Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants
Hein Gericke opened his business in Düsseldorf, Germany in
1970. The company has grown dramatically since then, becoming what is
probably the best known motorcycle clothing brand name in Europe.
Although Hein Gericke apparel has been
sold in the U.S.A. since 1978, the brand has not been
well recognized by American motorcyclists. This
may be due to their focus on European styling in the
land of the cruiser, or it may have been caused by a
lethargic distribution system.
35 years in the motorcycle clothing
business is a couple of lifetimes of agony, for sure,
and the fact that they're still here and growing
certainly says something for the product.
The Hein Gericke brand has always been
known for style and innovation. Many younger
motorcyclists probably don't realize that there was a
time when the only motorcycle available with a factory
designed fairing was the late '70's version of the BMW
R100RS. The availability of motorcycle clothing
that was specifically designed and tailored for
motorcycle riding was just as rare. Motorcycle
clothing with Lorica, Gore-Tex, Cordura, Kevlar, armor
and carbon fiber were so far in the future that they
weren't even conceivable.
The Hein Gericke line of motorcycle
clothing was radically different, and people gawked over
the photos of black and shapely leather in European
magazines, wondering if they had the nerve - or body
shape - to wear it.
Hein Gericke was also on the leading
edge of mass marketing, distribution, retail and
advertising in those days, long before the global
economy, the Internet and even cable TV. I was of
mixed minds regarding their products; I couldn't figure
out if the stuff was for real or for poseurs.
The brand had its ups and downs, but
today's cutthroat market suffers no fools, and with
their huge product line, the brand is as popular as ever
in Europe and starting to make their mark in the U.S.A.
Several Hein Gericke clothing items have earned Ride
(UK) magazine's "Recommended" or "Best Buy" tags,
so we decided it was time to take a look for ourselves.
Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants
Of all the different combinations of pants and jackets
laying around the webBikeWorld offices -- and there are
many -- I have a few favorites. Whenever I'm
working in the garage in a pair of jeans and need to
make a run down to the hardware store, I reach for my
old pair of
Tourmaster overpants. I've worn them
for several years and although they have a few faults,
their ease of use wins the day.
Overpants aren't the most glamorous
apparel item one could wear, but I have to say that with
all the specialized gear we have laying around here that
a good pair of overpants is one of the items I simply
could not do without.
One of the big drawbacks of the old
Tourmasters is that they're hot, hot, hot. They
have no ventilation and the nylon lining sure doesn't
help. I've been on the lookout for quite some time
for what I imagined was the "perfect" pair of overpants
- easy to put on and take off, good quality, good
protection, with lots of good air flow and something to
keep out the water when necessary.
I searched high and low, and came up
empty until these Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants.
They're just the ticket: zippers from ankle to waist to
make them easy to slide on over boots and jeans; wide
adjustable waistband; loads of mesh in the thigh and
seat; and a "Sheltex" detachable membrane to make them
Bonus points for CE-approved knee armor;
a two year warranty; reflective piping and Hein
Gericke's "Safe Stich", which is a three-level stitching
method to help prevent unraveling in a crash.
The Cargo Overpants are available in
men's sizes 30 to 44. European designed clothing
used to be way too narrow for our corn-fed physiques.
But to be successful, modern apparel manufacturers now
know that they have to tailor their sizing for the
The pants shown here are size 38 and
they are, in our opinion, exactly size 38, so they
apparently run true to size. I have a 36" waist,
and the pants are slightly too large for me, so the 36
would have been perfect.
The Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants seem
well made and they have some heft, weighing in at 4
pounds including the liner. They're made from a
ballistic nylon that feels like a soft Cordura-type
The pants have no front pockets; only a rear wallet
pocket, measuring about 130 mm wide by 130 mm deep (5"
by 5"). Each leg has a front cargo pocket,
measuring about 170 mm wide (6-1/2") by 220 mm deep
Each pocket has a flap with full-length "hook and
loop" fastener, and a few rubberized nubs on one corner
make it easy to grab. The pockets aren't
Stretchy knee panels and wide belt
adjusters add to the comfort factor. I've noticed
more manufacturers offering adjustable waistbands and
generous amounts of stretch fabric lately, which is a
The Sheltex liner attaches with a
full-length zipper inside the waist and three snaps at
the cuff. Both the pants and the liner have
full-length zippers. It's easy to slide the pants
on and off over a pair of boots when the zippers are
opened up about 2/3 of the way up the leg.
The liner uses an interesting type of
zipper that seems to be coming into vogue with removable
motorcycle clothing liners. When the zipper is
pulled, it appears to be catching on the fabric, but it
somehow closes a membrane that covers the zipper teeth
and helps to keep out the moisture.
The styling of the pants is subdued,
which is a good thing, because they probably won't look
dated any time soon as might happen with a more radical
design. There are a few panels of reflective
material here and there, but they are well integrated
into the design and not really noticeable until
illuminated at night.
One of the tradeoffs is the elimination
of any padding in the hips or rear. Padding in
these areas would probably decrease the amount of air
that can flow through the mesh, which is located mostly
on the thighs and rear of the pants. The knees do
have Hein Gericke's "Turtle" armor, which is removable
and also seems to be very comfortable.
The armor in these size 38 pants falls
slightly below my knee, and I think the size 36 would
again be perfect. Don't forget that armor will
only do its job when it stays in place, so a snug fit is
best. Most riders I've come across wear their
clothing at least one size too big. Baggy is not
better with motorcycle clothing!
The Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants are well made and have
just about every feature I can think of to make them my
new favorite. I wear them over jeans and I haven't
noticed any problems.
If you can only afford one pair of
motorcycle pants, overpants are probably the style for
you because of their versatility. And these are as
versatile as they get, because the mesh allows good air
flow and the liner blocks the wind and water for nastier
days. The list price is $199.95, which is very
reasonable, especially considering their all-season
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Review: Hein Gericke Cargo Overpants
Retail Price: $199.95
Comments: Well made, versatile overpants with good air flow
and an included water- and wind-proof liner. Full-length zippers
on legs make them easy to put on or take off. CE-approved armor in
knees but no hip padding.