Category Archives: Motorcycle Gear

Review: Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Base Layer

Review Summary
A cooling base layer that does what it says on the packaging, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve feels more like a generic cooling base layer than a motorcycle-focused one. Moisture-wicking fabric does its job and cools using evaporation and heat transfer, but across the back of the shirt, this effectiveness is cut in half by using open mesh.
Materials & Build Quality
Sizing & Fit
Effectiveness
Value for Money
No chemical agents used during cooling
Compression fit, keeping it tight to your skin for optimal cooling
Machine washable
Does not lose any cooling functionality after washing
Comfort-fit seams sit flush and comfortable against the skin
Made of 92% recycled fibers
True to sizing chart
Back is made of open mesh instead of cooling fabric
Feels more like general use garment than motorcycle focused

I had the pleasure of reviewing the KLIM Aggressor -1.0 Cooling Shirt during the hottest summer that Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and most of the Pacific Northwest of North America, have seen in probably a decade. That shirt gave me the surprise of my riding life when it actually worked as described, and I gave it possibly the highest score I have ever given a piece of gear: 90%, which in MotorBikeWriter and webBikeWorld “review speak” means “damned near perfect, no flaws, top of the pile.”

That review also piqued my interest in cooling garments, as I am a bit on the bigger side and have many built-in layers to keep me warm. When bundled up in gear on a 30+ C day, that also usually means I sweat. A lot. So having something that passively helps me stay cool without having to take it out of the freezer and slot it into a special vest or dunk it in water to activate it is definitely something I want to review.

In the middle of the “Sizzling Summer,” as I have come to call it, Fieldsheer, a company well known for providing four-season and snowmobile heated gear, contacted us to see if we’d be interested in their newest line of cooling base layers. When this opportunity arose, of course, I jumped up and down and raised my hand to be put on the list. I am enthusiastic about keeping myself cool while on long rides, and I also wanted to pit a competitor’s product against what I considered the standard for this segment of motorcycle gear, the KLIM Aggressor named above.

About Fieldsheer

Since 1978, Fieldsheer has been involved in the heated and heat-retention garment business. This has included everything from the design and production of motorcycle jackets to developing battery-powered, heated work apparel. Thanks to advances in fabric technology, the company was recently able to provide a wider range of heated—and for the first time, passive—cooling garments for various uses.

Fieldsheer has recently refocused its product lines on heated and cooling apparel and includes active heat management in its battery-powered heated gear via smartphone integration. These heated and cooling garments come as base layers, regular use garments, or top layers and include everything from snowmobile and skiing gear to industrial cooling bandanas, skull caps, and shirts.

About webBikeWorld’s Review Policy

This product was provided by Fieldsheer for review purposes. Note that we do not allow brands to influence review scores or content. Please see our review policies for more information.

We here at webBikeWorld believe that you can’t just try something out once and give an honest opinion of it. Any product we test is actually used by our testers, and for the month of August and part of September 2021, any time I rode—hot or cold—I wore this base layer.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Features

Bike: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

When I first unpacked the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt from the packaging, I was surprised to find that there were, in fact, two shirts in the package. As I am 185 cm and 127 kg (depending on if I ate a lot for dinner the night before), I am definitely in the XL to 3XL range for most gear. I have a 127 cm chest circumference and pretty broad shoulders from both genetics and playing rugby in my younger years. Using Fieldsheers’ sizing chart, I found that I was in between 2XL and 3XL, so I requested the 2XL, but they sent me a 2XL and 3XL. Thanks, Fieldsheer, for the generosity in this aspect for an in-betweener!

The biggest thing I noticed right off the bat is that the Fieldsheer cooling shirt is much thinner than my KLIM shirt. Whereas the KLIM feels like it’s been knit together by some very small knitting needles, the Fieldsheer shirt is, to borrow a word from their name, sheer. It’s about 1 mm thick, if that, and is very stretchy, as it is 8% spandex. I also noticed that there were two small panels on the chest and back, as the chest was made of what Fieldsheer calls DriRelease, and the back was an open mesh.

Putting the 3XL shirt on, I found that it was actually a tad too big, with the garment not pulling close to the skin and the sleeves sticking out from under my Rev’It Arc Air jacket. Doffing that, I put on the 2XL shirt and found it to be a much closer, nearly compression-style fit. It still sat a bit loose on parts of me, but where it counted, it was in contact with the skin and pulled smooth.

Like most base layers, as I have discovered through research, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt features comfort stitching, meaning that there are no seams or joins pressing annoyingly into your skin. The fabric is smooth and feels premium on the skin, although I did notice that most of the adjustment and stretch of the shirt happened everywhere except the back panel.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Fit & Comfort

Although I already touched on this above in the features, I will go more in-depth here regarding the fit of the shirt.

As per the Fieldsheer size guide, I am between 2XL and 3XL. As I expected stretching, that is why I asked for a 2XL. I have also found that with most gear, it is either one size too big, or one size too small, because of differences in standards across the globe. For example, my Forma Trace riding boots are a Euro size 46, but my feet are 10.5 (Wide) in US sizing—which should equate to an EU 39 sizing, but does not.

Side view of man wearing Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
Pardon the pandemic belly—we’ve all gained a little in lockdown, even the fitness enthusiasts I know as friends!

I can report that the Fieldsheer gear, at least as far as I have experienced, fits bang on according to the size guide. My chest is 127 cm, the 2XL has a max chest of 127 cm, and it fits perfectly—not squeezing me, but definitely keeping contact with the skin. My side-of-neck-to-wrist sleeve length is 69.5 cm, and the 70 cm sleeve of the 2XL is nearly perfect, just 5 mm too long and peeking out from under my jacket by a hair.

Close-up of jacketed sleeve with Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt visible under cuff
Could you get a better fit? The sleeve is just a tiny bit long, but this usually gets covered with a glove.

Comfort-wise, after about 5 minutes of getting used to the new-out-of-the-bag feel and letting the fabrics start to passively cool you, this is definitely a shirt you could wear for any type of activity. It kind of joins with your body in a way that makes it feel like a second skin, albeit a looser layer. It’s so lightweight you barely notice you’re wearing it unless you’re actively looking down at yourself and saying, “ah, I’m wearing a cooling shirt.”

The comfort stitch seams, and spandex fabric interwoven with the DriRelease, do their job to help with that. The only part I was actively aware of being a shirt, and will definitely explain in much more detail in the Real World section of this review, is the back. The back panel, as well as the underarms, are open mesh, and because of that, they are not as effective as the other panels at “becoming one with your skin.”

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Ventilation

Since I’m mentioning that back mesh panel, let’s talk ventilation. By nature of biology, humans have five major radiators to dump excess heat from our bodies via sweat from our skin. These are our heads, underarms, backs, groins, and feet. A cooling shirt touches two of those areas: the back and the underarms.

Close-up rear view of blue Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
A blessing or a curse? The open mesh design of the back of the shirt works in different ways depending on what you’re using it for.

Most riding jackets, be they cold, warm, hot, or extreme weather jackets, have ventilation that passes across the underarms in some way, and exhausts out the back. By placing open mesh in the underarms and on the back, my assumption is that Fieldsheer wanted natural convection to occur with these vents to both wick sweat away from the DriRelease fabric and get ventilation air to the skin in the major radiation points.

When I mention open mesh, I really do mean open mesh. Each ventilation hole is at least 1mm wide when not being worn, and I assume a mild amount of stretch opens them even wider during use, especially when leaning forwards towards handlebars.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Real-World Testing

As stated earlier, it was bloody hot over the summer here. Even as I write this review in mid-September, it is still breaching 20 °C some days of the week, in a month that sees traditional temperatures from 5 to 15 °C. Most days I was out riding in August, the temperatures were in the mid to high 20s, and more often than not, they were above 30 °C. This shirt was used with a combination of jackets, from my Alpinestars Andes V3 on the colder days to my Rev’It Arc Air on moderate-to-hot days, and with my review sample Rev’It Tornado 3 hot weather mesh jacket on the super-hot days.

For the first little while, I tested the Fieldsheer shirt “as it is,” meaning there were no special considerations given to maximizing airflow, opening or closing specific vents to affect which bits were touched by the wind, etc. Calgary is very prone to wind, as we sit right at the confluence of warm Pacific Ocean air coming over the Rocky Mountains and the North American part of the Jetstream.

