British Motorcycle Gear Review

Belstaff Mercury jacket, Pioneer pants and Rapido gloves

The first ride of the season is often a bitter sweet affair. Navigating the bike into the garage as the sun sets with your frigid fingers struggling to work the clutch while you shiver and struggle to see through your visor as it fogs up – this is a character building affair that need not be. My first ride of this season exposed me to some new duds from British Motorcycle Gear which not only surpassed my expectations, they allowed me to ride further and longer without suffering the indignities of Mother Nature.

Belstaff Mercury Jacket

The red Mercury Jacket offers high tenacity nylon with a Teflon coating for resistance to weather and dirt accumulation from the road. The Microskin membrane is not only waterproof, but is breathable so that you won’t be dripping with sweat the moment the sun starts shining.

I stayed warm and dry thanks to the Thermolite quilted liner, which is also detachable for riding in more favorable conditions. The front zipper is reinforced with the addition of a double storm flap consisting of buttons and Velcro to ensure that the rain stays out. Not only does the Mercury Jacket keep the rider warm and dry, but it also provides additional safety through the Knox CE approved shoulder and elbow armour.

Regardless of which four available colors you choose (red, blue, gunmetal grey or gold), the reflective trim and shoulder panels will ensure that you will be highly visible during poor weather or night time conditions. Additional 3M Scotchlite reflective piping and reflective Belstaff logos on the front, back and sides mean that visibility will never be an issue.

The only issue I really have with the jacket is the lack of exterior storage pockets. Aside from the two hand-warming pockets on the side, there is little room to store items you wish to have readily available like sunglasses, a Blackberry or maps.

This highly versatile jacket offers adjustability in the biceps, forearms and waist in addition to ventilation zips on the front and rear. Adding to the comfort of this multipurpose jacket is the high neck Neoprene collar, which repels water and is soft against the skin.

There are many small additions that make a big difference while out on the road, proving that this jacket was designed by those who actually ride motorcycles. The elasticized waist and rear length of the jacket, for instance,  keep it secure and snug, preventing it from riding up and creating a draft on the lower back. Best of all, the Mercury jacket will keep you warm and dry without the bulk of its competitors.

BMG Pioneer Pants

While chaps can often be a good choice for deflecting the wind in chillier than normal conditions, they certainly don’t help in the rain. Not only will the water spots make you look like you wet your pants, the leather can permanently dye the denim underneath. The BMG Pioneer Pants intend to keep you warm and dry without using a plethora of bulky and uncomfortable layers. Not only that, but unlike your jeans they offer body armour in the knees and seat.

The Pioneer Pants, which boast reflective strips for safety, also consist of Nomex - a fire retardant fabric normally used in racing suits. The Nomex material is used on the inside of the lower legs as a thermal shield against exhaust burn. These guys think of everything! The waist sits higher in the rear, providing good coverage and warmth and the front zipper is backed by waterproof fabric so water won’t seep down your groin. The pants also feature a detachable Thermolite insulated liner and are available in waist sizes 23-46 and inseams from 28-37-inches.

BMG Rapido Gloves

Available in five sizes and two colors (black and red), BMG Rapido gloves feature Grade A semi aniline leather, carbon moulded knuckle, side palm reinforcement, silicone grip on thumb and forefinger, Keprotec reinforcement as well as adjustability in the cuffs and wrists.

Slightly more stiff and cumbersome than my nimble warm-weather gear, the Rapido gauntlet gloves are also far more adjustable and warmer than my summer kit in cool weather. In fact, they were so warm and comfortable, I may even wear them snowmobiling next winter.

The Rapido gloves do offer some venting, which prevents hands from sweating and getting cold but if you want a true cold weather glove, you may want to step up to BMG’s Thermosport line. After a couple rides, they felt as though I had been wearing them for years and their thicker proportions allowed my dexterity and reactions to be both quick and smooth. Not only that, but they look pretty cool too.

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