Tag Archives: motorcycle boots

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.

Read more of Rider‘s apparel reviews

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.

The post Alpinestars Faster 3 Shoes | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

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.

Read more of Rider‘s apparel reviews

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.

The post Umberto Luce Crimson Boots | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Touratech launches 3-in-1 boot

German adventure motorcycle accessories company Touratech has launched a boot it claims is a three-in-one to cover touring, sports and adventure riding.

Touratech Australia does not yet have a date for the arrival of the Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX boots and are currently only gauging interest.

But wait for it — if or when they do arrive, they will set you back almost the price of three boots at $A1492 in sizes 39-47.

For that price they better one good.

Touratech says they have the all-day “comfort of a touring boot, the safety of a sports boot and the robustness of an MX boot”.

So let’s check the claims on these boots, developed for Touratech by Dutch motorcycle clothing company REV’IT!

Comfort

The comfort is provided by a flexible joint system, a SEESOFT protector insert in the tongue and an Apex sole, developed with Vibram.

They claim the sole makes them easier to walk in so you don’t clump around like you are wearing skit boots without the skis.

Touratech also claim the sole has different zones; one for operating the brake lever; another for strength and others for walking comfort. 

The insole is made of washable, open-pored PU foam.

Safety

The Destino boot features a lot of protection as you would expect from an adventure-style boot with what they call a Dynamic Support Frame (DSF).

It is made up of a calf shield, heel cup and a stability frame to prevent twisting with extra impact protection in the toe area.

Destino boots are certified for safety with the highest EC approval level: EN 13634:2017 Level 2.

Fit

Another feature is the BOA Fit closure system which uses a now-popular hand-operated ratchet dial that pulls wire laces for the optimum fit and release at the touch of the centre button.

Best Full Face Helmets

There are no show laces to tie and no bulky and uncomfortable clasps that feature on many off-road boots.

Having the boot tight not only ensures a correct and safe fit, but also prevents mud and dust getting in.

Waterproof

These boots are made of a combination of materials such as SuperFabric, microfibre lining, Omega leather, supple nubuck leather and a Gore-Tex membrane that they claim guarantees “absolute waterproofness with simultaneous breathability”.

Excuse my cynicism here, but I have yet to find any breathable clothing that is also 100% waterproof.

However, there are varying degrees of water resistance indicated by an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

This rating consists of two numbers. The first from 0-6 measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust, while the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click here for more details.

I can’t find any reference to an IP on their website. It just says “Waterproof Yes”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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

The post Gaerne Dakar GTX Boots | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

The Best Motorcycle Boots You Can Buy [Updated Q4 2020]

One rider’s opinion of the best motorcycle boots will differ greatly when compared to another. Some riders are looking for close-fitting, high-performance sports boots, while others might be looking for casual boots with enough protection for slow city riding, but with a look and style that won’t look out of place in the office. So, for this list, we’ve decided to cast a wide net and look at some of the best motorcycle boots you can buy for a wide variety of situations.

Sports, off-road, adventure touring—we’re listing the best pairs we’ve seen on sale this year, no matter what category they fall into.

Our selection is based on a number of contributing factors. Safety is always the number one priority, but comfort, versatility, and value for money are also important metrics. After all, protective boots are only safe if you’re wearing them. Uncomfortable and unattractive boots often get left behind in favor of comfortable, cool-looking numbers. We’re only human! With that in mind, our choices offer great protection, great comfort, and great styling.

It’s also important that they’re supported by real-life reviews from real-life riders too.

Here are the top choices!

Dainese Fulcrum GT Gore-Tex Boots

Dainese Fulcrum GT Gore-Tex Boots In Black

Review: In-depth review
Price: $299.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you’re looking for touring boots that offer rocksteady protection and top-level comfort, then the Dainese Fulcrum GT Gore-Tex Boots are an excellent choice. Manufactured by Dainese, these boots are constructed from full-grain cowhide leather and Gore-Tex, for a breathable, weatherproof, and secure ride.

