Tag Archives: Apparel Reviews

Alpinestars Faster 3 Shoes | Gear Review

Alpinestars Faster 3
Alpinestars Faster 3 motorcycle shoes (photo by the author)

They are called shoes in the Alpinestars sales and marketing literature, but the Faster 3 shoes are truly a hybrid crossover between shoes and boots. The Faster series of footwear has been in the Alpinestars line for some time, and this third iteration is a substantial upgrade from earlier offerings.

Gear selection is an exercise in personal preference and compromise. The Faster 3 shoes are an object lesson in this concept. I have both high-top and fully armored riding sneakers and several types of high-rise boots in my gear closet. The sneakers are extremely comfortable both on and off the bike but are very light on protection. The boots are supremely protective, but are rigid, awkward, and semi-uncomfortable for extended walking. The Alpinestars Faster 3 shoes can be boot-horned directly between these two extremes.

The Faster 3 shoes are an armored, over the ankle, lace-up model with a substantial cutout in the Achilles area for enhanced mobility. I am sure you can already see the advantages.

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Let’s start with the safety features. The Faster 3 shoes now carry the important CE certification in each of their variations: the Rideknit, Drystar, and the standard version (as tested). There is a subtle, low-profile TPR toe slider and an extremely protective and supportive TPR heel cup out back. Dual density ankle protectors are inserted between the microfiber upper and padded lining on both sides of the shoe.

On the comfort end of the spectrum, the aforementioned cutout in the rear of the boot gives a level of front to back mobility that full-rise boots can’t match. The sole is semi-rigid with an integrated support shank, providing a solid riding platform while also affording comfortable walk-ability. The boots feel supportive and comfortable both on and off the bike. I identified no pressure points or comfort quibbles on day-long rides. Ventilation is more than adequate.

The lace-up design is another advantage of this shoe. I really like the ability to fine-tune the fit with laces; however, loose laces on a motorcycle boot can cause problems if the laces are allowed to whip around. Alpinestars has provided a solution by including an easy-to-actuate Velcro strap to secure the boot laces for riding. The design works well and is easily adjusted with gloved hands.

The Faster 3 shoes really shine on the bike. That semi-rigid sole gives good riding feedback while spreading the pressure from the foot pegs over the full arch. The ankle mobility makes shifting and braking seamless and nimble. The low-profile toe box facilitates movement between upshifting and downshifting.

I am calling the Alpinestars Faster 3 shoes a winner for urban riding and light touring. While not as protective as full boots, the compromises are well-balanced and carefully engineered. The $169.95 retail price point places Faster 3s in the ballpark with other premium riding shoes.

The Alpinestars Faster 3 shoe is available for $169.95 in six color options and sizes 6-14.

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Fly Racing Terra Trek Jacket and Pants | Gear Review

Fly Racing Terra Trek Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
Fly Racing Terra Trek jacket and pants and Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet worn on the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250. Photo by Kevin Wing.

In a market where new top-tier ADV apparel can cost as much as your monthly rent or mortgage payment, the Fly Racing Terra Trek jacket and pants combo is the budget-conscious rider’s best friend. Ready for four seasons of riding, the Terra Trek’s Hydraguard breathable weatherproofing eliminates the need for bulky rain liners and provides added protection as a windbreaker. When the temperature drops, a removable thermal liner can be snapped into each garment to hold in body heat. On hot days, opening the waterproof zippers for the chest and leg vents brings in fresh air (a few more vents would help).

Fly Racing Terra Trek
Fly Racing Terra Trek

Fly Racing provides the standard treatment of CE Level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows of the jacket. A foam back protector is provided, but we recommend upgrading to Fly’s Barricade CE Level 2 back protector ($39.95). Terra Trek pants have CE Level 1 armor in the knees, and there are pockets for optional CE Level 1 hip armor ($23.95).

