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aus.motorcycles FAQ, part 3 of 3 [monthly post]

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Restaurant inspections ]
Archive-name: motorcycles/aus-faq/part3
URL: http://www.zip.com.au/~cs/moto/aus.moto/FAQ/
Maintainer: Cameron Simpson <cs@zip.com.au>
Posting-frequency: monthly

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       Overview
       ~~~~~~~~
       The Aus.Motorcycles FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) comes in three parts.
       Part One contains introductory material for learners or new bike buyers.
       Part Two contains specific information about Australian touring, maintenaince,
       bike hire, gear, etc...
       Part Three covers the safety and everything else of clothing & gear.

       1.  3.1 Gear & Safety Introduction

       2.

       Gear  &	Safety	Introduction  Maintained  by Colin Panisset
       <cmp@zip.com.au>.
       Currently version v0.2.

       2.1  Disclaimer

       2.2

       This FAQ is  provided  as  an  general  guide  only.  It	 is
       probably	 incomplete and therefore may be wildly apocryphal.
       All due	care  is  taken	 to  ensure  the  accuracy  of	the
       information  presented, but under no circumstances should it
       be taken as the gospel truth.

       Oh, and my employers have nothing to do with this.  They	 do
       not endorse, approve of, disapprove of or otherwise interact
       with this document at all. In fact, I'd be surprised if they
       know it existed.
       2.3  About the Gear and Safety FAQ

       2.4

       This  FAQ  (Frequently  Asked  Questions) is provided in the
       hope that it'll be of use to all riders, on the net or  off,
       new  or	old,  who  want	 to  know  a  bit more about what's
       available in the way of safety gear. It covers (as  you	can

       probably	 tell from the Contents) everything from the top to
       the toes as well as  providing  information  on	the  actual
       tests  that  some  of  the  safety  gear	 must go through to
       receive the various available certifications.

       Sections	 that  have  been  taken  (almost)  verbatim   from
       submitted  material  are	 marked	 with the author's name and
       email address.

       2.5  Comments

       2.6

       Comments regarding this FAQ should be mailed to the  current
       maintainer.  Submissions	 may  be  edited  for  brevity	and
       clarity.

       2.7  Changes

       2.8

       0.0 -> 0.1
	   Heaps of additional material	 and  huge  rearrangements.
	   After  a  couple more iterations, it'll get stuck in the
	   regular aus.moto FAQ under section 7 (Gear). Of  course,
	   it might have to be trimmed a bit :-)
       0.1 -> 0.2
	   Fixed  up Contributors list. Added brief AS helmet info.
	   Added ear plugs, foam  padding  and	body  armour  info.
	   Slight reformatting. Added dri-rider cleaning info.

       2.9  Contributors

       2.10

       In no particular order:

       Nick Fitton <fitton@ned.dem.csiro.au> (the UrKotFAQ)
       Colin Panisset <cmp@zip.com.au>
       Carl Brewer <carl@oversteer.library.uwa.edu.au>
       David Craig <dcraig@eee.utas.edu.au>
       Tom Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>
       Tim Mills <t.mills@qut.edu.au>
       Nick Fitton <n.fitton@dem.csiro.au>
       Jonathan Dwyer <jonathan@psych.psy.uq.oz.au>
       Alvian Tam <atm@newt.phys.unsw.edu.au>
       Tim Marsh <tmarsh@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
       Mike Cutter <mtc@arbld.unimelb.edu.au>
       John Tserkezis <jt@iform.com.au>
       3.  3.2 Helmet and protective clothing laws

       4.

       Helmet  and  protective	clothing  laws	This section covers

       relevant legislation from the various states  of	 Australia.
       It  does	 not  cover countries other than Australia. This is
       not legal advice, and should not be used as such.
       [ What must be worn | Australian Standards | Other Standards
       ]

       4.1  What must be worn

       4.2

       By  law	in most (all?) states in Australia you are required
       to wear a helmet that complies to Australian Standard  1698.
       If the helmet has a visor (as all full-face helmets should),
       the visor must comply with Australian  Standard	1609.  Both
       helmet  and  visor  must	 display  the  Australian Standards
       sticker or be embossed with the AS logo.

