The Well-Dressed Wet-Weather Commuter

Gearbox has always been the place to ogle all manner of motorcycle paraphernalia. Some bits represent the brightest ideas from the best makers in the business. Others--such as this ensemble for commuting in the 100 percent humidity commonly known as rain--have been mercilessly MC Tested to see if they're worth your money. Whether we're taking a close look at one piece of tack or comparing the relative merits of an entire genre, this is where you'll find the simple truth about all of motorcycling's little essentials and extravagances. Open the lid and check it out.

**Arai's RX-7 Corsair **
($759.95 for the Hayden Replica or $636.95 in white or basic black) is blue-chip head protection, wet or dry. It vents -reasonably well, but prepping the shield with a Racewipe ($19.95 for a box of 50; www.racewipes.com) or some reasonable -facsimile will help keep it from fogging and -making a rain ride scarier than it needs to be. www.araiamericas.com

**The Aerostich Parcel Bag **
($97) keeps a stupendous amount of Monday-through-Friday requisites organized and dry. At 18 inches long, 14 inches deep and 9 inches wide, the main compartment is truly cavernous. Two internal patch pockets keep smaller essentials accessible. Industrial-strength hook-and-loop material guarantees that once you close it, it stays closed, and the rubber-coated interior keeps everything dry. Tough enough to leave to your grandchildren. www.aerostich.com

**Alpinestars 360 Oversuit **
($549) is somewhere between fair-weather riding tack and a full rainsuit, just the ticket for wet-weather commuting. There's ample protection at all the likely impact points and a breathable Drystar membrane to keep water out. Zippers arranged to prevent rain from getting in make ingress and egress a bit complicated. It's still easier than pulling a rainsuit over leathers. www.alpinestars.com

**Oxtar TCS Evo Ti boots **
($299.95) aren't purpose-built rain boots. They're actually designed for dry-weather sport riding or track days. Still, the Lorica uppers fend off minor deluges quite well. And a full complement of plastic armor provides far more protection than the average wet-weather touring boot. www.oxtar-usa.com

**FirstGear Master Gloves **
($79.95) are intended as summer-weight rain protection, but they're warm enough for most of Southern California's winter as well. A Hipora membrane does a reasonable job of keeping your hands dry, while a waterproof Pittards leather palm provides pavement protection. A drawstring cuff and an adjustable wrist-strap help keep water from sneaking in the back way. www.firstgear-usa.com