BMW Trailguard Riding Suit and C-Change Textile Inserts Review
[This BMW Trailguard Riding Suit and C-Change Textile Inserts gear review was originally published in the May 2011 issue of Rider magazine]
So much good riding gear is on the market now that there is bound to be something to please you…or me. I look for protection, comfort and lots of pockets. I’m also into layers, not requiring one suit to be all things. For three-season potential—not winter—this BMW Trailguard suit does me well, and works in the 60-90-degree temperatures I like to ride in; using the C-Change pants and jacket liners for cooler or wetter days.
The Trailguard is really a pan-European outfit, designed by Germans, the jacket made in Bosnia, the pants in Hungary—with the main material coming from Switzerland. The textile fabric is something called Schoeller-Dynatec, said to be as durable and abrasion resistant as Cordura; I won’t try to debate those claims. This fabric is waterproofed at the factory and will take a shower in stride, but should the rain get serious, BMW’s C-Change inserts will keep you dry.
Protection is excellent, with armor at all pertinent joints—shoulders and elbows in the jacket, hips and knees in the pants. The knee units are three-way adjustable, which is important so as not to get banged around when walking. A large back protector comes with the jacket, and while I do not claim to be impervious to harm, I did decide to take it out, as it made the jacket a bit too bulky for my taste.
Comfort is attended to, as the Schoeller-Dynatec fabric is very easy to wear, certainly not being too stiff. The jacket has a smooth mesh liner making the getting on and off much easier. Proper ventilation is assured by long zips that open up the sleeves, two zips on the chest and two vertical zips at the back that let the air out. Keeping the jacket from flapping are hook-and-loop adjustments at the waist, and on the upper arms. A fleece material at the neck with the infinitely adjustable hook-and-loop keeps the collar snug, as they do the wrists.
The pants fit well, with a nylon liner easing passage when slipping into them. Adjustable cinchers are on each side of the waist and some stretchable material lies at appropriate places…always important when contemplating a triple McBurger with bacon. Zips on the thighs can keep air moving on a hot day. And these are good-looking strides; some riding pants make the wearer look a tad clumsy, being on the large size, but these have a more refined look.
Pockets! Lots of pockets. The pants have two front pockets, one on each thigh, while the jacket has eight, two being on the tail, two on the front skirt and two on each chest—including a map pocket, big enough to hold a 4- x 9-inch road map. Hallelujah! However, only one is actually marked “Waterproof,” and that is on the right front skirt, having a flap and a waterproof zipper.
A small multipurpose pocket sits on the lower right sleeve, very accessible, where I kept my seldom-used cell phone and the key to the bike. The BMW C-Change Textile Inserts are the latest in “membrane technology,” which serve to keep you cool when it is hot, warm when the temperature dips. Zip them in, and you will stay warm, and dry, being both waterproof and windproof.
The Trailguard is a good suit, well thought out, well constructed. It comes in men’s sizes from 36-56, with some Long and Short variations. Remember, for best fit you should try on this gear before you buy it. Women get size 4-16 sizing. Colors are either black/silver or mocha/limestone. Prices are $639 for the jacket, $409 for the pants. The C-Change jacket costs $269, trousers, $179.
For more information: See your BMW dealer