Tag Archives: Apparel Reviews

Motonation Fuego Riding Jeans | Gear Review

Motonation's Fuego riding jeans
Motonation’s Fuego riding jeans are an affordable alternative to wearing regular street jeans.

Kevlar-lined riding jeans are a great choice for those riders looking for something more protective than their favorite pair of Levi’s, but without the utilitarian (and bulky) look of dedicated motorcycle pants. Motonation offers two models of riding jeans, the men’s Sherpa and the women’s Fuego, both priced at an extremely affordable $99.

The Fuego jeans I tested are made of a stretchy 13.5-oz. denim with enough give to make them quite comfortable even when I’m tucked onto a sportbike, although I would’ve preferred a higher waist in the back–they gaped open and I found myself compulsively tugging my jacket down to cover my exposed back. Inside is a shin-length mesh liner with Kevlar panels at the buttocks and from just above the knee to where the liner ends at the upper shin, and a 4.5-inch strip down the outside of each thigh. I consider this minimal coverage, but the upside is that the Fuegos are cooler and more comfortable to wear than jeans with more complete Kevlar coverage.

There are pockets for optional knee and hip armor (or you can buy some from Forcefield or D3O), and the knee pockets include hook-and-loop strips to position the armor where you need it. Because of the mesh liner, there is no telltale stitching on the outside of the jeans that gives away their moto mission, and though they are slightly thicker than “street” jeans the Fuegos are comfortable enough to wear around all day (and night). Speaking of stitching, at this price point you aren’t getting seams triple-stitched with high-tensile-strength thread, which means the Fuegos might not hold together as long in a slide. Again, a potential trade-off that’s your decision to make.

As for sizing, any woman reading this knows how unpredictable women’s jeans can be, so I’ll do my best to guide you here. I typically (with an asterisk of course) wear a size 6, but in the Fuegos I’m an 8 so let’s say they run a size small. As mentioned previously, the denim is fairly stretchy which helps with fit, and sizes 6-10 are available in short, regular and long lengths (for a $99 pair of riding jeans, having three lengths to choose from is almost unheard-of). It does get complicated outside those sizes, however: size 4 comes in short and regular, 12 in regular and long, and 14 in regular only. Got that?

Bottom line is, if the Fuegos fit you and you’re OK with sacrificing a bit of abrasion protection for a cooler, more comfortable fit–and if you don’t have a lot of dough to spend–they certainly are a better choice than riding in your everyday jeans.

For more information, call (619) 401-4100 or visit motonation.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Moto-Skiveez Traveler Shirt | Gear Review

Moto-Skiveez Traveler shirt
The Traveler shirt from Moto-Skiveez is lightweight, packable and supremely comfortable.

Moto-Skiveez has made its name by creating riding shorts and tights that coddle our tushes, but its comfortable clothing line also includes two moto-oriented shirts. I slipped into the Traveler model for this review. And I do mean slip–the slinky polyester fabric lies lightly on the skin and moves with you, not against you. Stretch panels on either side enhance that freedom of movement when you’re setting up camp or doing a little post-ride yoga. The sleeves on my size small are a good length for my ape-ish arms, and sport two low-profile snap closures at the cuffs to adjust for wrist size or weather.

Snaps also close the front of the shirt, making it easier to adjust with gloved hands and emitting a satisfying rrrrriiiiipp when it’s time to shed the shirt. Two chest pockets provide handy storage, each capable of holding a passport, wallet or phone. The left one opens via a glove-friendly, self-closing magnetic catch and the more secure right pocket zips closed.

Moto-Skiveez doesn’t claim an SPF rating for the shirt, but the rip-stop weave is substantial enough that I feel safe being out in the sun in it. Flow-through vents behind the shoulders are backed with porous mesh to circulate air, and raising the collar protects your neck from the sun.

I took the Traveler on a multi-day ride along the California coast and found it to be perfect for end-of-day lounging and dinner. It was such an improvement over my usual luggage-wrinkled cotton attire that my buddies had to tolerate me singing “Sharp Dressed Man” on the way to the restaurant (though they nixed the air guitar).

The provided stuff bag is large enough to tuck the Traveler in with room to spare, and with care in packing (fold, then roll), the shirt emerges from its drawstring cocoon relatively unfazed. Hanging it up helps relieve any residual wrinkles, and it washes easily in a sink.

