BMW StreetGuard Suit ReviewThe weather in most of the U.S. has turned to winter with a vengeance. Except in the West, most of our riding brethren have put their bikes into storage or are feverishly attempting to do so.
For those of us who will continue to ride throughout the cold months, BMW Motorrad offers its latest version of the StreetGuard suit – and this beautiful creation ought to serve dutifully in keeping you comfortable.If you seek a suit that has every possible amenity, can withstand almost any weather, is flexible in how it can be configured beyond the usual, and is rugged and attractive looking, then you may not need to look any farther.BMW’s StreetGuard suit has undergone additional refinement this year and now offers just about every detail required in the creation of a class-leading, highly technical garment. Upon first examination, the details and possibilities are all that a serious rider might want, need or imagine.A closer look reveals that every inch of the StreetGuard jacket and pant is done to perfection. There is not a loose stitch or crooked seam anywhere. This suit is built as well as any of BMW’s fine motorcycles, befits the price and will not disappoint.We recently took a midnight ride up to Wrightwood, Calif., in the San Gabriel Mountains and the thermometer dropped from 78 to below 48 degrees F. Granted, not very extreme, but cold enough to get a good idea of the capabilities.It was a dark and starry night with a bright moon and a chill in the air. This was a good temperature range to test BMW’s top-of-the-line offering, which is marketed to the touring or ADV rider who doesn’t want to wear the sportier, and brightly colored, Dry or Rallye suits most often associated with that segment. It has a subdued and finely-tailored look.I started the ride with the liners removed. BMW has opted to make this suit with only a single inner, removable liner and that eliminates the need for a second, usually Gore-Tex liner, required in some other suits.By utilizing a 3-layer laminate (95% Cordura – 5 % elastin), Thinsulate and their C.A.R.E. Climate membrane, we get a waterproof exterior that is also windproof, breathable and highly abrasion-resistant. Both jacket and pants have waterproof pockets as well as four inner jacket pockets.Only at our stop at the top of the mountain, with the thermometer reading around 48 degrees F did I begin to feel the need to don the jacket liner for the ride home. Under the jacket I wore only a BMW long-sleeve polyester shirt. Had I worn a fleece vest, sweater or even a sweatshirt I would not have even needed to insert the liner.I must admit, it felt good and this liner doubles as a handsome windproof, thermal jacket with two outer and one inner pocket. It’s just right when going out to dinner after reaching your destination.While on the subject of liners, the trousers have a more traditional looking, quilted polyester one that zips at the waist and at both ankles. There are no snaps or buttons and loops. You will not wear this liner out to dinner.On the other end of the temperature spectrum, the jacket is equipped with dual 7-inch front zippered slash vents that start on the chest and go under the arms, and dual 11-inch vertical rear vents. There are no sleeve vents. These vents don’t open very wide and limit ventilation to some, but little, flow. This is not a suit designed for riding in mostly warm climates. Usually a three-season jacket excludes winter. In this case, exclude hot summers.The trousers have a single 8-inch slash vent across each thigh and no more. With both pieces Gore-Tex lined and sealed, the configuration will serve well into the low 80s. You may take it to higher temperatures if you are willing to suffer a bit.The jacket has a removable storm collar which is generous and almost eliminates the need for a neck gaiter. Within the storm collar is a zippered pouch with a hood that can be worn under the helmet for serious downpours. There is standard armor at the shoulders, elbows and back.The trousers have an adjustable waist and zippered, removable bib and suspenders unit which is snug and improves back support while performing vertical support duties. I’ve worked it both ways and prefer the bib for long hauls. There is standard armor at the knees and hips and a full length zipper to attach them to the jacket.There are a handful of fabulous suits marketed by the major players and they are all capable of meeting a rider’s needs. Each is slightly different in the way they can be configured and the amenities built in. The StreetGuard is right up there with the best and, like cell phones, beauty and functionality will be judged by each buyer. This garment has what it takes to satisfy the most discerning of buyers and one needn’t even own a BMW.BMW StreetGuard Prices:
StreetGuard Jacket MSRP: $999 (available in short (tested) or 7/8 length)
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!