"Hot" is an understatement when it comes to the tracks I race at. My gear consists mostly of black, and even though my suit is perforated, I'm usually drenched by the end of the day. For the longest time, I simply wore a sports bra, t-shirt and workout leggings as my undergarments. It wasn't until recently (as in, three weeks ago) that I tried a base layer top to see if I could tell a difference in regards to temperature and comfort. The short answer is, yes -- there was a huge difference.
MotoChic Gear Helps Beat the Heat
Owner of MotoChic Gear Debra Chin teamed up with Aliki Karayan, the owner of VnM Sport gear to produce a unique design for a cooling base layer top. VnM Sport engineers cutting-edge base layers (tops and bottoms) for motorcyclists. However, these tops are great for anyone who enjoys active sports such as running, biking, hiking, etc.
What makes the MotoChic Gear base layer tops cutting-edge? The tops are constructed using a "honey comb" woven Italian fabric. This fabric provides better cooling than a lot of other base layer tops out on the market. It also dries quickly: Over eight times faster than cotton and four to six times faster than other brands.
When I put on the top, it felt different, yet quite comfortable. I paired it with my workout leggings and suited up to get my day of practice -- followed by racing -- going. It indeed kept me cooler than my t-shirt, but initially I didn't feel a major difference. But it was still early in the day, and, therefore, I didn't get my normal sweat going.
However, once the day progressed, and the more sessions I was out on track, I noticed how cool I was coming off track. This might sound gross to some, but the sweat that I produced actually helped keep me cool. When I spoke to Aliki, she encouraged me to pour some water all over the top before suiting up. I obliged, doing this before my last race of the day (and the hottest temp) and hallelujah! I grided up on the hot asphalt and could really feel the cool back against my upper body. I've never felt anything like that from a base layer top, and was incredibly relieved from the heat while I waited for the green flag to drop.
What I also liked about the MotoChic Gear top was that you couldn't tell I was sweating. When I wore cotton tops, you could see the sweat bib and underarm stains that come along with it. Actually, even when I wore performance workout tops you could see all that too (it just didn't stain). Even better -- and again, this may seem like a bit TMI -- the top helps to reduce any body odor. A top that keeps you dry and smelling fresh? That's a win for me.
Additional Features and Specs
The top is durable and abrasion resistant, which is great because you don't want to also ruin your suit and under suit when you crash. Additionally, the top was designed in consult with a physiotherapist. This means that the fabric also provides compression features, which helps to reduce arm pump and muscle soreness after a day of riding through the twisties or racing.
Sure enough, after wearing this top for the entire day on Saturday, my upper body felt wonderful. I occasionally suffer from my wrists being sore or arms being a bit tender, but, fortunately, I didn't feel any of that the next day.
When it comes to comfort, the top is designed with soft mesh paneling under the arms and down the back.The mesh also helps with flexibility. As I mentioned, once on, the top feels different, but in a good way. The fabric is very unique; I've never felt anything like it.
The collar is constructed to prevent chafing and protect your upper body from the sun. Speaking of sun, the fabric is SPF 50+ rated, so no need to put on sunblock before going out on your bike or walking around in the pits. Once on, the MotoChic Gear base layer top feels snug, which it's how it's supposed to fit in order to get the most out of all of the features.
I personally think it's flattering -- on both men and women. Don't we look très chic? The top looks seamless on, and the Stay Put silicone gripper prevents the top from bunching and riding up. Another thing I like about the fit and fabric is that it's incredibly easy to peel off your leathers. Other types of undergarments made it a lot harder to get your suit off.
Colors and Price
These base layer tops come in MotoChic Red, Yamaha Blue, Kawasaki Green or KTM/Harley Orange. Since these are made to order, there is a 5 – 6 week production time. The price is $135 and MotoChic gear offers them for both men and women.
Photos taken by Max Klein of Oxymoron Photography
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