Tag Archives: Motorcycle Apparel

Scorpion Maia Women’s Mesh Jacket | Gear Review

Scorpion Maia women's mesh jacket.
Scorpion Maia women’s mesh jacket.

Backyard astronomers among our readership might recognize the name “Maia” as one of the Pleiades, a cluster of stars easily recognizable in the night sky. The seven brightest stars are named after the Greek mythological daughters of the titan Atlas, and Maia, the eldest sister, is associated with growth and possibly the namesake for the month of May.

As far as motorcycle apparel goes, Maia is just a lovely name for a summer and “shoulder season” Scorpion jacket, with a longer touring cut and plenty of thoughtful design features. Its outer shell is made from dual-layer small-pore mesh throughout the front and back of the torso and the inner arms, with plenty of tough 600D polyester coverage where you need it most: shoulders, outer arms, elbows, hips and lower back. Inside is a full mesh liner for maximum airflow, with an Airguard windproof and water-resistant liner that zips in for chillier rides. Retro-reflective material runs across the upper back and down the front and back of each arm for nighttime visibility. Elbow and shoulder armor is made by Sas-Tec and is CE-certified to level 2; the foam back pad can be swapped for an optional CE-certified protector. There are two deep zippered handwarmer pockets and one inner chest pocket, and fit can be dialed-in with elastic straps below the bust and two zippered hip gussets; accordion stretch panels also help with fit as you move around on and off the bike.

I like the heavier-duty feel of the Maia compared with some other ultra-lightweight mesh jackets with less protection that I’ve worn, and the large-tooth front zipper is smooth and easy to use. The touring-cut Maia also happens to fit me and my long torso and arms quite well. Best of all, its mandarin collar is neoprene-lined for chafe-free comfort, and zips all the way up with no annoying hook-and-loop or snap strap to fiddle with. Cuffs are zippered as well, but with hook-and-loop straps that keep the cuff securely closed over gloves. Overall, this is a solidly built and thoughtfully designed jacket that will keep you cool in hot weather and won’t break the bank.

The Maia is available in black or black/gray in women’s sizes XS-XL for $189.95; 2XL costs an extra $10. 

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

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Cortech “The Primary” Riding Jeans | Gear Review

Cortech "The Primary" Riding Jeans are a single-layer Kevlar-and Cordura-nylon blend with pockets for optional Sas-Tec knee and hip armor.
Cortech “The Primary” Riding Jeans are a single-layer Kevlar-and Cordura-nylon blend with pockets for optional Sas-Tec knee and hip armor.

From Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen to Brad Pitt and George Clooney, wearing jeans while riding a motorcycle has long been an essential part of being “cool,” because jeans are relaxed, comfortable and stylish. Plenty of people who aren’t famous movie stars wear jeans while riding for the same reasons. We get it — some textile riding pants look dorky, and pulling them on and off can be a hassle. But when it comes to crash protection, plain old Levis or Wranglers aren’t much better than wearing nothing at all.

Fortunately, modern textile engineering and manufacturing make it possible for us to have the best of both worlds. For years there have been riding jeans made with heavy-duty stitching and liners in impact areas made of tough, heat- and abrasion-resistant aramid fabric, such as DuPont Kevlar. As effective as Kevlar-lined jeans are, the extra layer of fabric can make them much heavier and warmer than regular jeans.

Cortech recently introduced two types of riding jeans: “The Standard” ($129.99), which are made of 14-ounce 100-percent cotton denim lined from waist to shin with Kevlar, and “The Primary” ($199.99), which are made of fabric that’s a special blend of 13.5-ounce denim, Cordura Nylon and Kevlar, eliminating the need for a two-layer design. Both types of Cortech jeans have pockets for optional Sas-Tec CE-approved knee and hip armor ($24.99-$29.99). 

“The Primary” jeans are thicker and heavier than regular jeans, but not excessively so; to me, the extra heft is worth it for added protection. Cortech says the high-tech denim/Cordura/Kevlar fabric has up to 350% higher tensile strength, up to 200% more tear strength and 500% more abrasion resistance than standard cotton denim. The jeans are constructed using “high strength 3-ply tex-75 nylon thread” with “triple over-lock safety stitched critical seams and added internal safety stitching.” They have six pockets and a button closure with a YKK fly zipper.