Fly Racing Terra Trek Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
Fly Racing Terra Trek jacket and pants and Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet worn on the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Since it’s geared toward adventure riding, the Terra Trek duo has a casual cut — not too loose, not too tight, and all-day comfortable, thanks in part to the sweat-wicking mesh liner. There are several ways to fine-tune the fit of the jacket, snugging up the biceps with snaps and straps and tightening the waist adjuster. The pants feature adjustments at the waist and the calf area to accommodate bulky ADV/MX boots, and a sturdy 8-inch zipper connects the jacket to the pants. Storage is aplenty with three external pockets and several internal compartments on the jacket and two cargo pockets and zippered hip pockets on the pants.

Fly Racing Terra Trek Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
Fly Racing Terra Trek jacket and pants and Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet worn on the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Related Story: Fly Racing Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet Review

Priced at $259.95 for the jacket and $239.95 for the pants, $499.90 gets you the whole enchilada.

The Terra Trek jacket is available in Black, Sand/Black, and High-Viz/Black, in sizes S-4XL. The pants are available in men’s sizes 30-40 in Black and Sand/Black. Tall sizes are available for both.

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Umberto Luce Crimson Boots | Gear Review

Umberto Luce Crimson Boots
Umberto Luce Crimson Boots (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Long before I got into motorcycles, I was into boots. As a rebellious middle-schooler, I stomped around in army-surplus combat boots. In high school, I bought a pair of Danner hiking boots that have protected my feet over hundreds of miles of trails in the Appalachians, Rockies, and Sierra Nevada. Thirty years later, I still have them, and their Vibram soles have been replaced multiple times. When it comes to boots, as with other gear we depend on, quality is worth paying for.

Umberto Luce boots first popped onto my radar last November at the IMS Outdoors show in Southern California. Peter Jones, Rider’s resident fashionista and shoe aficionado, and I both admired the stylish kicks, which look cool but are also designed to withstand the rigors of knocking about on motorcycles. We met Humberto Luce, the company founder and designer, who exudes energy and passion.

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In January, Peter and I ran into Humberto again at AIMExpo in Las Vegas, and this time he sent me home with a pair of Crimson boots. I tried them on at the show, and they were so comfortable that I kept them on. For the past few months, with rare exception, the Crimson boots have been on my feet both on and off the bike. Part of what makes them so comfortable is a flexible, durable sole made from a stack of leather, EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), and an anti-slip vulcanized rubber with a lugged tread. The outer sole has a unique speckled pattern that reminds me of a terrazzo floor.

The full-grain leather upper has an oil-tanned suede finish and a butter-soft, odor-resistant interior. Getting in and out of the lace-up boots is made easy with a quick-entry side zipper. Protective features include CE-certified D3O ankle protection, secure lock stitching, and a frontal-impact-protection cap toe, all of which are tastefully incorporated into the stylish design of the boots.

Umberto Luce Crimson Boots

I’ve spent full days in the saddle of a motorcycle, as well as full days tromping around city streets and airports, with these boots on, and they’re among the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. You’ll have to pry them off my cold, dead feet.

Umberto Luce Crimson boots are available in men’s sizes 7 to 13.5 and priced at $329. They’re made in small batches by craftsmen in León, Mexico. Check out the website for other styles.

For more information, visit umbertoluce.com.

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Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The Aerostich factory on 18th Avenue West was originally a candy factory.Today the sweet stuff is created solely for motorcyclists.

To tell the story of the legendary Aerostich riding suit is to tell a story about America. The dream of it, but also the tenacity required to navigate its possibilities. Because running a successful small business in America these days demands more than a clear vision and hard work. It requires staying power.

RELATED: Aerostich R-3 One-Piece Suit | Gear Review

Native Duluthian Andy Goldfine was committed to the dream of creating a small business long before he knew what product or service he might offer. Separately, the concept of a lightweight, armored, easy-to-use coverall to wear over clothes as one commuted to and from their job was born from a personal wish to own such an item. These two ambitions merged when Goldfine conjured the first Roadcrafter one-piece riding suit back in 1983.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
Andy Goldfine’s intention to supply motorcyclists with high-quality, handcrafted apparel and useful kit has never wavered.

