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Trusted Kit: Trails of Rajasthan

We have just launched our latest Sideburn Adventure Trip, to the Rajasthan region of India with Vintage Rides. I went in January this year and loved it (obviously, or we wouldn't be offering it).

I wrote about the Trails of Rajasthan trip in Sideburn 53, but didn't write about the kit I rode it in, so here it is. From top to bottom. Gary Inman

Davida Jet helmet

I've worn Davida helmets for over 25 years, it's my number one choice when I want to wear an open-face. They're made in Britain, still, but this model is discontinued. They currently make the smaller shell, with less padding, 70s style Speedster (the shape popular with the chopper crowd). This Jet is leather lined and was painted by Ornamental Conifer. I wore it when I rode from New York to San Francisco and back (in 20 days) back in 2012.

I like an open-face on a trip like this, because I always feel it can be a bit intimidating for a group of foreigners to roll into a village, all covered and masked by full-face or MX helmets. With this, I can pull down my scarf and show I'm human with a goofy smile.

100% Barstow Ornamental Conifer goggles

Aimed at trendy road riders, rather than MX or enduro racers. I have a couple of pairs in different designs, and really like the collabs they do with the likes of Death Spray Custom, Bon Zorro, Dimitri Coste, Deus Ex Machina and more. The Barstow have a faux leather tab that connects the elasticated strap to the plastic frame that, on one pair of mine, looks like it's about to snap. Also, the frame doesn't surround the full edge of the lens and it's tricky to get it really seated in, for me at least. I hardly ever wear goggles on the road, relying on sunglasses or specs, only using them in a downpour. If I don't have goggles perched on the top of this helmet it looks stupid.

Holy Freedom Neck Tube

Holy Freedom have made a lot of special edition stuff for Sideburn over the years. We currently have the last few pairs of Fuzztone gloves, and some neck tubes as part of our 85% Club pack. This is a very comfortable neck tube, not much more I can say. It was filthy by the end of the dusty trip.

Moulded ear plugs

I got measured for them at Motorcycle Live in Birmingham years and years ago. My tinnitus is terrible, but these ear plugs are hopefully making sure it doesn't get any worse.

Icon Airform Battlescar Jacket

I'm not sure why, but I do like a bit of camo. This riding jacket reminds me of what the Wrenchmonkees were wearing when I first met them 15 years ago. They were the first riders I met who were mixing North Face hiking coats with superbikes. This is showerproof, has zip-up pockets, it just feels right. I've taken all the armour out of it, because of the next bit of kit. It also has a hood, that gets a bit flappy above 90mph (not a problem on an Enfield 500).

Adventure Spec Supershirt

Adventure Spec (AS) are a UK-based company making well-thought-out kit for adventure bikers and touring riders, plus hard parts for ADV and trail bikes. One of their concepts is hiking gear for motorcyclists. Another is light is right. Another is about layering. Their thinking is, if you're riding from Scotland to Southern Spain, you're going to encounter a lot of weather, so while you don't want to compromise on safety (too much), you don't want to be boiling or freezing.

The Supershirt is part of the foundation of that thinking. It's an armoured, very tight-fitting armoured garment. It has elbow, shoulder, back and chest armour. The tight-fitting element is important, because if/when you do crash, the armour stays in place on impact. It doesn't shift to expose the area it's supposed to protect (like armour in pockets of looser jackets). It was all-day comfortable, but it is warm on a hot day. It has a full-length zip up the side to the neck, around the side of the chest protector, and thumb loops, again to stop the arm padding moving on impact. The armour comes out of the pockets so it can be easily washed, unlike a lot of body armour undershirts with sen-on armour.

Adventure Spec Alpine Windproof Glove

First time I'd really worn them and I liked them a lot. Easy to get on and off, even with sweaty hands. More protection than an MX glove, less than a good road race glove. Conductive fingers for touch screen use.

Sideburn x Kriega T18 Backpack

The best motorcycle luggage you can buy. Comes with a ten-year guarantee. This Sideburn special edition has our branding and some exclusive touches like a tyre pattern Hypalon net, and extra 3M reflective panels. It has two compartments, one is waterproof. It really is unbeatable. It seems expensive, compared to some packs, but over it's lifetime it isn't.

I fitted a hydration pack for this trip. It doesn't come as standard, but it's set up for having one fitted.

Saint Unbreakable Jeans

Australian company who make 'the world's toughest denim'. Impact resistant, but these are not armoured. Super-comfortable, and offer protection from road rash (that regular denim doesn't), but not actual impact protection. They do offer models with armour too. And they have a sale on at the moment.

Hebtroco Moto Boots

I rave about these black oiled suede boots every time I get an opportunity. Made in England and unbelievably comfortable. I've been hiking in them, worn them on trips to India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, walked 15 miles a day around Japan in them. The best.

Take a look at our Trails of Rajasthan trip or our new Adventures page for trips we have coming up in Morocco, Nepal and India.


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