These boots have been enhanced with the addition of nylon heels, ankle inserts, and thermoformed shin guards to keep your feet and ankles protected in the event of an accident, either on tour or on the way to work. The protection doesn’t sacrifice your comfort; these boots are flexible and offer decent mobility, even for walking around town.

Other cool features include a gear shifter guard, calf adjustment straps, a tough zipper closure, reflective inserts, and a thick rubber sole. Take note though, if you have wide feet these may not be the best option as they tend to run a little narrow.

The Dainese Fulcrum GT Gore-Tex Boots are our top choice for affordable CE-certified touring boots.

SIDI Adventure 2 Gore-Tex Mid Boots

SIDI Adventure 2 Gore Tex Mid Boots In Black

Review: In-depth review
Price: $349.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If adventure touring is more your kind of thing, then the Sidi Adventure 2 Gore-Tex Mid Boots are worth a look. While these boots can be worn for a wide range of riding experiences, they’re ideal for adventure touring. They’re not as tall as standard adventure boots, but they offer a great balance of comfort and capability.

Made from Cambrelle, leather, Cordura, Gore-Tex, and microfiber materials, these boots are tough and sturdy, but light and breathable too. Despite the rigidity of some of the protective features, such as the shock-resistant heel cup and ankle defenders, these boots are very flexible. This makes them an ideal choice for adventure touring when you need bike boots that can double up as comfortable walking boots too.

These boots are easy to slip on and slip off, and they remain secure thanks to the use of micro-adjustable cam lock buckles.  These buckles do a great job of keeping out any water that usually manages to sneak in through boot fastenings, making these boots dry and warm whatever the weather.

Ideal for road and dirt riding, in a wide range of weather, these boots won’t disappoint.

SIDI Performer Air Boots

SIDI Performer Air Boots In Black

Review: In-depth review
Price: $239.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Our top sports boots are another SIDI product. These are the SIDI Performer Air Boots. They’re high-quality track boots that have been manufactured to a high standard using a combination of modern materials. These include a perforated Technomicro base, Cambrelle, mesh panels, DuPont polymer, and Nylon sections. Since they’re not made from leather, these boots won’t break-in over time, so make sure you get the right size from day one!

Since these boots are designed for high-risk riding scenarios, they come equipped with a number of safety-focused features. These include calf protector plates, ankle protective caps, inner cell foam padding, external plastic guards, a shin deflector plate, anti-abrasion panels, and a dual compound sole. Despite the shopping list of protectives, these boots are light and flexible, with incredible airflow.

They do have one major downside though. As they’re constructed from perforated materials, they have holes in them. Yeah, if you’re looking for really waterproof boots, these aren’t what you need. However, you can ride them in the rain without getting soaked, but don’t expect to stay 100% dry. In dry climates, these boots are awesome. In wetter regions, less so.

Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Boots

Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Boots In Black

Review: In-depth review
Price: $389.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If your sport takes you off-road rather than to the track, then the Tech 7 Enduro Boots from Alpinestars offer the best protection. Dirt riding requires different gear, as the sport makes different demands of the rider, and off-road boots need to be able to protect the rider from a much wider range of hazards.

Featuring a heavy-duty sole with outstanding grip, the Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots are strong, stable, and flexible, with serious ankle protection, in a package that won’t interfere with your foot controls. These boots are made from a microfiber base for maximum comfort and abrasion resistance and adorned with a liberal amount of thermoplastic polyurethane.

The insides are lined with contoured padding, soft foam reinforcement, and an anatomically-shaped footbed. An innovative buckle system ensures a tight and close fit that keeps out excess water and dirt, ensuring a comfortable ride experience allowing riders to concentrate on the trails. The buckles have a cool memory function and can be replaced if they get damaged.