       The law apparently takes the view that  if  you	are  booked
       wearing	a helmet without AS certification, then you are not
       wearing a helmet at all, and will be fined accordingly. This
       includes	 helmets  bought  overseas and imported personally,
       even if they are the same model as can  be  bought  off	the
       shelf here.

       States  that mandate AS1698 and AS1609: NSW, Tasmania, [...]

       4.3  Australian Standards

       4.4

       Currently, the only piece of protective gear  that  must	 be
       approved	 by an Australian Standard is the helmet. There are
       two standards which apply to helmets; one for the shell	and
       one for the visor.

       The  following  extracts	 are  from the ACEL Standards Index
       Plus   (January	 1995).	   Many	  thanks   to	Tim   Mills
       <t.mills@qut.edu.au> for providing this info.
       visor -- AS 1609 (last updated 1981)
	   Scope:  This	 Standard  specifies  requirements  for eye
	   protectors for motor cyclists and racing car drivers. It
	   deals  with materials, construction, attachment, optical
	   properties, testing, labelling and marking. The Standard
	   incorporates	 the  basic requirements for eye protectors
	   capable  of	 maintaining   visibility   and	  providing
	   protection for the eyes of motor cyclists and racing car
	   drivers.

	   Abstract:  Specifies	 material,  optical   quality	and
	   mechanical  strength.  Provision is made for the limited
	   use of tinted lenses. Test methods are in appendices.
       shell -- AS 1698 (last updated 1988)
	   Scope:  This	  Standard   specifies	 requirements	for
	   protective  headgear	 for  vehicle users, as designed to

	   mitigate the adverse effect of a blow on the	 head.	The
	   Standard  is	 written with particular reference to motor
	   cyclists, but is equally applicable to  users  of  other
	   types of vehicle. Specific marking requirements are also
	   included. NOTE: Recommendations for	characteristics	 of
	   materials  used in the manufacture of protective helmets
	   are provided in Appendix A.

	   Abstract: Specifies	minimum	 performance  criteria	and
	   test	 requirements  for  protective headgear for vehicle
	   users, designed to mitigate the  adverse  effects  of  a
	   blow	 to  the head. The primary intended use is by motor
	   cyclists, but it is equally applicable  to  all  vehicle
	   users,  including  racing  car  drivers and racing motor
	   cyclists under Australian conditions. Tests	for  impact
	   attenuation,	  penetration	resistance,   strength	 of
	   retention system and	 its  attachments,  and	 peripheral
	   vision  are prescribed by reference to AS 2512. Specific
	   marking requirements are detailed.

       [ No doubt there are standards which relate to other bits of
       clothing. I'm interested. Send 'em in. ]

       Dr. Rod Woods of Cambridge has been developing standards for
       kevlar gear -- there are	 several  different  factors  which
       affect  the  performance	 of  a	kevlar	suit  in  a  crash,
       including the coarseness of weave, thickness and	 length	 of
       fibres,	and so forth. A kevlar suit which is not made of an
       appropriate  material  will  apparently	disintegrate   very
       rapidly. [references to follow]

       4.5  Other Standards

       4.6

       4.6.1  Snell
       4.6.2
       This  standard was developed mainly for motor-sport helmets,
       and helmets which comply with  the  Snell  standard  do	not
       necessarily  comply with the necessary Australian Standards.
       That said, there are several helmets  on	 the  market  which
       comply with both.

       The  Snell standard tests point impacts at several locations
       over  the  helmet.  It's	  designed   to	  protect   against
       penetration  of	the  helmet  rather  than  against crushing
       blows, such as your head hitting the pavement.
       5.  3.3 What gear's available?

       6.

