The origin of Roadgear is a tale of the American Dream. Man leads hectic life as a big-city banker. Overworked and frustrated, he embarks on an 8,000-mile solo motorcycle journey to overcome a personal tragedy. Along the way, he rediscovers himself and finds a new purpose in life. Upon returning home, he abandons his financial career and starts his own company. That fellow is Mansoor Shafi, CEO and cofounder of Roadgear, which has sold apparel, luggage, camping gear and accessories directly to riders since 1991. Mansoor works tirelessly and is a familiar face at major rallies, yet he still finds time to ride and write poetry. A true Renaissance man.
When I started working at Rider three years ago, Mansoor outfitted me for my first press launch. Much to the chagrin of me and my boss, I crash tested Roadgear’s Xcaliber jacket and pants, along with a spiffy-looking white Triumph Tiger 1050. (“If you don’t crash once in a while you’re not riding hard enough” isn’t a satisfactory excuse with Editor Tuttle.) The Xcaliber top and bottom have outer shells made of Cordura Plus with durable Keprotec panels at the shoulders, elbows and knees, backed by CE-approved armor. And there’s a contoured, removable Tempurfoam spine guard and foam padding at the hips. After my lean angle exceeded my cornering clearance, my Roadgear saved me from road rash. My only complaint—a common one with riding pants—is that the knee armor didn’t stay in place upon impact.
Xcaliber stands for “extreme caliber,” the idea being that you can wear this gear anywhere in any conditions. The jacket and pants use a waterproof, breathable Reissa membrane with heat-taped seams. That, plus a large double flap over the jacket’s main zipper, does a good job of keeping the elements out. Removable DuPont ThermoLite liners add warmth; front and rear jacket vents with Air-Tec mesh lining take it away. Other great features include a wrap-around, comfort-lined jacket collar, reflective material for nighttime visibility and adjustable waist belts, sleeve up-takes and cuffs. The jacket has 10 pockets and the pants have two, along with full-length side zippers to easily don and doff. I’m obliged to mention that the Xcaliber’s pants’ fly zipper blew out, but I mostly attribute that to excess stress induced by my bulging waistline. Despite all the miles covered and words strung together, riding and writing are very sedentary activities!
Soon after my crash Roadgear sent me a fresh set of Xcaliber apparel. It has served me reliably on countless test rides on countless bikes in good weather and bad. As with everything Roadgear offers, the Xcaliber jacket and pants are designed and tested by riders for riders. At the next rally or motorcycle show, go talk to Mansoor and check out his gear. Tell him Rider sent you!
The Xcaliber jacket will run you $319.90. It comes in men’s (38-58) and women’s (S, M and L) sizes, and either red or yellow with black accents. Xcaliber pants cost $219.90 and are available in men’s (30-48) and women’s (24-32) sizes with three inseam lengths (30, 33 or 36); black only. Both are covered by a two-year warranty.
For more information: Contact Roadgear at (800) 854-4327