Thursday, March 31

Warm Weather Sport Textile Motorcycle Gear Guide 2011

In today's edition of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides, we're focusing on the sport segment of riders. We're breaking down what we see as the best of what's available for summer sport riding. All of the gear featured in our Warm Weather Sport Textile Gear Guide will flow a ton of air, be protective, but ultimately the most important factor in these selections is the aggressive style that will match up well with your bike and riding style. We've got a couple picks for the street and stunt rider, some Euro selections for the Ducati and Speed Triple, and one combo that is universally-styled to go with any sport or naked bike.
This is the best of what we see for 2011 summer sport riding.

Check out our Warm Weather Sport Textile Motorcycle Gear Guide:



Our first pick in sport textiles is the brand new 2011 REV'IT! Tarmac Air Jacket paired up with the mainstay REV'IT! Rotor Pants. REV'IT! essentially took their extremely popular REV'IT! Air Jacket, utilized the style of the brand new Tarmac Leather Jacket, and made a wicked hot weather sport riding jacket. Extremely ergonomic in its cut, with CE rated armor in the shoulders and elbows and 600D fabric in impact areas, the Tarmac Air has huge PWRShell mesh panels that are abrasion-resistant and will flow a ton of air. The pants feature the same mesh construction with 500D & 1200D PWRShell textile to protect from abrasion. This combo will work great on a naked bike, a sportbike or even for an aggressive sport touring rider.

Next up in our sport textile picks is the Icon Hooligan 2 Mesh Jacket. Released in Fall 2010, the Hooligan 2 is now available in new graphics and a brand new Icon Hooligan 2 Mil-Spec Mesh Jacket. Absolutely inspired by the aggressive street and stunt riding crowd, the Hooligan 2 is a durable fighter mesh chassis for abrasion resistance and airflow and hot weather performance, but also features a removable full-sleeved quilted thermal liner for the cooler months. With CE rated armor in the shoulders and elbows and an upgradeable dual density back pad in addition to ballistic nylon in abrasion areas, you'll be protected and comfortable. Pair this up with the Icon Hooligan 2 Mesh Overpants for a full summer sport outfit.

The Alpinestars T-Stunt Air Flo Jacket and Alpinestars AST-1 Pants feature a universal style, that will match up well with anything from a Gixxer to a Monster to a VFR and perform extremely well in the hot weather. A 600D polyester construction with abrasion resistant mesh panels throughout, both jacket and pants will keep you cool in the hottest of hot weather. There are compartments in the chest and back for upgraded CE rated protection. One thing to note, though, is that the pants only come stock with foam padding on the knees. We recommend an upgrade to CE rated knee protection. The jacket's seasonality can also be extended thanks to the removable waterproof breathable liner.

Next up is the truly Euro-styled Dainese Shotgun Jacket and Dainese Drake Air Pants, both of which have been standouts in the RevZilla lineup for quite some time now. Available in a multitude of colors, there is a style of Shotgun to match just about any bike. Beyond the protective and airflow elements via 3D mesh, boomerang mesh, Mugello fabric and CE rated armor, what stands out in the Shotgun is the extreme attention paid to ergonomics and comfort. The Drake Airs are some of the bestselling textile pants we've ever carried and will continue to be thanks to their comfort, airflow, protection, and of course, that great Italian style.

Watch our detailed review of the Dainese Shotgun Jacket:



Last up in our mix for 2011 sport textile summer gear is the Icon Overlord Textile Jacket and Icon Overlord Textile Overpants. Loose fitting, comfortable, and designed exclusively for the aggressive street and stunt rider, the Overlord combo puts a big emphasis on that classic Icon style. Available in multiple colors, both jacket and pants are designed with the Icon attack fit for the most aggressive riding scenarios. CE rated armor is found in the shoulders, elbows, and knees and the backpad can be upgraded to the Stryker CE back protector. Extend the seasonality of this jacket thanks to the removable thermal vest liner.

That does it for our best of Sport Textile for Summer 2011. Don't miss all of our Summer Gear Guides as they are released! Also, you can browse our full selection of Summer Motorcycle Gear at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
Warm Weather Adventure Motorcycle Gear Guide
Sport Short Cuff Motorcycle Glove Guide
Short Sport Motorcycle Boot Riding Shoe Guide
Touring and ADV Motorcycle Glove Guide

Wednesday, March 30

Warm Weather Adventure Motorcycle Gear Guide 2011

As part of our ongoing Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides for 2011, we've broken down our top picks for the category of ADV touring and dualsport riding. In this field, the selections were pretty easy for us considering that the criteria for this gear is so specific. Jackets and pants in this category simply have to perform extremely well in the hot weather, be highly protective, and feature technical innovations we don't see on other gear that we carry. To that end, we've limited our picks to the top three hot weather adventure combos that we carry for our Warm Weather Adventure Motorcycle Gear Guide. This is the best of what we see that's available for the 2011 riding season.

Check out our Warm Weather Adventure Motorcycle Gear Guide:



First up in our ADV picks is the standout REV'IT! Defender GTX Jacket and REV'IT! Defender GTX Pants. Released in Fall 2010 as one of the first pieces of gear boasting REV'IT!'s alliance with Gore-Tex, the Defender is absolutely packed with protective, comfort, performance, and straight-up futuristic features. While this gear is designed to perform in four seasons, the ventilation will keep you perfectly cool and comfortable on long distance and adventure rides in the heat of the summer. The Defender has two removable liners, Gore-Tex Performance shell for waterproof breathability and Exkin Air for thermal and warming properties. When removed, the multiple ventilation panels can be opened for a great amount of airflow.

