For many a rider, looking good on a bike matters as much as staying safe.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s akin to getting dressed for dinner with friends. Which shirt shall I wear? Will jeans be okay? Then you get the inevitable glance, and the comment from she who must be obeyed: “Nothing matches, how many times do I have I tell you…” Yep, that’s the line, and you prepare for it.
Thankfully, I never have that conversation when I am heading out on a bike. That’s ‘cos we know what we are doing, us bikers. Well, most of the time. Do we go casual or hardcore? One-piece leathers or an adventure suit? Do we mix and match, depending on where we are going, what kind of riding we can expect and, yes, who we are going with?
The majority of riders in my Lincolnshire branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorcycles tend to gravitate towards adventure-style outfits. Members of the local MCC I ride with wear a similar style of red checked shirt, appropriately patched leather vest, jeans, and the occasional army surplus boots. Open or full face helmet: another choice to consider. Other groups I ride with, normally on charity runs, turn up in leathers or hoodies or non-armoured shirts and jeans. The latter are, in my opinion, complete numpties, as they clearly love the thought of road-rash.
But then, no one tells you what to wear. You simply fall into the habit of adapting to the situation and riding group, and dress accordingly. Is that a subconscious effort to fit in? Probably. I am as guilty as anyone else. But yet again, if you want to wear a set of one-piece leathers on a Royal Enfield Scram, or an adventure suit on a Monkey bike, that’s your choice, and stuff what anyone else thinks. As long as you are comfortable with your choice of attire.
Some of us, of course, do not have the luxury of owning a selection of biker clothing or helmets, or bikes for that matter. I, for one, don’t own an adventure bike, but this year I have been fortunate to have had a few come through for test, including several from Triumph and Honda, the latest having been the Transalp XL750. Having that bike for a few weeks prompted me to don the new Weise Dune Adventure suit. There you go, the right gear for the right bike… but not the right day as it transpired.
Weise states that the AA-rated suit is ‘stylish, adaptable and packed with features to make life on the road a breeze’. For starters, there was a breeze, quite a large one, but none got through the layers, I am happy to report.
There have been times when I have seriously baulked at the price of motorcycle clothing, especially products that run well into four figures. I have no doubt that they are excellent in most, if not every, way, but there’s many a biker who simply does not have that kind of money to hand to splash out before guilt sets in.
So, I am delighted to report that the Weise Dune Adventure suit will not be one of those outfits that slips under the radar due to the price tag, as the jacket runs in at £299.99 and the matching trousers at £249.99 (where’s my calculator)… that’s £549.98 all in.
As for specs, the Dune jacket boasts a tough textile outer shell and comes with CE Level 2 shoulder and elbow armour, plus a CE Level 1 back protector, as standard. It’s by means a lightweight affair, but it can be adapted easily to Britain’s fickle weather conditions. A waterproof, windproof and breathable liner and a 100gsm quilted thermal liner can both be removed.
On my first outing I was stupid enough to wear all three layers on a warm, early autumn day, really to see how it felt as there was no way I could see how it performed because there was no rain forecast. That will be for another day. As I say, the jacket is no lightweight, but once on, it was extremely comfortable, if not challenging after a half-hour in the saddle on the Transalp. But as mentioned, that was my fault. The jacket comes with extra-long two-way zipped arm vents. There are also two large chest panels, which can be opened to allow a cooling airflow. Plus I like the fact that the chest panels can be rolled up and stashed in dedicated pockets. You’re also treated to additional vents on each shoulder, along with two large exhaust vents at the rear of the jacket, which can be opened and closed depending on the conditions.
As we have come to expect from an adventure-style jacket, there is loads of storage. So fill your boots (no, your jacket) with your essentials via two hand-warmer pockets and stuff a large map into the rear map pocket if you don’t have a sat-nav to hand. The latter pocket is waterproof via a zipped closure. If you are enjoying the ride and can’t be arsed to stop at a café for refreshments, then you can make use of a section at the rear of the jacket especially equipped for a hydration bladder, complete with outlet and retaining guide for a drinking tube. I have only ever used something like that on a rucksack on the fells.
There is waist adjustment on either side of the body, plus you can fine-tune the fit on the forearm and bicep of each sleeve, so if you want to throw on a base or mid-layer, the necessary adjustment to accommodate under-layers is there.
The Dune trousers, which can be attached to the jacket via a full-length connection zip, are made to the same spec, AA-rated for protection, with CE Level 2 knee and hip armour and reinforced knee and inner calf panels. Like the jacket, you can remove the waterproof and quilted liners, and two large thigh vents with stowable flaps. I didn’t make use of the zip connector, preferring to opt for the removable and adjustable braces. The trousers have two concealed waist pockets and two cargo pockets.
Now, this is where the fun began, or not in my case. I had requested the set in my typical sizing and the jacket was spot on. The trousers, however, were, ahem, tight, particularly around the waist and crotch area, although oddly, once I had them fastened they were okay. Problem number one was that I could not access the front zipped pockets as the fit was too tight.
The trousers do, however, have stretch panels at the inner thighs and knees to offer flexibility and freedom of movement – crucial, states Weise, when tackling trails and jumping on and off a fully-loaded bike. The Transalp wasn’t fully loaded. In fact, there was no luggage at all to consider. But I still encountered difficulty in getting my right leg across the bike. Yeh, yeh, I know, adventure bikers normally use the left-hand foot-peg to mount high bikes, but I had encountered no difficulty whatsoever when wearing armoured jeans, and could even almost flatfoot when at a standstill. Not so when wearing the Weise trousers. Upon reflection, the trousers were definitely not the right size me, well, no, no question, I should have gone for a size up to accommodate the room I needed to straddle the bike and put my feet down… which was was another issue. I ended up on tiptoe, no doubt due to the tightness of the trousers around the crotch area and the bulkiness of the three layers. Nothing to do with Weise, not their fault, but more my stubbornness at perseverance against the odds.
Quick rewind. Even before I had completed the dressing-up procedure, the second issue I faced was that I snagged one of the zipped extenders on the lower leg with the underlay material. The extenders are to allow for chunky off-road boots. I ended up using the Velcro closure and thought I would sort the zip later… which I did, successfully.
So, not the greatest of first-time starts for a product review, but one must be honest, even if somewhat embarrassed. I have asked Weise if they can kindly exchange the trousers for the next size up, when I will be completing a further review when the weather gets gnarly.
Talking about sizing, the Weise Dune jacket is available in sizes S-5XL in either Black or Stone. The matching Dune trousers come in S-5XL, in regular and short length options. Both are covered by a two-year warranty.
I haven’t as yet got round to preparing a vlog, as I only went for a short ride in the suit, so have popped a link to Weise’ own video below for your delectation in the meantime.
See the full range of clothing from Weise at www.weiseclothing.com