Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boot Review: Tested On- and Off-road
Every ADV rider has a unique balance of protection and comfort in footwear. When you’re riding an adventure motorcycle, anything from a full-on motocross boot to a road-racing boot to riding shoes can be the proper choice for your feet. The Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech adventure motorcycle boot combines off-road features with a comfortable low-rise design that may be the right compromise for your kind of ADV riding.Gaerne calls the Stelvio Aquatech boot a “sports touring short boot,” but there’s much more to it than that. It has a hybrid rubber sole that is part-street, part-dirt (due to cleats) that also has a low heel. The buckle is a nod to an off-road design, and the waterproof Drytech membrane works for rain and puddle splashing.
Certainly, the Drytech membrane does its job. On a photoshoot for the Kawasaki Versys-X, we did numerous passes through a shallow stream that crossed a road, and water never made it to the socks.As far as comfort goes, Gaerne has an enviable reputation in this department, and the Stelvio Aquatech did nothing to besmirch it. The boots slip-on easily thanks to a wide opening on top, and your foot slips right in without resistance. Sizing is spot-on. Once inside, the plush interior reveals itself to be posh.You secure your foot in the boot with the single buckle and large Velcro closure flap at the ankle. A sawtooth adjustment system for the buckle strap allows personalization of the fit, along with the Velcro flap.Control feel is sure, as the Gaerne Stelvio boot has a flexible shank that protects your arch while allowing your feet to operate the brake and shifter confidently. Microfiber accordion panels at the instep and rear enhance flexibility.Given how soft the leather on the boot is, the rubber toe protector on the left boot is welcome. There’s also one on the right boot, presumably to give the pair of boots a balanced look, though vintage motorcycle owners can find that right protector to be functional.Because it is a low-rise boot, the Gaerne Stelvio does offer limited protection. There are plastic inserts at the bottom of the fibula and tibia, but they are very flexible. The toe is sturdy, though not overly so. There’s a tiny bit of shin protection, but from the midway point of your lower leg up, you are on your own unless you wear shin guards. Hard-core ADV riders will want taller boots, while touring and urban riders will likely find these to be just right.Made in Italy, the Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech boots are high-quality and undoubtedly stylish. You can walk around in them at your destination confidently, and they look good. At $250, they command a premium price to match the quality.Photography by Kelly CallanGaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boots Fast Facts Size: 7-13 Colors: Black; Saddle Brown Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boots Price: $250 MSRP
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!