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So I recently made an 1100 mile round trip from my home just outside of Memphis to Dallas from the International's Motorcycle Show about 2 weeks ago. Ive made long trips on the bike before and I know its not optimal, but I love the bike, I love riding and its the only one I have. With all of that said, and as the title implies, I ended up riding 365 miles and almost 5 straight hours in the most epic biblical rain storm you could imagine. I did in fact get passed by Noah's ark on I-40.

I had on proper riding gear, rain gear as well as a tank bag, tail bag and backpack and I figured id give a run down of how all of this gear performed under these conditions in case anyone was considering buying the same items, or already has them and doesn't know if they can. trust them. So, without further ado, my thoughts and experience with the following gear:

1. Bilt Frog Toggs Rain Jacket - I bought this at cycle gear. It isn't worth half a shit. I was soaked through within a half an hour. I do understand that all rain gear will leak eventually, especially in the conditions I rode in, but I might as well not have worn it considering how little it protected me. The only upside is that I got the high viz yellow, so at least I was visible. I wouldn't recommend you spend your money on this.

2. Bilt Tornado Rain Pants - Also purchased at cycle gear. Considering how bad the jacket was, these pants were a pleasant surprise. They kept me dry for the most part and my jeans underneath were wet just about to my ankles. Not to bad really for $30.00 bucks. I think this is a solid budget pickup.

3. Scorpion EXO Covert Pro Jeans - These are pretty much my go to riding jeans. They are a pretty heavyweight jean with the kevlar in there which will make you sweat like crazy in the summer time, but they are great in the winter. They keep you fairly warm above 50, and if you layer up underneath you'll be fine in lower temps too. I also like the CE Level 2 armor and the fact that they are a bit on the baggy side, so they are really comfortable. They aren't cheap, but I would recommend these to anyone and I would certainly buy another pair.

4. Hotwired Heated Vest and Pants Liner - This stuff is not cheap, but it is good stuff. Both the pants and the vest kept me toasty warm whenever I needed it. They both have a little tab on the side where you can easily control the temperature. You don't need to buy a separate temperature controller which is great and you can have the pants and the vest set to different temperatures if you want. The tab on them is also easy to see and operate with your gloves on and only has three settings to choose from (Red, Yellow, Green, with Red being the hottest setting). Everything can plug right into the bike with a battery tender lead and it didn't cause me to have any electrical drain or any other issue. The only small complaint I would have would be with the pants. The pants are not really slim fitting and they kind of feel like Adidas track pants, so they aren't always easy to get under your riding pants comfortably as they tend to bunch up a bit. With all of that said, I wouldn't ride in cold temps without this stuff.

5. AlpineStars C-30 Drystgas star Gloves - Drystar my ass. These gloves are great for blocking the cold for a while and they offer decent protection for a cold weather glove, but they will not keep you hands dry. After a while the gloves were completely soaked through and I could literally wring them out at every gas station I stopped at. The insulation just becomes like a giant sponge and soaks up water. Im usually a fan of AlpineStars, but these were a disappointment in the rain. I had expected more for $110.00 I paid for them.

6. First Manufacturing Raider Jacket - What can I say, style is subjective, but I love the way it looks. Its a huge bargain, its got tons of pockets and it keeps me warm. Also, you can find them on amazon for almost $100 less than what Revzilla sells them for and then Revzilla will price match and you can have that no hassle return policy. You definitely want that no hassle return policy because the size chart for these guys is completely FUBAR. I normally wear a L in most things and I had to size up to a XL ( and if gain a few more pounds I'm in trouble).

7. Dianese Tempest D-WP Boots - Best boots ive ever owned, hands down. They are on clearance on Revzilla at the moment and there some negative reviews for some reason. Ive ridden in them for almost 5k miles now in all sorts of conditions and they are the best. They keep my feet warm and dry, they look good, they are comfortable after a short break in and they are CE rated. I would absolutely recommend these.

8. Coretech Micro Tank Bag - Total piece of shit. Its discontinued for a reason. Don't buy it even if you find it on clearance. Its great in perfect weather if you want to hold just a few small things but it will not protect anything from even light rain.

9. Ogio Tail Bag - I thought this bag was great. It is easy to attach to the bike, it holds quite a bit of stuff if you pack it right and the rain cover actually did a decent job of keeping my things dry. The quick disconnect straps are great after a long day on the bike and you just want to get into your hotel. It is well made and fits perfect on the back of the bike. Id recommend it.

10. Sedici T2 Garda Tank Bag - I had to buy another tank bag when I was out in Dallas because I didn't trust the Cortech bag anymore and because I picked up a few things that I needed to bring back. The bag is ok. It holds a decent amount but I don't know that id trust the rain cover that comes with it. Im glad I didn't have to test it out. Also, I'm not sure if this is the bags fault or just because of the shape of the tank, but I was passing a bunch of trucks at about 100 or so just to get around them, and the bag came up and hit me in the chest ! Good thing I was leaning forward over the tank and I tethered it to my bars. That could have been bad. Just an FYI if your thinking about the bag.

11. Ogio No Drag Backpack - I really like this bag. I think it looks cool, it has plenty of internal pockets, the strapping system is great and takes pressure off of your shoulders and back. It is water resistant and not water proof. I'll have to chalk my experience up to operator error though and to quote Forrest Gump - "Im not a smart man". All my clothes got soaked through. I figured it would be ok because the opening to the bag is against my back. I was wrong. Very, very wrong ! If you're going to put clothes in there, put them in something waterproof. Otherwise, the bag is awesome for day to day commuting and short trips.

