How does leaving pieces of yourself on the road during a crash sound? Becoming the cheese in the grater so to speak? Yep – it doesn’t appeal much to me either. But it’s reality for those that crash without gear on. So that begs an obvious question for every responsible motorcyclist. What to wear??
Let’s piggyback off of Tim Erickson’s excellent article on One vs. Two piece riding outfits. Being an ATGATT kind of guy, one piece outfits make the most sense to me. As Tim mentions – ease of use, protection, convenience and being able to wear anything underneath from business to a t-shirt and shorts are just some of the reasons I stick to the one-piece side of the equation.
In this case we are looking at one of my top picks for motorcycle gear – The Olympia Avenger mesh one piece suit. After owning an Olympia Phantom (full textile) one piece for 10+ years I knew Kevin Rhea and the team at Olympia knew how to design versatile top notch gear for the avid rider. My Phantom one piece has 100 thousand miles or more on it and has been my go-to moto gear. Twenty second boot on entry / exit, great protection, features, build quality, venting and waterproofing have made it easy to slip into for commuting or trips.
Enter the Avenger – Olympias moderate to hot weather riding one piece suit. It’s even easier to put on over clothes than the Odyssey (Phantom replacement). It has great impact and abrasion resistance and ballistic mesh panels in non-impact areas. This suit has moved to the top position in my summer riding gear selection.
The outer shell of the Avenger is constructed of genuine DuPont 500d Cordura fabric. This is tough stuff and makes up the construct of the suit in all areas that are going to touch and slide on the road if you go down. Those same points on the suit have CE rated motion flex armor including the knees, hips, elbows, shoulder and full back pad. The other regions of the suit are covered in strong ballistic mesh airflow panels. This allows the breeze to blow right through and still have maximum protection if something goes wrong.
The construction gives spectacular performance for hot weather riding. The wind moves through it like you didn’t even have it on. I often wear just shorts and a t-shirt underneath the suit in the summer time. If it’s really hot, I’ll wet down the t-shirt under the suit and get some hillbilly air conditioning that keeps me cool in the hottest (think 90+ degrees) of times. It’s never too hot to be an ATGATT when you have the Olympia Avenger hanging in the closet.
For cooler (not cold) or wet weather, you’ll need to throw a rain or wind blocking jacket over or under the Avenger. It has no additional liners. Often in the early spring or even late summer I’ll throw a jacket liner over it to block the cool wind in the morning or late evening. The Avenger vents well enough that you could easily be cold otherwise. Obviously temperature tolerance varies according to riders, but I’d say the range without a wind block on would run mid 60 degree on up.
Entry involves 3 simple YKK brand zips. One runs from mid collar bone down to your right knee. This is a two way zipper. You also have two full length leg zippers that run from ankle to mid hip on each leg. Boots on entry and exit is amazingly easy and takes less than 10 seconds. The two way mid line zip is EXCELLENT for quick bathroom stops if you are a male – sorry ladies…..
The suit has many other features, one of which is great customizability. This is accomplished by custom fit details at the collar, cuffs, elbows, waist and bottom hem. Buy the size you normally wear (It’s sized for over clothing) and you most likely will fit very well with the adjustability built in. It is also cut for the typical North American rider, so if you are a little bit broader you’ll be comfortable. It’s also got 3M Scotchlite reflective piping, neoprene lined collar and 4 pockets to hold your stuff. The Avenger comes in a classy Black and Hi-Viz or a more restrained Grey and Black.
I’ll conclude with this. This summer will be my third season of riding with the Avenger. It, like the Phantom, has been absolutely bombproof. Nothing has failed and it has always given me a top notch comfortable and versatile riding experience. The best gear is the gear you like to wear – and I like wearing Olympias stuff a lot. Great Job Kevin!