After a six-year absence due to a lack of specialized materials, Aerostich’s Transit waterproof/breathable leather suit is back and better than ever. The new Transit 3 uses 1.2mm perforated leather with a special impregnation that prevents it from absorbing water, and underneath is a breathable waterproof membrane. A complete set of TF5 impact armor is included. Jackets ($987) are sized 38-52 and pants ($897) 30-44, both available in Short, Regular and Long lengths.
Thinking of an international motorcycle tour in 2020? Edelweiss Bike Travel has released its complete 2020 catalog of tours. There’s something for everyone, including guided, self-guided and private options to bucket-list locations like the Alps, Ireland, Africa, New Zealand and Thailand, from seven to 14 days and more! Or if you’re feeling very adventurous, join one or more legs of the World Tour, covering six continents and countless unforgettable encounters.
Nelson-Rigg’s new Defender Extreme Route 1 Half Cover ($59.95) is designed to be the last cover you’ll ever buy, with a lifetime warranty that even covers fading. Its durable UltraMax material is 100% waterproof with electronically taped seams, and boasts the highest UV protection in the industry. A soft windshield liner protects against scratching and the cover packs into an integrated bag for easy transport. Sized to fit all touring and ADV bikes with hard bags.
For hard-core adventure riders who don’t shy away from difficult terrain, look no further than Dunlop’s revised D908RR. A new 150/70-B18 size has been added to accommodate bikes like the Honda Africa Twin, KTM 1190 and 1290 Adventure and more, and prices have been lowered. Reinforced central blocks offer excellent traction and stability at highway speeds, and heavy-duty casings absorb bumps and improve durability. See website for pricing and fitment.
Don’t put your bike away for winter while it’s still dirty! Use Star Brite’s Ultimate Xtreme Clean, with a non-caustic formula that blasts away grease, grime, bugs and more without scrubbing or water. Just spray on, wait 15 to 30 seconds and wipe off. Follow up with Ultimate Bike Guard to restore shine to fiberglass, polished metals and painted surfaces while UV inhibitors protect it and prevent fading. Finish up with Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment and you’re good to go!
Built to replace the CL-17, one of HJC’s best sellers, the new i10 full-face helmet boasts a modern design at an accessible price point. This Snell M2020 and DOT-approved lid has a polycarbonate shell, easy-to-use vents with improved ventilation performance, a Pinlock-ready shield and a removable/washable liner, and is SmartHJC Bluetooth-compatible. It’s available in sizes XS-3XL in solid colors starting at $149.99, and in three graphics starting at $169.99.
Michelin’s new Road 5 and Road 5 GT sport-touring tires are designed to offer class-leading performance in wet and dry conditions, mile after mile. The Road 5 lineup features the patented XST Evo siping and 2CT/2CT+ dual compound technology for great wet grip performance throughout the life of the tire. The Road 5 is available in several popular sizes starting at $221.95, and the Road 5 GT, designed for heavier bikes like the K 1600 GT and Concours 14, starts at $251.95.
Arai Helmets’ premium full-face and open-face motorcycle helmets stand out for a lot of reasons. Chief among them are impeccable hand craftsmanship and materials, comfort, a custom-like fit and an unwavering devotion to the company’s stringent definition of head protection, which generally exceeds U.S. Snell certification standards. These qualities have helped Arai build a large fan base among both regular on- and off-road riders as well as a heap of successful racers.
That base might also point out that — because of all of the above — Arai helmets tend to be pricy, and for some wearers the design of the shell, neck roll and cheek pads can make the helmets difficult to put on and take off. Once an Arai is on your head, it’s hard to imagine a cozier, more secure lid, but for some getting it over the largest part of their melon can be a struggle.
To address both issues Arai has created the new Regent-X full-face helmet, which offers all of the qualities for which Arais are known at a lower cost, and it has some simple changes that make the Regent-X lighter and easier (effortless, actually) to slide onto and off your noggin. For starters the Hyper-Ridge-reinforced bottom opening of its new Peripherally Belted–Complex Laminate Construction 1 (PB-CLC1) fiberglass shell is 5mm wider in the chin and cheek area, and the neck roll is thinner and shorter. Arai’s Facial Contour System (FCS) cheek pads, which move up and down as you don the helmet and wrap snugly around your jaw, carry over but now have recessed speaker pockets for more space and to ease communicator installation.
More cost-effective materials make the Regent-X’s new shell a little heavier than the PB-SNC2 shell in Arai’s flagship Corsair-X helmet, though Arai says it still provides the same level of protection. Interestingly, at 54.5 ounces in my size large, due to its minimal vent scoops and simpler neck roll the Regent-X ends up 2.5 ounces lighter overall than a Corsair-X. As usual the Regent’s brushed nylon interior is soft and silky comfortable, and optional sizes are available for the removable, washable head liner and cheek pads for a custom fit. Venting is noticeably effective and the front chinbar and dual brow and top vents are closable, though the rear exhaust vents on the Regent-X are always open. A few years ago Arai changed its toolless shield pivot design to make it easier to use and to enlarge the smooth area above it (along the Snell impact test line), so changing shields is a snap (as always, read the manual). I’m a big fan of Arai’s ProShade shield, too, which adds a flip-up sunshield to a regular clear shield to provide similar convenience to an interior drop-down sunshield without compromising the forehead area of the helmet.