From a protection standpoint, the Defender is packed to the gills. The external shell is 500D Cordura ripstop with 1000D Cordura ripstop and SuperFabric in impact areas. The shoulders, elbows and knees all tout SaS Tec molecular-level armor, a space-age material that is malleable and comfortable against the skin but becomes rigid and intelligently disperses energy in an impact scenario. All of REV'IT!'s standard features are here as well: YKK zippers throughout, reinforced stitching, and spring-loaded snaps. Comfort features like the CoolMax moisture-wicking antimicrobial mesh lining, glove-friendly zipper pulls, and multiple large pockets just add to the already terrific nature of the new Defender GTX combo.

Next up is our absolute value pick of the bunch, that packs in a ton of features and functionality but won't break the bank compared to some of the competition. The Olympia X-Moto Jacket and Olympia X-Moto Pants was released in early 2010 to great acclaim in the ADV community. Utilizing a 500D Cordura exterior with 2000D Cordura in impact areas, the X-Moto has CE rated armor in the shoulders, elbows, knees AND in the back. The jacket features a fully removable waterproof breathable liner and separate Thermolite thermal liner while the pants have a removable waterproof breathable liner pant. Designed for true four season usage, the X-Moto shines in summer once these two liners are removed thanks to the Olympia Mega Vent Panel System.

The X-Moto has huge zip-and-fold mesh-backed panels at the chest, back, arms and legs which all translate to immense airflow when riding is active and conditions are steaming. Adding to the value of this combo is the integrated backpack that includes a 0.5L hydration bladder and drinking tube. The modular nature of this jacket is highlighted by the fact that this backpack is completely removable. The X-Moto packs a ton of large storage pockets for all the cargo you need to tote, 3M Scotchlite reflective piping, neoframe comfort collar, a cool mesh lining, and pants-jacket connection zipper. There is also a ton of adjustability here, at the collar, cuffs, elbows, waist, and the bottom hem, so this outfit will be able to accommodate
riders of all shapes and sizes.

Last up in our Adventure guide is a combo that is 100% geared towards the most sweltering of hot weather conditions. The REV'IT! Turbine Jacket and REV'IT! Turbine Pants are built with mid-Spring to mid-Fall riding in mind, and are designed to flow enormous amounts of air and be highly protective. This is REV'IT!'s bombproof mesh combo as they say. The shell is PWRShell 500D and 750D with 1000D Cordura in the impact areas. The mesh itself is a tightly woven Dynax mesh that will keep the air rushing in but also offers a high degree of abrasion resistance. The armor is upgraded ProLife CE rated protection at the shoulders, elbows and knees with SuperFabric panels in impact areas. The back is upgradeable to SaS Tec back armor as well.

The Turbine Pants are even more versatile than the jacket; in addition to all the hot weather and protective features, they also have a removable Hydratex waterproof breathable membrane and can be combined with any REV'IT! waterproof jacket for multi-season riding. REV'IT! came out with this gear in response to the riders who wanted a combo that would perform well in the hot weather in terms of airflow but offer a lot more in protection than the traditional mesh gear on the market. The Turbine  will continue to be extremely popular in ADV crowd as an exclusive pick for the most demanding summer ADV rides. Also available as the REV'IT! Women's Turbine Jacket and REV'IT! Women's Turbine Pants.

Please don't hesitate to check out the full video reviews that we have for all of this gear on their individual product pages on RevZilla.com. And to see our full range, visit our Extreme Adventure Motorcycle Gear segment.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
REV'IT! Defender GTX Jacket and Pants Review
REV'IT! Defender GTX vs REV'IT! Cayenne Pro
Olympia X-Moto Jacket Pants Review
REV'IT! Turbine Jacket and Pants Review

Tuesday, March 29

Dainese Redgate Gloves Review

If you're looking for a full leather Dainese glove that fits into an aggressive sport and street riding style but don't want to go over the hundred dollar price point, the Dainese Redgate Glove is right up your alley. The Redgate was made to fit into the gap in the Dainese glove line-up between the higher end track gloves like the Dainese Pro Carbon Glove and the more street orientated Dainese RS-2 Glove. The Redgate glove is designed for the rider who is looking for a well-rounded glove for spirited sport riding and the occasional track day. Protection, comfort, styling, and price are the three aspects that really make this glove stand out.

 Check out our Dainese Redgate Glove Review:



The protection the Redgate offers is solid for a leather glove in this price point. This glove has very well padded knuckles with hard carbon-fiber knuckle protectors. The index finger, middle finger, and ring fingers all get nicely padded inserts in the middle of each finger while the pinky finger gets an extra thick piece of leather for protection on the outside of the glove. The bottom outer part of the palm gets an extra piece of thick woven leather to protect the vulnerable outside of the hand in the case of a low side crash and slide. The full gauntlet makes sure that there will be no exposed skin where the glove meets the cuff of the riders jacket.

Another great aspect about this glove is the high amount of comfort. The inside of the glove is incredibility soft and comfortable. The leather is very soft and allows for very easy movement. The Redgate does not have that super aggressive and tight track cut that you find on many of their higher end racing gloves like the Dainese Steel Core Glove. There is a women's Dainese Redgate glove specifically cut to fit a female's hand. You can really tell by the comfort and how these gloves are cut that they are made for more spirited street riding and less aggressive track days.


The styling of the glove is absolutely gorgeous, just like almost all of Dainese's apparel. The black-white-red color scheme stands out especially well. Black-black-black is great for the riders out there who love the color black and the red and white color scheme is the typical Dainese style. Sizing goes from xs-xxl and pricing is set at the 100 dollar mark which means you're getting a good amount of value for an entry model full-cuff leather glove.

