armor

Replacement Knee Armor Revised

seeflex-family.jpg

Awhile back, I had a post about replacement knee armor options. And at the time, Forcefield still made an option that is now discontinued. 

dainese_new_drake_air_womens.jpg

So here are some new recommendations, no matter what brand of pants you wear. A lot of knee replacement armor options also double as elbows, it just depends on the size/length/shape you're looking for. 

Above is the Seeflex family from REV'IT ($39-$44/pair). I like the RV14 and RV12 options on the far right for pants with really long armor pockets. A good example of this is Dainese. 

Their stock knee protector pockets are long, for their older knee guards. I find them to be too stiff, and lacking in shock absorption. The awesome thing about Seeflex is the entire piece of a shock absorber. This is far more comfortable to crash on and they're more ventilated as well. Additionally, they're CE Level 2, not Level 1 like the Dainese knee guards.  More flexibility, protection, ventilation and comfort. Well worth the upgrade.

Keep in mind the shape of Seeflex is deeper, so the space in your pant needs to accommodate a deeper knee space. They also wrap around your knees more which is great for me because I have skinny knees. 

Rukka D3O Air Knee

Rukka D3O Air Knee

What's challenging about Seeflex is the width, if you're a woman and you're looking for replacement knee armor your pants may need a narrower piece of armor. RV10 may be too wide, depending on the brand. Keep in mind that RV12 is for exceptionally long knee armor pockets and won't work in most pants. 

Another option for Dainese pants that I also recommend is the Rukka D3O Air Knee Protectors ($39/pair). Thee are also CE Level 2, but it's a flatter piece so if you need a wider piece over your knee vs a more cupped/fitted piece (for smaller knees/pants) then you'll love this option from Rukka. 

Also great to match the length of Dainese knee pockets, super soft, flexible and ventilated. 

Here are a couple other options to consider; I like these because they're softer to begin with. They don't need time to warm up to your body. And, they're great options if you have smaller pockets: 

Armor should always fit so comfortably that you don't know it's there. If it's bugging you, it's usually because the gear isn't fitting you right (incorrect size/fitment/etc.) or it's cheap/fake armor that isn't molecular in nature (soft like these that harden on impact). 

If you need help figuring thiings out for your body/gear, please send me a message. 

 

 

Replacement Knee Armor

forcefield_net_replacement_armor-e1458261284553.jpg

UPDATE: This Forcefield armor is discontinued. 

The other day I posted about Dainese Knee Armor that I think works well as hip armor. This time around I want to show you some killer knee protectors that you might want to upgrade with asap.

The yellow armor above is made by Forcefield. The "Net Replacement Armor" as it's called is soft, pliable and molded. It also meets the CE Level 2 Standard, which is more than most of the back/shoulder/elbow armor that comes with your gear. I've upgraded the knee armor in my Revit pants to make riding in them more comfortable.I love Forcefield because it's not as vulnerable to cold and it offers Repeat Performance Technology; which means you can use it again even if you crash on it. The Net Armor is also vented and super smushy. It hardens on impact much like a competing technology called d3o. As much as I like d3o, I prefer the shapes that Forcefield has to offer since it molds better to my petite frame.

dainese_newdrake_womens_used 4 (1)
dainese_newdrake_womens_used 4 (1)

Many of you might have Dainese riding pants, either textiles or leathers. I want to recommend this form of d3o armor from a company called Rukka (Finland). The d3o Air Knee Pads are about the same height as Dainese knee protectors but offer a full length shock absorption which the hard shell Dainese does not. The width is about the same as well.

I've recommended these to many of my customers and highly highly recommend them to upgrade any of your Dainese pants (mens and ladies). Also, these would work really well in dirt / adventure pants that might have really long pockets in the knees. The coverage is longer than the other knee armor options as well!

rukka_replacement_d3o_knee_armor
rukka_replacement_d3o_knee_armor

Idea for thin, lightweight hip armor

dainese_proshape_knee.png

I prefer having knee AND hip armor in my riding pants, always. Most hip protectors are rather thick and uncomfortable. But Dainese created 2 products that I think work really well as hip protectors.  One of which is clearly designed by Dainese as a Hip Protector (pictured above). They're smaller, about 3in wide by 5in tall and designed to fit specifically into their riding jean models that offer hip protector pockets.

