Finally after years of begging, my parents are letting me get a bike on my 21st birthday. I've rode dirt bikes my whole life, but have always been shut down when asking for a street bike. My dad rode a lot when he was young and always has said he would blame himself if he had to push me in a wheelchair the rest of my life as a result of an accident (understandable). I am an extremely mature 20 year old though and feel that I have the proper respect for the bike to be safe. I also have had many years of competitive street kart racing which has taught me that you MUST respect the machine (and the speed) or you WILL end up in trouble, its just a matter of time.
Having said that, I am looking at a bike no greater than 600cc, a good starting level I think. More important to me though is my safety gear, I want to make sure that (Heaven forbid) I do go down, I am able to get back up in one piece. I have been looking a lot at jackets and am torn between the A* RC-1 Leather and RS Taichi GMX-Motion. Both have received great reviews but any input would be welcomed. Are these overkill for my usage (primarily to and from school and the low key joy riding)? What about the A* Recon jacket? I liked that it had an optional safety vest. People may look at me like a dweeb but at least they will be looking at me, and my dad has always taught me that one of the most dangerous parts of riding is making sure others are aware of you.
Also, would anyone recommend pants? I am kind of turned off by them because it would mean I have to walk around all day to classes in motorcycle pants, but safety first. Gloves? Racing karts I've always had full gloves, are shorter gloves ok for street bikes? Helmets, anything particular I should be looking for?
Thanks in advance for any advice. 21 in about 4 months and I can't stay focused on anything but preparing for my future bike