I spend a lot of time touring on my motorcycle in all kinds of weather. I live in Canada, but love riding all over the United States. When the roads are safe and salt-free, I’m riding my motorcycle until icy conditions force me inside. My gear has to be comfortable, and keep me safe, warm and dry. While fit and function are the most important criteria, I want to get them in the fewest number of layers and pieces.
I ride a dual sport bike, a Yamaha Super Ténéré, with no intention of taking it off-road. Regardless of brand names the motorcycle suit I’ve found that meets all my needs for riding gear is the waterproof TourShell suit from BMW. Its top-of-the-line functionality is reflected in the price of $659 for the jacket and $459 for the pants, and they’re worth every penny. This riding suit, plus a merino wool base layer, and a heated jacket and pant liner, are all I need year round.
The first time it started to rain, I was actually delighted that I could keep riding. There was no need to pull over, root around for rain gear and then struggle to put it on. I’ve since worn the TourShell suit through days of heavy rain and stayed completely dry. The abrasion-resistant material is constructed from an outer water repellant layer, micro porous foam, and a wind and waterproof, breathable membrane that adjusts to changing temperatures and activities. Under that is a hydrophilic membrane, which transports water from inside to outside.
All NP protectors are labeled so you know where they go when you slip them back in the jacket. The back protector helps hold your jacket in place at the waist and keeps the wind from blowing up your back. You can zip the pants and jackets together for additional protection.
While you feel the molded shoulder, elbow and back protector when you first put on the jacket, your body temperature warms them up and they become more pliable, mold to your shape, and you forget they’re even there.
The hip protectors fit so well I barely notice they’re there. Although there’s a comfortable mesh liner right down to the ankle, I prefer to wear a merino wool base layer for easier movement in warm weather.
The waist has a solid fastener and the forgiving waistband means you don’t have to strain to secure it. Behind the fly is a waterproof gusset preventing moisture from seeping in. Because the fly zipper is not waterproof, this gusset will get damp, but only on the outside layer. The water doesn’t get through to you.
After years of searching for the right touring suit, I’m thrilled with BMW’s TourShell outfit. It combines the best of function, style, comfort and versatility. Last year winter came early and I got caught riding back from the southern U.S. on roads that had been heavily salted. As soon as I got home to Canada, I removed the protectors and threw the entire suit in the washer. It came out looking and functioning like new. I plan to wear it for many miles and many years of touring, no matter what motorcycle I’m on. For more information and to find a retailer near you, visit bmwusa.com.