Occasionally I’ll receive a shipment of motorcycle gear to review and it immediately becomes evident that the people who created it have never ridden a motorcycle. That’s not the case when you order something from Olympia. It’s apparent straight away that the initial quality is high, but its value increases the more you use it based on how practical and well-designed it is.
I recently ordered an Olympia Dakar 3 suit in Black. It is also available in North Grey or Rockies, which is black, tan and orange. The suit is packed with features and motorcycle-specific considerations. It consists of three layers – the suit, a removable thermal full arm and leg inner lining and a waterproof layer. The Insulex thermal layer is light and compact, so doesn’t feel bulky and is easy to roll up and pack. A small bag included contains the rain jacket and pants. Light, sturdy and waterproof, the outer nylon shell comes in bright, visible colours with reflective accents. The AquaRes laminated rain layer was made to be worn either over or under the main outer shell. If you’re travelling, the top can easily be used as a casual standalone rain jacket once you’ve reached your destination. The storm flap front and adjustable cuffs help to keep the water out while you’re riding and a hood can be rolled out to keep your head and neck dry.
The main suit’s outer layer offers padded protection and abrasion resistance. Constructed of high density 500D and 1000D Codura nylon fabric, it also uses sturdy YKK zippers. Other materials include ballistic airflow mesh panels, a soft neoprene inner collar, mesh lining and removable CE approved Motion Flex armour in the elbows, shoulders and knees. There’s also a removable articulated back protector which you don’t often get at this price point. Even in black, visibility is a consideration through the use of 3M Scotchlite reflective piping and lettering.
The Olympia Dakar 3 suit fits more casually than some of the brands that have a slimmer European silhouette. The Velcro and various straps allow the size to be adjusted up or down based on body type or layers. The level of adjustability is impressive. Depending on the weather, you may wear a different pair of gloves or boots. This suit will accommodate that. Maybe you’ve packed on a few pounds since you last wore the suit. No matter – there’s flexible panels, elastic, stretch-knit and spandex material, zippers, straps, buttons or Velcro in the arms, wrists, waist and legs that modify the suit’s shape and fit. This also helps to ensure that the padding stays in the right place.
The 20 cm (8-in) zipper in the back allows the pants and jacket to be fused together. The outer layer and rain jacket feature a zipper and Velcro, while the inner thermal layer contains straps and magnets to ensure that all of the pieces stay together.
The outer jacket features loops and hooks and drawstrings. Between the jacket and pants, there are 11 pockets to choose from, including a zippered waterproof back pocket and an interior pocket for your smartphone with a hole designed for your headphones to poke through. The only challenge will be remembering which pocket you left your keys in!
I won’t mention the name of the brand, but a certain pair of rain pants I previously owned didn’t take the heat of the exhaust into consideration. After a day of riding in the rain, I discovered that the water repelling material was melted to my jeans and chrome pipes, leaving my leg soaked through. Olympia has thought of that as there is a Nomex heat resistant leg insert. Simple, but smart.
Weather changes and temperature fluctuations can make picking the right gear for a ride challenging.
The adjustability and inclusion of waterproof and thermal liners, the Dakar suit essentially allows you the adaptability of essentially having three suits in one. Without the liner installed, the air flow provided by the mesh panels made it my favourite warm weather riding attire this summer. The suit breaths freely while still offering a great deal of protection. With an MSRP of $499.99 for the jacket and $359.99 for the pants, the Dakar 3 riding suit offers a lot of versatility and value.