With a relaxed-fit seat and thighs and a straight-leg cut, these jeans are ideal for swinging legs over motorcycle seats, enjoying freedom of movement in various seating positions and walking/sitting comfortably when off the bike. The optional knee armor, which is height-adjustable over a 6-inch range, is unobtrusive and hardly noticeable from the outside. During the warm spring and summer months, Cortech’s “The Primary” have been my go-to riding jeans, especially during my daily commute. And rolling up the bottom cuff reveals a Scotchlite reflective tab for nighttime conspicuity.

With “The Primary” jeans, which are available in Midnight Blue only in men’s waist sizes 32-40 (all with 32-inch inseam), you can look cool and be protected. 

For more information, see your dealer or visit cortech.net.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Joe Rocket Ballistic Touring Boots | Gear Review

Joe Rocket Ballistic Touring Boots.

Touring boots are often plainer and simpler than sport versions, yet these Joe Rocket Ballistic Touring Boots defy that trend with lots of extra features. Drop a yardstick into the shaft and you will see the front comes up 13 inches to protect that tender shinbone. At night reflective panels at the top alert motorists to your presence, and these tall boots are very easy to get your feet into and out of, with a zipper running part way up the inside of each boot covered with hook-and-loop panels. I do wish that the pull-tabs on the SBS zippers were bigger, to ease the pulling up.

Should you suffer the embarrassment of parting with your motorcycle while at speed, these Ballistics provide good protection from the top to the toe, with double stitching in critical areas. There is injection molded toe armor at the front of the boots, as well as those very sporty-looking replaceable toe sliders should you lean over way more than I do.

Constructed of synthetic leather, Joe Rocket says the Ballistic Touring boots are water resistant, and though California’s serious rainy season was over by the time I got this pair to evaluate, I did run through a few brief showers and they seem to be quite “showerproof.” I’d still carry a pair of nylon rain covers if I were headed out on a long trip.

The ankle sections are well-articulated so walking is relatively easy, though I might not want to wear them on a lengthy hike. I believe we all know that there is a break-in period; the longer you wear them, the more comfortable they become. Both toe sections have little protectors so that shifting gears will not mar the well-polished surface, even on your old Brit bike. The full-length, one-piece soles are said to be non-slip, and traction while walking over rough ground was good.

Best of all, the Ballistic Touring boots are relatively lightweight — my size 12 pair weighs in at 3.5 pounds. They’re available in black or white/black in men’s sizes 7-13 for a very reasonable $110.  

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

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Cortech Dino Leather Jacket | Gear Review

Cortech Dino Leather Jacket.
Cortech Dino Leather Jacket.

Today’s riders enjoy a wealth of high-tech riding gear such as synthetic-material, abrasion-resistant jackets with wondrous breathable-yet-waterproof layers that offer an incredible level of service. Yet leather jackets such as this Vintage Brown Dino jacket from Cortech still offer remarkable appeal, function and versatility.

First off, there’s the scent of leather that synthetic-material garments can’t possibly duplicate. I still remember how proud I was as a budding teenage rider to finally move upscale from a denim jacket to a genuine leather jacket and to this day, a hard-wired connection in my brain defines motorcycling as the scent of leather and castor oil. There’s also a tactile connection; the soft feeling in hand with the mildly “distressed/antiqued” 1mm-thick leather strikes an excellent middle ground between comfort and abrasion resistance. The rubbed-leather finish provides some handsome accents to the jacket’s overall appearance, and the styling offers a classic look.

