|BMW Rallye 2 Pro Jacket - Size 44R USA|
This review is for the BMW Rallye 2 Pro riding suit which includes the jacket and pants. In addition both jacket and pants have winter/rain liners. Both parts have CE type pads with the jacket having a mesh liner that holds the back, elbow, and shoulder pads. This suit is meant as a year round suit or perhaps a three season suit in extreme areas. In my case I intend to use it year round for my long rides. On short local rides in the summer I still intend to use my BMW Airflow jacket. For additional protection I have a Rev'It wind barrier for under a jacket and a Tourmaster rain jacket for over a jacket in extreme cold or rain. This suit is very heavy but like the Airflow jacket it just seems to hang on you so well. It's like a well tailored suit. You hardly notice the jacket on you although it is large and heavy.
I'm calling this review a first impression because I only have about 700 miles with this suit and most of that was done in one day. A followup review will follow soon as I plan to use this suit for my long tour this coming week. I'm plan on adding a lot more miles to this suit next week.
Let me start by saying that this 700 mile review ride was on a BMW K1200S which is a sport touring bike that leans a lot closer to sport than my 2010 R1200RT - my normal touring bike. The KS flows a lot more air than the RT on the upper torso. The legs have about the same amount of shielding on both bikes. In addition, my "normal" jacket is a BMW Airflow (no number means the latest). Testing took place in South Texas to Central Texas in August i.e., very hot conditions.
Since I left at 5:00 AM my cold weather riding (in August) was in the low 70's and I was lucky to get that. I left my house without the liners and all jacket vents open. The jacket has vents on the back, chest, and sleeves. The sleeve vents are full length but I just opened the upper part (by the shoulder) a few inches. As I headed north the temperature dropped to about 70 F just before sunrise. Certainly not cold but cool enough at 75 MPH to let me feel the air flowing in. This condition afforded me the opportunity to adjust and/or close the vents while under way. I wanted to know if I could open and close the vents while under way - excluding the rear vents of course. With little effort I was able to close the chest and arm vents on the jacket and the thigh vents on the pants. I decided to stop at a Whataburger and get a few cups of coffee. While having my coffee I opened all vents again. I'm expecting high 90's later in the day. As the sun came up so did the temperature.
I reach my destination in north Austin before 10 AM. The trip was pretty much uneventful. I was enjoying the new to me KS - a bike that is very difficult to ride at legal speeds. The true hot weather test was to be on my return trip. I installed the K13/K12 rear rack on my bike so that I could use my BMW Sport 2 Small tail pack (that's what BMW calls it). I invested $200 for the rack because I really like the Sport 2 Small bag and a rack provides a very stable mounting point for these bags.
Review / Comparison: BMW Sport 2 Bags
My bike was competed by mid afternoon. That is normally the hottest part of the day and sure enough the temperature was 97 F as I pulled away from the dealership. On my last visit here I purchased a HyperKewl vest and I was carrying it along with my rain gear in the tail pack. But I wanted to evaluate this suit without any artificial means of cooling and decided not to use it. Once I hit the country roads the bike is showing 104 F and I can tell it's hot.
The jacket does not flow air like the Airflow but it still did a good job of flowing enough air that I never felt sweat anywhere except my back. You might know the feeling... you shift so that the back pad comes off your back and you feel the air flow hit a wet spot on your back. I think the Airflow is very good in this regard partly because the back section that contacts your back has ridges over the entire length. These ridges allow air to flow up and down your back. They must be doing the job because it is one of the first things I noticed with that jacket. The cooling effect of the Rallye 2 jacket was much more obvious when I stopped to gas up and left my jacket on. Once you get back on the road you feel all these cool spots on your now slightly damp shirt. It's something you don't notice when you are not moving. The pants flow much better than jeans but not as good as my Tourmaster and Olympia mesh riding pants but they are built much better and protection appears much, much better. For example the knee pads go around your knees and really stay in place and the pad really goes down your shins to protect that area. Conclusion: the jacket and pants seem to do the job in hot weather but a true hot weather test has to be above 106 in my opinion. It's just so different when you get above 105 and then again above 110. This is when you must close face shields due to the heat blast in your face. I'm thinking this jacket, because of the way it's built, might do very good at those elevated temperatures. I'll do an update to this post when I hit those conditions.
I'm using the Rallye suit next week because we are expecting temperatures from over 100 to low 40's in our multi state ride. I should also be able to evaluate the liners with conditions like that. I'm looking forward to putting this suit to the test. I'm not taking another jacket so I'll be stuck with it for the duration of our tour. But then again, it's not a bad jacket to be stuck with.
Update: I have done several long rides with the Rally suit. My longest ride was the multi state ride I just mentioned above. I used the jacket every day and the pants I used on days where we expected to ride at least 8 hours. In other words if we were visiting different areas, parks, shops etc. I used jeans instead of the riding pants. I packed the liners for both jacket and pants but never used them. On the cold days I simply zipped up all the vents on the jacket. In addition, when the temperature was below about 55 F I used my Rev'It wind blocker jacket. The combination worked very nicely. I'll be testing the liners this winter and reporting back.
TSP Rating : 9/10 - Do it all jacket?
High quality pads
Pockets, pockets, and pockets
Cost - but you get what you pay for
Inside liners will be hard to put on while on the side of the road.
Thanks for reading,