Paul Jennison rounds up cool gear that’s good to go riding with
Halvarssons Prime Jacket and Prince Trousers
SRP jacket: £379; pants: £274 www.jofama.se
What is it? Brand-new mix-and-match getup from this well-known Swedish manufacturer
New for 2013, The Prime jacket and Prince trousers from Halvarssons are stand-alone garments that will also work well together as a full suit for year-round use. I suspect these two items are going to prove very popular among ABRs.
The Prime jacket features a Polytex outer shell, which is lightweight, supple and water resistant. It has HI-ART (an abrasion-resistant fabric) panels in the elbows and shoulders for reinforcement and a fixed Dryway+ membrane, which is waterproof and breathable. The Outlast temperature-regulated removable liner completes the deal. There is adjustable CE-approved armour in the elbows and shoulders and provision for CE-approved back armour.
The jacket has front and rear air vents, which give good ventilation, and there are jacket and sleeve width ad- justers for the optimum fifit. There are two largezipped front pockets with storm flflaps and two small chest pockets. There is also a zipped pocket at the back of the jacket, which would hold a folded map, and an internal waterproof pocket.
For optimum road safety there is reflective Cordura on the chest, forearms, shoulders and back, along with reflective stitching and a removable high-vis vest, which covers the chest and shoulders. For extra-cold weather protection there is a removable pre-curved high collar, which fully covers the neck.
There is a full-length zip to attach the jacket to the trousers. The Prince trousers also have a Polytex outer shell, HI-ART reinforcement on the knees, Dryway+ membrane and Outlast temperature-regulated removable liners. There is adjustable CE-approved armour at the knee and hip, air vents for ventilation, width adjustment on the legs and a leather panel on the backside for added abrasion resistance as well as providing better grip on the seat. They also come with clip-on braces to hold your pants up if required.
The suit is comfortable on and off the bike and its weather-resistant properties have proven themselves on several occasions. The protection sits where it will be most effective and should stay in place in the event of a fall.
The jacket is available in sizes 48-66 in either black or black/stone and the trousers come in sizes 48-62 in short and long leg lengths in black only.
What are they? A subtler version of Sidi’s Adventure boot with just as much protection
I’ve had a pair of Sidi Adventure boots for about three years and I, like a lot of ABRs, love them. That’s as long as you can learn to live with the infamous ‘Sidi squeak’ (other squeaky boots are available). This is caused by the external plastic armour rubbing together when you walk. The other thing that may put some riders off is the Adventure’s metal fastening clips; not everyone wants to look like they are an ‘off-roader’.
The new Armada Gore boot is every bit as good as the Adventure without the aggressive styling and squeak. The foot of the Armada looks very similar in construction to the Adventure with a sturdy sole that gives loads of grip; external armour around the heel box for protection and internal toe protection inside the boot. They have a full Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane.
In the arch area above the instep there are very flexible honeycomb elastic panels, which help make the fit very comfortable, and in place of the Adventure’s metal clips there is a subtle inner leg zip system with dual-position closure points, which allows the fit to adapt to any calf. The fit is further enhanced by Velcro stretch panels.
The top of the boot has soft padding to protect the shin, which is ideal for day-long touring. There is an ankle brace system, which is hinged to allow for good up-and-down movement but also protects the ankle laterally to prevent twisting. This is attached to a wraparound leather gaiter, which holds the brace in position by means of Velcro at the top. The brace and gaiter can both be removed if you want a slimmer, lighter boot.
Straight out of the box the Armadas were put to the test in heavy rain for an all-day ride and my feet stayed warm and dry. The fit was correct for my sizing and they were very comfortable from new. The Armada Gore is an ideal year-round touring boot.
‘What is it?’ A handy, lockable storage box that fits behind your bike’s number plate to carry a concealed first-aid kit
If, like me, you like to carry a first aid kit when you’re travelling (and you know some basic skills to go with it) it generally sits inside a pannier and takes up some valuable space that could be used for other vital provisions, like food.
Well this is a good solution that will enable you to carry both. MotoBike Systems has developed a useful heavy-duty plastic locking storage box that mounts behind your number plate and comes with:
A first-aid kit that complies with DIN 13167 for motorcycles
Folding and extendable warning sign with reflective triangle
First-aid information for rider and passenger
EU accident report in 10 languages
Light stick that lasts approximately 12 hours
The most important European emergency numbers including police, ambulance, towing service, and British embassy
It’s easy to fit onto the number plate hanger and your plate goes onto the hinged door. It also reinforces the number plate. As a little bit of a bonus, you could use it to store a spare credit card and cash as it’s lockable, but don’t go shouting about it!
It’s only three centimetres deep so is not at all obtrusive and a really useful way of being prepared all the time.