Close-up of side seam on blue Fieldsheer Long Sleeve shirt
The join between the front and the back of the shirt. It’s a comfort seam, but there’s still a bit too much of that open mesh for my liking.

Through gentle headwinds, gusting tailwinds, and at one point what felt like a howling gale as a thunderstorm rocked up in 5 minutes flat and dumped a ton of rain and hail on the city, my front and sides were comfortable. If it was a particularly cold day, say between 10 to 15 °C, I did find that I sometimes got a touch cool, but not to the point of it being dangerously cold.

The biggest issue that I had with the Fieldsheer cooling shirt, however, was the back. Because it’s that open mesh and not the DriRelease smooth panel fabric, I found it didn’t wick up the sweat and heat as well, especially in my waterproof Alpinestars Andes V3. That jacket sends a lot of cooling air around the outer shoulder and underarms, with exhaust vents to get rid of it on the sides of the back.

My underarms definitely benefited from that ventilation path, but my back never seemed to pull any heat away from the spine, while the KLIM Aggressor, with its solid back panel of Klimatek cloth, did so with the same jacket on. With the Rev’It Tornado 3, whose back panel is literally one big mesh, there was a lot of evacuation of air and heat, but it still never felt quite as cool as my front did, especially on the 30+ C days.

This made me go back to Fieldsheer’s website and look up the Mobile Cooling shirt again—where I found out that “powersports use” is just one of the many applications they recommend the shirt for. As such, I tested the shirt for a few other things as well, wearing it for one of my pedal bike rides on a hotter day in August, as well as trying it on under a cotton t-shirt during a walk (as someone hiking in a slightly cooler area might).

Mesh back panel of blue Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
The mesh goes shoulder to shoulder, top to bottom, all the way to the sides of the torso. For hiking and pedal biking, great! For wearing under a jacket, not so great!

I can report, through this “not on a motorcycle” testing, that the shirt worked flawlessly in both situations. In fact, on the pedal bike ride where my speed averaged about 15 to 30 KPH, it worked better than it did under a motorcycle jacket. Under a thin cotton t-shirt on a cooler day—as hiking in Alberta is generally in the mountains and can get quite chilly—my walk was improved by my underarms and forearms not getting soaked in sweat. The sweat-wicking DriRelease fabric did its job, carried the sweat to evaporation areas, and kept me comfortable.

It is due to this testing—as well as Fieldsheer’s outright admission—that I think the Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve is more of a general-use cooling shirt rather than a dedicated garment for powersports use.

Should You Buy the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Shirt?

At the end of the day, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt is an effective general-purpose cooling shirt. I want to highlight the “general-purpose” bit there. I feel my KLIM Aggressor would be a bit too warm to wear under another t-shirt for hiking, and while it would work just as well for pedal biking, the Fieldsheer is thin and light enough to be eminently useful in both those areas.

Man wearing black mesh jacket over Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
After a ride with a mesh jacket. Nice and dry from the DriRelease fabric!

Personally, I think having the back panel made of the same DriRelease fabric as the front would make it much more useful as a base layer under a riding jacket. The underarms with the open mesh are great, since they were definitely effective in reducing a ton of heat through being blasted by colder air. Just make the back solid fabric, allowing it to carry the sweat and heat to the ventilation areas, and my rating on this shirt would be a few points higher.

That said, I can’t deny that having a shirt that doesn’t need to have any chemicals activated by water and isn’t made of exotic unpronounceable things is a step in the right direction. By being made out of almost entirely recycled fabric, the shirt, and Fieldsheer in general, are helping reduce waste and allowing for generally more affordable garments for riders. If you are riding in warmer parts of the US, just make sure to pair it with a hot weather jacket, so you have that armor on top and cooling underneath.

Despite the “my back is kind of warm” issue I faced—and what I consider minor design considerations that make the shirt more general-use vs. motorcycle-oriented—I still can’t fault it too much. If only that back panel was made of the same material as the front, and they extended the mesh from the underarms down the sides, it would work much better with the heat from a rider’s back.

With that in mind, I can safely give the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve a solid 4 out of 5, or 80%, rating, and will recommend it to anyone that wants to have a multi-use cooling shirt that isn’t purely for riding.

Note: As a bit of a fun aside, I wrote this entire review wearing the cooling shirt at my computer desk, and it’s kept me perfectly comfortable the entire time!

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Fieldsheer
  • Price (When Tested): $65 USD
  • Made In: China
  • Alternative models & colors: Cerulean (light blue), Morel (grey), Coyote (olive brown), Ocean (very light blue), Hi-Viz (fluorescent yellow)
  • Sizes: SM to 3XL
    • Size Tested: 2XL
  • Review Date: August 2021

Important Links / Where to Buy

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

iXS Releases the Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

As an avid musician and a religious believer in ATTGAT (All The Gear All The Time), I’ve found quality motorcycle gloves with full knuckle support to be worth their weight in gold – all the more so if they allow my digits to breathe on those sweltering days between June and July. 

You can imagine my excitement when iXS, a company known for its quality motorcycle gear, released a set of gloves called the Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0.

a top view of the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

According to the innovative company, the sport gloves are not only air-permeable – they are also inundated with both carbon/PVC knuckle shells and palm/hand-edge reinforcements. 

The fabric? A mixture of high-quality goatskin, mesh, and fabric, complete with the obligatory adjustable Velcro grips around the wrist to prevent slippage, and air-permeable mesh inserts/leather perforations guarantee a cool ride on a hot day. 

a back view of the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

The gloves also have touchscreen-compatible material on the index finger and come in all your favorite colors – as long as you like black. 

a view of riders wearing iXS gear, including the all-new iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0

The iXS Carbon-Mesh Sport Glove 4.0 can be had for the nifty price of € 79.95 in the EU/UK, $99 USD for American riders.

We’re still waiting to get our hands on a pair of these to see if they make our ultimate Best Motorcycle Gloves You Can Buy list.

If you’ve had a chance to try them out, let us know in the comments section, along with your go-to faves for opening the throttle on the twisties!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Tucano Urbano Acquired by Italian Brand Mandelli Group

Tucano Urbano is an Italian clothing and accessories brand for all things two-wheels, dedicated to a growing European clientele.

Founded in 1999, the Milan-based brand has spent years dedicating their retro line to an urbanized crowd that wants to flaunt that extra style.

a view of advertisement for Italian clothing company Tucano Urbano

The company supplies airbag vests, jackets, gloves – even leg covers for those rainy days that come hand-in-hand with living in the Central Hemisphere.

And with Tucano Urbano’s 2021 profits already exceeding €15M ($17.8M USD), they haven’t done half so bad for themselves.

a view of a Tucano Urbano store

Now, the line is being acquired by none other than Mandelli – an Italian company founded in 1945 and based in Carate Brianza, currently in the business of producing Brera bicycles and accessories and clothing for the moto-inspired crowds.

According to a report from RideApart, Mandelli acquired Tucano Urbano when they bought out Consilium SGR – a major stake-holder for Tucano Urbano. 

A blurb from Fineurop Soditic: Fineurope Soditic acted as exclusive financial advisor to Consilium SGR in the sale of Tucano Urbano S.r.l. to Mandelli S.r.l. Based in the outskirts of Milan and established in 1999, Tucano Urbano is a leading player in the clothing and accessories sector for motorcycles and scooters in Italy, with an expected 2021 turnover exceeding Euro 15 million. Its product offer includes weather protection systems, clothing, gloves, rain gear, helmets and other accessories mainly dedicated to urban motorcyclists. Tucano Urbano serves over 1,000 customers, with a consolidated presence on the Italian market and on the main European markets including France, Spain and UK. Mandelli is part of a Group founded in 1945 and based in Carate Brianza (MB). The Group is active in the two-wheeler sector and operates in the European market as a manufacturer of bicycles and accessories under the Brera brand as well as clothing and accessories for motorcyclists. The Group employs around 250 people and expects to post consolidated revenues of over Euro 60 million with an EBITDA margin of around 12%. Mandelli and Tucano Urbano complement each other in their respective competences. The synergies between the companies will allow the Group to achieve a solid path of growth and further consolidation on the reference markets.
Credit: Fineurop Soditic.

Now, with consolidation on the horizon, Marco Biollo will become the new Board of Directors Chairman for the merging of the two companies, with Tucano Urbano CEO Diego Sgorbati retaining his position. 

