Moto-Skiveez Motorcycle Underwear
by Brandon Jackson for webBikeWorld.com
Also: Sit Relief Shorts Review
Moto-Skiveez are underwear for motorcycle riding designed by a competitive motorcyclist.
Moto-Skiveez have a nice design and construction that should work well for many riders, off-road, touring, sport or street riding.
Most motorcycle riders at one time or another have had to deal with the issue of on-bike comfort.
Most motorcycles are comfortable enough for a few minutes in the showroom or on a quick test ride, but once you start putting on the miles, things can change.
This is not unusual or unexpected really. It is very hard to design a motorcycle to fit the wide range of potential owner shapes and sizes, so compromises are often made.
Fortunately, there is a large segment of aftermarket accessories designed to help improve the comfort of your bike.
There are customized seats, of course, but there are also a variety of seat pads made from sheepskin or the air cushion type and even beaded seat covers.
However, sometimes even these do not help...or they do not help enough.
Another option is motorcycle underwear. Though there are not as many choices in this segment as there are for seats and cushions, the choices are out there and the right "skivees" can make a marked improvement in seat comfort.
I know, because I have spent the past two years looking to improve the seat comfort of my Triumph Sprint 1050. While it was not too bad to start with, I discovered that anything beyond an hour or so in the saddle would cause "burning seat bones" and overall discomfort.
I had already purchased a Sargent seat and it did help, but I was hoping to prolong my riding time even further. Also, I wasnít thrilled with the idea of placing a pad on top of my seat as I didnít like the way it looked, nor did I like the additional height it added to my seating position. .
I had a couple of pairs of riding underwear that I wore on occasion; one claimed to be specific for motorcycles and one pair was designed as bicycle shorts. The motorcycle underwear were definitely just re-purposed bicycle shorts though.
hese helped some but after time they became more uncomfortable than regular underwear, so when I saw the Moto-Skiveez thread on a popular adventure riding forum, I took a closer look.
Moto-Skiveez claim to be "Comfort Undergarments for Motorcycling", something Iíve heard before. On this occasion, it seemed there may be something to it though. I read many glowing reviews from fellow riders who had tried Moto-Skiveez and I knew from experience that this can be a tough crowd to please, so I decided to try a pair also.
There are three styles of Moto-Skiveez to choose from, based upon the type of motorcycle you ride: Sport, Adventure or Cruiser (weíll go into more detail later).
Looking at my Sprint 1050, I felt the Sport would be the right choice...but I was definitely wrong about that. Even though my bike is definitely does not have a "sit-up-and-beg" style seating position, it still doesnít really meet the Moto-Skiveez "Sport" expectations, as I discovered.
When I tried wearing the Moto-Skiveez Sport version on the bike, I found I was barely using the padding at all. A quick message to Moto-Skiveez and the subsequent reply confirmed that their idea of "Sport" is more of a stretch-out-over-the-bike type of riding position, like one might encounter on a true race replica machine.
They offered to send me a pair of the Adventure style at no charge. That is very good customer service and I want to point out they did not know I was planning a review of the product. As far as they knew, I was just another customer.
As I waited for my Adventure Skiveez to come in I did some research on the Moto-Skiveez company itself. It turns out that this is a new company owned by Shawn Lupcho, a motorcyclist and competitive bicyclist. Having spent a lot of time in the saddle on bicycles of various types, he discovered that there was a great deal of difference in his degree of comfort while training that depended on which shorts he wore and their design.
Although there are some similarities between bicycle and motorcycle seats, it is quite obvious that the same padding and contact patch that would work for a narrow bicycle saddle would likely not be the best choice for a motorcycle seat. Mr. Lupcho wanted to take the principles of what made good bicycle shorts good, and adapt and apply them to underwear designed for motorcycle riders. Moto-Skiveez are the result.
The main body of the Moto-Skiveez are constructed using two different types materials; there are sections of nylon material and sections made of a polyester mesh. Both types employ an 8% mix of elastane (similar to Spandex) to allow for stretching. Both types of sections are very light and also feel very strong when stretched, considering their lightweight feel.
The nylon sections make up most of the body but mesh is used around almost the entire waist and it descends down around the crotch area on the thighs and also down the middle in the rear. There is section in the front that forms a pouch-like area for the front (men's). This pouch is composed of both the nylon on the outside and polyester mesh on the inside for additional comfort and support.
There is unfortunately no "flap" in this area for easy access during rest stops. Incorporating a flap might have have compromised the overall integrity, but I'd rather have one.
The waistband itself is rather thick at 40 mm (1.5 inches) and incorporates the Moto-Skiveez logo across the front. Interestingly, the logo does not repeat and since it is centered on both pairs I received, it means that each waistband is made for each pair of Skivees. Itís a small thing but it shows the attention that has been given to the details.
