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Now even though we are far and away the largest seller of Klim in the UK, their range is so huge that we have to admit to not knowing it as well as we would like to, which is why we had not originally selected the Carlsbad suit for this season. Instead, we elected to offer Klim’s signature Badlands Pro A3 adventure suit and their upgraded Kodiak road suit.
We first saw the Outlander boot when we were at a product development meeting at Klim’s offices a couple of years ago. Ironically, the boot wasn’t part of the presentation. Klim wasn’t planning on selling it in Europe, but we saw the potential, and decided to buy up all their spare stock in the US in order to have a ‘de facto’ UK exclusive.
It hasn’t stopped raining for almost a week now, but taking the view that our collective luck has to change at some point, I thought the time was right to talk about mesh jackets.
This is the second in our series of guides about what you need to know, and what you should look for, when buying motorcycle gear. In our first article, we focussed on jeans. This time round we are looking at jackets.
In the fifties and sixties, all the cool kids rode in a pair of Levi’s or Wranglers. This was before the thought of protective wear had even occurred to anyone. Think James Dean, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen et al.. Over here, of course, the Ace Cafe boys would not have worn anything else.
Looking for the best motorcycle jacket for summer riding? Perhaps a mesh or leather motorcycle jacket that keeps you cool when it is hot? See our top 10 summer jackets, and buy online from the UK’s premier motorcycle clothing store, with free shipping and free returns on all protective orders.
Read our Arai Rapide Neo helmet review. Finally a technical, full-face, retro-styled motorcycle helmet that looks just right on any modern retro bike.
You can get cold on a motorbike; you can get very cold. And when you get very cold, riding a bike is no fun. What’s more, when you’re very cold you won’t be riding at your best. When you’re shivering you are simply more likely to miss that guy in the white van at the turning who hasn’t seen you because he’s chatting to his mate on his mobile.
Here at Motolegends we often get asked who makes the best motorcycle clothing. And, of course, there’s no easy answer. Dainese does pretty stonking, one-piece leathers. Rokker make amazing jeans. Halvarssons does great value-for-money technical wear better than anybody else. Spidi does exquisite leather. And Belstaff does the best wax cotton. Whilst Klim are the boys when it comes to equipment for adventure riding.
It’s that time of year. The new season is here, and the latest products have started to turn up, so clothing retailers like us are keen to put out lists of their favourite styles. But because we receive the bulletins from all of our putative competitors, we have seen some pretty poor Top 10 offerings in recent weeks. And this may be because a lot of the gear we are all anticipating hasn’t turned up yet.
The Shoei NXR 2 is, as the name would suggest, a replacement for the outgoing NXR helmet. The new helmet is, in concept, very similar to its predecessor. It is an upgrade in a number of quite notable ways, but the greatest change is that this helmet is accredited to the new, higher ECE 22-06 safety standard. This is only the second helmet ever to meet the standard, the first being the Arai Quantic with which it will compete almost directly in the marketplace.
Where to start? That is the question. This is the latest iteration of Shark’s well-known, 180º flip-lid helmet, a series that started with the Evoline, before becoming the Evo One. The idea is a great one. It is an evolution of the standard flip-lid helmet. Whereas, on a normal flip-lid, the raised chin piece sits over the brow, thus imbuing a helmet with the aerodynamic qualities of a barn door, on the Shark Evo series, the chin piece rotates through 180º, and therefore sits at the back of the helmet, totally out of sight. The result is a helmet that works equally well as an open-face or a full-face helmet.
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.
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.