Friday 21st of July 2017
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Product Reviews!

 

Connection Race Pack tail bag
Riding Jeans Write Up  
   
   
   

 

Motorcycle Jeans Review

 

 

There are probably 2 ways of thinking when it comes to riding with jeans as to more dedicated protective gear: those that think it’s squidly attire, and those that find it to be "protective enough". As in many things, the truth probably lies somewhere in between, especially if you purchase motorcycle-specific jeans. Keep reading for some impressions of some of the offerings I’ve tried.

Joe Rocket Steel Jeans
Joe Rocket has a reputation of providing apparel with good protection and good styling. Their Steel Jeans offering fits both those molds—extra protection when compared to “department store” jeans but still stylish enough (“normal” enough?) so that you don’t stick out like Valentino Rossi just showed up to your staff meeting wearing full protective gear. Fitment for the Steel Jeans is probably the biggest downside for them. They are very short-waisted, making me feel like I needed to pull them up all the time. The waist size itself was a little on the big side (34 waist felt like a 35), but not enough to be a problem. The aforementioned low-rise fit WAS a problem though—as soon as you assumed the racer crouch common to the modern sportbike, the Steel Jeans definitely felt too short in the waist. Trust me, nobody wants to see what lies below my waist while riding. As far as protection, the Steel Jeans advertise that they are lined with a "steel reinforced nylon" material. Fortunately, I cannot vouch for this material’s abrasion resistance, but anything is better than nothing I suppose. My feeling is that the level of protection is jut above a quality pair of department store jeans, but only just. There’s no armor provided at all for the knees or hips. Overall, the styling of the Steel Jeans is well executed, but the fit and protection level don’t make them worth the $80+ street price.
Shiny side: Styling
Down side: Weird fit, lack of protection
Click Images for Larger Pics

 

 



Icon Standard Pant
Unlike Joe Rocket, somehow Icon has developed a reputation as being the attire of choice for stuntaz and the extended swingarm set. Their flashy helmets and abundant use of skulls on their clothing probably have something to do with that. At the more reserved end of their lineup resides the Standard Pant. There’s no skulls, no flashy colors, no big “ICON” embroidered anywhere. Only a subtle “i” on the hip pockets and “icon” on the 5th pocket. Very few will even notice that you have on motorcycle jeans at all, and if they do it will be because of the extra seams on the legs where the “reinforced aramid knees for abrasion resistance” are sewn in. The fit is spot on, 34 waist fits like a 34, and the REAL plus (for me) is the come in a “Long” length. Most motorcycle pants you can find just have one length, and that ends up being too short for me—I’m certain I cannot be alone in this regard. The protection offered by the reinforced knees is in the same category as the JR Steel Jeans, meaning probably just above the protection offered by normal jeans. This is the only area where the Icon Standard Pant falls short—comfort, style, and fit are top notch. So these are worth the $70 street price in my book. In fact, I’ve been wearing a blue pair I bought 3 years ago so much that I decided to buy a black pair so I would have options. Unfortunately, I’ve found the latest pair to be made from denim that seems to be not quite as heavy as the first pair I bought—hopefully this is just a trait of the black denim and not an indication that Icon has changed suppliers for the denim used altogether.
Shiny side: Fit, styling, availability of “long” lengths
Down side: Lack of protection

Icon jeans after 3 years of use:


Alpinestars Black Label Ergo Painter Denim Pants
Alpinestars, considered the pinnacle of motorcycle clothing for many sport riders, does make a stylish product in their Black Label Ergo Painter Denim Pants. Of the group assembled here, they proclaim themselves to be “motorcycle jeans” the loudest, but still not very loud at that. There’s a nice A* logo on the hip (not a bad thing since that label is worth some street cred), and the armor provided in the knees is somewhat noticeable. The denim is on the thin side, maybe even a bit lighter weight than Levi’s. The addition of actual armor probably counteracts this shortcoming. I really wanted to like these jeans, seriously, because they look good and because they’re Alpinestars. Unfortunately, the fitment lets me down personally. The A* Painter Pants fit fine in the waist—true to size, maybe a little big. However, there’s only one length offered, no “long” sizes as with the Icon Standard Pant. For me, this meant the length was too short. I generally wear a 34x34 in normal jeans, 34x36 if I intend to use the jeans for riding and don’t want the bottom to ride up over my boots. These jeans fit like a 34x34, or maybe even a 34x32. The jeans have removable CE-approved armor in the knees that was perfectly positioned as long as I was standing up. As soon as I assumed the racer crouch, the armor was above my knee and often in an uncomfortable position. Ultimately this relegated the A* pants to the back of the jeans drawer and finally to the classifieds forum of NCS. If you of a slightly shorter stature that I am, these may be the motorcycle jeans for you if you can stomach the $90 street price.
Shiny side: Alpinestars styling, CE armor, fit (if you don’t need long length)
Down side: Lighter weight denim, fit (if you need longer length), no tumble dryer, price



Icon Barrier Jeans (Insulated, discontinued?)
While the jeans above are a great alternative to dedicated riding pants (read: hot) in the summer months, the Icon Barrier Jeans offer something for the winter months. These are insulated with a wind-stop liner, and have the same “reinforced aramid knees for abrasion resistance” as found on the Icon Standard Pant. They have a bit more of a motorcycle jean look in that you can see some seams that you wouldn’t normally expected in a pair of jeans. But still this leans toward the subtle side of Icon’s offering with very few additional styling points that hint at another other than a nice pair of jeans—they look just fine at the office thank you very much. The fit is good, if a bit on the big side in the waist (34 fit like a 35, almost 36). The jeans do not come in “long” sizes, but the length was just sufficient enough to cover my riding boots. As for comfort, these are by far the most comfortable jeans in the group—as long as it’s COLD outside. The wind-stop liner is very soft and feels great, but also very warm. I wear these jeans at temps down to 30F, and my legs never got cold even on longer rides. If the temperatures are going to be above 70F, the Barrier Jeans need to stay at home. They get hot quickly at temps above that. Protection is probably a weak point with the Barrier jeans, but the denim is thick and doubled up in key areas. I say “probably” because luckily I haven’t had to crash test these or any of the jeans discussed. Unfortunately, Icon seems to have discontinued these jeans, but some are still available on closeout at some online retailers. I highly recommend them as part of your winter gear while they last at $90.
Shiny side: Fit, comfort, cold weather warmth
Down side: Protection, winter gear only, discontinued.

