One of the things that keeps the world of motorcycling fresh and exciting for motorcycle journalists is the new ways gear companies find to improve our lives. There are always new products that we can’t wait to get our hands on to see how it will improve the motorcycling experience. Here are the products that changed the game in the past year (or so).
Schuberth makes some of the best helmets in the world. We’re huge fans of the touring oriented C3 Pro and all-around street friendly S2. Then one of the world’s few actual superhero’s, Michael Schumaker, decided he wanted a helmet to race in and the SR1 was born. The SR1 pairs Schuberth’s incredible handmade helmet techniques with an unbelievable amount of testing, and the result is an incredibly light, amazingly aerodynamic piece of equipment that wears unlike anything else. The bar has been set.
The Alpinestars Rideout collection was met by very mixed reviews from the motorcycle community, but we at RideApart think it’s a stroke of pure genius. While we prefer to wear the best and safest gear possible, we understand that we all have to take our own journey to get there. Gear for low-speed, around town riding has been available for years in areas with warmer climates, but if you wanted to be warm you had to invest in expensive and heavy motorcycle gear. The Rideout collection is basically what everyone is already wearing in cities like Portland and Seattle, and we think it’s the perfect bridge to reach a new segment of motorcyclists.
Between the Skully HUD helmet and the Bike HUD system, we’re at the crossroads of something that could revolutionize the way we interact with technology on a motorcycle forever. While a lot of people aren’t going to see the need for the additional information or are going to feel like it ruins some of the simplicity they enjoyed about motorcycling; they once felt the same about navigation systems in cars. Neither system is perfect or probably even close, but it’s an exciting time to see what companies can do and to see how they’ll use the feedback given. Look for more in-depth reviews in the near future.
The AGV Pista was designed with the help of Valentino Rossi, and brings a number of revolutionary upgrades over standard shaped helmets. The interior of the helmet itself has been shaped to match Rossi’s head; a technology that, while not currently available, is getting a whole lot closer with 3D printing. The helmet itself has a radical shape, which completely changes the way the helmet handles the wind at speed, and we’re already seeing companies like Shoei moving their helmets in that direction. We can’t wait to see what helmets look like in a few years based on the work that AGV has begun here.
Our first pair of REV’IT denim is finally in and we can now say that someone makes motorcycle denim we would actually wear. It seems crazy that it took this long for someone to combine reinforced panels, high-spec armor, and a pair of pants that are cut straight and without stupid logos or embroidery, but REV’IT has done it and it’s beautiful. Sizes run a little big, so make sure you order from somewhere with a nice return policy and look for more in-depth reviews coming shortly.
A year ago, the only base layers we could find with windstopper in them were my set from Schampa. Today, the major gear manufacturers are finally getting on board and Dainese has come out with a really nice line called the Map Windstopper Shirt and Pants. We’ve worn all the fanciest gear from REI, but none of it is built to stand up to icy wind rushing at your chest at 80 mph. One of these over a t-shirt or cotton thermal and even your regular leather jacket will work down to some surprisingly cold temperatures.
Alpinestars has their Black Shadow and City collection and Dainese has always made fairly nice looking gear, but nothing comes close to the ICON 1000 Collection. They are absolutely crushing the “motorcycle gear that you can look nice in” game. The Akorp is the nicest looking jacket I’ve seen this year and the Elsinore Boots have become my absolute favorite. They’ve hinted that this year’s collection was only the start and we should be excited for what comes next. We can’t wait.
What new items of gear have you purchased in the last gear that changed your motorcycling experience?