Episode 35: Going Sport-ish - Leather, Suspension, and Tires Chatter; Maintaining the Cafe (but Protective) Aesthetic
So what's a girl to do when her ride is getting its BIG 12K service: ride a scooter with the boys OR try an F800S? If you guessed the latter, you might follow me on Twitter. In Episode 35, Joanne and I talk about my virginal experience on something sportbike-ish. Not a true sport bike (since I've been peppered with comments on my premature classification), the F800S *does* have a sportier position than my F650GS and 15 more horses. After listening to Greg White's fine little speech on RPM management at the Star Motorcycle and Riders for Health event you all likely missed (looking at you SoCal denizens), in practice I learned a thing or two. I ride well below the RPM I should be at on my bike. I tested this RPM theory while riding the F800S this weekend, primarily on Sunday. Who knew sporty-ish would be so much fun!
On suspension - I have the Progressive Suspension 465 Series shock...and new springs.
Want to preserve your cafe aesthetic but still have a decent level of protection? Not every brand makes a quality product fit for highway wear, but there are a few out there to consider. When we say fit for highway, we're talking thickness. 1mm or less is THIN. While neither of us have crashed in thin leather or care to dig up a story on someone who has, just knowing I slid in 1000 Denier Cordura (close to the highest weave you can buy) and was missing sections of it, gives you an idea of what a short, smooth slide can do.
Bates is a custom leather line, based in Southern California - The Traditional for example is made to fit you: long arms, torso, and all.
Vanson is another custom leather line, based in Massachusetts - There are a few different options (traditional or metro styling) but you will have to arrange to sew in pockets for CE-rated shoulder, back, and elbow protection.
Stepping outside of the US, Italian leather manufacturer Dainese has a few options for men with cafe-ish styling: the R-Twin, the Stripe EVO, and the Speed Naked.Wave You will have to purchase back protection for these jackets separately. Typically it's the Wave that is compatible, but always check to be sure. Dainese also makes jeans with kevlar woven in...