Both Biollo and Sgorbati have released the following in a joint statement:

Valentino Rossi in his 2020 garb

“Mandelli and Tucano Urbano are very successful realities and complement each other in their respective competencies. The synergies between the companies will make it possible to achieve a solid path of growth and further consolidation on the reference markets.”

a view of the store of Tucano Urbano

Looking forward to what the future holds for Mandelli and Tucano Urbano – and stay tuned for all things two-wheeled.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

10 Best Motorcycle Pants For Women

Often overlooked when considering protective gear, your legs are actually quite vitally important in terms of controlling the average motorcycle. Stop and think for a moment about just how many things about a bike need your legs: balance during cornering, providing enough stability to press on levers operated by your feet, and a whole slew of other things that happen naturally as part of riding.

It is amazing, then, that many riders don’t protect their legs. We’ve all heard the excuses of “it’s too hot where I live,” “I don’t plan on crashing,” and “I can’t find anything that’s comfortable.” For those in hot regions, mesh pants. For those that can’t find anything comfortable, there are ranges of overpants and/or custom fit motorcycle gear that can be ordered. For those that don’t plan on crashing, well, no one plans on crashing, but it still happens!

To keep your legs safe, as well as keep you looking your best on the bike, here are the top ten motorcycle pants currently on the market. These are all either highly rated and reviewed, have special features about them, or are just damned good deals when it comes to the value-to-protection ratio. If you’re looking for more size options, check out our guides on Plus Size Jackets and Plus Size Pants for female riders.

Rokker RokkerTech High Waist Slim Women’s Jeans

Rokker RokkerTech High Waist Slim Women’s Jeans

Price: $439.00
Buy: Revzilla

Rokker is one of the more premium motorcycle clothing brands out there, with a history of moderately-expensive-but-worth-it protective gear. This holds true with the Rokkertech High Waist Slim jeans, a new introduction to their motorcycle pants lineup.

The Tech part of RokkerTech comes from the usage of in-house developed Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, or UHMWPE, which has a pure fiber tensile strength twice that of steel. Around those fibers, Rokker weaves in cotton so as to form a denim feel and look, but which is, when finally sewn into a full garment, 15 times as strong as steel in abrasion resistance.

This is backed up by full D3O knee and hip armor, both of which are included. As well, the use of UHMWPE allows for the jeans to be sewn and bonded, instead of riveted, meaning there is no metal on the outside of the jearns to scratch and ding your bike’s paint job. Definitely designed for warmer weather, these riding jeans are one of the few that are single layer, so apart from the slight bumps where the armor is, they could pass for everyday fashion jeans without worry.

Spidi Moto Pro Women’s Leggings

Spidi Moto Pro Women’s Leggings

Price: $159.90
Buy: Revzilla

Spidi is often considered as a bargain brand, which is not saying anything bad about them. They are simply like Scorpion, making good gear available at lower-than-average retail prices. A perfect example of this are the Moto Pro leggings, a mix of high tech textiles and a low price.

The leggings are designed, as the name suggests, to fit tightly to the leg, much tighter than many riding jeans would. This is made possible through Spidi’s TEXTECH fiber, a blend of cotton and elastane. This blend means the leggings will stretch with you, while the cotton is of a high enough grade that it replicates Cordura levels of protection, without needing to license the name. That is, quite possibly, where most of the savings are on these riding pants.

Protective armor comes in the form of knee armor at CE level 1, and pockets inside the hip for optional hip armor. The leggings are single layer, and are highly abrasion resistant, so they can be worn either on their own, or if you wanted extra protection, could be worn under a pair of regular jeans, riding overpants, or with aramid/kevlar undergarments.

Scorpion EXO Maia Women’s Pants

Scorpion EXO Maia Women’s Pants

Price: $179.95+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The Scorpion EXO Maia pants are a bit of an oddity, in a good way. To explain what is meant by that, we first need to look at what type of riding these pants are designed for. That style can simply be described as “touring.” It could be sport touring, cruiser touring, continental touring, it’s built for them all.

This is demonstrated by the way the pants are designed to protect the rider. Most of the protective polyfabric, which is rated at 600D, is in the seat, knees, and lower legs, all common sliding and impact areas. The other areas of the pants are then fitted with poly-mesh panels, which while not major impact areas, are still rated at about 300D. This is backed up by Sas-Tec CE level 1 knee armor, and pockets for Sas-Tec hip armor.

The pants are odd in that instead of focusing on making the whole thing out of full 600D, Scorpion put the heavy duty protection on slide and impact areas, and used the other areas to benefit ventilation and comfort. That is the odd bit about these pants. They’re heavy duty, but lightweight, meant to keep the rider comfortable for long or short rides, and above all, protected.

Dainese Delta 3 Women’s Leather Pants

Dainese Delta 3 Women’s Leather Pants

Price: $469.95
Buy: Revzilla

Dainese is one of the two major suppliers of racing gear for the MotoGP grid, and it shows with trickle-down tech that makes it into the latest and greatest of their consumer track and riding gear. The Delta 3 Perforated leather pants are just one more example of the top class of motorcycle racing impacting every day riding comfort and protection.

Using full tutu cowhide leather at 1.2mm or greater, the pants are heavily perforated on the thighs to allow for the most airflow to the hottest part of the legs. S1 bieleastic polyamide stretch fabric allows for comfort and protection in high movement areas such as the groin and knees. There are no adjustable vents on these pants, however, as they are considered race-grade.

In line with that powersports grade ideal, the pants come with full composite armor on the knees and hips that both meet and exceed CE level 2 requirements. The knee pucks are fully replaceable and are highly durable. The pants as a whole meet and exceed CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive ratings, which translates to full track and race certification, although most race series will make you have a full one piece suit. It just shows the level of technology and detail Dainese is bringing down to the everyday sport rider.

Alpinestars Stella Missile Leather Pants

Alpinestars Stella Missile Leather Pants

Price: $449.95
Buy: Revzilla

Whereas the other racing fit pants on this list are pretty much a women’s version of a men’s set of pants, the Alpinestars Stella Missile pants are a completely different beast than the men’s Missile V2 leather pants. This is through both research and development with women that partake in racing championships, and feedback from everyday riders.

The same 1.3mm full cowhide leather is used, however the legs are tailored for smaller diameters, and the hips section has been widened, with adjustable straps for a perfect fit. The Stella Missile’s also feature the same GP-R knee slider pucks as the men’s pants for lap after lap on a track day without worry.

Armor comes in the form of Alpinestars Bio knee protectors, and there are pockets for hip armor as well. If you have a Stella Missile Women’s racing jacket, there is a full surround zip at the waist to connect the pants to the jacket to form a full suit.

Rev’it Maple Women’s Jeans

Rev’it Maple Women’s Jeans

Price: $189.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It has been working day in and day out since their inception to include women into their gear lineups. This is because the Netherlands has a large cycling population, which has led to a higher number of female riders in the European country. And as all women are not built the same, Rev’It also has many styles of riding pants.

The Maple jeans are for those women that do not want a regular or relaxed fit, but also don’t want the jeans to be totally tight on their legs. Using a skinny fit, these jeans are made of 13oz Cordura denim, which has a minimum abrasion protection rating of 500D. Rev’It also includes their CoolMax lining, allowing sweat and heat to be wicked away and carried off by the air passing through and over the jeans.

For protection, there is a double layer of PWR polyester fabric in the seat and at the knees, to keep the Seesmart CE level 1 knee armor in place even during a slide. There are pockets for hip armor, and the jeans are certified CE 17092-4:2020 Class A, meaning street and regular commuting protection.

Rev’It Moto Women’s Jeans

Rev’It Moto Women’s Jeans

Price: $259.99
Buy: Revzilla

As we just mentioned in the Rev’It Maple overview above, not all women are built the same. The Rev’It Moto Jeans are, much like their men’s counterpart, designed to replicate the look and feel of a leather-based pant, but made using fabrics.

10 Best Motorcycle Pants For Men

As with the men’s version, Rev’It used heavyweight 12.5oz Cordura denim for the exterior, which gives an approximate 600D abrasion resistance rating. Underneath that, Seesmart CE level 1 knee pads are included with the jeans. The inner lining is made of Rev’It’s own PWR Shield polyamide mesh, which adds another 600D of abrasion resistance.

