BMW Venting Machine Suit
"..a high level of both active and passive safety, to meet the requirements of a functional motorcycle suit for the summer."I suppose the name "Venting Machine Suit" translates into something very technical, cute or otherwise marketable-sounding in German, but let's face it, in English it just sounds kind of silly. The suit itself, is serious business - especially if you do much hot weather riding, like I do. BMW calls the design concept "a high level of both active and passive safety, to meet the requirements of a functional motorcycle suit for the summer." What that means is that "actively," the suit provides a high level of ventilation for cooling, thus reducing rider fatigue and increasing concentration on hot weather rides. "Passively," it is designed with special high-strength materials for greater abrasion resistance than most other hot weather suits, together with full, CE-approved body armor inserts, and a high reflectivity factor for night visibility.
This is one of a very few riding suits I have ever tried that was almost as comfortable when walking around as it was for riding.
Full mesh summer riding suits have been with us for several years now, and are a real blessing for those of us who do a lot of hot weather riding. However, we all know that to get maximum venting, we have to trade off a fair amount of abrasion resistance. The lighter the mesh, and the larger the holes in the mesh, the more air passage we get. But, in turn, we give away a lot of the fabric's ability to hold together on impact and to resist tarmac abrasions. However, as new materials and new designs have come along, these suits have been getting progressively better and better at providing both protection and comfort. Currently, this new BMW suit seems to stand at the top of that learning curve. Though the venting is not quite as comprehensive as, say, a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket, where you'd swear you were wearing nothing more substantial than a wet T-shirt, the BMW suit still offers more than adequate ventilation for high temperatures, yet protects you with a heavier, tighter-knit mesh shell, and larger, more complete armor.
In addition, this has to rank as the most comfortable mesh suit I have ever tried, thanks to BMW's attention to detail. There are special, lightweight stretch panels built into the knees, elbows and seat of the trousers, which allow the suit to move with your body without binding or chafing. There is also a soft, padded lining added to the collar and cuffs, and both the sleeves and the pant legs have zip-open flaps for easier donning and removal of the suit. This is one of a very few riding suits I have ever tried that was almost as comfortable when walking around as it was for riding.
Though the jacket only features two outside pockets (I prefer having four), there are also two zippered inside pockets, and the pants feature a couple pockets -- something rarely found on mesh riding pants. In addition, highly reflective yarn is woven into several panels of the suit, providing additional safety for nighttime riding, or when passing through tunnels. Being a BMW product usually means there are two things you can count on: First, it is probably going to be of the highest-quality materials and workmanship possible and, secondly, it is going to be expensive. The Venting Machine Suit qualifies on both counts. It is probably the best-constructed and most functional hot-weather riding suit I have experienced, and also the most expensive. The jacket cost $399, and the matching pants are an additional $325. Yup - that's a $725 riding suit. But I can tell you this for a fact: I wore the Venting Machine Suit on two tours of the Sonora and Mojave Deserts. A total of 15 days and over 4,000 miles of riding, in temperatures ranging up to 107degrees, and I've never felt more comfortable, or secure. Combined with the fact that the suit appears to be constructed sturdily enough to last me the rest of my lifetime, to me, that makes it worth the price.