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.
But when it comes to high-end technical wear for all-year-round touring and commuting, the name that comes to mind for most people is Rukka. Some people knock it because it’s expensive. People who can’t afford Rukka will often try to justify the gear that they have ended up with by denigrating the Finnish brand. They often like to feel that they have bought gear that is as good as Rukka, but for a lot less money. The truth is that, for a whole host of reasons, they haven’t. There’s a reason that the Police, all-year-round commuters, despatch riders, Blood Runners and, bizarrely, Deliveroo riders buy Rukka.
In fact, the Deliveroo guys often club together and buy a suit that they rotate amongst two or three colleagues. This way the suit gets used all day, every day. These guys are, presumably, not on much more than minimum wage, so that they put their faith in Rukka tells you something about the brand’s ruggedness. And the fact that they invest their hard-earned cash in their gear shows that, in the long term, it actually stacks up when it comes to value for money.
We sell a lot of Rukka. It works. People talk about issues of reliability and things like zips breaking, but you have to understand that your average Rukka suit sees more action in three months than most jackets see in 24. Rukka gear gets puts through its paces like few other brands. And this can cause stuff to wear out, but nothing is immune to wear and tear. And Rukka’s certainly gear gets worn and torn more than that of most brands.
So, as you might expect, we are fans. If somebody in the shop tells us that they ride twelve thousand, fifteen thousand or more miles a year, we will usually tell them that they have to consider Rukka. Likewise if their commute into work, however irregular, takes more than an hour. Or if they do a lot of touring, and often find themselves riding in the rain for four or five hours at a time.
But highly as we regard the Finnish brand, we actually think there is a brand out there that does Rukka better than Rukka. And that brand is the much less well-known German brand, Stadler.
Stadler is a second-generation, family-owned and family-operated business. They run a very conservative set up. They don’t sponsor riders. They don’t appear on Instagram or Facebook. They’re just a bit, well, German. Their sole aim is to produce superior gear, which is probably why every single German Police force wears it. They are incredibly careful about choosing the right kind of retailers to sell their gear too. They won’t supply the big internet-only sellers. They will only work with companies who share their principles, and who believe in their products. Nobody discounts Stadler, because it would be disrespectful. And there’s no need to, because for what you get the price is fair. Across the board, it’s probably a bit less expensive than Rukka, but in most respects the product is superior. The people who tend to go for Stadler choose it because of how it performs. They don’t expect it to be cheap, and they’re not the kind of people who are only interested in a motorcycle jacket or pant if there’s a deal to be had. And that’s good; because there never is!
Historically, we have only offered one jacket and one pair of pants from Stadler. Namely, the Supervent 3 jacket and the 4All Pro pant. Both are three-layer, Gore-Tex Pro pieces. The jacket is probably the safest, most protective, textile jacket on the market. And we feel we can say this partly because the armour performs to a higher level than any armour on the market. The back protector exceeds the values required for Level 2 accreditation by 60%. You also get large swathes of SuperFabric on the elbows and shoulders. This is the most abrasion-resistant material you can use on a motorcycle garment. Rukka used to use it until it became too expensive. The Supervent 3 is also better vented than any Gore-Tex Rukka jacket, with huge vents up the chest and in the back. Importantly, the front vents are backed with uncrushable, 3D piping that forces incoming air around the body. You can also ride with a vented central placket that allows even more air in.
The downside? This is not the world’s most comfortable jacket. And that’s down to the lamination of the membrane, the formidable protectors, and the areas of SuperFabric. Yes, the jacket relaxes fairly quickly to become much more wearable, but it’s no Rukka Nivala. If you are after a supremely comfortable, Gore-Tex Pro laminated jacket go for the Rukka. Any day of the week.
Ironically, perhaps, it’s a different story with the pants. Stadler’s 4All Pro pants are lovely to wear. They are still Gore-Tex Pro. You still get good venting and areas of SuperFabric. But the chassis of the pant is interspersed with areas of stretch. They fit more like a French police rider’s trouser than your average motorcycle pant. Everybody loves them. They are super-comfy, look great and, again, deliver the right level of protection where you need it.
