Wednesday, September 8

Cold Weather Touring Motorcycle Gear Guide

Next up in our Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Guide series is Touring Gear. Winter Touring Motorcycle Gear has to meet certain criteria for us to classify it as such. It needs to be able to handle cold extremely well making thermal liners a must. It also has to fend off all elements that Mother Nature rains down; snow, sleet, rain - it all needs to bounce right off. To that end, all this gear needs to have an element of waterproof breathability, be it a membrane bonded to the outershell or a removable liner membrane.

The main differentiating factors between this Touring Gear Guide and our previous ADV Gear Guide lie in application and technologies used. With ADV Touring Gear, you generally see more space-age materials in addition to advanced technical features that are very specific to the application the gear is designed for. ADV Gear is designed for a closer-to-even balance of on-road & off-road riding and therefore needs to be more technically-advanced. The Touring Motorcycle Gear featured in this video will be focused more towards on-road riding with slightly less adventurous, if any at all, off-roading.

That said, we pulled out seven of our favorite Cold Weather Touring outfits and gave a brief breakdown of the application, features and fit of each. We hope this will serve as a guide for all the Sport Touring riders out their looking to keep the rubber side on the road through the coldest months. Without further adieu, our Cold Weather & Winter Touring Motorcycle Gear Guide:

First up in our Winter Touring Motorcycle Gear Guide is the REV'IT! Sand Jacket & REV'IT! Sand Pants. This combo is the best-selling mid-level touring outfit of 2010. Out of all the outfits featured in this video, this very well may be the best at performing in all four seasons. With an impressive venting configuration for hot weather and removable Hydratex waterproof breathable liner and thermal liner, you're covered in cool & cold wet weather as well. Don't miss our part 1, the REV'IT! Sand Jacket & Pant Review, and part 2, the REV'IT! Sand Jacket & Pant Armor & Liner Breakdown, for a more detailed look at this impressive piece of gear.

We know we featured this outfit in our Winter ADV Motorcycle Gear Guide, but it's for good reason that we included the Firstgear TPG Rainier Jacket & Firstgear TPG Escape Pants in this collection as well: performance in all weather conditions, all temperature ranges and all seasons. The TPG Rainier was a standout of last year's Firstgear class, and a year later the TPG Escape pants came up to speed. The fit is articulated, the d3o molecular-level armor is there; it's simply an all-around better pant than the first iteration was. This combo will do a great job of competing with anything else on the market.

As part of REV'IT!'s new teaming with GORE-TEX and as a complement to the REV'IT! Defender GTX featured in our ADV guide, the REV'IT! Legacy GTX Jacket & REV'IT! Legacy GTX Pants pack a mean punch and will be perfectly suited for the rider in the Pacific Northwest. The reasoning? They feature a non-removable GORE-TEX waterproof breathable membrane that is bonded to the outershell. This outfit is the only one in this collection that features GORE-TEX, the ultimate in waterproof breathability. You can stretch this outfit into the warmer temperature zones with the removable thermal liner, but it's going to shine in the cool/cold wet weather. Seattle, Portland, this is for you.

Out of everything in this video, the Olympia AST Jacket & Olympia Ranger 2 Over Pants comprise the outfit most relegated to three-season riding. With fewer venting options than the other six combos in this lineup, the AST Jacket & Ranger 2 Pants will perform extremely well in the cool and cold weather, easily fending off all forms of precipitation. The Thermolite insulated liner jacket can be worn standalone, making it a great destination layer for when you get off the bike. And of course, the thermal liner jacket can be taken out entirely and vents opened up for the warmer times of the year. It's also available in the hi-vis yellow option from Olympia shown in the video.

The REV'IT! Dragon Jacket & REV'IT! Factor Pants are the mid-range offering from REV'IT! for Cold Weather Touring rides. The Dragon features a stylish standalone liner jacket that also contains the Hydratex membrane, the waterproof breathable element of this jacket. Beyond that is a detachable thermal liner that will keep you plenty warm in the winter but when removed, will flow a great amount of air for warmer weather riding. The Factor pants also offer a detachable thermal lining, but the waterproof breathable membrane is bonded to the outershell. Bottom line, this outfit will perform great in all seasons, all temperatures, and all levels of precipitation.

Next up, the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket & Firstgear HT Overpants are a great option for the rider looking for a roomier fit. These Firstgear products feature a box cut which puts them along the lines of a classic American fit as opposed to the European svelte cut that we so often see in Touring gear. The Hypertex bonded membrane in the jacket and the pants provide the waterproofing and breathability in this outfit. The jacket and pants both offer standalone thermal liners that can be worn when you hop off the bike or removed entirely for warmer weather riding. This is another excellent mid-level Winter Touring option from Firstgear.

Finally, the Dainese D-System D-Dry Jacket and Dainese D-System D-Dry Pants take all of the great Italian styling and design that go into their street gear and apply it to an all-season all-weather Touring outfit. With a full DuPont Cordura outer construction and a removable waterproof breathable D-Dry liner system, Dainese created an outfit that will keep you warm, dry and in style no matter what treacherous winter weather gets hurled at you. It's going to shine in the colder, wetter months of the year but also perform very well in the heat with its ample ventilation.

That will wrap up our second Cold Weather Motorcycle Gear Guide. Be sure not to miss all of the installments!


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