Wednesday, March 9, 2011

staples, zipties, and duct tape

That's what is holding half of my motorcycle gear together right now. The zipper pull on my right book broke off over a year ago, and after a few cycles of using bits of leather cording (which only lasted about four months before falling apart) in its place, a friend suggested a ziptie which is holding up beautifully. The four-panel seam in the butt of my riding pants started pulling apart about six months ago, and it's currently held together by duct tape. Finally, the long ankle-to-hip zipper on the left leg of my riding pants broke last week, losing four teeth due to catching in the fabric of the hip pad, and is currently held together with a stop made of heavy-duty staples.

And that's just the repairs that are obvious. My gloves are missing the cover layer on the velcro cuffs, since the glue loosened when they were in the dryer so I just cut that part off. My jacket has failing velcro on the right cuff, a busted mesh panel in the left arm, and moving armor in the right arm. And I recently found that my right boot has a tiny tiny pinhole leak in the toe, which luckily is only active in very heavy rain.

I suppose I should expect this - I've already ridden nearly 2,000 miles this year and it's the beginning of March, and everything I wear is at least two years old with some items over four years old at this point. It's hard to say I haven't gotten my money out of my gear, however, although it is definitely time to replace some of it. I've been looking around intermittently for the past few months, but the need sharpened when the zipper on my riding pants broke last week and I spent time last Saturday at Ride West trying on new gear. I wanted some heavy-duty and high-quality gear this time, as while the Olympia gear I have now has held up admirably, there are some features that I'm less than fond of and I'm ready to invest in even better gear. I looked at BMW and Rev'It gear, and wound up selecting the Rev'It Ventura Ladies gear, with the plan to buy the pants now and get the matching jacket later this year. I'm pretty impressed with the gear, even though it's harder to put on due to lack of a full-leg zipper, but the benefits outweigh that little drawback. Unfortunately the one size that I needed was the one size that was not in the shipment, despite being on the manifest, so I am still wearing my staple-and-duct-tape pants until the new ones arrive later this week.

I hope it's soon. I don't trust the staples for much longer.

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