Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Camping Equipment and all Clothing

Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Wasatch Mnts, UT, USA
Posts: 245
One set of ATGATT for around the world...

I have been getting more & more back into motos after a long hiatus, but have been exclusively buying and selling local bikes in foriegn countries. Enfields in India/Pakistan, a Hotian 150cc in Tibet, an nx 400 falcon in Patagonia.

I have been mostly wearing lot's of fleece, down & gortex. Not the best level of protection, but better than just trekking pants. I carry this stuff for trekking and seem to need it whether I am in the tropics or mountains.

I am starting to feel like I rather have a set of riding gear, but can't carry several sets for different conditions. I plan on doing some even longer rides and would like to only have a single set of gear for conditions ranging from 100+ F to well below freezing. The modular gear seems repetitive and inferior to the high tech backpacking gear I already carry.

What do you think about this strategy? Getting a high vented summer suit and layering under it with poly pro & fleece and over it with gortex and down as it get colder. Will the summer suits accomodate layering? Would you go for larger & wear down under the suit when it's cold or go smaller & layer the down & fleece outside the suit?

What about back protection? Is it best to have it intergrated into the suit or is a separate back brace a better way to go?

India Himal, 3mo,2x; Kazak/Krygyz/Tajik, 3 mo; Kashi-Lhasa, China 219! 6 wk; Nepal, 4 days/trekked 55; Santiago-Ushuia-Cusco, 7 mo; Peru, 3 mo; Chile-Medellin 3 mo; Medillin-Arica, 3 mo
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Mar 2009
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
3rd option.

Its not the world's best protection, but if you find that your current kit meets all your needs, except that of crash protection why not get something like this, or this?

I would be more inclined to trust the Knox, personally...

PS Back protectors: intergrated lighter and less bother, but do not cover as much of the spine. Personally, I try and go for a BP that runs from as low to as high up my back as possible.
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
Old 31 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Britain
Posts: 73
I too have recently pondered the armoured summer vented jacket as a base for a do-everything clothing system. Especially after my Trip to Turkey, encountering as I did 40+ deg C in Turkey, close to zero in the Dolomites, torrential rain in Italy and Austria.

I like down. It's soft, light, comfy and warm without being clammy. I have a Mountain Equipment down jacket which is super-warm yet packs really small. But I've ruled it out for m/c wear. Even with the best kit, riding for hours in rain risks leaks. And a down jacket, once wet on a cold and wet bike tour, is an expensive and useless encumbrance. I will still use a down sleeping bag mind, my tent is waterproof and I can easly keep the bag wrapped up and dry while riding.

As for a goretex outer, I am afraid I long ago lost faith in "breathable but 100% waterproof" clothing. I have gone over to cheap plastic waterproofs. 0% breathable but 100% waterproof. I can live with the lack of the breathability that is so important to hill-walkers etc who are generating heat through exercise. I on the other hand am not hill-walking; I'm sitting on my bike, I'm not generating much heat. But 80 mph motorcycling for hours in the rain places demands on waterproofing that breathable kit can't cope with.

The only real downside of wearing the waterproof layer outside the armoured vented summer jacket is that if you come off, you'll tear the waterproof layer. This could be significant if you're touring for miles on slippery mud, where you expect to come off frequently. But I tour mostly on tarmac. Sometimes fairly dodgy tarmac it has to be said, but I don't expect to be regularly falling off and tearing outer clothing. But if I were to be falling off regularly and regularly tearing outer clothing, I'd rather be tearing a £10 plastic jacket than a £100/£200 goretex jacket.

Last edited by SpitfireTriple; 31 Mar 2009 at 08:42.
Reply With Quote
Old 31 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Yorkshire UK
Posts: 1,239
As a sidecarist I have less worries about crash protection, but I also came to the conclusion that modern bike gear was over priced and under specced. My developments so far can be seen here if it helps:


I basically got fed up of getting soaked from the inside then the outside because Goretex/nylon combo's are one trick ponies and need to be clean to work. At the same time I was reading about the RAF Everest and long range flights of the 1920's/30's and the work being done to look at what Mallory and Irvine used.

For a solo rider in a cold/dry/off road climate, I'd say MX armour and climbing gear is going to be better than £400 jackets designed for the Autobahn on a Sunday afternoon. If nothing else climbers gear has collars that work outside of a Milan fashion show.

Reply With Quote
Old 31 Mar 2009
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
As a sidecarist I have less worries about crash protection, but I also came to the conclusion that modern bike gear was over priced and under specced.

Yes some kit is overpriced and label based, but a lot is very good in my opinion.

I must say that I have one of those nylon/goretex combos and it has only leaked once or twice in really heavy, day-long, rain. Every other day this winter and previous ones have been perfectly comfortable. I have worn IXS clothing for about 7-8 years now and that translates as only 2 jackets.

I'm not questioning that other kit formats will work, nor that some brands are just for the image-conscious, but there is good M/C kit out there, even if you just land on it by chance. Plus the jacket only cost me £250!

"Only", but you know what I mean...

BTW, I too feel a little less vulnerable on a sidecar, but I get the feeling this is a false sense of security. Sure, low-siding a bike is less likely and that is the image we have when off roading on a solo, but high-siding (or flipping) the chair or getting nailed by a blind cretin in a car are just as big a risk and also the more dangerous of possible motorcycle cock-ups, IMO...
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: On a RTW ride - currently Asia
Posts: 99
Even though it is expensive and fits the Ewan&Charlie cliché, I love my BMW Rallye 2 Pro suit.

I have been wearing it daily during the last 2 years, everything from snowy winter trips in the Alps (-15C with a heated jacket liner) to commuting in Madrid summer heat (45C). It holds up well to spills because the removable Gore-tex liner is inside, has great built-in NP protectors, tons of vents, pockets and other well thought out details (camelbag pocket, removable fanny pack, etc).

To me it was worth the €700 I bought it for on Ebay (new).

Currently on a RTW ride:
Reply With Quote
Old 20 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 164
I used:
Olympia Moto Sports - GT Air All Seasons Transition Jacket

Olympia Moto Sports - Men’s Airglide 2 Mesh Tech Over Pant

As my primary gear and just supplemented with local gear along the trip. Since I started off super hot in the summer in Texas/Central America, I just had the above gear with nerdy synthetic shirts. They wored perfectly and are some of the cheapest riding gear you can buy in the US!

I started off with proper rain gear too, but ditched the jacked because the liner that came with the olympia gear was good enough to not need an additional liner. I kept the pants though.

When it got cold (high altitudes of South America and Ushuaia), I augmented my riding gear with locally acquired stuff and by always wearing rain gear. By the time I made it to Ushuaia, I was wearing long sleeved shirt, alpaca pullover or hoodie, rain liner for jacket, and riding jacket. On my legs long thermal undies, riding pants, and rain pants.

Just remember, the locals have to stay warm too (or cool)... so you can find whatever you need locally. Just give it away when you're done. Buying a couple of coats along the way in a long trip is better than hauling it across a desert when you don't need it.
http://davegtravels.com - RTW on a DRZ
All the way south - Texas to Tierra del Fuego in '08-'09
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Around the World kastad 4WD Overland TRAVEL 18 20 Nov 2008 19:07
Around the World fontanna Travellers Seeking Travellers 3 30 May 2008 08:50
World Touring Network - Japan Camp Meeting World Touring Ne Chris of Japan Motorcycle Events around the world 0 22 Oct 2004 14:41
World GPS pylofm Route Planning 0 15 Jan 2002 16:44


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:48.