We love this pairing. We have a lot of customers who will go for Rukka because they know the name. They know that other motorcyclists will recognise the quality of their gear. And they are re-assured by having that large “R” on their back.
But the savvy, high-mileage rider who is less concerned about image and more concerned about functionality will often end up in the German gear. To put a Stadler jacket on is to be reassured; you can tell that it is designed to protect and to last. Stadler use only the highest-quality components. They use the best, most waterproof zips, the strongest fabrics, the best armour and so on. And then they back it with a 10 year warranty. And you can’t ask for more than that.
But last year we spent a lot of time on Zoom calls with Mr. Stadler discussing a new-for-2021 jacket that was not intended to replace the Supervent 3, but rather to sit alongside it in the company’s line up. That jacket is the Treasure Pro. And we’re going to tell you all about it.
Stadler, we think, conceived this jacket as some kind of adventure jacket. And we can see what they were trying to do, but this is no adventure jacket. Because we simply cannot buy into an adventure jacket that has a laminated membrane.
Now some would point to Klim, and the fact that they produce so-called adventure jackets with Gore-Tex Pro waterproof membranes. And yes, they do. Jackets like the Kodiak and Badlands. But the reality is that, whatever the market perceives, these are really well-vented, on-road jackets masquerading as off-road jackets. A real adventure jacket will have a removable waterproof membrane. If you’re riding somewhere really hot or if you’re working hard off road, you are going to perspire. And if you are, the last thing you want anywhere near you is a waterproof membrane. Okay, you can put vents in a jacket with a membrane to increase the airflow, but if you want the highest levels of breathability you need to be able to take the waterproof layer out.
And that’s why, in our book, the Treasure Pro is not a proper adventure jacket. What it actually is is an extraordinarily well-vented road jacket. It’s going to look perfectly at home on an adventure bike, and it’s going to be more breathable and better vented than any laminated adventure jacket you’ll ever come across, but this is simply not the jacket you want to wear on the Baja 1000 or if you’re cresting the dunes in Morocco.
So let’s talk through the jacket in detail.
As we’ve said, it’s a 3-layer, Gore-Tex Pro garment. So the first point is that this jacket is about as waterproof as it gets. When you buy a Gore-Tex garment, you know it’s been properly put together because Gore sets down the rules for manufacture and vets every product before it is released into the market. Of course, the Gore-Tex membrane is also right up there both in terms of waterproofing and air permeability or breathability. And as, with this jacket, the membrane is laminated to the outer shell, this is a jacket that won’t wet out however long you’re out in the rain.
The Treasure Pro jacket actually feels less stiff then the Supervent. It feels as though the outer fabric is a little more pliable, and this may indeed be the case, but what cannot be doubted is that the new jacket feels much, much more comfortable to wear. And that can be attributed largely to two main factors. First; nicer and softer armour. Second; the absence of heavy-duty SuperFabric on the shoulders and elbows.
Now, does this mean that the Treasure Pro is not as protective as the Supervent 3 Pro? The answer, I suppose, has to be yes. The Supervent 3 is extraordinarily robust, but it’s not particularly comfortable. The new jacket is more comfortable but, in the margin, a little less protective. Now nobody is going to like the sound of that, but let’s get this into perspective. The new, softer armour in the elbows and shoulders of the Treasure Pro still exceeds Level 2 by 30%. That still makes it more energy absorbing than the armour you’ll find in just about any other jacket on the market. The back protector in the Treasure Pro, however, is still the same one in the Supervent. That is to say that it still exceeds the standard by 60%. It is also still enormous!
The other difference is the SuperFabric. The Treasure Pro doesn’t have it. The Supervent 3 Pro does. Again a trade off. Comfort vs. protection. The Treasure Pro has a secondary layer of Armacor on the shoulders and elbows. Okay, so it’s not quite as abrasion resistant as SuperFabric, but it’s definitely the next best thing; and it’s so much more pliable.
