Quality motorcycle gear has saved my rear end more times over the course of my life than I care to remember. As an avid dirt rider, I’ve had my share of scary crashes. But if it weren’t for great gear, my toes, feet, arms and head would have long ago met a gruesome fate .
When it comes to tough gear, the name Alpinestars has always been synonymous with quality in my book, so when my editor gave me the opportunity to test out some of the companies’ new gear, I jumped at the opportunity. A few weeks later, poof, a box containing Alpinestars waterproof Roam touring boots, and a sporty T-Gasoline waterproof jacket arrived at my door, so I got right down to business.
The outer shell of the Alpinestars T-Gasoline is constructed with polyurethane coated 600 denier polyester that’s thick and tough, yet supple enough to give good mobility and fit comfortably without much stiffness. Inside, the jacket is fully lined with a breathable polyamide waterproof membrane that keeps the torso warm and dry in the rain.
A storm flap behind the hardy zipper also helps keep water out, as does the snug high collar with an easy to use Velcro closure. The inside of the collar is lined with a soft polyester and the upper hem is sheathed with soft, elastic neoprene as well—a nice touch that keeps rain drops from rolling down your back and feels quite comfortable too. To wrap things up, two exterior zip-up pockets up give you a little bit of storage space, but these do not seem to be waterproof.
Alpinestars’ CE certified, high density foam Bio-Armor shoulder, elbow and arm pads come standard and the jacket also features soft foam chest and back protection that can be replaced with Alpinestars’ more protective pads.
A nice detail about all the protection is that it all fits snugly in place, and doesn’t have a tendency to wander around while riding. Also, the pliable elbow and shoulder pads don’t feel awkward or clunky, and they align comfortably with the body parts they’re meant to protect. For me, that translates into great crash protection that also provides a natural feel under everyday riding conditions. Of course, all the padding is easily removable when it’s time for hand washing as well.
The polyester thermal liner that lies under the padding is actually very warm, and when the weather improves a bit, it can be removed easily—just unzip it and undo the snap anchors at the cuffs and you have a jacket that’s substantially thinner, roomier and lighter. Both the liner and the jacket have pockets on the inside, so there’s always a waterproof space to carry your wallet and phone.
After riding with the T-Gasoline for some time now, I have to say the size medium that was sent to me fits very snug and comfortably, has a cozy feel, and the sleeve length is just right. The thick outer shell feels robust and the padding is really a nice touch—the jacket seems like it could withstand a good thrashing.
Even with the liner removed, the T-Gasoline does not pass as a summer jacket though—the jacket has zero vents. There is no doubt Alpinestars designed it specifically for riders that aren’t interested in garaging their wheels when the temperatures dip, and for those types of riders, the T-Gasoline is a pretty nice piece.
It has been unseasonably cold and rainy here in Los Angeles this fall, and I’ve been able to find out just how effective the T-Gasoline is at keeping a rider warm. In the past few weeks, I’ve been blessed with the joyous surprise of sudden showers while out riding—a few times—and I must say the jacket lives up to Alpinestars’ claims. The solid, vent-less construction kept my torso totally dry through prolonged bouts of light but steady rain. No drips down my neck, and with the fit adjusters at the waist and cuffs drawn in all the way, the jacket sealed well against my body. With a light cotton sweater under the tight fitting sporty jacket, my core stayed comfortably cozy, and since the fabric breaths well, I didn’t feel clammy at all. The temperatures during my rides through the rain where likely in the 50’s, so gear heads braving a heavier and colder onslaught may have a different experience.
Another aspect of the jacket I was pleased with was its simple and sleek styling. Of course, some degree of gaudiness is always a good thing. Lots of attention from other motorists is exactly what we riders need, and although the T-Gasoline is quite simple, it has a reflective white band sewn across the sleeves and shoulders that does a good job of reflecting light. The Alpinestars logos emblazoned across the chest and back look pretty slick too, and the overall design is straightforward.
All in all, the T-Gasoline is a great piece of gear for the cooler months, and for riders who live places with climates less temperate than that of Southern California. At a suggested MSRP of $209.95, it’s a good deal on a truly waterproof jacket with comfortable impact protection and sleek looks. Alpinestars makes it in size small through 4XL and the jacket also features an internal waist connection zipper that allows you to attach it to any of Alpinestars riding pants.
When it comes to keeping your feet toasty as well as protected in nasty weather, a pair of Alpinestars waterproof Roam boots will definitely do the trick, which is no surprise because well made boots have always been the companies’ pieces de resistance. I must disclose a little personal bias here before going on though, as I have always been a fan of Alpinestars boots—ever since the early days on my Z50 and Pee Wee.
To start off, let’s cover some of the technical stuff. Alpinestars’ Roam touring boots feature an outer shell crafted of synthetic leather that’s reasonably thick, coupled with ribbed flex zones at the heel and ankle that allow ankle motion to flex the boot back, forth and side to side. The vulcanized rubber sole is thick, sturdy, and quite grippy, with soft little nubs that protrude further than the tread. A soft rubber shift pad is double stitched to the left boot for wear resistance, and another to the right boot for symmetry. Overall, this mix of features come together to give the boot a supple yet supportive feel. Three Velcro straps keep things together and can likely accommodate a range of different calf sizes comfortably as they have a large range of adjustment.
The interior of the Roam is really my favorite part about the boot. Compared to my old and worn pair of Tourmaster Solutions, the interior padding is much thicker and more comfortable. With a pair of wooly riding socks, the size 10 boots fit very snuggly, and keep my feet from wiggling around. The interior provides a solid arch support and there is a cushy feel to the sole. If my experience is any indication, they fit true to size, as well.
An added benefit of the thick padding is the insulation it provides from the elements, and I must say, these kicks are warm. Also, the thick padding around the shin area feels like it would be useful when, inevitably, your shin meets the jagged steel teeth of a foot peg. The heel and toe area are reinforced quite strongly and seem like they would hold up well in the event of a crash.
Between the plush padding and the outer shell is Alpinestars’ thin Drystar membrane, which really does keep water out and warmth in. On those same rainy rides I mentioned earlier in the article, I was wearing the Roam boots, and they performed as promised—my feet stayed cozy and dry. The boots also seemed to breathe well in the damp weather, so no soggy feet so far.
Off the bike, the Roams are reasonably comfortable to walk in. Again, these mid height boots have a decent amount of flex—I’ve been wearing them around the house while writing this article, and I actually forgot I had them on at one point.
Overall, Alpinestars’ Roam boots offer nothing fancy, and no gimmicks. They’re just good boots designed with function in mind, not fashion. At an MSRP of $159.95, they also offer very good value.
For more details on the Alpinestars T-Gasoline Jacket and Roam Boots, visit http://www.alpinestars.com.
The manufacturer provided Motorcycle Daily with these products for purposes of evaluation.