Check out our entire motorcycle gloves section at Revzilla.com.

-Fast Freddie

Similar:
Motorcycle Race Gauntlet Glove
REV'IT! Tarmac Glove Review
Teknic Xcelerator Gloves Review
Alpinestars Messenger Drystar Gloves Review

Monday, March 28

Motorcycle Race Suit Guide 2011

As part of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guide series, this segment breaks down our top picks for hitting the tarmac. For our Motorcycle Race Suit Guide, we carved out three categories, based on level of technicality, features and price point, and picked out our top three race suits within each segment. The result is our top nine suits for 2011, broken down by class into mid-range, hardcore, and pro-level. The reasons we picked these suits vary specifically for each one, be it features-to-price ratio, style and technicality, or futuristic technologies.

Check out our Motorcycle Race Suit Guide 2011:



First in our mid-rage suit picks is the Teknic Violator Race Suit, the most inexpensive in the bunch, but a suit that simply offers a ton of bang for the buck as is the usual case for gear from Teknic. The Violator is a premium 1.4mm Brazilian cowhide construction with lightweight stretch Cordura paneling in the inner arms, inner legs and seat for unmatched range of motion while retaining abrasion resistant properties. The CE rated armor is Knox's upgraded V2 Air in the elbows and Flexiform in the knee/shin with the proprietary Teknic Airblade system at the shoulders. The seams are stitched using the TASC safety system and the thorough perf scheme and 3M moisture-wicking antibacterial mesh liner will keep you cool and comfortable. There is a ton
of value in this suit.

Next up is the AGV Sport Monza Race Suit, which offers slick style with advanced features at a reasonable price point. The Monza is a 1.2-1.4mm premium top-grain cowhide chassis with Teramid Kevlar stretch panels inside the arms, in the crotch and down the legs for comfort and mobility. CE rated dual density protectors are found in the shoulders, elbows and knees with a 10mm foam back pad and an aerodynamic GP-style speed hump. At $799, it's almost absurd that AGV Sport was able to use titanium in this suit, but they've done so via the external titanium shoulder sliders. A moisture-wicking removable washable liner, YKK zippers, safety stitching, a neoprene comfort collar, and a huge perf scheme with added zip open vents
round out the features of the Monza.

Last in the first segment of this guide is the Alpinestars Trigger Race Suit. The first thing we should note about the Trigger is that it uses a sport hump rather than a full GP hump to help the track day beginner stay safe in a get-off scenario. Otherwise, the Trigger is a full-grain leather construction with Kevlar stretch panels at the inner arms, groin, and inner legs. Alpinestars CE rated armor is found in the shoulders, elbows and knees, while the back and chest can be upgraded to AStars advanced protectors. The Trigger features YKK autolock zippers on the cuffs and calves, a removable washable liner, and replaceable PU GP-style knee pucks. Accordion stretch panels at the lower back and above the knees ensure full range of movement.
A big value here from AStars.

First up in our hardcore run of suits is the Alpinestars GP Pro Race Suit. Brand new for Fall 2010, the GP Pro is a 1.3mm full grain leather construction with Aramid stretch zones for mobility and air flow. GP-style CE rated armor is found in the shoulders, elbows and knees with external PU sliders atop the suit in the shoulders, knees and elbows. A standout feature of the GP Pro is the huge U-shaped accordion stretch panels at the back which allow for unparalleled movement. There is a GP-style speed hump, replaceable GP knee pucks, YKK autolock zippers and a multi-snap connection system for the Bionic Race Back Protector from Alpinestars. The mesh lining is removable and washable, featuring stretch panels that work with outer
stretch zones for mobility. This is simply an excellent suit for $999.

"If Batman rode a motorcycle, this is the suit he would wear" says Anthony about the brand new REV'IT! Tarmac Race Suit, which for $1149 packs an absurdly solid feature set. X-lite cowhide which is lightweight and strong, dual-compound protectors at the shoulders at elbows with aluminum sliders, ProLife CE rated armor at the shoulders, elbows and knees, a Hydrabag ready aerodynamic and ventilated speed hump, dual-compound GP-style knee pucks, safety stitching throughout, with a double leather seat and a comfort collar and cuffs. The ventilation scheme on this suit is enormous and the moisture-wicking liner is removable and washable. The style of this suit can't go unmentioned as this is one of the sickest styles in a race suit
we've seen in a while.

Last in the mid-range is the Dainese Laguna Seca Pro Race Suit, which is set apart from the competition by the use of D-Skin leather, Dainese's proprietary leather that utilizes a specific tanning process and treatment that gives the leather significantly higher tensile strength and abrasion resistance ratings. CE rated armor is found in the shoulders, elbows and knees with replaceable knee sliders and co-injected aluminum shoulder sliders. The NanoFeel liner is moisture-wicking, antibacterial and removable washable. The GP hump is aerodynamic and ventilated, there is a significant perf scheme in addition to bi-elasticated stretch panels throughout. This suit has been enormously popular at RevZilla.com since its release.

View our Dainese Laguna Seca Pro Race Suit Review:




First up in our pro-level range is the REV'IT! Victory Race Suit, currently worn by Randy De Puniet in MotoGP (albeit with a customized fit). The Victory is also an X-lite cowhide construction with PWRKevlar stretch and PWRShell stretch for mobility and comfort. The external dual-compound aluminum sliders at the shoulders and elbows in addition to the dual-comp knee pucks combine with the ProLife CE rated shoulder, elbow and knee armor for serious protection in a fall. The huge perf scheme combines with the removable AeroCool 3D mesh lining to create a microclimate within the suit for ridiculous levels of comfort on the hot track. The GP-style speed hump is aerodynamic and ventilated for high performance.

