The fine art of adventure motorcycling involves hustling 500-plus-pound street bikes through difficult off-road terrain, a long ways from nowhere, often in extreme weather. That makes it the most challenging test for motorcycle gear imaginable—a challenge Rev’It hopes to meet with this new Dominator riding suit ($2,150).
How does the suit justify that eye-watering price tag, double that of most of the competition? With an unprecedented level of safety, combined with the ability to adjust to a wide range of weather conditions better than anything else.
Riding a motorcycle poses two main safety challenges: impact and abrasion. In the Dominator, impact absorption is handled by the Dutch company’s new SEEFLEX armor, composed of a honeycomb-like open pattern of high density foam rubber. That shields your shoulders, elbows, and knees, while a high-density foam Rev’It calls SEESOFT covers your hips and back. All armor on the Dominator meets the highest safety standard available: CE Level 2.
Abrasion can be a difficult problem for an adventure riding suit to handle. While most are capable of providing protection against road rash in a single crash, a long-distance off-road trip across a continent (or several), will likely see you coming off the bike multiple times. And providing abrasion protection across multiple offs, without compromising the suit’s safety or weather protection, and without adding too much weight or reducing your range of motion is a real challenge.
It’s a challenge the Dominator meets by using a chassis of 600D Cordura, augmented with panels of Kevlar-reinforced Armacor (the medium grey fabric) covering the major impact areas that receive the most damage during slides. The suit additionally wraps your shoulders, knees, and elbows with Gore-Tex’s new (and pricey) Talisman material (the dark grey areas), which bonds hundreds of tiny ceramic panels to its face in an effort to further resist abrasion. Whether a low-speed crash in the dirt or a high-speed highway get off, the Dominator should shrug it off and allow you to keep riding.
Then there’s the ability to cope with varying weather conditions. Making a motorcycle suit waterproof has been achievable with membranes and storm flaps for decades, but making one that works as well in a rainstorm as it does in a 120-degree desert has never been executed this well before. That’s largely thanks to the use of a Gore-Tex Pro membrane that's laminated to the hydrophobic outer shell (it won’t soak up water). Fitted with waterproof zippers, large panels open up on the chest, torso, back, arms, and legs, creating total flow-through ventilation for hot weather. That’s a vastly better solution than the zip-out waterproof mid-layers still used by many rivals, rain or shine. And we’re happy to report that the waterproof zippers really are waterproof.
So yeah, the Dominator is pricey, but by enabling you to ride further, safer, and more comfortably, we think that premium is justified.