In summary: these are great off-road boots that are geared towards enduro riding than MX. Take care though—they have been known to run a bit narrow.

TCX Street Ace Air Shoes

TCX Street Ace Air Shoes Front and Side Views

Review: In-depth review
Price: $159.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Modern motorcycle shoes have the ability to look cool and casual while offering decent levels of protection. Though these short boots might look like casual shoes, they’ll keep your feet protected in a crash. The TCX Street Ace Air Shoes are ideal short riding boots for those who need real protection but with a more versatile look.

These cool looking sneakers are made from a perforated leather upper combines with a luxurious Air Tech breathable lining, built on top of a sturdy high wear-resistant rubber sole. They’re reinforced in all the right places, with a Comfort Fit System keeping your feet snug, with a sturdy toe and heel counter, and padding around the ankles. The insole is anatomically shaped and replaceable.

Laces though? Yeah, laces aren’t ideal for motorcycle boots, but if you want the casual look and feel of a sneaker then you’ll compromise and go with laces. Besides, since these are versatile shoes, you won’t need to change in and out of them all day like you would with regular motorcycle boots. Laces can be annoying, but you’ll only have to fasten them once a day.

They’re not great in the wet but for casual riding in the summer months, they’re a great option.

Belstaff Endurance Boots

Belstaff Endurance Boots In Black Side View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $495.00
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Not all riders are happy to wear futuristic lookin’ boots covered in fancy thermoplastic. Some riders want a simple and refined boot that ticks all the safety boxes without any reflective piping or mesh panels. If you’re a traditional cruiser rider looking for sleek, refined, and safe footwear, then these Belstaff Endurance Boots are what you need.

Made from durable and water-repellent buffalo leather, these boots are tough, rugged, and built for longevity. The buffalo hide exterior is complemented with an internal breathable, waterproof membrane that promotes airflow without any dampness. The interior also features protective inserts, ankle impact protection, and a molded insole for added comfort.

The sole is a heavy-duty thing. It’s made from Vibram rubber and has a thick tread with a serious anti-slip surface. These boots are fastened with a zipper and hook/loop tab, with the option for a more precise fit using the collar buckle straps.

Belstaff is an expensive brand, and these boots aren’t cheap. However, they’re manufactured to a high standard and will stand the test of time—providing that you take care of them properly!

Rev’It! Royale H2O Boots

REVIT Royale H2O Boots Side and Rear View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $369.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Urban riders looking for the right balance of functionality, protection, and versatility should consider something like the REVIT Royale Boots. They’re similar in nature to the above mentioned TCX Street Ace Air Shoes, but they’re a more premium product packed full of even more advanced features. If you want a boot that can protect you while you’re riding and feels great while you’re walking, these are the boots for you.

Constructed from full-grain cowhide leather with textile paneling, these boots are tougher than you’d expect from a casual looking boot. They also reach further up the ankle than other casual boots too. Protective features include thermoformed heels, toe caps, and injected ankle cups, along with a tough synthetic rubber sole. A gear shift pad, anatomically shaped footbed, and adjustable ankle strap are also included.

What we really love about these boots is their waterproof properties. Each boot features a hydrate liner that really keeps water and moisture out. They also have a CoolMax mesh lining which is supposed to improve the airflow, but it’s not as good as it could be. And that’s the downside: these boots can get a little hot and sweaty. They definitely work better in a colder climate!

TCX Vibe Air Boots

TCX Vibe Air Boots Side and Rear View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $135.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The TCX Vibe Air Boots are our top choice for those looking for light and airy summer boots with serious protection stats. Riding in hot weather can be a hot and uncomfortable affair but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of good summer boots out there, but TCXs Vibe Air kicks get our seal of approval. They’re everything you’d hope for and more from a summer boot.

These boots are made from a stylish and sturdy suede with Air Tech fabric sections. They’re lightweight boots, but they pack some heavyweight protection. These include malleolus protection inserts, PVC ankle guards, padded upper collars, and a durable, high-performance rubber sole. If you’re concerned about their protection, rest assured knowing that they’re CE certified.

