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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

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  #1  
Old 2 Jun 2014
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bike trousers yes or no

I'm on a trip from europ to souh afrika. Started in mid november with bike clothes and inlets
and long underware. Since senegal only jeans and tshirt because its too hot. Now in ghana and sending finaly some stuff home. For sure the inlets, thought about keeping the jacket because when there was rain it can be cold when you drive 80kmph.
What about the trousers?? How is the weather in southafrika in october, november? Too hot for heavy bike trousers or makes it sense to keep them?
Greets saidschin
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  #2  
Old 2 Jun 2014
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IMO, Denim Jeans are quite hot and sweaty in hot weather. Denim is thick, no air flow and once WET, they stay wet for a long time. (Monkey Butt!)

Not sure what "Inlets" are. I'd have sent the long underwear home in Morocco!

For HOT weather try Off road Mesh riding pants (like Moto Cross pants). Bring rain pants too, for cold/rain. Easy to wash, tough, and dry very quickly after washing. (an hour in Sun) Jeans are good for walking around, not so much for riding. YMMV.

T-Shirt? Best to keep the Sweat on the inside. With a T-shirt you may get dehydrated quickly. Not good! Cover up in heat .. some venting is good but don't ride naked. (also wind and Sun burn can get you, not to mention rocks, birds et al)

A lot depends on your tolerance to crash injury. I wear knee/shin guards and decent boots ... even in heat, and sometimes armored riding shorts under my Moto Cross pants. Works really well.

Some sort of back protector and elbow protection might be a good idea too?
All up to you.

I believe Oct./November are beginning of Summer in S. Africa? So MORE heat I guess (at least in inland areas)? Coast is probably cool. Dunno?

Ride safe! Rubber Side Down!
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  #3  
Old 2 Jun 2014
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I ride daily in just work trousers. Off road or on trips I always wear bike trousers. Good quality textile kit is never hot. I even wear it mid summer and am fine and don't sweat. Leathers you will die. There is also the option of off road hard body armour and an MX shirt. But I go with European made textiles.

Where in SA? It is a big country. Oct-Nov isn't so hot. It varies where you are but most likely high 20s low 30s. Lowveld is hotter. It is spring. But expect afternoon thunderstorms. Cape Town is opposite. dry season there.

Jeans wont help much on or off road, and if it rains they will stay wet. They are also hotter and more uncomfortable than bike pants. In my opinion jeans are one of the worst pieces of clothing ever invented and are more a fashion statement than a useful piece of clothing. About as useful as harley costumes. The only set of jeans I own is a set of Kevlar lined thick bike jeans made by X-Kulcha


XKulcha : Extreme Lifestyle Apparel

I wear them only for road riding. Off road they would soak up dust, be heavy, and if they get wet Im wet all day. And no ventilation like good textiles. Your normal over priced brand name levi or whatever is no protection at all.
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Old 2 Jun 2014
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"Inlets" or maybe "Inlays"? Like a extra layer you can put in bike clothes in winter.
Hm no way you gonna cross mali and burkina in may with a jacket, at least for me it was too hot. I never had problems with dehydration and sunburn, maybe because im half african or yiu juste get used to it after a few months....
I also dont have money to buy new bike clothes. But im gonna keep my trouser due the weather is not that hot anymore....
And yes befor i had no protection, everthing was in the bike clothes. So yes falling or crashing not allowd. But also kept me driving more savely, most of time....
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  #5  
Old 2 Jun 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kradmelder View Post
I ride daily in just work trousers. Off road or on trips I always wear bike trousers. Good quality textile kit is never hot. I even wear it mid summer and am fine and don't sweat. Leathers you will die.
Mine are a mix between leather and textile, with knee protection and hip protection in it. Same with the jacket, back-, elbow- and shoulderprotection in it. Brand is pharao, not bad clothes but was too hot in westafrika. In mali and burkina 38°C and a lot more in the sun and if you dont drive tarmac roads, juste some side roads - pistes you're not that fast, no wind to cool down. Actually even the wind was hot.
So in my case the jeans were less hot then the trousers thats the only reason why i wear them.
Gonna be all over the country i think. Sure cape town, jo burg, more north east and i will come from namibia so...
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Old 2 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by saidschin View Post
"Inlets" or maybe "Inlays"? Like a extra layer you can put in bike clothes in winter.
Hm no way you gonna cross mali and burkina in may with a jacket, at least for me it was too hot. I never had problems with dehydration and sunburn, maybe because im half african or yiu juste get used to it after a few months....
I also dont have money to buy new bike clothes. But im gonna keep my trouser due the weather is not that hot anymore....
And yes befor i had no protection, everthing was in the bike clothes. So yes falling or crashing not allowd. But also kept me driving more savely, most of time....
Gets to 40s in the Karoo. My textiles fine. I wear jacket trousers and off road boots. I never get too hot. It could be that I am more used to the heat, I don't know. Heat doesn't bother me. In a Tshirt I would burn in an hour. I just burn now if there is a gap between my gloves and jacket, or my face where not covered by a helmet. Anywhere white skin is exposed it quickly goes to red and its sore! European and American below zero temperatures and snow and ice, No thanks. You can keep it

