One or two of the CMG faithful might remember Glen Howatt from his brief stint as a CMG test rider in 2012. He’s back this year, testing gear for us. Read on:
For the 2017 riding season I’ll be testing the Olympia Odyssey one-piece suit in lovely high-visibility neon yellow.
The suit piqued my interest, as I had a desire to extend my riding into the shoulder season and have the ability to make the transition from motorcycle rider to white collar worker in the matter of a few zips.
I felt this suit would give me that flexibility, with numerous vents for warmer temperatures and a waterproof, windproof layer. The suit offers a full diagonal front zip and full-height side zip for easy entry, chest vents, full-length arm vents, back vent, waterproof thigh pockets, interior chest pocket, and 3M Scotchlite reflective striping front and rear.
The suit is also equipped with removable CE armour in the elbows, shoulder, back protector. The suit also boasts the EZ Hem system, allowing for a tailored fit, which matches well with the height-adjustable CE knee armour.
To help put things in perspective regarding fit, and without sounding too much like an eHarmony profile, I am 5’10” and a svelte 160 pounds, and wear a 39-40” suit coat with a 30-32” inseam; I went with size Large. I’m thankful I went with Large as there is plenty of room for layering (which I found useful during my initial -10 C run), and yet the suit cinches up tight and doesn’t feel excessive when wearing just jeans and a tee underneath.
As I mentioned, the first ride was a chilly and windy -10 C, and the suit was very windproof. The fully adjustable cuffs allowed me to try my gloves over and under the suit. I felt like the high visibility neon yellow helped me get noticed by the traffic — however it might have been more of a “See that idiot, doesn’t he know it’s winter?” look.
The suit was a little bulky in the seat while riding; however this is an initial impression and I was wearing multiple layers underneath. I suspect this will take some adjusting as I spend some time in it throughout the season.
Another initial observation, which again is something that will likely take some getting used to, is that once the suit is on, there’s no easy way to access the things you left in your jeans, like phone or wallet. A two-way zip on the leg to allow for pocket access might have helped here?
This season promises to be one with plenty of Atlantic Canadian weather, where it is freezing in the morning, raining in the afternoon, and sunny and warm in the evening, which is where I am expecting to see the full benefit of the Olympia Odyssey.
I’m planning at least one extended weekend trip, hopefully some commuting and errands mixed in with an evening or two ride where the ‘Honey Do’ list gets put on the back burner — just your average motorcyclist’s day-to-day usage. After I’ve had the chance to give the suit a good workout, I’ll fill you in on how the Olympia held up.