Is it a good idea to spend 1 lac on riding gear? I do not think it is. My initial plan was to only spend a max of 75000, because I was sure I could get good comfort and good protection under it.
I ended up spending about 8000 extra for the helmet by buying it from India, and without any discounts, so that was a significant increase. But the major item that blew my budget to shit was the jacket. The Rev’it Airwave 3 on its own is not very costly, but buying the extra chest/back protectors and upgrading the default level 1 armors was very pricey.
The problem is that there are so many tiny little things that make up the full gear set, each one doesn’t cost that much on its own, but together they add up quicker than a chudail chasing a car at a hill station after midnight. Oh this protector is only 2000 bucks, these gloves are only 6000, multiplied 10 times over.
Once you get into that OCD loop of perfectionism, it’s rather difficult to get out. Except for the chest protectors, my entire kit now has level 2 armors, shoulders, elbows, back, hips, and knees. How much of a difference will that make in real life? It’s not possible to quantify that feeling of safety, but they did cost a fuckload of money.
Which is why I do not like those statements that go like “If you have a 5$ head, get a 5$ helmet”. There are 2 problems with it:
- It implies that the costlier the helmet, the safer it would be, which is not always the case as SHARP testing data will tell you
- It implies that everyone has 500$ to spend on a helmet, which is simply not true
It’s easy to say 5$ helmet for a 5$ head, but that’s quite meaningless to a student for example who has no real concept of money and no real money of their own. Try convincing your middle-class parents to buy you a 40,000 buck lid. Life doesn’t work that way.
The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t need to spend 1 lac to buy good gear. I spent this much money because:
a. I wanted to buy fancy branded stuff, because I want to use them and see how different they are from domestic Indian brands
b. I had access to stores in Europe where you have far more choices than in India, and at much much better prices
If you are in India and trying to buy the good stuff, stick to local. In most cases you’ll get comparative level of protection to the branded ones.
The only real difference I can think of would be looks, the fit and finish of A* and Rev’it simply can’t be matched by Rynox or Bikeratii. Looks are meaningless though in this context, you buy an N95 mask not for how sleek and pretty it makes you feel.
I will soon try and create an updated article for comfy/safe riding gear you can buy on the cheap, probably under 50,000 bucks total.