Review by Olaf Wolff[This BMG Challenger Motorcycle Jacket Review was originally published in the May 2008 issue of Rider magazine]
The BMG Challenger three-quarter armored textile jacket packs a walloping first impression. From its striking appearance to its confidence-inspiring heft, there’s little doubt that the Challenger is dukeing it out in the heavyweight class–nothing wimpy, frilly, or lightweight going on here.
The jacket is described as an all-weather, 100 percent waterproof, multifunctional adventure touring jacket with detachable thermal insulation, and six zipped ventilation points. What that doesn’t address is the truly practical vents on the forearms that run from the wrists to the biceps. It is basically the same classic three-quarter length cut that has long been a best seller, but all the best features and protection have been notched up to exceed today’s demanding expectations and finicky tastes. You really do get a bunch of jacket for the buck with this one.
The exterior is made of thick, heavy, hard-wearing 600-denier fabric, with double reinforced fabric along the upper back and a double-studded storm-flap to prevent rain/cold ingress. The CE-approved Knox shoulder and elbow armor exceeds European and U.S. standards for PPE protection, with optional CE back armor available as well.
For added comfort and insulation there is TPU foam positioned along the lower back, just above a large rear pocket, which is ample enough to act as a mobile picnic- pack for a passenger. The collar is lined with cushy neoprene, there’s even a piece smartly positioned in the Adams-apple region, an area that can be abrasive on some jacket collars. Stretch material under the arms and eyelets can be used for holding sunglasses, and rubber grab-tabs on all the adjusters, as well as along the collar, shoulders, sleeves and the waist allow you to totally personalize and dial in the fit. This jacket is so dang feature packed, in fact, it’s like a wonderland of discoveries worthy of any gear-geek’s attention.
I’m still finding pockets inside pockets, a mobile phone pouch in one and a license/ID case in another. There are two security zipped pockets in the jacket lining, four large cargo pockets, two handwarmer pockets and two pockets at the end of the sleeves. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t found them all yet. With the thermal liner zipped in place this jacket is cozy enough down into the 40-degree area–anything lower is out of my comfort zone anyway.
BMG may not yet be an immediately recognizable player in the humungous motorcycle apparel market, but be advised all the old British apparel charisma is back and then some. When you see someone wearing the Challenger you will take notice–this jacket is pure class and all business, not to mention a bargain at $279. It comes in men’s XS-4XL and in the black/blue/white shown and black/gunmetal.
For more information contact British Motorcycle Gear, (800) 432-9004; www.britishmotorcyclegear.com