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rlambke19

How do you stay dry?

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Posted (edited)

Stay home and watch Netflix...now that is just silly!

I don't go looking for rain but have never shied away from riding because it might rain or is raining for that matter.

Over the years I have made a number of attempts at finding waterproof gear starting with my Barbour gear, no ventilation, icky waxed cotton, not nearly waterproof enough but hey all the cool guys were wearing it. Next up was a custom made leather suit(my mother was a seamstress who did leather work and she made a suit for my brother so I guilt her into making me one) protection was great, kept me semi warm but not even remotely weather-resistant and leather tends to sag over time and in places that just made you look odd. Skip forward a few years after numerous attempts to find happiness to no avail I finally discover the Tourmaster Defender rainsuit that has provided me with excellent reliability and withstood some spectacular storms, but alas, the zipper went south so the set now occupies space on the rack.

I got to a point where I wanted the space in my top box that the rainsuit occupied so I started the look for a "waterproof" outfit. I have gotten to the point now where I am close, real close but yet no cigar. I have a Revit Legacy GTX jacket that is goretex lined that has held up rather well but depending on the wind direction tends to leak at one of the vent zippers but is a great jacket if you are riding with a "chance" of rain. My next gamble was a used Klim 1st generation Latitude jacket and 1st gen Traverse pants. The pants are perfect apart from the weight and the fact that I have lost 40 lbs and still losing, so they have become a tad uncomfortable when sliding around in the saddle and tend to bunch up on ya....awkwardly. The jacket was bulletproof, heavy, a little bulky now but the collar is nothing but deplorable. You spend that kind of money and get such a mickey mouse set up...sad so sad cause it was always rains down my neck...always.

So I have this Olympia Airglide mesh jacket with in my opinion the best liner jacket that is waterproof apart from the low collar and a pair of Tourmaster Transitions that I now wear and if the rain should appear I now don my Klim Forecast Jacket and pants that throw right over my gear and away I go, no boot removal required due to the full length zipper. 5 minutes tops and I am back on my way. I know it is not what I was after but buying name brand goretex apparel without the desired result you tend to move on. The Forecast(s) have worked well for me just need to find a way to seal up the collar a touch and I will be very happy, and besides I bought them from a chap that purchased them but all of his HD buddies gave him grief so I got them for what it would have cost to replace my rainsuit.

I wear Forma ADV Tourer boots that have been remarkably WP and I picked up a pair of Scotts Goretex gloves about five years ago that have been great inclement weather gloves but started to leak this past year on the LH fore finger seam which have been replaced by a pair of Racer GT(the GT standing for goretex) gloves and the jury is still out on them.

Sorry for getting a little too involved with the post but waterproof/weather resistant gear is a bone of contention of mine. If you went down to the TSC(or where ever it is you buy your wellys) and you slip them on and head out only to step in a puddle and your socks are soaked you would be outraged. why is it as motorcyclists we fork out large money for gear that claims to be "waterproof" only to fail in one form or another and we accept it as our fate and move on to something else(guilty as charged) without batting an eye, outrageous! Why is it that once the product fails we can not just return it and request a refund without issue, you claimed it as waterproof so stand up for your product and give me my money back!

 

Cheers

Edited by tinkerfreak
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15 hours ago, duhg said:

For long-duration rain Frogg Toggs and Aerostich Triple Digit overgloves are my preference.

This is my solution for hot weather.  The Frogg Toggs pack small, are waterproof and breath well.  Several years ago I did a loop around Lake Superior.  Rain every day.  The Frogg Toggs with my mesh gear underneath kept me comfortable and dry.  They look kind of goofy, but work well.  Cheap too!

For cooler weather, my Aerostitch Darien gear is called into service.

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While riding locally in South Florida (wear it rains almost everyday at some point and it's way to hot to use waterproof gear all the time) I wear a mesh jacket from Cycle Gear and Duluth  "Fire Hose" flex jeans. I will throw a "Frog Toggs" jacket over my mesh jacket and let the rest of me get wet. It's normally so warm that you dry off in short order.

When on longer (3 days - 2 weeks) rides I used a First Gear "Rush" jacket all the time and Klim rain pants and hiking gaiters when it rained.