High-quality, heavy-duty YKK brass zippers supply sturdy wear and another classic-look accent. Brass zippers are hard enough to scratch painted surfaces such as a fuel tank, but the Dino keeps the zipper pulls and teeth hidden away well. You’ll notice their scratchy nature when you dive a bare hand into the handwarmer pockets or the left-side breast pocket, but it’s not a real problem. There’s additional internal storage in the form of an inside pouch pocket, mobile media storage pocket, plus another smaller, zippered pocket on the right side that I used for stowing earplugs. In the past, Cortech’s media pockets ran a touch small in size, but this one is now large enough to fit most current smartphones.

A fixed liner provides reduced friction and added comfort; just add another garment with a thickness of your own choosing if you need to layer up. Three-position adjustable waist belts lend a more tailored fit, and snap-equipped adjusting straps stay in place securely. The removable CE-approved armor protects the shoulder and elbow areas, and an articulated high-density back protector features molded-in creases between sections that provide “give” to the back protector, making it more comfortable, especially off the bike.

The neck area is cut generously to fit turtleneck garments or neck warmers, and a short, slim strap can be snapped in either of two positions or left open without undue flapping. In general, I detest snap closures in the neck area; snaps are more fiddly than Velcro closures, and punching your thumb into your throat to close a snap sucks. However, Cortech designers offset the snaps to the left side of the throat area, proper. So you still have to fiddle with the snaps, but at least your eyes don’t bug out when you’re doing it.

The Dino jacket comes in Black or Vintage Brown in sizes XS to 3XL. MSRP runs $299.99, pricing that’s more than competitive against fashion-wear leather jackets while offering genuine motorcycling features and protection. 

For more information, call (888) 922-9269 or visit cortech.net.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: Tourmaster Intake Air 5.0 Mesh Jacket

Tourmaster Intake Air 5.0 Mesh Jacket in men's (left) and women's (right) sizes
Tourmaster Intake Air 5.0 Mesh Jacket in men’s (left) and women’s (right) sizes.

Because not every ride starts (or ends) hot and dry, the Tourmaster Intake Air 5.0 mesh jacket adds a removable Aquatherm two-stage waterproof liner and insulated vest to its Armor-Link 3-mesh and 1680 denier ballistic polyester outer shell. It also features newly-designed CE-approved Armadillo shoulder and elbow armor and an articulated back protector. The Intake Air 5.0 is available in a variety of colors in men’s sizes XS-5XL (some colors Tall M-3XL) and women’s sizes XS-XL (some colors Plus Small-Large) for $229.99.

See your dealer or visit tourmaster.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Aerostich Darien Jacket | Gear Review

Aerostich Darien jacket
The author models his Aerostich Darien jacket.

Being a pretty boring fellow, I’m the kind of dude that likes consistency – with constant improvements. Andy Goldfine began his Aerostich company back in 1983, with the Darien coming along in 1992, and the current 3/4-length jacket is a fine piece of engineering. The name comes from the tropical Darien Gap in Panama, which indicates a relatively lightweight jacket, and my size 48 (or 2XL), with full shoulder, elbow and standard back armor, comes in at an ounce over five pounds.

It’s a single-layer coat, meaning no inside lining, no zip-in liner. I generally ride with layers down to about 50 degrees, or a heated liner when it is seriously cold. Which doesn’t happen often where I live in California. I think we had three freeze nights last winter, easy to tell because the cats’ waterbowl on the porch gets a thin layer of ice.

The Darien is made of American-made 500-denier Cordura, using that semi-miraculous Gore-Tex fluoropolymer membrane. No, I have no idea what a fluoropolymer membrane is, just what it does. Billy Gore patented this back in 1969, and it allows the Cordura to be relatively waterproof, windproof and breathable. Breathable? It’s a one-way affair, keeping out rain, but allowing sweat to exit. I rode in a number of wintery showers and stayed dry…except once on a windy, rainy day for a dribble down my neck as I had forgotten to put on a neckerchief. But if you are in for a day-long rain, I would recommend having a serious rainsuit along, as in the past I have found that even the Cordura Gore-Tex can get a tad soggy.

Aerostich TF3 armor.
Aerostich TF3 armor.