But the other armor they make with the same lightweight, strong material are Dainese Pro Shape Knee Protectors for their riding jeans:

dainese_proshape_knee

Both of these protectors are CE Certified and are Level 1. I put the knee protectors in my Gear 2's hip armor pockets! They're comfortable, light and I don't even know they're there.  Each pair costs less than $40, definitely a worthy investment.

 

New Rev'it Women's Motorcycle Gear for 2015

revit_marryl_evo_leather_motorcycle_pants  

For Spring 2015, Rev'it is bringing us a lot of new women's gear including a really stylish retro inspired jacket, sport touring textile pants and a follow up to my favorite riding pants that every woman should have in her gear closet. 

Marryl Evo Leather / Textile Pants

$379.99. If you've searched my blog for Rev'it Marryl pants, you know how fantastic their pants look and fit. If not, here are a few pics to get you up to speed:

revit_womens_marryl_gear_leather_pants

dreibelbis_covered_bridge_pa

I haven't seen the Marryl Evos in person, but I'm confident they will have an amazing fit like the Gear 2's I'm wearing above. Wearing mixed textile/leather pants are the best compromise for hot and cool weather. I wear them with every jacket I own regardless of brand/style or color. I think these will look similar to the Gear 2s since they're also a blend of leather and textile but with a sportier, tapered leg so you can wear them in your boots if you choose to. But they're not for a specific kind of bike. They're for anyone who wants an incredible leather pant with protection and function along with a really great fit.

You might be wondering, well are these going to offer enough protection since they have less leather? My answer is yes, because the leather is exactly where you need them for abrasion: down the leg, full back except behind the knees, hip, knees and the rest of the leg. The stretch panels are strategically placed for breathability and comfort.

Something else that may be difficult is the price point. I want to point out that they offer both hip and knee armor. But not just any armor. Tryonic at the Hip, and Seesoft at the Knees.  Really *great* body armor, not just the cheap stuff.

If you've been looking for really great street leathers that fit beautifully regardless of the type of bike you ride, look no further!

Factor 3 Textile Pants

revit_factor3_womens_textile_motorcycle_pants

$229.99. The Factor 3 pants are a lightweight touring textile pant, with a fully integrated waterproof membrane (not removable). They also come with a removable thermal liner making them a great 3 season pant for wet and cold weather. As with almost all Rev'it pants, these are going to be available in short and long sizes! And to give you an idea of what kind of fit these will probably have, these are 2 Rev'it textile pants that I've worn:

revit legacy goretex womens motorcycle suit

I'm hoping the Factors will fit more like a Sand pant, but I've yet to see them in person.

Bellecour Leather Jacket

 

revit_womens_bellecour_leather_jacket

$479.99. The Bellecour is a retro inspired casual leather jacket which will be available in black or brown. I'm loving the off centered zipper in front.

 

Allure Evo Leather Jacket

revit_allure_evo_leather_motorcycle_jacket

$469.99. The Allure Evo leather jacket is the matching top to the Marryl Evo pants above. The last version of this jacket definitely ran a bit slim with longer sleeves. I saw a sample last year and if I recall correctly, it has a nice regular fit. Not too loose not too slim. We should have a few in the Revzilla Boutique before Summer, so if you're in the area, give us a call or check inventory online.

 

Antibes Gloves

Image TBD

$99.99. For a simple short leather glove, the Antibes will be available in black or dark brown. The cuffs are somewhat in the middle, not quite the wrist but not halfway up. A very simple, casual leather glove. Since they don't offer palm sliders and full wrist coverage, I would categorize these as city gloves and not enough protection for highway/touring.

