While Alpinestars is proud of its racing and fashion lines, lately the company has been making a push to develop groundbreaking touring gear. Motorcycle.com attended the unveiling of Alpinestars’ Fall 2011 product line, where it was clear that the main focus this season was on pushing its latest touring products. All told, however, there are 41 new items across the entire product range. Below, are just the standouts.
Long Range 2 Drystar Jacket and Pants ($499.95/$389.95)
For the BMW GS owners out there, the Long Range 2 Drystar Jacket and Pants has your name written all over it. Built for year-round riding, the 4-in-1 configuration system is perfect for tailoring the jacket for the environment. As the name would suggest, that system is comprised of four layers, an outer shell, thermal layer, and a Drystar waterproof and breathable layer which can pull double duty as its own separate jacket.
Dual coated polyamide fabric main panels are highly wear- and abrasion-resistant, while textured fabric inserts are placed in critical areas for extra abrasion resistance. Alpinestars is constantly working on improving fit and comfort while still providing impact protection, and the latest CE certified Bio Armor has a slimmer profile than armor seen on jackets from just two years ago.
The pants feature the same construction as the jacket and can be worn either as a bib or attached to the jacket via a full-circumference zipper. CE-certified Bio Armor in the knees and padding throughout the thigh area protect against impact. There are a host of pockets, and ventilation panels throughout the jacket and pants for storage and warm riding capabilities.
Lucerne Drystar Jacket ($299.95)
For the more sport-oriented touring rider the Lucerne Drystar Jacket features the same 4-in-1 configuration as the Long Range 2, but without the three-quarter length and in a more fitted look. Brushed polymide with 600-denier polyester fabric reinforcements provide strength and durability, while the slim, lightweight Bio Armor protectors in the elbow and shoulder areas keep the jacket from feeling bulky or uncomfortable. The Lucerne comes with chest and back padding, but Alpinestars also sells a back protector insert and chest guards as an upgrade.
Cape Town Air Drystar Jacket ($299.95)
You probably notice that the Cape Town is bright. Very bright. According to Jeremy Appleton, who heads global Media Services for Alpinestars, Europe has had an increasing demand for high-visibility riding gear. The caveat is that they “don’t want to look like a road worker.” The challenge, then, has been to design riding gear using hi-vis yellow that is also stylish. The usage of hi-vis colors is something that will be seen on a variety of products throughout the Alpinestars collection, but the Cape Town Air Drystar Jacket is by far the most liberal offender. But if this isn’t your style, don’t worry, it’s also available in a non hi-vis version as well.
The “Air” designation means that the Cape Town can be worn in warm climates thanks to extended mesh panels. That also means that it’s lightweight. But thanks to the Drystar membrane the Cape Town is also waterproof and breathable for a true all-weather jacket. Ballistic nylon reinforcements in the elbows and shoulders provide abrasion resistance, while pre-curved sleeves add comfort. The slim and comfortable Bio Armor seen in the jackets above also make its way to the Cape Town.
In the features department, the lightweight and removable Drystar membrane has micro-fleece inserts for cooler weather, D-ring waist adjustment and zippered expansion gussets for a tailored fit, and a host of pockets inside and out to store practically anything you need.
CR-4 Gore-Tex XCR Boot ($199.95)
No, Alpinestars hasn’t broken in to the hiking market. Well, sorta. These are actually riding boots “with a style inspired by technical hiking boots.” For the casual rider or occasional dual-sport rider, the CR-4 boot is right up your alley. Constructed from resilient PU coated leather, supple suede and lightweight textile panels, the CR-4 provides a high level of comfort and durability. Its Gore-Tex XCR membrane allows it to perform over a wide range of conditions because, as Appleton put it, “It’s supremely breathable yet 100% waterproof.”
Rest assured, these boots can pull double duty on a motorcycle or your favorite hiking trail. As far as riding specifics are concerned, there’s foam backed, double-density impact protection for the ankle, with structural reinforcement provided by an internal toe and heel counter layered under the leather. A metal shank in the heel and arch area ensure the boot doesn’t fold up onto itself should your foot get trapped under the motorcycle in a crash. Off the bike, shock absorbing EVA midsoles provide walking comfort, while a mesh-lined, anatomically profiled foam footbed allows the foot to maintain correct posture while walking.
Fastlane Shoe ($119.95)
In case you don’t know, Alpinestars is heavily involved in auto racing, and the Fastlane Shoe is what happens when the two-wheeled and four-wheeled worlds collide. Intended as a casual riding shoe “purposely crafted for the city streets,” the Fastlane may look like a driving shoe, but it has plenty of moto-specific features.
External protectors around the ankle and toe help keep those bits safe, while impact protection to the ankle is provided by foam-backed, double density cups surrounding it. Like the CR-4, a metal shank in the sole helps reduce foot deformation in the event of a crash. The upper profile is constructed from lightweight, durable and abrasion-resistant microfiber with a breathable mesh liner that aids in airflow. Another key feature is the laser-ablated rubber sole that provides an amazing amount of grip on a number of surfaces.
Make no mistake, this isn’t what you want on your feet if you were racing or traveling long distances. But for the short trip across town or to the office, these sure would be a stylish alternative to the classic riding shoe... or sneakers!
Many of these items, along with the rest of the Fall collection, will be coming to your local Alpinestars retailer soon, if they aren’t already there. For more information, visit http://www.alpinestars.com/.