As we’ve said before, getting the right kit for your ride and your motorcycle are crucial and it’s the same for riders of adventure bikes, whether you are hitting the trails or travelling through the urban jungle.
Clearly, there are both aesthetic and practical reasons to get the right kit for the right bike. A set of racing leathers would not only look daft on an adventurer, they would be extremely uncomfortable, as they are designed to be worn in a racing tuck and an adventure bike puts the rider in a far more upright – or even standing – position.
So clearly adventure kit must allow the rider to move around, as the bike will always be doing that if it is used off-road. They must be able to stand up and sit down and ideally, have a decent amount of ventilation or breathability, since off-road riding in particular can be very hard work.
Related: Best adventure motorbike jackets
Even if only used on-road, adventure kit still needs to protect the rider and be waterproof and windproof – the same as every other kind of clothing.
What to look for in adventure motorbike clothing
Look for an overall CE rating for the jacket and trousers and consider the specification of the armour – Level-2 being more protective than Level-1. For boots and gloves, look for the CE rating too with 2s indicating higher rating than 1s.
Any helmet for sale in the UK should conform to the ECE 22.05 standard but the UK government SHARP testing scheme assesses them for safety, with a rating out of five so check here as well though like open-face helmets, many adventure lids aren’t tested.
Here is what we reckon is some if the top adventure kit around.
RST Pro Adventure X Airbag Jacket
Available both with and without an integrated In&motion airbag, the RST Pro Adventure X jacket and matching trousers (£219.99) are made with a MaxTex outer reinforced with ballistic nylon in key impact areas, to achieve a CE rating of AA (A for the trousers) and comes with Level-2 armour in the shoulders, elbows and knees with the Level-1 back protector integral with the airbag and pockets for hip protectors.
Both feature a removeable thermal liner with a SinAqua waterproof and windproof membrane bonded to it. The jacket has chest, arm and back vents and the trousers, large panels on the legs.
CE rating: AA (jacket), A (trousers)
Armour rating: Level-2
The Nexx X.Wed2 is a winner in sister magazine RiDE's product testing and comes in three shell sizes with four liner sizes to get the right fit without becoming too large. Like most adventure kit, it offers excellent ventilation to keep the rider cool, with the chin vent removeable and replaceable with a mesh cover to allow plenty of air in.
It has an internal drop-down sun visor, extendable peak to prevent the sun or debris hitting the visor and is Pinlock ready.
SHARP rating: N/A
Forma Adventure Boots
Available in both this high-top and a low version that comes just above the second buckle, the Forma Adventure is another previous RiDE test winner. They use an upper in oiled leather and three buckles for a secure fit that allows plenty of movement and feel on the bike.
They also have a DryTex waterproof membrane to keep water out and an elasticated top edge helps prevent it running down into the boot if worn outside trousers. There is ankle bracing, reinforcements to the heel and toe and armour on the shin.
Tried and tested by Adam Binnie, commercial content editor: "These are my current boots and I plan to use them until they're either completely worn through, or I've decided to stop riding motorbikes, whatever comes sooner. They're just superb - stiff enough to feel supportive and protective but flexible and comfortable enough for long rides too."
CE rating: 2-2-2-2
These short gloves from Spada are formed with a neoprene palm and a nylon mesh material to the back of the hand and across the top of the little finger for cooling airflow yet include CE rated armour, hard across the knuckles and with vented TPU protection on the fingers.
There is padding on the heel of the palm and printed grip panels with silicone sections on the tips of the first and second fingers, for gripping the brake and clutch levers on the bike.
CE Rated: Yes
Nolan N70-2 X
The Nolan is a dual-homologated helmet that is incredibly versatile. You can wear it as shown in the photos; you can remove the visor and wear it with goggles instead for increased airflow to the face or you can remove the chinbar and wear it as an open face, either with the visor or goggles for maxim cooling air.
The peak can also be removed very easily if you need to do any distance on the road and it comes with both a drop-down sun visor with a quick-release pop-up system and a Pinlock insert in the box.
SHARP Rating: N/A
For strenuous riding off-road or in hot climates, this outfit from T.ur will do the trick. Both the jacket and trousers (£199.99) use an outer formed of a combination of heavyweight Cordura in key impact and abrasion areas with open mesh in non-contact areas to provide exceptional airflow.
The jacket is CE AA-rated and the trousers are A rated and each comes with a separate thermal, waterproof and windproof inner liner to keep the elements out. There is CE Level-2 armour in the shoulders, elbows and knees and there is a pocket for a back protector in the jacket, as well as a drink bladder.
CE rating: AA (jacket), A (trousers)
Armour rating: L2
Sidi Adventure 2 Gore-Tex
These off-road boots are Sportsbikeshop's best sellers and with good reason; intended for both touring and off-road use, they are constructed in full-grain microfibre and feature a Gore-Tex membrane to prevent water and wind getting in but allow the feet to breathe.
There is an inner gaiter for fit and comfort and significant reinforcement, including to the heel and toe cups and an ankle bracing system that both protects the bones and prevents rotational injuries.
CE rating: Unknown
Oxford Montreal 3.0
Another best seller on Sportsbikeshop, the Oxford Montreal 3.0 is about to be superseded by the fourth-generation of the popular garment, so the retailer currently has them on a massive deal. Both the jacket and trousers (at £89.99 instead of £119.99) feature useful vents to allow cooling air in and there is a removeable thermal liner and waterproof drop liner to keep you warm and dry when the weather turns.
There is also a RainSeal hood to go under your helmet to keep water from running down the back of your neck.
Tried and tested by Adam Binnie, commercial content editor: "I used this jacket for several years while first learning to ride and then onto my first big bike. I picked it because it had a magic, confidence-inspiring combination of loads of armour and high-vis.
"It was very comfortable and had a good amount of ventilation for hot days. It didn't come with a back protector but Oxford sells a level two insert for just over £20, which fits in perfectly."
CE rating: A
Armour rating: L1
Givi Hydration Rucksack
Part rucksack, part hydration bladder, this pack from Givi uses a two-litre drink bladder within its total of three litres capacity to allow you to carry water as well as essential bits and pieces.
It has a breathable back and the bladder is housed in the main pocket, while there is also a secondary pocket. The shoulder straps are quick release to make it easy to get on and off and there’s a chest strap with a whistle.
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