       What gear's available?  [ Helmets | Jackets | Gloves | Boots
       | Full Leathers | Body Armour | Other clothing ]

       6.1  Helmets

       6.2

       There  are  two	types  of helmet shell currently available:
       resin-based composites and polycarbonate.

       Resin-based composites (such  as	 fibreglass,  kevlar/carbon
       fibre  etc.)  helmets  use  a  coarse-weave  cloth and resin
       construction.  They  used  to  be  considered  the  toughest
       helmets,	 though	 with  the  advances in plastics technology
       that may have  changed.	They  are  generally  heavier  than
       polycarbonate   helmets.	 The  range  of	 composite  helmets
       includes the Shoei RF200, [...]

       Apparently, fibreglass helmets  are  more  impact  resistant
       than  polycarbonate,  and can in some cases spring back into
       the original shape without any *apparent* damage.

       Polycarbonate  helmets	are   considerably   lighter   than
       composite  helmets. The shell is basically injection-moulded
       plastic, and  some  polycarbonate  helmets  still  have	the
       moulding	 seam  down the centre of the helmet. Polycarbonate
       helmets include the Laser, most (all?)  Boeri helmets, [...]

       Tests  have  shown  that	 polycarbonate helmets slide better
       than fibreglass on bitumen, thus reducing the possibility of
       whiplash.

       Manufacturers:

       Shoei RF200 ($low -> $high), RF700, TR50 (?), XR-8, [...]
       Arai Quantum ($low -> $high), Giga [...]
       Vemar [...]
       Boeri [...]
       Laser [...]
       AGV [...]
       Bieffe [...]
       Nolan [...]
       BMW (System III) [...]

       John  Tserkezis <jt@iform.com.au> remarks that graphics will
       bump the price of a helmet significantly (on  the  order	 of
       $200) and supplied the following information from an article
       in the  March  1998  issue  of  _Two  Wheels_.  Prices  will
       accordingly be current as of about the start of 1998.

       AGV		 $low-	     Clarion,
			 Strada,	 Arc,
			 ArcSupersport
			 $med-	Q3

       ARAI		 $med-	Classic-R
			 $high-		NR-3,
			 Quantum-E, RX-7RR3
       AXO		 $med-	RR1, RR3
			 $???-	   ZR5	   (I
			 believe  this one to
			 be  in	  the	$high
			 range, but just)
       BELL		 $low-	Starlite, Mag
			 Ltd
			 $med-	      Legacy,
			 Streetstar
       BIEFFE		 $low-	  B4  Scatto,
			 B12,	B12R,	 Pole
			 Position    Classic,
			 Pole Position
			 $med-	3 Sport, BR15
       BMW		 $high- System Helmet
			 III
       DAINESE		 $???-		Ergon
			 (although  I believe
			 it to be in the $low
			 range)
       ELDORADO		 $low-	 EXR/Classic,
			 RXR
       F.F.M		 $low-	Speed, AXE,
			 $med-	       Endor,
			 Superbike
       GP HELMETS	 $low-	J300
       HJC		 $low-	FG3K
			 $med-	CL-11, LT-12
       HARLEY-DAVIDSON	 $low-	RPM
			 $med-	Pacesetter
       LAZER		 $low-	 Dragon, LZ5,
			 Orlando
			 $med-	Falcon
       MDS		 $low-	Skema
			 $med-	BK
       NOLAN		 $low-		 N27,
			 N40/Trend,
			 N60/Trend, N70
			 $med-	Elan,  N90GP,
			 N92
       SHOEI		 $med-	 S3,  RJ101V,
			 RFR
			 $high-
			 RF700/Python/Heat,
			 RF800(98), RF800 Jag
			 (98), X9, XS-P (98)
       THN		 $low-	  T-380,  T7,
			 T791

       YES		 $low-		 JET-
			 Thermoplastic,
			 Vision, JET-TR1
			 $med-	       Diablo
			 Touring,      Diablo
			 Scacchi,      Diablo
			 Carbon

