Motorcycle Road Trip Riding Gear

Motorcycle Road Trip riding gear

Motorcycle Riding Gear for 10,000 mile Road Trip

I’m ready to go on my motorcycle road trip. I’ve finished the route planning and purchased the gear recommended for long distance motorcycle riding.

I had trouble deciding on what gear to wear. I have multiple riding jackets, pairs of riding pants, gloves and other stuff. For day rides, I just pick the gear appropriate to the season and the day’s weather. However, on a 6 week ride across the country you never know what weather to expect. I have to plan for cold weather riding through the mountains. I also expect potentially hot weather riding through the eastern states. In the end, I decided to wear my mesh riding gear and plan for extra layers of clothing, as needed.

Even in states that don’t require helmets, I plan to always wear my Shoei X11 helmet. It’s comfortable, and provides good wind, rain and bug protection. I’ve fitted it with a Cardo G4 headset. Even though I’m riding alone, I can use the headset to listen to music from my iPhone. My BMW R1200RT has the audio package, so I can plug in my iPhone to play and charge while riding. However, to get my iPhone working with the BMW audio gear, and the X11 helmet, I had to pair my iPhone directly with my G4 headset. I couldn’t get the Cardo G4 to reliably pair with my BMW audio system. Willie at San Jose BMW tried for several hours to pair the two devices but couldn’t get it working properly. Cardo was quite useless in helping on this. Although they claim the headset works with MP3 players, they don’t appear to have tested it with any, and weren’t willing to help get it working. So much for Cardo customer support. If you plan to purchase a Cardo G4, make sure it works with your audio system before you buy it.

I’m a big fan of First Gear riding gear. It just seems to fit well for me. It also has most of the features I need for my type of riding. The jacket is a basic mesh jacket. It has a zip-in lining for wind and rain protection. I plan to take the lining in my luggage, along with my rain gear, just in case I need the extra layer. It doesn’t take up much space. My pants are First Gear HT-Air mesh overpants. I decided to take overpants even though I’d be wearing them directly over my underwear. That way I could wear jeans or shorts under them if necessary for warmth or convenience. If you plan to do this, I’d suggest wear moisture wicking underwear with legs long enough to cover your upper thigh. I wore UnderArmor with 6″ legs. Otherwise the mesh material will irritate your butt and upper thigh. I took a pair of Olympia riding gloves that have a gel palm. They are a mix of leather and mesh material that is good for hot days. I also took my BMW Atlantis 2 motorcycle gloves. They are great for cold weather or rain. Completing my gear are BMW motorcycle boots. They provide good protection, and are comfortable for both riding and walking.

I only took a few other pieces of riding clothing. I took three pairs of UnderArmor underwear and socks. That meant regular washings in hotel sinks, but the UnderArmor underwear and socks will dry overnight so ready for riding the next day. The sales manager at San Jose BMW recommended some great rain gear from Frogg Toggs. It will also double as an extra layer of riding gear for cold weather. The Frogg Toggs rain suit is small, light and breathable. It almost feels like heavy paper, yet provides good rain and wind protection. Lastly, I’m packing a Fieldsheer Iceberg Vest in case I hit some really hot weather. I can soak the vest in water and wear it under my mesh jacket. The air blowing through the vest keeps me cool for a couple of hours even in 100 degree weather.

In my next blog post I’ll talk about the riding gear I packed for the trip. See: long distance motorcycle road trip gear. For more detailed information on long distance riding gear, see the books I used and discuss in trip preparation.

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