What Schott is to leather and Belstaff is to waxed cotton, Aerostich is to synthetic-fiber textiles used to create durable, high-performance motorcycle gear. The world is overflowing with it now, but back in the early ’80s, people weren’t talking about things like breathability or tensile strength or viscoelastic foam armor. Cordura and Gore-Tex were still exotic. And so, without any kind of roadmap, Goldfine created a totally new type of riding gear, and boy, did that suit show us what our leather gear was missing.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The Aerostich building in Duluth is no factory, instead feeling more like an artist’s enclave where the skilled craftspeople combine forces to create exceptionally high-quality riding gear. It’s cool to see, and all visitors who happen by are welcome to a tour. For me, it made my connection to my latest Roadcrafter suit so much more significant, having watched in person the craftspeople who handwrite their signatures inside each suit.

I (literally) stepped into my first Roadcrafter back in 1986 when Goldfine was visiting the Rider offices in California, and I have been living in these suits ever since. Like so many motojournalists of that era, I found the Roadcrafter wasn’t just the gold standard for commuting, it was also magic for sportbike riding and touring. Newer designs (R-3 Darien and AD1) from the Aerostich factory in Duluth might be just as popular these days, but when I last visited the shop I was hunting for a new Roadcrafter Classic two-piece to fit my now middle-aged bod.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The original Roadcrafter Classic, handcrafted in Duluth, has been refined over the years, yet remains totally recognizable.

It was my first time in Goldfine’s very Minnesotan three-story brick building – a former candy factory – and it was obvious right away this is a cool place for bikers to chill. After I was fitted for my new suit, I got a tour of the different floors and stations where skilled craftsmen and craftswomen, a fair number of riders among them, cut and assemble the various fabric into “kits,” which are then handed over to expert sewers and finally seam-taping machine operators before each garment is inspected and prepared to meet its new owner.

RELATED: Andy Goldfine: Ep. 14 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

The handcrafting of the suits is enjoyable to watch, especially since everyone working here – some who have been with Goldfine for decades – seems to enjoy their craft.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

But one of the things I leave most impressed by is how fiercely this operation works to remain “Made in the USA.” For example, Goldfine explains that, due to current trade policies, the tariff on bringing in fabric from Asia is about twice as high as the tariff for bringing in completed riding gear. “It’s as if the USA doesn’t want commercial/industrial sewing activity done in this country,” he told me.

Supply chain issues caused by Covid have only deepened the challenge. Yet Goldfine remains true to his standards, a rare example of an apparel manufacturer uneasy with the lure of inexpensive offshore production, even as many consumers take the bait, sometimes unwittingly trading quality for low prices on everyday goods.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

While the riding suits remain the pillar of Aerostich offerings, Goldfine has created and collected a dangerously desirable array of complementary apparel items, accessories, and equipment to make riding “easier, safer, and more comfortable.” It might be a heated mid-layer, a unique tool, perfect-fitting earplugs, stink-resistant socks, or a new tent you didn’t know you needed until you saw it on the website or in that cherished catalog that occasionally shows up in the mail.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

And while he finds satisfaction in his artful curation of products and the affirmation of Aerostich loyalists, Goldfine’s core intention isn’t driven by being fashionable or even making money. His deeper motivation is about promoting the physical, psychological, and societal benefits of riding motorcycles every day. It’s why he created Ride to Work Day, to remind us of the Rx effect of being on the motorcycle, even for a short “useful” ride each day. He believes riding makes us “better-functioning, calmer, clearer” people and also brings economic, environmental, and congestion-lessening benefits to our communities.

It’s with these big thoughts in mind that I step into my fresh Roadcrafter a week later. How the heck can a riding suit feel like home? This one does. No matter what newfangled riding apparel comes into my life to be tested, it’s the all-American Aerostich that endures.

For more information, visit aerostich.com.

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Motoport Air Mesh Street Jeans | Gear Review

Motoport Air Mesh Jeans

Bias alert: About 10 years ago, I procured a set of Air Mesh Kevlar overpants from Motoport. In the more than 100,000 miles of riding in every conceivable condition since, my expectations have only been exceeded. They wear like iron and the black Kevlar fabric hasn’t faded a bit, even after thousands of hours in the sun. They are, far and away, the most rugged and comfortable overpants I have ever tested. These new Motoport Air Mesh Street Jeans share much in common with my old overpants.