Next is the Alpinestars Tech 1-R Race Suit, which dropped in Fall of 2010. The Tech 1-R has 1.3mm premium leather with Aramidic stretch panels on the sleeves and inner legs for mobility. CE rated GP series protectors are found at the shoulders, elbows and knees in addition to PU shoulder and knee sliders, a MotoGP perforated aerodynamic speed hump and replaceable PU knee pucks. The perf scheme is huge, and the U-shape accordion stretch at the back combines with accordion panels at the knees and elbows for unrestrained movement. Internally, the removable mesh liner utilizes 3D mesh at the back for comfort. Finally, there is the multiple snap system for a CE 2 Bionic Back Protector and compartments for Bionic Chest Protectors.

Last up is the Dainese Avro Race Suit, brand new for 2011 and featuring a technology we're witnessing for the first time in the industry. Dainese's Second Skin construction is essentially S1 stretch paneling at the full torso and upper legs with D-Skin leather laminated on top in strategic impact areas. This gives a ridiculous range of motion but also keeps you protected from abrasion. It's next-level, period. CE rated shoulder, elbow, and knee armor combine with co-injected titanium shoulder protectors, replaceable knee pucks and a ventilated GP speed hump for protection and performance. Bi-elasticated panels add to the already-extensive mobility capabilities and the NanoFeel removable washable liner keeps you cool and comfortable. Dainese has
given us a glimpse into the future with the Avro.

Check out all the options out there by visiting our Motorcycle Race Suit section.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
Dainese Avro Race Suit Review
REV'IT! Tarmac Race Suit Review
Alpinestars Tech 1-R Race Suit Review
Alpinestars GP Pro Race Suit Review

Friday, March 25

AFX FX-39 Dual Sport Helmet Review

AFX FX-39 DS Hi-Viz Helmet
AFX Helmets has just taken a good thing and made it even better. They took their AFX FX-37 Dual Sport helmet, listened to the feedback from their customers and upped the ante with their introduction of the AFX FX-39 DS helmet. Everything on AFX's new dual sport helmet got some kind of revision, change, or upgrade over last years FX-37. The end result is the AFX FX-39 is lighter, more aerodynamic, has better visibility, better ventilation, and is a much sleeker looking design then previous versions. AFX has done all this and kept their helmet at an entry-level price point.

Check out our AFX FX-39 DS Helmet Review:



AFX FX-39 DS Strike Helmet
The new FX-39 is built for the dual sport rider who needs a solid all around helmet without the higher price point, technical features, and bling factor that are found on many of the Shoei or Arai dual sport helmets. The new shell of the FX-39 is designed to have much less of a bubble type look and style to it. It looks sharper and the overall appeal of the new helmet is much more attractive and aggressive in style. AFX also improved the aerodynamics of the new shell to reduce the higher speed wind buffeting and noise that many users complained about on the FX-37. The new helmet has much larger ventilation ports and each intake is open/close whereas the FX-37 was always open. AFX got rid of the convex visor to remove the blurriness around the edges of the FX-37 visor; the visor on the FX-39 allows
AFX FX-39 DS Camo Helmet
clearer visibility. The helmet now can accept a pair of MX goggles to be worn under the visor to add versatility to the helmet for off-road use and the new shell design is shaped to allow the goggle strap to stay in place. The FX-39 tips the scales at 3.5lbs for a large, meaning that this new helmet lost about 0.2 pounds from the old model. The new removable inner liner of the helmet is machine washable to help keep the inside of the helmet fresh and clean.

There are also small details in the helmet that just make you feel like you have a better built helmet. Things such as how the visor feels smoother when opening and closing, the roost deflector feels sturdier and stronger, and the new intermediate oval shape is to help fit a wider variety
AFX FX-39 Dual Sport Helmet
of riders. The DOT & ECE 22.05 certification stickers is always a welcome sight.

What's really incredible about this new lid is the fact that prices start below 130 bucks and you're getting a ton of new features on this helmet. The FX-39, bottom line, offers a ton of bang for the buck. There's a ton of new color schemes and graphics to choose from including a Hi-Viz version and sizes go from XS-XXL.

To see our full selection, visit our Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet section. 

Fast Freddie
 

Similar: 
AFX FX-39 Dual Sport Helmet Preview
AFX FX-37 Helmet
Shoei Hornet DS Helmet Review
Icon Variant Speedmetal Review

Thursday, March 24

REV'IT! Rival H2O Boot review

The waterproof boot market is a segment in the motorcycle gear industry that is constantly evolving and improving. Over years REV'IT boots have always found themselves on the top of the waterproof boot market. The REV'IT! Rival H2O Boots, has definitely become a fan favorite as well an office favorite from the RevZilla staff. It's one of the most comfortable, durable, and best looking waterproof boots at its price point. It does lack some of the hi-tech components of the REV'IT! Apache H2O but offers many of the same features for a price point that does not break the bank. This boot is built for the extreme distance rider who plans to put a ton of miles on their bikes at a time and is looking for something that can provide a high level of
protection and comfort. The mid-two hundred dollar price tag
puts this boot in the mid-range of ADV riding boots.

Check out our REV'IT! Rival H2O Boots Review:



What makes this boot unique is the amount of comfort provided. The Skywalk sole is made of differentiated densities of rubber which makes it stiff enough to provide the rider with a high level of ruggedness and comfort. Thanks to the height of the boot and the thermoplastic built into the shin, The boot feels very supportive. The inside liner of the boot is made of a very comfortable and soft moisture-wicking breathable fabric. The comfort level of this boot is really what helps make the Rival H2O such a popular choice.

