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Category: Riding Gear (Page 1 of 7)

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.

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.

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

Aerostich Transit 3 First Look

My first look at the new Transit 3 two piece riding suit from Aerostich just dropped over at WebBikeWorld. The Transit suit has been out of production for a few years due to sourcing issues surrounding the perforated, waterproof leather (yes, perforated and waterproof). Now it’s back and I’m working on a multi-part review. Hit the link below to see the initial installment of this review.

Aerostich Transit 3 Two Piece Suit: First Look

Transit Suit in the House!

Just in time for Christmas, I have the new Transit 3 suit from Aerostich in the house (literally) for review. My plan was to do an initial write up covering the details and construction since we are in Winter and I didn’t expect to get on the road with the suit.

I am actually pretty excited to get this suit, despite the look on my face 🙂

As it turns out, the unseasonably warm weather provided the opportunity to get out and give the Transit a proper shakedown today. There’s a lot to cover on this suit so you can expect a multi-part review much like my review of the Cousin Jeremy suit.

Keep an eye here ( and on WebBikeWorld.com ) for the first part of the Transit Suit 3 review to come in the next few weeks.

Happy Holidays!!

Helite to Offer Electronically Activated Airbag Vests in 2020

The people over at Helite have been cooking up something new in the wearable airbag space for 2020. Currently there are only two major players that make electronically triggered wearable airbag devices for motorcycle riders. Dainese and Alpinestars. As they are very new, first generation products, there are barriers to widespread adoption as prices a re relatively high and if the products do get activated, they have to be returned to the manufacturer for “re-arming”

On the other side of the “airbag” street we have vests from companies like HitAir and Helite. These devices employ a physical connection from the device to the motorcycle, triggering once the rider has left the seat. These type of vests have the advantage of simpler design, ease of “re-arming” by way of a user replaceable cartridge, and cost around the same price as a premium level helmet.

Helite has starting spreading the word that they will be releasing their own electronically activated vests in the Spring of 2020 starting with their race model, the GP, followed by a version of their Turtle 2 vest that will use the same (or similar) electronics.

Why is this important? Helite has taken the best parts of both worlds here by using electronics sensors to detect when an impact has occurred combined with the convenience of user replaceable gas cartridges. Having the electronics means potential for faster start of inflation while the total cost of ownership should be reduced by user serviceable parts.

Below is the info I saw at the ADV Rider forums that was posted by Patrick at Helite. (or at least is claimed to be from him 🙂 )

HELITE will be offering an Electronically Triggered Airbag System besides the already existing Mechanically Triggered Airbag System!

The first available electronic option will the HELITE GP Air Vest. Then the Electronic System will also become available for the HELITE Turtle 2 Vest. We do not expect these to be available until Spring 2020 and pricing has not been released yet either!

The Electronic Systems will feature 2 sensors. One that is decting impact even at stanstill and one motion sensor in the Vest itself. The Vest is instantly re-usable by simply replacing the CO2 cartridge similar to the already exisitng Mechanical Airbag System. No need to send the vest in to have it re-set or re-packed UNLESS, of course, it is damaged and you would like us to check the functionality.

If you have any questions whatsoever feel free to send me an email to patrick@helitemoto.com! As soon as we have pricing information available and a better ETA we will also be accepting pre-orders.

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