On the inside, these boots also have a comfort fit system for a close and snug fit, along with anatomically shaped footbeds. Other cool features include reflective inserts to help raise your visibility, a Bycast leather gear shifter pad, and Velcro and lace-up fastenings. Though we don’t usually go for laces, these aren’t your typical laces—instead, they use a speed lacing system, and the Velcro collar does most of the heavy lifting!

Breathable, comfortable, safe, and affordable—these motorcycle boots offer a great return for your investment.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati launches new touring gear

If you love touring on your Ducati in Italian style, safety and comfort, you’re going to want the new touring range from the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.

Ducati Australia and New Zealand head of market Alana Baratto says the touring gear will arrive in November.

If you can’t wait, you can buy the gear online on shop.ducati.com.

Sport Touring C3 Jacket ($A789)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 sport-touring jacket, is produced by Spidi exclusively for Ducati with CE-certified protectors on shoulders and elbows. You can also fit a back protector.

The outer jacket, made of a mix of polyester fabrics, is equipped with large air vents and has a waterproof and breathable H2Out membrane.

The removable thermal lining can also be worn as a casual jacket.

It is designed to be worn zipped together with Tour C3 trousers.

It comes in a men’s cut in black/red and high-visibility black/ yellow, and for women in black/red.

Tour C3 Trousers ($A499)Ducati touring gear

The Tour C3 trousers are designed by Aldo Drudi and made in collaboration with Spidi Sport.

They also have the H2Out membrane, CE-certified shin and hip protectors, a removable lining, elastic fabric, and zipper-adjustable air vents.

The pants are tailored in different cuts for men and women.

Fabric-leather gloves Strada C4 ($A299)Ducati touring gear

These limited Strada C4 gloves are produced by Held exclusively for Ducati.

The exterior is made of cowhide, sheep leather and polyamide fabric.

Inside is a Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane. However, the reduced thickness created by the Gore grip process still allows control sensitivity.

They also have SuperFabric inserts, volume adjustments on the wrist and are fully CE-certified.

Horizon helmet ($A999)Ducati touring gear

The Horizon composite fibre helmet is based on X-lite’s X-1004 shell, but designed by Drudi Performance.

This modular helmet is one of only a few flip-up designs approved to be worn while riding in the open position.

The chin guard has a dual safety opening system and ventilation system.

There is a removable and washable internal padding, a sun visor with UV 400 protection and reflex inserts for greater visibility.

Black Steel helmet ($A949)Ducati gear

The Black Steel helmet is based on the Arai Renegade V and designed by Drudi.

The outer shell is made of SFL fibre while the inner shell is made of EPS with differentiated density.

Its interior is made of antibacterial and washable fabric, the VAS visor has a wide field of view and the ventilation system is able to circulate about 14 litres of air per minute.

All Terrain Touring Boots ($A569)Ducati touring gear

These CE-approved, full grain leather and suede, all-terrain boots were made in collaboration with TCX.

They are equipped with a waterproof and breathable eVent membrane and a closure system with adjustable, interchangeable aluminium levers.

The boots have a rubber sole for maximum grip on the pegs and feature lined pleats to increase comfort.

Ducati Communication System V2 ($A569)Ducati gear

This intercom system with voice commands allows up to 15 motorcyclists to communicate simultaneously in a range up to 1.6km in “ideal conditions” and about 1km in “real conditions”.

The connection is automatic, activates by talking and goes off after 30 seconds of silence.

In case of interruption, the connection is automatically restored.

It is based on a Cardo Intercom System and allows the rider to make and answer calls, control mobile devices with the touch of a finger or a voice command and listen Bluetooth music or the integrated FM radio.

The volume of the device adjusts automatically according to the background noise.