Being a REV'IT boot, the quality of waterproofing is very well done. The water resistant zipper is backed by a waterproof gaiter and REV'IT! took every precaution to make sure that no water will enter through any of the stitched seams which are always a weak point. There's an impressive Velcro zipper pull to prevent the zipper from becoming undone during longer rides. The beauty of this boot really is in the details. The stitching is beautifully done and the craftsmanship on this boot is high quality.

If black is your favorite color then you're in luck because that's the only color choice. The unisex design is made to be comfortable for both male and female riders and is available in sizes 36-47Euro which is roughly 4.5 to 13US

Check out our entire range of Waterproof Motorcycle Boots at RevZilla.com for more choices.

Fast Freddie

Previously:
2011 Motorcycle Boot Guides
TCX X-Five Plus Gore-Tex Boots Review
Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex Boots Review
Sidi Laguna Gore-Tex Boots Review

Wednesday, March 23

REV'IT! Air Blend Boots Review

What happens when REV'IT! decides they want to make a ventilated boot with a lot of the features found on their waterproof line-up and sell it for a mid-range price point? In steps the REV'IT! Air Blend Boot. The REV'IT! Air Blend Boot is a riding boot designed for the rider looking for a solid three-season riding shoe and for the daily commuter. For a boot priced under two-hundred dollars, the Air Blend is an extremely good value. Unfortunately the lack of waterproofing does hold it back, but this boot is a great buy for dryer climates and the Spring-Summer-Fall seasons in the northeast.

Check out our REV'IT! Air Blend Boots Review:



The Air Blend offers a great combination of ventilation and comfort. This is thanks to a mostly Cordura and suede outer construction. The Cordura mesh is very abrasion resistant and offers some of the best air flow possible. The Air Blend Boot also does come up higher than your typical motorcycle riding boot. This is to give you better protection and support further up on the ankle bone and up to the lower calf. The design of the boot does make it possible for some walking but this is not the most comfortable boot on the market for long periods of walking.


The Air Blend boot also comes with a very strong reinforced toe box with a shifting panel on the top front portion of the shoe. There's an enclosed lace system to help cover the normally exposed laces on the front of the boot. The laces tend to be a point where the shoe can get hooked and tangled on the shifter or break pedal which can be very frustrating for most riders. The lace enclosure is designed to keep the laces neatly tucked out of the way. The inside of the boot is a moisture-wicking liner to help aid in keeping the boot nice and dry when going through tough riding conditions.

The one color scheme the boot is offered in is a mostly grey and black color scheme. Sizing goes from 36-47Euro which translates to 4.5-13US.

To see similar boots, visit our Vented Summer Motorcycle Boots page.

Fast Freddie

Previously:
Shift Kicker Shoes Review
TCX X-Five Plus Gore-Tex Boots Review
Sidi ST Boots Review
2011 Motorcycle Boot Guides

Tuesday, March 22

Touring & Adventure Motorcycle Glove Guide

For this installment of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides, we take a look at our top picks for long-distance all-weather touring, ADV, and dualsport applications. Our top four picks represent what we think are the finest gloves available for Spring/Summer 2011, and each one of them fills its own niche within the category. You'll find a glove that is off-road oriented but can crossover to street applications, a highly protective airflow-friendly glove, and two that are designed to combat all of the elements no matter what time of year and in all riding conditions. All in all, these are our top picks for the ADV and long-distance touring segments for 2011.

Check out our Touring and Adventure Motorcycle Glove Guide:



First up in the lineup is the Klim Adventure Glove, which is geared, as you may have guessed, for primarily off-road riding. It can crossover to street riding, but this glove will really get you through the most rugged of off-roading conditions. Why? Because it utilizes upgrades in protection across the board. Other than the mesh fourchettes that vent a ton of air, the glove is a full Pittards leather construction for abrasion resistance with additional Pittards leather overlays found in the palm, the thumb and at the backhand. The impact protection can be found via the Poron XRD padding, which is a molecular level armor that is soft and comfortable, but becomes rigid on impact and disperses energy. This is our top off-road pick for 2011.

The Held Air Stream Gloves are our top pick for extreme airflow and protection bundled together for warm weather riding. The backhand construction is a high-airflow mesh that combines with perforated leather detailing for abrasion resistance and ventilation.There is vented hard plastic main knuckle armor the backhand is completely lined with Kevlar for additional resistance to abrasion. The palm is Kangaroo leather, which we all know is both tactile and protective, and Superfabric panels at the side of the hand and fingers really boost the safety as these tiny laser-welded ceramic plates offer 14x the abrasion resistance of Kevlar and really help in a slide situation. The Held Air Stream Gloves, our top pick for ventilation and protection for warm weather riding in 2011.

Now we move into the realm of waterproof breathable gloves. Heading the list is the REV'IT! Summit H2O Glove, which we think is going to be a winner all day long this year for a multitude of reasons. The outer shell is goatskin with PWRKevlar stretch fabric for comfort and a hypalon tri-fleece liner that is resistant to extreme temperature changes. The proprietary waterproof breathable Hydratex membrane keeps the elements out and allows the hand to breathe while PU injected finger knuckles, TPU pinky sliders, a dual compound palm slider and a TPR main knuckle protector all keep your hand protected from impact. Protection, comfort, versatility and performance all came into play during the construction of this glove which is also
available as the REV'IT! Womens Summit H2O Glove.