So, where do we stand on this? The Supervent 3 Pro is an extraordinary bit of kit. If you were to tell me that I would definitely come off my bike at speed tomorrow, the Supervent 3 is the suit I would put on in the morning. But if the Supervent 3 Pro didn’t exist then the Treasure Pro would be my next choice. But if I was looking for a highly protective jacket that would also be comfortable and easy to wear in all conditions, then the Treasure Pro would win out over the Supervent. Without question.
But we haven’t yet got to the best part. The Treasure Pro’s most outstanding feature.
Now that sub-head is quite a claim, especially given that Klim’s outfits have more ventilitation zips than your average haberdashery shop. But Stadler has invented a new venting system that will flow more air into a jacket than anybody else’s vents. It’s really clever, which is why Stadler has patented the design.
On the Treasure Pro, you get pretty much the same chest vents as you do on the Supervent. Backed with the same uncrushable 3D piping to force air to circulate around the inside of the garment. You get similar exhaust vents in the back, and in the sleeves. All protected by the best waterproof zips. You also get, as you do with the Supervent 3, a second placket behind the main zip with a mesh insert that allows you to ride with the primary zip undone.
But the trick bit on the Treasure Pro is the venting at the ends of the sleeves and down the flanks. The vents open up to reveal gussets that, in essence, create scoops that will swallow up huge amounts of incoming air. It’s such a simple idea that it seems strange that nobody thought of it before. As you’re riding along, the oncoming air will maximise the opening of the vent. If you’re looking to keep cool in really hot conditions, yet still want the benefits of a laminated membrane, this may well be the jacket for you.
Mr Stadler has done something else with these vents. The scoops are designed so that air will flow into the jacket, but so that the rain won’t. Now this might seem like a strange feature because why would you have the vents open if it is raining? And it’s a fair point, but in some parts of the world it can be warm and wet. It’s just that the U.K. will only very rarely be one of them. We’re much better at the latter.
Of course, what all this does mean is that if the zips are closed there’s not a chance that rain will reach the body. And with lots of laminated jackets you cannot always be sure that that is going to be the case.
So comfort aside, it is these vents that make the Treasure Pro such an extraordinary jacket. Now the rest, as we are frequently wont to say, is detail. But there’s so much pleasing detail with this jacket that we should go through it all, point by point.
As with the Supervent 3, you get volume adjusters at the biceps as well as on the forearms. These allow you to increase or decrease the volume inside the sleeves, dependent upon whether or not you are wearing a mid-layer. The idea is that, in warmer weather when you perhaps only wearing a thin base-layer, you would reduce the sleeves’ volume to prevent the jacket from flapping in the wind.
On this subject, it should be pointed out that the Treasure Pro, in classic Klim style, does not come with a thermal inner. And we approve of this for two reasons. First, most serious riders operating at this end of the market will have their own preferred mid-layering system, meaning that the supplied thermal on many jackets usually gets consigned to the bottom of a drawer. The second reason we approve is that the thermal inners usually provided by Stadler are pretty rubbish. And that’s because, in Germany, it gets so cold in the winter that most people tend to park the bike up and use the car. Personally, we would go with something like Klim’s Maverick down jacket or the Down-X from Rukka. Both are brilliant. If we really wanted to stay warm in the most extreme conditions, of course, we would go with Warm & Safe. It’s far and away the best heated gear, and it’s not bulky.
At the ends of the sleeves, you get zips and Velcro adjusters to enable you to put the cuff of the glove inside the sleeve of the jacket, which is how it should be done. There’s no GTX cuff, and that’s because Mr. Stadler does not approve. They work fine in the winter, but in hot conditions they prevent air from entering the sleeves to cool you down.
On both sides at the hem, you get zipped gussets that you undo when you’re on the bike to help the jacket to splay across the lap. The jacket also comes with a Velcro-adjustable belt at the waist. Frankly, we think all but the very shortest jackets should have a waist belt of some description. We are all different; we all have different waist lines. And the only way to get a good fit for all is to have a certain degree of adjustability at the waist. And that’s exactly what we have with the Treasure Pro.
