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Joe Noonan
It's All About The Ride was founded by Britta and Joseph Noonan. Britta and Joe are a happily married couple who share a love for travel, exploring and experiencing all that life has to offer. Currently on a work assignment away from their home in beautiful Coeur d' Alene, ID, they are presently living full-time in a fifth wheel near the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Both Britta and Joe are adventure seekers with experiences and insights into all aspects of exploring and visiting unique locations. From camping off the back of a motorcycle to living out of an RV and exploring off the beaten path, their product and trip reviews come from first-hand knowledge and a love of seeing and experiencing all that life has to offer.

Personal Choices: Full Gear or Somewhere In-Between

Motorcycling is inherently dangerous.  Riding is based solely on an irrational decision. Pure emotion. The reward is beyond compare. As the saying goes, "If I have to explain, then you wouldn't understand". Maybe it's the danger that reminds us that we are alive. Whatever the reason, motorcyclists wave to one another because we all belong to that club. Respect for one another runs deep within the community.

The wave is a sign of respect

Like all communities there are groups within groups or cliques if you will. We have all seen the sport rider on the highway wearing just flip flops, shorts, and a tee-shirt.  I shudder when I see them. As a veteran of a 'get-off', I have seen first-hand what a motorcycle accident can do to you.

Then there are those riders at the other end of the spectrum. Not just riding in full gear but are also adorned with the latest safety airbag jacket adjourned in florescent hi-viz yellow.
Europian Police officer in hi-viz yellow
European Police officer sporting full hi-viz
There are of course helmet laws. Some states will enforce wearing one by law. Other states say to be free, you are old enough to make your own decisions. Within the motorcycle community there are arguments for helmets and against helmets, a full face helmet is better than a 3/4 helmet or a 1/2 helmet. I've seen evidence that a full face helmet can actually make a head or neck injury worse. I believe that there is no perfect gear for every single type of accident that is ever going to happen. You can, however, protect yourself pretty darn good with today's technology. So I choose to err on the safe side. Why not right? I like my skin and I love my wife's skin too!

I fall somewhere between. I admit it, too. I sometimes run down to the store sans helmet because I am just running down to the market. Yet, on a full cross country tour,  I wear full gear. See irrational decision above.

My years of riding have given me a refined kit when it comes to riding gear. I have tried it all. "Dress for the fall", is the motto and I try to whenever I am not feeling "irrational" and free.

As I slowly progressed into a true long distance rider, which is someone who will ride literally all day for thousands of miles on a trip at a time, I found the need for  motorcycle gear that did it all over a range of conditions. On my solo 12,500 mile Alaska trip, the temperature ranged from 28 to 104. I have ridden through 40 degree temperature shifts in a matter of hours. You simply cannot pack a change of jacket and pants for each temperature weather condition, then stop,  put it on, then ride, and again stop and take it off when too hot. Not if you want to get any where.  From that trip I learned that: 1) Do not skimp of your motorcycle gear. 2) Buy  motorcycle gear that is as versatile and protective as possible for all situations. Base layers and liners are key to that versatility. Companies like Aerostitch have a cult following from the long distance riding community.  With that I recently have just switched my LD gear to Hydrophobic leather. My Jacket is made by BMW and called the Atlantis 4. (European customer's can order the Atlantis 4 jacket and pants here.)

Britta and I recently rode the Pacific Coast Highway 101 and US 1 and the Atlantis 4 performed flawlessly for my wife and I. We hit rain several times during our two eek trip and I never head a single drop of rain leak in. Most jackets weak spots are the zipper area. The Atlantis 4 has a dual zipper closure system. The inner fold zips behind the outer zipper creating an impenetrable water seal. It was fun watching the water bead off the leather like a freshly waxed car sheds water. Lightweight, flexible an great looking on and off the bike. The Atlantis 4 is supplied with the latest NP2 crash pads in the elbow, shoulder and full back armor or armour as the Europeans spell it. All are removable. One feature I love is the adjustability of the sleeves. There are two sets of zippers on the forearms. Located under and on top. This lets you tuck in your glove gauntlet or wear it over the sleeve depending on your preference. The fit is loose but not overly. You can see Britta below wearing her's and it fits perfect for walking around.

Britta wearing the Atlantis 4 Jacket paired with the Kushitani Leather Jeans.
I also paired the jacket with a more jean looking pant made by Kushitani. They are a washable waterproof leather riding pant that look and perform amazing.

Yes, I said washable leather!  Kushitani bills the pants as washable leather. I have to say that hands down they are the coolest piece of kit I own.  100% waterproof, removable knee pads and cut to look exactly like 5 pocket denim jeans.
Britta modeling her Kushitani's before we had them hemmed. Notice you barely see the knee protectors.
They look great on and off the bike. They satisfy my protection requirements. They satisfy my weather condition and temperature range requirements. Unfortunately, they are hard to get. I found mine being private labeled for Motus Motors here in the US. They market them under Holy Grail riding pants. Pricey? Hell yes, but they will last 20 years and as long as you don't suddenly go on a pizza eating binge, they will fit you like a perfect pair of old jeans. When walking off the bike doing touristy things, no one can tell they aren't plain ol' jeans. Britta and I love them.

waterproof denim riding jeans are starting to show up more and more
Rev'it Orlando H2O waterproof riding jeans from Revzilla

If you can't find them, Revzilla has a nice cheaper waterproof jean called the Rev'it Orlando H2O Jean.Orlando H2O might be a good choice for you. Especially if you are just commuting. I chose my Kashitani's for long haul multi day/week touring.

Side view of a rider wearing the Rev'it Orlando H2O denim jeans
Rider wearing the Rev'it Orlando H2O denim riding jean. They have a nice 501 style cut.

It is a different technology. My Kashitani's are an impregnated leather to get them hydrophobic. These Orlando's are denim with a hydrotex lined inside. So a little different tech. The lining creates waterproof inside jean BUT the outer denim still gets wet. Consequently they will get heavy when wet until dry.  But at half the price of the Kashitani's they might fit the bill for you.

As always please leave any comments or questions. I would love to hear from you,

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