Last up is the only Gore-Tex glove and the one built for the most extreme applications. The brand new for 2011 REV'IT! Phantom GTX Glove is like a Summit on steroids as it bulks up protection and upgrades waterproof breathability. Utilizing a full goatskin construction, the Phantoms use the Gore-Tex X-trafit membrane which is one of their most refined membranes, as it is bonded to the outer shell of the glove meaning it will never come out as you remove your hand. Protection comes from PU injected finger knuckles, TPU pinky sliders, EVA foam inserts at the pinky and thumb, a leather coated hard-shell knuckle and race-derived dual comp palm slider. These are a standout in our 2011 lineup of touring and ADV gloves.

To see the full selection, visit our Summer Motorcycle Gloves and Waterproof Motorcycle Gloves sections.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
Motorcycle Race Gauntlet Glove Guide
Sport Short Cuff Motorcycle Glove Guide
REV'IT! Summit H2O Glove Review
REV'IT! Phantom GTX Glove Review

Monday, March 21

Motorcycle Race Gauntlet Glove Guide

With nearly 50 motorcycle race gloves to choose from at RevZilla, finding the exact choice for your application and level of technicality can be an arduous task. In the hopes of taking the guess work out of this equation, we developed our 2011 Motorcycle Race Gauntlet Glove Guide as part of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides. We broke this down into three tiers, mid-range, hardcore and pro-level and selected our top three picks for each of these echelons of functionality. We don't consider any of these to be entry-level gloves; rather, the first tier is what we think is the minimum degree of performance and protection to get you on the track. Going up from there, as price increases, so does safety, overall functionality, and innovative technologies used in the gloves.

Check out our 2011 Motorcycle Race Gauntlet Glove Guide:



We begin our guide with the mid-range level of race gauntlets. First up is the Shift Vertex Glove, which at the sub-$130 price point is our value pick for the first tier. A full cowhide leather construction with a kevlar inner liner for abrasion resistance, the Vertex provides an excellent amount of protection ventilation and overall comfort. Next up is the Dainese Pro Carbon Glove, brand new for 2011, which made the cut thanks to its upgraded protective elements. A full cowhide shell, the knuckle armor is a composite steel and carbon fiber protector with carbon finger sliders and TPU outer-pinky armor that protects in a low-side situation. Soft inserts in the fingers coupled with excellent ventilation round out the Pro Carbon.

Our top pick for this price range is the Icon Overlord Long Glove, which at the $145 price point offers a ton of bang for the buck. This glove uses the most premium materials of anything in the category, with a premium grade goatskin backhand, a Kangaroo palm, and Pittards Keratan goatskin reinforcements in abrasion areas at the palm. The split knuckle protection is injected TPU with additional vented hard part finger protectors. This is also the only glove in this range that utilizes Kevlar aramid stitching for exceptional tear resistance, in addition to TPU wrist protection and an injection molded wrist plate. Extreme comfort, protection, performance and ventilation from the Icon Overlord.

Next is our hardcore group of gloves, built for the track aficionado who you can't find anywhere but the track on weekends in the season. First up is the Teknic Xcelerator Glove, a standout right around the $160 price point. The backhand is abrasion resistant cowhide while the palm offers tremendous tactility via the Kangaroo leather construction. Kevlar lining at the palm and pinky for abrasion resistance, vented PU finger protectors with a vented PU replaceable Airblade main knuckle protector. The biggest deal with the Xcelerators is the Knox Scaphoid Protection System, which is a dual slider palm system that prevents any injury to the scaphoid bones, something extremely common on the track.

Our next pick in this mix is the brand new for 2011 REV'IT! Tarmac Glove, which boasts a lot of the protective elements seen in the pro-level Jerez glove. A cowhide backhand with a tactile goatskin palm, the Tarmacs use G├╝termann yarn which is a German thread known for its supreme strength. The knuckle and backhand is a dual comp aluminum shell for abrasion nestled in a honeycomb impact protector. Similar protection is found at the base of the palm, while TPU hard part sliders can be found at the middle two fingers in addition to the outside of the pinky for sliding. External stitching, EVA foam reinforcements, and Schoeller-Keprotec anti-wear zones round out the features of this standout new product.

Last in our hardcore range of race gauntlets is the Alpinestars GP Pro Glove which is one of RevZilla's bestselling race gloves. It features a premium full-grain cowhide construction with abrasion resistant Pittards Armor Tan in all crucial zones. PU protectors are found at the main knuckle and across the finger knuckles, while the PU injected wrist panel wraps 180┬║ for a high degree of protection from both abrasion and impact. This is also the first glove we see with the 3rd-4th finger bridge protection that keeps the pinky safe from torsion in any get off scenarios. This is one of our top picks and a favorite from the Alpinestars glove lineup.

Moving in to our top level of gloves, we start off with the REV'IT! Jerez Glove, currently worn by Randy De Puniet in MotoGP. Kangaroo leather, Pittards ArmorTan goatskin, Superfabric panels, 3D air mesh for comfort, dual comp protectors throughout, with strong Kevlar stitching; and that's only some of the features. This is one of our favorite gloves in the lineup. Next is the Held Phantom Glove, a full Kangaroo leather glove that touts GFC shell armor with a Kevlar ceramic polymer matrix coating that protects the knuckles and side of the hand. Stingray skin inserts at the palm are backed by shock-absorbing shell for additional protection. This is our favorite Held race glove.

Last in the mix for 2011 is the Dainese Full Metal Pro Glove, currently being worn by The Doctor himself on the MotoGP circuit. If it's good enough for a nine-time champion like Valentino Rossi, it's probably safe to say that it will adequately protect the most aggressive track day enthusiast and racer. This is the most high tech of anything you've seen in this guide, including titanium and carbon fiber protectors and premium Italian cowhide, Distortion Control on the pinky that seriously reduces the risk of serious injury therein. Kevlar fiber stitching for tear resistance, a PU protector at the palm, solid ventilation, and extreme attention to comfort round out this top-end glove from Dainese.

