I can't decide what to wear in Africa ? Body armour or leather jacket !
I'm having a last minute moment of indecision about what to wear for my Uk-South Africa trip. I leave in under 24 hours so no time for shopping trips.
I bought Acerbis Koerta body armour as I was feeling a little paranoid. I was going to wear this along with a thin water proof... After trying it all on tonight (yes last minute) im having doubts !
Iv never used it before. It's VERY bulky, aukward and HOT !! I look like an American football player and its a pain to take on and off. It's restrictive to move in and obviously has no pockets. VERY protective but I can see myself getting anoyed with it. I've worn body armour on enduro holidays and it's hot and aukward although you do forget it's on once your riding... Lots of funny looks in petrol stations and shops though.
I also have a summer vented "Wolf" leather Jacket which I pretty much live and sleep in. I think this will also be very hot but no more than the armour and much easier to live with ! I can use the thin waterproof over this too.
Its very similar to this buy has perferated panels for cooling !!
What are you thoughts ???? I'm wearing Akito desert trousers...
Take the leather jacket and the back protector, if you can remove it from the body armour (they can often be removed).
That way, if you choose to ride without the jacket for comfort, then at least the most importatn is protected under a different top.
The backprotector is built into the suit. It's the "frame" of the whole thing. It can't be removed.
I think body armour was still a good idea, I just think I got the biggest and bulkiest one on the market ....
I might go and buy a back protector on the way to the ferry ! :)
Bottom line is that protection is great, but it's never a guarantee of no harm. Still, I tend to always were all my gear. However, I wore all my kit in Argentina and I remember the heat between Neuquen and Bahia Blanca: OMG!!!
So my way of thinking about it is that comfort, being able to concentrate and not getting dehydrated mega-fast is as important to your safety and I'm thinking that there are times when full body armour may be veeery hot...
I reckon buying a back protector wold be a good compromise. Might I permit myself to suggest a model?:innocent:
I've got a BMW one. Comfy, dense foam and plastic plates, neck to tail bone and collar bone protection too. If you can ignore the brand they do seem good: I like mine...
Ultimately, it's your call, but it will be very hot out there at times: bear that in mind. If you think it won't affect your riding or your enjoyment, then take the armour... I suspect there is bound to be times when you'll wish you'd taken then option you left behind!
It's called a BMW Back Protector 2:
and it makes you look reeealy cool!!:innocent:
At £100 though ?????? Thats almost what I paid for the Acerbis suit ! :helpsmilie:
I wonder if it's something a BMW has on the shelf though. They usually order in stuff like that don't they.
It is warm, but the foam does have air holes under the mesh outer. Not coll but certainly would be hotter without.
TBH, any back proctector will make you warm. For example, I wore a Dianese body armour vest when I was a courier in London and there was nothing worse that having to slip into that sodden armour and then a jacket in the height of summer. And the smell.....:blushing:
I bought an insert for my partner's jacket as she didn't want to bother with extra kit to carry about. They also do larger sizes, but would you find one in a dealer on the shelf.... It's a soft protector, so thicker, but is airier:
Yet another alternative.
Take the body armour, and buy a lightweight summer jacket from, say, HG on the way South... (and live with the smell!)
Not helping am I?
All replies are helpful !! Maybe i'll flip a coin....
Truth be told, I think it's a bit late now: buying new jackets of armour is probably not realistic, unless you just hedge your bets on any bikeshops you cross on the way south.
If that is not an option, perhaps a flip of the coin is your best bet. As I said, there'll be times when you'll wish you had the other...
You could always take both and mail one back if it becomes clear that it's not up to the task...
This is the jacket we use for touring in warm climates....
Firstgear Torrent Mesh Motorcycle Jacket - BikeBandit.com
Does your leather jacket have any built in armor at all? Elbow guards?
Any sort of back protection built in? How well does it vent? Hopefully that mesh will flow some air. You can also unzip a bit. Wet scarf or T-Shirt helps, wet helmet too.
I think Warthog's idea of the separate back protector is very good. If you're comfortable with your Wolf jacket, go with it and add the back protector ... if it fits underneath without making the jacket too tight. (???)
I've been through this same sort of pickle a few times too. I like elbow guards that also protect the forearm. If it gets very hot you could ditch the jacket (make SURE it's tied on securely ... and DO zip up pockets!) and wear just back protector and elbow guards over a long sleeve dirt jersey ... Elbow guards can save a broken arm. (trust me on this one!)
Many riding jackets have Elbow guards but few stay in place in a crash. I like strap on ones. Take the stocker out of your jacket and wear your own. These stay in place when you need them. Same goes (for me) with knee guards. I've made my own. But I have a $200,000 Titanium plate in my leg so take extra care.
Look at Dainese and Alpinestar back protectors too. Maybe a bit cheaper than the BMW one?
Much is going to depend on the weather. My guess is that its going to be pretty hot for at least another month. And as you head further South, aren't they getting heading towards their Summer (like by November?) So could be hot the whole way? Dunno.
Main thing is keep it on the wheels and may the NO FLAT Fairies ride with you! beer
My tuppence worth...
I would go with layers, that'll give you the most options.
Start with your chosen base layer
Then your gimp suit (body armour) and knee-pads or braces
The a lightweight top (MX jersey in "quiet" colour)
If it's hot and dry that'll be plenty
A bit cold add a lightweight windproof/waterproof
A lot cold add a fleece before the windproof.
I might take a heavyweight but ventable (is that even a word) enduro-type jacket. I have shredded a few windproofs "looking for badgers"
Whatecer you decide isn't set in stone. You can always dump some stuff on the way.
I know some would say you don't need the body armour but I will happily accept some bulk and heat over pain and breakages any time.
Keep us updated if you can.
Ted, I've long since concluded that you just really like to torture yourself with decisions. It's possible that you don't even like riding much: you only indulge in actual journeys themselves in order to provide an unending stream of absolutely crucial decision points at which to dither and mull and reformulate and express your public perplexity. In point of fact, it doesn't much matter what you bring for riding gear: as others have pointed out, no matter what you wear it'll be inappropriate often, perfect seldom, and a workable compromise during the remainder.
Having said that, you might consider just going by default with whatever everyone else is wearing. In other words, leave the leathers behind and ditch the full motocross armour; get a lightly armoured mesh or goretex touring jacket (don't get hung up on the choices; just grab one off the rack on your way south somewhere) and resign yourself to endless second-guessing until, at minimum, the end of your trip.
It doesn't matter. It never did matter. Believing that it matters (which the Buddhists call "attachment") is indeed the root of all human suffering. Just go.
(one week from re-taking possession of my actual home from the tenants who have been unknowingly paying for the past 11.5 months of motorcycle travel)
Check which one makes your bum look the biggest, and go with the other.
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