I been riding motorbikes for as long as I can remember, and the weather must be pretty awful for me to opt for my car instead. Throughout these years of riding, I have concluded that you should always wear the best gear you can afford, as you generally get what you pay for with motorbike clothing. My current choice of clothing has boiled down to an armoured Gortex 2-piece suit and heavy adventure motorbike boots. Whilst this combination gives great protection it isn’t the most comfortable of clothing when you get off. It becomes more of an issue when I leave my modern bike at home and take out the old Triumph T140 for a spin, as being fully suited and booted on a classic bike looks plain weird. But you can still fall off any bike, so I still want protection. Not only would I look cooler in jeans and a jacket, it would be much more convenient to just go about your business without having to get changed.
Gadgethead were sent some Richa motorcycle clothing to test and I am delighted to say I was best qualified to take on the task!
Richa Classic Jeans
Normal jeans don’t offer much protection against a fall from a bike as they have weaker seams and fabric than motorbike jeans, which have impact and abrasion resistance protection and will not self-destruct on tarmac.
I have tried motorbike jeans before, but I haven’t liked them; I found them too big and puffy. I can best describe them as wearing a pair of oversized jeans with a quilt squeezed in them. The internal knee protectors had a mind of their own and would float around and rarely be where they should, so I had no confidence in them protecting my knees if I were to crash. In short: I would ride to work in them and change into my comfortable jeans, which defeated the whole idea of them being multipurpose. These were not Richa jeans.
The Richa jeans fit tighter all over, which keeps the armour pads where they should be, and the slightly stretchy material means you can move and not feel at all restricted. I could ride to work and then spend the whole day in them, because they felt like normal jeans. The Richa jeans are light years ahead of my previous pairs and I was amazed by what a difference a great brand can make on design and implementation.RRP £179.99
4 out of 5
Style and fit
Look like normal jeans
Richa Krazy Horse Boots
As I have mentioned, I usually wear heavy motorcycle boots which are waterproof, full length and give great protection. However, there are times when I am going out and I know I will be walking around, so I long to wear lighter and more comfortable boots but still maintain protection. These Krazy Horse ankle boots look and feel just like basket ball boots. Sure, they are heavier with toe, sole, ankle and heel protection but not significantly heavy. By just looking at them, you wouldn’t know they are protective motorcycle boots and they look so cool with the jeans! They are also water proofed, so great if you are caught out in a shower. That being said, on really wet days, I will stick to my full-length heavy boots as they go up the leg a lot further. RRP £79.99
4.5 out of 5
Hot in the summer
Goodwood Jacket Brown
Wow, what a jacket the Goodwood is! As soon as I picked it up, I was impressed with the supple premium cow leather that Richa have used. The Goodwood is a classically styled racing jacket with an aged look, yet it retains all the safety benefits of a new/modern jacket. It is the real deal as a motorcycle jacket, with a zip-removable thermal gilet and D30 armour in the elbows, shoulders and back, which is some of the most malleable and lightest armour I have used. The Goodwood has an adjustable waistband with press buttons, soft neoprene collar with press button closure and adjustable sleeve cuff width.
In just a minute, you can remove the armour and turn it into a fantastic casual jacket.
I am looking forward to bedding in the jacket with a few months of riding to see if it moulds itself to me, as I am sure it will.
The armour spec is:
- D30 elbow and shoulder protectors in accordance with the ce standard en1621- 1:2012 (level 1)
- D30 back protector in accordance with the ce standard en1621-2:2014 (level 1)RRP £299.99
5 out of 5
Testing this new clothing was the perfect excuse for me to go for a 200-mile ride. When you get on a motorbike in the UK’s Autumn weather, there can be a distinct chill and dampness in the air which soon gives a good idea of what works well. The jeans and boots did take some getting used to at first as I felt less protected, but this simply wasn’t the case Once I had mentally adjusted to this, I loved the less cluttered feeling whilst riding. The jeans didn’t flap around and the armour stayed in place. The jacket was warm and draft free, and the boots were very comfortable and warm.
The very best part of the whole experience was when I jumped off my bike to grab lunch: I didn’t feel like an awkward spaceman wandering around; I genuinely felt as comfortable as I would in my normal clothes and that’s probably the greatest thing: they do look and feel like normal clothes!
I am now a convert to the jeans, jacket and trainers look as an alternative to being fully suited and booted. Be very aware, though, that there are cheap and inferior products out there that look good, but the proof of the pudding will be when you come off. Richa have spent over 60 years researching and developing clothes that give the best safety protection and comfort, and they have done a sterling job as the quality and styling of Richa clothing is superb, as well as offering extremely good value for money!