       6.3  Jackets

       6.4

       [ General | Impact Resistance | Abrasion Resistance ]

       6.4.1  General
       6.4.2
       The  key	 things	 to  look  for	in  a bike jacket are build
       quality and thickness of material. Make certain that all the
       seams  are  double-stitched  (the  seam	looks like it's got
       piping sewn inside it) and  that	 it's  good  quality.  Note
       especially  that	 dress	leather	 jackets  (fashion jackets)
       generally do *not* have double stitching, and are often made
       of  thin	 and  relatively  flimsy  leather.  In crash tests,
       fashion leather jackets have been shown to  be  less  useful
       than a solid denim jacket because they tear and disappear.

       The standard article on crash-testing protective clothing is
       "Torn in the USA". It's a comparison of	leather	 vs.  denim
       vs.    waxed  cotton  etc.,  in	a  controlled  gravel  rash
       situation.  [reference and possibly excerpts to follow]

       Check that the zippers used are good  and  solid.  Metal	 is
       foremost,  but  top-class  plastic/nylon zips (of the spiral
       variety) are just as good. Some zips lock,  and	pulling	 on
       the  material  won't make them open further, this is good as
       it allows you to have your jacket partially unzipped.

       The style of a jacket will affect its ability to protect you
       from  rain,  cold,  wind	 and  bugs.  A	Brando-style jacket
       (diagonal zipper with  button-down  lapel,  standard  shirt-
       style  collar)  is  fine	 for summer riding and as a fashion
       accessory too, but the collar doesn't form a  seal  at  your
       neck.  Consequently, rain wind and small, hard, angry flying
       insects can be driven down towards your soft and sensitives.
       The  other  main	 style of bike jacket is the touring-style,
       possibly padded at shoulders and	 elbows	 and  with  a  high
       collar  that  seals out the weather. This style of jacket is
       better for all-year round riding.

       6.4.3  Impact Resistance
       6.4.4
       From Tom Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>.

       Padding is common amongst the touring-style jackets, but	 it

       may  not	 be  much  use	in the case of a crash. Most of the
       padding built into these jackets is low-density foam rubber,
       like  the  stuff	 you  might  find  in a mattress. This foam
       compresses very easily and absorbs very little of the impact
       of  a  crash.  Foam  padding  can work, but it must be high-
       density to be of use. A double layer of leather is  of  more
       use than low-density foam.

       Good  impact  resistance	 in  jackets  and boots is provided
       either by hard armour or closed-cell/high density foam. Some
       people  have said that the edge of hard armour can cut in an
       accident if forced into the body.

       6.4.5  Abrasion Resistance
       6.4.6
       From Tom Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>.
       Abrasion resistance is important,  possibly  more  important
       than  protecting	 against  impact  - low siding off the bike
       only drops you from about a metre anyway... There are a	few
       different types of material that you can wear:
       [  Leather | Kevlar | Waxed Cotton | Nylon/Cordura | Denim |
       Price ]

       6.4.6.1	Leather
       6.4.6.2	Leather is still the king. Has been for	 years	and
       is  unlikely  to	 lose  the  crown  in  a  hurry. Lorica (an
       artificial leather), as used on mostly Italian boots, is not
       very   good   at	  all.	Leather	 breathes,  abrades  slowly
       (depending on type) and is more or less	showerproof.  Great
       against	the  wind,  but	 is  hot  in summer. Can be dyed to
       almost any colour, and there are a number of  places  around
       that  make  to  measure.	  And  it  never  seems to wear out
       (except against a road) - old jackets are just  as  good	 as
       new ones.

       6.4.6.3	Kevlar
       6.4.6.4	Close  weave  kevlar  is effective but doesn't slow
       you down (the world is waiting for a kevlar suit with little
       moulded rubber lumps on it for braking). Unfortunately, most
       of the kevlar used in protective clothing is loose or  open-
       weave  type.  This is not much good because the first impact
       with the ground destroys the weave of the kevlar	 and  there
       is  little left to protect the skin. If there are two layers
       then the performance is much better because the first  layer
       protects the second layer which does the sliding.

