Helmets and clothing

Discussion in 'Safety: Tips, Equipment, Links' started by tonykiwi, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    I have spent many happy hours trawling through the trip reports and enjoying the photos and accounts. Can I ask the regulars about their advice regarding helmets and clothing.

    Currently I use a full face helmet with standard visor. Gortex jacket and pants with the 'armour' on the inside of the clothing.

    In the pictures on the site, I see most of the guys using helmets with peak, open visor and goggles as appropriate. Is this a matter of preference or is it advised, maybe due to climate or the environmental conditions of where you ride?

    I had intended bringing my riding gear with me and if so, do you advise any specific type of clothing and safety gear?

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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    I think you have seen pictures of guys who like to go off road a lot, that sounds like their gear.
    I always wear a good quality full face helmet, mine is Arai, but a number of makes are available here. When I checked prices, Bangkok was cheaper than the UK, but maybe not than your area.
    I bought my armoured summer vented jacket from the UK, It has two liners I can zip out for warmth and water, most of the year they stay out. If I put the waterproof liner in i sweat terribly. A better option is to carry light weight waterproof jacket and trousers for the wet season.
    I wear tough jeans, Kevlar is a good option, and may be cheaper at home for you. Gloves are neccessary to keep the sun and fast flying insects off, let alone for falling off.
    Some guys wear leather , for me too hot. i find my clothing fine while I am moving, even in hot weather, hot when stationary, but one gets used to sweating a bit.
    Some people do ride in T shirt and shorts and flipflops. To me that is crazy because of the sun and the effect of flying insects, falling off is disastrous even at low speed.
  4. bard

    bard Ol'Timer

    Personnally I use the following;

    Shoei TZ-R helmet
    Alpinestar armoured mesh jacket
    Alpinestar mesh gloves with leather reinforcement
    Alpinestar breathable pants with armour
    Alpinestar ankle boots

    Sometimes I just use jeans instead of the full pants, but a trip I go for the armoured ones.
  5. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    I think John has said it just right.

    Full face helmet, breathable protective clothing, good pair of jeans, gloves and riding boots.

    A lot of us get used to it but the heat is a factor; even in the cool season it still gets pretty damn warm.

    Apart from the uncountable number of insects there is also the dust and debris kicked up by vehicles in front of you.
  6. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Tony, fully agree with the guys.
    I myself wear home in Chonburi&Rayong an Airoh flip-open full face helmet, Racer Airvent Goretex jacket & trousers, Racer boots, Racer gloves. For the cooler time (and also for trips back home to Europe) I have another set of trousers, jacket, gloves also from Racer. In Chiang Mai I wear a full face Shark helmet, Racer jacket, Racer gloves and Puma Motorbike boots and additionally if not wearing a jacket and driving not far a Racer kidney belt.
    Even if it is sometimes very hot, I wear my staff as in a sickbay I would be even hotter..................Cheers, Franz
  7. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    HI again

    Can I reopen this and ask a couple of questions as I am now in final mode and almost ready to pack.

    I am a 'hot' person and don't like to be too warm. I am also aware that the time I am coming is going to coincide with some rain.

    In warmer weather I prefer to ride in 'T' shirt with armour over the top, which of course offers no protection from wet weather. I was wondering whether a light waterproof cape or poncho type of thing is practical to slip on in a downpour. I really I would probably look like batman flying along with cape following.

    I'll be bringing the full waterproof jacket with me but worry that I would be too hot. John previously mentioned the light waterproof jacket and trousers. Any thoughts on this?

    What do you generally wear in rainy season, considering rain and temperature.

  8. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Hi Tony,

    I think going back to the first part of your post, I am one who was wearing the MX Helmet and Goggles... that is pretty much because that is what I used here in Aus, because at the time I only had a dirt bike... and because you can feel like a bit of a knob wearing racing gear on a dirt bike, and vice-versa...

