Teknic Cyclone Jacket & Pants Review
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Every once and a while, someone comes up with a completely new way of doing things with an idea, a strategy or a product that immediately sets them apart from the crowd.
In business terms, it's called "jumping the curve", a phrase that, as far as I know, was first used by Nicholas Imparato in his interesting book of the same title.
Think about the first company to put a vent in a motorcycle helmet, the first waterproof liner or the first use of radial tires.
These were radical new approaches that no one had tried before, and they set a completely new direction for the market.
The company who does it first has a huge short term advantage - short term, because it isn't long before the competitors figure out what's happening and respond.
Unfortunately, radical new approaches aren't very common with motorcycle clothing.
The manufacturers are a conservative lot, and for the most part they spend too much time thinking about cutting costs and not enough time thinking about what's good for the rider.
For example, when will we see adjustable waists on motorcycle pants? Not to mention adjustable collars. A simple idea that should have been incorporated long ago.
The same can be said for helmet manufacturers. Change seems slow in coming and when it does get here, it's incremental, rather than revolutionary. How about the mythical Snell approved flip-up helmet?
Anyway, I'm not sure if I would call Teknic's new Cyclone Jacket and Pants outfit revolutionary, but it does show a fresh approach to riding outfits and I have to give Teknic a lot of credit for thinking "outside the box".
The Cyclone pants are patterned after the classic bib overall, of all things, and the design works, it's simple and it gets one of those "why didn't I think of that" reactions from most people. Maybe they'll start a new trend?
Teknic is known for doing things just a little bit differently than the rest, and the Cyclone design is, I think, a big leap forward. The Cyclone outfit can now be compared with some of the best motorcycle clothing available, and it has features that even the chic European manufacturers haven't thought of.
Teknic clothing doesn't seem to be as widely distributed as some of the other brands, and I'm not sure why. One thing's for sure - they have a huge selection of jackets, pants and gloves in leather and textile.
They also have what has to be one of the most complete lines of leather one- and two- piece race suits in the business, and each line has matching gloves and boots. This is a huge investment and let's face it, one-piece leather suits sell about as fast as drum brake linings.
The Teknic Cyclone jacket and pants outfit includes just about every leading edge clothing technology available. Both the jacket and pants have passed the Gore-Tex XCR ("Extended Comfort Range") extreme wet weather moisture, vapor and retention tests.
This is the Gore-Tex most advanced fabric, and it's the same one used in the very expensive, professional-strength mountain climbing gear sold by companies like Patagonia and Marmot. This technology alone has probably added mucho bucks to each garment, thus the higher price for the Cyclone outfit. I give Teknic a lot of credit for doing this, because this is one Gore-Tex fabric that really works.
Gore-Tex claims that the XCR fabric is "The most advanced waterproof breathable technology in 20 years". It's used in extreme aerobic outdoor activities, and is claimed to have 25% less resistance to moisture vapor transmission than standard Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex says that "this translates to up to 500 grams or 17oz. more moisture transmitted out of your clothing system in an 8-hour period of high aerobic activity, keeping you dryer and more comfortable." They also claim that the fabric is 100% windproof.
We haven't been very big fans of the basic version of Gore-Tex, because they never really seemed to live up to the hype. But the XCR version is excellent. The Cyclone outfit keeps me warm and dry, and I never get the portable steam bath feeling that happens too often with other types of "waterproof but breathable" fabrics.
The outer shell of the Cyclone jacket and pants is made from 500 Denier DuPont Cordura fabric and it has a nice, soft feel, which makes both garments immediately comfortable. It's amazing that fabric technology has come this far in only a few years, and something so comfortable can still keep the rider protected from wind, rain and, hopefully, road rash.
Teknic also includes Knox KFP1 hard-backed armor in the shoulders and elbows and Knox TP2 armor in the back of the jacket. The unique bib overall style pants have Knox KFP1 armor in the knees and soft padding in the back. Knox armor is some of the best in the business, and the locations and design of the armor in both the pants and jacket are perfect for me -- that is, once I found the correct size.
It's my opinion that the Teknic Cyclone jacket and pants to run at least one, if not two, sizes larger than normal. This is a good thing, because too many of the European designed clothing lines seem to run at least one size too small (i.e., order a size 44 jacket and even though it's labeled 44, it's equal to a size 42).
I'm so used to ordering motorcycle clothing one size larger than normal that I first ordered a size 46 jacket and 38 pants, even though I normally take a 44/36.