To browse our full selection, please visit our Motorcycle Race Gloves page.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
Sport Short Cuff Motorcycle Glove Guide
REV'IT! Tarmac Gloves Review
Alpinestars GP Pro Gloves Review
Dainese 2011 Sport Glove Overview

Friday, March 18

Sport Short Cuff Motorcycle Glove Guide

Our next round of 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides brings us to our top picks in motorcycle gloves. We have three total videos, including our top Adventure Glove and Motorcycle Race Gauntlet picks so be sure not to miss those, but in this guide we're focusing on our top picks for aggressive warm weather sport and short cuff motorcycle gloves. The first criterion for this category was airflow and comfort; you can rest assured that all of these gloves will keep you cool and comfortable on all active warm weather rides. Beyond that, these gloves vary in price point, protection, style and overall levels of technicality with the highest-end glove mimicking the safety levels of pro-level racing gloves.

Check out our Sport & Short Cuff Motorcycle Glove Guide:



First up in our mix is the value-priced and high-performance Shift Fury Glove. A fresh design for 2011, the Shift Fury provides significant airflow via the lightweight textile and leather backhand and the vented rubberized finger protectors. A hard part piece of armor protects the knuckles while sitting on its own panel to allow the armor to stay in place while working the controls. The premium leather palm has Clarino reinforcements in all high-wear areas in addition to slight perforation on the inside of the fingers. The Airprene wrist closure provides a snug, comfortable seal against the wrist and, as always with Shift Racing, you see plenty of slick branding native to all their gear.

Our next pick in this mix is the all-time bestselling glove from Alpinestars. The recipient of a redesign for 2011, the Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon Glove retains the same protective elements as its predecessor but has become more streamlined and stylish for this year. This glove is defined by its lightweight leather and mesh construction which flows a ton of air but is also abrasion resistant and durable. The carbon fiber knuckle plate offers significant impact protection while the Clarino reinforced synthetic leather palm gives solid resistance to abrasion. Foam padding and TPR reinforcements bulk up the safety elements of the what is sure to be AStars bestseller for 2011.

The true crossover pick within this mix is the REV'IT! Sand Glove, which is absolutely designed for warm weather dualsport and enduro riding. Adventure riders will be excited to know that this glove can perform in both on and off-road scenarios, with an exceptional degree of ventilation and protection. The backhand is constructed of mesh and PWRShell Stretch fabrics with PU injections providing protection across the main and finger knuckles. The goatskin palm features a second level of reinforcement with additional premium cowhide patches and anti-wear fortification. REV'IT! ADV loyalists will appreciate the attention to detail and enduro performance of the Sand.

One of RevZilla's all-time bestselling gloves, the REV'IT! Monster Gloves offer performance that spans across all realms of warm weather on-road riding. The entirety of the glove is a premium goatskin construction, and it truly is an effortless marriage of good looks and functionality. The Monster has a leather coated carbon fiber hard shell knuckle with PU injections on the fingers for added protection. The goatskin is significantly perforated to help keep the air flowing in hot weather riding conditions. At the palm, Clarino reinforcements complement the abrasion resistance and tactility of the goatskin while Temperfoam padding adds vibration dampening functionality. This is one of our favorites in the mix.

The Alpinestars SP-X Gloves offer a big step forward in protection and performance over the previously mentioned SMX-2 Air Carbons. Lightweight and protective, the SP-X combines full-grain leather with air mesh at the backhand for abrasion-resistance and ventilation. Protection is bulked up with carbon fiber main knuckle and finger knuckle protection, in addition to a carbon fiber slider at the sidehand. The palm is a synthetic suede construction with leather reinforcements that aid in safety and grip. TPR injections and logos can be found in various places around the glove which add style and another level of protection. This is also the first glove we see in the mix with wrist protection via the EVA foam padding.

The top short and sport glove for warm weather riding for 2011 is the Dainese 4 Stroke Glove. Armed with a stainless steel main knuckle and backhand protector and TPU knuckle protectors, the 4 Strokes have a crazy amount of protection for a short cuff glove, including Distortion Control on the outside of the pinky that protects against torsion in a get-off scenario. The 4 Stroke has a cowhide backhand that is perf'd for airflow with a tactile goatskin palm that is reinforced in wear and impact areas. There is also TPU protection on the palm and at the cuff. Elasticated inserts throughout allow uninhibited range of motion for active riding. And of course, this features classic Dainese style that separates it from the pack.

To see everything we've got, visit our Short Cuff Motorcycle Gloves section.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
Alpinestars SMX-2 Air Carbon Gloves Review
Dainese 4 Stroke Gloves Review
Dainese 2011 Sport Glove Overview
Alpinestars Spring 2011 Gear Overview

Thursday, March 17

Dainese Sechura Boots Review

One of our favorite multi-purpose warm weather touring boots for this season is the Dainese Sechura Boot. It's built for touring and also functions extremely well as a commuter boot since it looks so good under a pair of jeans (as you'll see in the video). The only thing that kept it out of our top picks for Touring/Commuting for 2011 is the lack of waterproofing, but ultimately this boot is an awesome choice for warmer weather climates and in Spring-Summer-Fall in the northeast. And of course, it's the classic Dainese style.

Check out our Dainese Sechura Boots Review:



Externally, the Sechura is a premium Italian cowhide construction with D-Stone fabric inserts for exceptional abrasion resistance. D-Stone is a high-tenacity twisted nylon that has some stretch and flex to it for comfort but is extremely resilient against abrasion. Internally, there is ample hard part nylon protection in the ankle area, in addition to a thermoformed heel cup and reinforced toe box. The sole is a Skywalk which is a third-party sole manufacturer that makes extremely technical non-slip yet comfortable soles. All high wear areas are double stitched and the lacing system is covered by a velcro panel that prevents any tangling that could happen when interfacing with the bike.