Upon first inspecting the garment, the impression is one of substance, quality, and extremely stout construction. They’re made of a Kevlar mesh blend on the front and a Kevlar stretch blend on the rear, all safety-stitched. The mesh-blend material is thick and surprisingly rough to the touch. Motoport claims a tear strength of 1,260 pounds with an abrasion resistance of 1,800 cycles before failure for the mesh fabric, and a tear strength of 420 pounds with an abrasion resistance of 1,800 cycles for the stretch fabric, both of which exceed values for competition-grade leather.

Aesthetically, the Air Mesh Jeans are strictly business, with a quasi-militaristic appearance. On our black test model, there are two cargo pockets, two front handwarmer pockets, and gray reflective piping on the lower leg. Internally, the Air Mesh Street Jeans feature what is likely the industry’s most comprehensive armor coverage. There are hip pads, a sacrum pad, thigh pads, knee pads, and shin pads, all fitted in dedicated pockets.

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A plethora of options are available, including various colors, suspenders, alternate pockets, cuffs, armor upgrades, and more. I upgraded to four-layer Quad Armor (three-layer Tri Armor is standard) and added an Aero-Tex waterproof/windproof/breathable pant liner and 1.5-inch reflective striping on the calf area. These jeans are built-to-order for each rider’s measurements and tastes, with a base price of $549 plus options (see website for the full list and pricing).

The Air Mesh Street Jeans are easy to take on and off, thanks to beefy 13-inch-long YKK zippers with thick pull tabs at the cuffs, which are hidden behind Velcro flaps for a cleaner look. The armor requires a break-in period before it conforms to the shape of a rider’s body. It initially felt bulky but molded itself to my lower body over time. After two weeks of steady commuting, the pants felt like a second skin.

The realistic temperature range of the Air Mesh Street Jeans was 50 to 105 degrees, the hottest temperature encountered during testing. For colder temperatures or foul-weather riding, the optional Aero-Tex liner kept me warm and dry down to 30 degrees.

After an adventure-filled three seasons, I have only one minor gripe: The interior of the cargo pockets is the same rough-textured Kevlar mesh material as the exterior of the garment. Some delicate items, like documents or smartphone touchscreens, deserve a soft lining.

Aside from that, I have no doubt that these Motoport Air Mesh Street Jeans will be every bit as reliable as my old Air Mesh overpants. This is not an inexpensive, off-the-rack item, but rather first-class American-made protective gear for the serious motorcyclist.

For more information, visit motoport.com.

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Klim Resistor HTD Gauntlet Gloves | Gear Review

Klim Resistor HTD Gauntlet Glove

With Arctic blasts of frigid air gifting us single-digit ambient temperatures here in New Jersey, most motorcycles are parked for the winter season. However, there remains a small but dedicated band of polar bears who insist on riding in spite of the cold, and for them proper gear is critical. Klim Resistor HTD Gauntlet Gloves (HTD stands for “heated”) are specifically intended for this type of application.

(Resistor HTD Gauntlet Gloves are part of Klim’s snowmobile apparel line. The Hardanger HTD Long Gloves are designed for motorcycle use and offer more crash-protective features.)

The Resistors feature subdued, but contemporary styling. The black polyester exterior shell is punctuated by additional padding and a swatch of 3M Scotchlite reflective material across the knuckles, with tightly seamed stitching throughout. The palm and fingers are a grippy black leather treated with 3M Scotchgard. A large strap keeps the gloves tightly secured at the wrist, while a bright yellow shock cord at the gauntlet clamps down against the jacket’s cuff. The gauntlet itself opens to a generous 5 inches and can be stretched further if necessary, which is more than enough space for most riders. Each glove has a 1.5-inch-long rubber face shield wiper on the index finger, which was moderately useful in rain and light snow conditions. A large pull loop on the bottom of each gauntlet allows excellent leverage to cinch the gloves on tight.

