Joe Rocket Speedmaster Pants
Joe Rocket Speedmaster 5.0 Perforated Pants Review
by Rick for webBikeWorld.com
Owner Comments (Below)
Ask me what the Joe Rocket brand represents and I'd
probably say "a line of decent, serviceable motorcycle
apparel, sold at reasonable prices".
products might not be the most stylish or the most
innovative (although I'm sure they'd argue with that),
one thing's for sure: you can find the stuff anywhere.
Joe Rocket gear is sold by just about every
motorcycle retailer on the planet, which surely is one
of the reasons for the popularity of the brand -- it
means you can find what you want, when you want it, all
at a competitive price.
Now you may be surprised to learn that even with all
of the cool gear we have around here, my normal,
everyday, run-of-the-mill, go-out-for-a-ride clothing
usually has a Joe Rocket logo on it.
Between the Phoenix 4.0 jacket for summer, the
Ballistic 7.0 jacket for winter and the Blaster
perforated jacket and pants outfit for in-between, Joe
Rocket has me covered 365.
Only one problem, and no fault of theirs: my legs are
about 2" shorter than the standard for a pair of men's
size large motorcycle pants. The knees and knee
armor end up half-way down my shins on just about every
pair of motorcycle pants I've ever owned.
I do have a work-around -- I rip out the armor wear a
Bohn Bodyguard Adventure pants underneath.
That's been my solution with an old pair of
Joe Rocket Blaster perforated pants I've owned
forever and a day.
But recently I decided to bring the pants to a
leather tailor and have a couple of inches taken out of
the knees so the things would fit the way they should.
As it turned out, the tailor did just what I told
him, which brought the lower part of the leg up a couple
of inches, which then made the pants too tight to fit
around my calves. An ignominious end for the
much-respected Blasters, and there was only one thing I
could do: go to Plan B.
Those old Blasters were definitely not
stylish, but they did one thing -- they protected my
butt. They must have been made from elephant hide
-- big, honkin' slabs of the stuff. Joe Rocket
unfortunately doesn't make 'em like that any more; it
was probably too expensive to use multi-millimeter thick
But I liked those pants -- they felt like they'd last
forever and I figured they'd save my bacon during any
high-speed getoff imaginable. So I looked around
for another pair of perforated Blaster pants, and
although Joe Rocket does list them in the catalog, for
some reason they seem to be rarer than hen's teeth.
Thus, I ended up with the perforated Speedmaster pants
Speedmaster is the name that Joe Rocket uses for
their high-end line of race/track day clothing. My feeling
is that the Speedmaster lineup isn't quite what it used
probably because customers searching for real race leathers were
either going the custom route or buying one of the
premium Italian brands.
Actually, the Blaster line also doesn't seem as to be
as robust as it used to be either. I purchased a
matching Blaster perforated jacket a
couple of years after the Blaster pants, and it didn't
have the same feeling of invincibility. The newer
version of the Blaster jacket, while admittedly not
marketed as race quality, was thinner than the pants,
with padding instead of armor and only an 8" attachment
zipper; they left out the full-length zipper to save
money I guess.
The Speedmaster gear I've seen recently is decent,
but not really what I'd call race quality. These
new Speedmaster 5.0 pants are a good example.
The leather also seems thinner than the old Blaster
pants, and thinner than the leather on my older
Speedmaster non-perforated jacket. There's an
upside though -- the leather is definitely more flexible than the
heavy stuff used on the old Blasters, which makes the Speedmasters more comfortable.
The Speedmaster pants also have large swaths of textile
in the lower legs and a few other spots, like the bend
areas in the waist. This is acceptable, because it again makes the pants more
comfortable. But it does make me wonder -- my old
and cheaper Blaster pants were all leather.
Now I probably wouldn't be kvetching about all of
this if I hadn't already owned the more robust Blaster
pants. A newcomer to the Joe Rocket line would
probably think the Speedmaster 5.0 pants are just fine
as is. They do fit well, although that issue with
the knee armor is still there, but if I hike the pants
up about an inch or so, the armor does fall into place.
The pants run true to the Joe Rocket sizing chart.
These are the 36 waist version and they seem right on
the money. There's a bit of an adjustment on the
sides, but I wish if they were going to use textile that
they would use it in the waistband to add some extra
comfort for those post-lasagna rides.
The waistband-to-crotch distance is kind of short
though -- it seems like it could be about an inch
longer. I have to wiggle around a bit to get
everything to fit correctly, although once it's all
cinched up I'm OK, even on the bike.
The legs also seem to run true to size; Joe Rocket
says they're 32 inches and although I haven't measured
them, I'd say that's about right. This does mean
that the zippers and cuffs run a little long on my 31"
inseam, but that's not a problem, as I stuff the cuffs
inside the boots anyway.
The zipper is slightly narrower than the one used on
the Blaster pants, and it doesn't rub against my ankle
when I'm wearing the race-style boots, which is good.
No snaps, thank you.
Up top, the waist has a short zipper for attachment
to other Joe Rocket jackets, like the
Phoenix 4.0 or the
Blaster perforated jacket or, of course, the
But there's one thing that really bugs me.
These are supposed to be race pants, and they have a
snap rather than a metal hook and loop on the waistband,
at the top of the zipper. The snap pops open as
soon as I breathe hard or when I sit on the bike.
All motorcycle pants -- and especially pants with any
pretensions of being used for track days or racing --
should have a metal hook up top. The
Triumph Classic Jeans aren't "race" pants and they
have a metal hook, so why don't the Speedmasters?
It's not just Joe Rocket either -- other
manufacturers are guilty of this. So here's my
advice to them: never use a snap in the waistband of
motorcycle pants -- use a metal hook and metal loop,
The Speedmaster pants do have CE-rated armor in the
knees, padding in the hips and they come with knee
sliders. The padding (see photo below) is located
with hook-and-loop, and it's sort of in a weird spot --
the top of the padding pokes out above the waistband.
Again, I'm just not sure that the new Speedmaster
pants are really race-
or track-day-ready, but on the other hand, they probably offer much better protection
than just about any pair of textile pants and certainly way more than
a pair of jeans.
Hip padding placed too high?
Zipper at cuff, perforated textile and "Full Flex"
stretch panels in the rear.
Well made, perforations along the legs and the Rocket
logo, like it or not.
The perforations do their job, by the way; I wouldn't
want to wear these when the temperatures go above 85 or
so, but otherwise, they do flow a decent amount of air
for what they are, and much more air than, for example,
the Triumph non-perforated leather pants.
I may sound critical of the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 5.0
pants, but I do like them. They're relatively
comfortable (for a pair of leather pants), they flow a
decent amount of air, the price is right and maybe some
day I'll scuff up a knee puck on the road. They
also connect to my complete portfolio of old and new Joe
I only wish the waist had a hook instead of a snap...
Review: Joe Rocket Speedmaster 5.0
From: Joe Rocket
||Suggested Retail Price: $ 349.99 to $
|Colors and Sizes: 30-42 waist,
|Review Date: August 2008
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