This 500-denier material is pretty tough stuff, and should a rider unfortunately fall, can take a good deal of abrasion. Aerostich uses its own TF (Tempered Foam) armor, with impact-absorbing hard shell, not the European approved CE variety. The Darien comes standard with TF3 armor, but Aerostich also offers optional, no-cost hot-weather TF6 and the cold-weather TF2; you can read more about the various armor options in their catalog or online.

Lots of big pockets, and Aerostich has mastered the art of making two pockets out of one. The outside zippered breast pockets hold a heckuva lot, as do the unzipped reverse pockets on their undersides. Which passengers in need of hand warmth or just hanging on can also use. Over the left breast is a smaller pocket with a hook-and-loop closure and a D-ring of sorts that you can attach your keys to…delightfully old-fashioned in this age of electronic fobs. Two more large zippered pockets are down in the lower third of the jacket. Only thing missing would be a poacher’s pocket (as they used to be called) at the lower back, where a poacher could hide a rabbit. Or a rider’s warm liner. Inside is a top-closing phone pocket on the left, a side-closing map pocket on the right.

Aerostich Darien jacket

Fit is good, with cinching straps at the waist, and an elastic cord at the bottom. Each arm has two cinching straps, and the cuffs have zippers and cinching straps. Armpit and back vents are very useful when Mr. Sun shines bright. Big YKK zipper runs up the front, protected from the rain by a hook-and-loop secured flap. The folding collar has a pleasant liner, and can be used tall in the cool weather, or snapped back to half-height in the warm. Small magnets at both ends of the collar make sure nothing flaps. Nighttime visibility is good, with the use of 3M Scotchlite reflective material.

All told, the Darien is a darn good jacket, especially with summer coming on. My jacket is tan, and four other colors are available. Price is about $600, which isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of jacket for the money. 

For more information, visit aerostich.com or ride up to Duluth, Minnesota.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: Highway 21 Louie Gloves

Highway 21 Louie Gloves
Highway 21 Louie Gloves.

If a basic, no-nonsense leather glove is your style, then the Louie ($39.95) from Highway 21 is right up your alley. The Louie is made from soft, supple deerskin, with a short cuff, double stitching where the thumb meets the palm, a rich, drum-dyed finish and unique tooled detailing. Its simple, single-layer construction allows it to break in and mold to your hand as you wear it. The Louie is available in black or brown, in men’s sizes S-3XL.

See your dealer or visit highway21.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: Trilobite Ace Jacket

Trilobite Ace motorcycle Jacket
Trilobite Ace Jacket.

The new Ace jacket ($319) from Trilobite looks like stylish denim, but it’s actually abrasion-resistant polyester lined with Kevlar on the back, shoulders and elbows. It’s lined with a fixed Tri-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane and includes CE level 2 protection at the shoulders and elbows; a CE level 2 back protector is optional. It also features four outer and two inner pockets and a sunglasses holder. The Ace is available in blue in men’s sizes S-2XL.

Call (619) 401-4100 or visit motonation.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: HJC DS-X1 Helmet

HJC DS-X1 ADV Helmet
HJC DS-X1 Helmet.

Tackle dirt roads on a budget with the DS-X1 helmet from HJC, with solid colors starting at just $169.99. The DS-X1 includes a lightweight polycarbonate composite shell, a removable SuperCool moisture-wicking liner, a Pinlock-ready shield, a large eye port for goggles, ACS Advanced Channel Ventilation and an eyeglasses groove. The DOT-approved DS-X1 is available in sizes XS-2XL and also comes in several graphics for $189.99.

See your dealer or visit hjchelmets.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: Tourmaster Epic Air Boots

Tourmaster Epic Air Boots
Tourmaster Epic Air Boots.

Perfect for those warm summer rides, the Epic Air touring boots ($199.99) from Tourmaster combine microfiber synthetic leather with breathable small-diameter mesh fabric, and the OutDry waterproof/breathable membrane keeps you dry if you’re caught in a rain storm. They also feature accordion stretch panels, TPR shifter guards, reflective detailing and integrated armor. Men’s standard sizes run from 7-14, and wide widths from 8.5-14.

See your dealer or visit tourmaster.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com