MO Tested: Fly Racing Kinetic Shield Gear Set
A durable, well-fit kit
It had been a minute since I’d used any Fly Racing gear off-road when the Kinetic Shield gear set arrived in the mail. Pulling the jersey, pants, and gloves out of their packaging, I really liked the black on black graphics, but if you’re not into it, there are also a handful of other color options in this model. Price-wise, the Kinetic Shield gear comes in around mid-level for the Fly Racing lineup and on the budget-friendly end of the spectrum when considering all of the other gear sets on the market. Obviously, everything integrates and looks great together. As B. Jaswinski used to say, “Look good, feel good, ride good”.
What really sealed the deal for me with the Fly gear though was the fit. Let’s take a look at each piece of the Fly Racing Kinetic Shield gear set separately.
Fly Racing Kinetic Shield Jersey
The Kinetic Shield Jersey is made up of two fabrics. The majority of the jersey is a tightly knit fabric, that despite my best efforts, has remained almost entirely unscathed after being worn while navigating tight cactus-flanked single-track in Mexico and narrow sandy washes in the California desert lined with plants that I’m sure gave humans the inspiration for concertina wire. In fact, the most wear the jersey is showing after numerous days of abuse is the rubbing from my hydration pack, and that’s only on the more breathable looser-woven sections up the sides of the torso that extend up under the arms.
The Kinetic Shield jersey is one of the warmer jerseys that I have due to the main material, but it has also held up better to the constant barrage of thorned devil-plants I find myself plowing through than any other jersey I’ve used so far. The fit is slightly loose. These days it seems motocross gear has gotten tighter and tighter, both pants and jerseys. The Fly Racing Kinetic jersey fits pretty neutrally. If you wear a medium t-shirt, the medium jersey should fit well, and you’ll be able to wear an armor jacket (most of the time I use the Alpinestars Bionic Pro Jacket) underneath it. That is to say, the jersey even fits slightly large, particularly if you’re not wearing pads underneath. The opening for your cabeza is plenty large enough and will help keep you cool on warm days.
Fly Racing Kinetic Shield Pants
When I first pulled on the Fly Racing Kinetic Shield pants and they slipped effortlessly over my admittedly large Asterisk knee braces, I was sold. Almost every other off-road pant that I own takes some effort to get over my knee braces as well as taking some time at the beginning of each ride to get the fabric broken back in around them, some more than others. The Kinetic Shield is the only pair that does not bind whatsoever and is immediately comfortable. I appreciate the fact that Fly Racing hasn’t followed the extra tight trend with its entire product line like many others have. I typically wear a 32×30 in most jeans and the size 32 pant fits perfect.
Aside from fitting great, there’s a ton of attention to detail that make the Kinetic Shield pants function great out on the trail. One of the bits that add to great mobility are the stretch panels found on the inner thighs, outer thighs, above the knees, and just above the seat. These panels and the laser cut holes throughout also help the pant ventilate a considerable amount of air.
Fastening the Kinetic Shield pants can take a little longer if you choose to use the “zipper lock” – a Velcro hook and loop system that covers the zipper at the top to ensure it stays in place while closing the ratchet strap. A fairly long ratchet closure secures the pants and gives more adjustment than most. You’re also able to tighten the fit, if need be, with a single adjustment on the left side. A rubberized graphic is used on the inside of the waistband in the rear to help keep a tucked jersey in place.
Like the jersey, these pants have withstood a lot of abuse, and every time I pull them out of the wash, they look like new. I have some visible scratches and wear marks where the knee braces rub, but nothing close to a hole or tear. The pants’ 900D construction is robust. There is some light padding on the front of the knees while the inner knee/calf area is lined with thick leather triple-stitched with Kevlar to help grip the bike and protect against heat.
Fly Racing Kinetic Shield Gloves
I really dig the design of the gloves. I like the graphics going all the way down each finger. Aside from the aesthetic, they, too, fit well like the rest of the gear set. These gloves are on the tighter side, and the fingers seem a tad longer than other gloves I’ve tried. Still, the amount of stretch in both the fingers and across the back of the hand keeps them from being too constricting. As with most MX gloves, there is zero padding on the back of the hand. The palm is a Clarino-type fabric with a few reinforced areas which stretch all the way up the fingers and thumb. The pointer and index finger are also lined with silicone stripes to give extra grip at the levers. These are usually the first things to start peeling off, but I’ve only had a small piece come off on the left glove. I consider myself pretty picky about the way my gloves fit, both on the street and off-road, and these are my favorite pair.
To sum things up, the Fly Racing Kinetic Shield gear fits great, not too tight, and not too loose. Everything seems to be holding up well through a substantial amount of abuse, and maybe even a tip over or two. With those two things being most important, it also helps that it looks good. Getting to use this gear will definitely have me looking at the Fly Racing catalog next time I need a refresh.
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