Combined, the outer and inner layers provide 1200D of total abrasion resistance, or about 10 seconds of resistance at 50 MPH. Of course, the faster you start the slide, the less time it will take to wear through, although these jeans are meant to give enough resistance that you will either start to tumble, or have enough time to slow down through friction to prevent the worst of road rash.

Klim Artemis Women’s Pants

Klim Artemis Women’s Pants

Price: $549.99
Buy: Revzilla

The masters of off-road ADV and exploring gear, Klim shifted their focus when it came to the Artemis gear. Using their expertise, they made the Artemis line of protective gear for women, without a men’s gear equivalent. This makes it, in the space of motorcycle PPE, one of the very few model lines that is specifically and only for the ladies of two wheels.

The Artemis are named appropriately, as these pants are designed to protect against almost any situation you could find yourself in while travelling off-road. Made of Klim’s exclusive Karbonite textile, the pants have a slide and ripstop rating ranging from 600D to 750D, depending on which part of the pants you are looking at. This is backed by full GoreTex, allowing the pants to be 100% waterproof while also breathable.

In making the Artemis line only for women, the ventilation mapping of the pants is oriented towards keeping the air flowing through and around the warmest bits. Two angled thigh vents, and two lower thigh exhausts, allow for cooling air to flow around the legs and wick away moisture and heat in equal measure. The inner mesh is also Klimatek, a specific mesh that helps carry that heat and moisture to the vents.

D3O CE level 1 armor protects both the knees and the hips, and can be replaced if needed with other CE level 1 armor, or optional CE level 2 versions. All in all, by keeping their focus on the woman rider, Klim has made a stellar product that is highly recommended and reviewed.

Rev’It Ignition 3 Women’s Pants

Rev’It Ignition 3 Women’s Pants

Price: $439.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It themselves have the best statement about what makes the Ignition 3 pants so special: “Leather and mesh go together like salt and caramel.” Designed for the rider in hotter climates, the Ignition 3 pants are some of the best pants, of any type, you can buy for riding.

The outer shell is a combination of Monaco performance cowhide leather with a minimum thickness of 1mm, combined with high-strength Dynax mesh, 500D polyamide stretch zones, and Lorica fabric with waxed polyester for airflow. The leather is, of course, on all the high-abrasion zones should a slide occur, with the 500D polyamide allowing for both protection and stretch on secondary slide zones.

In adapting the Ignition 3 pants for women, the fit was made tighter in the legs and expanded a bit in the hips. As well, the knee protectors are still CE level 2 Seeflex, while the larger CE Level 1 Type B hip armor is provided. Apart from those changes, the pants are almost identical to the mens version, and the Hydratex fully removable waterproof liner is also included.

Rev’It Sand 4 H2O Women’s Pants

Rev’It Sand 4 H2O Women’s Pants

Price: $369.99
Buy: Revzilla

If you want to talk about over-engineering a set of pants, then you need to talk about the Rev’It Sand 4 H2O ADV and off-road pants. As the name suggests, this is the fourth iteration and evolution of the pants, and they came out just before the calendar flipped over to 2021. When it comes to four season riding capability, Rev’It’s Sand line-up is well worth looking at.

So what makes them over-engineered? Firstly, the outer layer is made of full 1000D polyester ripstop, which is enough protection for most other pants to get by with. But Rev’It wasn’t satisfied, and then put a Hydratex liner behind that, for waterproofing and breathability. Then, still not satisfied, they put a combination polyester and polyamide internal mesh liner, with a removable extra thermal liner, inside that is puncture and abrasion resistant.

Add in that the pants come with Seeflex CE level 2 knee and upper shin guards, and SeeSmart CE level 1 type B hip guards as standard, and you have a set of pants that is waterproof, can slide down the side of a mountain and not tear, is comfortable, can be worn in four seasons, and also can be adjusted via several straps and snap-tabs to fit perfectly.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

10 Best Motorcycle Pants For Men

It may be surprising to some, but legs are often one of the most overlooked parts of protection for many riders. They may have the best helmet, an awesome jacket, great gloves, and boots that will protect their feet for years but will ride in normal jeans. It’s a lab-proven fact that regular, off-the-shelf denim will stand up to a slide for less than a second, and after that, it’s your skin that’s touching the pavement.

This is why proper riding pants are important. All of our legs come in different shapes and sizes, from wide and short to thin and long, and every variation in between. It is for that reason that manufacturers often size their riding pants in different ranges.

As well, with developments over the past decade, riding jeans, with strong hybrid denim mixes backed by aramid or Kevlar, have become a vital market for manufacturers. It keeps the style of regular jeans but provides knee armor and the abrasion resistance of aramid/Kevlar. These, then, are the 10 best riding pants you can currently find on the market.

Rev’It Ignition 3 Pants

Rev’It Ignition 3 Pants

Price: $399.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It themselves have the best statement about what makes the Ignition 3 pants so special: “Leather and mesh go together like salt and caramel.” Designed for the rider in hotter climates, the Ignition 3 pants are some of the best pants, of any type, you can buy for riding.

The outer shell is a combination of Monaco performance cowhide leather with a minimum thickness of 1mm, combined with high-strength Dynax mesh, 500D polyamide stretch zones, and Lorica fabric with waxed polyester for airflow. The leather is, of course, on all the high-abrasion zones should a slide occur, with the 500D polyamide allowing for both protection and stretch on secondary slide zones.

The airflow through these pants is unbelievably high, allowing for maximum cooling while riding. However, should it start to look rainy or wet, the pants do have a fully removable Hydratex lining that is rated 3L and will get your home with your legs dry. The armor is in the form of Seeflex CE level 2 knee armor, and Seesmart CE level 1 armor at the hips.

Dainese Delta 3 Perforated Leather Pants

Dainese Delta 3 Perforated Leather Pants

Price: $469.99
Buy: Revzilla

Dainese is one of the two major suppliers of racing gear for the MotoGP grid, and it shows with trickle-down tech that makes it into the latest and greatest of their consumer track and riding gear. The Delta 3 Perforated leather pants are just one more example of the top class of motorcycle racing impacting everyday riding comfort and protection.

Using full tutu cowhide leather at 1.2mm or greater, the pants are heavily perforated on the thighs to allow for the most airflow to the hottest part of the legs. S1 bi-elastic polyamide stretch fabric allows for comfort and protection in high movement areas such as the groin and knees. There are no adjustable vents on these pants, however, as they are considered race-grade.

In line with that powersports-grade ideal, the pants come with full-composite armor on the knees and hips that both meet and exceed CE level 2 requirements. The knee pucks are fully replaceable and are highly durable. The pants as a whole meet and exceed CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive ratings, which translates to full track and race certification, although most race series will make you have a full one-piece suit. It just shows the level of technology and detail Dainese is bringing down to the everyday sport rider.

Alpinestars Yaguara Drystar Pants

Alpinestars Yaguara Drystar Pants

Price: $329.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Alpinestars are famous for their waterproof yet breathable riding gear, and the Yaguara pants are just another example of what they like to term as “tech-touring” gear. As the name suggests, there are a lot of high-tech, advanced materials at work in these pants, both to keep you protected and keep you dry.

The outer shell is not made of any one material, but instead a blend of various polyamide and polyester textiles. This is then backed by a Drystar waterproof membrane, and the two layers are laminated together. This provides both excellent waterproofing and breathability, with the external layers combining to form an extremely durable fabric.

To further protection, there are ballistic nylon protection panels added to the heavy-duty wear and tear sections of the pants, including slide areas. Alpinestars’ Bio-Air knee protectors are standard and are rated at CE level 2. Hip pockets for armor are sewn in. And in case the already breathable material isn’t cool enough, there are four zippered vents for customizable cooling.

If you like the sound of the Yaguara pants, but want something with braces, then consider looking at the Alpinestars Andes V2 pants instead.

Klim Dakar Pants

Klim Dakar Pants

Price: $209.99+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Klim prides itself on being a premium adventure and off-road touring company, and it shows since they’ve continually developed and produced some of the best gear in the sector. This shows with gear such as the Dakar pants, a premium off-road pant with protection and durability to last for weeks, or even months, on and off the road.

Starting off with the outer layer, there is 840D Cordura textile woven material with a highly water-resistant coating on the threads. This is joined by thick, abrasion, and melting-resistant leather on the lower legs for protection from both shrubbery and engine heat. Stretch fabric allows for optimal comfort around common pressure areas such as the groin, back of knees, back of the waist, and others.

