It’s no secret that Rob likes adventure riding. It’s also no secret that he’s one oversized Englishman. Thankfully, after beating the bushes for a while, we found some kit from Dainese that should work for him.
Last year’s gear was supplied by Icon and although I really liked the design, I was somewhat disappointed by the gear’s short lifespan, with the jacket getting badly faded, fuzzy and anything but waterproof within the year.
For 2013 I’m revisiting an old but pricier favourite, Dainese. The last suit I tested from them was about 10 years ago, and to date it’s been the best fitting motorcycle suit I’ve ever tried.
This year Dainese have the new Teren suit, which is geared toward the adventure touring rider.
Dainese Teren Jacket/Pants
The Teren gear is made with a Cordura shell; it has a water-resistant coating, but it’s not waterproof on it’s own (though I suspect this may be Dainese just being more honest than its competition). You can lighten the jacket and pants by removing the inner waterproof liner and thermal liner. This jacket is aimed at the adventure riding market, where that sort of option might prove attractive – nobody wants to wear any more gear off-roading than they have to.
The jacket features removable EN 1621.1/97 armour in the shoulders and elbows, but surprisingly no back protector. There’s adjustment at the waist and wrist to keep the wind out, and there’s adjustment straps on the neck and sleeves to stop them from flapping in the breeze. To stop you from overheating, there are vents front and back to move air through the garment.
There are four pockets on the front of the jacket; two of them are waterproof. There’s also a pocket on the back of the jacket where you can stow maps. They’ve added some reflectors for safety, and there’s a pocket you can use to install a back protector.
The jacket will cost you about $600, putting it at the higher end of the price spectrum so I’m going to be expecting great things and a long life.
But what about the Teren pants? Naturally, they include a zipper to attach them to the jacket. They also have a handy pair of suspenders that can be zipped off. Or you could leave them on, and look like a post-modern hipster.
Like the Teren jacket, the Teren pants have a Cordura shell with airflow vents and two removable linings, one for warmth and one for waterproofing which may prove a little clunky in everyday use, but I’m game to test the practicality. They are adjustable in the waist and calf for a better fit.
The soft side protectors and removable knee protectors are certified to EN 1621.1/97; like the jacket, the pants have reflectors for night time visibility. They retail for around $400.
AGV AX-8 DS Evo Helmet
In keeping with the adventure riding theme, I’m going with a (Dainese owned) AGV AX-8 DS Evo helmet this year. Just from holding the AX-8 I’m already very impressed – it’s so light it feels like a toy rather than a real helmet and the fit is that soft, snug hug that only comes with the fancier helmets.
This helmet’s brim is removable, like most dual sport helmets for highway use. There are five vents in front to let air in; two side vents and two rear vents let the air back out. The fully removable and washable interior lining features Dry-Lex technology.
The face shield is dual-layer to prevent fogging; it’s also supposed to be scratch-resistant and 100 per cent UV protective. It also comes with four settings: closed, open slightly, open half and open fully, all with a strong detent mechanism that I like (it pisses me off when a visor won’t stay where you put it).
It’s available in three shell sizes, and the shell is a mixture of fiberglass, carbon fibre and Kevlar and will set you back around $400, which is a pretty reasonable price for a good helmet.
Dainese Contact Gloves
Fact: It’s often wet and miserable on the east coast. In fact, you could say that about Canada in general, so I’ve chosen a set of waterproof gloves from Dainese to test this year.
The Dainese Contact gloves have a Gore-Tex lining, and they’re made of goatskin. There are elastic cuffs, tightening straps, and other bits to make them fit better.
There’s no thermal lining, so they shouldn’t be as sweaty as some other gloves (supposedly, these are good for spring and fall use, though).
The manufacturer is bragging up the gloves’ Distortion Control, which is really just a fancy way of saying they’ve installed a bit of plastic to stop your pinky from twisting if you crash.
These gloves cost around $230, which is pretty high for a pair of gloves but I can go for it if they prove to be comfortable AND waterproof.
AXO Dart Pro Boots
I’ve had a bit of trouble finding waterproof boots that fit my 14 oversized feet. I had hoped to be using a pair of the gorgeous Dainese Carroarmoto boots but they sent me the biggest they had and they were just too small. So I swapped out with Zac who will have the Dainese boots in a more sensible size 11 and I’ll be getting the Axo boots that he had lined up, but in a glorious size 14 (and white, which I guess goes with the suit …).
Although they don’t claim any waterproofness they are heavy-duty off-road boots, with four-buckle closure and 3D molded shin and calf plate to handle the bangs and bumps of dirt riding, which I intend to do more of this summer on the project Strom and KLR bikes.
The boots’ CAD-designed lateral and medial support panels are designed to resist side-to-side rotation, but allow the ankle joint to naturally reposition itself to center, instead of just locking your foot into a fixed position.
Supposedly, the plastics used in the boot have been tapered at their edges, to cut down on weight and still keep their strength, and the PU-coated uppers on the boots are supposed to require less time to break in.
The AXO Dart Pro boots cost around $300.
Thanks to Chris Kraus at Revzilla for the help in getting all this set up.
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