The materials all have a nice quality feel and are assembled use a four-needle type of stitching in the seams. This makes the seams very durable resistant to tearing. It is likely the material itself would be damaged before the stitching would give out.
On the inside of the Moto-Skiveez, the padding is sewn into the shorts with the exact placement depending on the style chosen.
Cruiser Skiveez: The cruiser style will have the padding going highest up the back to accommodate riders siting bolt upright or even slightly back.
Sport Skiveez: The sport versions have the padding lower with more of it going under the top of the thighs. This works well for serious supersport and race replica motorcycles where the rider is laying over the tank and more weight is on the upper thigh and lower buttocks in a tucked position.
Adventure Skiveez: The adventure style is the middle-of-the-road Skiveez and this is the version I ended up with for my sport touring bike. The padding is positioned best for the more upright rider that still has some forward lean.
I have worn them on my Triumph Sprint ST 1050 as well as an older 1978 Suzuki GS550E motorcycle. In both cases the padding seems to work well even though both bikes have different seating positions.
In case you have different bikes that require owing more than one type of Skiveez, the pads are different in color with the sports in red, the adventures in blue, and the cruisers in gray so they are easy to distinguish at a glance. The shape and design of the pads are also different from type to type, so it is not merely just repositioning of pads that has been done on the different types.
A lot of thought has gone into each different style. While on the subject of the padding, none of the pads used in any of the three styles are thicker than 8 mm, so overall ride height is not noticeably affected.
Lupcho worked with TMF Quality Cycling Pads out of Italy for the final design of the pads used in the Moto-Skiveez. Each pad is made from five components including three different types of foam plus the backing materials.
A close look at the pads will reveal some longitudinal threads running on the surface of the pad. These are silver-ion threads and these have anti-microbial properties which are a good thing to have considering where they will end up spending their time.
The Moto-Skiveez are available in five sizes, ranging from S to XXL, which span 26" to 44" (plus maybe a little larger) waist sizes. I chose the large size, which fits a 36-38" waist size for my 36" waist. They fit as expected which is a little loose as Iím on the lower end of the size range for the large.
The Moto-Skiveez feel very light and have a cooling effect, as the mesh breathes very well. The padding is initially a little stiff, but it is much more pliable then pads in other padded shorts that Iíve tried, thanks to the thin cross-section.
They do get softer after a couple of washings though, and this is recommended by Mr. Lupcho. While on the topic, washing does not require much in the way of special handling except they are not to be tumble dried or bleached. Hanging overnight seems to be plenty under normal circumstances but it can be midday before the pads in the adventures are dry when hanging outside when it is humid.
So after all those details, the big question is...do they actually provide a more comfortable riding experience over distance and time?
In my case, I have to say most definitely. Before I received my pair of Moto-Skiveez, I had a trip planned to visit the Motus Motorcycle headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama for a factory tour. This would be a 410 mile round trip in one day -- the perfect opportunity to put the Moto-Skiveez to the test.
I know from my own experience from riding to Birmingham on numerous occasions what to expect as far as seat comfort is concerned. I usually find myself getting very uncomfortable from "burning seat syndrome" soon after the 100 mile mark is reached. Normally, by the time I reached my destination 200+ miles later, I have usually had enough riding for the day.
On the day of the factory tour I headed down Interstate 65 and over the next three hours I was pleasantly surprised how much better my posterior felt. It was not miraculous -- and I still needed to occasionally stand up on the pegs and let the blood flow to my seat -- but the normal level of discomfort never really appeared by the time I reached Birmingham.
The return trip an hour-and-a-half later was where I was sure that the truth would be told. After the factory tour, I once again was on I-65, this time heading north.
At this point it was rather hot; 93F was what I recall seeing on my phone as I was gearing up. Again I was impressed at how much less burning I was feeling in the seat bones area, which is my personal issue with distance riding.
As the miles piled up, the discomfort was starting to rear its ugly head and by the time I was about 30 miles away from home it was getting to the point that required more time standing on the pegs and an extra stop to get off the seat.
Donít get me wrong though -- this was an excellent showing. I would say it nearly doubled my comfortable riding distance. Again, I wasnít pain free the entire time, but it was manageable for a lot longer than it usually is for me. The fact that I was "OK" most of the ride back is excellent news.
I wanted to point out that before I finished this review, I reached out to Shawn Lupcho at Moto-Skiveez and we talked on Skype about his product(s). I wanted to let you know about a couple of points he mentioned during our talk as I thought our readers might like to hear about these.
One thing I asked is if they were planning to make a women's version of Moto-Skiveez. As it turns out, there will indeed be a women's version of Moto-Skiveez. The reason they are taking longer, according to Mr. Lupcho, is that while menís skeletal structure varies very little in the seat area, despite the wide range of men's height and weights, womenís "seats" tend to have more variability.