There is a reason why people in hot regions cover up. For one it reduces dehydration.

I think your kit being partly leather was the problem. I don't know the brand. Leather is very hot.
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Old 2 Jun 2014
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Ok. Yeah i think the problem is that my bike clothes are not really made for the heat. All in all a bit to heavy and to thick material. And i didnt touhgt about it when i started - rookie mistake i guess...
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Old 2 Jun 2014
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Worst comes to worst you could order some the x-kultcha stuff and ask to have it sent to Namibia. It is quite good value. Check out the enduro, Dakar, and biker X lines. Will be just over $100 or about. Ballistic nylon and Kevlar are far better than normal jeans. The more common international brands will cost 2-3 times that. The reason it is cheap is not the quality, but because it is locally made. The abrasion resistance will far exceed that of your skin!

The cheaper ranges of textiles here, like Assault, I find hot.

If your budget is tight you wont want to buy new kit as you say. But one fall in jeans and tshirt can not only ruin your day, but your entire trip. No one ever plans to crash. But falls happen.


Im very happy with my set. Very good workmanship and very comfortable.
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Old 2 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by Kradmelder View Post
There is a reason why people in hot regions cover up. For one it reduces dehydration.
That's a really important fact! Many riders don't get this. Best to keep the sweat on the INSIDE. It's counterintuitive but it really works in very high heat. With just a bit of air flow, your sweat will help cool you as you ride ... even in 40C temps. Keep covered!

Also, even though you are sweating ... you are not losing as much water as you would riding in a T-Shirt. Also, good points about burning. Not just white people burn. Sun & Wind Burn will EXHAUST the rider. We see this all the time with the Harley crowd here. When it's hot they strip down to a bandana and tank tops, Beanie Nazi helmets. After two or three hours they end up in the emergency room with heat stroke.

I use a Camel Back drink system and in heat, drink constantly. a small sip every 3 minutes will keep you hydrated and safe. Try to keep moving and if you stop ... find shade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kradmelder View Post
I think your kit being partly leather was the problem. I don't know the brand. Leather is very hot.
Leather can be hot but remember ... leather is the "original" breathable material!

I've ridden with my leather pants through Mexico and Cent. America. I can ride up to about 85F to 90F without problem. Off the bike is when it gets hot. But non vented Cordura or other synthetic pants (Cold weather/Winter type) I sweat TWICE as much as Leather. I carry both ... and switch from Leather to Moto pants at around 85F to 90F. Nothing like Leather for protection.

All my Moto off road pants flow a lot of air ... so very comfortable in high heat not good if it cools off. I put Rain pants over when cold. Amazing.

Virtually ALL off road riding gear today is made in either China, Korea, Vietnam or Pakistan. Even Klim is made in China. With Chinese goods you can get Crap at closeout prices .. or pay more and get really well made gear.
You get what you pay for ... If BMW are making Cars and bikes there ... you know the quality is there ... if you're willing to pay.

In the old days lots of dirt bike gear was made in Finland. Like Sinsalo and many other top brands. No more. Those days are gone ... sadly.
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Old 3 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Virtually ALL off road riding gear today is made in either China, Korea, Vietnam or Pakistan. Even Klim is made in China. With Chinese goods you can get Crap at closeout prices .. or pay more and get really well made gear.
You get what you pay for ... If BMW are making Cars and bikes there ... you know the quality is there ... if you're willing to pay.

In the old days lots of dirt bike gear was made in Finland. Like Sinsalo and many other top brands. No more. Those days are gone ... sadly.
My BMW stuff the tag says made in Serbia. My Macna says made in Czech republic. My gaerne SG10s and my Forma boots, made in Italy. Quality stuff and it lasts many years and breathes. My X Kultcha is locally made.