The Traveler lists for $60, and comes in men’s sizes S-2XL, in light gray only. If you want a shirt to slip into after a long day in the saddle–one that feels good, fits well and is easy to live with–give the Traveler a look. Who knows, you might get some looks yourself.  

For more information, call (888) 819-0185 or visit motoskiveez.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

iXS Samira Gore-Tex Jacket | Gear Review

Samira Gore-Tex women's jacket
The Samira Gore-Tex women’s jacket from iXS includes a removable teal puffy inner jacket that can be worn on its own off the bike.

Continuing to prove that it’s possible to be protected from both mishaps and the elements while still looking great, Swiss apparel manufacturer iXS’s 2019 catalog includes this attractive women’s Gore-Tex jacket, the Samira. The 3-layer waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane is sewn in rather than laminated, making the Samira just a bit bulkier than a single-layer jacket might be, but the upshot is that, at $299, it’s also less expensive. It also doesn’t look like a “sensible” waterproof touring jacket with 15 pockets, which appeals to my personal taste and makes the Samira look at home on just about any type of motorcycle, from a cruiser to a sportbike.

The tailored polyamide (nylon) outer jacket includes zippered hip gussets for fit, a dual-zipper fold-over front closure that effectively seals out wind, zipper and hook-and-loop closure at the wrists and a multi-position snap at the neck. Shiny silver zippers accent the waist pockets and main closure, while inside are a cell phone pocket and a large zippered pocket. Small vents at the shoulders only flow a hint of air, with larger back vents for exhaust; because of the limited airflow the Samira is best worn as a “shoulder season” or milder weather jacket.

My favorite feature is the Samira’s quilted inner liner, which can be worn independently off the bike as a fashionable teal-colored “puffy” jacket. It has its own zippered waist, cell phone and large inner pockets and is made of a silky, durable material that won’t easily tear. Worn in combination with the outer jacket, the Samira is toasty warm and a perfect foil for those cold, damp mornings. Elemental protection: check. And mishaps? The Samira includes CE level 1-approved shoulder, elbow and back armor.

As with most iXS products we’ve tested, fit is European (read: snugly tailored), so I would advise ordering up a size if you prefer a looser fit. Sizes run from S-3XL, and you can have any color you want so long as it’s black with white accents. 

For more information, see your dealer or visit moto.ixs.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Trilobite Rally Jacket | Gear Review

Trilobite Rally jacket
The Trilobite Rally jacket is made of abrasion-resistant Trilobitex that looks like waxed cotton.

Before disappearing in the mass extinction at the end of the Paleozoic era about 252 million years ago, trilobites were one of the most enduring early animals, thriving in the seas for more than 300 million years. Much credit for their survival goes to the arthropod’s tough exoskeleton, which resembles an articulated motorcycle back protector.

This flexible protective shell (and more than likely a few beers) was the inspiration for the name Trilobitex, a strong denim-like material at the heart of the Trilobite premium aramid apparel line. It includes jackets, shirts, gloves and men’s and women’s riding jeans, all designed in the Czech Republic and imported to the U.S. by Motonation.

Trilobite’s Rally jacket jumped off the catalog page at me thanks to its traditional but stylish waxed cotton and denim look. A technical touring jacket, the Rally’s outer materials include Trilobitex in the impact and abrasion areas, which is a laminate of Dyneema denim (said to have extremely high tensile strength), a Kevlar layer for abrasion and tearing resistance and a Tri-Tex waterproof membrane.

All told Trilobitex is far stronger and more abrasion resistant than Cordura nylon but looks like denim. The rest of the jacket features waxed cotton laminated with Kevlar and a Tri-Tex membrane for good looks, durability and waterproofness, and YKK zippers are used throughout.

Trilobite Rally jacket
The Trilobite Rally jacket comes in men’s sizes S-2XL.

Backing up the Rally’s rugged shell is CE Level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, and there’s a pocket for an optional $79 CE Level 2 back protector. For additional warmth and water resistance, the jacket includes a zip-out Thermolite vest and zip-out Tri-Tex waterproof jacket liner that can be worn separately. With the liners out the Rally jacket is a nice weight for warm-weather riding, and large zippered vents on the chest, back and sleeves flow lots of air.

