Motorcycle Gear: what I use in Vietnam.
In case you’re curious, here’s a quick rundown of the stuff I use while riding my motorbike through Vietnam (and hopefully the rest of Southeast Asia). For more info on the bike I ride, check it out here (under the Vehicles section).
First and foremost. Full-face to protect my jaw as well. Complete with GoPro mount. Royal brand. Purchased for $35 USD, and has saved my noggin on numerous occasions already. (+5 Head Armor / -2 Visibility)
In my case, Vans (as they were all I could find close to my size in Hanoi). They might not have the support of motorcycle boots, and I have to squeeze into them, but they protect my ankle from the hot engine, and they have tough toes for shifting. Plus, they had enough support to keep my ankle from getting crushed in my wreck. (+2 Endurance / +2 Agility)
Again, I’m too large of a human for Vietnam, so I bought the biggest gloves I could find. Guess what? They’re still not big enough, so I cut off the tips for my index fingers and thumbs. Additional bonus for destroying the gloves: I can use my iPhone without taking one or both off. (+4 Endurance / -4 Charisma)
Vented jacket with slots in the shoulders, elbows, and back for pads to be inserted. We got a couple of these from Flamingo when we bought our bikes. Although everyone in Vietnam rides a motorbike, it’s difficult to find proper gear, so we were lucky to find these in our size. This jacket breathes when it’s hot, and I layer up underneath when it’s cold. The pads have saved my arms and elbows countless times already. (+3 Body Armor / -3 Charisma)
As you can see in the picture, I probably would have a broken knee cap if I wasn’t wearing these. They’ve protected my legs on numerous falls from jungle trails to my wreck. A friend we made along the way wasn’t wearing any of these when he fell and ended up in the hospital with stitches all over his leg. I plan to get a new pair as soon as possible. (+2 Leg Armor / -2 Charisma)
A must-have for long rides. Holds your phone on your handlebars for easy navigation. I miss mine every time I ride a different bike and have to do my best to listen for directions, or stop every so often to take my phone out of my pocket and make sure I didn’t miss a turn. (+3 Intelligence / -1 Awareness)
North Face Duffle.
Purchased in Hanoi for about $12 USD. Kind of permanent “waterproof” luggage satchel for the bike. While it’s not totally watertight, it’s good at keeping dirt, dust, mud and splashed water off of your main pack. It takes the brunt of the abuse, so your regular bag can stay pristine. Bonus: when I remove my bag at my final destination, I now have a spot on my bike to store all of my motorcycle gear until the next day. (+3 Carry Capacity / +2 Water Resistance / -2 Agility)
You know. For strapping stuff. (+1 Dexterity)
Plastic Trash bag.
The North Face duffle doesn’t keep everything dry when it’s pouring rain, so extra measures are necessary. Not to mention, my day pack doesn’t fit into the duffle, so the plastic helps prevent collection of road dust too! (+3 Water Resistance / -2 Dexterity)
Strap it onto your handle bars, connect, and jam. Usually the wind is whipping through your helmet too loudly to hear it well, but I prefer it to headphones because when you’re riding in Vietnam, you need all of your senses to survive. (+5 Charisma / -3 Awareness)
If you’ve seen the Gear page, you know I love these babies. Keep them handy for anything and everything. When a corner of my phone mount broke off, these nifty gadgets are the only thing that saved me. (+2 Dexterity)
TL;DR - Helmet. High-top shoes. Gloves. Padded Jacket. Leg Armor. Phone Mount. North Face Duffle. Bungee Cords. Trash Bag. Bluetooth speaker. Gear Ties.