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Old 8 Sep 2012
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Cool Buying gear for my tour of Bolivia in a week!

Hey all - really excited to start my tour of Bolivia by motorbike and am doing some last minute gear shopping. I'll be getting a 250cc dirt bike in Bolivia when I land (riding for 1.5 months) and had a couple questions on gear to buy in the states before heading down:

1- Helmet - Do you all prefer a "dual sport" helmet with a visor (AFX FX-39) or a dirtbike helmet (Thor Quadrant) with goggles? Want to make sure fogging up isn't an issue and also overall comfort, what do people generally prefer?

2- Boots - Do most adventure tourists wear motorcycle boots when they ride or would a normal pair of hiking boots (with ankle support and rigid sole) be good enough? Lots of the bike shops here are warning against riding in hiking boots.

3- Gloves - How many pairs of gloves do you normally take with you? We'll be riding in hot and very cold conditions so I was thinking of taking a liner glove, normal motorcycle glove, and potentially also a neoprene pair of gloves

4- Jacket - What is the most popular budget jacket we can buy with protection? Found some Joe Rocket jackets for $150 at the local shop but am also considering getting a Fox compression top (chest/spine/shoulder/elbow pads) and layering below/above. Which would be best in your opinions?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 8 Sep 2012
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Posts: 277
Sounds like a fun trip.

Buy what fits and gives good protection.

There is no perfect helmet. All full face helmets or dirtbike helmets with goggles fog up when it's wet and humid. Easier to crack a full face helmet to de-fog I suppose. Full face helmets are warmer in the mountain passes and keep the rain out. I prefer them. Better chin and teeth protection when you skid down the road as well. Any helmet is better than nothing.

If you've ever dumped your bike and had it fall on your ankle you will probably prefer a good motorcycle boot over hiking boots. Or caught your boot lace on the gear shift when you stopped for gas and tipped over. I prefer motorcycle boots with good protection. Others wear tennis shoes.

I wear one pair of good gloves. I am a minimalist. Some folks have various pairs of gloves depending on the weather. Some people who have never gone sliding down the highway don't wear any gloves. The choice is yours.

Riding jackets come in all shapes and sizes. It can be confusing. The more armor and protection the better. A good riding jacket is worth it's weight in gold if you find yourself asphalt surfing for some odd reason. Joe Rocket is fine if that's what you can afford. Any decent jacket is better than nothing. Fox makes decent body armor if that's the route you want to go.

You can get some good deals on lightly used gear on craigslist.org if you live in a larger city. Lots of people buy dirt bikes and lose interest or get married.

Best luck and safe travels.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 8 Sep 2012
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Helmets - it doesn't matter what other people prefer , find something that fits -that's what matters . The AFX gets good reviews from the webbikeworld people , I have no reason to doubt them , it is reasonably priced and has a face shield , buy some goggles as well then you have 2 choices .

Boots - as you are going off road, buy motocross type boots , broken limbs aren't funny .

Gloves - take at least two pairs , wet gloves when it's cold are miserable .
Consider heated gloves and a wiring harness to fit onto the bike . See warm'n'safe website for details . A "dirt" bike should have enough power to run them - perhaps . Have a look at "hippo hands" if you're going to ride a lot in the cold [ or make your own ].

Joe Rocket is adequate at best , have a look at BMG website for reasonably priced gear ,also consider Firstgear stuff if you don't want to pay for high end bike gear , look in Advrider flea market for used quality stuff as well .Get some good overtrousers for when it's cold and armoured ones for regular wear .

Buying good gear can be the difference between having fun and being thoroughly miserable .

Good luck !
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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