When the box arrived, the pants were size 40 by mistake, and they were way, way too big. The size 46 jacket was also way too large. After some back and forth (and lots of extra shipping charges), I ended up with the size 34 pants, which fit perfectly, and the 44 jacket, which fits, but feels to me like it's really a men's size 45.
The online retailer was polite, but didn't really have a clue about how the clothing was sized, so keep this in mind. Hey retailers: how about trying on on a few sizes to see if the line runs big or small so you can correctly advise their customers?!
The jacket doesn't break any new ground in the styling department; instead, it lets the many interesting features do the talking. One of the best is the collar arrangement. Motorcycle jacket collars must be comfortable and they must be adjustable over a wide range, but this is almost never the case.
The Cyclone jacket has a unique modular collar system. The body of the jacket features a shorter stand-up collar with a mesh lining. It also has a thickly padded front flap to protect the front of the throat.
It works well, but I wish Teknic had made the Velcro strips that secure the collar about twice as long, which would allow it to fit a wider range of neck sizes. I have a thick neck and always seem to have trouble fitting a motorcycle jacket collar without feeling choked. But I must say that the Teknic design is better than any other I've tried.
The unique feature of the Cyclone jacket's collar system is the removable collar on the jacket shell. This second lightly padded collar has a soft micro-fleece lining, and it can be completely removed from the jacket with a zipper.
Teknic calls it their "Chill Stopper" system, and it adds versatility to the jacket, because the collar can be used in very cold weather or removed as the temperature rises.
The jacket outer shell has two big zippered vents that run vertically down the front and one vent on each arm. They all have long nylon fabric zipper pulls, so they're easy to grab when wearing gloves. The front vents open to 28 cm (11"), and the arm vents open to 23 cm (~9").
I'm of mixed opinion regarding zippered vents on motorcycle jackets - on one hand, they're usually better than nothing, but the zippers never seem to open wide enough to allow the volume of air that's really necessary to cool things down. The weather has been too cold around here to give the vents a full workout, so it's hard to tell what temperature range will best suit the Cyclone jacket.
I've never found that the 3/4-length motorcycle jackets are comfortable when the temperature goes up over 60 degrees F. or so anyway, but when the liner is out and the vents are open, the Cyclone jacket should be much closer to an all-season jacket than any other 3/4 length I've tried.
By the way, the size 44 men's jacket weighs 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) with the liner and about 2 kg (4.5 pounds) without, which is actually lighter than other jackets of this type. The pants weigh 1.45 kg (3.2 pounds), which is also a relatively light weight for textile pants of this caliber.
The jacket has waist-height belt adjusters that work with Velcro. These are easy to use, even with gloves.
The ends are cross-stitched for added strength, and they work through a nylon square D-ring to allow the jacket to be snugged up, which prevents it from sliding up and down and also helps to prevent drafts coming up from underneath. It's a simple matter to pull them out, cinch up the jacket until it's snug, and press then ends down to secure the Velcro.
The front waist-height pockets are square in shape, they open on the top and they're lined with nylon. They are about 20 cm deep (7-7/8) and 16 cm wide (6-1/4") with an outer double flap that secures with Velcro. Behind the outer patch pocket is another zippered pocket of the same dimensions; this one uses a vertical zipper.
The zippers on these pockets don't have the nice, big zipper pulls like the vent pockets, so they can't really be opened when wearing gloves.
The outside left breast has a pocket shaped to fit a cell phone, but the jacket has no other pockets that are accessible when the liner is attached. With the liner removed, a small wallet-sized pocket is accessible in the left breast area, sewn in to the liner.
Teknic's product information says that the jacket has two internal pockets, but I've searched everywhere and don't see a second pocket. No matter, because I only store earplugs and a cell phone in my motorcycle jackets anyway.
The jacket sleeves have two adjusters; one located just about at the inside crook of the elbow and the other about half-way down the forearm. These have two snaps, which really means that they can only be adjusted one notch tighter than the base fitment, because the first snap is used to secure the adjuster flap.
The cuffs have a simple Velcro adjuster, and the sleeve has a V-shaped gusset, which allows the cuff to be tightened, but there's slightly too much fabric down there to fit in some short-gauntlet gloves without bunching. The size 44 is slightly too big for me, and the sleeve length is slightly too long, so this adds to the extra fabric at the cuff also. Owners with longer arms than my 34" jobs will probably be satisfied.
The Cyclone jacket has a zip-out silver quilted lining; not much can be said about it other than it provides some insulating value. What is unique is the jacket's flap and closure system.
