Posts Tagged ‘olympia’

Olympia X-Moto Jacket and Pants…

I bought an X-Moto jacket and pants this summer. My primary motivation was the venting. I wanted something that could adapt from cool damp Vancouver Island to hot dry Baja as my travels take me up and down the West Coast.

Olympia X-Moto Jacket – men’s medium…

I haven’t used it yet in the rain so I won’t talk about that aspect much. I’m hoping the waterproof liner will be fine for a light to moderate shower. I don’t expect this type of system to be great for heavy all day rain.

I checked out the BMW RP3 and the Klim gear. Both were nice, but I got my X-Moto jacket & pants for about the price of just the BMW RP3 jacket. I’ve looked at the Touratech Companero system which is $2500! I’m not cheap, but I can’t afford to buy the best of the best and still have money left to travel.

Tons of pockets on this jacket…

The X-Moto page on the Olympia website shows all the features:

http://www.olympiamotosports.com/xmo…motojacket.htm

There is an excellent review in the vendor section of ADVrider.com:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620565

Several of the pockets are waterproof…

Overall

The quality and detailing of the X-Moto is great.The sewing and materials used all seem high quality and there is a lot of attention to detail. I think there are too many features that add bulk and complexity to the jacket. Some folks will love them and others like me probably won’t use stuff like the zip off shoulder bag built into the jacket. Having said that you’ll appreciate little touches like the soft neoprene used around the collar so it doesn’t chafe your neck. These pieces are robust enough to survive a crash and keep on going.

Map pocket on left sleeve…

Storage

The jacket has a ton of pockets – a bunch of them are waterproof. It also has a 0.5L hydration bladder which is removable and a large rear pocket which is removable. The hydration bladder is too small to be useful [you’ll be filling it non-stop] and you can’t fit in a bigger one as the pocket is sized for the OEM unit. You can pull it off entirely and leave it at home, but then the back of the jacket has two big goofy looking zippers flapping around. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I may pull the bladder and just leave the empty pocket attached to the jacket. The big removable rear pocket is bulky and I question its value. There is no internal harness so all that stuff carried in the jacket will hang from your shoulders which is tiring. If it was up to me I’d ditch the hydration bladder/rear pocket and streamline the front pockets for a lighter jacket that was less bulky. If a rider needs more storage on the body he can get a decent sized hydration bladder/pack and use that. A real hydration pack offers more liquid and a harness/belt system that will carry the cargo weight better than a jacket.

Honey does this make my butt look big?

Fit

I’m 5’11” & 175lbs…wide shoulders skinny waist. I tend to fit European cut clothes best. I fit right between the large and medium X-Moto jacket. I got the medium as I didn’t want it to be baggy and flapping around when I removed the waterproof and insulation liners. On the downside I won’t be able to stuff another warm layer in there on cold days. There is some adjustability in the fit at the waist and elbows.

I got 34″ X-Moto pants which is what I wear in street clothes and just like street clothes they are a bit baggy on my skinny chicken legs. Not terrible though and that lets me have enough room to throw a leg over my bike.

I would say the fit is typical for North American clothing and should work for most people. If you have short legs the pants can be tailored easily.

Handwarmer pocket and adjustment options on each side of jacket…

Style

I got the black/pewter colours which look reasonably understated. The jacket/pants together definitely give you the Paris-Dakar-Lite look. Perfect for an ADV tour, but a little much for a coffee run or a stop at Walmart!… I’ve got a simple black Joe Rocket jacket I use for short trips around town when I don’t want to be mistaken for Ewan or Charlie.

Having looked at the BMW/Klim/Revit stuff The X-Moto is up there for looking decent. It’s not as flashy as some of the other options which will appeal to the Let-my-riding-do-the-talking-crowd.

If it had been available in straight up black I would have bought that.

