We potentially really like the Rimo-R. It is a two-layer, Gore-Tex, laminated, adventure suit. It has pretty much all the bells and whistles that a rider might want; with one key exception. It does not come with armour in the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and back. Now, we kind of know why Rukka has done this, but we don’t think this is the right jacket for this type of treatment. Let us explain.
Rukka’s logic is that they think a lot of riders will want to wear separate body armour beneath the Rimo-R. Now it is true that if you are a serious off-road rider, where the risks of coming off and landing on rocks, tree stumps, wooden posts and so on are greater, you might decide take this approach.
This precaution makes perfect sense. Off road, abrasion resistance is less important. What we do need is protection from impacts, and a separately-worn body vest will ensure that the armour always sits tight against the body in exactly the right places. And for the jacket Rukka probably has in mind its own RPS AFT shirt.
But if you are riding in such arduous terrain, building up a sweat, the last thing you want to be wearing is a jacket, or a pant, with a membrane, be it a drop-liner or laminated. Because, such garments don’t breathe well enough to allow you to sweat effectively, whilst the membrane will act as a barrier against the oncoming cooler air we need to help keep us cool.
In such conditions, we probably want to be wearing an outfit with a removable membrane. In the Rukka firmament, that would be the new Trek-R. From Held that would be the Carese Evo. From Halvarssons, that would be the Mora with its matching Malung pant, or the Myrvik paired with the Myrtop trouser. The other option would be something with no waterproof membrane; and here we would be thinking something like the Klim Marrakesh or the Baja S4, where you carry with you a set of Scott waterproofs to go on the outside when it rained. And so we think that Rukka has missed the mark by supplying the Rimo-R without protectors. It is, in essence, the wrong tool for the job.
But the good news is that, when the internal pockets are fitted with the appropriate D3O armour, the Rimo-R stacks up as a very creditable offering. Thus equipped, it becomes a traditional, lightweight, two-layer, laminated, adventure suit very much in the mould of the Klim Carlsbad, their slightly more road-focussed Latitude, or the Halvarssons Sunne.
In other words, an outfit for the adventure bike rider who is going to spend 95% of their time on the black stuff; and even according to BMW, that is 95% of GS owners.
And so, in this review, we are going to concentrate on the merits of the Rimo-R as a traditional, road-oriented, laminated, adventure suit, a role in which, by the way, we think it excels. Let’s talk first about the jacket; before we go on to talk about the pants.
The Rimo-R certainly looks the part. It is a classic, adventure-style jacket. It sits a bit longer. It has two, lower bellows pockets and adjustable waist straps on both sides at the waist.
The main fabric is beautifully soft, with a lovely, almost-peach skin feel to it. Now laminated jackets are traditionally not very nice to wear; a result of the stiffness that results from the laminating of the membrane to the inside of the outer chassis. But there’s no such feeling with the Rimo. In terms of the outer chassis, it is as comfortable as any laminated jacket we have ever come across.
On the elbows, you get extra layers of 500 denier Cordura for added abrasion resistance. Now there are probably more robust jackets on the market, but Rukka is attempting to tread a fine line here. They want the Rimo to be a light and easy to wear jacket that is still going to be comfortable in hotter climes. And you can’t do this if you use the heaviest and thickest materials.
You would expect good venting on an adventure jacket, and in this regard Rukka has pulled all the stops out. You get two large vents on the chest. Vents on the biceps. Vents down the forearms. Full-length vents up the flanks. And an exhaust vent across the back. If this jacket didn’t have a big ‘R’ on the back, you would think it was a Klim!
You also get plenty of provision for storage. Two bellows pockets with zips and velcro flaps. An ID/ credit card pocket on the left sleeve. A large map pocket on the back. And two more Napoleon pockets on the inside.
We’ve already mentioned the adjusters at the waist, but the straps are attached to an elastic band at the back, so the straps are going to work particularly well. But you also get adjusters on the biceps and the forearms. And Velcro adjuster flaps at the hem. You can also use the full-length zips up the flanks as gusset zips so that the jacket will splay a little when you sit on the bike. The vents on the forearms also double as sleeve-end zips to allow gloves to be tucked inside the sleeves.
