Motorcycle Words

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Knox Urbane Pro MkII Armoured Shirt Review – WebBikeWorld

My review of the Knox Urbane Pro MKII Armoured shirt is now published up to webbikeworld.com.  This armoured shirt (yes, I’m using the British spelling) steps up the abrasion resistance from the previous iteration to level AA from single “A” making this garment tough enough for use on the street without the need for an outer layer. This brings it in line with the Zephyr Pro jacket for durability in a crash.

This also blurs the line a bit between jacket and shirt as both feel very similar in weight and fit in a very like fashion. Whatever one calls it, they both can be worn as standalone protection. I loved my original Zephyr jacket and only replaced it after needing a larger jacket (or shirt) to accommodate my Klim Ai-1 airbag vest. Since I wanted to try something different I decided to give the Urbane a shot as it has a different look and a lighter color scheme available which I prefer for hot weather riding.

         

The protection doesn’t stop with abrasion resistance as Knox provides CE Level 1 MICROLOCK protectors at the elbows and shoulders. The back receives their very large and very soft CE Level 2 MICROLOCK back protector which is one of the largest “in-garment” protectors I’ve seen. It is also very well vented and very soft making it a great, albeit heavy, piece of protective kit to have watching one’s back. Knox offers CE Level 2 armor for the shoulders an elbows and I did this upgrade on mine right before the review was published. One can see the CE 1 vs CE 2 shoulder pieces in the photo above.

For the full review with all the details and lots of photos head over to webbikeworld.com.

 

 

Upcoming Reviews for Summer 2021 | Knox and Viking Cycle

Urbane Pro MkII Shirt (photo via Knox)

Summer is fast approaching here in the Southeastern United States and things are heating up fast around here. In order to beat the heat this year I have replaced my Knox Zephyr jacket with the new Urbane Pro Mark II Riding Shirt. Not that there was anything wrong with the Zephyr but ever since getting the Klim Ai-1 airbag vest the Zephyr, which was already snug, was just too tight to fit over the vest. With the Urbane Mark II I ordered a size larger (XL) to accommodate. Since the Urbane Pro Mark II is a new product for this year it took a few weeks to arrive but now it’s here and has already been out  a couple of times for “shakedown” cruises. A review is underway now which will be published to webbikeworld.com soon.

“But what if it’s really cool out for some reason the Urbane, a partially mesh jacket, isn’t going to keep you warm?”

As it happens, the other day I was asked by Viking Cycle if I would be interested in a review of one of their products. Taking a quick look at their offerings I saw there were a couple of textile jackets that might do the job for those not too hot, not too cold days. In particular the Ironborn jacket has a cut that I like and appears to offer mulitple vents. This could make it a good “all-rounder” for those days between Spring and Summer and between Summer and Fall. (Of course those days are getting shorter and shorter here in Tennessee.)

The Ironborn Jacket in Military Green (photo via Viking Cycle)

While the look and feature set of the Ironborn aren’t really that hard to find in other textile jackets from other manufacturers, the fact this jacket sells for $74.99 might get some attention, however. Usually I wouldn’t give riding gear at this price point a second look as one often gets what one pays for. However, the jacket has an interesting look (especially in the military green color) and Viking Cycle claims the shell is CORDURA®. They also include CE approved armor and an insulated vest liner.

Now this all sounds a bit too good to be true (OK, more than a bit) but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and take delivery of one of these jackets for review. The most important factor here is that they specifically asked for an honest review. Anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows while I may not get “mean” in a review I will call it as I see it, for better or for worse.

Intrigued? Me too.

Keep an eye out here and on the Motorcycle Words social media for a review of this jacket from Viking Cycle

Pando Moto Robby Arm 01 Jeans Review at RotCR!

The following is an excerpt from my review of the Pando Moto Robby Arm 01 jeans recently published over at https://www.returnofthecaferacers.com . And yes, my bike is seriously “un-cafe racer-like” for sure. 🙂

I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I reviewed the Karl Devil motorcycle jeans from Pando Moto. At that time I wasn’t familiar with the company and wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out I was really impressed with those jeans which frankly didn’t really look like jeans.

Sure they were made of denim (on the outside) but they looked more like track leathers than jeans. They were also very heavy compared to your typical “blues”. I liked them enough to wear them often when riding and only stopped doing so last year once I lost a couple of inches from my waist as they were just too loose.

