Whether you’re traveling the world or just spending a week or two on (or off) the road, the updated BMW Rallye 2 motorcycle riding suit, now the Rallye 2 Pro, is a willing companion. I tested it in steamy South Africa, dry Death Valley and the chilly southern Sierra.
With its combination of vents and removable Gore-Tex rain liners, the Rallye is rarely out of its element, though it does have some limitations–when it’s hot and raining, the liners make the suit too warm, and at temps below 45-50 degrees you’ll want another layer. Designed for adventuring, most of the Pro 2 is specially coated, air-permeable 500-denier Cordura, with reinforcements in the seat, arms and knees. The pants have leather panels for inner leg protection and stretch panels at the back, sides and knees for comfort. Two long exit vents in the jacket’s back zip open to expel air from the full-length sleeve vents, dual vertical torso vents, and the Rallye’s secret weapon in the war against warmth–twin pectoral vents. The pants breathe through side vents below the hips and the stretch panels; though not large, their placement ensures a cooling draft.
The new CE-approved armor package is comfortable and comprehensive–the back pad covers everything from scapulas to kidneys, while shoulder pads and large elbow/forearm pads give extensive arm protection. The pads ride in a removable mesh lining so you can substitute an armored shirt, and the jacket’s sleeves zip off to create a vest. Below, height-adjustable knee pads wrap around the sides of the knees, and small hip pads are unobtrusive but sit right in the impact zone. Removing the knee pads left plenty of room for my knee braces.
The jacket closes with a one-way zipper covered by a storm flap that’s secured by hook-and-loop and rubber- coated snaps. The cuffs and leather-rimmed collar also seal with hook-and-loop. The collar hooks sometimes caught in my helmet lining, and the thick cuffs can be difficult to stuff into glove gauntlets. The pants seal with a front zipper and clasp, and can be zipped to the jacket. Plastic ratchet strips at each hip permit quick waist adjustments, and long zippers at the bottom provide easy entry. The pants fit either in or over boots.
The Rallye’s cargo space is adequate, but it’s not a wearable suitcase. The jacket has two lower patch pockets and two vertical zippered pockets higher up. One of those is waterproof, good for a wallet or passport, and the other will handle a compact camera with other small items. There’s also a plastic view pocket on the left sleeve and another pocket in the rain liner. I missed having a vest pocket for sunglasses. On the back is a zip-removable fanny pack that holds all the Gore-Tex, but isn’t very comfortable when stuffed that full. Zippered slash pockets in the pants are too small for much more than a pocketknife, money and lip balm.
The suit is comfortable on the bike and didn’t bind or flap during all kinds of riding, from freeway flying to dirt-road plonking. The Rallye Pro 2 is premium gear all the way–performance, quality and price ($739 for the jacket and $499 for the pants)–and comes in a huge range of sizes. Nice touches on the Chinese-made suit include a chill-killing fuzz inside the Gore-Tex, pull tabs on all zippers and an elastic cord to snug up the hem on the long-tailed jacket. Color schemes are gray/black and gray/blue. Pick a color, pick a direction and hit the road! If it hits back, you’ll be prepared.
For more information: See your BMW dealer, or www.bmwmotorcycles.com