       6.4.6.5	Waxed Cotton
       6.4.6.6	Good  for  sliding  on	once, possibly more. Warmer
       than leather and more waterproof, but gets dirty	 when  hot.
       Can leave stains on other clothes. (more detail needed)

       6.4.6.7	Nylon/Cordura

       6.4.6.8	OK  for	 strength,  but	 the weave in the nylon can
       snag on rough surfaces and tear. Is waterproof, but  doesn't
       breathe.	  Good for winter, Dri-Riders are made from this. A
       good range of colours too.

       6.4.6.9	Denim
       6.4.6.10	 Not really a protective material. If you  fall	 at
       60km/h,	denim should protect you for about 1.3m, after that
       you're on your own. Interestingly enough,  older	 jeans	are
       better  (as  long  as  they  have  no  holes)  because their
       material	 is  smoother  and  slides   better.   Jeans   with
       'fashionable'  holes  in the knees are no protection at all,
       and if you fall off with these on  you'll  get  no  sympathy
       from me.

       6.4.6.11	 Price
       6.4.6.12	 Fully	tailored jackets are available from most of
       the manufacturers mentioned in  the  Full  Leathers  section
       though  (as  is	to be expected) they're more expensive than
       off-the-rack clothing.  Check  with  the	 manufacturers	for
       prices.

       Jackets	range  in  price from ${low} to ${high} for Brando-
       style jackets and from ${low} to ${high}	 for  touring-style
       jackets.

       6.5  Gloves

       6.6

       Gloves are vital to prevent major injury to the hands in the
       event of a crash. Double thickness leather on the palms	and
       the  heels  of  the  hands is a must, as these are the areas
       that touch down first and hardest. It's instinctive, and you
       can't help it. Protect them.  Microsurgery is expensive.

       Waterproofing   and  wind  resistance  are  also	 important,
       especially in winter. It's reported that wearing a  pair	 of
       rubber or latex gloves over your bike gloves works very well
       in this regard.

       Most people keep two pairs of gloves -- one for	summer	and
       one   for  winter.  Gloves  aren't  expensive  (relative	 to
       surgery), so you may as well get yourself good ones.

       6.7  Boots

       6.8

       [ This section could include things  like  Doc  Martens,	 GP
       boots  and  so on, but for the moment let's keep it to bike-
       specific boots. ]

       Boots should have a solid, stiff sole (to prevent buckling),

       and cover at least your ankles. Boots that rise higher (over
       the shins) are even better. A number of	manufacturers  sell
       boots with little bits of inbuilt armour -- this mainly adds
       abrasion and  penetration  resistance  in  the  case  of	 an
       accident.

       Water resistance is important in a pair of boots -- look for
       boots without seams or laces at the front (on  the  outside)
       as these will let water in. Zippers and buttons should be on
       the inside of your leg, around the back	where  water  can't
       easily run.

       See   also   the	  Jackets  subsection  WRT  abrasion/impact
       resistance.

       The  British  magazine  Performance  Bikes  tested  thirteen
       different boots and a pair of sneakers in their October 1994
       issue. The tests (performed by  Dr.  Rod	 Woods,	 Cambridge)
       were "designed to replicate the most common failures of real
       bike boots in real road accidents". It's nine pages long and
       full  of	 pictures,  so it can't be included fully here, but
       it's pretty comprehensive.

       [ distillation to be added ]

       Manufacturers:

       Alpinestars
       David Craig <dcraig@eee.utas.edu.au>: excellent	boots.	six
       years use, zips failed
       Colin  Panisset	<colinp@nms.otc.com.au>: The Gore-Tex boots
       with armoured bits. Great, really waterproof, warm  all	the
       time.  Two  years, soles coming a bit loose but still going.
       ($275 at time of purchase)

       Rossi
       David Craig <dcraig@eee.utas.edu.au>:
       good boots. four years use, soles worn out.   current  pair,
       two years use, no complaints.

