This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Ask the Chap, so please forgive us. The only difference this time is that we have produced a video, so that you don’t have to invest any of your valuable time reading all those complicated words. So if watching a video is going to work better for you, just click on the visual above.
Now, over the years that we’ve been in the motorcycle business, explaining how bike gear works, and explaining what you need for whatever your kind of biking is, has become a bit of a Motolegends thing.
It was something that Sara and I agreed we wanted to do when we first opened our doors. And for one main reason. Nobody had ever explained anything to us when we first got into motorcycling! Throughout our early biking years, we acquired lots of gear, but we had absolutely no idea what we were buying and why. We bought leather suits because that was what everybody else at that time seemed to buy. We had no clue about membranes. We didn’t even know you could stay dry on a bike! Nobody explained how to stay warm either. We had no inkling as to what gloves or boots were best for the kind of riding we did. When we bought helmets we simply bought ones that matched our bikes. We were totally clueless; and so were most of the people we bought it from.
It’s why, as a company, we have always done blog posts, videos, bulletins and printed articles on subjects like the differences between drop-liner and laminated garments, between Kevlar jeans and single-layer jeans, about how to effectively use layers, how a waterproof membrane works, how to fit a Pinlock and so on.
But we still get a lot of visitors here to the shop who don’t know where to start. They don’t know how much they need to spend, they don’t know what they should be riding in. When it comes to protection, they don’t fully understand the relationship between abrasion resistance and impact protection. They have no knowledge of what constitutes a good fit, and so on and so forth.
And so, not long ago, set up a service called “Ask the Chap”. We know that lots of people have questions they want to ask. But here in the shop we can see that customers are often bluffing their way through, hoping that they can come across as more knowledgeable than they are. And I suppose people do this because they don’t want to look foolish. Of course, we don’t see things this way. We never condescend to those people who have come to biking more recently, and who perhaps have less knowledge; especially when they are open about it. The truth is that we like to be helpful. We like to explain stuff.
But remember what it was like when you were at school. Nobody wanted to be the person who put their hand up in the classroom, for fear of the possibility that the other kids would laugh at them. The irony, of course, was always that the other kids were equally in the dark; they just weren’t brave enough to put their hands up. And it’s that same fear, I suspect, that stops a lot of people asking questions about motorcycle gear.
So, here’s how this service works. If you have a question about motorcycle clothing, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org We will get back to you. If we think it’s a question that lots of people might want the answer to, we’ll even make a video about the subject, and put it on Youtube.
But let’s set a few parameters or guidelines. We are looking for generic questions, not specific ones. That is to say that asking us what the best helmet or jacket or glove is for you, given your sizing requirements, is not what this is about. In fact, we are not interested in getting into brand or product questions or comparisons. Don’t ask us whether an Arai or a Shoei is best for you. Asking what style of helmet you need for a round-the-world trip is more like it, but essentially we are looking to help people by dispensing technical advice. What do the vents on my helmet do? Why are flip-lids quieter? What is a Pinlock? What is ECE 22-06? What’s the difference between Mesh and Bluetooth? What’s the difference between A, AA, and AAA certification, and so on?
So if there are things to do with motorcycle clothing that you don’t understand, or that are confusing you, send us an email. But let me say one thing, please. This is a serious attempt on our behalf to help those who want and need advice. We will simply ignore silly questions like: “Why didn’t Furygan agree to replace my trousers with a broken zip”. Or: “Why does my jacket leak?
We here at Motolegends live with motorcycle clothing day in and day out. For me, in particular, it is my life. I spend every day talking motorcycle wear with customers, distributors, manufacturers, test houses, consultants and designers. As a result, we know a lot about motorcycle clothing and how it works. But for most of our customers it’s different. You’ve got proper jobs. You can’t spend the amount of time we do getting to understand bike gear. You may be an expert in your field. If you’re a plumber, I won’t try to tell you how to fix our toilet. I will defer to you. There’s absolutely no reason for you to have an intimate knowledge of the kind of subjects we’re talking about here. So if you’re confused, let us help.
Now, I personally may not know everything, although Sean here assures me that he does. But if, between us, there’s a question we cannot answer, then you can be sure that the man (or woman) who does have the answer is no more than a phone call away. And we will get that answer for you.
Frankly, you won’t get the answers you want from most dealers. They just don’t care. You won’t get them from the press, who care and know even less. And you won’t get them from some geezer on a forum. You’ll get plenty of opinions, often forcefully expressed, but these guys are not clothing professionals, and most of them hold their deeply felt convictions based on a sample of one!
So if you have some serious questions, and want some serious answers, ask the Chap in the Cap!
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