In August 2018, Tri-Motive provided us with this motorcycle gear:
- ARMR KISO 2 jackets x2 (men's & ladies)
- ARMR TOTTORI EVO men's trousers
- ARMR KIRA 2 women's trousers
- ARMR MATSU boots x2
- VEMAR FENG helmets x2
- ARMR SH840 gloves x2
- ARMR rainwear trousers
We thanked them, took it, tried it, used it (and recently started to abuse it) and we think it's a good idea to write down our first (and not only) impressions...
So, here they are:
Jackets (ARMR KISO 2 & KISO 2 ladies)
We always wear motorcycle jackets when we travel, as well as when we ride in the city, so we know exactly what we want from our gear.
Both jackets (men's and women's) have the same features. The difference is in the details in color and design – minor but important to tell whose is which when we pick them. They both have excellent fitting, with or without the detachable thermoline liner and we felt very comfortable in them from the first time we tried them on. They have enough pockets – the internal mobile phone pocket and the waterproof wallet pocket are really practical – and very satisfactory ventilation system with zippers (front and back). Almost every part of the jackets is adjustable so one can correct the fitting and make them perfect according to their body-type.
We tried them in various weather conditions and they are ideal for mild temperatures to low ones (too hot for the Greek summer but ideal for the British weather!). Their waterproof fabrics are sufficient in a sudden (but relatively short) shower or while riding in drizzly weather. When there is constant rainfall – as with almost all riding gear of this kind – extra rainwear is advisable.
Good value for money! Recommended!
* The two external front pockets are waterproof, but one should take into account the riding position as in some cases it is possible that water may penetrate.
Men's trousers (ARMR TOTTORI EVO)
When it comes to comfort while riding, I'm a bit picky. I wore my last pair of trousers until it got completely worn and I was about to buy the exact same one before I tried these on.
It has great fitting and all its features make it practical to use on a long-term trip. All its parts are adjustable (height, waist, leg closure), plus it has braces that make it even more comfortable – and make me look like Santa Claus. The feature I like is that both the thermoline liner and the waterproof membrane are detachable, so I can use this pair of trousers in various weather conditions (from mild to low temperatures). For the slightly warmer days, there is the air-flow system with zippers that helps. Ideal for European climates (not so much for the Greek summer, but I don't think there is anything ideal for the Greek summer except for shorts and flip-flops). The other feature I like: the waterproof pockets – front and cargo pockets – which are practical and luckily there is plenty of them.
*Always bear in mind that waterproof pockets are efficient but up to a certain level. Under a heavy or constant rainfall, eventually water will find its way.
Women's trousers (ARMR KIRA 2)
Simple, nice pair of trousers: black, with some discreet feminine details. I tend to prefer trousers like these when I travel and this pair is one of my favorites. Good fitting and many features and details that make this pair great. The adjustable parts (knee protectors, waist and leg closure) make it really practical for obvious reasons. The detachable thermoline liner permits its use in various weather conditions (mild to low temperatures). The waterproof membrane is not detachable, but the fabric is breathable – to a certain extent, though. The waterproof pockets are a good feature for sure, but keep in mind that they are a bit tight, so you have to choose only your very necessary and small objects.
Good value for money! Recommended for short rides around and for long-term trips.
* If you have a “Mediterranean” body-type (narrow waist, wide hips and, ahem, pronounced bottom) you may find that these trousers' waistband is a bit wide, or your bottom is a bit wide for these trousers – take the option you prefer. In any case, it's adjustable and way better that trying to fit in men's trousers and tighten their huge waistbands.
** Something common among women's trousers: lack of cargo pockets! The only thing missing.
We always carry rainwear trousers (and jackets) in our luggage. We may wear jackets and trousers with waterproof technology, but in case of a thunderstorm or let's say constant rain, extra rainwear gear is necessary.
The specific rainwear trousers have been proved extremely efficient under difficult weather conditions on our long-term trip. And to be honest, they have also been proved efficient in tasks other than these they're made for. Don't worry, I just mean that we have even sat on them – using them as waterproof cloth for our butts – when there was no dry place around and the canvas we usually sit and put our tent was already soaking wet.
*Don't bother buying a bigger size than your usual one, thinking that you'll need to fit it above your gear. Armr rainwear is already upsized for this purpose.
We wear gloves in order to protect our hands from the sun, the cold and of course from a nasty fall. To be honest, we sometimes don't even wear motorcycle gloves, but just a pair of simple, everyday gloves (full finger). We have tried many gloves until now and in some cases we have found them stiff and uncomfortable. We even once preferred to ride in the rain without gloves than wear the ones we were carrying with us to test.