       R-Jays

       Sidi

       6.9  Full Leathers

       6.10

       R-Jays,	Rivet,	Stagg,	Quin,  Walden  Miller,	Mars, Tiger
       Angel, Crowtree (UK), Frank Thomas (UK), Dainese, [...]

       I don't know if the UK brands are available in Oz.

       Full leathers generally come in one of  two  styles  --	the

       one-piece  type with a single zip up the front, and the two-
       piece zip-together type. The two-piece consists	of  leather
       pants  with  an elastic waist and a zip where the belt would
       be, and a pretty standard bike jacket with a zip	 under	the
       waist.  You  can	 wear  the  pants and jacket separately, or
       combine them for a full suit.

       6.11  Body Armour

       6.12

       6.12.1  Back Protectors
       6.12.2
       An armadillo-shell of tough, impact-resistant plastic backed
       by  foam	 to prevent edges cutting you if you crash. Usually
       held on by either a kidney belt or shoulder straps,  it	can
       also  be	 incorporated  into a string vest-like affair, with
       similar armour for other vulnerable areas  like	elbows	and
       shoulders,  or  a  full	suit  of similar material with knee
       protection as well.

       6.12.3  Foam Padding
       6.12.4
       As mentioned in Section 2.2, for any foam to  be	 useful	 in
       impact  absorption  it  must  be	 of  the closed-cell, high-
       density type. You can check this just by grabbing  the  foam
       between	thumb  and  forefinger and squeezing -- if it feels
       soft like foam rubber then it's no good;	 you  may  as  well
       have  nothing.  Proper  high-density foam should feel almost
       hard, but be slightly resilient. You shouldn't  be  able	 to
       bring your thumb and forefinger together through the foam.

       Padding	 can   be   bought   and   installed   after   your
       jacket/leathers -- one approach is to use velcro sewn inside
       the  jacket  and	 glued to the padding, which is better than
       using metal pop-studs that could damage you in the  case	 of
       an accident.

       Padding	can be bought to cover shoulders, elbows and knees.
       [ Back humps? lower backs? chest? groin? bum? I	don't  know
       yet...]	Brands range in price from ${low} to ${high}.

       6.13  Other clothing

       6.14

       6.14.1  Waterproof clothing
       6.14.2
       The  ubiquitous	Dri-Rider range -- pants, oversuits, Alpine
       Jackets.	 [ someone wanna blurb about them? ]

       6.14.3  Warm stuff

       6.14.4
       6.14.5  Ear Plugs
       6.14.6
       They might seem	like  a	 strange  thing	 to  include  in  a
       protective  gear	 FAQ,  but if you've ever been for a decent
       ride in a helmet that  generates	 lots  of  wind	 noise,	 or
       ridden  a  loud	bike,  or  even	 just ridden a quiet bike a
       decent distance, you might want to use ear plugs.

       Ear plugs are available everywhere --  almost  all  chemists
       stock  them,  and  they	only cost a couple of dollars for a
       pack of six or so. There are a few types -- a  squidgy  foam
       sort, a wax type and an elasticey plastic sort. They all cut
       noise, generally across a wide frequency range and by around
       20 dB or more.

       Try  them  next	time you go on a Ride. You'll probably feel
       more rested when you arrive, and your ears won't be  ringing
       either.
       7.  3.4 What gear should I get?

       8.

       What  gear  should  I  get?   [ Helmets | Jackets | Gloves |
       Boots | Body Armour | Wet Weather Gear | Warm Gear ]

       8.1  Helmets

       8.2

       Depends on what fits  you  best.	 Try  a	 lot  of  different
       helmets	in  a  shop,  ones that haven't been worn by anyone
       else before. Try to find a helmet that puts an even pressure
       on all parts of your skull, without any tight spots. A brand
       new helmet should be a bit too  tight  --  like	a  pair	 of
       shoes,  it'll bed in to the shape of your head (which is why
       you shouldn't make a decision based on what someone else has
       worn  for  two years). This is important as it will stop the
       helmet slopping around on your head later, and possibly stop
       your head slopping around the helmet in the case of a crash.

