Olympia Moto Sports Recon
Transformer Jacket & Pants
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Phantom One Piece Suit |
Olympia AST Jacket |
Olympia Vented Leather Jacket |
Owner Comments (Below)
Let's see -- we have riding outfits specifically designed
for hot weather and for cold weather. Then we have leather outfits for
Dirt riding? Back road scratching?
Cruising? Rain? Yep, got 'em all covered with
I've long ago given up on finding the
single perfect all-weather, all-purpose motorcycle
riding outfit. Well, maybe not completely
given up, because technology seems to take us closer and
closer with each passing season, so we may yet see it in
In the meantime, the only solution is to
lay out the dosh for an assortment of outfits, or
combinations thereof (hmmm, a good topic for a
article...) that will work in the widest variety of
Unfortunately, that strategy has my
wallet screaming for mercy, while still leaving me one
Which one? The outfit that will allow me to
enter a store, a restaurant (nothing fancy, just good
food) or hang out down at the local shaved ice stand
without looking as obvious as, say,
Gort in a
After all, in a land where the
definition of "protective gear" is a leather vest worn
over a T-shirt, citizens seem to freak at even the sight
of a full-face helmet, much less a one-piece leather
"Normal" looking motorcycle riding
clothing is especially important when touring, where
long days in the saddle call for maximum comfort and
it's important to keep from scaring little kids during
the mandatory gas stop, bio break and Pecan Log Roll
Sure, you can wear something like a
Roadcrafter one-piece over some street clothes, but
you'll sweat your patooty off by time you arrive.
So here's a novel "why didn't I think of
that" idea: how about a riding outfit that looks
stylish enough to wear both on and off the bike?
Of course, it would have to offer a
modicum of protection, like DuPont Cordura for abrasion
resistance; CE-approved armor in the knees, elbows, back
and shoulders; some 3M Scotchlite piping and enough
vents and Airflow mesh lining to keep things cool during
that desert crossing.
But the real key is looks -- how about a
pair of pants with quasi-military/outback styling,
complete with an assortment of cargo and zippered
pockets, knee and hip armor and an expandable waistband.
Add a matching jacket with 7 pockets, including one for
a dedicated cell phone and one for a pen; sleeve and
waist cinch adjusters to keep things nice and snug; an
8" pants zipper attachment; and 4 zipper opening air
That pretty much describes the new
Olympia Moto Sports "Recon Transformer" riding outfit --
except for one additional, surprising and very unique
feature: it also has zip-off pant legs and jacket
sleeves! Sure enough, this outfit looks good
enough to wear on or off the bike and it also converts
to a nice pair of shorts and an adventure-style vest!
In effect, it's a four-in-one outfit
that you can wear to the store or a rally and probably
even for a hike in the woods. It has to be one of
the most interesting motorcycle riding outfits we've
Recon Transformer Pants
The Recon Transformer pants fit just like a comfy pair
of relaxed fit jeans.
They even have a jeans-type
waist, complete with 5 loops for your favorite belt, a
street-pants type zipper and a waist closure with a hook
and a snap, each covered in a matching rubberized
material. The two front slash hand pockets are
huge, at 6" (15 cm) wide and about 11" (28 cm) deep.
There are two more big cargo pockets on
the thighs that measure 10" deep (25.5 cm) and 6" wide
(15 cm). Each pocket has a flap with a rubberized
snap button and the pockets have a side zipper that
opens up to allow air flow over the legs.
Two more square-cut pockets are located
in the rear; each is 5.5" wide (14 cm) and 8" deep (20
cm). The pants are lined with Olympia's "Cool Mesh
Airflow" perforated material, which makes them
comfortable and cushions the skin from the harsher
Cordura fabric. The pants also have a minimal
amount of removable padding in the hips.
The bottom of the pant legs can be
removed via a zipper that leaves the shorts with about a
10" inseam. The lower pant leg has CE-approved
removable knee armor in a pocket that can be adjusted to
any one of three different heights. There's a nice
hem that hides the zipper when the legs are attached or
The inseam is a long 33" with the lower
pant legs attached. This actually works out pretty
well because the extra length is needed to keep the
pants from creeping up when the legs are bent. The
cuffs are designed to be cut and hemmed to create a real
custom fit...just like a pair of jeans.