Check out Rider’s other motorcycle apparel reviews

Inside, a Gore-Tex windproof/waterproof membrane is sandwiched between the outer shell and the soft moisture-wicking “comfort fleece” inner lining, supplemented with generous 3M Thinsulate insulation (200g on the backhand, and 100g on the palm.) Overall construction of these Vietnamese-made gloves is excellent, with no loose threads, blemishes, or defects detected.

Klim Resistor HTD Gauntlet Glove

Power for each glove comes courtesy of a 7.4VDC Atewa Li-Po battery, rated for 2Ah. The 2.1- x 0.5- x 1.8-inch cell slips neatly into a Velcro-sealed pouch within the gauntlet. A small backlit button on the gauntlet allows the rider to turn the glove on, off, and toggle between 3 different heat levels. Holding the button down for 3 seconds turns the power on to the High heat setting as default. (If left there, the setting will automatically step down to Medium heat setting after 10 minutes, to conserve battery life.) Tapping the button allows the rider to select between High (red,) Medium (blue,) and Low (green) settings as necessary, and holding the button down for 3 seconds will turn the gloves off.

Check out our Klim Ai-1 Airbag Vest review

Run time on battery varies according to ambient temperature, but in the low teens (the bulk of my testing regimen,) I was consistently able to get nearly 8 hours on low, nearly 3 hours on medium, and about 1.5 hours on high. (This was all after cycling the batteries a few times.) One can expect more time in warmer ambient temps, and less in colder. An AC-DC charger which handles two cells simultaneously is included.

Out on the road, these gloves were supremely comfortable thanks to their plush, well insulated interiors. Indeed, even unheated, they were warm enough to ride in the high 30s without the heating function activated. In colder conditions with the heating turned on, they reached peak temperatures in about 5 minutes, and were more than a match for sustained rides in the single digits. Likewise, the waterproof claim was verified by submerging them in a bucket full of water for 20 minutes, without a drop leaking inside. Overall, these Klim gloves represent a superlatively functional choice for my fellow polar bears who brave any temperature a sane motorcyclist would dare venture into.

Klim Resistor HTD Gauntlet Gloves retail for $249.99 and are available in sizes XS-3XL.

For more information: See your dealer or visit klim.com

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British Motorcycle Gear Adventure Jacket | Review

British Motorcycle Gear Adventure Jacket
Testing the British Motorcycle Gear Adventure Jacket on the 2022 Kawasaki KLR650. (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

Like an adventure-touring bike, an adventure-touring jacket needs to be ready for anything, come what may. It should provide comfort and protection in a range of conditions and stand up to abuse. The British Motorcycle Gear Adventure Jacket was originally designed for the Dakar Rally, which puts more demands on riders, motorcycles, and gear in a fortnight than run-of-the-mill adventure riding will do in a year (or even a lifetime).

The Adventure’s outer shell is made of 500-denier nylon with anti-abrasion overlayers on the elbows and shoulders that are backed by EVA foam. The adjustable waist/kidney belt on the outside of the jacket also has EVA foam padding along the back. The inside of the jacket is lined with stretchy, breathable athletic mesh, and there are pockets for shoulder, elbow, and back armor. Knox CE shoulder and elbow armor is provided; back armor is sold separately for $29.

British Motorcycle Gear Adventure Jacket

To deal with the variable weather conditions, there’s a waterproof/windproof layer that can be zipped over the jacket, and it can be conveniently stored in the large, rectangular pocket at the lower back. There’s a removable hydration system with a bladder and a long tube that secures to the front of the jacket. Zippered vents – large ones on the inner forearm and smaller ones at the front and back of the shoulders – provide ventilation. There are numerous fit adjusters (neck, arms, cuffs, waist, and hem) and pockets (two on the inside and seven on the outside).

My first test of the BMG Adventure Jacket was at the press launch for the new Kawasaki KLR650 and on my 1,000-mile ride home from the event. Over five days of riding, I encountered chilly mornings in the mountains of northern New Mexico, a drenching monsoon thunderstorm in Arizona, and 120-degree heat in the Mojave Desert. In the months that followed, I wore the jacket during on- and off-road rides in Southern California.