It features universal connectivity with any Bluetooth headset of any brand.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Warranty issues on motorcycle clothing

If you’ve ever had motorcycle gear fail through wear and tear or a crash, it could be covered by the Australian Trades Practices Act and/or the manufacturer’s warranty.

But first, click here to see the difference between a product failure and rider error.

Consumer protection

If it’s a genuine product failure, then it is deemed “not fit for purpose” and the Act will offer consumer protection.

The problem is that “fit for purpose” can be difficult to quantify and prove.

However, if the garment makes a specific claim that is not met, then that is a pretty clear case of product failure.

Otherwise, if it fails to meet basic acceptable standards such as the zipper failing, you should be due a repair, refund or replacement.

LDM ExoFlex jacketYKK zips

Most protective motorcycle clothing brands vie for consumer dollars by also offering manufacturer warranties that go above and beyond the basic statutory requirements.

They can vary from one year to as many as seven years.

A one-year warranty may be sufficient to reveal any issues if you are a regular rider.

However, weekend warriors or monthly riders may require a longer warranty period to identify any problems.

Warranty conditions

Riders should also note that a warranty is only as good as the fine print exclusions and conditions.

For example, some warranties may exclude track use and even crashes which is strange since surely the main reason to buy protective motorcycle clothing is to protect you in a crash.

Interestingly, one company also offers a crash guarantee on some of their gear, promising a replacement if the damage cannot be repaired for half the cost of a new item.

However, they do not cover gear that has been cut off by a first responder.

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris Hurren awardChris Hurren and his Honda GB400

Dr Chris Hurren who researches protective materials for a living and worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol used by MotoCAP for testing says a suitable warranty should cover materials, closures and seams.

“It should cover defects from manufacture and use of faulty components during assembly,” he says.

“A warranty will also allow a manufacturer to see what is giving problems with their garments and allow them to find an alternative as they will see trends in components or seam failures.

“Most warranties will not cover general wear and tear or ageing from extended use but these are sensible as they are out of the control of the manufacturer.”

CE approved

Link International product manager Ron Grant points out that a major benefit of buying European CE-approved riding gear is that once approved, manufacturers are not allowed to change material, stitch lines, manufacturing plant, etc.

If they do, the garment has to be re-submitted for testing at an average cost of about $10,000 per garment.

“This guarantees product consistency,” Ron says.

“Non-CE brands usually place an order for jackets, don’t actually go to the factories for quality control checks, cannot guarantee the material used is the same quality as last production, nor even guarantee who is making the gear as there is potential the factory the product was ordered from may sub-contract production to someone else,” he warns.

Ron says one of the biggest issues facing the industry is not just trying to teach riders what garment is better than the other, but also the necessity to actually wear safety gear.

“Recently I saw a guy on a new sports bike with brand new boots, leather jacket, gloves, top-of-the-range helmet and board shorts,” he says.

“Every day I see guys geared up on their way to work wearing runners or lace up work shoes. Or no jacket. Or shorts. Or normal jeans. The other day I saw a guy fanging over Mt G with a pretty young lady on the back with a string top and skimpy shorts.”

He says the onus is on experienced salesperson to expertly advise customers so they buy the right gear for their use.

“Of course, that is all negated when buying online,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle riding gear failures

Your motorcycle jackets, pants, gloves and boots that are supposed to protect you in a crash, can sometimes experience failures of the most basic test of simple wear and tear.

However, it is important to differentiate a product failure from a rider error.

Product failures

We recently bought a pair of motorcycle gloves (pictured above) that split the stitching at the cuff after a few weeks of normal riding.

The gloves had a one-year warranty and the shop contacted the distributor who replaced them.

Motorcycle riding gear failures glovesSame failure

Only a few weeks later the second pair failed in exactly the same way.

Obviously there appears to be an inherent design fault in the gloves.

This is not the only example of motorcycle protective gear failing the basic wear and tear test.

