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BMW Rallye 3 Suit Review

BMW Rallye 3 Pants Review
BMW Rallye 3 Jacket Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
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Summary

Combine the BMW Rallye 3 jacket with the Rallye 3 pants to make the complete BMW Rallye 3 suit.

You'll have one of the most comfortable and substantial riding outfits available.

The Rallye 3 pants are, of course, the perfect match for the jacket.

But each piece could also be purchased individually to mix-and-match with BMW or (the horror!) other brands.

Background

Surprisingly little information is available on either the BMW website and the BMW clothing retailers' websites regarding the BMW Rallye 3 Suit.

What little information has been published is mostly about the jacket. The BMW Rallye 3 pants have the same design philosophy as described in Part 1 of this BMW Rallye 3 Suit review, so I won't repeat a lot of that here.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants: Details

The Rallye 3 pants are made from the same DuPont Cordura material as the jacket, including the use of heavier weave Cordura from the knee to ankle in the front of the pants for extra abrasion resistance.

The pants also feature a thick braided elastic material at the knee and in back of the waist, which provides flexibility.

A thinner but similar type of elastic is used in the lower leg in back of the calf, which also improves the ventilation.

The Rallye 3 pants are available in colors to match the Rallye 3 jackets, including the black/gray and gray/blue shown here.

The pants have the matching retro-reflective striping on the side, located below the knee on the outside of the leg.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants Review
Sizing

BMW first sent a pair of Rallye 3 pants in size 52 (Euro), which were supposed to match a waist/length request of 36/31.

However, the 52 pants were one size too small, or smaller than expected.

This seems typical with European sizing in our experience; the standard size charts usually show a 52 as fitting a 36 waist, but we have found on more than one occasion that a 52 is really a 34/35 in North American sizing.

So the 52 was exchanged for a 54 (which, by the way, matches the jacket size) and they fit perfectly -- what I would call a "normal" size large that fits as I expect for that size.

The pants are designed to be worn alone (i.e., not as overpants) and they have the same special BMW liner as the jacket, so the pants do gain about a half-size with the liner removed.

Waist

The Rallye 3 pants are made in numeric sizes, not the simple unisex "S, M, L, XL" found in mass-market pants. This helps the owner find a better fit.

The BMW clothing website lists a range of sizes for the pants from 36 to 56 and 40 Long to 50 Long, which covers a wide range of shapes and sizes.

The size 52 Rallye 3 pants have a 36" waist and 34" inseam -- perfect for me with a couple of inches extra leg length to allow for the seated position on the bike.

The waistband can be adjusted smaller from that point with the attached belts along the top on each side of the waist.

The heavy mesh (black fabric) just below the waistband in the rear of the pants provides good ventilation and also the flexibility needed to improve ease of movement on the bike, and the relatively soft-feel Cordura gives the pants a fit almost like a pair of jeans.

The Rallye 3 pants also have a metal hook at the waist, which is better than the single snap used on most other pants. However, we'd still like to see a more secure waist that would include a strap or belt over the top of the hook, which would help keep the pants on during a crash.

The fly features a locking YKK zipper and the flap covers and secures with hook-and-loop.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Side and Waist With Belt
Side view of the Rallye 3 pants waist with built-in belt. Anyone know what the hook-and-loop is for?
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Pockets

The front hand pockets in the Rallye 3 pants are semi-hidden, located at the seam between the blue and gray material in the front of the pants. They close with locking zippers and large zipper pulls that are easy to find and use.

The left pant leg has an unlined cargo pocket along the outside of the thigh. It closes with a flap using hook-and-loop fastener.

Legs and Cuffs

The most noticeable feature on the legs of the Rallye 3 pants is the leather, embossed with the BMW logo, used inside the legs. The leather is soft and helps grip the tank when standing up on the foot pegs of that R 1200 GS.

The Rallye 3 pant leg cuffs have a 20 cm zipper on the outside and no fabric dart underneath. The cuffs are adjustable by repositioning the hook-and-loop fabric on the outside and they can be made narrow enough to fit into a pair of boots, or wide enough to fit over the boots. The liner attaches to the inside of the cuff with two loops and metal Prym snaps.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Three Different Types of Materials Used in Pants
The Rallye 3 pants feature two different types of Cordura and embossed leather on the inside of the legs.
BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Leg Cuff
Rallye 3 pant leg cuff with longer than normal liner.
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Liner

The liner used in the Rallye 3 pants is of the same type found in the Rallye 3 jacket. It zips in at the top with a full circumference locking zipper and the leg cuffs on the liner snap to the bottom of the pant cuffs.

The material is soft and comfortable and it has the same three "Zones" used in the jacket liner. The material in the seat is especially comfortable, with a soft fleece covering that runs down the back of the legs. This helps when seated on the motorcycle to keep the rider from "sticking" to the pants and seat.

The two loops that hold the bottom of the liner to the leg cuffs seem to be longer than needed to keep the liner in place, and this results in the liner occasionally hanging out of the bottom of the pant legs. The loop attached to the inside of the pant legs is 40 mm long, while the loop on the liner that attaches to the loop on the pant leg is 30 mm long, for a total of 70 mm of length.

Even though the liner inseam measures the same length as the pants, the long attachment loops at the bottom and the width of the liner cuff conspire to allow the bottom hem of the liner cuff to sit below the pants leg cuff.