As with all Rukka jackets, you get lots of detailing. Hi-viz banding. Neoprene in the collar. A storm flap. A lowered back. Stretch panels. A full-length connecting zip. And so on and so forth. That’s all well and good, but you don’t get any thermal, and you get no armour as standard, as we have already explained.
We have no issue with the lack of a thermal component. Most liners supplied with jackets, including many of those with Rukka jackets, are of poor quality. We would always prefer to supply our own layers; perhaps something in Merino, but these days we would usually go for a down jacket, especially if it’s really cold.
The armour we have also discussed, but if you want to fit a full suite of D3O’s Rukka-specific protectors, you’ll be in for another £170. And, by the way, nobody else’s D3O will fit!
So that would bring the cost of the jacket, including armour, up to £770. That doesn’t make this a cheap jacket in anybody’s book, but it’s quite reasonable for a Rukka, given that you get a six-year warranty, the reassurance of Gore-Tex, some of the largest protectors on the market, huge amounts of venting, and so on. You could spend less, but you would be hard pushed to match the Rimo-R’s spec. anywhere for this kind of money.
Okay, so most of what we have said about the jacket applies equally to the pants. They are two-layer laminated, so they will be as waterproof as any trouser you can buy, but by the same token they won’t be appropriate for hardcore, off-road riding.
The basic construction is the same as that of the jacket, with 500 denier reinforcements on the knees and the hips. You get incoming and outgoing vents on the thighs, two upper pockets and two cargo pockets with zips and flaps. An elasticated waist band, with two side adjusters. Reflective branding. A provision for Rukka’s braces. A full-length connecting zip, and so on.
What you do also get is leather in the seat and running down the inside of the legs. But also what Rukka calls their Air Cushion system. Now this provides a little extra comfort when you’re in the saddle; but more importantly the system’s uncrushable, perforated piping makes the pants more breathable, to keep your butt dryer and less sweaty.
Now, as with the jacket, you get no thermal provision, and you get no protectors as standard. The thermal can be taken care of with something Merino or, if you’re looking for more insulation, you might go with Rukka’s own, down-filled Down-X 2.0 pants.
The theory behind the Rimo-R, as we have discussed, is that riders will have the ability to wear separate protectors beneath the pants. So shorts with hip protectors and, for the knees, either knee socks or protectors. The problem is that Rukka doesn’t offer either of these, although plenty of other people do. Because of this approach, Rukka has tailored these pants with a somewhat wider leg. This will accomodate things like knee braces, but given the intended audience the pants will also accomodate the largest off-road or adventure boots. And to this end the Rimo-R pants have zips and storm flaps that run all the way up from the hem to the knee.
The basic In terms of cost, the pants come in at a very reasonable £490; but thats without the armour. Add knees and hips, and you’re up to just under £600. Again, not unreasonable give the quality of the pants and what they deliver.
As we said at the beginning, we like the Rimo-R. For the adventure bike rider, it looks just right. It has all the features you might expect, and it’s supremely comfortable.
But we can only take it seriously as a suit supplied with protectors, in which case the total cost would be around £1350, plus whatever you need in terms of thermals. That seems about right to us. And if a laminated, well-vented adventure suit is what you wanted, the Rimo-R should be on your list. Because it’s the nicest and most comfortable to wear.
But you will need to try it on, and the main reason is because the trousers really are quite baggy and off-road in styling terms. From a functionality perspective they will work fine, but on those of slighter proportions there is a danger that the could look a little Charlie Chaplain!
There is another possible application for this suit, as there was with its predecessor. We’re talking about those who like to commute wearing their protective wear on top of their work clothes. Now, in general, this tends not to work, but if this is the way it has to be then with its highly adjustable jacket and somewhat wider-legged trousers the Rimo-R will work better than most laminated suits.
For more information and to buy online, click Rukka Rimo-R jacket.
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