The only thing I've changed lately in that I upgraded to a First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket for touring. 

 

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Here in England it rains so often that our skin has evolved to become waterproof. Easy.

Cheers

Steve

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Posted (edited)

First of all I love the Fort Nine Guy. Funny yet...funny.  Secondly I live in Oregon. Yes the great Northwet!  Yes I spelled "NORTHWET"  I also lived in the Seattle area (even wetter). All toll I've been the the Northwest.... for over 36 years, of which almost all of them have been riding a motorcycle, almost everyday. Commuting in the Seattle area and now in Oregon. So yes I ride in the rain, a lot. That being said, the question asked is "How to stay dry". In short, you don't, entirely that is. Face, hands, wet. Feet, sometimes wet, but good boots make all the difference. Body, yes you can stay mostly dry, but at a cost. Cheap crap is, well, cheap. Years ago I had an older saged experienced hard core rider tell me, (I've been riding for 43 years), I assume he's no longer with us because he was old when I started riding. Anyway his saying was "It's easier to stay warm and dry, than to get warm and dry". OMG the truth soaks through and drips off this if you have crap to wear.  All this being said. I wear a Roadcrafter Aerostich one piece suit almost all the time. I have an old pair of SIDI wellington style boots that are extrememly dry, but most of the time I wear my favorite work boots (Whites) which happen to not be waterproof in any way, shape or form. But I know this and accept it as I usually am commuting, so I know I'll be home in a half hour so it doesn't matter so much. But if I am taking a long trip I bring the SIDI's The Stich does pool water in the seat when it the rains for three, four hours hard and steady. Yes the vaulted Areostich Roadcrafter will leak through and of course in the crotch, but nobody notices as it is a onesy. This being said. I'm not about to replace it. I just try not to ride in four hours of steady hard rain. Now when it comes to the hands. If anyone says there are waterproof motorcycle glove, they are lying to you. Sure you can wear the over gloves that aerostich sells and they will keep you dry, but they aren't the easiest things to use. Or you can wear rubber surgical gloves underneath your spongelike gloves. But in anything other that a very light mist there are no waterproof gloves. They are like Honest Lawyers and Artesian wells. You know they exist, but no one has ever seen one.  Some bikes are better than others in the rain. Full fairings work well. the Goldwing the larger Beemers and the Kawasaki Concours all have great rain protection, but not entirely. The FJ-09 with a larger windshield is ok, not great, but that's my current choice of machine and my take on staying dry.

Edited by 2linby
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Actually, my Gerbing heated gloves keep my fingers dry.  The exposure time though is limited to about an hour at a time.  My riding during the winter months is primarily commuting, not pleasure.

I have some Tourmaster Epic boots that keep my feet dry.  I ended up buying two pairs...the normal Epic boot for colder months and the "Air" version for the summer.

I've read some comments about water going down the neck.  When you're buying a jacket, look at the collar.  For instance the Tourmaster Transition jackets are very similar to the Olympia jackets...but the collar isn't as high.  I've never had water go down my neck with my Olympia AST2 or Ranger jackets.

Chris 

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:58 PM, motopumps said:

Same here.  Klim Goretex gear and Alpinstar or Gaerne Goretex boots.  The only issue I have is gloves.  Still have not found any decent gloves. 

Suggestions for good gloves that actually stay dry?


Rob

The Rukka Virium gloves I have is completely waterproof and comfortable.

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I don’t go looking for rain, but I won’t let it keep me from riding. I’ve tried a whole lotta methods, gear, etc, and my preference is the full barrier method.  I have dedicated raingear, with full coverage. Two piece Olympia rain suit, Aerostich triple digit glove cover, Aerostich boot rain cover, silk balaklava with enough fabric to tuck into my jacket to prevent rain coming in under my helmet.  Also, I wear a smartwool layer on my skin, just in case I do have some water seep in it’ll still keep me warm. 

 

I ride mostly in California, so hot weather rain is a rarity. The couple of times it’s happened I just kept riding, got wet, and dried off. I have no idea what it’d be like to ride in Florida, or any of the hot muggy rainy states.

