As summer comes to a close and winter approaches, the prospect of wet riding days looms with a damp inevitability. I was fed up of my waterproof over trousers that were no longer waterproof, and a hassle to put on, as well as causing me to slip around on the seat and more importantly, look pretty naff. Definitely time for some new textile gear. Being a cheap skate, I hit ebay and found these Alpinestars P1 Sport Touring Drystar trousers brand new for a £100. They’re not current, but the Drystar range is still going strong and well regarded.
Textiles are very much on trend this season and extremely popular out on the road. Our model wears a vintage Hein Gericke Sheltex jacket with matching trousers (ebay, £20-30), RST MX Boots (ebay, £15). The look is then finished with a Hoo Rag ‘blue digital camo’ scarf ($16) to accessorise.
The children’s Hein Gericke combo is a miniature version of the adult line, featuring the same removable lining, waterproof protection, CE armour and pocket for a Hiprotec back armour insert. However it also has zips in the arms and legs for adding length as the wearer grows. The trousers also have an elasticated waist and braces.
I recently picked up a new set of Alpinestars leather pants and jacket, perfect for the coming summer. I have been wearing the Alpinestars Bat Pants for over a year now, however the second hand set I had were starting to show their age, but a knackered lower leg zip drove me to finally replacing them. Jacket wise, I’ve been wearing a Hein Gericke textile affair, which although good in cold and wet weather, is a bit warm in the summer and doesn’t really suit the leather trousers.
After completely failing to find any trousers at the MCN show that fit me around the waist (I wear 30″ waist Levi’s, but all 30″ leathers were huge on me and nowhere had any smaller), I opted to get another identical pair of Bat Pants (labelled size 30 and fit perfectly). There weren’t many pairs this size on ebay, but those that popped up received few bids, so I was able to blag a pair in top nick for a measly £25 – epic bargain!
When it comes to protective clothing on the bike, leather is still one of the best choices. Maybe not as waterproof as Goretex, or hard wearing as Kevlar, but on balance, it tends to be best overall value for the money. The other advantage, is there is loads of leather gear available second hand, often it very good nick. A fine example of which was these Alpinestars Bat Leather trousers.
I picked these up from a chap off the London Bikers forum, for the princely sum of £50. I already had some Hein Gericke leather trousers, I had picked up new in their recent closing down sale. However they were a loose cut style and a tiny bit big in the waist. Pulling the tabs in on the waist causes the leather to ruck up and becomes uncomfortable after a while. Moral of the story: buy what fits, not what’s a good price.
Anyway, back to the Alpinestars Bat Pants; they are quite low down in their range, but still normally retail for about £200. Protection wise, they just feature some layered leather knee pads – no knee-down sliding in these. They are a slim fit, with stretch panels and zips in the calf sections. They’re snug to get on and need a bit of wiggling to pull them up, but once in, they fitted me very well and were very comfortable, even after long periods of time.
Only a couple of down sides: Firstly, the single pocket on the right thigh, fine for a phone, but too tight for a wallet. So, once I take my jacket off, I’m stuck for pockets to keep my keys and wallet safe. Secondly the knee protection has a habit of folding over when putting your feet in, so needs flattening before zipping up the calves. This can be a bit awkward and annoying, however it may be down to the age of the leather and having lost some of its original rigidity.
Overall, I very happy with the trousers, much prefer the tight cut style. They’re very comfortable and I’ve not worn my old Hein Gericke trousers since.