Teknic has taken a page out of the REV'IT! design book (see the wBW review of the REV'IT! Hurricane jacket) and added a multi-layer flap system to help protect the owner from the elements.
The Cyclone jacket has two full-length zippers, in addition to an outer flap system that secures with Velcro. The first zipper closes the inner jacket, and the outer zipper closes the permanently attached Gore-Tex liner.
The outer flap protects the inner zipper because they're slightly offset. Then the flap on the outer jacket shell is closed over both zippers, and this is again offset, offering added protection.
The Cyclone has a secure and wind- and water-proof entry system that really works. Just make sure you play with it before you put on your full-face helmet, or you may not be able to figure out how to connect all the zippers and two-collar system!
The Cyclone also has a near-full-width flap in the back of the jacket. This flap is opened with Velcro, and a zipper pulls open a vent. The system is similar to that found on the Aerostitch Darien jacket.
The rear of the jacket also includes a big lined cargo pocket, handy for storing gloves, a fleece sweater or more. Teknic says the pocket is waterproof and also meets the Gore-Tex XCR standard.
Maybe it can hold some crushed ice, a sandwich and a few soda cans? It's a wide 31 cm (12") and 26 cm (10-1/4") deep. It has a double flap that secures with full-length Velcro. The back of the jacket also has a sewn-in elastic waistband.
The jacket's outer shell is finished off with subtle (during the day, at least!) 3M Scotchlite piping and Scotchlite Teknic logos. I don't like wearing black because of its low visibility, but unfortunately, that's the only color that is currently available.
Overall, this is a very comfortable jacket that's loaded with high-end features and so far has proven to be completely windproof and waterproof, but it has excellent breathability, which is important. It's my favorite cool-weather jacket this year, and it works really well when paired with the matching Cyclone pants.
Teknic has added some "why didn't I think of that" features on their Cyclone pants that make them very unique.
The pants have the same specifications as the Cyclone jacket; i.e., Gore-Tex XCR lining, 500 Denier DuPont Cordura shell and the aforementioned Knox armor in the knees.
I've always wondered why motorcycle pants have little or no adjustability in the waist, especially in these days of expanding mid-sections.
Teknic solved this problem with a wide band of elastic around the back of the pants and a Velcro belt/waist cinching system that gives the pants a much wider range of comfortable fitment than any single button or snap could provide. It's easy to use, it works well and it's comfortable because there's no binding.
The most interesting feature of the Cyclone pants are the removable overall-style top section.
The bib overall module connects to the pants with a zipper around the back. The padded rear section of the bib overall covers the wearer's back and offers added warmth and protection in this important area.
Two straps come up over the shoulder and attach inside the waistband with two metal snaps. The straps are all elastic and they're adjustable and comfortable. A small cross-strap connects the two over-the-shoulder straps and prevents the straps from falling off the shoulder.
I really like this feature because it provides much better coverage and it completely eliminates any bunching or tightness in the waist. The system keeps the pants in place even when leaned over on a sportbike, and it prevents the wind from blowing up my back.
Other than the full-length, permanently attached mesh pant liner, the pants have no additional insulation. So it's important to find the correct size, because you may have to wear polypropylene or other thermal underwear as a liner in cold weather.
The only feature on the pants that isn't as successful is the lower leg opening. The legs have a very long 50 cm zipper (19-3/4"), covered by a flap that secures with full-length Velcro.
The bottom of the legs open very wide so they can be put on while wearing boots, but to maintain the waterproof feature and to meet the Gore-Tex XCR standard, the liner is permanently attached as a gusset inside the opening.
The result is too much fabric and it can't all be secured tightly enough due to the design of the Velcro tabs.
There are 4 horizontal pieces of Velcro sewn on to the leg that are designed to allow the wearer to cinch up the leg, but the vertical flap isn't wide enough to reach them.
I think if Teknic could add some matching horizontal tabs on the zipper flap, it would allow a greater range of adjustability. I'd rather have a narrower leg than the wide bell-bottoms that Teknic has designed; I'd give up the ability to put on the pants while wearing my boots, but I think the lower legs would be more comfortable.
The pant legs also have elastic stirrups sewn on to the bottom, which are designed to keep the pants from riding up the wearer's leg. But they're too long and can't be adjusted, so they end up looking goofy and they can interfere when walking. I'll probably remove them from the pants.
The pants also have two slash pockets, each covered by the Cordura fabric but this time with no Velcro closure. The fabric covers a zipper with a cloth zipper pull. Each pocket is about 20 cm wide by 20 cm deep (7-3/4" x 7-3/4").