With that experience in mind, I was very excited to have a look at a new pair of jeans from our friends in Lithuania. If you’re not familiar with Pando Moto, they are a motorcycle apparel company that began life in a small office above a Harley Davidson shop back in 2011.

From that small beginning, they quickly grew their team and product line and arrived at the 2014 Eicma show in Milan to make their presence known. As of Q2, 2021, their lineup includes not only twelve different pairs of jeans (9 men’s, 3 women’s) but also a selection of armored base layers and other apparel. For more info on Pando Moto you can hit up their about page.

To be clear, the full name of this product is the Robby Arm 01 – Men’s Slim-Fit Motorcycle Jeans which is quite a mouthful. Going forward I’ll just call them the Robby Arm jeans to save time for you and me.

The “Arm” portion of the name is important as it denotes these jeans use Armalith® as the material from which the denim is made. Pando Moto also uses Dyneema®, Cordura®, and Kevlar® in their different jeans so as one can guess, the Robby Cor jeans use denim made with Cordura®.

Want to get the rest of the story? Head over to Return of the Cafe Racers to check out the full review and photos.

A Tale Of Two Tailbags – The Forte 70886 And 70025 Bags From Tex Motor

The Forte 70886 “Sentor” and 70025 (no clever name here) tail bags from Turkish manufacturer Tex Motor are an interesting combination of Italian design and reasonable price. These bags offer two different, but effective approaches to easily add storage to your ride. Ahead we’ll take a look at each bag one after the other starting with the smaller 70025 bag.

Late in 2020, a representative from Turkey-based Tex Motor reached out to WebBikeWorld asking if we would take a look at a couple of their products. Always interested in checking out gear from a manufacturer I’ve never heard of, I raised my hand to offer up a review.

Doing a little research on Tex Motor, it turns out they started out under the name Zeynep Triko as a textile manufacturer and importer back in 1998 and began focusing on motorcycle accessories in 2005. Then, in 2008, they changed their name to Tex Motor and that’s how they are known today.

There are several brands under the Tex Motor umbrella including Sway, X-Tex, X Rider, Forte GT, X Lock, and Duratech. Each brand focuses on different areas such as helmets, apparel, goggles, footwear, and other accessories with some crossover throughout the range.

I have to admit it is a bit difficult to navigate their website as the English portion is not complete (lots of 404 errors) but one can view their catalog using this link. Unfortunately for us English speakers, the catalog is in Turkish, but at least one can see the range of available products which is quite extensive.

As this review is two -parts (one for each bag) I’m going to stop right here and link you to the full review with all the photos and details over at webbikeworld.

Aerostich Transit 3.0 Two Piece Suit Review (WBW)

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a follow-up review to my initial look at the Aerostich Transit 3.0 suit. Part of the reason it has taken so long was due to COVID-19 putting the brakes on a lot of business and trade.

When I first received the Transit suit about a year ago, I found the pants ran a bit large. The size 36 I received was more like 37, plus they could stretch a couple of inches from there. They were basically unable to stay “up” without a belt or zipping them to the jacket. I also didn’t care for the position of the knee armor as a result of the large sizing.

After discussing this with the good folks at Aerostich they said they would send a smaller size and felt confident that this would address my concerns. This conversation happened in February 2020 and due to the effects of the pandemic, Aerostich wasn’t able to get a pair of 34’s sent to me until August 2020.

Here we are in January 2021 and I’ve had the past months to get some seat time with pants that fit properly. There are some other updates to the original “first look” included here so read on for all the details.

The Transit 3.0 Suit

For those of you who haven’t read the previous review or are coming into this review without little familiarity with the Transit Suit, here’s a quick summary.

The Aerostich Transit 3.0 is a two-piece motorcycle riding suit that employs a special waterproof and breathable leather material for the majority of the suit construction. The goal of this suit is to provide protection from both crashes and the elements and that it can be worn in a variety of climates.

To achieve this, Aerostich uses leather that is bonded with a waterproof and breathable membrane that together is called Corium+®. This material replaces the Gore-Tex® based Pro Shell leather used in the previous iterations of the Transit suit which became unavailable years ago.