Velcto cuff and elbow sizing adjustment…

Venting

The reason to buy the X-Moto is the venting. It’s awesome!… You have vents on the jacket chest, under arms and back as well as on the front of the pants. The vents are easy to operate and provide a huge amount of airflow. I started a ride home in the early AM along the coast when it was really chilly/damp out and by 2pm it was dry/hot. The X-Moto was easy to adapt as the day progressed to keep me comfortable while still giving me some protection if I crashed.

Under arm vent open…

Rain

As I noted above I haven’t used my X-Moto in the rain yet. If lots of heavy rain is on your menu I don’t think a system with tons of zippers and an inner waterproof liner is ideal. You’re better off with a Gore-tex shell like the Klim. I have a truck so I don’t ride in heavy rain on purpose. I’m not on a RTW trip where I have to ride whatever the weather. So I need protection that is enough to keep me going when I hit some light to moderate rain for a few hours on a ride. I’m expecting the X-Moto will fit the bill on that.

When I ride down to Baja this winter I’ll use a one piece rain suit on top of my X-Moto and leave it with my friends in LA. I’ll ride Baja with just the X-Moto and pick up the rain suit for the soggy ride north.

Left chest vent open…

When you open a vent the fabric pannel tucks away into the garment out of sight. This is nice so you can’t lose bits of your gear and you can close things up pretty fast if the weather changes.

Hydration bladder straps and drinking hose…

Hydration

The X-Moto jacket has a built in 0.5L hydration bladder. That’s about 1/3rd more than a can of Coke which is way too small to be useful. If you are on a short trip it’s not worth filling up the bladder and on a long ride it would need to be filled so often it would be a pain in the butt. The hydration sleeve has external shoulder straps and can be removed from the jacket. The external straps are supposed to help you carry the weight of the water, but there is so little capacity they are pointless and just clutter up the jacket. I would just pull the whole thing off, but the hydration bladder sleeve has built in armour I would lose if I did and the zippers that hold it on would be flapping in the wind looking goofy. What I’ll likely do on longer trips is just leave the bladder at home and keep the empty sleeve on the jacket. If I want access to a hydration system while riding I’ll just wear a dedicated hydration pack over the jacket. That way I can get a decent amount of liquid and whatever gear I carry can be supported by a proper set of shoulder straps and waist strap.

I think Olympia should offer a zip in armoured pannel that replaces the hydration pack so you can just leave the whole thing at home or increase the capacity to 1.5L-2L so it’s actually useful.

Tiny 0.5L bladder…

I’m going to try simply tucking the straps in under the hydration pocket for now. If I get really annoyed with the hydration sleeve straps I may just cut them all off. It won’t affect the jacket in any meaningful way.

Two waist adjustment options on the side of the jacket…

I like all the sizing adjustment options available. These are useful when you add or remove layers from the jacket.

Rear removable storage pocket…

There is a really large waterproof storage pocket on the back of the jacket that is removable and can be carried like a shoulder bag. I think it just adds bulk and weight to the jacket and would be happier without it. If you wanted removable storage you can carry around you’d be better off with a decent sized hydration pack. This sort of feature looks great on a product spec sheet, but isn’t that useful in practice.

Open rear vent…

You need to take the jacket off to operate the underarm or rear vents. You can open/close the front vent without removing the jacket. That’s not too bad and the ventilation is so effective you won’t mind taking the extra time to operate it.

Waterproof and thermal liners installed…

Liners

The X-Moto deals with cold and/or rainy weather by offering you two liners that zip into the shell jacket. There is a waterproof breathable liner and a thermal liner. They zip to each other as well as to the jacket. This approach to waterproofing is best for light to moderate rain as the outer jacket will get soaked in prolonged heavy rain making you cold and making it hard for the waterproof liner to do its job. The waterproof liner is an unbranded fabric that is not going to work as well as an expensive laminate like Gore-tex. What this system does provide is a reasonable cost option for staying dry, warm or cool in a variety of weather conditions. That’s not a bad thing at all. If you buy the X-Moto for the right reasons and with reasonable expectations the liner system will be very versatile and should make you quite happy.