Comfort and fit are enhanced with soft-touch material on the cuffs and collar, which has a strap retainer, and adjustable waist belts and sleeve straps. Cargo capacity is immense, too, with a total of nine pockets, including a large zippered hunter’s pocket on the lower back, and interior wallet and media pockets. For conspicuity there’s a reflective Trilobite logo emblazoned across the back.

With the Tri-Tex liner zipped in the Rally jacket is thoroughly waterproof, and it takes a real gully washer to make it leak even with the liner out. I find it the perfect weight for three-season riding with mild summers, and I really like the look and fit. The Trilobite Rally jacket comes in Dark Blue/Black in men’s sizes S-2XL and goes for $319 with a one-year warranty. 

For more information, call (619) 401-4100 or visit motonation.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

TCX Baja Gore-Tex Boots | Gear Review

TCX Baja Gore-Tex adventure touring boots
The TCX Baja Gore-Tex adventure touring boots are comfortable and protective.

You can’t fake it when it comes to evaluating adventure boots. Meant for rugged riding day after day, they have to hold up to continuous abuse while remaining comfortable and protective. After two days of breaking in TCX’s Baja Gore-Tex boots around home and the office, I hopped onto my BMW F 800 GS to discover what they have to offer the adventure rider, or the street rider looking for more robust footwear. My first impression was how light these boots are while still being certified to the European motorcycle foot safety standard EN 13634:2015. The Euro size 42 (US men’s 8.5) boots tested here weigh just 4.8 pounds.

Italian company TCX is all about boots, producing everything from MotoGP racing boots to a line of everyday foot protection for motorcyclists. If you recall the Oxtar brand, it became TCX in 2005. It makes 75 percent of its boots, plus thousands of pairs of OEM branded footwear, at a boot facility in Romania, and all TCX boots and shoes are certified to EN 13634.

The Baja Gore-Tex model meets level 2 of the standard for impact abrasion and cut resistance for the upper, as well as transverse rigidity (ability of the sole to resist crosswise pressure), and meets requirements for water resistance, water absorption and slip resistance. A large shin guard dominates the protection package, but there are polyurethane inserts for the ankles, heels and toes beneath the leather.

Constructed of full-grain leather, the Baja Gore-Tex boots feature a padded elastic collar around the calf, a suede insert at the inner calf and three adjustable aluminum buckle closures. A patch of hook-and-loop closes the top. Foot comfort stems from TCX’s Comfort Fit System, whereby each boot is shaped by hand over a mold of a human foot. It must work, as I wore them for 14 hours some days without discomfort. Front and rear flex panels allow plenty of ankle movement for walking and technical riding.

My testing comprised a nine-day Utah adventure ride spanning 2,500 miles in various environments and weather. There were long freeway stretches, including a 110-degree crossing of the Mojave Desert, and miles of deep red sand. More miles of rocky downhill tested the critical boot sole/footpeg interface.

One slip off the rain-wet pegs could have spelled disaster for bike and rider, but the TCX sole stuck tight to the pegs, and several hours of standing did not cause foot pain. Rain never penetrated the Bajas, nor did the shin-deep water of a creek crossing. I gave them a hose test at home to confirm that they are waterproof. 

The TCX Baja Gore-Tex boots were perfect companions on my Utah adventure, and I’m looking forward to many more rides in them. For $359.99, they are a good value in a highly protective waterproof/breathable boot. They come in black only; men’s sizes EU 38–48; US 5–13.

For more information, see your dealer or visit ridetcxboots.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Scorpion Sports Trey Overpants | Gear Review

Scorpion Trey overpants
Scorpion’s Trey overpants are designed to be worn over your regular jeans, for protection on the bike and an easy switch to a casual look off the bike.

Riding pants are such a key part of rider protection that it’s surprising to see so many nearly naked legs on the open road. By that, I mean riders wearing jeans or other pants that will turn to shreds when they touch down on tarmac. Why risk your precious skin when vented, convertible overpants like the Scorpion Treys provide the protection to prevent serious skin loss if you pitch off your scoot? 

OK, off the soapbox to focus on our test of the Trey ventilated pants, starting with airflow. This comes from large panels of polyester mesh on the front and back of the thighs and lower legs, and it is quite comforting on a warm day. There’s plenty of protection as well, thanks to stout 840-denier ballistic nylon covering the vulnerable knee area, backed by vented, adjustable CE-approved knee armor.