Gloves I can only find made in china, even BMW branded GS gloves. And cant get a set that will last even a year. The older BMW gloves I think were made in Thailand and lasted longer. The GSIII were Chinese made and tear and come apart.

Quality DS gloves for me is a problem. Unless I go for leather road gloves. The usual problems are the stitching parts, the non leather fibre gets holes, or the leather tears where it is thin. The absolute worse Chinese rubbish was alpine star. didn't even last 4 months. They cost the same as BMW. And I don't wear stuff every day as I have 3 sets of everything so alternate. I don't look at brand anymore but where it is made. I cant find any glove without that dreaded 'cheap kak quality chinese' label.

I will never buy alpine star gloves again. The Five gloves are a but better but also don't last. The BMW gloves are probably still the best around in terms of value but quality has gone down. I don't know what to buy anymore.


I wonder if companies manufacture in different countries for different markets. Perhaps the US market is more made in china dominated. You have in effect outsourced most of your manufacturing and jobs there and I think they hold most of your dollars in circulation lol. Thank you Walmart lol!. We still have options on most things. Like I bought cutlery and crockery for the home and you can find made in spain, france, UK etc. Bike kit and boots easy. Just gloves cant. The only way to stop it really is if the majority of people refuse to buy it.

Last edited by Kradmelder; 3 Jun 2014 at 14:29.
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Old 3 Jun 2014
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I can't say about South Africa, but I've toured in some very hot places (the Aus outback, India, Mexico) and I always wore full riding gear. You can get some pretty nice textile stuff that breathes well, gives you some rain protection, and has armour to protect your knees, elbows, etc.

As others wrote, riding gear doesn't just protect you in a crash: if it's quality stuff it'll protect you from the elements, and help prevent a crash in the first place.
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  #12  
Old 3 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by Kradmelder View Post
I wonder if companies manufacture in different countries for different markets. Perhaps the US market is more made in china dominated. You have in effect outsourced most of your manufacturing and jobs there and I think they hold most of your dollars in circulation lol. Thank you Walmart lol!. We still have options on most things. Like I bought cutlery and crockery for the home and you can find made in spain, france, UK etc. Bike kit and boots easy. Just gloves cant. The only way to stop it really is if the majority of people refuse to buy it.
Spot On! We have very few options! The US has sold it's soul (and future) to China, sent most of our manufacturing there. But so have just about every major company in EU too. BMW are heavily invested in China, as are Mercedes. General Motors is BIG in China ... been there over 20 years.

Companies like Wal-Mart are emblematic of our decline to 3rd world status.
Very bad news, spitefully Anti-Union. Hopefully someday we dumb Americans will wake up and put together a total BOYCOTT of everything made in China. Including the millions of Car parts imported and put into so called Made In USA Cars. Of course if we did a boycott ... the Chinese would probably call in our 10 Trillion $$$ debt.

We've dug our own grave running two pointless wars "on credit". Just like Global warming, the average American refuses to look at reality and could care less about the future. Most are too busy trying to survive ... no time for politics.

OK, sorry, enough Crying! Back to Motorcycle gear!

Regards gloves ... I've had good luck with Olympia and Joe Rocket gloves. Used to be made in Korea, I think now made in China. Remember that ALL the Made In China products made by the quality companies are all designed here in the USA or in Europe.

As I've said, if you're familiar with the WIDE variety of quality out there, then you'd know that there are CRAP Chinese stuff ... and decent Chinese stuff. The FACT is, it's getting better all time and the GOOD companies won't sell the crap ... if they did they'd go out of business, as so many have done. But you have to pay for the better stuff.

I would also look at Italian companies for good gear. Not sure where it's made. Spidi is a good one. Japanese also good: RS Taichi.

We have several good glove makers here in the USA, but most don't make a mesh or vented dual sport glove, most make sport or general use gloves.

Check out: Helimot and Lee Parks.
Helimot - Where Quality Matters

Lee Parks Design, World's Finest Deerskin Motorcycle Gloves and Accessories

Helimot is a German guy I've known for over 20 years.
Lee Parks makes Deer Skin gloves.
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Old 3 Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
I can't say about South Africa, but I've toured in some very hot places (the Aus outback, India, Mexico) and I always wore full riding gear. You can get some pretty nice textile stuff that breathes well, gives you some rain protection, and has armour to protect your knees, elbows, etc.