The pants include a fly opening, but this is also backed by a sewn-in gusset liner, so it only works to add some width when putting on the pants and doesn't do much for the wearer when it comes time to use the bathroom.
By the way, the jacket has an 8" zipper and an opening in the lining to allow the jacket to connect to the pants. This is extremely rare in 3/4 length jackets and it's a great feature.
The Cyclone jacket and pants are a high-end, quality system with unique features. The Cyclone system is the equivalent of some of the best of the currently available European motorcycle riding gear for extreme weather.
It will be interesting to see if consumers will consider the product though, because the price is definitely a reach for the motorcyclists in the current Teknic demographic.
The Cyclone jacket and pants outfit retails at a list price of $750.00 for the pair. They're brand new to the market for 2005, and I purchased them as soon as they were available, so I probably paid the early adopter premium, but I did get $100.00 off the set. This price is comparable to other top-level motorcycle clothing brands.
I think they're worth it. We have a good selection of high-end motorcycle gear around the webBikeWorld office and I would compare the Cyclone outfit to any of them. I really like the bib overall pants because they're so comfortable around my midsection.
The high-quality Knox armor is located in exactly the right spots for me. I could do with less bulk in the cuff and ankle, but those are minor quibbles. I also feel more secure because I can connect the jacket to the pants with the rear zipper.
If you're in the market for a high-end system, I suggest you check out the Cyclone jacket and pants and compare them with all the others. As always, if you purchase a set, let us know what you think.
|wBW Review: Teknic Cyclone & Jacket Pants|
|Manufacturer: Teknic||List Price (2004): $399.99 (Jacket), $349.99 (Pants)|
|Colors: Black||Made In: China|
|Review Date: December 2004|
From "L.L." (February 2012): "I recently picked up an XT version of the Teknic Cyclone jacket. This is different from your reviewed item but still a fantastic jacket.
The body is made of Toray brand Entrant-HB waterproof breathable fabric that looks and feels just like the fabric on FirstGear HT Overpants 2.0, except that the black is slightly less dark. I have not tested the waterproofness or breathability in rain or extreme heat but this fabric is known to excel in both. It felt totally warm on a naked bike at freeway speeds on an average San Francisco January night.
The shoulders and elbows have rubber-coated Kevlar brand para-aramid inlays with zippers for removing the armor and drain holes with metal grommets. Front pockets and vents use YKK brand waterproof zippers. All thread is contrasting dark grey.
Stitching is very well done, and stress points have small bar tacks. Two chest and two waist pockets all open diagonally, handwarmer-style, and are fleece-lined. An additional napoleon pocket zips open beside the entry zipper, underneath the storm flap.
The fleece inner jacket is quite thick and fully lined with smooth taffeta. Both the inner and outer jacket have cell phone pockets on the left inside chest.
There are no arm vents, patch pockets, double collars or double entry storm flaps. I especially appreciate that unlike most other manufacturers that want to show off their "high-tech" waterproof zippers and leave them exposed, Teknic has covered the pocket zips with a continuous leeward opening storm flap and protected the chest vents from abrasion with a double welt.
My gripes are that none of the tiny zipper sliders have larger pulls attached, so until you add those you can hardly zip pockets and chest vents with winter gloves on. The snaps on the front storm flap are so tight that Iím afraid of damaging the fabric when I jam them shut against my collar or hip bones.
The pockets are on the small side, there is no shallow key pocket and the contents of the chest pockets get pressed into your body by the waist belt. For me the aesthetic strikes a great balance between sleek unobtrusiveness and high-tech toughness.
From up close the Kevlar patches say ďadventuresomeĒ without screaming Dakar-wannabe. It does not work as a casual dual-use jacket though.
The fit of my US Size 42 (Euro 52) is slightly baggy over a t-shirt with the liner in and the waist belt tightened all the way. Sleeve and body length is good. Iím tempted to add a size 40 for the California summers on the highway. Iím 6 feet (1.82m) tall and weigh about 175 pounds (80kgs) with a 32 inch waist. I fit a Large size Alpinestars pressure suit and a size 39 Hart Schaffner Marx suit jacket.
In summary, Iím sorry that Teknic has changed the formula on this great jacket. The new Freeway model may be good, but lacks some of the premium components.
This review is mostly to help those trying to judge Teknicís quality, because I feel that this brand is underrepresented in shops. In my opinion the construction quality is better than FirstGearís 2012 Kilimanjaro and similar models from Olympia and Fieldsheer.
If Teknic are still making a 3/4 length jacket when this Cyclone gets retired, I know what Iím buying next."