The remainder of the Treys is sewn from heavy polyester fabric, with a light mesh lining throughout. A big plus for Scorpion is fitting CE-approved hip pads, something you won’t find in all overpants. And flex panels above the knees help me swing a leg over my lofty BMW F 800 GS or squeeze onto my petite Yamaha YZF-R3.

When the weather turns from nice to nasty, a zip-in, breathable H2O Blok liner greatly increases the Trey’s temperature range and keeps the wet stuff at bay. I was comfortable riding in Big Sur’s drippy fog at 50 degrees with the liner and my thin silk long johns, and into the mid 90s without the liner while wearing heavier riding tights. Hip-to-toe zippers on the liners match up with their counterparts on the pant legs, facilitating entry and exit with boots on.

The Trey mediums fit me well out of the box, per Scorpion’s sizing guide, and have adjusting tabs at the waist for fine-tuning. Leg length can be hemmed up an inch or so without bothering the leg zippers, which are hidden beneath flaps that use a minimum amount of hook-and-loop to secure. A small tab at the cuffs closes with hook-and-loop to seal things up, and their button-type waist closure won’t pop open in a fall like snaps can. A pair each of zippered front and rear pockets provide as much storage as jeans, only more securely.

As expected with Scorpion garments, the Treys are very well constructed, and while other vented pants I’ve worn may pass a little more air through larger mesh, I feel better protected in the more substantial Scorpions. Treys come in black only and run from $199.95 to $219.95, depending on size, and are available in men’s small through 3XL, with tall sizes from large on up. 

For more information, see your dealer or visit scorpionusa.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Moto-Skiveez Adventure Tights | Gear Review

Moto-Skiveez Adventure Tights.
Moto-Skiveez Adventure Tights.

Jacket, check. Boots, check. Tights, che…. Wait just a gol-durn minute – tights for a motorcycle trip? Yep, tights. Moto-Skiveez, makers of Adventure Shorts (read our review here), added legs to the shorts to create high-tech riding tights for adventure riders, and the results are comforting. I wore their Adventure Tights on an attempt at the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route and was more comfortable over the long haul to Utah from my home in SoCal than ever before. Even with an aftermarket seat on my BMW F 800 GS, by butt eventually burns as the miles roll up, but not with the Adventure Tights. The compression fabric that extends to below the calf is designed to reduce leg fatigue while standing, and after slogging through miles of relentless sand on the pegs, my legs still had some strength, while the rest of my body was toast.

The term “saddle sore” comes from the horse world, and for good reason – the un-accustomed derriere soon complains – loudly. I know it well from the horseback vacations my wife and I like to take. With only a couple of hour-long tune-up rides before our last equine adventure, I spent five days in the saddle in the canyons near Capitol Reef National Park. But I had packed along my Adventure Tights, and my rear has never felt so good in the saddle.

For an undergarment that promises real comfort where it counts, Moto-Skiveez Adventure Tights deliver the goods. They also provide a low-friction interface between my legs and riding pants on hot days. I’ve always worn something between my legs and knee armor, usually silk long johns – now that something will be Adventure Tights.

For more information, call (888) 819-0185 or visit motoskiveez.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

MX Boot Resole and Repair | Gear Review

MX Boot Repair and Resole
Right: One of my boots before being resoled (as shown on left).

Riding gear doesn’t last forever, not even your favorite riding boots. Or can they? When I sidelined my Sidi On Roads due to slippery, worn out soles, I hoped to one day have them re-soled and ride in them again. But local cobblers wouldn’t touch them. Motorcycle boots are specialty items, and my Sidis have molded soles that take special tools, techniques and supplies to refresh, as opposed to the welted, sewn-on soles common in street shoes and work boots. MX Boot Resole & Repair came to the rescue with its $107 resole service (for Sidi boots, prices for other brands vary), and that includes return shipping. From cutting-edge Alpinestars road-racing boots to my humble On Roads, MX Boot resoles, rebuilds and refurbishes a host of boot types and brands.

I started the process by calling Greg at MX Boot to discuss my On Roads. Besides the slick soles they were in great shape, save for a distressed look that gave them character, or so I told myself. Greg assured me he could resole them within his usual turnaround time of 2-3 days. He did, and they look great. The soles are the same Vibram tread as the old originals and just as grippy. Plus, the boots received a major overhaul in the looks department, sporting an all-over badass black that once again takes a shine. MX Boot Repair & Resole doesn’t require–though it strongly recommends–that you do both boots at once. An online ordering form on the website simplifies the process, but the company is happy to answer any questions about your particular boots over the phone. If your footwear needs repair in addition to new soles, Greg and his experienced staff can do that too.

