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Even though we’ve not been in the motorcycle business long enough to become jaded and cynical, it still takes something a bit exceptional to get us really excited. But the suit we are talking about here is, in our opinion, worth shouting about.
The first thing that we need to make clear is that this is not a brand new helmet. It has been around for a number of years, but the Arai importer tells us that they no longer bring it into the UK for any other retailer because, in all honesty, it is just too expensive for most of them to want to stock. I hasten to add that we have not decided to offer the helmet because of its price. We never seek out expensive products, per se.
If we are being totally honest, we would normally expect the European brands to be at the forefront when it comes to technical, motorcycle wear. But Klim is the one company that bucks this trend. Klim has most definitely become the foremost name in adventure wear, for example. They use only the very best components, such as SuperFabric, Gore-Tex, D3O, Koroyd and so on.
One of the things we really like about Klim is the fact that they march to the beat of a different drum. Now this might have something to do with the fact that, in Klim, we have a bunch of mad-keen off-road and adventure bikers; and they’re all stuck in the middle of this huge field in the middle of Idaho. But before you jump to conclusions, by the way, Idaho is not in the middle of nowhere. We checked on a map. They are just to the left of the middle of nowhere! As a result, perhaps, of their slightly remote geographical situation they don’t always get to look at what all the big European players are doing. And this is good, because at times the boys and girls at Klim just have to start from scratch, and come up with their own designs and their own ideas.
Halvarssons is a high-end producer of high-tech gear. They’re not the sexiest company in the motorcycle apparel world. In fact, they might even be considered a little dull. But we love what these guys do. We often cite the view that Halvarssons make clothing that is 90% Rukka quality, but at 50% Rukka money. And we stand by this; their gear always offers excellent value for money.
We want to preface this review with some brief explanations. First, we have not, historically, been an RST dealer. We have the greatest respect for this amazingly successful British brand: these guys offer terrific-looking gear at amazing prices. But we have set out our stall. We offer a very specific array of brands, and we simply don’t think that RST is the most natural fit for us.
The Sunne is another new-for-2021 style from Halvarssons. It replaces the Luxor jacket and Lux pant combination that has now been discontinued. Like its predecessor, the Sunne is a laminated outfit, and in styling terms it is very much aimed at the adventure-bike rider. Now here let us make the point we always make when we’re reviewing a laminated, adventure suit.
Now, much as we love Klim, they have somehow managed to convince a large swathe of adventure-bike riders that an adventure-riding suit should have a laminated membrane; indeed, the success of their legendary Badlands is very much built on this premise. Well, we disagree with the fundamental proposition. If you are working hard off the beaten track or crossing arid tundras, the last thing you want anywhere near your body is a waterproof membrane.
Halvarssons has been making laminated jackets and pants forever. Okay, perhaps not for as long as Rukka has been, but these guys are not new to the world of bonded membranes. They tend to go for two-layer, as opposed to three layer, lamination. And they use their own Dryway membrane rather than Gore-Tex’s. Some people swear by Gore-Tex, but you need have no concerns. Dryway is well proven. It doesn’t let water in, and it breathes well.
Only extremists and complete lunatics would contend that motorcycle helmets were not the single most important contributor to a motorcyclist’s safety, although it should not be forgotten that MAG, the Motorcycle Action Group, was originally set up in 1973 to protest against the newly-introduced legislation concerning helmet wearing. It was viewed as an infringement of civil liberties!
Like most people, and certainly like just about every business, we were pleased when it was announced, just before Christmas, that Britain had got a deal with the EU. It seemed to promise a scintilla of hope to cap off what had been, in most other respects, a rather gloomy year. A deal certainly seemed favourable to the supposed apocalyptic scenario of a no-deal. But, in truth, nobody really knew what a deal meant; and it is only now that the terms of our trading arrangements are starting to come into focus.
The Rukka Kingsley jacket is new for the 2021 season. And technically it now sits at the very top of the Rukka range. Indeed, it is somewhat more expensive than the superlative Rukka Nivala that has proven so popular in recent years. For many people, we suspect, the Nivala may still be the preferred option. And that is because the Nivala will, for most, still be the more comfortable suit.
We admit that we can be a little bit old-fashioned here at Motolegends. We don’t tend to follow trends. We do things the way we know how to do them, and the way we like to do them. Take our shop, for example; we fly in the face of every conceivable tenet of modern retail practice. But we really like our shop; and actually quite a few of our customers seem to quite enjoy visiting it as well.
For obvious reasons, perhaps, there hasn’t been a lot of new product development in the helmet market in the last 12 months or so. In 2021, we’re going to see a lot of new colourways from manufacturers, but not a lot of totally new helmets are going to be released this year. But one of the high spots in 2021 is going to be this new Arai Quantic.
The Schuberth C3 Pro is a helmet that has been around since 2014, when it replaced the original C3. It might therefore seem a little strange that we should now be reviewing the helmet so many years after it was first released. But we have never formally reviewed the C3 Pro on its own, and it is still a very fine helmet, so better late perhaps than never.
Let’s talk first about Bering, because Bering hasn’t always been a Motolegends kind of brand; and in some respects it still isn’t. But the brand is owned by the huge Trophy group that includes Shark helmets and Segura within its portfolio. And what this means is that, if Bering wants to go upmarket and become a player in the technical world, they have the commercial clout to make it happen. And this seems to be the direction in which the company is travelling.
We’ve put this little video together because, after the first Lockdown, we had a lot of customers in the shop who had decided that they wanted to commute into work on a bike, rather than take the train or some other form of public transport.
There isn’t anybody in the motorcycle apparel business quite like Sean. Okay, he faffs about like an old lady, which makes going for a ride with him a test of patience that even Job would find beyond him.
Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. First day of Lockdown; I go into town to see my dentist; and whilst I’m out Sean decides he wants to be the Chap in the Cap! What’s really annoying is that his video is pretty good.