I've done a fair few miles this year on a range of motorcycles, and as you would expect in England, in a range of different conditions. From a glorious heatwave to torrential rain, and everything in between.
To this end, I thought I'd do a quick mid-year review of the riding gear I've been using and a brief overview of it.
This year I tried something new, a flip front helmet. AGV make what is probably the best Flip front helmet available, the AGV Sportmodular. It’s a full carbon fibre helmet so is light and strong.
In my experience, this helmet has been very stable, hardly any buffeting, even at high speed. There's a reasonable amount of wind noise at speed, but I have an action cam and a Cardo intercom mounted on the outside of the helmet. I'm pretty sure both create turbulence and wind noise.
Its comfortable looks good and is a very high-quality helmet. Full review here.
I've been using a Richa Infinity 2 for a while now. Richa says it's the best four-season jacket they've ever made. It’s a great jacket and really is an all year jacket. It has two separate and removable linings (one waterproof and one thermal), and an air vent system for those really hot days. You also have D3O protection at shoulders, elbows and back, with optional chest protection.
Its lightweight, comfortable and great for all but the heaviest rain. This tends to be my go-to jacket if I'm street riding as it's nice and light.
For 2020 I tried the Dainese Gran Turismo GORE-TEX® Jacket. This is the best Gore-Tex touring Jacket currently available.
This is a serious jacket. It offers great abrasion resistance, it's very strong, has superb impact protection and has the best weather protection I have experienced in a touring jacket. There are two removable linings, one doubles up as a thermal fleece that can be worn on its own, an internal kidney belt and plenty of pockets.
This really is a great touring jacket and has been excellent in all conditions. It’s a bit heavy when it's really warm, but is vented so if you're moving it's fine. Full review here
All I wear these days is my black Richa original jeans. I have to confess here that the main reason is I can't fit into my old textile trousers any more. However, these are so comfortable that I love wearing them. They have CE certified D3O armour in the hips and knees and safety stitching all over the jeans, along with an aramid fibre reinforced interior lining.
The only issue is that they aren't particularly waterproof so my next purchase will likely be some (bigger) waterproof trousers.
I have two pairs of gloves. Essentially summer and winter. My summer gloves are TucanoUrbano MRK2 which are synthetic suede on the palm and Aero 3D mesh inserts for ventilation. Silicone rubber on the fingers improves grip and there is soft CPS certified armour on the knuckles. These are very comfortable gloves and great when it's warm. Realistically they are probably a little light for big bike riding.
For winter riding or just riding when it's cold, I have a pair of Dainese Nembo Gore-Tex gloves. These are fully waterproof touring gloves and are excellent. They have protection on the knuckles, adjustable cuff straps and are very comfortable. I have worn them in warm weather and my hands got a bit sweaty. That's my fault though. These are really good gloves and have excellent waterproofing. When it's particularly cold, and I've been on an unfaired bike, my hands did get a bit cold wearing these, but most of the time they are great gloves.
Lastly, we have boots. Generally, if I'm just going out for a ride, I'll wear my TucanoUrbano Sneaker Marty. These are a 100% Leather with a breathable polyester lining and are completely waterproof. I really like these boots, they are strong, waterproof and offer great protection. They are comfortable and look great too, like normal sneakers.
If I'm In a more serious mood, I'll slip on the Dainese Fulcrum GT Gore-Tex boots.
These are very serious boots and are genuinely superb. They have a leather upper with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, a rubber sole, generous padding and excellent support and protection. Closing with zipper and straps at the side, these are really comfortable and you can easily wear them all day, in all weather.