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I don't recommend any gear with an inner waterproof layer.  They're fine for a 30 minute commute, but not much longer. The outer layer holds water and eventually it finds a way to soak through. 

I have an old Teknic jacket I really like. The inner layer is a mesh jacket. A waterproof layer zips to the outside (and an insulated layer to the inside but it's REALLY bulky that way). It also has a rubber zipper guard inside. Water still gets in through the collar.

Even my 1 piece Aerostich still eventually gets water up the sleeves. 

Now for boots A* boots with Gore tex are great. Drystar works, too, but it's much less breathable. So long as I have waterproof pants over the tops of the boots, water never gets in.

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Modern tires are fabulous in the rain. Love a good rain ride. 

Have always used Sidi or TCX goretex boots year round. Gloves, have kept dry hands using: plain old gloves plus triple digit rain covers, Held goretex gloves, and a couple of the double gauntlet gloves such as the Scorpion Tempest.

Suit: Used to do the over suit. Eventually went Motoport two piece mesh kevlar with zip in liners. Toured the factory and had mine custom made. Since most of my riding is in good weather I live with the inconvenience of having to make the decision to put the rain liners in before I ride or stop and remove to insert liners. But, when they're in they keep me dry. The collar on the motoport was crap so used a wicking neck covering.  

Also have a Teknic Goretex jacket that motorcyclegear.com sold on closeout for $65. It's a big heavy 3/4 jacket with an additional insulation liner. Terrible venting but great at keeping warm and dry. Just can't stand to use it if there's a chance temps will rise. 

Last year knew my big summer trip would have a ton of rain but not super cold. And the Motoport is getting pretty old. Decided to try a FirstGear Kilimanjaro 37.5. This is one of the  outer-shell-only-provide-your-own-layering style. Laminate waterproof breathable shell. Good venting and adjustability of armor placement is really nice and imo necessary for an off the shelf product. Tons of features. Did the job, kept me dry. It has an included under helmet hood but didn't need to use it. 

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I tried many different pieces of so called waterproof gear until I heard of Klim. Now, I own about $2500 in Klim gear, some of it is 4 years old and it is still waterproof.  I run the Klim Apex more than any other jacket. I have ridden around in 7 hours of downpour in the PNW and stayed completely dry.   Olympia got me wet, Frog Toggs rip and tear too easily and get me wet. Klim keeps you dry, and is among the most protective gear that money can buy. 

They are also well known and bought by the snowmobile segment.  Warmth, dryness and long lasting protection is not cheap. 

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And just to make sure everyone knows the trick to putting on rain pants during a ride…  if you go on a ride carrying your waterproof gear in your saddlebags instead of wearing it, and you need to put it on because it starts to rain, carry a couple of plastic grocery bags and rubber bands (this isn’t critical, but helpful). Slide the plastic bag over your boots, secure w/rubber band, then put on your rain pants.  The plastic cover will help your boots glide through the pants without getting stuck. This is especially useful if you’re doing a roadside suit up as it starts to rain.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, maximo said:

And just to make sure everyone knows the trick to putting on rain pants during a ride…  if you go on a ride carrying your waterproof gear in your saddlebags instead of wearing it, and you need to put it on because it starts to rain, carry a couple of plastic grocery bags and rubber bands (this isn’t critical, but helpful). Slide the plastic bag over your boots, secure w/rubber band, then put on your rain pants.  The plastic cover will help your boots glide through the pants without getting stuck. This is especially useful if you’re doing a roadside suit up as it starts to rain.

This is excellent advice!   My way of keeping rain from trickling down my neck is to carry a narrow length of cotton towelling with the wet-weather gear.   I wrap this round my neck tightly and zip-up the jacket collar tightly - the towel forms a kind-of gasket, and even if it become soaked seems to be an efficient barrier. 

As for gloves, very many moons ago in a wetter clime I bought some heavier-duty gloves with a small zipped pocket on the back - when opened this revealed a thin nylon over-glove, which also worked well.   

For feet, I figure it doesn't matter too much if boots get wet, while wanting to keep feet dry, so I pull on a plastic bag over each socked foot, then add boots over the bags.   Not especially elegant, but it works!

Edited by wordsmith
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