As others wrote, riding gear doesn't just protect you in a crash: if it's quality stuff it'll protect you from the elements, and help prevent a crash in the first place.
Good points Bruce, but protection from the elements must include NOT getting heat stroke. I've rarely seen riders on tour from Northern EU or Canada to EVER get the gear thing right for truly HOT weather riding. Most end up stripping off ALL their gear or sending it home. And why do they always pick BLACK? Poor choice. Light colors are best when possible.

IMO, just can't use the "one riding suit does it all" approach. Textile stuff that "breathes" won't be enough. So called "breathable" fabrics really only work in the COLD, NOT the heat. It will Par Boil you unless it's flowing A LOT of Air.
Also, most built in armor does NOT stay in correct position for protection in a fall. Separate, strap-on armor is better, IMO.

The stuff I've seen a lot of Euro riders and Canadians wearing would survive a Canadian Winter. Yet, this is the same stuff many show up with in Cent. America. That's just insane.

It's a lot easier to layer up and put on a rain jacket than it is cooling off when you've got a poorly breathing, heavy duty Textile Jacket.

Fact is ... you need a WHOLE different approach to be comfortable .. and safe. Using proper hot weather dirt bike gear with GOOD armor is what works. Pack your Black Winter stuff away ... or leave it home.

I grew up riding the Mojave Desert, started riding dirt bikes in Mexico at age 13. A big hunky Enduro jacket with a few vents ain't gonna do it, especially if working hard riding off road.

Full flow mesh with high tech wicking base layers works. Dirt bike elbow and knee armor works, stays in position. Add back protection or some variation of this depending on your ability to manage risk.

When you gain altitude and things cool, add a base layer or two and put on your rain jacket. Unless it gets below freezing ... you will be OK in most situations ... and you'll do MUCH better in super heat/humidity ... which is NEVER easy.
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Old 4 Jun 2014
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It's a lot easier to layer up and put on a rain jacket than it is cooling off when you've got a poorly breathing, heavy duty Textile Jacket.

Fact is ... you need a WHOLE different approach to be comfortable .. and safe. Using proper hot weather dirt bike gear with GOOD armor is what works. Pack your Black Winter stuff away ... or leave it home.

I grew up riding the Mojave Desert, started riding dirt bikes in Mexico at age 13. A big hunky Enduro jacket with a few vents ain't gonna do it, especially if working hard riding off road.

Full flow mesh with high tech wicking base layers works. Dirt bike elbow and knee armor works, stays in position. Add back protection or some variation of this depending on your ability to manage risk.

When you gain altitude and things cool, add a base layer or two and put on your rain jacket. Unless it gets below freezing ... you will be OK in most situations ... and you'll do MUCH better in super heat/humidity ... which is NEVER easy.
In effect that is what I do. My normal textile kit works well here. I wear it in to the 40s, and even when stopped it is fine. I can also wear it in winter but our winter days are 16-25 C. I doubt it would work in your winters. When I have to ride very early when it is still about 2-5 C on a very cold winter morning or night, I zip in a cold weather liner or the rain liner. They roll up to almost nothing when I take it out again when it warms up, which is like 2 hours after sunrise. I never have to use my trouser lining. Its never cold enough. All my kit is well vented. I close the vents in winter.

Most of the kit you mentioned in your previous post, we don't see those brands here. The USA made stuff must be good quality as T shirts I have that were made in USA are superb. They last. Its better to pay more. You pay it once and it lasts. The cheap stuff you replace often and end up spending more and are never as comfortable and it never works as well. Two lessons I've learnt are:

1) It is expensive to be poor. You don't have the cash to buy quality first time so you end up spending more by buying cheap
2) The cheap stuff always ends up being more expensive

I have noticed that even the quality of the brand names like BMW, deteriorated once production moved to china. I prefer to shop around until I find something made elsewhere, both for the quality issue and the economic consequences of the world becoming too reliant one 1 nation. I may be just one person, but if lots of people did that, shops would have to ensure they stock other products as well.

BMW manufactures cars the 3 series in SA and exports as well. So ours are not made in china. Same as VW and Mercedes, who also manufacture the C class here and export to the USA. I think the tariffs on importing vehicles keeps the factories alive here. The same thing happens with appliances. There is significant manufacturing here. For that we can thank sanctions! The boycotts on SA were a huge bonus to local industry. Not only for the industry that blossomed, but for the local know-how it fostered. Everything from the arms industry to petrochemicals to steel to food production got a boost. Even the import-export business learnt how to be more efficient by learning how to get around sanctions!
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Old 5 Jun 2014
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held?

I use HELD for gloves and have found them to be well made, a little warm but my preference is for sweaty hands not shredded ones!
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