We rely on our bikes to perform when the time counts, the brakes, good tyres, top fuel, so we keep them serviced. No one likes to be that guy with the flat battery holding up your Saturday ride out! But how bad would it be if you held them up because of a zipper? So what about your gear? The weather might not be inspiring us to ride right now, so why not settle down with one of your favorite movies, “On Any Sunday” is my pick, and check your riding gear for 2020.
Yeah, I get it, your boots are comfy and you’ve had that jacket for years, it’s just right – but is it? Let’s face it, we all like to look good on our rides, but should the necessary occur for that kit to stand up to an “off” is it going to do the job? Here’s my top tips for checking your riding gear this winter to make sure you’re set for 2020:
- Stitching and zips: take a good look across the seams, are they still holding, is anything fraying, or is the material it’s stitched through holding well? The stitching of your kit comes under massive stress during an impact or slide, it’s what keeps the integrity of the garment. Any zips are also a part of that, has it bust a couple of times and you’re getting away with a couple more rides? If the rest of your garment is fine, get it replaced with an equally heavy duty, rugged zip if not, replace it. Check your waterproof seams too, are they still sealing, no one likes a cold leak seeping in or a wet arse.
- Boots: oh yeah, the ones that feel like slippers now right? How’s that sole looking, has your foot slipped away a couple of times on those kinda gravelly roads? Check that just like your tyres, you’re not out of grip!
- Gloves: again, check on your stitching, but also how the leather/material is wearing, particularly on the palms, they’re one of the first things you’ll put out during a spill.
- Helmet: So we all know they’ve got a 4-5 year shelf life (cheaper lids only 2!), but if you’ve stored it in your garage you might want to check no beasties decided to nest in there over winter (true story). Also, remember at last years rally when Dave had a few bevvies and bumped your lid from the handlebars, now might be the ideal time to replace that lid. Although the outside looks good, inside the impact will have already compressed the protective inner and won’t be able to protect that area to the same level.
- Protectors: Yup, those wedgy pads we’re counting on to do the job during an impact. At the shoulders, elbows, back, knees and hips, nicely hidden away and we don’t think anything of them. They’re not visible, but certainly have a lifespan! Usually mounted close to your skin and in your protective clothing, these guys are prone to sweat, deodorant, water, heat, chemicals and more, so take your time to look them over. Check for discoloration, cracks, hardening and inconsistency in movement.
We’ve all got kit that could share stories, this rally, that ride out, the time you didn’t actually go home. Riding gear technology is progressing all of the time, and for nostalgias sake you could be missing out on extra protection and comfort. So, kick back, grab your gear, check it over and be ready to ride when you get that Saturday morning call from your mates.
....... Oh, and if you've no clue what I'm talking about here.... you definately need to come and see us ;)
Need to check when you bought your lid? If you bought it with us at West Coast we’ll be happy to check that date for you. Discovered something’s not right with your gear – check out our online store for CE approved gear.