There are multiple ventilation ports with full YKK zippers for durability and adjustability. Armor protection comes from both external TPU reinforcement on the knees, as well as internal knee and hip armor pockets for your personal choice of the armor type you’d like.

Alpinestars Missile v2 Airflow Pants

Alpinestars Missile v2 Airflow Pants

Price: $469.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

For the rider that wants to hit the track but doesn’t like the full perforated leather feel of other pants, the Alpinestars Missile v2 leather pants are the most viable alternative. While the majority of the pants are made from leather, there are some materials used that allow for high airflow while also keeping up with the expected level of protection from track-viable pants.

This starts with full 1.3mm premium bovine leather, with a lot of perforation on the thighs. Leather accordion panels over the knees allow for comfort, and an extended rear waist construction makes sure that the tailbone and spine are covered in the case of a slide. Where the airflow comes in is through the stretch panels at the groin and inner thigh, as well as on parts of the calf. These stretch zones, made of polyamides, are rated 600D on their own.

Kneel pucks allow for some full-lean apexes to be clipped without damage to your pants, and are of Alpinestars’ high durability GP-R construction. Nucleon CE level 1 knee armor is included, with pockets for optional hip armor. If you have a Missile Air jacket, of any version, the pants will also zip together with that to form a race suit.

REAX Alta Mesh Pants

REAX Alta Mesh Pants

Price: $199.00
Buy: Revzilla

The downside to a lot of motorcycle protective gear is that while it does protect the rider, it also heats up the rider. For this reason, mesh gear was developed, and REAX has one of the most affordable sets of mesh pants with the best protection with the Alta Mesh pants.

To provide the ventilation needed to keep a rider cool in hot weather, a lot of the inner leg, thigh, groin,  and some of the ankle areas of the pants are made of polyamide mesh. On areas that may suffer the impact or be slid upon, there is a combination of polyester 600D check pattern fabric, with polyamide 980D ballistic penetration resistant fabric at the knees and across the buttocks.

This is lined on the inside with a moisture-wicking mesh liner that is shaped to pull the most moisture and heat to the mesh portions inside the leg so that the cool air can wick it away from the rider. With Sas-Tec CE level 2 knee armor included, and pockets for Sas-Tec CE level 1 or 2 armor at the hips, for $199, you are getting the best of the best in mesh gear.

If you’re looking for something with real waterproof capabilities, the REAX Traveler Waterproof pants are also worth a look.

Rev’It Sand H2O Pants

Rev’It Sand H2O Pants

Price: $369.99
Buy: Revzilla

If you want to talk about over-engineering a set of pants, then you need to talk about the Rev’It Sand 4 H2O ADV and off-road pants. As the name suggests, this is the fourth iteration and evolution of the pants, and they came out just before the calendar flipped over to 2021.

So what makes them over-engineered? Firstly, the outer layer is made of full 1000D polyester ripstop, which is enough protection for most other pants to get by with. But Rev’It wasn’t satisfied, and then put a Hydratex liner behind that, for waterproofing and breathability. Then, still not satisfied, they put a combination polyester and polyamide internal mesh liner, with a removable extra thermal liner, inside that is puncture and abrasion-resistant.

Add in that the pants come with Seeflex CE level 2 knee and upper shin guards, and SeeSmart CE level 1 type B hip guards as standard, and you have a set of pants that is waterproof, can slide down the side of a mountain, and not tear, is comfortable, can be worn in four seasons, and also can be adjusted via several straps and snap-tabs to fit perfectly.

Knox Urbane Pro Pants

Knox Urbane Pro Pants

Price: $299.99
Buy: Revzilla

Knox is a company that only recently started to make waves in the North American market, as well as many international markets. They used to be almost exclusively European, being based out of the UK. Where most have heard of them before is with their excellent micro-lock armor that is often seen in motocross protection.

In terms of street gear, Knox took the road less traveled, and instead of riding “jeans,” they made riding “khakis.” Lighter weight, these pants are nonetheless extremely durable, made of high-strength stretch nylon infused with spandex to allow them to move and shape to the rider. They also included micro-lock armor for the knees and hips as standard, something you often have to pay extra for with other brands.

As these pants are lighter weight than the Cordura denim of most riding jeans, there may be thoughts that it won’t protect as well. Those worries are squashed when you see that these pants are EN17092-3:2020 Class AA certified, meaning that, if they had knee sliders, these pants would qualify for use on a track, and out-class most riding pants that only come with a single A rating. For reference, AAA certification is for full racing gear and is often only given to full riding suits.

Rev’It Moto Jeans

Rev’It Moto Jeans

Price: $259.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It strikes again on this list with a super pair of motorcycle riding jeans named, oddly enough, Moto Jeans. While the title may be a bit self-apparent, the quality and protection offered through these jeans are nothing to joke about.

Starting with a leather-style pants base, Rev’It instead used heavyweight 12.5oz Cordura denim for the exterior, which gives an approximate 600D abrasion resistance rating. Underneath that, Seesmart CE level 1 knee pads are included with the jean. The inner lining is made of Rev’It’s own PWR Shield polyamide mesh, which adds another 600D of abrasion resistance.

Combined, the outer and inner layers provide 1200D of total abrasion resistance or about 10 seconds of resistance at 50 MPH. Of course, the faster you start the slide, the less time it will take to wear through, although these jeans are meant to give enough resistance that you will either start to tumble, or have enough time to slow down through friction to prevent the worst of road rash.

Scorpion EXO Covert Pro Jeans

 Scorpion EXO Covert Pro Jeans

Price: $159.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Scorpion is well known for making superb gear like helmets at affordable prices. The EXO Covert Pro jeans are just another example of this steadfast determination to make riding less expensive while keeping the rider safe. As well, because of using a specific cut, the exterior of the jeans are large panels which increases the total stability of the material, instead of multi-seam smaller panels.

That material is Cordura 373 GSM denim, which is highly abrasion-resistant on its own, made up of 85% cotton and 15% high-strength nylon. This is backed by 250 GSM DuPont Kevlar from the base of the knees all the way to the waist, as this is the most common sliding area. From the base of the knee to the ankle cuff, a mesh lining helps keep the jeans open for airflow and allows for heat and moisture to be wicked away.

The only downside to the EXO Covert Pro is that while there are pockets at the knees and hips for armor, the jeans don’t come with any pre-installed. The pockets are fairly universal, although Scorpion recommends Sas-Tec Level 2 knee armor and Sas-Tec level 1 or 2 hip armor.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New ‘Triumph Beeline’ Navigation System Boasts Robust, Minimalist Design

Triumph has just partnered up with Beeline, a company that caters to two-wheeled navigation systems, to deliver an upgraded, industrial-strength navigation system with a minimalist design and laser-etched Triumph features, compatible with any motorcycle. 

According to a report from AutoEvolution, the new navigation system hit the UK’s store shelves this past weekend and is anticipated to be a big hit – especially since this model is based on the trendy Beeline Moto device introduced back in 2019

new triumph beeline navigation system for motorcycles

The system features an IP67 waterproof and shockproof case that sports the iconic ‘triumph-branded packaging’ and is said to fit any motorcycle handle – specifically, Triumph models (take your pick of models from this list curated on WebBikeWorld). Simply install the elasticated snap-mount onto your bike of choice, and the system locks in with an easy push and twist. 

photo displaying the ease with which the new triumph beeline can be installed on a motorcycle of choice

Should you decide that you can’t wait for the Triumph Beeline to make its way across the Atlantic, Beeline’s website currently has the original, non-Triumph “Beeline Moto” available for purchase – and if you really love the concept of the Triumph Beeline, the navigation company also carries modified systems outfitted for bicycles. 

…Not that we’re especially keen to drop our motors and go for a pedal, but the option is there. 

The 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets for Men [2021]

According to AutoEvolution, the system will be compatible with motorcycles in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. 

Looking forward to when the Triumph Beeline makes its way to the Western Hemisphere – until then, long live Triumph!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Earnest Co.’s ‘Tasker’ K-Canvas Pants

Pants. They are the comedy sidekick of the moto gear world. Even the word itself sounds funny. ‘PANTS!’ It’s like the punchline to a joke. It’s even funnier when the gear makers talk about them in the singular using the word ‘pant’. And most times, this is exactly how the riding public treats them, too. They are the last thing you think about after you’ve spent a small fortune on getting a kick-ass helmet, jacket and boots. Forever the afterthought. 

