Hey, riding through the Apocalypse can be fun after all.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to test a Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 for a few hundred miles through the back roads of the Nevada desert. This particular bike was big, heavy, torquey, and was outfitted with every accessory and piece of armor in the Touratech catalogue. I joked that it looked ready to take on some bleak, post-apocolyptic wasteland (which actually sums up Nevada rather well).
In keeping with that theme, rather than dress up like the Michelin-Man in a typical Dual Sport riding suit, I asked the folks at Icon1000 if they could recommend something more appropriate. The gear they sent across would have made the costume designer from the Road Warrior movies weep with envy. The Outsider Convertible Jacket is a mix of resin-treated 14 oz. denim and antique-finished, drum-dyed Brazilian cowhide. For hot weather the leather forearms can be zipped-off (OK, that’s kind of dorky), and the quilted vest-liner can be removed (nice). YKK zips, metal detailing, and strategic flex panels add a rugged feel as well as being functional. A full D30 armor pack provides CE certified protection to shoulders, elbows, and back.
The Roughshod pants would also make a young Mad Max proud. Made from the same heavy-duty cowhide, they have a subtle wax finish applied at the factory. This makes it easy to clean the bugs off during summer riding, and helps protect them from salt-spray in winter riding. My cabin in the Canadian mountains is above the snow-line from about October to May, and the BC highways department puts so much salt on the roads that my black riding pants are white from the knees down by the time I reach my front door (not that I am complaining all that much, it’s still better than running studded tires). I’ve found that wiping the salt off with a warm wet cloth, and treating the pants every few rides with a good leather treatment (I prefer mink oil but go with whatever you trust) has kept the leather pliable, water-resistant, and still looking good. The pants have D30 armor in the knees, are triple-stiched at the seams, have a mesh lining for breathability, and enough stretch to be comfortable, without making you looking like a young David Lee Roth.
I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by how versatile this gear has been. From the Arizona heat, to the torrential rain of the Oregon coast, to the moderate cold and early snows in the BC mountains, this gear has kept me comfortable and more importantly, isn’t heavy or bulky enough to be an impediment to my riding. The ability to add or remove the liner manages the changes of temperature, and on the coldest, wettest days, the cut of the jacket is snug enough that I just pull on a shell-layer if required. The pants have enough roominess that you can get away with a pair of long-johns if you need them.
Granted I wouldn’t choose this gear to ride through the equatorial tropics in monsoon season (best to do that naked, don’t ask how I know) nor would I wear it on a ride to the arctic circle in the winter-time (a heated snowmobile suit would be more appropriate), but for about 99% of all the riding that someone in North America will do, this gear is perfect. One caveat that we should mention though. If you are rocking this stuff, you need to be riding a bike with a certain level of bad-assed-ness. You can’t walk into a 7-11 at 2am looking like an extra from a Tarantino movie, only to have the clerk look outside and see your Honda Rebel sitting at the pump. Might we suggest something like the Icon Quartermaster instead? We’ve been playing with this bike for the last couple of months, and it’s an ill-tempered, savage beast. The perfect steed for an Icon wardrobe.