       You should also consider the weight of a new helmet. A heavy
       helmet  can  put	 undue	strain on the neck muscles, even if
       you've got an  upright  riding  position.  There's  also	 an
       argument	 against a heavy helmet with respect to whiplash --
       something heavy on your bonce will make it worse.

       Different helmets also have different noise characteristics.
       At  speed,  wind	 noise	can  be	 quite	noticeable  in some
       helmets, even to the extent of blocking out engine noise (if
       the bike is quiet and you're going fast :-)). You can either
       buy a helmet that doesn't generate any wind noise (generally
       expensive)  or  use  earplugs  (the  cheap  foam	 ones  from
       chemists are  perfect).	Some  people  suggest  closing	(or

       taping up) all vents -- it sometimes makes a difference.

       Other  than  that,  price  and  colour  are  the	 next  most
       important considerations, usually in that  order.  If  order
       isn't  a	 problem  for you, then hooray -- but the first two
       points are really important.

       Don't buy a secondhand  helmet.	The  foam  can	be  crushed
       inside  without any apparent exterior damage, and age causes
       it to harden anyway as the solvents  outgas.  Shells  become
       more brittle with age, too.

       "If you can't wear a helmet in the shop for ten minutes then
       don't buy it. It won't bed in to your head.  They  say  that
       you  should take it home and watch a movie in it, but that's
       silly. It cuts out your peripheral vision and  you  have	 to
       turn the sound up."
       - Tom Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>

       8.3  Jackets

       8.4

       Jackets	should	be able to provide good impact and abrasion
       resistance in the case of a crash, as well  as  keeping	you
       warm and dry at all times.

       Fit  is important. A good jacket won't constrict you when in
       a full crouch, especially under	the  arms  and	across	the
       shoulders.  Wrist  zippers  should be on the upper inside of
       the arm where they're less likely to get dragged	 along	the
       road.  The  jacket  should be long enough to cover your hips
       and extend over the small of your back when in a crouch.

       If any part of the jacket is too loose, then it is  possible
       for  that part to ride up when sliding along a rough surface
       (road, pebblecrete, really big  pieces  of  sandpaper,  etc)
       leaving you basically unprotected.

       "Personally  I like the wrist to be nice and tight - my Quin
       jacket only allows me to get two fingers in the opening when
       zipped  up - this makes it easier to seal out wind, and less
       likely for it to be dragged up the arm when sliding down the
       road."
       - Tom Cohen <thos@cia.com.au>

       8.5  Gloves

       8.6

       From David Craig <dcraig@eee.utas.edu.au>.

       The  usual  need	 is  warm, dry, flexible, gravel resistant,
       stay on while you fly over the Volvo, gauntlet style to stop

       those nasty draughts up your sleeve, maybe a soft bit on the
       left hand to wipe wet visors.

       Electric heated gloves  may  crack  a  mention,	but  hardly
       qualify as a _frequently_ asked question!

       8.7  Boots

       8.8

       [  I'll	try  and  dig  out the Performance Bikes boot crash
       review ] Get something that fits properly. Boots with grippy
       soles  have  been  recommended  as well, because it's really
       embarrassing to drop your bike at  a  standstill	 when  your
       feet slip out from underneath you.

       The  boot  material  is	very important. Don't get something
       made of silver lame, cos it just	 won't	last  in  a  crash.
       Leather works really well.

       Some  claim  that  steel	 toecaps  can amputate toes, but it
       might be worth the risk -- the chances are higher  that	the
       toecap will save the toes and not remove them.

       8.9  Body Armour

       8.10

       8.11  Wet Weather Gear

       8.12

       8.13  Warm Gear

       8.14

       Wool. Thermal underclothes. Gore-Tex.

       9.  3.5 The Care and Feeding of Your Gear

       10.