Dr Chris Hurren who researches protective materials for a living and worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol used by MotoCAP for testing has also experienced basic wear failures.

While trying on a pair of protective denim pants in a store, the top button above the zip pulled apart and fell off.

“This was obviously a problem that the manufacturer knew about as the garment came with a spare metal button however in reality should the product have been in the market place in the first place,” he says.

“This failure before even leaving the store should be a quick indicator of the build product of a garment.”

It’s not Dr Hurren’s only personal encounter with a wear failure.

After spending $700 on a leather jacket, he found the zip failed after two years.

“I have since observed new jackets hanging in store from the same manufacturer with a zip that was corroded and already causing trouble during use,” he says.

“The addition of a low-cost zip to a high-cost jacket significantly reduces its working life.

“Closures like zips, buttons and clips often have higher loading due to body size and may be strained to failure during impact grip with the road in a crash.”

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris HurrenDr Chris Hurren

Rider error

However, some complaints about protective clothing failures can be due to rider error, not product failure.

Waterproof claims are a classic example, says Link International product manager Ron Grant.

“You can have the best jacket in the world, but if you don’t get all the closures correctly positioned, ensure your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t exposed (which creates a wicking point for water entry) you will still get wet,” he says.

“The majority of wet claims I believe are mainly due to incorrect usage or fitment.

“If you wear gloves over your cuff, water penetrates through the jacket stitching in the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the outside of the waterproof liner (so the rider is still dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This is not a glove issue but a rider fitment issue.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders buy ‘shorty’ waterproof boots and then complain they get wet feet.

Draggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pantsDraggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pants

“If you have a look at their rain pants when their feet are on the pegs, the rain pants may ride up just enough to allow water into the boots.”

Riders also have a duty to maintain and treat their gear appropriately.

For example, zippers can get dry from dust and bugs etc. An occasional rub over with a candle or an appropriate wax on the zipper teeth will help the zipper slide smoothly and last longer.

Likewise, screwing up a zip in waterproof liner and securing it under a couple of Occy straps can damage the waterproof coating allowing water to enter the jacket. 

Warranty

If your riding gear has experienced a genuine product failure, you may be due a replacement or repair under warranty.

Click here to find out more about warranties.

Have you ever had motorcycle gear fail a basic wear test? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aldi claims safest motorcycle gear yet

Aldi claims this year’s annual motorcycle gear sale will feature their safest gear yet with their $189 leather jacket being the most popular buy.

The sale is usually held in the first couple of Saturdays of August, but has been delayed this year until 31 August 2019, starting at 8.30am.

“Every year we work to improve the range to make it even better than the last,” an Aldi spokesperson says.

“This year is no exception, with considerable time devoted to product development, sourcing and testing to ensure our products are of the highest quality and exceptionally priced.”

In past year, sale items have been selected with the help of Neuroscience Research Australia’s Dr Liz de Rome.

Liz, a rider since 1969, also helped develop MotoCAP, motorcycle clothing ratings system. So far, MotoCAP has not tested any Aldi products.Aldi annual sale - Riders urged to support motorcycle dealers claims

Safety claims

However, Aldi claims they have been “testing relevant motorcycle clothing products to European Standards for several years in order to obtain independent certification”.

“This year, we have worked closely with our supply partners to create products that are both safe and stylish – all without compromising on quality,” their spokesperson says.

“All Torque motorcycle clothing has been certified to the European Personal Protective Equipment Regulation (2016/425).

“We anticipate the leather jacket will be popular among customers as it is exceptional value for money.”

Their 2019 catalogue of motorcycle gear on sale this year will be available on their website next week.