Corium+®

So what is this new material making up most of the shell of this third iteration of the Transit suit? Corium+® is not really a specific product but rather a technology that can be applied to leather. Basically, it involves bonding multiple layers of materials, as well as treating micro-perforated leather to which they are bonded in order to create a waterproof and breathable final product. In the case of the Corium+ ® used in the Transit 3.0 suit, the leather is cowhide but other types of leathers can be used.

The above diagram shows how the various layers are stacked. You can go to the page here for an interactive version of the above graphic if you like. The quick rundown is:

Top Layer: Perforated layer
Mid: Waterproof membrane
Lower layer(s): Reinforcing layers to protect the membrane

You can get all the details on Corium+® at the Mat Group website.

The idea is to take the protective characteristic of leather and make it more comfortable for a wider range of weather conditions. By allowing water vapor to exit through the shell of the suit, it makes it more comfortable in warmer conditions as sweat doesn’t build up as fast as it might in typical waterproof gear.


Check out the full review over at webbikeworld for the full details and more photos.

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Review for webBikeWorld

Introduction

I still think of Scorpion helmets as a “new” manufacturer but as I did my research for this review I realized they have been around for quite a while now. In fact, it has been about 16 years since we reviewed their EXO 700 helmet (Dec, 2016) and we came away impressed.

Back before I’d started looking at webbikeworld.com reviews (or even heard of them) I had purchased an EXO 400 in 2007. This was after handing the helmet in person and weighing the comfort, feel, and price. I wasn’t sure how long Scorpion would be around but it seemed worth it at the time.

I’ve owned and reviewed a lot of helmets since then and there have been other Scorpion helmets along the way. My current daily rider is an EXO ST1400 which I reviewed about 18 months ago so in a way I’ve come full circle over the past dozen years. 

The EXO R1 Air Helmet

The R1 Air is Scorpion’s top-of-the-line Sport / Track helmet. While sitting at the same price point as its sport-touring sibling, the ST1400, there are several features that separate these two helmets. However, there is enough overlap that either could serve a wide variety of riders.

The EXO-R1 Air is available in four different graphics plus solid “colors”. I put quotes around colors as the solids are only available in black gloss, black matte, and pearl white so we’re playing it a bit fast & loose with the term “colors”. 

The Corpus graphic is available in three colors with black, blue\white, and neon red rounding out the choices while the Blackletter graphic (reviewed here) is a white/black/gold affair. There are also two “replica” styled helmets which resemble riders Alvaro Bautista (WSBK) and Fabio Quartararo (MotoGP) helmets which are provided by Scorpion. The former in white/yellow livery while the latter being a black/gray/red graphic.

Pricing moves up from the solid colors at $399.95 to the Corpus and Blackletter models adding a thirty dollar premium at $429.95. The replica helmets command $459.95 for closely resembling the look of their namesake’s actual racing helmets.

Note: Prices are in USD.

Feature Set

Before we dig into the details, here’s a listing of the notable features of the EXO-R1 Air:

  • Composite Multi-layer shell
  • Includes two Pinlock Max-Vision ready face shields (Clear and Smoke)
  • Includes one clear Pinlock Max-Vision insert
  • AirFit cheekpad inflation system
  • Emergency cheekpad release pulls
  • Integrated cheek pads and neck roll for easy removal and installation
  • 5 Year warranty

Check out the full review and more photos over at www.webbikeworld.com

Klim Ai-1 Airbag Vest Review on WebBikeWorld

Since early 2018, I’ve made an airbag vest part of my riding gear. I decided to invest in an airbag vest after I spent 2017 using a race collar from EVS as a way to help prevent/reduce neck injury in the event of a crash. I’m willing to admit, as I get older, I care more about potential injuries.

After a year of wearing the race collar, I started looking into airbag vests. Airbag vests aren’t exactly new to the protective gear landscape having been around for about 30 years, but they’ve seemed to linger on the horizon, rather than at the forefront of motorcycle safety gear.

 

Looking into how airbag vests and airbag jackets worked, I found most of them not only protect your chest and back but many designs will immobilize your head (when wearing a full face helmet) enough to help reduce/prevent neck injuries.
I was sold! But which one should I get?

The old guard of Helite and Hit-Air use physically tethered systems which rely on a lanyard attached to the motorcycle to activate the airbag. Dainese and Alpinestars introduced systems a few years ago that use electronic sensor packages to determine when a crash is occurring and deploy the airbag. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.

