Thursday, 4 December 2008

Olympia Gear Review (Update)

Ever since I posted my initial review (Click Here) of my Olympia Moto Sports suit it has become the most visited post on this blog, month after month! So now that I have been using the stuff for about 18 months I thought it only right to update you on how things are going.

To start, I have two main suits and various other bits at the moment. The Olympia was the first new suit I got in years and it has also become my firm favorite, something I can depend on when the weather goes south. So just to remind you I wear the following:

Olympia Moto Sports Voyager Sport Touring Jacket
Olympia Moto Sports Men’s Ranger 2 Over Pant

The kit is well made, fits well and feels sturdy. It has never leaked (& I have spent hours in some nasty downpours) and when the temperature is below freezing it is the only stuff I reach for. Note also that I wear this stuff all day long, I usually stow the jacket in one of the Ulysses's side cases and stay in the pants all day long. If it is cool I bring the thermal lining with me as it is effectively a second jacket.

Now it can not be all good and so here are my few issues. First I prefer having a long 'round the waist' zipper for connecting the jacket and pants together, it feels more secure and stops the jacket from riding up. In an accident this would also prove very useful. Maybe this would hep with my second issue, which is, if you are not careful or paying attention the jacket can ride up slightly at the front, just enough to let the rain sneak under. This has only happened to me on 2 or 3 occasions and so I watch for it now and correct as necessary. The last thing is the armour, I will not buy gear that does not come with decent armour, just not worth it in my opinion. The armour supplied meets all the requirements but in the pants it could be shaped a bit better for the knees and some armour for the hips would be welcome (comes with foam padding). I usually wear the Forcefield Shorts under the pants and will soon probably start wearing strap on knee pads and take out the fitted armour altogether.

As you can tell, the items above are not major problems but if they were addressed they would make an already excellent suit into an unbeatable package. I was going to mention the short width of the back protector, but this is something that would vary from customer to customer. My jacket is fairly dirty looking at this stage as it is hard to get the road sludge out of the high viz colour. I use Nikwax products to wash and waterproof on a regular basis and with this sort of care I foresee this suit lasting me many years to come. The black pants still look brand new.

Just a quick word on the lining for the jacket and pants...they work! They work really well! Layering is the key to keeping warm and these do an excellent job of keeping the wind and cold away. I ride a Buell, I do not have a vast touring fairing to keep the elements off me. My only hesitation with putting the liner in the pants is knowing that once I get off the bike I will be just too warm in them, but to be honest, in the depths of winter that is not a bad thing to have to worry about.

If nothing else, I was so impressed by the specification originally that I ordered the suit direct from the U.S. and even took the hit with customs. I can also say without hesitation that I would happily do it again if Olympia released an updated version of the jacket. Note that on average I cover 25,000 - 30,000 km per year and ride all year (I DO NOT have a car license!). I commute, tour and have fun all with my motorcycle and with this gear. Considering the cost of the suit and the quality I am highly impressed and have yet to find something that can outperform it for the money.

If you have any specific questions feel free to comment and I will get back to you when I can!

As always, keep the rubber side down.