I’ve been reviewing gear for motorcycle magazines since 1999 and have been lucky enough to have given away more jackets and pants than most riders will own in their lifetime. I’ve only had regrets about one such jacket, however.
About six years ago, in a flurry to clear space for incoming test gear, I gave my Olympia Motosports Airglide II jacket to a friend who didn’t have any good motorcycle gear. Even though she still wears it and is eternally grateful, I can’t tell you how many times I wished I had it back. The protection and comfort on hot, cool, wet, and perfect riding days was unmatched by any other jacket that Ive tested. Until now. I had the pleasure of wearing the Olympia Motosports Expedition jacket and pants all last season.
Olympia Motosports, an American company, was co-founded in 2002 by motorcycle enthusiasts, Kevin and Karilea Rhea, who saw the need for affordable top-quality motorcycle jackets and pants with real-world features. The textile garment line remains popular because of the companys consistent commitment to its mission of using high quality materials to provide good-looking, affordable technical gear. Click photos to view larger in a slideshow.
Olympia calls the Expedition jacket and pant “transition” gear because it’s a one-stop-shop kind of outfit. The built-in features allow it to morph from a non-vented to a fully-vented suit. This means you don’t need to change into another outfit when the temperature dips or heats up. An included rain liner also allows you to stay dry during wet weather rides.
The Expedition jacket and pants are not waterproof, but each piece comes with a rain “liner” that can be worn over the shell, or under the shell as a barrier between the garment and your clothes. Its a bit misleading to call them liners though, because both pieces can also be worn without the shell, like when you reach your destination and want to walk around town with a light windbreaker on instead of your bulky motorcycle gear
The liners, like the other pieces, have really smart details that prove Olympia’s designers understand what riders need and want.
The Expedition jacket and pants have become my gear of choice due to its versatility, safety features, comfort, and good looks. I wont be giving this outfit away.
The jacket costs $429.99 and the pants are $349.99. At $780 total, the jacket and pants may not be in everyones budget, but when you consider that you get a complete rain suit and all the armor, this is a bargain price for what I consider to be the best riding gear for spring, summer, fall, and winter Ive tested to date.
Comparably, its one of the more inexpensive all-season technical riding suits on the market as well. The Dainese Gore-Tex jacket and pants Women Riders Now (WRN) editor Genevieve Schmitt reviewed runs $950. And WRN contributor Liz Jansen reviewed a similar all-season riding suit from BMW that runs $1,100. So, the Olympia is indeed a bargain.