Long Term Test: Xion® Protector Wheels Jacket and Bermuda Shorts
With their new Moto Sport series protectors, Dutch Xion® Protective Gear is introducing a whole new level of comfort to adventure riders. We have long term tested two products from the lineup, featuring ground breaking D3O® smart polymer technology.
Back when men where men, personal protection for motorcycle riders were not on manly men’s mind. Luckily for more modern men, soon after the conclusion of World War I, tank crew leather gear was adapted by motorcycle riders wanting to protect themselves in a crash.
At the same time long duster coats became “out”, shorter jackets was popularized by Marlon Brando and other leather wearing studs. For decades, leather became synonymous with rider protection. Even though the main purpose of leather suits were streamlining, horse hide provided important abrasion resistance in the event of a crash.
Eventually, built-in armor made it´s way to motorcycle riding gear. The protection was originally made from high density foam in combination with hard plastic shells. The obvious purpose, to reduce injury by spreading and dampening the impact to the wearer. A relatively low-tech solution still utilized by many manufacturers. By law, all motorcycle armor must meet certain quality standards and carry a CE-certification mark. Protection is typically categorized in levels, with a higher level offering better protection.
Fortunately, recent years have brought body protection equipment into a whole new realm with the use of modern viscoelastic technology. It is at the forefront of this development we enter the story of Holland based Xion® Protective Gear.
Made for A Wild Bunch
Founded by a couple of professional stuntmen, Xion® developed most of their products aimed at their own industry. Through the years, their customer base has grown to include athletes, extreme- and Moto sports-professionals, military and law enforcement.
An entire “Moto sport” segment is dedicated to motorcycle riders. Within this segment you’ll find three long sleeve jackets and one short sleeve. One full length pair of pants, three in Bermuda cut, and one short. All products designed over an elastic 4-way stretch base garment with multiple protective inserts in fitted pockets. Not only does this provide an exceptionally comfortable protective layer – it also makes sure the protection stay in place, if you hit the ground.
As always with the genius D3O® polymer – as soon as it gets in contact with your body, warming up, it turns soft and pliable, following your every move. After a couple of minutes, we hardly notice wearing our Long-sleeve Jacket Wheels and matching Bermuda Extreme Pro. The comfort is nothing short of brilliant.
Ventilation on a hot day is good, thanks to the moisture wicking material and ventilated D3O® inserts. Not as airy as a some hard shell motocross protectors, but far more comfortable and much better suited for adventure riders.
With high comfort comes the important secondary safety as a result of less restriction of movement, less fatigue and improved concentration through long hours on the road.
Getting it On
Donning the jacket is easy, thanks to the smooth front YKK zipper and the adjustable elastic waist belt. The Wheels jacket sleeves are equipped with thumb loops, excellent for those cooler days. The neck opening is generous in size and does not interfere with jacket collars or a brace.
The D3O® protection pads are fairly low profile and does not snag the inside of my Mosko Moto Basilisk shell jacket. Full dexterity and ease of movement is as crucial in traffic as on the trail.
Back protector level can be specified during the ordering process, both Level 1 and Level 2 is available. I went for a Level 2.
The Bermuda shorts is designed to be worn high and includes protection for waist, coccyx, hip, thigh and knee. Short leg length makes sure there is no interference with motorcycle boots.
Waist is adjustable, soft and comfortable.
Using the jacket and shorts together took some getting used to, as the back protector kept pushing my pants down, once we got off the bike. An individual issue, but annoying enough until I figured it out.
Wear areas are reinforced with a durable and wear resistant fabric – and yes, there´s a front zipper.
Proof is in the pudding and I have tasted it with an unintentional low side tumble from the heavy orange machine. Not the most dramatic of tests, but enough to experience that the Xion® protector lives up to it´s claim. In spite of back, shoulder and elbow impact, I suffered no injury or mentionable pain. Official certification and approval documents are of course in place for all Xion® products.
It is perfectly understandable when riders claim that the large, heavy and inflexible foam or thermo plastic protectors of yesterday offer better protection than the putty-like D3O® orange polymer, but this simply is not true. Government and independent laboratory tests have confirmed beyond any doubt that the energy absorbing properties of D3O®® is superior. The material comes in a variety of thicknesses and is becoming an industry standard across high quality brands.
The liquid-like base material is plant-based, so even the most environment conscious riders can sleep comfortably.
Adventure riding – what’s not to like? I have ridden motorcycles for many years – more than 30 in fact. I have survived my share of hard landings and have lived through all stages from wearing no-protection to ATGATT.
I have all but ditched the heavy riding gear, opting instead for shell style pants and jacket with a protector underneath. This gives me the freedom to layer according to season, weather and temperature, and the improved freedom of movement is fantastic.
