Reviewed by: Steve Rose for 8000 miles RRP: Jacket £630/trousers £495
Yes, it’s expensive and yes, as you’d expect from BMW it’s made from all manner of high tech materials that keep you warm in winter and cool in summer with a bamboozling spec that means little to any of us, other than posting the question… does it work?
To which the simple answer is yes. For me a textile suit has to do several important things. Warm, obviously, waterproof, absolutely – 100% or it’s crap. And the armour and crash protection should be good enough for me to be confident I’ll stand up and walk away from a typical wet weather or slippery spill. But it also has to have at least two fully waterproof pockets and be easy to get on and off. Plus, there have to be no gaps between jacket and trousers, zips that survive winter after winter with no maintenance and never break and enough room at the collar, cuffs and ankles to get over whatever jumpers, fleeces, gloves or boots I might be wearing with it.
On a £200 suit I might make a compromise on some of the details, on a £1000+ suit, I expect it to ticket every one of those above boxes and more. If someone can also build a suit that looks good and has a removable quilted liner that comes out in summer and never gets lost, that’d be perfect.
The Streetguard manages all of the above with ease (apart from the self-locating liner but I’ll allow that to pass). It looks great, fits well has plenty of adjustment at the collar, cuffs that take winter gloves underneath with ease and textile toggles on the zips that reduce the strain on the zippers. All the four outer pockets have been waterproof so far. It’s been draught free with armour that stays in place and the outer material feels tougher and likely to resist abrasion than that on most suits.
This is a seriously impressive piece of bike kit and I’m a fussy old git who takes some pleasing.
There are a couple of small niggles though. Firstly, there are two zips that join the jacket and trousers. One goes all the way round for a good seal in winter, the other just goes across the back. It’s a good idea, but the two zips run very close to each other so when fastening the long one it always get snagged on the short one half round necessitating a bit of yoga to twist round and ease it over the shorter one. Not exactly the end of the world, but on a £1000 suit I half expected a manservant to come round and help me into it every morning. Repositioning one of the zips would make all the difference.
The second niggle is a personal one. To get the best comfort you need a close fit and that means no room for my normal trousers underneath, which means you need a changing room when you get there, not just somewhere to strip off your over suit. It also means that trousers will need washing more often because in summer your sweaty legs are in direct contact. My local BMW dealer in Peterborough did a superb job of helping me find the perfect size and the suit fits as well as most leathers. But that means there’s not quite enough room for thermals now it’s turned colder. Like I said, they’re niggles, but I’d be slacking not to mention them.
More info: www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk