125cc Motorcycle Owners Club

Honda CBF125, CBR125 and Yamaha YBR125

GORE-TEX Motorcycle Trouser / Pant Review

This review is not about a particular brand or model (since they keep changing),
instead it is to show you what GORE-TEX lined trousers are capable of.

GORE-TEX is the top brand name of a waterproof, windproof, breathable liner famous around the world,
for all types of outdoor clothing including walking, cycling, skiing etc.
Walk in to any mountain clothing shop and they will tell you how it is the very top of the range and the best.

The item reviewed below is no longer manufactured (finished around 2011),
it was made by Hein Gericke and was called the Atlas.
It was the cheapest one they made and used a GORE-TEX Performance Shell liner,
the liner was the bottom of the GORE-TEX range and so detached from the outside fabric of the trousers.
The trousers were built down to the cheapest price I have ever seen motorcycle GORE-TEX trousers sold for,
less than £180 in 2009 and was made in Vietnam.
All Hein Gericke stores in the UK were closed down or sold to their competitors in 2012 and 2013.
The Hein Gericke brand (a German company) was purchased by a Chinese company in late 2013 or early 2014.

Trying to find GORE-TEX lined trousers today for that price could be very difficult, but there are often sales from time to time.
And I expect you will find the trousers use more expensive materials making them more luxurious etc.

These trousers have the famous GORE-TEX liner that makes them,
very breathable and yet waterproof and windproof.

I find GORE-TEX much more breathable than other waterproof materials.
Trousers are less important than a coat for breathability but it's still crucial.
Breathability is so important
I would ether recommend GORE-TEX or no waterproof material on a hot day,
or if you spend more than a few minutes in a shop.

You can try this for yourself in a motorcycle shop, try the item on
(watch out for items with a removable thermal lining, since they will be warm).

The best example to show how good GORE-TEX breathability is,
is to try a pair of gloves on in the shop,
then try some with a lesser waterproof material
and then try some with no waterproof material.
The differences in breathability should be obvious after only a few minutes,
some people will realise in seconds.

The trousers are tight to get in to,
trying to get the zip all the way up takes a bit of effort.
But when they are done up,
due to elastic / stretchable parts the fit slackens and are not uncomfortable.

The breathability, feel, lightness and flexibility of these trousers is brilliant except like most motorcycle trousers,
they have had to put double material and armour on the knees and down to your boots, for protection in an accident.
The plus side to this is you have far more insulation on your knees in a cold wind.
I was not used to all this weight and did not like how it slightly rubbed my knees constantly when walking.
As well as requiring far more effort to lift my leg.
But I totally removed the problem by tucking the trousers in to some high boots (see Cycko III Boots Review).
The rubbing problem can also be removed by wearing the thermal liner that comes with the trousers.

The knee armour can also be removed to substantially reduce the weight (undo velcro and pull out armour).
The armour can be replaced with lighter, thinner and more flexible armour.
You can also adjust the height position of the armour in the trousers by opening or closing the velcro sections.

The thermal lining works very well and gives the trousers a luxurious soft / smooth feel.
It even breaths very well. I had to wait 1 hour 30 minutes in a warm hospital waiting room.
And to my amazement I did not get hot or humid with the thermal lining.
It's very important on a winter's day and when it's too much hassle to take out the lining just for inside a building.
The thermal lining also works very well in the cold,
on a 65 mile ride at -1c to -3c, headwind and no sun there was no sign of cold.

I have also used the trousers in a torrential rain downpour at 60mph for 30mins in a strong headwind.
The rain was so heavy the road was totally flooded (standing water on entire road surface).
The trousers were totally waterproof, even though the rain was angled towards them due to the wind and bike speed.
Not only were they totally waterproof, but due to the high breathability of the GORE-TEX liner it was totally fresh inside,
no sign of the usual cold humid moist atmosphere you get with low / non breathable waterproofs.
And it did not soak up much water, even the outside of the trousers were resistant to most of it.
This resulted in it hardly increasing in weight and drying very quickly.
I am sure the trousers could have been used for a much longer ride than I had,
the GORE-TEX liner is brilliant, just ask anyone in the waterproof clothing industry (mountain, skiing, motorcycle etc.).

The quality and performance for the price is excellent, but these trousers are in the budget price range.
You cannot expect the quality and comfort of GORE-TEX trousers that cost 50% more than these.

The question is, are these the best motorcycle trousers you can buy?
The answer is not for all uses, saying that no motorcycle trousers are suitable for all uses.

I also use Motorcycle Denim Jeans; they are normal Denim Jeans with Kevlar inside (for protection).
The Kevlar does not change the jeans much, just makes them much safer in an accident (road rash).
As you probably know, Denim is very breathable, easy to walk in, sit down and work all day etc.
But they are terrible in the wet and cold, unless you put waterproofs over them.

Out of all the different materials,
Denim Jeans and GORE-TEX Textile trousers are my most highly recommend materials.

These trousers are so good; I plan to use them as my main pair of motorcycle trousers all year round.

Also see my GORE-TEX Coat Review which is the matching coat.

You may also like to look at my GORE-TEX X-Trafit Glove and Motorcycle Boots reviews that I also recommend.

And my Waterproof Windproof Breathable Liners section in my Clothing page.

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