Barrier jeans after 2 winters use:

 


Overall, there’s a common theme here…none of the jeans offered hip armor and only one pair had knee armor. So the “extra protection” their fancy liners & heavy denim might offer are really all you get. However, I’ll take that over standard department store jeans any day of the week, especially during the work week where denier fabrics and the like are just out of place. So, call me a squid for wearing jeans if you like, but these aren’t just any jeans—these are motorcycle jeans.

 

Written by RC51crazed (Scott)

 

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Alpinestar Effex Goretex Boots, 15 month Review

 

 

15 months ago, I was in the market for a good street boot that was waterproof, and comfortable. I didn't want, or need the look of a race boot, and wanted something that didn't look to far off from a normal boot.

My only experience with boots prior to these were Icon Super Duty's (crap motorcycle boot, good "hiking" style boot), and a original pair of Setup Vision boots (good street summer boot, but not waterproof).

After looking around for a couple weeks, I walked into Cycle Gear, and found these:



A little pricey at $220 compared to some of the other street boots they had, but I decided to fork out the bucks for them, considering the weather I ride in (anything from temps in the teens, to 100+, rain, snow occasionally, etc).

These boots are awesome. DEFINATELY worth the ~$200 I paid for them. They're plenty warm enough in the winter (even down into the 20's), 100 percent waterproof, and extremely comfortable while (seemingly) still being protective. These boots are even more comfortable than my work boots.

The one issue some people might not like about them is they're a little warm in the summer. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, but if you don't like your feet getting warm, then...

In the 15 months I've had them, I've put around 20k miles on them, and they're holding up pretty good. They're definately showing some wear, but nothing out of the ordinary considering the abuse I put them through. I've used them on a ~1700 mile, 5 day tour, and on the Iron Butt, 1k in 24 hour ride. Both times, I never even thought about them (which is good). I've been in down pours that were so bad, I could barely see 20 feet in front of me, and they've never leaked.

The leather on them is scuffed, and the soles are about half worn out. The velcro however, still works great, as do the zippers. I'd venture to guess that I've got another 15 to 20k miles left on them, before I'll have to replace.

Once these are worn out, I'll most likely replace them with the same thing. They're not the cheapest waterproof/street/touring boot, but they're definately worth the coin.

 

 

 

 

Written by TraGik

 

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Luggage that will fit ANY bike

 

"Connection Race Pack tail bag"

 

Alright. I've tested the bag out a little, and here's my review on it.

As far as soft luggage goes, it simply doesn't get much better than this. On a previous bike, I used Nelson Rigg Silver Streak tail and saddle bags. Loved it, but I wanted something "better" on my current bike.

The Bags Connection Race Pack tail bag is awsome. It's reinforced with a aluminum frame, so it keeps its shape regardless of if the bag is full, or empty. It's expandable from 42, to 60 liters. The material is supposed to be waterproof (haven't tested that yet), but like always, the zippers are not. To make it completely waterproof, they include a dry bag shaped like the bag itself. Together, it looks like it should be 100 percent waterproof.

Compressed down to 42 liters with the included compression straps


Fully expanded to its 60 liter size

 

It comes with mounting straps that are plenty long enough to mount the bike to any bike. If you can't mount this bag to your bike (including those with undertail exhaust), nothing will work on it. It also comes with short straps that go onto your liscense plate bolts to add mounting points if you don't have any.

 

 

Alot (all?) of soft luggage will rest on the body work, and scratch up the paint. The BC bag, doesn't even touch the paint on the bike. One thing that does touch, is the forward mounting straps. BC was nice enough though, to include some clear paint protecting ....sticker?. There's enough material to cover both sides of the tail section, on 2 or 3 bikes. Plenty enough for me. Kind of a pain in the ass to install on the bike, but a lot easier (and cheaper) than having to get your tail repainted.

On one side of the Racepack, there's a small pocket to put misc stuff into. The pocket is big enough to put a couple packs of smokes, cell phone, wallet, and a couple other small things.

 

 

 

On the other side of the bag, there's a access flap, so you can get to whatever is in that side of the bag, or put small stuff into it.

 

 

 

Along with the Racepack, I also ordered the optional tent bag. The tent bag itself, adds probably another 20 liters of space. It's large enough that I can fit both my tent, and sleeping bag in it. The bag itself clips onto the top of the tail bag. How in the world I'm going to get onto the bike with the Racepack expanded, and the tent bag on top of that, I'm not sure yet...I'll worry about that later. :D

 

 

As good as it is, I do have a couple minor complaints...very minor to me. I wish it had another external pocket. A little more room for small stuff would be nice.

Also, It's a pain to hike my leg over the bag to get on and off the bike. But, I'm short...It's hard for me to hike my leg over the bike without any bags on it. So, not really a complaint of the setup, as it is a complaint of my short ass legs.

All in all, it's great. Better than any other soft luggage setup I've ever used or seen. At $240 for the Racepack, and another $40 for the optional tent bag, it's a little pricey compared to other soft luggage, but well worth the money.

Here's a few more pics of the setup on the bike.

 

Written by TraGik


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