Im not familiar with the weather in NO....but isnt is generally kinda warm and rainy, not balls cold out and rainy??
It's generally warm, and stupid hot almost 9 months out of the year. But we get 2 months or so of cold rainy weather down to mid 30s. And this is primarily what concerns me most.
Secondly - are you the type of person that is concerned more about outward appearances, or do you value function over form?
I definitely use to be, but not any more. Comfort and function over looks now.
The reason I ask is because an Aerostitch suit would be perfect for your needs - but they are usually worn more by adventure bike riders than cruiser riders... If you are concerned with how you look to others, then this isnt going to work for you. They are a one piece suit that zips from ankle to neck - you literally step into and out of it, over your regular clothes. But they leave a little to be desired as far as styling goes - hasnt changed design since they came out in the 80's. Kinda ugly, but very practical.
I commute three out of four seasons, skipping out on the cold ass winter months. I have a Frank Thomas branded (used to be sold at Cycle Gear...now its BiLT crap...but you can still order Frank Thomas stuff online from England) Force Aqua jacket - pretty much waterproof, as I have driven in pouring rain before and my clothes stay dry. I use waterproof gloves (tip - take an old windshield wiper blade and cut it down to 3 inches and glue it to the left hand glove's forefinger - great for wiping away the rain!) and Rain-X on my helmet visor, as well as Fog City shield inside the visor to keep fogging down.
This right here is worth gold. I will save all this in my notepad for future reference
I have a pair of First Gear waterproof overpants as well. Lastly, I have a pair of Tourmaster waterproof boots.
So do you generally stay dry head to toe in this attire after riding through the rain? And if not, what is the weakest part of this setup? I'm thinking about a 1 piece suit to eliminate any seams that might leak. And as I said before, I don't mind paying a little more (~$500) to get something of decent quality
Most important thing about riding in the rain is to remember that you have to increase your following distances, as breaking will be harder. You must also do everything you can to avoid metal manhole covers, and do not be alarmed when you grab some throttle at a stop light and your rear tire spins like hell when it touches the paint from the crosswalks. Lastly, remember that you are already freaking invisible to drivers, and you are going to be even LESS visible, since they do not have wipers on their rear windows. Ride with your high beam on all the time. (Thats what I do, and its legal in CA to do so...might want to check your area laws...)
I have to agree, learned all this from experience as well. Laws here are very laxed. I love it.
I commute on the bike not only to save money, but to save my sanity as well! Public trans costs me $190/month, but parking the bike is only $70/month. Add 6 tanks of gas at $14/tank, and Im still $30 ahead, and it only takes me 20 minutes to get to work/home, rather than 1.25 hours. No such thing as traffic on the motorcycle!
Sounds like we're in a very similar situation. It's not really so much about saving money for me (I just like to be able to justify my decisions via math, it seems less crazy that way). It's more about time and convenience of having the bike on the side of the building ready to go after work. No 12 floor parking garages to deal with and traffic congestions are easier to bypass on the bike. Plus I don't see the value in paying MORE to also be MORE inconvenienced.