We recently replaced our old ones with these everyday short, urban gloves that one might not choose for a long-term trip. Don't forget we ride a scooter at low speed and these last months in countries with extremely hot weather.
Some would prefer them for everyday riding in the city – and they seem ideal for this use – but also for our kind of travel they are great. They are soft and comfortable and they can be worn in a variety of temperatures from warm weather to relatively cold (for extreme temperatures, another kind of gloves may be more suitable). What amazed us from the moment we tried them on is their suppleness. Their gel padded inserts in the palm and their triple-grip panels provide enhanced feel at the controls. When we saw them, we believed that we'd need bigger ones, but once we tried them we realized that the size was correct and that they have a compact, lightweight structure that made them seem small.
We recommend them for everyday riding in the city in mild weather conditions. As for the use we preferred them for, yes they're great (if you like our style of travel).
*Don't forget that they are short (cuff-length). If you are used in longer gloves, you may feel that something's missing, but depending on the riding conditions this feature may be an advantage.
Depending on the kind/duration/conditions of travel, we have used various types of footwear: motorcycle (touring) boots, Dr Martens, hiking boots, flip-flops (but we shouldn't tell anyone about the latter). Touring boots in general tend to be the best option for our long-term trip.
They are really comfortable and flexible and at the same time, their structure seems strong enough to provide good protection. As for their waterproofing level, it also seems sufficient. We did more than 200km almost non-stop in one day under continuous rainfall (from light shower to heavy rain) and our feet were completely dry when we got home. They have good fitting and they're not heavy – they may feel heavy to lift in one's hand but once you get them on, their good fitting absorbs their weight and they feel really lightweight. Their zip&velcro closure makes their waterproofing more effective, but they are very easy to get on and off.
The Armr Matsu combine all the features a touring boot should have, plus they're great value for money. We tried them in various weather conditions and they seem to “do exactly as the description says”. Fair enough!
*Woman's opinion on the boots: They have good fitting to a woman's narrow feet. I have ridiculously narrow feet and at first I thought the boots wouldn't fit me well. This proved wrong. They are very comfortable for narrow as well as for wide feet, so no need for women's boots. The only problem is that sizes start from 6 (UK), which means 39-40 (EU), so women with smaller size won't find this practical.
After about 180,000km around Europe, Africa and South America we have concluded that an open face helmet is the best option for our kind of travel. Every choice has pros and cons but after having used full face, flip-up as well as open face types, we think that we'll be using the open face option, at least until we get to an extremely cold and rainy environment (and spend enough time traveling there). Some might say that it's a matter of safety. Well, the chin bar is missing and the face is more exposed but the open face helmets we use are structurally equal in terms of safety compared to full faces.
We travel with 70-80km/h max. (usually it's 50-60km/h or less) and we don't use any communication system (we just talk loudly to each other), so we ride with the visors open for many hours per day. We also stop several times and the first thing we do is take off our helmets – even for a short break, or at a gas station, or looking for accommodation or simply while talking with people we meet on our way. And we do all the above several times a day. This routine in a full face helmet plus riding at low speed can make it a nightmare. Flip-ups could be easier to handle, but they tend to be slightly heavier and again (as we did in the past) we could easily end up riding with the helmet in the open face position, which is not recommended for many obvious reasons.
When we tried the Vemar Feng, we quickly adapted to it. It covers as much of the head/face as possible for an open face helmet, it has a good fitting, enough ventilation, it is lightweight (1500gr), it has a tall panoramic visor that allows a wide view and also, a drop-down sun visor that covers completely the visual field (thus, no sunglasses to make ears and head ache after some time). Its visor drops low enough to give the maximum protection from rain/wind/cold (a thick, long beard can cover what's left outside – at least men can consider this idea – or a bandana if beard is not an option) and it is way more quiet than other helmets of this type.
We have tried it while riding in the UK (end of August), in Greece (September-December) and we now use it for our South American trip.
We are completely satisfied! It's good value for money, too. Recommended for anyone who prefers riding with open face helmet.
You can find more about the products here:
- jacket (http://www.tri-motive.com/Kiso-2-Black-Gunmetal.html)
- jacket (ladies) (http://www.tri-motive.com/Kiso-2-Ladies-Black-Grey.html)
- trousers (http://www.tri-motive.com/Tottori-Evo-Black.html)
- trousers (ladies) (http://www.tri-motive.com/Kira-2-Ladies-Trousers.html)
- boots x2 (http://www.tri-motive.com/Matsu-Black.html)
- helmets x2 (http://www.tri-motive.com/Feng-Hive-Matt-Black-Flu.Orange.html)
- gloves x2 (http://www.tri-motive.com/SH840-Black.html)
- rainwear trousers (http://www.tri-motive.com/RainWear-Trousers.html)
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