I hope that helps anyone who is looking to buy any of the stuff. And if you happen to be planning to ride 350 miles in the rain, I might suggest that you don't.

Im happy to answer any questions or random insults thrown my way !
 

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I'm especially grateful for the info on the Frog gear. What a surprise that paper isn't waterproof. I thought it may serve as a back up but now I wont waste the cash.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm especially grateful for the info on the Frog gear. What a surprise that paper isn't waterproof. I thought it may serve as a back up but now I wont waste the cash.
Youre welcome man. Ive had to learn the hard way that the cheap man pays twice !
 

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Disappointing on the A-Stars gloves. 😕

On the magnetic tank bag, I've also had that happen on a naked bike at triple digit speeds. Like you, the tether saved the bag. I think that's just the nature of the beast. On a faired bike, no problem, or keep the speed down.

I love my Hepco & Becker system with the Lock-it ring...
 

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I quickly learnt that cheap gear isn't cheap in the end. I've always used Spidi clothing and it's always kept me dry. Except for one trip, similar to the OP's, when a small leak developed at the stomach area, water got past the velcro closure. That wasn't too much of an issue. My Stylmartin boots sure were, like a bucket of ice water after 20 minutes. It turned out someone had put a few stitches through the Goretex liner at the bottom of the zip. I've just bought some Goretex Gaerne boots which have stretch panels and look like the "in" boots Rossi and co use.
My Spidi gloves have never leaked, but a pair of Triumph (Alpinestars) Goretex gloves did on one hand only.
I have a Spidi full oversuit now if I ever do a long winter trip again.
My next kit will probably be the new Goretex laminated outer layer that's become available.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Disappointing on the A-Stars gloves. 😕

On the magnetic tank bag, I've also had that happen on a naked bike at triple digit speeds. Like you, the tether saved the bag. I think that's just the nature of the beast. On a faired bike, no problem, or keep the speed down.

I love my Hepco & Becker system with the Lock-it ring...
Yeah I was definitely going to fast. I got lucky for sure. Lesson learned!
 

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I use various overpants and an overjacket from a hiking/adventure store. Thin, lighweight, pack down to bext to nothing, are 100% waterproof in torential rain, and last for a few years before they become 90% waterproof.
I ride 5 or 6 days a week, and ususally dont drive, so dry is important.
 

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Great review. Cycle Gear might give you a refund on the Froggs Toggs. Also what were the temps, just curious. Also how was the show? I went years ago in NYC and had a blast.

Ride Sane.
 

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Disappointing on the A-Stars gloves. 😕

On the magnetic tank bag, I've also had that happen on a naked bike at triple digit speeds. Like you, the tether saved the bag. I think that's just the nature of the beast. On a faired bike, no problem, or keep the speed down.

I love my Hepco & Becker system with the Lock-it ring...
I solved that when I had a magnetic bag by putting a layer of that non slip rubberised fabric stuff under the bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use various overpants and an overjacket from a hiking/adventure store. Thin, lighweight, pack down to bext to nothing, are 100% waterproof in torential rain, and last for a few years before they become 90% waterproof.
I ride 5 or 6 days a week, and ususally dont drive, so dry is important.
I was thinking about using stuff made for hunting or camping as well but I was worried about it being able to fit over my jacket comfortably. Are there any brands you would recommend? Hopefully I can find them in the states
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great review. Cycle Gear might give you a refund on the Froggs Toggs. Also what were the temps, just curious. Also how was the show? I went years ago in NYC and had a blast.

Ride Sane.
Thanks man! The temps while it was raining were in the low 50s , so not the worst but I’ve been warmer! The weather on the rest of my trip was actually pretty good for that time of year (mid 50s low 60s and sunny).

The show itself was a bit disappointing. I’m originally from NYC so I used too go to the Javits Center for the show all the time. I went to the show in Dallas this year and last year and I noticed 2 things. The Dallas show is way smaller than NYC and the show in Dalllas was smaller than the year before. There was no Triumph, Ducati, BMW , etc and the manufacturers that were there brought a lot less bikes. If you don’t believe the motorcycle crowd is shrinking just go to the show for a few years in a row.
 

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I was thinking about using stuff made for hunting or camping as well but I was worried about it being able to fit over my jacket comfortably. Are there any brands you would recommend? Hopefully I can find them in the states
I am guessing you will have a bigger range in the US than I do in Aus. Good hiking overpants tend to have full length side zips. I'll have to check what my current ones are branded. The current jacket fits really well over my mesh jacket and the jacket from my astars 2 piece suit, but is a a bit tight over my segura leather jacket.It even has a hood that rolls up into the collar for when i am off the bike.
It also doubles as and extra windproof layer for warmth.
Just wear your jacket to the shop and try them on.
 

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Ideally one should buy Goretex gloves, as samples have to be sent to Goretex to check manufacturing quality and waterproofness before they can go on the shelves. It's why they are more expensive.
 

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Ideally one should buy Goretex gloves, as samples have to be sent to Goretex to check manufacturing quality and waterproofness before they can go on the shelves. It's why they are more expensive.
Yes, true. But as I found, they can still fail. The Goretex guarantee makes sure that retailers have to stand by them though.
 

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I dont ride in the rain. Sorted.
And you live in NZ? That'll cut down riding time.
I don't ride in the rain either, but I'm lucky enough to be retired. When I was a wage slave it was biking everyday rain and shine.
 
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