The waterproof liner and thermal jackets both look decent enough to wear on their own at camp or if you are going for dinner on a trip. They aren’t that nice that I would wear them at home, but you could get by with them in order to travel light.

View of liners unzipped…

Protection

I’m not an expert in this area so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The adjustable padding in the jacket and pants as well as the fabric itself seems to offer a decent amount of protection. I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse. I feel comfortable riding in Baja with this gear. I’m not a hardcore ADVrider though. If I was going to ride technical offroad stuff I’d opt for more protection, but for touring and easy dirt it seems up to the task. The biggest issue for me is that with baggy pants the knee armour can move around.

Have you seen Charlie or Ewan?

Visibility

All X-Moto gear has some 3-M reflective stripping and small patches. Not enough to be useful in my opinion, but it doesn’t hurt. There is a higher visibility colour option with bright yellow panels on the upper chest/back and arms. There is enough high-viz material to be useful without making you look like a traffic cone. Personally I prefer dark motorcycle gear and I’ll add a high-viz vest or backpack cover when I feel the need.

Olympia X-Moto Pants – size 34…

The X-Moto pants are sized like street pants and come with a removable waterproof liner. They don’t come with any thermal liner.

Left side front panel vent open…

The venting on the pants works the same way as the jacket. There are just two front vents on the pants which open from the belt down to the knee.

Zipped side pocket…

The X-Moto pants have two front zip pockets and two rear pockets. Both are big enough to be useful without being too large.

Leather wear patch…

A leather patch on the inside of each leg protects your pants from your bike.

Pants open easily for large boots…

The side zips on these pants open from top to bottom making putting them on over dualsport boots a snap. The bottom of each leg can be hemmed without the hassle of relocating zippers to accomodate short legs. My 33″ inseam has enough length to leave the pants stock and the pants don’t ride up when knees are bent on the bike.

Knee armour…

The knee armour is CE approved and can be moved vertically to account for different leg lengths. The jeans style fit of the pants means the armour can move around. If I was riding offroad a lot I would add some knee armour directly to my leg. Olympia could improve this area of protection with one or two velcro straps to ensure the knee armour stayed in place – similar to what they use in the elbow of the X-Moto jacket.

Knee armour pocket…
Velcro hems open easily and allow for simple hemming…

The butt and knees are reinforced with heavy duty fabric for wear protection.

Reinforced butt…

You can add some armour to the rear pants pockets if you feel the need and the X-Moto pants will zip into the X-Moto jacket so they stay in place when bent over on a bike. The pants have belt loops.

Velcro tabs on each cuff adjust for different boot sizes…

Would I buy it again?

Yes. For under $700 I haven’t seen anything better. If your riding goes from hot to cool with some rain thrown in the mix you’ll be very happy. If extensive rain riding is going to happen I’d buy something else or be okay with wearing a rain suit on top.

Elastic panels on the sides allow for all you can eat buffet expansion…

Long Term

I’ve only had the X-Moto for a couple months so these are just my first impressions. When I get back from Baja I should have a pretty good idea of how it’s going to hold up in the longer term and I’ll post some thoughts.

Hip armour…

The hip armour pads are very thin and only sewn at the top. I’m not sure how well they would stay in place in a crash.

The waterproof breathable liners are decent quality and easy to install/remove.

Waterproof breathable liners…

Although I see some definite areas for improvement of the X-Moto jacket and pants I can recommend them as quality gear that’s very versatile. I haven’t seen anything that looks better you can buy for under $700. The key for me is the X-Moto’s ability to go from huge venting to cool weather and handle some rain. That means I can go out on tour and no matter what happens that day I can adapt to it well. The expensive Gore-tex shell motorcycle gear is better for extended heavy rain riding, but can’t deal with the heat as well as the X-Moto.

Enjoy some X-Moto video porn…=-)

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