In terms of fit, function, and style, the jacket has performed admirably. I have been particularly keen on the soft neoprene-lined collar, built-in hydration system, and mesh-lined vents. Of course, on the hottest days, more ventilation would have been appreciated, but in those extreme situations only a full mesh jacket would have done the job. The easy-on, easy-off rain/wind layer served me well when I needed to quickly adapt to sudden changes in the weather.

If you’re looking for a versatile, practical, three-quarter-length textile touring jacket, then BMG’s Adventure Jacket is good option at a good price. It’s available in sizes XS-4XL in orange or blue for $279.99.

For more information: See your dealer or visit britishmotorcyclegear.com

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Fly Racing Resistance Jeans | Gear Review

Fly Racing Resistance Jeans Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS review
The rider is wearing Fly Racing Resistance Jeans, as well as Fly Racing’s Sentinel Helmet, Flux Air Jacket, and Milepost Boots. Next to him is the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200RS. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

The old maxim “you get what you pay for” is usually a reliable predictor of quality, but when it comes to Fly Racing’s Resistance Jeans, I’m not convinced the rule applies. They’re made of light, durable 12-ounce denim with an aramid fiber lining that provides abrasion protection across the entire seat and from the waistband down the front of each leg, finishing below the knee. Removable CE Level 1 knee armor adds extra impact protection.

Read our Fly Racing Flux Air Mesh Jacket review

Thoughtful design features include adjustable pockets for the knee armor with additional hook-and-loop patches that allow an inch of adjustment, ensuring it will be where it should if needed, regardless of the wearer’s height. The right front pocket is equipped with a lanyard for attaching keys, and removable hip armor pockets are compatible with optional Fly Barricade CE Level 1 armor ($23.95). Styling details include classic denim contrast stitching and plaid detailing inside the waistband and pockets. Quality touches include a durable YKK fly zipper and riveted front pockets.

Read our 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS road test review

Fly Racing has made an effort to fit riders of various body types with a range of both regular and tall sizes. But if you’ve got an extra-long inseam like me, you’re still going to wish for an extra inch (I’ll leave it to you to add the punchline). The fit is slightly relaxed, and the straight-cut leg will go over all but the largest boots.

I’ve been wearing a pair of Resistance Jeans throughout the summer. They provide a solid balance between breathability and protection, remaining comfortable in hot weather, and they look great too. They also wash far better than some of the more expensive brands I wear, and I expect they will age over time like a favorite pair of old jeans. Most impressive, they’re a good value at just $129.95. I guess sometimes you do get more than you pay for.

Fly Racing Resistance Jeans are available in men’s regular sizes 30-40 and tall sizes 32-38, in either Indigo (pictured) or Oxford Blue (for a pre-washed look).

For more information or to find a Fly Racing/Western Power Sports dealer near you, visit flyracing.com.

Fly Racing Resistance Jeans review
Fly Racing Resistance Jeans in Indigo

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Gaerne Dakar GTX Boots | Gear Review

Gaerne Dakar GTX adventure motorcycle boot review

Riding on technical off-road terrain can be hard on feet, ankles, and lower legs. During stand-up riding, one’s full bodyweight is carried on the footpegs, and the acrobatics required to counterbalance, absorb g-outs, and keep the bike upright over obstacles can be hard on muscles, joints, and bones. And, as I know all too well, sometimes things go pear-shaped. I once broke my foot on an adventure ride while wearing boots that weren’t up to the task.

Gaerne Dakar GTX adventure motorcycle boot review

Lesson learned, now I won’t go on a serious adventure or dual-sport ride without wearing boots that provide the utmost in crash protection as well as comfort and maneuverability.

After torture-testing a pair of Gaerne G-Midland Boots on the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, EIC Drevenstedt reported that “the just-right fit, rugged soles, and generous ankle support have served me well in all kinds of riding and walking conditions. In fact, G-Midlands are among the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn” (read the full review). Wanting even more protection, I opted for Gaerne’s Dakar GTX Boots.

