying to get it all in one shot will leave you disappointed (in my opinion).
 

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Those seem like a nice pair of boots & 100 isn't bad for them if you buy them now. But if you bid then anyone could swoop in & buy them, that would suck. Your saving at least $30 + shipping by going w/ebay.
IMO everything I have is A*. I have the stella 2-piece suit & the s-mx 5. I haven't had a problem w/any of it except for the fitting. The boot size were accurate but the suit was a little off. So again try stuff on. So w/that I think they are great in quality. Price is a little stiff so go w/ebay or a discount place.
To each his own about what Bubba68CS said. I'd much rather get what I need now then go down & wish I had it. If I wasn't wearing my leathers, glove & boots when I had my first crash I would've definitely had some broken bones & such. But I came out with only a scrape where my knee rubbed in my leathers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Personally, I'm a big fan of work boots for new riders. They're cheap, they'll cover the ankles (which is important), and offer decent protection in a fall.

The thing with gear is, you don't know what you need or want until you start riding. I rode with a pair of Carhartt boots for about a year before getting a nice pair of Sidi's (sport touring...not full on race like those $400 boots you found). I've just now upgraded to a nice pair of gloves...I also started with a cheap helmet and a jacket I had laying around before upgrading to nicer stuff.

So get whatever will do the job first...then as you start riding, you'll figure out what bothers you most...change or add stuff as you go. Trying to get it all in one shot will leave you disappointed (in my opinion).
The boots I posted a link to WHERE riding boots, NOT work boots. They just weren't the boots that go all the way up your shin, but did provide ankle support/reinforcement. I really don't mind buying gear that I may only use for a little while, no matter what I buy I will probably end up moving on to different gear sooner or later. I actually plan to keep this bike for 1 season, and then sell/give it to my nephew, and get a bigger bike. Obviously he will need gear as well just starting out, so anything I have that will fit him chances are he will end up with. I just want to ensure that as I start riding I have adequate gear, no low end junk that provides no protection, yet not so expensive if it can be helped. I am not trying to look cool, or win a popularity contest, but at the same time I am not a star wars fan and if it can be helped, prefer not to be dressed like a storm trooper! lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those seem like a nice pair of boots & 100 isn't bad for them if you buy them now. But if you bid then anyone could swoop in & buy them, that would suck. Your saving at least $30 + shipping by going w/ebay.
IMO everything I have is A*. I have the stella 2-piece suit & the s-mx 5. I haven't had a problem w/any of it except for the fitting. The boot size were accurate but the suit was a little off. So again try stuff on. So w/that I think they are great in quality. Price is a little stiff so go w/ebay or a discount place.
To each his own about what Bubba68CS said. I'd much rather get what I need now then go down & wish I had it. If I wasn't wearing my leathers, glove & boots when I had my first crash I would've definitely had some broken bones & such. But I came out with only a scrape where my knee rubbed in my leathers.
EXACTLY! Do I think I will go down because of my stupidity or error? I doubt it... Do I think I will go down due to sheer idiocy by other motorists? I sure hope not! Do I think I will go down due to some freak accident? Could happen at any time... In all three scenarios above, I would MUCH rather have gear that serves it's purpose AT THE TIME, rather than slowly accumulate it over time, or doing any sort of trial by error methods :) I have children to live for, I love my fingers, my feet, my face, the list goes on. Personally I think anyone can buy their first bike, and anyone can buy gear that is for use on a motorcycle, but to be a new rider and to buy gear without asking riders with more experience about the differences, what to look for, and what not to look for would make that person a complete IDIOT (sorry if I offended anyone)! Even as a new rider I know that the difference in gear can determine if you get up again if you ever have to put it to it's test!

I really appreciate the help you have given so far maneyack! I contacted the person with the Alpinestars boots to see if they were true to size (most I saw were) since I cant necessarily try them on. Just going to take that chance buying online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I looked up some Alpinestars SM-X 4 boots in mens and after some random clicking I ended up on the site http://www.sandhillspowersports.com. Unfortunately the ones I found linking to that site were discontinued, BUT the customer service rep was very helpful, and recommended some of their "hotter selling" boots. As I was looking them up, when she was telling me the different ones that they sell a lot of, and the ones that are a good boot for protection I was expecting them to be costly simply because they were trying to sell me something! HOWEVER, they were cheaper than the Alpinestars I originally called about! Looks like I am going with a pair of Icon, specifically a pair of these -

ICON Field Armor Boots > Boots - Men > Street > SandhillsPowersports.com

If anyone is looking for gear, this company seems really knowledgeable, they don't seem like they are just trying to get your money, free shipping over $75 (lowest purchase amount to offer free shipping that I've found yet), and she said if I call in my order on any of the Icon gear they have they will give discounts on top of the price shown on their website!