Riding this season with the Xion® protectors have been a real eye opener: Good protection does not have to be limiting and uncomfortable. My rides usually takes me to a forest or mountain, where I wild camp. Typically, after a long day on the motorcycle, the first thing I do after finding my spot for the night, is to get out of my riding gear. With the Xion® protectors I find myself wearing the gear while setting up camp – and sometimes even through the remainder of the evening. That is how comfortable this gear is.
The design and quality has proven to be top notch. Zippers and velcro adjusters have survived without a hitch. No seams have given up under the strain of my generous corpus. The D3O® pads are easily removed for throwing the jacket in the washing machine. The only issue worth mentioning, – the Level 2 back protector is fairly heavy and I would have liked a wider velcro strip for the pocket that holds it.
While most adventure riders agree on prioritizing quality when choosing protective gear – cost is an issue, and Xion® products belong to the upper segment in regard to both quality and price. Currently the jackets retail from € 350 and pants for € 250. The tested products wear very well and we expect both pieces to last for several years – value for money is very good.
Xion® deliver top level protection combined with superior comfort. For adventure riders, this is the new black, a product that deliver on every promise and then some.
For more info on models, sizes and ordering: https://xionpg.com
M Bibow / Basecamp North Founder. Photo-Journalist and Adventure Rider
Comments from fellow Xion®-wearing adventure riders:
“Super nice. Great elastic material makes it comfortable to wear. Nice fit. Would be nice to see more focus on women riders…”
Henriette T. / Adventure Rider, Denmark
“Exceptional fit, stays in place even during vigorous activity while enduro riding, mountain biking or paragliding.”
Thomas R. / Adventure Sports Enthusiast, Denmark
“Comfortable and unobtrusive. Protection that stays close to the body, right where it is supposed to. My Bat suit!”
Peter K. / Adventure Rider, Denmark
Peter Baloo Laurents er naturvejleder i Danmarks Naturfredningsforening.
Vi møder ham i skoven ved Møns kyst, hvor han har slået lejr for at fejre sin egen 75. dag. Eller måske skal vi sige “75. nat”, for Peter er slet ikke i nærheden af at fylde 75 år, men lige på denne dag skal han sove sin nat nr. 75 i sin Draumr XL.
Peter “Baloo” har været på tur med hammock i mere end 15 år, men med en højde på godt over 2 meter, blev Amok først aktuell efter lanceringen af XL-udgaven, hvor Draumr kom i “mandfolkstørrelse”, som han selv udtrykker det.
– Jeg er vild med den! Liggekomforten er bedre end i nogen anden hammock jeg har prøvet og
kit´et er bare så nemt at hænge op. Udsigten er fænomenal. Jeg fotograferer meget og er glad for panorama-udsynet.
Peter har været spejder siden han var 5 år gammel og har altid dyrket friluftsliv. Kanoen er hans foretrukne fremkomstmiddel. På forunderlig vis har han hele livet igennem formået at havne i jobs hvor han har kunnet bruge sin erfaring med skov og fjeld. Han har arbejdet med sårbare unge, i ungdomsskolen og i kriminalforsorgen. Han har været leder hos spejderne og i 4H.
Snitter og radiofortæller
– I naturen bliver du målt på hvad du kan, ikke hvad du postulerer at kunne. Intet bål – ingen varm mad. Man skal levere noget, både for sin egen del og for andre. Det er noget jeg kan bruge til noget i mit arbejde.
De sidste år har Laurents engageret sig i træarbejder hvor han holder snittekurser. Du finder ham altid på danmarks skarpeste festival – den årlige Snittefestival udenfor Roskilde.
Ud i skoven
Naturvejlederen kan tit høres i morgenradio, hvor han fortæller om naturen og hvordan man bedst nyder den. Han synes langt flere skulle tage ud i skoven og prøve en hammock.
– Fra hammocken kommer man tættere på det der sker omkring. I Danmarks statsskove må man helt lovligt hænge sin hammock og overnatte. Det er der mange der ikke ved. I private skove gælder andre regler og man skal spørge skovfogeden om lov.
Tillykke med dagen, Peter Baloo. Stay Wild!
Motorcycle luggage manufacturer Mosko Moto is by a growing number of adventure riders and weekend warriors considered to be The New Sheriff in Town. Is it marketing hype or the real deal? After 3 seasons packing Mosko´s rackless Reckless 80 (liter) pannier kit, we’ve formed an opinion.