    Wearing goggles, you can not flip up (completely or partially) the visor like you can on a full face helmet... so that adds to the feeling of heat... alternatively, you don't get the air inside your helmet with a FF, and also a MX helmet has the chin piece a lot further from your mouth, so you aren't breathing in your own hot breath as much... The main reason I would steer away from a MX helmet is the peak tends to grab the wind and try and pull your head off your shoulders at road speed...

    You need a couple of types of protection... abrasive protection, impact protection, and weather protection...

    for abbrasive protection you need something with Kevlar, although DavidFL and Jonnada like leathers and say it is more breathing... you can buy Kevlar Shirts that you could wear under MX armour...

    I have always thought that MX armour, as long as it has good back protection, would be a good thing, combined with a Kevlar shirt for the top half...

    I have Draggins Cargo pants, but like all Kevlar jeans, they are hot hot hot and have no impact protection...

    I wouldn't recommend riding in a T-Shirt... unless you are religious about sunscreen, you will be getting burnt a lot... and there is no protection to speak of...

    My first trip (in June), I was wearing a cycling jersey and got caught in a downpour... even at 80km (during and after the rain) I became so cold that I wasn't 100% on the bike, and didn't enjoy a big part of the day...

    Even in my full jacket when we were rained on coming down Doi Inthanon I was very cold all the way back to Chiang Mai... so I would recommend some wet weather gear...

    Tropical John had a set of wet weather 'over pants and jacket' gear that folded up very small and seemed to offer a good compromise...

    I reckon that is a better option that a poncho that would blow around and act like a sail...

    I think that June is wet season, so you should assume it will rain a bit during your trip and plan accordingly...

  9. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Thanks for that, all you say makes total sense.I'll just look out for a light rain jacket and pants, maybe in bright colour for visibility and safety considerations.

    Buying a kevlar shirt tomorrow


  10. HTWoodson

    HTWoodson Ol'Timer

    I'd just add that no matter what you wear, in Thailand you are going to be HOT! There is no way around sweating a lot except when you are moving at road speeds, and even then you need to be drinking a lot because you loose lots of water to perspiration.

    The trick is to just accept it and not fight it too much. After a little while you just become accustomed to sweating a lot and it's no longer that uncomfortable. For me stripping down and not wearing good safety gear just isn't an option. You really aren't that much more comfortable anyway.
  11. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    We need an "I'm with stupid" emoticon :stupid: :lol:

    whether you start sweating 3 mins into the ride, or 30 mins, you are gunna...

    p.s. don't forget gloves... I got a good pair of thin leather 'summer' gloves out of the sale bin at the local bike shop... you need something and normal gloves from ANZ are too thick...

  12. Annady17

    Annady17 New Member

    Aloha,,, I just want to say thank you for sharing this information to us. Hoping that this will not be the last post you will write. T.c.a.

    Cuno Filters
  13. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Ok. ol' thicko cousin from over the ditch needs to know why gloves specifically. Is it the protection or is it something I am missing. I have the usual heavy gloves but tend to ride without them unless it is terribly cold. Are the gloves in Thailand in case of a tumble?
  14. Ally

    Ally Ol'Timer

    Hi there

    In my humble opinion there are a couple of good reasons.

    One is to screen your hands from the intense sun, second to stop the road creeping jungle slashing your knuckles and third is for better wiping of your visor when it's caked in dead fly's.

    Any other additions anyone ?

  15. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Another good case for the I'm with :stupid: emotion ... :lol: :lol:

    I think the main reason you need gloves is to help with grip on the... well... grip... hot sweaty hands and a shinny rubber surface a strong hold do not make... you need to hold on tighter, get tired hands, and since I know Tony is a shinny arsed office worker like me, without a calus to be seen, it stops the palms of your hands getting sore from the vibration on long rides...

    Tony, FYI, I think it is more of a problem on the road touring than other times because you are holding a much more constant (throttle) position...

    also protection from rocks thrown up by passing trucks, and for abbrasion resistance should you have (even a slow speed) get-off...

  16. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Regarding gloves : a friend of mine tends to wear what I unkindly refer to as his "scrooge mits". Pedal biking gloves really with no protection for the end of the fingers. Out riding one day he made contact with an U.F.O. with a bloody great sting attached - nuff said. I have a pair of light gloves for hot weather & a thicker pair for winter season. Agree with other comments here regarding clothing, i.e. protection is a must. Take the view that its easier to replace sweat rather than skin.
  17. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    :D :D :D :D with beer :D :D :D :D
  18. GTNZ

    GTNZ Ol'Timer

    Tony, if I was you I'd pop down to your local Farmlands there in NZ and buy a Techniflex jacket and pants. Dairy farmers use these. They are 100% water proof and two piece, easy to put on quickly and not too hot. I use these over the top of kevlar jeans and jacket. This is far better than using a cheap plastic jacket and will keep you dry and warm. When it rains you don't want to get wet and cold. Next thing you'll have the flu.

    I think these jackets are one color, dark blue, if you're worried about visibility you could buy a glow vest here very cheap and use this over the top.

    About gloves, you only need a pair of light ones with some knuckle protection, no need for waterproof. You can buy reasonable cheap ones here. Mine cost me $100 in NZ. I would not ride the open road without them.

  19. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Mesh jackets - I've recently seen a couple of the local guys wearing a brand called "Scoyco" which I believe is either Thai or Chinese. They have shoulder and elbow armour and a back protector and seem reasonably well made.

    The company makes various protective clothing inc gloves and strap on knee pads to go over jeans. The jackets cost about 2,500 THB, gloves prob around 500 and kneedpads, about 800. I'd just bring a helmet, some lightweight, unlined waterproofs and a decent pair of jeans and source the other bits here. Steel toecap workboots can be got from Homemart for 1100 THB or 600 THB from Carrefour but I think the max size is 44.


  20. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Don't spend heaps on raingear just to come over here. For about 450 baht you can get a set of rain pants and jacket from a few stores in the center of town. Just keep in mind they are not sized for 280-pound Norwegian Vikings. If you're that end of the spectrum you may need your own gear as it fits. The local rain suits have worked well enough for me and have worked the bomb for me on month long trips.

    Everyone’s recommendations seem good. Venting is key to comfort.

    I use peak visors on MX helmets but do mostly off road or dual sport riding. A lot of the ride reports you're reading are from off road riders that also do some twisty curvy blacktop on their bikes for fun. They work fine up to speeds of about 120 KPH. If you're spending a lot of time at or above that speed they are not practical.

  21. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Thank you for all the replies and advice. I appreciate the help

    I hope to catch up with some of you in a couple of weeks

  22. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    For Dualsport touring in Laos/Cambodia..

    I recently bought a Zeus 2100B helmet
    Its a DOT approved cheaper copy of the Arai XD/Shoei Hornet so you have a visor and removable peak.
    Visor is great for riding in rain, prevent windburn, dusty roads. Peak reduces sunburn and can be removed for highway use, although I don't bother.

    Mesh jacket with inbuilt armor
    Mesh/cordura overboot riding pants
    Dedicated knee/shin protection
    Roadbike boots (easy to walk around in)
    MX gloves
    Pack Lightweight rain pants and jacket.
  23. gobs

    gobs Ol'Timer

    Hi Pikey,

    I too have heard of "Skoyco" but can't locate a shop in CNX...
    Seem not to be the "first quality" things but can be good for the price...

    Any idea of where to buy?


  24. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    With the wet weather around at present is it fair to assume that it is not currently the height of the tourist season and numbers of tourists will be less than other times of the year?

    If so, is it equally fair to assume that the standard and availablity of hire bikes could be better (less numbers hiring them giving hopefully better choice rather than ending up with the crap)


    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    Although I am riding at much lower speed than most of you I feel easily chilly on my chest. I used to wear windbreaker Tshirt , it was fine in cool and hot weather. Need a new one, where to get ??

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