We have already mentioned that you can ride with the outer placket unzipped to allow more air to pass into the jacket. But what we haven’t mentioned is the neat way the outer placket can be buttoned back on itself to maximise airflow and minimise flapping. It’s a nice touch that reinforces the feeling that Stadler have gone to in order to make this jacket wearable.
In terms of pockets, there’s a small pocket protected by a waterproof zip on the upper part of the sleeve on both arms. Below the waist belt you’ll find two flap pockets, secured by poppers and zips. There’s a mesh pocket at the base at the back of the jacket. It’s not waterproof obviously; it’s designed for drying stuff out rather than for keeping it dry. Inside the jacket, you’ll find two zipped Napoleon pockets.
Although you can’t see it, all the black piping on the jacket is Scotchlite reflective for better visibility at night. Finally, even though it doesn’t come as standard, there’s a popper behind the neck that allows you to wear the optional storm collar.
There is a matching Treasure Pro pant, but we don’t really like it. We won’t be holding it in stock. We will be able to order the pants in for those who cannot live with the fact that the name in the pant is not the same as the name in the jacket. But we have ordered in these pants for customers a few times already, and the customers who ordered them didn’t like them either.
The fact is that we don’t really rate the pants that technically go with the Supervent 3 either. Which is why we only tend to offer the 4All Pro trouser. It is a lovely pant. With lots of stretch panels they are supremely comfortable. They are light in weight and fit quite tight like a riding breach. They are Gore-Tex Pro. They have SuperFabric at the knees. They have large vents with waterproof zips. The will go over any boot, and even come with a removable, thermal inner.
It is the nicest trouser we sell. Everybody loves them. With a highly elasticated waist, they allow for a good deal expansion or contraction. And they come in short regular or long leg lengths. If you are over seven foot or under four, we can even get them custom made!
These are the pants to have. You don’t want the pants designed for the Treasure Pro. They are not as comfortable. They are not as protective. They may be a bit better vented, but we don’t think that that makes up for their weaknesses.
As is perhaps clear, we love this new jacket; the pants, not so much.
But let us once again be clear about the trade off. The Supervent 3 is, in the margin, more protective. And if that’s your only consideration when you look at motorcycling gear, then it’s quite simple; go for the Supervent.
But the Treasure Pro is more comfortable, both on and off the bike. And there’s a body of evidence that suggests that comfort plays a huge role in active safety. The Treasure Pro jacket is also going to be much better vented, so if you ride to hot places, or are somebody who often gets hot on the bike, then go for the Treasure Pro.
There is, of course, the thermal lining. But we can’t see that being a significant consideration. The one in the Supervent is not up to much, and if you want to stay warm, supply your own mid-layer. That’s the way to go, in our book.
In terms of pricing, the Treasure Pro costs a bit more than the Supervent 3, but that’s because it’s somewhat more complex to manufacture. The price is £1199.00. The Supervent is £1099.00. How does that compare with, say, the best from Rukka? Well, right now the Nivala cost £1,250.00. The Kingsley is £1,400.00. Both of these, however, come with Down-X liners. So the prices are pretty comparable. But we reckon Stadler’s jackets are better made, more reliable and more protective than even the very best Rukka jackets.
They also come with a 10-year warranty, and the ability to have crash repairs effected speedily in Germany, which cannot happen with Rukka because the gear is made in China.
We would make one final observation. The Stadler range of sizes is huge, although understanding the Stadler size chart is not easy. The jacket also comes in different lengths, and if you are not a standard size, we can even do a custom order. This takes time and costs more, but for some people off-the-shelf simply isn’t an option. Which is our way of saying that if you want to go for Stadler, you should consider coming to see us. At that time, we can work out exactly what you need. This is great gear. But it is not cheap. Stadler gives us the option to achieve a near-perfect fit; and honestly that is one of the reasons we love the brand. So if you want to get it right, try and find the time to come and see us in Guildford. In the long run, it will be quicker and easier.
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