The equipment I normally ride in is helmet, gloves, boots, two piece leathers, back protector, neck warmer when needed, rain suit etc. Also have winter riding suit to keep warm but since moving to Sydney I haven't used it due to the year round riding conditions. The cost of this stuff in my case has been easily in the thousands of dollars.
After a recent discussion with my brother who is returning to riding after a 6 year time out due to raising a family he needed to buy new gear as most of his gear was either worn out or in some cases falling apart.
Just how long does this stuff last? Well some of my gear is pretty old but has lasted probably due to purchasing good gear to start with. Looking after it also helps a lot too. What lifespan is everyone else getting from their gear? Leave a comment or a link to your blog, i'd be interested to know and see if others are getting similar numbers.
Just last year I got myself some new SIDI boots and Alpinestar gloves as the old one's had worn out.The old alpinestar boots had lasted about 8-9 years before the soles started falling off them. The previous alpinestars I had before this did exactly the same thing but they only lasted 5 years. Also my brothers alpinestars only lasted about 2 years before the same thing happened. The gloves lasted me for 11 years, not bad for $69 gloves.
I haven't had an update on the boots since the week after I got them, so here's my take on them.
The fit at first was tight, but after a few rides they are now just right nice and comfortable, and I can now change gears ok as they have loosened up a bit and are a bit more flexible. You really can notice the air vents on these boots especially on a hot day. When you stop and sweat in them then get going again you can feel the air being pushed around the side of your foot and around the heal, cooling you down until that sweat evaporates. Nice free cooling.
My shoei helmet is now 7 years old and I just noticed when I was cleaning it after the last ride that the leather around the neck strap was starting to crack due to age. My 2 previous helmets before this were Arai's a doohan replica and a Kenny Robert Jr replica. The first arai lasted about 8 years before I had to throw it away as the inside lining crumbled into dust. I still have the KR Jr one I got it in 1999, but looking at it now and all the leather/plastic parts are falling apart. Time to throw it out as well, it's just been sitting there as a spare if needed(which it hasn't).Might need a new helmet again in the next year or two.
My leather's are now my next major consideration for replacement as they have started to fade and looks like it is starting to get some small cracks in lots of places. Not to mention the crash damage on the back of them from going down the road at Eastern Creek one time. I bought these back in either 1995 or 96 I can't remember exactly which. That means they are 17 years old which is around about a $100 per year of ownership. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
|Cracking and fading|
Seems to be that you only get what you pay for and if you pay for good quality gear instead of the cheapest thing you can find then it will last you a good length of time. I'll be looking around for a bit to find some new leathers. I've seen some friends Tiger Angel leathers and they look like it's quality gear, Australian made as well. Probably not cheap but that's not my main concern just as long as it's good quality and will last.