Mid October Ride

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a fellow K1600 rider who is making a 50 state tour on his BMW.  We wanted to see if we could meet up as he passed through Upstate NY and ride together for a few miles.  After a few emails to coordinate the meeting, I took the day off from work and met Chuck in Wilmingtom VT at about 9 am on 10/17/13.

After introducing ourselves, Chuck took a quick photo to document our meeting and we headed out.  We took some nice back roads towards North Adams MA and then into Williamsburg MA where we stopped to take some pictures of the Williams College campus.  Williams College has plenty of well beautiful and well maintained colonial buildings.  It’s a great place to see classic New England architecture.

We left Massachusetts and headed Southeast toward Catskill NY.  When we arrived in Catskill, we stopped stopped for gas and planned the next part of the ride.  The weather was warming up nicely by now and it was into the low 70’s – quite warm for mid October.

We set out towards Kingston to get on to Rt 209.  At about 3:00, we stopped at a nice little Mexican restaurant for lunch and some more relaxed conversation.   Chuck ‘is another rider who had previously been riding Harley’s before switching to the K1600.

After lunch, we continued down Rt 209 toward PA.  We reached Port Jervis at about 5:00 pm and soon after crossing into PA, I decided it was time for me to head back home.  We pulled over to the side of the road near a small motel to say goodbye.   As we went to shake hands, my bike rolled backwards a little bit, my foot slipped, and I dropped the bike over onto its right side.  Chuck quickly helped me to get the bike back upright and we parted ways.

If you’re reading this Chuck, it’s OK to laugh, I certainly did.  What a memorable way to say goodbye!  I hope the rest of your journey is safe and snow free.

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RevIt! Everest GTX Jacket

Now that the weather is getting cooler here in Upstate NY, I started looking for a new winter riding jacket.  I’ve been using a  Tour Master Transitions 2 jacket that I bought last fall.  Unfortunately,  the main zipper broke making it useless for riding.  I considered having the zipper replaced but I’ve come to appreciate high quality riding gear and instead, decided to upgrade to a better quality jacket.

On of the things I was looking for was a jacket that was waterproof on the outside rather than relying on a waterproof liner.  I would rather not have to stop and put on rain gear every time it looks like its going to rain.  Traditional rain gear seems to work well but all too often, I either put rain gear on and never actually run into rain or I wait a little too long and end up stopping while it’s raining to put rain gear on.

Earlier this year, while wearing my Dainese Spedio D-Dry igh-tech jacket and Dainese D-Dry pants, I rode through some heavy rain.   What I found was that while the waterproof liner does indeed keep you dry, once the outer shell gets wet, it can get cold.  The cold, wet jacket against the waterproof liner can be miserable to ride in even when it’s relatively warm outside.    Another downside of waterproof liners is that you need to have them in the jacket/pants when it starts raining.  If the liner has been removed for warm weather riding, it’s quite inconvenient to put a liner in on the side of the road.  This is especially true for the pants.

So, after this experience I went back to wearing a rain suit over my jacket.  The inside liners are fine for keeping wind out and providing some thermal protection, but are far from perfect for real life foul-weather riding.

Safety features are also high on my list of priorities.  Good abrasion resistance, high quality protective armor, and reflective areas are all important items that I looked for.  Thankfully, good safety features seem to be fairly standard for riding gear these days and there are plenty of choices.

REVIT-Everest-GTX-JacketAfter spending hours comparing features, I decided on the Rev’It Everest GTX jacket.    I’m about 5’10” tall and 175 lbs and the Large fits me perfectly.

The Pro Shell 3 material bonds the GORE-TEX waterproof membrane with Cordura and Armacor fabrics to provide a shell that is both strong and waterproof without the need for a separate waterproof liner.

Rev’It! uses there own high-tech armor called SAS-TEC to provide CE rated protection in the shoulders and elbows.  This armor is soft and pliable yet becomes rigid when struck.  The back protector included with the jacket is a basic foam pad that didn’t really seem to be all that protective so I removed it and replaced it with a Forcefield back protector out of one of my other jackets.  I may end up buying the proper SAS-TEC back protector in the future.

There’s not a lot of airflow through this jacket even with the front vents opened up so I feel that this is going to be more of 3 season jacket that will be used in the spring, fall, and winter.  I’m hoping that it will be good up to 80-85 degrees bu I’ll have to wait until next summer to find out.

The removable thermal liner and removable thermal collar do a good job of keeping me warm even without my heated gear.  With my heated liner this jacket is very warm.  I’m confident that it will be very comfortable when the temperature drops down into the 20’s or 30’s in the next few weeks.

As far as being waterproof, I haven’t spent hours in the rain yet but did get caught in a heavy downpour one morning on the way to work.  It was only about 10 minutes in heavy rain but I can say that the jacket kept me warm and dry.

As a top of the line jacket, the Everest GTX jacket is quite expensive.  However, I was lucky to get it for 40% off list price during a Revzilla closeout sale.  Unfortunately, I could not get a pair of the Everest GTX pants because they were not available in my size so I’ll have to keep looking for a good pair of waterproof riding pants.   I’ really quite pleased with this jacket.  There’s no doubt that this is a high quality garment.  All the seams are well finished, the armor fits nicely, and it’s quite comfortable to wear.