A Quick Guide to the Best Fall 2017 Motorcycle Riding Gear
Riding a lot means testing a lot of gear—here are some of our favorite pieces for the best time of year to be on a bike.
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For East Coasters like us, Fall is the best time of year to ride. Cooler, but not cold—usually a good 60 to 75 degrees. The landscapes are beautiful with colorful leaves. (Of course, those leaves mean you have to pay extra attention to the road, but really, it's a small price to pay.) No snow and not much rain. Perfect.
As such, we've been riding as much as possible. Especially as temperatures drop, that means testing a bunch of new gear. Here's a quick overview of some of our favorite pieces of kit for the perfect riding season.
Shoei RF-SR ($399)
The Shoei RF-SR is the latest addition to the company line-up. And while it is the least expensive of the Shoei full-face helmets, we found it to share the same craftsmanship as its predecessors, like the RF-1200: comfortable, quiet, good ventilation. I love this tangerine orange model; it has it has a ton of personality—a welcome change from all the black helmets we own—and is also the safer color option: orange makes you hard to miss, even in a car mirror.
James Grose cafe racer jacket ($1,185)
With a classic design, this James Grose cafe racer* maybe the ultimate grab-and-go leather jacket. The original English brand James Grose dates back decades, but was recently reborn under the eye of a Japanese motorcycling enthusiast, and every piece continues to be produced in England in a family-owned East London shop. This jacket is constructed of washed horse leather, for a super-soft feel, and is incredibly comfortable despite the slim fit. The thin lining is still warm enough for fall temperatures. Obviously this is a pricey buy, but it buys you superb craftsmanship and exceptional leather quality. This is a piece you own forever.
Rev'It Lombard 2 jeans ($229.99)
Building on a best-selling riding jean, the second version of the Rev'It Lombard is even better than its predecessor, with great fit and style, a double layer of PWR | shield for extra safety, and SEESMART™ CE-Level 1 protectors at the knee. The jeans are also triple-stitched from Cordura® denim and COOLMAX® for a durable and abrasion resistance fabric that manages to keep you cool—no small feat. Not to suggest these are as comfortable as your old, beat-up Levi's 501s: the Lombards are a little stiff—fine for a bike, but not my first choice for a full night on the town. (That could change after several more hard rides, though.)
Solo NYC Weekender Backpack Duffel ($59.99)
This Solo NYC backpack, is pure awesomeness. Stylish, comfortable, with incredibly clever storage solutions—and inexpensive, to boot. The bag has a back laptop pocket; a duffel enclosure for clothes; two miscellaneous side pockets, and shoe storage in the bottom. There are handles everywhere, making it easy to grab from all angles. It's not huge—it won't fit a helmet, for example—but it comfortably a laptop—power cable and mouse included—notebook, full set of workout clothes, running shoes, sweats and jump-rope. It's a work bag, a gym bag, and a good very comfortable riding backpack, all in one, for sixty bucks. (We told you it was awesome.)
Dainese MIG C2 gloves ($89.95)
I would never get caught riding without gloves, and my go-to pair for these temperatures is the Dainese MIG C2 gloves—stylish, comfortable, and very resistant but not too warm. Built from cowhide and mesh fabric with polyurethane knuckle protectors for additional safety, they offer a good blend of ventilation with performance and abrasion-resistance.
Aerostitch R3 Light ($1,197)
If the weather decides not to cooperate, there's no better way to handle the situation than Aerostich's R3 light one-piece suit. It keeps you dry and safe. It's comfortable and incredibly easy to put on and take off. You can wear anything you want under it. The first time I tried it, I realized it's a must-have for any rider.
BMW R NineT Scrambler ($12,995)
All this talk about fall riding begs the question, What should I ride? Our suggestion of the moment: the BMW R Nine T Scrambler. Arguably the most beautiful of the R Nine Ts, it's a different ride than the other ones: not as precise, especially in corners, mostly because of the tires. It took me a minute to get used to it, but pretty soon I loved the machine. The 1170cc air-/oil-cooled opposed twin pushed 110 hp and 85 lb-ft of torque, so not a hooligan like naked bikes, but a great engine nonetheless. And at this time of the year, you can safely venture on fire roads and experience the leaves turning at the heart of it.
ABUS Disc Lock Granit Detecto X Plus 8077 ($179.99)
We like this ABUS Detecto lock because it has all the advantages of a disc lock—small, easy to carry, easy to put on, tough for thieves to take off—but without the major inconveniences. Two sizable risks with a disk lock are that you forget it's there and start riding (not good for the bike, to say the least), and that thieves can simply lift your bike onto a truck and deal with the lock later. The ABUS beeps when the bike starts moving, reminding the owner to unlock it, and if the bike is picked up the alarm goes full mental. Smartly done.
Now get out and ride!