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Long Term Gear Test

Wear the right gear and you will ride farther, longer and with more confidence because you’re not fighting the weaknesses of your riding gear. Which means you have more brain power to pay attention to the road.

Travelling across I-90, between Seattle and Ellensburg recently, gave us a good chance to test some gear we’ve been using for a while now. The sheer fact that we’d still be using this gear some two years later means you probably won’t see much negativity here, but we’ll try.

Gordon’s Heated Gear

It’s been a little over two year since the first Gordon’s heated clothing products came to market. Bob and Joanne Gerbing carry on the tradition their father, Gordon began with his first line of heated clothing. Only this is better. Loyalists of the original brand will remember issues with cold solders that were solved by an unlimited warranty. Then that went away and things got worse. So when Bob and Joanne started up the new line, they brought back the lifetime warranty. After two years’ we haven’t had to tap it. That’ saying a lot in the world of heated gear these days.

Available from www.gordonsheated.com

Rich’s Heated Seat

Most riders know Rich is a master of building motorcycle seats that fit any body. But few go the extra yard to have him install a heated element into the seat before he covers it. Some of us have learned the hard way, returning to Kingston, having the seat opened up and getting the element installed. It works great. You can wear a heated jacket, but that won’t do the same job a heated seat does by warming the arteries that carry warm blood to the feet and toes. A combination of heated gear and seat means you’re comfy into the 30’s.

If we had one complaint, it’s that the seat won’t come to you with a thermostat. One setting is all you get – high. There are two ways to overcome this. The less expensive way is to lift your butt from the seat for 5 seconds if it gets too hot. This gives you a cooler bottom for some time before you need to lift again. The more expensive way is to locate a suitable thermostat to control the seat temperature. Gordon’s makes a nice one that can be adapted.

Available from www.richscustomseats.com

Honda Heated Grips

The other part of the body that gets chilly on a cold ride are the hands. Honda’s heated grips have been suitable is situations where you just need a little warmth and don’t want to hassle pulling over and slipping on heated gear. They take the chill off and have three heat settings. We rarely use high if temps are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avaialble at better Honda dealers

First Gear Kilimanjaro 37.5

We could honestly tell you, we never met a Kilimanjaro jacket or pant we didn’t like. For more than 17 years, the Kilimanjaro series has been a proven winner. After passing through the I-90 washing machine, it’s apparent the new gear stands up to the toughest of conditions. NO LEAKS!

Available at better motorcycle dealers

Lee Parks DeerSports PCI Gloves

When Lee Parks builds a set of gloves, he builds them to last. We’ve got more than 6 years of riding and 50,000 miles on these guys. The Outlast interior liner ads some warmth and insulates heat well that gets pumped in through heated grips.

But like any glove, they are not water proof and eventually you feel moisture unless you slip on a set of…

Available from www.leeparksdesign.com

Aerostich Triple Digit Glove Covers

Yeah – sure, you’ll look like some strange amphibian when you slip these glove covers over whatever gloves you’re wearing. But it won’t matter because your hands will finally stay dry in wet weather and we all know dry hands are warmer hands. Quite honestly, when we purchased these several years ago we questioned the quality because they are so nimble. We’ll, guess what? They’re still performing flawlessly today.

Available from www.aerostich.com 

Gortex Lined Boots

It’s a pleasure to use a pair of boots that don’t leak, even after 100,000 miles of road use. If you haven’t experienced this it’s probably because you’re not spending money for boots lined with Gortex. Until you do, you’ll likely be dealing with wet feet whenever the rain comes down in buckets. If you’re a daily commuter or enjoy long range touring, don’t torture yourself with leaky boots.

Our latest favorite are the Alpinestars Web Gortex Boots.

An old favorite was the Oxtar Gortex Sport Touring boot, but Oxtar disappeared some years ago, only to reappear later as the TCX brand. And yes, TCX makes a perfectly fine Gortex lined X-Five EVO and Explore EVO models. You’ve got options.

Available at better motorcycle dealers

Global Vison Echo Multi Lens Eyewear

Ever wondered why fog lights are yellow? That’s to shine a light through the otherwise obstructive blue light that effects the way your eye transmits vision to the brain during times of low light, such as rain and fog. You can combat this by investing in a set of yellow lenses. What we like about the Echo glasses is you only need to buy one set of glasses, and then modify your needs based on rain fog (yellow), partial sun (driver lenses) or full sunlight (smoke lenses).

If we had one complaint, it’s that this product is no longer on the market – however… We have a limited quantity of these available at store.soundrider.com. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Available at http://store.soundrider.com

MSL Base Layers

If you’re pumping all this heat to your body, via heated gear, a heated seat or heated grips, make the most of it and retail it using a good set of insulated base layers. Unlike base layers with sports companies names on them, the MSL Base layers available at store.soundrider.com are designed to be worn under your riding gear and provide maximum efficiency so you retain as much body heat as possible, while wicking off any excess moisture that can rob you of body heat. How do you think we made it over a 37 degree pass with a smile across the face?

Available at http://store.soundrider.com 

Happy travels!

TM/April 2017


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