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The truth about motorcycle riding gear

The truth about motorcycle riding gear

We’ve been all 18 years old ones. Lacking on reasonable decision making big time, and the only thing slowing us down was the size of balls. Back then, when I started riding on the street, I was not thinking in terms of protection, and it actually didn’t seem anyone would care, really. Also I didn’t freeze money to be able to buy riding gear along with that motorcycle. A ridiculously cheap helmet and a not even real leather jacket should do the job. Guess what… I’ve learned it the hard way.

I was knocked out and woke up on the lap of a Dutch lady who gave me water. Even though I hit that guardrail pretty hard, it seemed I got away without fractures. To give you a measure… the chassis of my bike broke in three pieces. My helmet flew off my head even though the strap was closed. My ‘alibi leather’ jacket ripped apart on the left side, as well as my jeans and sneakers. Positive aspect… that EMT didn’t had to cut much to get me out of the rest of my clothes. The pain of 3rd degree burns is something you’ll never forget, and the treatment is is a journey. Nurses pulling asphalt pieces with pin setts and literally washing your wounds with iodine. I’m sure today you’ll get a partially anesthetization and a trophy just for attending… I got a wood stick to bite on back then. Then they patch your open wounds up, which gets renewed every day. Done that ones?! Well, at least there the hair ain’t grow anymore.

Akkaya Replica by MJL Leathers

Akkaya Replica by MJK Leathers

Needless to mention that my interest for proper riding gear was triggered immensity. Since then, the quality and efficiency of my riding gear has priority and is top notch. I actually can look back through decades of development of riding gear and to be somewhat part of it when I got into racing. One of my early sponsors developed my racing suits in an impressive speed, and upon lots of fan requests they made a street rider version, the ‘Akkaya Replica’, which turned to be a bestseller for MJK Leathers in Europe. It was quite a pleasure to autograph fan suits in the paddocks :-)

But enough of me, so let’s see what’s suppose to be “real” motorcycle riding protection here. Let’s see what I can give you on the way here from what I’ve learned with all this, and with the things I still get to see with about 1500 students per year. First off… when do you need the best riding gear possible? How about during the time when your riding level is not that good- or if your balls are bigger than your ability to judge ‘distance and speed’?! That’s when you’ll need it the most. Don’t ya?! Now where are you at? How do you see yourself leveled objectively when you take ego out of equation? That seems to be impossible for the most, so how about we don’t put the gear question based on level and prioritize this.

MotoGear USA and Superbike-Coach

MotoGear makes affordable custom suits

I’m guessing you are not a professional rider, so you do a regular job. You have Mondays to do- a family to feed. Someone is waiting for you at home and you want to be safe as possible. Now what is the safest motorcycle riding gear… real leather! Tight sitting and sweat tearing leather- from the neck down to your feet. At this point it doesn’t matter if it’s a one-piece or two-piece leather suit as long as you can zip them together. Why leather over textile? If you watch MotoGP, then you see them getting up 90% at a time, and sometimes running back to the garage to keep going with the session… in the suit they just crashed with. I’ve seen riders crashing in textile on a parking lot which made that stuff useless. Just this comparison should ring the alert bell.

Even if your textile gear sits some kind of snug- the flex in there and the fact that it burns through (so things come lose then) doesn’t keep all your protectors in place. They turn away at first contact with the asphalt and so your knee, elbow or shoulder is receiving full impact. Non of the textile like materials can deliver the strength, flex and heat resistance leather can give you. I’ve seen riders actually getting injured by the protection. He was in kevlar jeans. The ‘alibi’ knee protector slid away- he broke his knee cap, and the protector cut so deep into his flesh so that his leg bone was exposed. Yea, no shit!

Snug leather is more sexy anyway, isn’t it? Yup, I know it’s hot- I know it’s more expensive, but you guys need to finally understand to add another 1500 onto this subject… your health over horsepower.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Coach Reviews Continental TKC80 Tires

I seriously love to ride our 2018 Ducati Multistrada Enduro Pro. When this version came out and I saw a pic of it- the first thing I thought was that the damn thang looks like a Indiana Jones movie. This is why we’ve gave it the name ‘Indy’ :-)

There are lots of reasons why I like this bike so much. Besides a ton load of technology in regard electronics (like an semi-automatic suspension), it’s got that mean battle cry only a 1200 V2 can put out. Well, especially after some mid pipe modifications. Furthermore it’s wild design, combined with all the tech and it’s pure size. That fascinated me the most.

But there was something else which got my racer blood temps up. Something which make this a bad ass ride. The aggressive look of those mud slinging animalistic appearing tires man. So I was sitting there looking at the picture smiling… who the hell is gonna ride that thing on asphalt?!

Even those Italian engineers an designers came to my mind. They seem to have a blast and went “F… it. Let’s give it 160 horses and put it on dirt tires!” So yea… I would ride it :-)

So when Indy finally arrived last January, it came on Italian manufactured 70/30 (dirt/road ratio) dirt tires with about 400 mls on them. So enough meat on them to do a row of Road Skill 1on1’s while I was waiting for Continental to send us replacement. In other words- I can compare here directly, right?!

Now here is the thing. 99% of the time I use this bike to work with lots of Road Skill students, so on asphalt. You might look for the sense of even putting 80/20 dirt tires on again, and even my boys at Conti are asking questions. But I have three reasons. I already mentioned one reason above, and the second is to literally keep me physically in check. You know… ex pro racers are very sick people ;-)

Logically, a dirt bike tire is not good on Highway mileage and top end grip, but the TKC delivers a hell of grip for a 80% knobby tire. I mean… look at the pic above. I have less chicken strips on my sides then most street riders have on their Sportbikes. That should tell the story in this regard.

So yea, the mileage I got out of my first set of Contis is not really compelling, especially when you are a true Adventure Biker. This is all relative though. I mean, if I would have used a Sportbike with comparable power- I also would get about 5000 miles out of the rear tire- BUT this set here cost only half as much. OK, I swapped the first TKC rear with 5200 mls on it, but I still had about 20% left. The 70/30/ tire the bike came with was totally done at 2800 mls already, and not to forget that the TKC is a 80/20.

At the air pressures I am riding at, I have phenomenal feedback from the rear and front. I ride those tires on the lowest Traction Control setting I have, and I can hang on exits right in there. I bet if Conti would redesign them a little, they would cost lots of Sportbike confidence for some. They could connect the smaller knobbies on the sides with the bigger one next to them to achieve more stability in full lean. Oh boy :-)

Good bridge to make my third reason. I kick so much ass on those TKC80 that it should turn on a light bulb on you, for what more asphalt appropriate tires from Continental must be capable of then, right?!!

Hoeadcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

#contimotousa #tkc80 #contitrack #tkc70