This has required extra time in designing effective padding to cover the wider range of, er, bottoms. While I was on Skype with Mr. Lupcho, I did get to actually see the very first prototype for the womenís version, so I can attest that they are indeed in process.
Mr. Lupcho also mentioned to me that he spent 12 months trying to source the entire end product entirely from within the U.S.A. In the end, he wasnít able to find a better match to his designs than what he sources from China for the base garment and the TMF pads from Italy.
Incidentally, while the base garment comes from China and the padding from Italy, the final product is sewn together in Spokane Washington.
One last important note is that Mr. Lupcho is not resting on his "Skiveez"; he is presently working on designs for other base layer garments for the future.
Moto-Skiveez are truly a functional type of motorcycle underwear made by a motorcycle rider. Iím not saying that they will work as effectively on everyone as they have for me. Everyoneís body, bike, and bike seat combination are different so quite literally, your mileage may vary.
Moto-Skiveez customer service was very good as I pointed out earlier and after speaking with Mr. Lupcho via Skype, his enthusiasm for motorcycling and his product is clearly evident. He may be a small operation (for now) but I was very impressed by his professionalism and knowledge.
Sixty dollars (US) for a pair of menís underwear may sound like a lot, but when you consider the attention to detail and the materials used, Iíd say they are rather reasonably priced. I can highly recommend the Moto-Skiveez for anyone in need of more comfort on their motorcycle.
See Also: Sit Relief Shorts Review
|wBW Review: Moto-Skiveez Motorcycle Underwear|
|Manufacturer: Moto-Skiveez||List Price (2014): $59.95|
|Colors: Black||Made In: China (final assembly in U.S.A.)|
|Sizes: SM to XXL (26" to 44" + waist)||Review Date: September 2014|
From "D.T." (September 2014): "I second the recommendation to use cycling shorts. You can get incredibly nice cycling shorts at that price with better construction than these. Or you can get cheaper options that will from the looks of these be just as good. Plus, they provide what I expect would be better compression, which does help you last longer. Or cycling liner shorts, which are essentially these.
REI and bicycle retailers will have a who selection of these sorts of liner shorts. Bike shorts will come with different levels of padding, gel/foam, location of that padding (for different position on bikes etc. to suit your type of riding best. But honestly, if you have even basic cycling shorts, you donít need to buy anything else.
Remember, there is a larger community of cyclists wearing this stuff than there are motorcyclists wearing these. The product development is further along and the tech development poured into it is huge. Youíll almost certainly get a better product for the same price."
Editor's Note: Just note that some padded shorts made for bicycling have different (e.g., narrower) padding placement than shorts made for sitting or motorcycle riding. A more comparable product is the Sit Relief shorts reviewed on webBikeWorld some time ago.
From "J.R.L." (September 2014): "I bought a pair of Mr. Lupchoís Skiveez direct from the man at the AIMExpo in Orlando last year, hoping they would prove sufficiently helpful to make my Grand Canyon ride in June much more bearable.
My first 400+ mile day to Alabama did not impress. For me, I did not find any increase in overall comfort, nor was moisture wicked away at an appreciable rate. I had hoped they would be so good that I would order additional -- but ended up spending my money elsewhere."
From "D.B." (September 2014): "I bought my first motorcycle in 2007 and after about 2 weeks figured out that my cycling shorts work just as well on the motorcycle as they do on my bicycle. Got my comfortable range (on a Ninja 650) up from 70 to over 150 miles, and we're talking $10 generic cycling shorts.
It didn't take me long to figure it out since I was doing some 4000 miles a year on a bicycle, but it may not come as a logical solution to someone who hasn't been in the cycling world.
Sure, the padding should be a bit different for different types of bikes (and our own sitting equipment) but trying out a set of cheapo off-brand cycling shorts is sometimes better then a $500 aftermarket seat. Keep up the good work!"
From "C.C." (September 2014): "I bought a pair of Moto-Skiveez Adventure for a round trip of the US, and they were truly one the best buys I have ever made.
I ride a 1200GS, and normally after 400+ miles the inside of my thighs start to suffer -- multiply this for a 23 day long ride, with approx. 600 miles a day -- and you can imagine the scenario.
But, as I was wearing the Moto-Skiveez I had NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER! I finished my ride, that went through cold, rain, extreme heat and loooong days without a sign of discomfort on my thighs. I cannot recommend them enough, and I will be the first to buy the women's model for my wife when available."
From "D.H." (September 2014): "I wear similar shorts while mountain-biking, which feel a bit "unusual" off the bike, but great while seated on it; is it the same with the Moto-Skiveez?
BTW, I recently discussed the "fly issue" with a new manufacturer of moto base layers, who advised that it's nearly impossible to make an acceptable, traditional fly opening in stretchy fabric (my personal favorite LD Comfort (review) approaches it differently by employing a "kangaroo pouch")."