But why is this? Well, up until a few years ago, there was a real lack of decent pants available to riders. Unless you wanted to go for some top shelf leathers, most other options looked like Dad jeans or – worse still – like you’d just jumped off your Harley at the Sturgis show circa 1988. ‘Cool’ options just didn’t exist. Fast forward ten years and now we’re swamped with selvedge this and waxed cotton that. These ‘Tasker’ pants from the Aussie slash New Zealand Earnest Co. definitely fit into that second group, but are they any good?

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants

What are they, exactly?

The pants are a ‘Kevlar infused’ design (as opposed to ‘Kevlar lined’, which means that the tough stuff is sewn into the pants behind the denim) that’s just about as close as you’ll get to a regular pair of black Levis without risking skin loss. And as per their ‘workwear’ affiliations, they are designed to be comfy and functional enough to allow you to wear them on and off the bike with a minimum of hassle.

‘My current bike pants already do that!’ I hear some of you murmur. Sure, it’s no biggie. At least it’s not as big a deal as – say – a jacket that does the same thing. But should your day job involve any sort of tools, pens, rulers or general long pointy things, the pants have been rather subtly designed to allow you to accommodate these without a) looking like a Valentino Rossi moonlighting as a handyman or b) looking like a boilermaker trying to set a lap record.

Who’s Earnest, then?

A grass-roots moto and workwear clothing business, Earnest Co. was started in New Zealand in 2012 by a bunch of bike and car customisers who needed some gear to do a rather particular set of things and just weren’t finding anything suitable from the gear makers of the time.

Being at the tip of the now popular ‘work look’ moto style, Earnest have made quite the splash down under, and they are now pushing hard to do the same in the US and Europe. With a concise but highly refined range including overall, aprons, pants jackets and gloves, a quick perusal of their gear reminds any bikers with some remaining short term memory just how far we’ve come with our gear choices over the last 10 or 15 years.

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants detail

What do they look like?

Thankfully the Tasker pants understand that sometimes, you want your pants to take a back seat in the ‘overall ensemble’ party. Sure, camo patterns and the ever-popular cargo 47 pocket look still hold their own but personally, I mostly want my pants to protect my southern junk from angry tarmac rather than to fight for attention.

So if you’re a black jeans kind person off the bike, then these little fellas will tick most of your boxes once your butt is bike-bound. Yes, they do have a few extra seams to distinguish themselves from your garden variety pair of 511s, but most casual observers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference unless they get a real close, and by that time you’re probably more concerned about getting lucky or firing up your taser than you are with abrasion resistance.

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants action shot

What are they made like?

Earnest goes to great lengths describing how their ‘K-Canvas’ materials will protect your skin in the hopefully unlikely case of some unwanted freeway breakdancing lessons, but to my untrained eye, the stuff is as close to regular denim, which in my books is a very good thing. Sure, some of the stitching looks a little more ‘industrial’ than your average pants and the things are definitely ‘substantial’ in their build and heft, but that’s nothing that can’t be said for a quality pair of denim jeans either.

Unlike some of their competitors, you’ll have no real issue accepting that things are up to the task at hand. Without naming any names, I’ve tried on pairs of similar Kevlar weaves in the past and I just didn’t buy the claims the manufacturers were making. They just seemed too thin and light to be able to take a real licking. Rest assured the Taskers aren’t a bit like that.

One word to the wise. They are quite a slim cut, so in my humble opinion, you’ll be more likely to run into sizing issues regarding your inner seam and your ability to bend your knees than not being able to do up the top button. But as with all jeans, they will no doubt give a little over time.

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants

What features do they have?

Here’s where I have my word work cut out for me. Why? Because the Tasker’s clean, minimal utilitarianism means that they are mercifully fuss and do-dad free. No 12 zippers and 27 pockets here. That’s good for a clean look and a fad-free timelessness, bad for the guy who has to come up with all the words to do them justice.

But thanks to Earnest themselves, I can just geek out over a handy specs sheet and let you all know that the material is 20 times stronger than regular denim and it can also stand up against all kinds of sparks and stray blades in a typical workshop environment. It’s also triple-stitched where it counts to make sure an off-bike excursion doesn’t also force you into an unplanned strip-tease routine.

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants

The traditionally-located (i.e. throttle side) coin pouch has a handy design that means it’s divided into two sections – one for your metal moola and one for tools. Think of it as a convenient place to stow a pencil or even a pocket knife without having it standing proud. But be wary of the fact that coins stowed in the wrong compartment will be too deeply buried to be retrieved with standard-length fingers. And just in case you need to be told, never ride with tools on your person. Never ever.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

Similar tool-focused pockets are located above the right knee and there’s a ‘Pad protected gadget pocket’ inside the standard LHS hip pocket that fits phones up to an iPhone 11 Pro Max size. Last items on the features list include double canvas layers on the knees and booty bumps, and triple-reinforced pocket entries to ensure that repeated use won’t see them turn into dangling flaps.

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants action shot

Why should I buy a pair?

Look, far be it from me to stop you from riding around town looking like Krusty the Clown, if you follow my on-bike fashion ethos of ‘party up top, business down below’ then the Earnest Co. Tasker pants are a very solid choice. Designed by riders like you and I and not by fashion types that wouldn’t know the difference between a low-side and a side stand, they do what they set out to without exception or pretence.

Think of them like the Jay Leno of moto pants. They are eternally consistent, down-to-earth and not funny or weird in the slightest. If you’re looking to rock up to your local bike stop and explode people’s eyeballs with your ludicrous selection of ‘pant’, then these won’t be the choice for you. But if you want a reliable workhorse that’s genuinely good value (thanks weak New Zealand Dollar!) and that will still be holding up their end of the deal in 5 year’s time, they are a great place to start.

Pros:

  • Built like a tank
  • Beautifully functional
  • Nicely understated
  • Genuinely multi-purpose

Cons:

  • No armour as standard
  • No winter lining
  • Slim cut may feel awkward at first

Right now, the Tasker pants will set you back $270.00 NZD (that’s USD$194, £140, €160 and AUD$251 at time of writing). They come in sizes from 28/33 to 42/36; but Earnest notes that sizing runs a little slim, so maybe consider going for one size up than usual. Click below to find out more.

EARNEST CO. WORKWEAR



Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Earnest Co’s ‘Smiths’ K-Canvas Jacket

Unless 2020 scared you into a prepper cave somewhere in the desert, you’ll no doubt have noticed a trend over the past few years for ‘moto workwear’. Put simply, it’s gear that’s made for both the workshop and the ride to and from it. Antipodean innovators in their field are the Aussie/Kiwi-based Earnest Co., who have been owning the style locally since they were founded in 2012.

With this trend in mind, we decided to try out their front-runner in the segment. Ticking all the boxes with ‘factory’ looks, Kevlar protection and some seriously heavy-duty construction, we spent a few weeks testing the thing out both on and off the bike. Please meet the ‘Smiths’ Kevlar and Denim jacket.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What is it?

This is the company’s flagship – and only – jacket. Being a home-bred concern, Earnest Co. ain’t a business to bang out 13 different types of jackets to corner every part of the market. No siree. Proponents of the ‘do it once and do it properly’ school of thought, this is their sole jacket offering. And while the temptation would have been to try and be a ‘something for everyone’ type product, it’s actually surprisingly focused.

What you get is essentially a CE-rated Kevlar and denim jacket in any colour you like, as long as it’s charcoal. This functional approach continues to the design itself, which is part classic denim jacket and part Chairman Mao uniform. If standing out from the crowd is your thing, then this probably isn’t the jacket for you.

Who’s Earnest, then?

Headed up by Aussie fabricator, mechanic, customiser and drift addict, Nigel Petrie, the company was started in New Zealand and Nigel liked it so much he bought a chunk of it, making it a dual-country concern. There’s little doubt that he and his colleagues know what they are talking about. This is no fashion-obsessed, latte-sipping bunch of pret-a porter prima donnas; it’s more a group of builders and riders who saw a gap in the market because they just weren’t finding the gear they were after themselves.

The company is now a well-known force in the ANZ moto scene, too. Think of them as small, crafty bike fanatics rather than giant multinational megacorp owned by some suits who prefer calculators to motorcycles.