 

Revit's Spring 2015 line will be available to purchase from dealers around April 2015. So hurry on over to Revzilla.com, pick the size you're waiting for and enter your email address in the yellow box. You'll get an email as soon as they're available to order from us.

 

Back Protector Issue

Reader Emily wrote me recently about a back protector issue she's having while riding 2-up. Check out what she had to say along with my reply:

Hi there, I live in Berkeley (I know you've decamped to Philly) and my b/f and I ride a BMW 1200GS Adventure with me on the back. We recently upsized from an 800GS. Because I found it hard on my lower back to not have no backrest, when he got the new bike he had a box put on the back with the backrest cushioning installed.

Now I am getting a bruise mid-spine from the top of the box (even though it is cushioned as well). I have a FirstGear Kilimanjaro Air jacket that I've liked but the back armor goes down just to the place where the top of the box hits. I went into the BMW dealer in SF yesterday to try their jackets and found they have the same problem. I am 5'8" and long waisted and BMW jackets for women don't come in long sizes, though their men's apparel does. Kent in the BMW store suggested I try Rev'it because they make better apparel for women then BMW (actually he suggested I start my own company making women's motorcycling appa rel).

However, I note in looking at the Rev'it website that the women's gear also does not come in long sizes. Do you know how long the back armor is in the women's jacket (I wear an 8 in the BMW GS Dry) or do you have any other suggestions? We're taking a two week trip in Montana in September and I've got to have this figured out by then or I will be be super uncomfortable.

-April

I have a couple ideas for you:

 

1) Rev'it Levante Jacket + Seesoft Back Protector

This combination gives you two things including a longer cut in the torso and sleeves as well as a back protector that's fairly long. It shouldn't be taller than your shoulder blades but I think it'll alleviate the issues you're having with the top box. This jacket is one of the only ones that work well for women who are looking for a jacket that's multi season (removable thermal layer with a mesh shell) and have a longer torso fit as well a sleeve length. Unfortunately you have to use Seesoft with the Levante because the pocket is specifically cut out for Seesoft. Alternatively, you could also use D3O instead, you'll just have to trim the sides to fit. To find out more about this jacket, check out my tall co-host's review here.

Keep in mind that all back protector inserts will never be higher than the shoulder blades because it's just too uncomfortable in riding position and the jacket just won't fit right. It would really restrict the driver's ability to fully turn their head from side to side.

revit_womens_levante_jacket_detail revzilla revit_seesoft_back_protector_insert

 

2) External Back Protector

If the previous combination doesn't work, try wearing an external back protector underneath like this one by Spidi. I like this one because it's pretty long but really thin. You can also adjust the waist belt to your height via velcro. I think this would fit perfectly underneath the Levante as well.

spidi_warrior_light_backprotector

 

Something we all need to be reminded of.

colorado department of safety motorcycles

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xNouiE7f4uA

The Colorado Department of Safety (CDOT) released this video showing what the potential is for injury when you aren't wearing any gear. CO doesn't have a helmet law in place, which would certainly help. 

I just wish the end comment by the guy in the video included the rest of his body. 

(video seems graphic, but it's fake)

Motorcycle Gear and Body Armor for Kids

Looking for small body armor options for your kids? It's hard to find gear for them, let alone body armor (except dirt/offroad styles).

Forcefield makes some of the best body armor. They also make a fantastic back protector for women.  To see the full line of products offered by Forcefield, check their website. To order Forcefield products, go to Johnson Leathers' in San Francisco who are the distributors in North America.

Here are a few companies that make a variety of street gear for kids:

Alpinestars - Dirt body armor for kids (they also make a one piece leather suit for kids, but not many stores stock them.  Check out MotoLiberty.com who does.  

Bilt  - Street gear exclusively offered at CycleGear.com

Held - Winter gloves for kids

HJC - CL-Y Youth helmet

Scorpion- EXO-400 Youth helmet 

TaichiMoto.com - Leather and Textile options From RS Taichi 

Vanson Leathers - 2 piece leather suits for kids

I'm sure there are others and I'll update this post as I find more companies that offer street gear for kids.