Wet Weather Gear test 2

wetweather-7529

Suits and boots – will they keep you dry?

You read about the supposedly waterproof gloves in ARR #51. That was the appetiser, this is the main course

Were you surprised that several pairs of gloves weren’t actually waterproof (part 1 of this test)? Well, get ready to be surprised again.
Most of these suits are very different from each other. The Pit Crew outfit is so traditional you’d almost want to buy a Royal Enfield just to have something appropriate to wear it on. The BMW suit is amazingly high-tech with the c-change “fir cone” membrane that actually opens and closes its pores with the weather. The Ixon is a simple oversuit, the only one-piece in this collection, that is included at least partly as a comparison. The Dainese and Dririder suits are very similar in design and construction, but manage to demonstrate that Italians and Australians can take quite different routes to achieve the same thing.

When we announced this test, in essence we asked each distributor to give it their best shot and supply gloves, boots and suits that they thought would work. Well, you’ve seen how the gloves fared in the immediate past issue. Now you can see the results for the boots and suits below! As before, we chose a test period of two and a half minutes. More than that, frankly, seemed unnecessary. So we stood in a bucket to test the boots and we sat on a bike in a car wash and were sprayed with a high pressure hose for the suits. It was interesting.

We have not listed all of the materials in these garments, partly because there are so many and some in effect are identical, but also because we don’t recognise (or even know) all of them. What matters is if they work, right?

And do they?

BMW Comfort Shell jacket
Men’s and women’s sizes; black
RRP $1100, distributed by BMW Australia
Dynatec/c-change membrane
Front closure by two zips
Sleeve closure by Velcro strap
Neck closure by Velcro
Hip adjustable with drawstring
Removable NP shoulder, elbow/forearm and back protectors
2 outside pockets with vertical zips
2 inside pockets
Ventilation zips on front and rear of jacket
Waist zip connects to pants
Comment: Severe-looking high-tech with clever ventilation system
Waterproof: Yes

BMW Comfort Shell pants
Men’s and women’s sizes; black
RRP $750, distributed by BMW Australia
Dynatec/c-change membrane
Zip front
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Removable NP knee/shin and hip protectors
2 outside pockets with zips
Waist zip connects to jacket
Zips and Velcro on lower legs for fitting over boots
Reflective panels
Comment: High-tech and stylish looking
Waterproof: Yes

Dainese Stratojet D-Dry waterproof jacket
Men’s and women’s sizes; black/blue, black/red and black/grey
RRP $599.95, distributed by Monza Imports
Mixture of Cordura and Radiant abrasion-resistant fabrics
Front closure by zip and press studs
Sleeve closure by zip and two sets of adjusting press studs
Neck closure by press stud and two adjustable Velcro straps
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Composite, removable CE shoulder and elbow/forearm protectors
Pocket for accessory back protector
2 outside pockets with flaps and zips
2 outside pockets with vertical zips
One each inside pocket in jacket and liner
Anti-flap adjusters on arms with zip and press studs
Zip-in thermal liner with neck cushion, sanitised to stop bacteria
Reflective panels
Comment: Beautifully made and relatively light, comfortable construction
Waterproof: Yes

Dainese Rochester D-Dry waterproof pants
Men’s and women’s sizes; black
RRP $439.95, distributed by Monza Imports
Cordura abrasion-resistant fabric
Zip front
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Composite, removable CE knee/shin protectors, hip padding
Stretch panels above knees
2 outside pockets with zips
Waist zip connects to some jackets (not Stratojet)
Zip-in sanitised thermal liner
Zips on lower legs for fitting over boots
Comment: Stylish, Italian look
Waterproof: Yes

Dririder Pro Nordic jacket
Men’s sizes only but there is a similar range for women; black/blue, black/red and black/grey
RRP $369.95, distributed by McLeod Accessories
Nylon and Hitena fabric
Front closure by zip, Velcro and press studs
Sleeve closure by Velcro flap
Neck closure by Velcro
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Removable CE shoulder and elbow/forearm protectors
Removable rubber back protector
2 outside pockets with velcro flaps and zips
2 outside pockets with vertical zips
3 inside pockets in jacket, 2 pockets in liner (one each for mobile)
Anti-flap adjusters on arms with double press studs
Ventilation zips on arms and chest
Zip-in thermal liner
Reflective panels
Comment: Strong construction, added sewn-in padding
Waterproof: Yes, but the neck opening is a bit wide and our tester had a trickle of water down his neck. Avoidable if you’re careful and tuck your chin in a bit to keep your helmet over the collar.