I think the liner attachment loops could have been made shorter, which might help to keep the liner inside the cuffs. Better still, I'd prefer a zipper or attachment at the bottom of the leg cuffs on the liner that keeps the liner even with the bottom of the pant legs, similar to the design used on Rev'it pants. You can see in the photo above an illustration of how far the liner cuffs are sticking out the bottom of the pant legs.

The lower part of the leg in the liner has a section of elastic that runs almost all the way around, with a section on the side forming a dart that ends up under the pant zipper.

The dart is designed to allow the liner to fit over a pair of large off-road boots, but between the loose liner at the bottom and the bulk of the liner cuff with the extra material formed by the dart, the liner leg cuffs can sometimes get in the way and they feel a bit sloppy, so this might be a feature that could be re-designed for the Rallye 4 version.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Rear View
The rear waist of the Rallye 3 pants have a large section of elastic for comfort. Note attachment zipper.

BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Front and Side Views

BMW Rallye 3 Pants - Waist and Hook
Rallye 3 pants waist features a metal hook to secure the waistband.
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Armor and Padding

The Rallye 3 pants have a full set of the special BMW knee/shin padding. The padding can be adjusted up or down slightly by repositioning the hook-and-loop tape that holds it in its pocket.

When the pants arrived, the lower portion of the knee/shin pads were in the uppermost position, but the top of the padding was not, which caused the top of the padding above the knee to fold over. Repositioning the padding involves removing the liner and turning the legs inside-out to access the armor pocket, something that only has to be done once to customize the pants for the owner.

The armor feels thick and it has a generous curve to wrap around the knee and shin, but some care must be taken when putting the pants on or taking them off to make sure the curved edges of the padding stay in the correct position.

BMW also added small sections of removable padding at the hips and the pants have no padding in the rear.

Ventilation

The pants have 20 cm vents on either side at the outer portion of the thigh. The vents open with a locking zipper pull and a large pull tab. Motorcycle pants are very difficult to ventilate and it's difficult to tell whether the side vents provide any appreciable amount of air flow, but the side vents are welcomed all the same.

webBikeWorld Overall Opinionator: BMW Rallye 3 Suit
Picks...
...and Pans
  • Comfortable material feels different.
  • Excellent quality and construction.
  • Specially designed liner works.
  • Excellent fit.
  • Good ventilation in jacket.
  • Classic good looks.
  • Waist could use wider range of adjustment.
  • Pants liner hangs out the bottom of the pant cuffs.
  • Rough material used on collar in jacket shell.
  • Lots of hook-and-loop (although so far no problems).
  • Expensive.
Miscellaneous

The pants have a mysterious section of the "loop" portion of hook-and-loop fastener on each side at the hip, along with a red loop at the top. I have no idea what this might be for; perhaps one of our readers can clue me in?

[UPDATE From "N.S.": "I was as baffled as you, so I asked my vendor, Bobís BMW in Maryland. They said itís for attaching the BMW Protector jacket if you want to wear that instead of, or under the Rally 3 jacket shell.]

The BMW Rallye 3 pants and Rallye 3 jacket have matching attachment zippers in the rear.

Conclusion

The BMW Rallye 3 pants fit comfortably due to the relatively soft buy sturdy-feeling Cordura fabric, along with the styling that has been carefully tailored to a rider's shape (unlike the bulky square non-fitted shapes of most other pants).

They're a perfect match for the BMW Rallye 3 jacket and, as discussed in that review, the major hurdle is the pricing. I look at the jacket and the pants as a system and the all-up price of about $1,350.00 is about twice what it might cost for a comparable riding suit of other brands.

But for me, the BMW Rallye suit fits better, looks better, feels better and has a sophisticated lining system that feels like it will last longer while providing better comfort. This means I will wear it longer and get more enjoyment out of it. So while I wouldn't call it a bargain, I can make the argument that many other owners have for owning this suit.

Part 1: BMW Rallye Suit 3 Jacket Review  |  wBW Motorcycle Clothing Reviews

wBW Review: BMW Rallye 3 Pants
Manufacturer: BMW Motorrad List Price: $549.00
Colors: Black/gray/yellow or Blue/gray/red. Made In: Serbia
Sizes: 46 to 66 (U.S. sizes 36 to 56 and 40L to 50L with Blue/gray/red in 36-50 only). Star Rating (1-5): Four Star Rated
Review Date: July 2010
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.
Ratings Scale: For reference, our ratings scale is subjective and ranges from Unacceptable to Poor, Neutral, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

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From "K.D." (09/10): "I would like to add that the rivet/button (with BMW on it) that attaches the hook at the waist is made of VERY thin brass and does not stand up to normal wear, let alone what might happen in a crash. I am on my third set of hooks in three months and the dealer ran out so I am currently without a spare. At this price-point, the use of such shoddy hardware is a travesty.

I would also add that the knee armour does NOT stay in its correct place in the pouch - after a ride or two, you must burrow into the legs and mess about with the hook and loop system to get the pads to stay in your preferred position - plan on doing it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next....

I am either going to take them back on some sort of warranty claim (I complained each time I replaced the hook and got no satisfaction) or I am going to a tailor to have them re-designed.

I would suggest that if you really have to have a set of these pants, try them out very thoroughly and find out the dealer's return policy - these pants are waay over-priced for the nuisance of the armour system and the shoddy, cheap and unreliable hardware."

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