BMW Streetguard 2 Motorcycle Riding Suit Review
[This BMW Streetguard 2 Motorcycle Riding Suit Review was originally published in the October 2006 issue of Rider magazine]
I’ve always been a fan of suits so versatile that the rider can just keep riding (with a short stop for minimal adjustments, of course) whether he or she encounters heat, rain or cold. Last July, while attending the introduction of the BMW R1200R, I was able to also test BMW’s Streetguard 2 Suit, its latest high-tech performance outfit designed for four-season versatility. Unfortunately, the three-day ride through southern Germany and the Austrian Alps dished up a serving of only warm, muggy, rainy weather, but still I got a good look at the suit.
The Streetguard 2 motorcycle riding suit was introduced for 2006, and is the successor to the Tourguard Jacket and Streetguard Pant. Changes include the addition of venting under the arms and additional pockets on the jacket and pants, and a thermal liner has been added to the pants. The Streetguard 2 features a Cordura nylon shell with Armacore fabric in the slide-prone areas; it incorporates Kevlar for a much higher melting point. The new XCR version of the Gore-Tex membrane reportedly wicks at a 25 percent greater level than the previous version, and TFL COOL technology reflects infrared rays, reportedly lowering the outer temperature. Removable armor is included in the back, knees, shoulders, elbows and hips.
Because it was hot I immediately removed the additional zip-off storm collar (designed for rain and cold) from the jacket and the zip-out liner from the pants. The first two days provided plenty of rain, but even without the additional collar no moisture got past the abbreviated collar, even while I was on an unfaired bike. Rubberized zipper protectors kept water from the pockets, though the handwarmer jacket pockets were open to the elements. Despite several hours in the rain the only discomfort was some dampness in the seat. Had I left the thermal liner in the pants, however, this may have been minimized.
When the weather warmed (oh boy, did it!) I zipped the thermal liner out of the jacket and opened the vents under the arms. This made a tremendous difference as the suit flowed air well, and I concluded that there may well be something to this TFL COOL fabric.
The pants likewise are Cordura, and offer a pair of pockets. I had to slip off the BMW ProTouring Boots (which were comfortable, waterproof and breathed well) in order to slide my legs through, but this allowed for a tighter fit. It’s been my experience over the years that much of an outfit’s success in keeping the rider warm is how well it seals. The Streetguard 2 seals very well (the pants and jacket also zip together), and I expect that the thermal liners, along with effective cuff and neck sealing, should keep a rider comfortable in any temperature in which it’s sane to ride.
Available only in the black/stone gray jacket and black pants, the suit is attractive and comes in various cuts for men and women; the latter are also available in regular, long and petite. Though the suit is manufactured in China, at $725 for the jacket and $525 for the pants, it’s a pretty pricey outfit.