The other cool part to this is that your hard-earned will go straight back to the riders who got off their butts and built the company from scratch. If you’re into buying grassroots and not feathering the nest of some random non-biker CEO, Earnest Co. would be a great choice to consider.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What’s it look like?

Refreshingly devoid of skulls, flames or fluro colours, it’s not going to match with your lime green Harley chopper. Not unless you’re an ‘opposites attract’ freak. Quite frankly, I really like the look and I’ve worn it out sans my moto, too. It’s that cool.

Of course, the intention here is that you can jump straight off the bike and start work without having to change your gear, so it makes sense that dark (i.e grease-proof) colours and zero screaming skulls is the order of the day.

And I don’t think it’s too much to say that you’d look pretty decent grabbing a coffee or a beer at your favourite drink dispensers, too. While the lack of armour does reduce your protection should you come a cropper, it also means you’ll be able to wear the thing in more situations without feeling or looking like you’re dressed in a Hulk body suit.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What’s it made like?

Cut entirely from Earnest’s own 13oz ‘K-Canvas’ Kevlar cotton blend (it just looks alot like denim to me), the thing feels as tough as nails on first inspection. If they told me that it’d stand up on its own if positioned correctly, I’d totally buy it. Yes, it’ll probably soften up after long-term use but like a decent pair of heavy jeans, you can tell this thing’s tough.

If you were handed this on your first day of work in your local moto engine foundry, you’d be more than happy that management (or the local metal-workers union) had your safety front-of-mind.

And while I would have liked to have seen it made locally in with OZ or NZ, it’s sewn up in China and then shipped down under for distribution. Yes, local-made is better, but the added increase in price is probably something that most of us would not be willing to cop.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What features does it have?

What the jacket lacks in pretence and colour it more than makes up for in usability. This is clearly a product that’s been thought through to the n-th degree. A great example of this is the way the lower buttons on the front of the jacket are covered to protect your bike’s tank. And the rear length ensures you aren’t exposing the base of your back while you’re hunched over on the bike.

There’s also a bunch of external pockets – with some being divided into separate tool holders – that show a similarly researched understanding of what both the average biker and the career toolsperson would need. This includes a padded breast pocket for a mobile phone, decreasing your chances of broken screen both on the road and in the workshop.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket pocket detail

Photo by Ben Pilatti

Other neat-o details includes spark and slash resistance, triple stitching and plenty of reinforcement on pocket entries (think copper rivets, but again without the scratched bike), reinforced sleeves/elbows, and a top button that’s not going to choke you should you decide to do the jacket all the way up.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

Notable exceptions to the design are the exclusion of armour, the lack of internal pockets and there’s no removable lining to keep you snug on colder days. Also, no reflectivity to help you be seen on the road. And while this completely makes sense when you consider the design brief it was made to, some still might pine for these. Personally, I like to keep my phone inside my jacket so that a little rain doesn’t risk me voiding my warranty, but that’s me.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket detail

Why should I buy one?

If you’re currently in possession of a fully-armoured leather jacket that is overkill for inner-city trips and makes you sweat in summer like a criminal in a police club sauna, then this is the jacket for you. It’s not gonna be as breezy as some options when the mercury rises, but unless you’re cashed up enough to buy a jacket for every single season, it’s a great option.

Those who like long trips at freeways speeds and that don’t have an fully-armoured jacket option will want to look elsewhere, or consider wearing individual back and shoulder protectors under the jacket to keep you safe should the bitumen suddenly jump up and take a bite out of you.

And yes, the workshop look and functionality is great, but I feel that it’s more a nifty added extra than something that only mechanics and welders will look at. Honestly, its; not that limited; if Levi’s can sell a trucker jacket as a fashion accessory to the masses, then why not buy a Kevlar moto slash workshop jacket to wear on the street?

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket detail

Pros:

  • Built like a tank
  • Beautifully functional
  • Nicely understated
  • Genuinely multi-purpose

Cons:

  • No armour as standard
  • Summer only, unless you layer up
  • No internal pockets

Right now, the jacket will set you back $310.00 NZD (that’s USD$222.00, £160.00, €185.00 and AUD$288 at time of writing). It comes in sizes S to XXL, but Nigel notes that sizing runs a little small, so maybe consider going for one size up than usual. Click below to find out more.

EARNEST CO. WORKWEAR

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Blackbird Motorcycle Wear’s ‘Fly By Night’ Leather Jacket

Ah, the classics! There’s a good reason why they never go out of style. It’s all fine and well to have your Power Rangers outfits with their hi-viz this and their airbag that, but if you have a bike and helmet that suits, you’d be silly not to lean on history a little. Why, if it worked for Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley, who are we to question it? Looking to get a little more leather in our lives, we spent a few weeks with brill cream in our hair and a Triumph between our knees while we gave the ‘Fly By Night’ Leather Jacket from Australia’s Blackbird Motorcycle Wear a good ol’ spin around the block.

And with Sydney now descending into Autumn, we weren’t a moment too soon, either. It goes without saying that reviewing a leather jacket in the height of a Sydney summer is like trying to hammer a nail with a banana; it’s the wrong tool for the job. So with a welcome layer of hide between us and the not-so-chilly Sydney Autumn, off we went. Read on to see what we thought.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Is It, Exactly?

According to the Blackbird website, the Fly By Night is ‘a ladies leather motorcycle jacket that balances classic biker and edgy aviator style.’ Of course, the intermingling of the aviation and moto genres goes all the way back to WWII and the penchant ex-fly boys had for motorcycles and the as-close-as-you-can-get-to-flying thrills that they have always delivered. So off they went on their two-wheeled adventures, with their ex-air force gear in hand.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The cafe racers of the late ’50s in London adopted this double-breasted look and the city’s famous Lewis Leathers took the whole kit and kaboodle and set it in stone (or skin, as the case may be) with their still best-selling ‘Bronx Jacket No. 384.’

Taking this as their baseplate and adding their own little spin on things, Blackbird have tweaked the design both for modernity and to reinstate a little more ‘aviator’ style into the mix – most notably with the addition of a removable, genuine Aussie wool collar.

Who’s Blackbird Motorcycle Wear, Then?

Owned and run since 2013 by the Mother-and-Daughter team of Belinda and Matilda McPhee, the company was founded after a particularly spiritual moonlight run on a Ducati 1100 down a country road. In my head, the Beatles’ famous song ‘Blackbird’ is playing; but in reality, I guess the blast of the wind would have overwhelmed any Hollywood-like soundtracks. Damn you, real life.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the Blackbird team on numerous occasions and I can tell you that they are not only in the business for all the right reasons, but they also live and breathe the gear like only a family-run business can. There’s no faceless global megacorps here, just two passionate women who clearly love what they do.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Does it Look Like?

Right out of the rather large Blackbird Moto Wear-branded shopping bag, the jacket impresses. Its weight is impressive without being unwieldy; this is clearly a substantial leather stock. Linings are 100% polyester and all zippers on the jacket are YKK brand – a good indication in my books that things are being done without corners being cut. Similarly, the detachable collar (which doesn’t come with the item and must be purchased at an additional cost if the necessity takes you) looks and feels top shelf.

And while it definitely draws from the classic aviator jacket of years gone by, the design has been simplified by Blackbird into a cleaner, less fussy look without the multitude of zips and pockets the original air force designed called for. The leather has a pleasant sheen to it before any decent patina has set in, and clearly it will be a few years until some decent aging is accomplished. And if it looks this good now, just imagine how it’ll look then?

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What’s It Made Like?

The tags on the jacket indicate that it was crafted in Pakistan – aka the world’s tannery. There’s no surprises here. In this modern world of globalisation, a vast majority of the leather products you see on shelves come out of this part of the planet. Whether it’s a small boutique label like Blackbird or heavy hitters like AlpineStars, this is where modern moto gear is made. And you thought AlpineStars were an Italian brand?

Of course, the country of origin doesn’t dictate quality and I’m happy to report that this jacket ticks an army of boxes upon closer inspection. As always, the devil is in the details but nit-picky checks of the pocket linings and the compartments designed to take the CE-rated armour that comes supplied with the item is promising. And unlike some jackets I’ve reviewed in the past, all the press studs here fasten with a similar amount of pressure; there’s no ‘dud’ ones that seem to eternally pop open if you dare even look at them sideways.

