If you’re a year-round rider who is short on wardrobe space, or simply like the idea of buying once and buying right, a laminated suit like the Richa Atlantic is a solid all-rounder.
With no waterproof liner to zip in and out (or more likely, zip out and leave at home shortly before an epic downpour) the built-in Goretex waterproofing means you’ll never be caught out by bad weather.
The thermal linings still need to be added or taken away, and while this is a bit of a faff, the air temperature is generally more predictable and you only really need them when it’s properly cold.
We’ve put this brilliant suit through its paces in all weather and on a variety of different motorbikes to see how it performs.
Richa Atlantic abrasion and impact protection
The whole suit is rated CE Level A for abrasion. Klim, Alpinestars and Rev’it all make textile jackets with an AA rating at this price (likewise the T.ur J-Zero I reviewed), while AAA is generally more common on leather gear.
Impact protection comes in the form of highly flexible D30, in the shoulders, elbows, back and knees. It’s all level one as standard although a level two back protector can be easily added, as can hip protection, which the trousers have a pocket for but no pads as standard.
What’s it like to wear?
Once you’ve got the fit dialled in it’s very comfortable indeed, with a reasonably slim cut and long back that ensures good coverage in poor weather. You can also zip the jacket and trousers together, to be absolutely certain of no gaping.
Because I’ve mixed an XL pair of trousers with a large jacket (I prefer quite a tight cut up top), it leaves about an inch of spare zip when I use the longer one, which goes almost the whole way around your waist, and although minor this is a bit annoying. There is a shorter connecting zip though, so I could just use that.
The material is quite stiff when new, but softened a bit with use and I find the jacket can get a bit rucked up on the front when leaning forwards. This style of suit is predominantly matched to upright bikes, so it was perfect on a Triumph Tiger 900, but the jacket was a little too long in the front when I wore it on my Daytona.
In fairness, it did the job admirably well for a touring suit, but I’d probably look to the sportier Richa Arc for that type of riding, just to cut down the overall bulk. Depends on how you feel about textiles on a sportsbike though, of course.
Velcro straps on the arms and zips on the flanks help you tailor the fit the way you want, but I found the stiff material around the neck poked me in the Adam’s apple at times. This is easily remedied by wearing a neck tube, though.
The trousers have elastic bibs to stop them from falling down, which is great if you don’t want to wear a belt (which could scratch your tank) and these can be removed if you don’t like them. The leg material is soft and flexible and can be expanded at the calf with a long zip.
What’s the Richa Atlantic made from?
A mix of 2L and 3L Goretex with 3M reflector strips for low-light visibility and Armacor protection on the elbows, shoulders and knees. All the blockbuster names you’d expect on a top-of-the-range suit, basically.
All the big zips are YKK and are easy to locate and use, while the removable thermal linings are the synthetic padded variety (the whole suit is vegan-friendly, incidentally) and are more comfortable when you’re wearing a long sleeve/leg base layer to avoid them feeling sweaty.
The abrasion-resistant material on the joints is quite discreet looking, which helps the overall clean look of this suit and there are accordion stretch panels to help improve the range of movement. There’s a rougher patch of material on the inside of the ankles that looks a bit like tweed, which I strangely really like, and wouldn’t be offended to see on the elbows too.
In terms of fit and finish the Richa Atlantic is really impressive – from the stitching to the quality of the material, right down to the satisfying crack of the poppers, this is an expensive item that feels worth it in every department.
What about weatherproofing?
Goretex laminated to the outside of the suit makes it as impervious to rain as it’s possible to be and stops the material from getting wetted out. You can watch the rain beading off the jacket like a duck’s back, unlike the T.ur Zero I reviewed recently, which was largely weather-proofed on the inside and looked (but didn’t feel) soaked within minutes.
I rode around in torrential rain for several hours on more than one occasion and was amazed at how dry I was, even in easily breached areas. The neckline is the only place where water can get in, and you can mitigate this easily with a neck tube.
The liner hangs down a bit and this can make zipping the trousers and jacket together a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it the process is easy enough.
In terms of warmth, with just a base layer underneath I was comfortable enough down to five or so degrees. Any less (or if you’re going on a long ride) and I think some additional layers or heated kit would ensure suitable toastiness.
It helps that the jacket and trousers are excellent as the first line of defence against the cold, meaning the liner doesn’t need to work as hard to keep you warm. The problem with this of course is that when summer comes, it can be tricky to keep cool.
A small exhaust vent on the back does a reasonable job (unless you’re wearing a rucksack) and two vents on the front can direct some cooling air to your body. These fasten with a zip and are held open with magnets so they don’t flap about, which is a nice touch, and not too fiddly to do while riding.
When moving this combination helps take the edge off the heat but there’s not much they can offer if you’re sitting in traffic with an under seat exhaust roasting your behind, or if you have a tall screen that blocks all the cooling air.
What storage features does it come with?
More pockets than a snooker table factory – eleven in total – including two in the thermal liner, two waterproof ones on the outside of the jacket and another round the back, three on the inside of the jacket and two on the trousers, which can be a little tricky to access when zipped into the jacket
I use the “Napolean” one on the inside of the jacket the most as it’s the easiest to get to and avoids having bulky items around my waist, but there’s no getting around how much you can carry with this suit.
What colours are there?
Black and red like I’ve got here, black and fluoro if you want to be seen easier at night, and then a grey and black one if you want to go full Dakar. To my eyes, the black and red looks the best, and the trousers are smart enough to walk around in off the bike.
Trying to be all things to all people can often mean making compromises, so it’s really impressive how suitable the Richa Atlantic is for a wide range of riders and conditions. It works best within a certain set of parameters, and then pretty well outside of those.
Like I said above, ideally, you’d wear this on a more touring-orientated machine, not necessarily aBMW R1250 RT but something where you’re not likely to have to get properly tucked up. Nakeds, sports tourers, adventure bikes, and even a larger sports bike would work.
The same can be said for the weather. This is a suit that works best in the main riding season and then perfect well outside it, with some adjustments. You might get a bit warm in the height of summer, and when it’s properly cold out it would be sensible to supplement long rides with a heated vest, but otherwise, you could use it all year. Which you’d want to because combined the jacket and trousers cost more than a grand.
Where it really impresses, thanks to its comfortable fit and fool-proof weatherproofing, is on a long haul. It’s nice to be able to forget about your kit and just enjoy the ride, know it has your back whatever the climate is doing.
The abrasion rating could be higher and I’d personally invest in a level two back protector to supplement the impact protection the Richa Atlantic comes with, but otherwise, you’re looking at our favourite all-rounder two-piece touring suit.