If you’re a regular Arai wearer you’ll find the Regent-X so easy to slide on and off that it actually takes some getting used to, but once you do I promise it will become your go-to Arai, especially since it’s just as quiet, light and comfortable as other Arais. The Regent-X has an Intermediate Oval interior shape (Round Oval and Long Oval are available in other Arais), is Snell M2020 certified and will be available in early to mid-December in a variety of solid colors ($559.95) and graphics ($689.95).
From the outside, the Metropolitan looks like a stylish, well-tailored 3/4-length parka, but on closer examination this is a thoughtfully designed, protective motorcycle jacket. Its outer shell is made of a water-repellent polycotton material that feels like a soft, supple lightweight canvas, backed with a waterproof Hydratex membrane. Cuffs are designed to snug down around your wrists, with elastic on the underside and a two-position snap, making it easy to pull your glove gauntlets over them. A thickly padded hood with subtle reflective striping zips to the tall collar, and heavy-duty snaps hold it in place at each side and the back so it doesn’t flop around in the wind. Pockets abound, with two large front stash pockets, two zippered ones on the chest and numerous inner pockets for documents, your phone, etc. I only wish the big stash pockets opened wider; it can be tough to get my hands inside, especially with gloves on. My favorite feature, though, is the luxuriously plush detachable thermal liner, with an extra-tall puffy collar that acts as a cushion between your face and neck and the stiffer polycotton shell. With the liner snapped in, slipping on the Metropolitan is like getting a hug from a cloud made of silk.
One of my jacket pet peeves is zippers with small teeth; they always seem to get snagged and the tiniest amount of grit or dirt is enough to choke them up. So imagine my relief when I discovered the Metropolitan’s zipper is made of big, beefy teeth and glove-friendly metal pulls. It’s a double zipper, so you can zip it up as far as you’d like, then unzip the bottom for comfort while sitting on the bike (see photo above). The Metropolitan is an urban-styled jacket meant to transition seamlessly from riding to casual wear, so Rev’It uses unobtrusive, soft Seesmart CE level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows; there’s a pocket for an optional Seesoft CE level 2 back protector. If you want more protection, all of the armor is removable and replaceable.
True to its design, I found the Metropolitan to be supremely warm and comfy not just while riding, but also when walking around off the bike, plus it’s fashionable and completely unrecognizable as a motorcycle jacket. The Metropolitan is available in women’s sizes XS-XL, for an MSRP of $359.99.
For sport-touring riders who prefer a traditional full-face helmet to a modular or flip-up style, Shoei’s GT-Air has been a top choice since it was first released back in 2012. Since then, the popularity of built-in or integrated Bluetooth communication systems has increased, so for 2019 Shoei has updated the GT-Air II with an optional Sena SRL2 comm system, along with some other tweaks meant to make a great lid even better.
The SRL2 ($299) was designed specifically for the GT-Air II, which means installation is quick and almost foolproof. Insert the battery and controller into their separate compartments, snap the speakers into the pre-cut indentations and stick the microphone on the inside of the chin bar (or use the included boom mic). Ready to ride!
Otherwise, the basic construction of the GT-Air II is unchanged: the shell is made of Shoei’s proprietary Multi-Ply Matrix AIM, which consists of hand-laid interwoven layers of fiberglass, organic fibers and resin, backed by a new EPS liner that now incorporates varying foam densities within each piece for a compact, lightweight design that still protects your noggin.
The removable, washable and sizable Max-Dry interior feels like it may be just a bit more plush than the previous GT-Air, but fit seems about the same as before: a slightly longer oval shape than some of Shoei’s other helmets. Fit around the neck roll is a tad looser to facilitate pulling the GT-Air II on/off but is still snug enough to keep things quiet.
One major change is the switch to the new, patented micro-ratchet chinstrap, as seen on the Neotec II. Unlike other ratcheting chinstraps, Shoei’s closure mechanism is made of 100-percent stainless steel — no plastic — for the utmost in safety. I like the design, which lets the user preset the general fit with an adjustable strap, and fine-tune it with the ratchet. It seems more secure and also more comfortable, similar to a traditional D-ring strap.
Other features include a new drop-down sun shield that’s 5mm longer than before; that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to cover nearly the entire eyeport and is less intrusive when glancing down at the gauges. A redesigned upper vent shutter is still one of the easiest to use with gloves on, and has two intake positions, both of which flow noticeable amounts of fresh air; five exhaust vents, none of which can be closed, draw it out.
Shoei focused on making the GT-Air II as quiet as possible, with new, thicker face shield beading that seals tightly against wind and water and a compact, aerodynamic shell (my size small weighs in at 3 lbs., 9.8 oz. with SRL2 installed). With the vents closed, the GT-Air II is comfortably quiet, but once the vents are open the noise level goes up considerably. The CNS-1 face shield is the same as that used on the original GT-Air, and comes with a Pinlock EVO fog-resistant insert. The GT-Air II’s new baseplate, however, now allows the shield to be opened just slightly for venting and defogging.
Overall, the GT-Air II is a solid step up from the previous version, with enough updates and upgrades to justify the roughly $50 price increase. It’s available in sizes XS-2XL, spread over three shell sizes, for $599 (solids) or $699 (graphics).