Inside, a fixed 3D bubble liner is used to ensure utmost comfort in long-distance rides, commutes, and in the heat of the summer. This system permits a layer of air to exist between the foot and the boot via the three-dimensional nature of the material. In turn, a microclimate is created that regulates the temperature inside the boot, effectively keeping the foot cooler in the hot weather and warmer in the cold weather. In this case, it allows a high degree of ventilation to enter the boot and keep you cool and dry. Finally, details like the rubberized shifter panel and inner ankle grip pad and the super-subtle reflective piping round out one of our top touring and commuting boot choices for warm and dry weather.

To see similar boots, visit our Vented Summer Motorcycle Boots page.

-RetroZilla

Previously:
2011 Motorcycle Boot Guide
Motorcycle Touring and Commuting Boot Guide
Short Sport Motorcycle Boot and Riding Shoe Guide
Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex Boots Review

Wednesday, March 16

Short Sport Motorcycle Boot & Riding Shoe Guide

For today's installment of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides, we detail our top picks for short sport boots and motorcycle riding shoes. Since these boots are generally geared towards the city rider and the light motorcyclist, we took some different things into account when whittling down the field of over 60 boots to a mere 6 top picks for 2011. The criteria for this category was that they had to have elements of protection, be extremely comfortable, and look stylish under a pair of jeans walking around the city. Each one of these boots fills a different locus within this overall class, and every one will have a different appeal to different riding styles.

Check out our Short Sport Boot and Motorcycle Riding Shoe Guide:



First up in our mix of Sport Short Boots is the Icon Super Duty 4 Boot. Now onto its fourth iteration, this extremely popular work boot styled option has harkened back to the style of the original of the series. Getting its classic style elements back, the clean lines of the Super Duty 4 couple with solid protective and performance elements to appeal to the city street rider. The high-grip non-slip sole features an axialmetric steel shank for rugged support and an intelligent arch to interface with the footpegs. There are protectors internally at the ankle with reinforcements in the heel cup and the toe box. The ghilley lacing system and ratcheting tightener strap helps to keep the laces away secure. Just a slick, workboot-inspired riding shoe.

Next up is the brand new TCX X-Square Boot that arrives as part of TCX's reinvigoration for 2011. Extreme levels of comfort, airflow and style define this boot as its Air Tech fabric mixed with suede offers ventilation and abrasion resistance. There is significant malleolus protection with a rear heel counter and reinforcements in the shifter area. The wear-resistant non-slip sole combines with the anatomic footbed to provide both grip on the footpegs but also all-day-long comfort if you're walking around town. The lacing system is protected by a velcro panel that keeps them from getting tangled. Amidst TCX Boots new run for 2011, the X-Square is definitely a standout for the Italian-styled do-it-all riding shoe.

If you've got a closet full of sneakers, the Shift Kicker Shoe is definitely going to be your pick for warm weather riding. They seriously embody everything that makes high-top sneakers so popular, but they add legitimate levels of protection, breathability and performance at a reasonable price. At a glance you wouldn't know, but there is hard part protection at the medial and lateral malleolus, a reinforced toe box and heel cup, and a molded PU outsole for durability. The interior is a breathable and moisture-wicking comfort material that'll keep you cool and dry all day long. Lastly, the speed lacing system combined with the ratcheting alloy buckle closure is one of the finest entry systems within this category.

To leave Sidi out of any boot category would be a crime; to that end, our 2011 riding shoe selection from them is the Sidi Slash Riding Boot. Italian style, high levels of ventilation, protective elements and comfort all come together in this boot designed for warm weather riding. The upper is Lorica synthetic leather and vented nylon mesh for high airflow while the Cambrelle lining is moisture-wicking and antimicrobial to keep you cool and dry. Reinforcements are found at the ankle, in addition to an encapsulated heel cup and double stitching in every high-wear area. A non-slip sole and a zip-and-velcro entry system round out the features of the Sidi Slash.

The Alpinestars Ridge Waterproof Boot made the cut for a few reasons. First, it is the only waterproof boot in the mix. It is an extremely stylish premium Italian leather boot that looks great under a pair of jeans and really is an excellent value. It features dual density hard part lateral and medial malleolus protection, toe box and heel cup reinforcement, and the Alpinestars proprietary Drystar waterproof breathable membrane. The removable anatomic footbed features multi-density EVA foam padding for all day comfort. The vulcanized rubber compound sole offers a solid amount of grip and gets its ruggedness from a high modulus shank reinforcement. This boot is also fully CE certified. Great value here from AStars.

Lastly, the most technical boot of all of these is essentially a chopped-down version of a full-on premium race boot. The Dainese Dyno Shoes borrow heavily from the TRQ line of Dainese race boots which translates to an immense amount of protection in a short boot. Featuring TPU protectors at the medial and lateral malleolus, nylon hard part toe box and heel cup, shock absorbing inserts at the heel, a replaceable toe slider, and a high grip shifter panel, the Dyno is about as technical as a short boot can be. Combine this with the airflow that comes from the breathable polyamide upper and the internal microclimate created by the 3D bubble liner, and you've got one of our top picks for 2011 short boots.

Check out our Dainese Dyno Shoe Review:



-RetroZilla

Previously:
Touring and Commuting Motorcycle Boot Guide
2011 Motorcycle Boot Guides
Shift Kicker Shoes Review
Icon Super Duty 4 Boot Review
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