By Troy Siahaan
[This MotoGP Corkscrew Motorcycle Jacket and Apex Leather Pants Review was originally published in the July 2007 issue of Rider magazine]
The summer season is upon us and that means it’s time to put away your heated clothing and dust off your warm weather gear. Now, if you are conjuring up images of thin mesh jackets with foam armor parading around as summer “protection,” I have good news. The MotoGP Corkscrew leather motorcycle jacket and Apex leather pants are here to dispel any myths you may have about summer motorcycle gear.
If you’ve heard the names Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards, then you know where the MotoGP name comes from. If not, these men are the cream of the crop in the world of competition, racing the most technologically advanced motorcycles in the world. Think Formula One on two wheels. Branching off its NASCAR-like popularity in every country except the USA, MotoGP is hoping that its line of official apparel will garner interest in the series from the American market.
The Corkscrew and Apex have everything you’ve come to expect from a leather jacket and pants combo. Both items are built with thick cowhide all around, while the Corkscrew jacket’s CE-approved armor in the shoulder and elbow areas protects your skin should you fall. As is standard with most jackets these days, a foam backpad is also included. The Apex pants comes with CE armor in the knees and foam padding in the hips. Stretch panels in the arm and knee areas also give a wide range of motion on or off the bike, and adjustable hook-and-loop waist straps on the Corkscrew ensure a comfortable fit. Two fully zippered waist pockets and one in the interior have enough room for wallets, phones or keys.
A sign that MotoGP is serious about its apparel line is the full-circumference zipper on the jacket that attaches to a matching full-circumference zipper on the pants. Other two-piece combos are only joined by an 8-inch zipper in back, which can still leave the midsection exposed in the event of a fall. The full-circumference zipper virtually eliminates that risk. An added benefit is that both pieces can work with other MotoGP jackets or pants with a full zipper as well.
The two pieces have a sporty cut to them (MotoGP does have its heart set in racing, after all), although they are plenty comfy off the bike. Ventilation across the chest and arms on the Corkscrew flows plenty of air; and when combined with the matching ventilation holes along the inner thigh on the Apex pants enough cool air flows through for everything but the hottest of summer days. Come the spring or fall, a sweater underneath the jacket is all it takes to convert the gear into a real three-season performer. The armor on the jacket sits exactly where it’s supposed to and no adjusting is needed. One minor complaint with the Apex pants is that the knee armor sits rather low. After giving them a tug and pulling them over my knee cap it wasn’t a problem. It’s too bad I had to do that each time I got on the bike….
As a complete package the two provide all the protection you need in a two-piece suit, except perhaps for the foam pad in place of a solid CE-approved back protector. At $389.95 for the Corkscrew jacket and $349.95 for the Apex pants you’d expect the finish of the pants to be a little better. Other than that little imperfection, the MotoGP gear really is quality kit. And while MotoGP doesn’t guarantee you’ll be the next Valentino Rossi, at least you’ll look good trying.
For more information see www.motogpapparel.com or visit your local Tucker Rocky dealer