Gear for all
Not that we’re short on choices when it comes to travel gear, but we must honestly say that a lot of the gear we try comes up short, typically due to lack of attention to detail or – as we like to call it: “Big hat – no cattle”. Gear that under-perform or break down on the trail is no fun. Our early generation Mosko Moto Reckless 80 has performed flawlessly and we wanted to know if it was due to our good luck.
To find the answer we added a Reckless 40 to one of our machines, as well as the Mosko Duffle bag and two of the new tank bags – the Nomad and the Pico. Our story and conclusion begin with our Reckless systems:
When we once in a while encounter gear that impress, identifying the exact reason for our enthusiasm can be difficult. Usually we contribute it to a combination of a few key factors:
Material + Design + Build Quality + Functionality = User Experience of Perceived Quality
Mosko Moto offer pannier systems in two main categories: Systems requiring a rack and systems mounting directly on the bike, without the use of further hardware.
We have chose the rackless versions for our 701 Husky and the beefier KTM 950s. After the first fit, the benefits are obvious to see. Omitting a rack saves weight and – most importantly – our cargo end up much closer to the motorcycle’s COG compared to other solutions. The overall width of the motorcycle derriere is reduced, important when the going gets narrow.
The Rackless systems are made to fit most motorcycles in the touring-enduro segment. Attaching the 80 and 40 version to our bikes was quick and easy. The firm adjustable base is made with aluminum stiffeners. Infinite fore- and aft adjustment is done with heavy duty straps, side to side adjustments, likewise. The straps are tightened with the best quality metal hardwear, once the straps are tightened down, the system is solid and secure – ready for anything you’ll throw at it. Confidence inspiring.
Both Reckless systems come complete with miscellaneous hardware (all stainless) and exhaust shields.
Packin´ Your Gear
The Reckless series is constructed around an idea where an outer system works as an adjustable carrier for a set of heavy duty waterproof stuff sacks with roll closure. A 25-liter volume sack for each side, and a 22 liter secured under the flexible “beavertail”. At the rear of each side bag is an 8 liter utility pocket, perfect for carrying tool rolls, fuel or water.
Mosko´s ever present attention to detail is obvious in every part. All stuff sacks have clear panels for an easy identification of the content. Super practical when searching for items.
Both Reckless 40 and 80 are volume adjustable and every strap and fastener is equipped with a retaining system to make sure there are no lose straps to get caught or frayed. Good thinking!
The beavertail holds the top dry-bag firmly. Adjustable in size, it is also the perfect hold for an extra layer of clothing, rain gear or your cool quick draw oilskin cowboy hat. On the inside you’ll find a multi compartment organizer for maps, documents, etc. There’s even designated straps for holding your fishing rod, tent- or tarp poles. It´s the kind of detail you´ll enjoy in adventure-gear designed by adventurers.
The compact size of the Reckless 40 makes it perfect for a weekend adventure, while it may need a little help for longer trips. We have used the Mosko duffle bag to extend the packability of our 40. Works well.
Safe & Secure
Ever drop a valuable piece of gear on the trail? Or an entire pannier? Not with Mosko Moto Reckless. With all your gear packed and straps tightened, everything is held in place. Even in the event of an unscheduled landing, the Reckless holds up well and protects your gear – twice. First by an outer layer of Hypalon-reinforced Ballistic Nylon (1680D), then by a heavy duty Polyurethane-coated dry-bag (800D PVC-free).
Functionality is maximized and the quality of material and workmanship is impressive. After 3 years in service our 80 is battle scared but completely waterproof, without broken straps or fasteners. Our previous hard luggage went into early retirement twice in a similar time period.
The Molle carrying system is part of every Mosko product. It works perfectly for adding extra bags or gear to your luggage system. Originally developed for military application (“Modular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment”) the system is brilliant, adding valuable flexibility to an already adaptable base. Quick. Easy. Secure.
If you are looking for motorcycle luggage, the Mosko Moto Reckless series is an upgrade to any adventure rig. Beyond the documented safety advantage over hard luggage, Reckless has made our bikes more fun to ride, even when fully loaded, by securing the payload as close to the motorcycle’s center of gravity as possible, and keeping it in place, even after hours of off-road torture.
The separate dry-bag design is brilliant when checking in to a hotel or cabin: Loosen three straps and carry your gear with you, while the main system remain on the bike. Clear panels let you find that last piece of clean underwear after a week on the road – without emptying every bag.
Whether you pick the 40 or 80 liter version, expect gear of the very highest quality. Gear that will last for a long time and contribute positively to any adventure. We recommend it highly.
Mosko Moto is servicing the European market via their own EU webshop.
Here´s a link: https://moskomoto.eu
Basecamp North Adventure Team / Jakobsen & Bibow
Basecamp North / Amok Equipment Denmark