And the smell? It’ll send vegans packing but if genuine leather is what you’re after, then this ‘Supersoft, natural milled cowhide’ will be the perfume for you. With a thickness of about 1.1 to 1.3mm across the entire item, it strikes a rather nice balance between toughness and useability. One issue I have come across in the past with certain types of Pakistani leather is that regular exposure to sun and the elements can cause some inconsistent fading – especially across the back and arms. Now I’m not suggesting that it will be an issue here, but it’s something to think about when considering a relatively small-batch item such as this.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Features Does it Have?

As mentioned, it comes with a full set of CE protection armour; bright yellow shoulder, back and elbow memory foam squishies are for you to insert or not, as the mood or intended purpose of the jacket may call for. The woolen collar comes in two shades, ivory and black. The lining is a satin-finish polyester and the two external pockets are matched to two internal (and unzipped) ones.

Zips on the cuffs include some pretty substantial pulls, as do the external pockets and the big sister main zip that runs right up the front. For those unfamiliar with the design, this zip closes the jacket up entirely when put to use and the large lapels that go such a long way to providing the jacket its style are neatly folded away when needed, or when the temps drop to such a point that wind must be banned from your core.

Finally, some side buckles just above the hips allow a tighter hug should you see fit. Buckles here are aged with a tarnished finish, as below. This integrates them more comfortably into the overall look and prevents them from being too bling-y, too.

 blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants

Stitching is doubled up where required and the design itself means that when fully zipped, you’ll actually have two layers of hide at your front quarters should it ever come under sustained attack. The back of the jacket has a seam right up the middle that forms a sporty vee with the shoulder panel above it and the cut-off at the base of your back is extended ever-so-slightly to keep things covered up.

The final word in the features list is its clearly-intended functionality as a fashion piece alongside the fact that it can also save your bacon and keep you warm while riding. If you need any further justification as to why you should spend the money, a classic moto jacket like this will probably get used far more than you might think. You may not be riding at night with it on, but chances are you’ll definitely be using it after the sun goes down.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket on the road

Why Should I Buy One?

If the cafe racer boom of the past 15 years has taught us anything, it’s that some things never go out of style. If you have a bike and the helmet to match, then a classic leather jacket like this is a real no-brainer that should certainly go on your moto shopping list. The fact that you can wear it even when you’re not on the bike is just the cherry on the gasoline cake.

Yes, the design – or something like it –  is available from a plethora of brands from the boutique likes of Blackbird all the way up to the original gangsters like Lewis Leathers and Belstaff. Who you go with should you decide to pull the trigger on the purchase is entirely up to you, but I’m happy to say that this here Fly By Night jacket is well worth your consideration.

Pros:

  • Timeless styling
  • Well made
  • Wool collar is a great addition
  • Genuinely multi-purpose

Cons:

  • Zip pulls can flap about at speed

Right now, the Fly By Night jacket will set you back AUD$599.00 (that’s USD$466, £335 and €385 at the time of writing). It comes in sizes from XXS to XXL, and it ships free worldwide. Click below to find out more.

BLACKBIRD’S FLY BY NIGHT JACKET

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Story Of A Motorcyclist’s Valued Treasure—The Wallet

There was just no getting around it any longer. The wallet I’ve had for 21 years was close to expiring. It’s sad. I noticed the subtle hints of distress about a year ago when the stitching began to come apart, loose threads sprouting out like little errant, frayed black hairs. Then, a few months ago I noticed that the main crease was wearing extremely thin and the first hint of a tear was barely visible. I was in denial, pretending I could nurse it through several more seasons of motorcycle trips by being a little more careful with it, being a little more gentle with the daily ritual of sliding it into and pulling it out of my back pocket and in and out of various riding jackets. But, as these things go, once the rip took purchase it escalated with a vengeance.


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As my trusted wallet began its rapid decline over the past few months I began to think of everywhere it’s been with me. It dawned on me that wallet had been along on every single motorcycle outing and every overseas trip I’d taken in the last 21 years. It had been there on every one of my trips up the Pacific Coast to attend the World Superbike and MotoGP races at Laguna Seca (as a matter of fact it’s older than some of the riders currently piloting factory machines on the grid). It has been tucked into the pockets of various riding jackets on myriad motorcycle trips, from arid deserts to cold mountain summits, endured sweltering heat to frigid cold. It has been through the rugged Baviaanskloof of South Africa and submerged in a stream crossing crash in the foothills of California. It crested the Great Atlas Mountains of Morocco with me as well as experienced the sublime serpentine roads of Tuscany. It was with me one night in the Pyrenees when I was caught in a torrential and frightening lightning storm that left it saturated with so much Spanish rain that all the ink-written items tucked away in its folds were turned to unintelligible rivulets of blue ink.

That wallet had been taken out and opened over the years at an endless string of gas stations to retrieve a credit card to refuel a multitude of motorcycles. It accompanied me to every domestic and international press launch I’ve attended during my motorcycle journalism career. That wallet was opened in a hospital in Italy to retrieve my Blue Shield card when I shattered my collarbone and broke five ribs after tucking the front end of a Ducati 999 at speed on the Imola circuit. And, it was my steady and loyal, nonjudgmental partner in crime whenever I had to show an officer of the law my license when caught exceeding the speed limit. It had been there, through it all, without complaint, without demands.

Perhaps that walk down memory lane will help assuage any notions of me being too sentimental over a fold of leather. If it were possible to extract them, there are enough experiences imbedded in its grain to produce a fairly interesting novel. All this sentimentality is born out of a simple reality in life; when something doesn’t cause you any anguish it’s all too easy to take it for granted—until it’s too late. Most guys reading this will no doubt consider their own wallets and the fact that these things are our dutiful companions through thick and thin. They are the things that go with us, often at speed, into our two-wheeled adventures. They are the rectangular forms we reach out and feel for when riding—through layers of leather or denim or textile—to ensure we have not left them behind at a gas station or restaurant. They share status with ignition keys and helmets as one of our most important and essential possessions.

The sojourn with my wallet started in 1991. I stumbled onto it in a fine men’s store while shopping with my girlfriend. It was so wonderfully uncomplicated; a single, thin fold of fine leather with a place for a license and three credit cards. Perfect. My interest instantly waned when I saw the dangling little white price tag read $50. I couldn’t justify spending that for a wallet. However, my girlfriend—a very sophisticated and fashionable woman—said that a wallet was a very important accessory for a man. She proffered that most males sport very little in the way of jewelry or ornamentation (this was long before tattoos were accepted into social norms) and therefore a wallet, like a watch, becomes an important symbol of status for a man. In other words, when you present your wallet it reflects something of who you are. Her words struck me as genuine and true, so I paid the then princely sum of 50 dollars and transferred all the contents of my old battered wallet into the new one. It’s true. Having a nice wallet does make you feel a little classier. Twenty-one years. I wonder what that is in wallet years? Fifty dollars. That works out to about $2.38 per.

Over the ensuing years I watched the wallet transition through various stages. The board-like stiffness fresh from the store quickly vanished. The leather gradually softened with the natural oils from my hands in the daily ritual of sliding it into and drawing it out of a plethora of pockets. It took on the natural curve of my hip and became a comfortable, almost invisible companion. Over time the leather was aged to exquisite smoothness.

Now, sadly, my dear wallet was finally giving up the ghost. The tear down the fold could be ignored no more. The only thing holding the two halves together was the silk liner with the brand name Bree vaguely visible in a black-on-black design. And so it was, that on a recent press launch to Madrid I finally decided it was time to replace her. I perused the small avenues off the main drags in search of a small shop that just might have a wallet that spoke to me. Finally, after a half day of milling about, I entered a quaint leather shop and saw it; a thin, simple, single fold-over wallet with a license area and slits for five credit cards. It was made of beautiful, soft black Spanish leather. It was on sale for 28 euros ($37).

On the return trip from Madrid I used my new wallet to obtain my boarding pass—its first official duty. I sincerely hope this wallet gets to enjoy the kind of wonderful experiences the old one did. I got to thinking about my old one, which was tucked away in my gear bag in the holds of the jet, and decided I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. Wherever the cow is that gave up some of their flesh to provide the makings of my old wallet can rest peacefully knowing that its sacrifice was put to good use. Since that wallet has served as a kind of trophy for so many of my various adventures in life, it deserves to be on display. Therefore, I have decided to frame it.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com