Aldi says the Torque leather jacket features APT-TECH protection technology at the elbows and shoulders, is compliant to Level 2 European Standard EN 13595 and has impact protectors in the back, shoulder and elbow that are compliant to EN 1621.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Leather Jacket – $189

Their Torque motorcycle boots ($99.99) have strengthened heels, hi-vis reflective ankle strips and meet requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment standard EN 13634.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Boots – $99.99

The Torque motorcycle denim jeans ($79.99) have reinforcement lining made of “high-tenacity aramid fibre at critical areas of seat, hips & knees”. They are compliant to EN 17092-4:2019 for “A” classification garments and feature EN 1621 knee protectors.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Denim Jeans – $79.99

They have a choice of two Torque gloves, both costing $34.99.

Their goat leather pair have carbon fibre protectors for the knuckles and fingers, rubber padding in “critical areas” and are EN 13594 level 1 compliant.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Carbon Knuckle Leather Gloves – $34.99 (2)

However, their padded gloves do not have an EN certification. Instead, they have 3D foam rubber protection at the knuckles, fingers and thumbs with 3M Thinsulate padding

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Padded Leather Gloves – $34.99

As usual, there is also a range of other motorcycle goods for sale including balaclavas, thermals, bike covers and helmets.

Plus, there’s our perennial favourite – $9.99 Aldi motorcycle socks!

New this year are three types of $19.99 locks and chains to secure your bike and/or luggage.

aldi motorcycle sale theft stolen locks
Locks – $19.99

There is also a range of $39.99 tail and tank bags.

Riders urged to support dealers

However, riders have been urged by the Australian Motorcycle Dealers Association to support their local motorcycle dealer who {“deserves rider loyalty in tough times“.

They point out that motorcycle retailers offer a lot more product choice and all-year round availability.

Supporters of the Aldi sale say it promotes the wearing of good quality gear by making it affordable to more riders. 

In our coverage of the annual Aldi sale, as well as MotoCAP’s testing of products, we find readers claim Aldi products are good quality and value.

We have also tested Aldi gear and find it is up to par, including the Bluetooth unit that is still working just fine after three years.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are you a pants tucker or loose legger?

Do you wear your pants tucked into your motorcycle boots or are you a loose legger with your pants over the top of your boots?

Look around at other riders and you will see examples of both.

But why is there a difference and does it matter?

We’ve asked around various riders and found there is a variety of reasons given for both versions.

The case for pants tuckersAxo Freedom Adventure boots

Obviously, if you have skinny jeans or narrow race leathers they have to go inside the boots.

There are also some practical reasons for this.

The main reason we have been told is that your pant legs flap around annoyingly if they are over the boots.

One rider told me he has worn his pants tucked since he snagged his trousers years ago in a hi-low range lever on an old trail bike and fell over.

Riders have also told us that it seals in the warmth in winter

There also seems to be a fashion trend among boy racers and, at the other extreme, some Ulysses members, to wear their pants inside the boots.

Then there is the cafe racer “rocker” fashion trend to wear your jeans tucked into white socks with the tops rolled down over the tops of the boots.

Do you wear your pants tucked into your motorcycle boots or are you a loose legger with your over the top of your boots?
Rocker style

Some say it’s less messy and point to riders with their pants caught half mast on the top of their boots.

The case for loose leggers

Do you wear your pants tucked into your motorcycle boots or are you a loose legger with your over the top of your boots?
Rossi circa 2005

There was a trend back in the early 2000s for MotoGP racers to wear their leathers over the top of the boots.

The reasoning was aerodynamics and not getting your outside boot buckles caught on anything! They seem to have all gone back to leathers inside the boots.

Adventure riders tend to wear their pants over the tops of their buckled boots for the same reason of not getting them caught on anything such as bushes.

Charley Boorman at Goodwood
Charley Boorman is a loose legger

Mostly riders wear their pants over the top because it is too uncomfortable to jam their trousers inside their boots.

It also has the practical side of keeping the rain from dribbling down into your boots.

And in summer, it allows air down into your boots so your feet don’t sweat.

  • Are you a tucker or a loose leg rider? What are your reasons? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com