Although I haven't ordered anything (yet), they just had that attitude, and the pricing that made me decide to order everything from them! Definitely a company to check into if you are on the market for some gear! They did a **** good job of selling things to me without even trying to sell me anything, haha!
 

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Those seem like a nice pair of boots & 100 isn't bad for them if you buy them now. But if you bid then anyone could swoop in & buy them, that would suck. Your saving at least $30 + shipping by going w/ebay.
IMO everything I have is A*. I have the stella 2-piece suit & the s-mx 5. I haven't had a problem w/any of it except for the fitting. The boot size were accurate but the suit was a little off. So again try stuff on. So w/that I think they are great in quality. Price is a little stiff so go w/ebay or a discount place.
To each his own about what Bubba68CS said. I'd much rather get what I need now then go down & wish I had it. If I wasn't wearing my leathers, glove & boots when I had my first crash I would've definitely had some broken bones & such. But I came out with only a scrape where my knee rubbed in my leathers.
Whoa, I'm not saying to go riding without any gear on at all, not at all, sorry if it came across that way...I'm saying, get something that works, and don't worry about getting the perfect set until you figure out what, exactly, you want or need. Plans tend to change once you start riding, or they did for me anyway. I changed the type of bike I ride, I rode in VERY cold weather, VERY wet weather, VERY hot weather...and no one piece of gear is going to cover all of that.

As a newbie, you really don't know what you actually need, or want to put up with on a daily basis. I could easily get a 1-piece Dainese kangaroo leather racing suit, $400 heavily armored boots, and $300 heavily armored gloves to go with and be as safe as possible...looks great on paper. But what happens when you just want to cruise around? Or the weather turns cold? Or you want to use your bike to get somewhere (like work, a friends house for a party, the store, etc). On the flip side, are you comfortable with just wearing jeans and a jacket without armor? Do you REALLY want to avoid rain? I actually enjoy a ride in the rain every now and again (just not the cleaning after :mrgreen: ).

My only point was, once you figure out how you want to use your bike, you can make better decisions as to the type of gear you need. You won't know how you want to use your bike until you experience the feeling of riding your bike in different conditions. Paying full boat now, for gear you think you need will most likely leave you disappointed. But you should still get SOMETHING to cover everything up...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Whoa, I'm not saying to go riding without any gear on at all, not at all, sorry if it came across that way...I'm saying, get something that works, and don't worry about getting the perfect set until you figure out what, exactly, you want or need. Plans tend to change once you start riding, or they did for me anyway. I changed the type of bike I ride, I rode in VERY cold weather, VERY wet weather, VERY hot weather...and no one piece of gear is going to cover all of that.

As a newbie, you really don't know what you actually need, or want to put up with on a daily basis. I could easily get a 1-piece Dainese kangaroo leather racing suit, $400 heavily armored boots, and $300 heavily armored gloves to go with and be as safe as possible...looks great on paper. But what happens when you just want to cruise around? Or the weather turns cold? Or you want to use your bike to get somewhere (like work, a friends house for a party, the store, etc). On the flip side, are you comfortable with just wearing jeans and a jacket without armor? Do you REALLY want to avoid rain? I actually enjoy a ride in the rain every now and again (just not the cleaning after :mrgreen: ).

My only point was, once you figure out how you want to use your bike, you can make better decisions as to the type of gear you need. You won't know how you want to use your bike until you experience the feeling of riding your bike in different conditions. Paying full boat now, for gear you think you need will most likely leave you disappointed. But you should still get SOMETHING to cover everything up...
It kind of came across like you were saying buy gear as you ride... at least to me anyways. Personally, I don't mind buying good right from the get go. I am like that with EVERYTHING, not just riding gear. I go by the motto "you get what you pay for" on just about everything I buy, and it really hasn't let me down yet (all that much, somethings I just regret buying all together, haha). However, I still love finding the best price, comparing prices, and most of all getting opinions on what it is I am looking for.

Personally, I got the bike as a "toy"... Do I need the bike? No. I have 2 other cars. Do I need the thrill? No, one of my cars provide me with any kind of thrill I may want :) Will I ride it in the rain... not unless I am on a long trip and the weather goes bad out of the blue. Will I take a 5 minute trip to the store in full gear in 80+ degree weather? Sure will! I can easily tolerate the heat, but absolutely despise the cold. Living in Michigan leaves maybe 6 months of decent riding weather. For me, the second it gets to cold to ride I use the cars. I know this isn't the same in everyone's situation, and that is probably where you are coming from with your response. Like I said though, the bike is more of a toy than anything. It wont be a daily means of transportation, etc... If it were though, I completely agree with you as far as getting gear to "fit your needs", and some wont know what that is until the need arises.
 

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I have always been a fan of Danner Boots, and have worn a set of Fort Lewis boots in rain, snow, heat of summer, etc. My feet have never been wet and even in the summer they were cool. I have the ones with 200gr of thinsulate.
 
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