Thanks for the info, Zygmund. I've always wondered which BMW gear is really worth the $ and haven't taken the plunge yet. Being here in the Pacific Northwest, rain is a big deal. I was thinking Streetguard, so this is good info. How high a temperature would you say each piece is capable of performing well in? We get some pretty extreme heat once we cross into the California Central valley here....
P.S. I've been using BMG pioneer pants and an Olympia Jacket for rain this winter....and they did great. But my commute is only 30 minutes.
Last edited by BluBeast; 05-20-2012 at 11:56 PM. Reason: added note
How are these makes/models of jackets/pants for South Florida summers (think all day riding in sticky nastiness-humid and hot as hell with occasional/heavy showers)? I want to buy something, but I'm one of those people who sweat A LOT. I know technology has come a long way, but I'd hate to drop a grand on a riding suit and not be VERY happy.
Any other recommendations here? So far I see BMW Airshell and Streetguard, and also Firstgear's Kathmandu jacket with their TPG pants.
Thanks in advance.
Got home on Monday and the temp was in the 70's, took the liner out of the jacket and took the RT for a hour spin. When I first took off with the liner out I quickly discovered how much air flows thru the jacket, perfect!
Great jacket for me! I have an Aerostich Darien jacket and pants for the big rides and when I need to keep warm and dry on those early spring, late fall rides.
Personally, I am not really impressed with BMW gear. It is good, but over priced. For example,
I bought the AirFlow jacket and pants last year. The Airflow stuff is great for about 8 of the 12 months I ride, but my zipper failed today. The part of the zipper you hold with your finger and thumb to zip and unzip broke. It looks like a design flaw. I also had trouble with their BMW Tourmaster boots. After a month of walking to and from my parking spot which is only two blocks from my building they fell apart. Although BMW replaced the boots, I got used to wearing SIDI adventure boots . I have been wary of walking/riding in my tour-master boots. The adventure boots offer more protection and hold up better for the same price. I have walked at least 400 blocks in my SIDI boots with not issues. Also, my soles on the SIDI boots are still good after replacing two sets of tires.
I suppose it's like anything else; some good, some not so.
I took the plunge on a Rallye 3 suit. It's insanely expensive (really, all adventure suits are), but it fit right, came with excellent armor, and was immediately comfortable. Those are three huge plusses. Having ridden with the stuff for a while in various weather conditions, I gotta say that it's worth it. I don't mind wearing the thing, and it does what it's supposed to do.
I still say it's ridiculous that a hundred dollars worth of fabric sells for $1,500, but then again, I paid it.
I bought the hi-vis jacket last year, fading a lot gives it character. Dealer I bought it from says Waite another year and return it! Two year warranty from BMW. If a zipper breaks within that period they should fix it so says the dealer
Over all quality of BMW gear in my opinion is OK not great it's the warranty thing that keeps me coming back, broken a few items over the years and it was a over the counter exchange
Got my new BMW tourshell jacket today. I'll be riding my first Saddlesore 1000 to Wyoming Thursday and then down to Colorado next week for the RA rally so I should have a good review of it when I get back. It's looking like I'll get to check the waterproofing Thursday as the forecast stands right now. 1037 miles from Moore OK to Buffalo WY. Hope I don't have to test it the entire way.
I've used a number of different makers' jackets and pants: Tourmaster, BMG, Vanson, Olympia, and Joe Rocket, from summer mesh to heavier winter stuff.
I agree with everyone else's comments here about BMW zippers, but then again, I think all zippers have gone down in quality since the 1970s.
In terms of favorites, I don't have a hands-down favorite, but I will say this of the BMW gear I do have: Hi-Viz mesh jacket and BMW riding jeans (blue, not black). For me, it's the armor that sells it. Alot of the armor in other gear I've had is hard and ends up rubbing my elbows or knees raw. BMW's armor warms with your body temperature, becomes slightly supple and then molds to your body, so it never ends up being uncomfortable. The armor also seems to be a lot more heavier duty than the others I've tried. The riding jeans are made of some heavy duty jeans material, but they still feel relaxed.
I have a Hi-Viz Olympia jacket for winter riding, and it's not cheap either. My biggest complaint about it is that the collar is too high at the closure point and can interfere sometimes with your head with helmet on, or just feel bulky with movement. In that department, Tourmaster has it right because they taper down the collar.
Hope this helps!
2009 R1200RT, affectionately known as "Bullet"
2006 HD Heritage Softail, affectionately known as "Beauregard"
2004 Kawasaki Vulcan (sold in 2005)
I have a BMW Marrakesh jacket and black BMW pants that I bought in the mid 1990's. Other than the red fading and the sleeve zippers catching the mesh liner, the jacket is outstanding. The BMW pants have leather on the inner thigh. Both come with Gortex liners and are great for riding from the mid 30's to around 70 degrees. Never had a zipper quality problem as mentioned by some. Sure have got my money's worth with nearly 15 years of use. The armor in the jacket is excellent. The armor in the pants is heavy and the hip pads cracked and broke several years.
Also have Olympia mesh jacket and pants in light grey color that are excellent for temps above 65 degrees. The quilted waterproof liners can be added for colder weather riding. Both vent well and are comfortable in temps up to 95 degrees. I really like how the jacket fits. The pants are great, but feel bulky and I wish they were more tapered. The jacket armor is great, but the pants armor is not comfortable.
Bought Hein Gericke black mesh riding pants and hated them. The leg zippers gave out on the first trip and my dealer gave me another pair. The same thing happened to the second pair and by then my dealer quit handing the Hein Gericke line and could not help me. I had a seamstress put in new zippers and gave the pants to a new rider from my church. The black pants were vented, but horribly hot in anything over 80 degrees. I will not buy anything black.
Also have used brown leather jacket and pants made by Bates in the 1970's. The leather pants were too hot and were not lined. The jacket was great and I wore it for more than 20 years until it was cut off of me in an ambulance after a disagreement with a Winnebago. I gave the pants to a friend to try and he did not like them either.
Bought a black leather jacket that was very heavy and used it for a while until I got the Marrakesh jacket. Did not like it...cold for winter riding and too hot in the summer.
Bottom line...the BMW gear I have bought has been excellent quality, but not that much better for the extra cost.
R1200RT, K1200RS. Previous K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5
I just got back from an 11-day, 5,400-mile trip to and from Colorado, and spent all day, every day in my Rallye 3 suit in temperatures from 40-110 degrees. Frickin' thing performed flawlessly.
I am less than impressed with the tourshell's ability to be an all season jacket. It's waterproofness is fine and I like the fit, but the vents do almost nothing to move any air. I would also agree the zippers are pretty weak looking. I'm not a big fan of a left handed zipper either. They would be much better if they put a big zipper on like the Darien jackets from Aerostich have.