Protection AND comfort? Yes, please.
I don’t know about you, but the moment I hear “suit” when it comes to motorcycle gear I think one-piece. Not so with the new BMW XRide Suit: it’s two pieces—a jacket and pants—and they're sold separately. This is good news for those of us who are hard to fit, but not so good for those looking for a simple one-piece commuter alternative.
Those of us who have been riding for decades have seen advancements in riding gear technology first-hand and remember notable innovations like DuPont Cordura and D3O armor. This two-piece suit from BMW might just be the next step in that march.
BMW’s XRide Suit is so new that it’s not showing up as available anywhere online yet. I can tell you that, true to the manufacturer’s inclination the past several years, the suit is available in both men’s and women’s sizes right off the bat. This is pretty surprising news for us in the industry (and for those of us who have been struggling to find gear built for a woman’s body for decades). Usually, the men’s gear is released first, and then the women’s gear later, if at all. Bravo, BMW.
BMW touts this suit’s “close fit and striking design,” and they can get a close fit because it incorporates a lot of stretchy material. Stretchy means comfortable. They’re probably not yoga-pants comfortable, but if you’ve ever broken in a high-denier-rated piece of Cordura gear you know that it can feel like you’re wearing cardboard for quite a while. BMW’s focus is on out-of-the-bag comfort with this suit, hopefully with a small or absent breaking-in period.
The website says, “With the XRide and the XRide Pro jacket, the high amount of stretch material ensures you have the greatest freedom of movement; smartly designed details provide the functionality you are looking for, whether you opt for a short or long adventure.” I’m hopeful. It looks like they took the old “simplify, and add lightness” nut to heart. At least the “add lightness” part.
The sleeves have strategically-placed (cow) leather on the outside, and shoulder armor made of plastic and steel mounted on the exterior of the suit, as much for fashion as for function. The designers seem to have engineered out the bulk of a riding suit, putting protection where it’s most often needed while keeping the suit lightweight and comfortable. The pieces of the suit over joints like elbows, shoulders and knees have what BMW refers to as “strap technology,” designing Individual protective pieces to wrap around the rider’s arms and legs, filling in the gaps with material that has comfort and give. Yet more focus on well-placed venting with “3D spacer fabric” to keep airflow along your back. Rain protection comes in the form of an extra outer layer that you can shed in the hot sun.
Unfortunately for us mortals, there’s no word yet on the price of these pieces. The XRide Pro jacket for men (sorry ladies) has white leather on the sleeves and it’s quite fetching, but is a limited edition: only 1500 will be made. Along with the non-Pro version, it will be available in the Spring of 2020, so any minute now, right BMW?
Pictures courtesy BMW