I’m back in the saddle with my On Roads, enjoying their new traction and old comfort, and will not hesitate to use MX Boot again for resoling and repair. The company knows what it’s doing, does it well and is quick about it. A sister company, Anthony’s Leatherworks, offers similar services for leather garments. 

For more information, call (949) 791-8009 or visit mxbootrepair.com. Also anthonysleatherworks.com (800) 823-1236.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

AGVSport Palomar Jacket | Gear Review

AGVSport Palomar Jacket (available in men's and women's sizes).
AGVSport Palomar Jacket (available in men’s and women’s sizes).

Having spent the better part of my late teens and early 20s scraping footpegs on the winding mountain roads in California’s San Diego North County, when AGVSport introduced a leather jacket named after the 6,142-foot peak at the heart of the best riding loop in the area, I couldn’t resist. Especially since its new Palomar jacket has a distressed, rugged vintage look (much like myself), which complements older and newer bikes alike.

AGVSport recently reinvented itself and has an all-new line of functional, high-quality apparel at attractive prices, of which the Palomar jacket is a central player. Available in men’s and women’s cuts and sizes, it’s constructed of 1.3-1.4mm buffalo hide that appears well worn and broken-in when new, with perforated leather panels in the sides, arms and across the back for ventilation. Major seams are multi- and triple-stitched with mil-spec thread for safety and strength, and there’s both a 10-inch zipper and belt loop in the lower back for attaching the jacket to pants. Antique brass YKK zippers with storm flaps secure the cuffs and front of the jacket, and the collar, cuffs and adjustable waistband also have snap strap closures. Removable Smooth Ways CE-approved Level 2 armor that stays soft and pliable in cold weather protects the elbow, shoulder and back areas.

The Palomar is cozy and supple right off the hanger, and its medium weight, perforated panels and full mesh lining keep it relatively cool in warm weather. A warm, nicely made zip-in 75-gram thermal vest is included for cooler temperatures. Both the jacket and vest have large, separate media and cargo pockets on the inside, and the jacket has zippered handwarmer pockets outside as well as a zippered wallet pocket in the inner chest.

Classic looks with a soft, already broken-in feel, a nice normal fit (I’m a 45 and the 46 fits well), functional 3-season comfort and lots of storage and solid construction with CE Level 2 protection–the AGVSport Palomar jacket has it all. It comes in the black/red shown or black/gunmetal in men’s sizes 38-54 for $379.99. The women’s version has a flattering feminine cut, identical features and is offered in black/red, black/orange and black/gunmetal in sizes 2-16 for $359.99.

Even if you never have the chance to ride the Palomar Mountain loop, its namesake jacket would make a worthy addition to your riding armory. And if you ride it wearing a Palomar jacket, send us a photo! 

For more information, call (800) 777-7006 or visit gearhousepros.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Tourmaster Flex WP Touring Boots | Gear Review

Tourmaster Flex WP boots.
Tourmaster Flex WP boots.

I’m always on the prowl for riding gear that’s a step up from what I’m currently using at an affordable price. The mid-height Flex WP Touring boots from Tourmaster come pretty close to nailing my ideal for a commuting boot: they’re waterproof (which I tested in a light rain), have a dual zipper for easy entry/exit and offer a nice balance of comfort and protection. Oil-resistant, anti-slip rubber soles are reinforced with a steel shank, while the leather/synthetic leather uppers sport heel, toe, shin and ankle guards. The boots fit well and are true to my normal size 11. The dual-zipper entry requires a bit of fiddling to ensure none of the inner pleat is caught in the second zipper, but I’m hoping that goes away as the boots break in. The soles are rigid enough for comfort on the bike but flexible enough for walking, and feel slightly rounded which contributes to walking comfort in the office or on a short hike.

Previous experience with Tourmaster boots has been very positive as they proved durable and robust, and the Flex WPs have a quality feel and are well-constructed. With a reasonable MSRP of $124.99, they offer a lot of boot for the money.

For more information, see your dealer or visit tourmaster.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com