These hot new clothes protect your hide and enhance your ride, getting you ready for life in the fast lane.
By Bill Heald
Alpinestars Durban Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants
AlpineStars.com • Jacket: $700; Pants: $500
This company started out by making exceptionally good boots, and now it crafts exceptionally advanced gear that covers you from head to toe. Whether you’re a street rider or a dual-sport bush-basher, the Durban riding suit is designed to keep you shielded from the elements while allowing you to move freely, and even haul a ton of essentials in the (approximately) one gazillion pockets. Superb Italian tailoring allows flexibility, high-tech body armor protects, numerous vents adjust the breeze, and Gore-Tex keeps the rain away.
Nolan N103 N-Com Modular Helmet
NolanHelmets.com • $330
How much can you trick out a helmet? With Nolan’s N103, quite a bit. This full-face lid is loaded with such features as a pivoting chin bar you swing up to fully expose your face for eating, conversing, having a smoke, etc. An internal sunscreen pops down with the flip of a switch, so you can ride all day, then retract it when it gets dark, eliminating the need to carry clear and tinted shields. Nolan’s N-Com communication interface plugs right into the helmet for easy cable or Bluetooth intercom with your passenger and other riders, or via phone.
Roadgear CarbonMaxx Summer Gloves
RoadGear.com • $70
It’s a classic conundrum all motorcyclists face: It’s bloody hot outside, but you still need protection in case you depart your machine unexpectedly. These gloves are constructed of stout but comfortable cowhide, and are extensively perforated so they keep your hands cool and dry. Throw in carbonfiber knuckle protection, extra padding in key areas, lots of double-stitching, and excellent workmanship, and you have yourself a superb pair of summer gloves.
Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest
Aerostich.com • $134
Riders need to stay warm when the mercury drops. Excessive bulk limits your movement on a motorcycle, so electric vests (which easily connect to your bike’s battery) provide toasty heat in a light, svelte package. This is a brilliantly executed e-vest in that it’s super simple to set up, houses the cord in an inside pocket when not in use, has a big, illuminated on/off button that’s easy to locate and use when wearing heavy gloves, and provides plenty of watts of warmth. Zip-on sleeves are a $70 option.
Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex Boots
SidiSport.com • $300
Motorcycle boots are one of the most important articles of clothing in terms of protecting your personal real estate from weather and trauma, and some companies have created really complex, race-developed exterior armor to shield your delicate dogs. The problem is, if you ride a cruiser instead of a sport bike, the best boots don’t exactly go with your wardrobe. Sidi totally understands this. Most of the armor in the Canyon Gore-Tex is inside a stylish black biker-style body with a waterproof membrane, and a ratcheted strap system tailors it to your ankle securely.
Frogg Toggs Tekk Toad Rain Suit
FroggToggs.com • $80
As good as many new waterproof riding suits are, there are still riders who prefer wearing leather, a material that (with few exceptions) doesn’t fare well in the rain. This easy to carry, two-piece rain suit can be worn over protective leather gear and uses DriPore technology to keep out the elements, yet lets you breathe. The full-cut suit is easy to put on over your other riding clothes, especially the pants, which have huge zippered leg openings that easily slide over the largest boots. Reflective piping keeps you conspicuous on dark and stormy nights, too.