Mechanical systems are less expensive and often the user can easily repack a Hit-Air or Helite device and replace the compressed air cartridge. Assuming the airbag isn’t damaged, the rider can continue on their merry way. These airbag systems are typically in the form of a vest that goes over existing riding gear or the airbag system is integrated into a jacket for an all-in-one solution.

Dainese, Alpinestars, and now Klim, offer electronically triggered (non-tethered) systems. These systems can be used with dedicated apparel as well as most other jackets assuming they offer enough room for deployment. In the case of Dainese (D-Air Smart Jacket), one can even use their system on top of a jacket. 

Note: Helite recently released their own electronically activated airbag vests, the e-Turtle and e-GP Air, but they do not appear to be available yet in North America. I’m sure once they become available we’ll have a look at these as well.

For the full review and more details and photo head over to webbikeworld.com.

REV’IT! Dirt 3 Gloves Review

Overview

The Dirt 3 gloves from REV’IT! are a short-cuff option geared towards the adventure rider. Similar in overall form and mission to the Sand 3 gloves, the Dirt 3 gloves have a bit more mesh and offer a more traditional take on the knuckle armor along with some other minor differences. They represent a good option for hot weather riders in the adventure space as well as the commuting and other types of riding.

Introduction

Earlier this year I took a look at the Alpinestars SP Air gloves as an option for a protective hot-weather glove and they provided a good balance of protection versus ventilation. However, they had some other issues that kept me looking for another summer glove option.

2020 has not only been a year of massive changes and reassessment of what is normal, but it has also been very hot and humid here in Middle Tennessee. This heat and humidity have been a driver for me to look into a pair of gloves with increased ventilation.

Back in 2018, I reviewed a pair of Sand 3 gloves from REV’IT! and while they ticked a lot of the right boxes, I decided to let them go in favor of keeping the Knox Orsa Leather MkII gloves I already owned.

A couple of months ago I heard (OK, read) on the ADVRider forums about the Dirt 3 gloves from REV’IT!. The Dirt 3 gloves were described as similar to the Sand 3 gloves but with some different armor and ventilation features.

These I had to see…

Check out the complete review over at WebBikeWorld.com

Dainese New Drake Air Textile Pants Review – WebBikeWorld

Summary

The New Drake Air Textile pants from Dainese might not look like what one would think of for summer/hot weather riding pants but looks can be deceiving. Venting is better than expected and the trade off of protection from solid textile versus use of mesh appears to be worth it.

Introduction

At the time of this writing, the first official day of Summer is only a couple of weeks away. As such, it’s time to start breaking out the hot weather riding gear. A lot of riders will be reaching for riding gear that includes mesh fabrics in the construction. I’m one of those riders and I’ll be the first to admit that a lot mesh gear is a compromise between ventilation and protection. 

For my jacket, I currently wear a Knox Zephyr (first gen) which is a combination of a very tough mesh material and solid, abrasion resistant fabric. In this case, I feel the mesh material is strong enough and well placed that the jacket itself should offer reasonable protection for street riding. The Zephyr is also close fitting so the armor installed should remain in place during a crash. 

As far as pants go, that’s a different story. My current mesh pants are a pair of Olympia AirGlide pants which I wear as overpants for commuting duties. Like most mesh/textile pants, these are loose fitting so while they work fine as overpants, they are too loose, in my opinion, for standalone use when riding. 

By the way, in case the powers-that-be at Knox Armour are reading this, if a pair of pants designed in a similar way as the Zephyr jacket became a reality, I’d be first in line to buy a pair. Just sayin’   -B

I’ve also found that mesh pants that include mesh at the shin area can actually be a “cooling liability” as engine heat can get straight to one’s lower legs. Not all bikes create this problem but my Triumph Sprint 1050 did and my Ninja 1000 does expel some waste heat at the ankle/shin level. In these cases I’d rather have something solid blocking the wind in that area.

The point is that my current riding gear didn’t really include a pair of pants that worked well for hot weather riding, commuting aside. The hunt was now on for a pair of riding pants that had a mix of ventilation and protection that also didn’t break the bank and here’s where I landed.

Check out the complete review over at webBikeWorld.com

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