Gaerne Dakar GTX adventure motorcycle boot review

A key feature of the Dakar GTX is a fully pivoting mechanical hinge at the ankle that wraps around the Achilles area. It attaches to a hard plastic heel counter as well as one of the two MX-style adjustable buckles. Covering the shin is a durable polyurethane armor plate, and there are flex panels at the front and back of the ankle. The rest of the boot’s outer is made of full-grain, oil-tanned leather, which is lined with a breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. Instead of a third buckle at the top, there’s a large outer flap with a Velcro panel to secure the boot. A lugged sole is attached using tough welt stitching, and it has a multidirectional tread pattern that provides good grip on the pegs (though more so on cleated pegs than on those with rubber inserts) and traction when walking on loose surfaces. 

Gaerne Dakar GTX adventure motorcycle boot review

With a spacious, well-padded interior, a cushioned insole, and a flexible yet supportive sole, I concur with our EIC’s assessment – the Dakar GTXs are some of the most comfortable motorcycle boots I’ve worn in 46 years of riding, both on and off the bike. I haven’t had any pain points, and it is easy to pull them on and off as well as adjust the fit to be snug and secure. And although the sole is tough, it isn’t too rigid. It allows some flex and feedback through the pegs, and I was able to use the shift and brake levers with confidence.

If you’re looking for an adventure boot that provides excellent protection and comfort, then Gaerne Dakar GTX Boots are worth considering. They’re available in brown in men’s sizes 7-13 for $429.95. They’re darn good-looking boots, too.

For more information, visit atomic-moto.com

Gaerne Dakar GTX adventure motorcycle boot review

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Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket and Pants | Gear Review

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Wearing the Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants while testing the 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

We’ve tested a lot of Olympia apparel over the years, starting with the Sentry Jacket and Ranger Pants back in 2003. And we’ve worn and tested every iteration of the Airglide jacket/pants combo, which is now in its sixth generation. Olympia was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Kevin and Karilea Rhea, both designers and avid riders, and for years it was based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. A few years ago they sold the company, which is now owned by Motovan, a Canadian powersports distributor.

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Grey Red Black review
Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket in Grey/Red/Black

The Airglide jacket and pants are part of Olympia’s Mesh Tech line. That means they have large panels of Ballistic Airflow abrasion-resistant mesh (gee thanks, Captain Obvious!), with 1000D Cordura used in impact areas. Designed for three-season riding, there is a removable thermal layer as well as a windproof rain layer that can be worn under or over the jacket and pants (and a handy carry bag is provided). Removable Powertector Hexa CE Level 2 armor fits into pockets at the shoulders, elbows, back, and knees, and there are removable foam hip pads.

Olympia Airglide 6 Pants review
Olympia Airglide 6 Pants

With various fit adjustments and stretch panels, the Airglide jacket and pants are comfortable, with a generous cut that accommodates under-layers (and American midsections). I found the pants in my normal size to be a bit too large to be worn by themselves (they felt more like overpants), and the jacket sleeves were a little short for my long arms. If possible, try on the Airglide 6 before buying. The pants have full-length two-way side zippers and EZ-Hem bottoms so they can be tailored to length.

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa review
Wearing the Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants while testing the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

I’ve personally worn and tested a lot of Olympia gear, and I’ve always been impressed by the quality and attention to detail. For example, the front pockets in the Airglide jacket and pants are lined with soft fleece, so they’ll actually keep your hands warm on a cold day. The jacket also has an inside chest pocket with a pass-thru for earbuds. Grippy rubber zipper pulls are easy to use with gloved hands. Over multiple days of testing the Honda Gold Wing Tour and Suzuki Hayabusa, with temperatures ranging from the low 50s on the coast to well over 100 inland, I appreciated the versatility that the Airglide 6 ensemble provided.

The Airglide 6 jacket is available in men’s sizes S-XL ($379.99) and 2XL-4XL ($399.99), women’s sizes XS-XL ($379.99) and 2XL-3XL ($399.99), and Grey/Red/Black (shown), Black/Hi-Viz Yellow, and Black/Silver. The pants (Black only) are available in men’s sizes 30-38 ($279.99) and 40-44 ($299.99) and in women’s sizes 4-12 ($279.99) and 14-18 ($299.99). Everything is covered by a 1-year warranty.

For more information:
See your dealer or visit revzilla.com (U.S.) or motovan.com (Canada)

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