We think the pants look great and
they're very comfortable. They're also very light
weight at only 794 grams, or 1-3/4 lbs., including the
armor. This is actually lighter than a pair of my
relaxed fit street jeans, which weigh 893 grams, or 1.97
Remember that the Recon Transformer
pants (and jacket) are only 500 Denier Cordura, so they obviously won't
provide the same levels of protection as, for example, a
pair of perforated leather riding pants, but they
probably offer better abrasion resistance than a pair of
cotton jeans for sure.
I honestly don't think there's any way
someone would know that the shorts have been
"transformed" from a pair of motorcycle riding pants.
They look just like a pair of hiking shorts that may
have been purchased at REI or L.L. Bean.
Recon Transformer Jacket
The Recon Transformer jacket is designed to match the
pants, with the same rugged adventurer look. The
jacket has a street-style collar that can be either
turned up and secured for some extra protection against
the elements, or left open and connected to the jacket
with metal snaps. The jacket has two zippered
openings towards the top of the chest, one on each side,
to allow air to flow through.
The jacket has two big square external
expandable front pockets, each about 6" wide (15 cm) and
8" deep (20 cm). They're covered with flaps which
have the same type of rubberized snap buttons that are
used on the pants pockets. Each square pocket also
has an individual zippered pocket on the outside, each
about 6" wide by 6" deep (15 cm by 15 cm).
Inside the left breast flap is yet
another huge pocket, this one is about 11" deep (28 cm)
with a 6" opening (15 cm). I don't know how they
did it, but the Recon Transformer outfit definitely gets
the prize for the biggest pockets we've ever seen on any
type of motorcycle riding clothing, bar none.
There's also a cell phone pocket with an
attached pen pocket inside the left breast. The
jacket is also made from 500 Denier Cordura and has the
Airflow mesh lining to keep it comfortable and to help
circulate the air flow.
The jacket includes big elastic side
panels and a Velcro waist adjuster. There are two
additional Velcro side adjusters on each side of the
jacket under the arms, which help to keep the jacket
snug when the arms are attached and after it's been
transformed to a vest.
Speaking of which, the sleeves zip off
at the shoulder, converting the jacket into a vest
that's reminiscent of the type seen on outdoor
photographers, which is exactly how I've used it a
couple of times. It's a darn handy vest both on
and off the motorcycle, and those big pockets make it
very useful for many projects.
The jacket includes some nice,
CE-approved "Motion Flex" flexible back armor. The
same type of Motion Flex armor is used in the elbows of
the removable sleeves.
By the way, the sleeves have a Velcro
cinch strap to keep the armor snug and to keep the
material from flapping around in the breeze. The
sleeve cuffs use Velcro adjusters to cinch them up,
which works nicely when worn either under or over a pair
The jacket has a full-length YKK zipper.
Olympia didn't scrimp on the zippers; they all have a
quality feel and haven't given us any trouble.
Wow, with all those features, did I miss
anything? Oh yes - the jacket also has a pair of
zippered vent openings in the rear, one on each side,
located vertically at the lower back.
Recon Transformer outfit is available either in khaki
(shown here) or olive colors.
One thing to note is that although the
legs can be easily removed when wearing the pants, it's
difficult to unzip the sleeves while wearing the jacket.
Maybe a younger and more flexible arm could do it, but I
The legs don't have side zippers or
openings, so motorcycle boots will probably have to be
removed before the legs can slide off. If you're
traveling with a companion, he or she can easily unzip
the sleeves and they can be removed without having to
take off the jacket.
And Olympia apparently makes no claims
that the clothing is waterproof. I think that
would incompatible with the goal of providing a
light-duty riding outfit that converts to near-street
clothing once the destination is reached.
By the way, if you think all this
functionality comes at a steep price, think again: the
pants retail for $119.99 and the jacket is $169.99.
A definite bargain.
The Olympia Recon Transformer jacket and pants
constitutes one of the most unique and useful riding
outfits we've seen in a long time. It's definitely
the type of "out of the box" thinking that is refreshing
in the world of copycat motorcycle clothing design.
We predict that this outfit will be very popular with
summer touring riders and adventurers.
Review: Olympia Moto Sports Recon Transformer Jacket & Pants
Retail Price: $169.99
(Jacket); $119.99 (Pants)
|Colors: Khaki or Olive
|Comments: Street clothing comfort. Tons of storage
space. Very versatile removable sleeves and legs.
CE-approved armor and DuPont 500 Denier Cordura. Review Date:
330x600 pixel photo of the Recon Transformer outfit
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