Dririder Pro Summit pants
Men’s sizes only, but there is an equivalent women’s range; black
RRP $299.95, distributed by McLeod Accessories
Nylon and Hitena fabric
Zip and Velcro front closure
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Removable CE knee protectors, hip padding
Stretch panels above knees
Reinforced seat area
2 outside pockets with zips
2 ventilation zips on thighs
Waist zip connects to some jackets (not Nordic)
Zip-in thermal liner
Reflective stripes
Zips and Velcro on lower legs for fitting over boots
Comment: Strong construction, good-looking
Waterproof: Yes

Ixon R8.5 Rainsuit
Range of sizes; black
RRP $89.95, distributed by Ficeda Accessories
Polyester/PVC
Front closure by diagonal zip and Velcro
Neck closure by Velcro strap
Sleeve closure elastic
Waist elastic
2 Velcro straps on lower legs to fit over boots, elastic strap to go under boot sole
Inside pocket doubles as bag for suit, with belt to strap on when not wearing
Reflective stripes
Comment: Strong construction, traditional one-piece suit
Waterproof: No. A little water made it past the collar, which you can probably avoid by closing it carefully and keeping your helmet down a little. But the suit also leaked in the crotch. Not much, but any leak in that particular area is going to be unpopular.

Pit Crew Vintage Rally jacket
Various sizes; black
RRP $289, distributed by Motociclo
Oilskin wax-impregnated cotton
Front closure by zip and press studs
Sleeve closure by press stud
Neck closure by  brass buckle
Waist adjustable by belt
Shoulder and elbow padding
Removable dual-density back insert
4 outside pockets with Velcro flaps and press studs
2 inside pockets, one with zip
Comment: Just like dad used to wear
Waterproof: Yes

Pit Crew Oilskin jeans
Various sizes; black
RRP $159, distributed by Motociclo
Oilskin wax-impregnated cotton
Front closure by zip
Belt loops
Three-quarter length cotton Velcro-in insert
Jeans-style pockets
Comment: Relies on jacket for waterproofing at top (pockets open)
Waterproof: Yes

Triumph SympaTex Tiga jacket
Men’s and women’s sizes; black/grey
RRP $549, distributed by Triumph Australia
Hitena water repellent outer fabric
Front closure by zip, press studs and Velcro
Sleeve closure by zip and Velcro
Neck closure by Velcro strap
Waist adjustable with two Velcro straps
Removable CE shoulder and elbow protectors
Removable dual density back insert
2 outside pockets with Velcro flaps and zips
One each inside pocket in jacket and liner (mobile phone pocket)
2 anti-flap adjusters on arms
Ventilation zips on arms and upper chest for Airflow Tech system
Stretch panels on chest
Zip-in thermal liner
Reflective panels
Zip-together facility for trousers
Comment: Clever ventilation, strong construction
Waterproof: Yes

The simple conclusion here seems to be, watch how you fasten the collar and you should be all right with two-piece rain and riding suits. The sole one-piece, on the other hand, seemed to suffer a welding failure.

Boots:
Let’s not forget the footwear. We won’t even go into a great long list of features and so on because they were all very similar. Zip on the side, Velcro flap over that as protection, leather/synthetic outer and waterproof membrane. We’ll just give you the brands, names and prices – and the results.

Falco 404 Mercury,
Ficeda Accessories, $248.95
Waterproof: Yes

Dainese MIG Touring,
Monza Imports, $369.95
Waterproof: Yes

Dririder Interstate,
McLeods Accessories, $179.95
Waterproof: Yes

Triumph Explorer II,
Triumph Australia, $299
Waterproof: Yes

That’s right, all the boots were waterproof. To make sure that they weren’t protected by the overlap of the rainsuits, we put them on and then stood in a bucket (a big bucket) of cold water for two and a half minutes. None of them leaked. Given that the gloves did rather more poorly, we guess it’s harder to make waterproof gloves than boots – which is what you’d expect.
ARR

Distributors:
BMW Australia, 03 9265 4000, www.motorcycles.bmw.com.au
Dainese: Monza Imports, 03 3827 8888, www.monzaimports.com.au
Dririder: McLeods Accessories, 07 3621 9000, www.mcleodaccessories.com.au
Ixon: Ficeda Accessories, www.ficeda.com.au, 02 9757 0061
Pit Crew: Motociclo, 02 9557 7234, www.motociclo.com.au
Triumph Australia, 03 9381 9764, www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au

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