More and more manufacturers are turning away from cow hides and looking towards myriad variations of synthetics -- like nylon, for instance -- to provide their customers with fashionable protection. The folks at Tour Master have been doing this about as long as anybody in the business and have a reputation for making riding suits that are of above-average quality using time-tested designs, both structurally and visually speaking.
They recently sent us the newest addition to their line of products: a three-quarter-length jacket that matches up with a pair of similarly manufactured pants. Both items make use of a number of nice features that you wouldn't normally associate with a suit in this price range.
There are two vents on the chest, two on the arms, two on the back and even a large pocket on the lower back, bicycle jersey style. The Jacket also has removable triple-density armor in the shoulders and elbows along with handy velcro closures for the sleeves and velcro straps along the waist, both of which help to control ventilation and body temperature. Both the collar and sleeve-ends feature a corduroy-type of material where skin contact is frequent, helping to reduce chafing. The Thinsulate lining zips out easily and further expands the jacket's usable temperature range.
The zipper and velcro or button snap and velcro closures are very secure. Pockets are very usable, easily opened and closed securely. Even the ventilation worked well and the integrated armor is a very nice touch. The only caveat with the armor was that, on a cruiser where the location of the handlebars requires you to raise your hands above chest level, the shoulder armor would rub the bottom of some helmets, making swiveling around during lane changes a bit tedious. On most bikes, though, this was never an issue.
The Pants were comfortable, though not as wind-proof as the jacket. Also, the full-length zipper/velcro combination was very helpful getting into and out of the suit. Like on our favorite Aerostich suits, the velcro straps at the pant leg bottom, very helpful in tailoring fit for each leg or pair of boots. Again, the integrated armor and pockets were a nice, functional touch, though we would like to see some more of the brilliant blue on the pants and not just on the jacket. Hey, our legs need to look good, too!
This pant/jacket combo is very well designed and more functional and more comfortable than many higher priced suits we have worn. Removable linings, reflective panels, ventilation and body armor are all good things we look for in any suit. Tour Master has been in this business for a long time and it shows. The suit's functionality out paces its style. But if the subtle look is the one you're after, and it's a decent set of riding gear with good bang-for-the-buck that you seek, this new Cortech jacket and pant are well worth a look especially considering the garments will only set you back $269.99 for the jacket and 179.95 for the pant.
Motorcycle Online Rating: ****