       The  Care  and  Feeding	of  Your Gear [ Helmets | Leather |
       Waterproof gear ]

       10.1  Helmets

       10.2

       Wipe down every now and then with a damp	 cloth.	 Clean	the
       visor frequently; every time it gets dirty is a good idea. A
       scratched visor reduces your  vision  during  both  day	and
       night,  and  should  be replaced. There are a number of good
       anti-fog preparations that can be applied to the	 inside	 of

       the   visor   without   reducing	 visibility;  they  can	 be
       invaluable in rainy weather.

       If you drop your shiny new helmet from three  feet  or  more
       onto  a hard surface) you should throw it away and buy a new
       one. The ability of a helmet to protect your  head  from	 an
       impact is severely reduced by compression of the foam liner,
       and this will happen in the case of even	 a  slight  impact.
       Beware  second-hand helmets! Even though they may seem okay,
       the only way to be certain is to cut them in half and  look.

       Jonathan	 Dwyer	<jonathan@psych.psy.uq.oz.au>  writes  that
       Airport and other security X-ray equipment is a cool way	 to
       check  for  otherwise  invisible cracks in a helmet. Just be
       polite and ask if you can lean over and look at	the  screen
       as it goes through.

       Alvian Tam <atm@newt.phys.unsw.edu.au> notes that cleaning a
       helmet with NapiSan gets the liner very clean  but  destroys
       the shell coating. Don't try this at home!

       Hint:  Mr.  Sheen  applied to the outside of your helmet and
       visor keeps it shiny and allows water droplets to  bead	and
       run off easily.	It's transparent, too!

       10.3  Leather

       10.4

       This  includes jackets, boots, gloves, vests, jockstraps and
       so  on.	 Most  leather	used  for  motorcycling	  gear	 is
       waterproof  out	of  the	 shop,	but  can  either  lose that
       waterproof capability over time or has annoying leaks at the
       seams.  Leather	care  products	are good for increasing the
       appearance and suppleness of leather but aren't	necessarily
       good at waterproofing, especially on seams and stitching.

       A  good waterproofing product will also provide a measure of
       protection for the leather -- Sno-Seal is a good example.

       Hint: if you have cotton stitching, don't use  Dubbin.  It's
       reported	 to cause the stitching to disintegrate faster than
       compounds like Sno-Seal.

       10.5  Waterproof gear

       10.6

       Even  waterproof	 clothing  can	start  leaking	over  time,
       generally  at the seams. If applying Sno-Seal is impractical
       and re-stitching the seams doesn't work, it may be  time	 to
       buy  another set. Most wet-weather gear should last for many
       years, though.

       Tim Marsh  <phil@insted.unimelb.edu>  offers  the  following
       method for cleaning a Dri-Rider jacket:

	 1.  Empty  _all_  pockets. Dump your jacket in a bath with
	     washing powder of your choice and fill enough to cover
	     the jacket with water (lukewarm was fine with mine).

	 2.  Push,  prod and pummel the jacket until the water runs
	     murky.  I ended up hanging onto the  shower  rose	and
	     stomping  all over the jacket. Efficient but slippery.

	 3.  Drain the bath, fill with clean water. Repeat step	 2.

	 4.  Repeat  step 3 until the water no longer becomes soapy
	     or discolours. This could take a  long  while.  Decide
	     for  yourself just _how_ clean you want your jacket to
	     be.

	 5.  Hang the jacket up to  dry.  Best	to  drape  it  over
	     something. A wet dri-rider is bloody heavy.

	 6.  Fill  in the Name, address, blood group details again.

       If you're careful and don't use hot water, a washing machine
       on the gentle setting might save a lot of effort. YMMV, IMHO
       etc.

       11.  3.6 An explanation of safety tests

       12.

       An explanation of safety tests [ under construction ]

       12.1  Australian Standards

       12.2

       AS 1609
       AS 1698
       12.3  Snell

       12.4

       " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "  "
       " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "

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