M2R Made2Race Rally Cross EVO Motorcycle
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Owner Comments (Below)
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: The M2R Rally Cross EVO is a very comfortable
jacket with some interesting features including built-in pockets
for a water bladder; removable arms and a 3-way front zipper
arrangement that effectively blocks cold air.
Slowly but surely, "Enduro" styled Adventure Touring
gear is catching on.
This parallels the rise in popularity of motorcycles like
BMW R1200GS, the
(alas, the older version, not the new one) and, of course, the
classic Adventure Touring bike, the KLR650.
The Adventure Touring market niche started in Europe, long
before it caught on in the U.S.
Somewhat analogous to the quasi-romantic image of the American
motorcycle rider as a "Lone Wolf" rebel, there is
a segment of the motorcycle market in Europe is devoted to riders
who fancy themselves as Paris-Dakar racers, ready for their
next adventure, riding off into another Malawian sunset.
Who would have guessed that the trend would catch on in cruiser
crazy America, but my theory is that the popularity of SUVs
has acted as a sort of enabler for the concept of an all-purpose
motorcycle that's always ready for on- or off-road abuse.
Sounds silly maybe, and I originally thought that Adventure
Touring was kind of goofy, but after finally coming around and
owning a 1998 Triumph Tiger "Steamer", all I can say
is it's one of the only bikes I wish I hadn't sold. Adventure
Touring bikes are loads of fun and there's a lot to be said
for the upright seating position (which by the way becomes more
and more attractive to me with each passing year)!
But hey -- if you're riding a big GS or KLR650, you need
to look the part! Fringe vests or race-rep leathers just
don't look right when splashed with mud...
So this was originally going to be a review of a complete
Enduro riding outfit, consisting of the M2R Rally Cross jacket,
the matching M2R Rally Cross pants and a pair of Alpinestars
Recon boots and Alpinestars "Sledge" gloves thrown
in for good measure.
Add a nice Enduro helmet, like the cool
Arai XD, the
Airoh S4 or even a full-on motocross helmet like the
Shoei VFX-R Pastrana with some nice
Smith goggles and bring on Death Valley. Or the Outback.
Or Morocco. Or even that trip to the deli in
East New York.
Well, one thing led to another, as we shall see, and I didn't
want to procrastinate any longer, so here forthwith is at least
the M2R Rally Cross jacket review. The Alpinestars boots and
gloves will have to wait for another day. But what about the
pants? It's a long story...
M2R Rally Cross Pants
I first discovered M2R motorcycle
clothing while browsing a retailer's website. M2R clothing isn't
all that easy to find, in case you haven't noticed, so I wasn't
able to try one on first but the Rally Cross jacket looked good
enough in the photos to motivate me to take a chance.
I didn't expect much, to be honest, based on our initial
impression of M2R products that came a couple of years ago when
we were looking at inexpensive Snell-approved motorcycle helmets.
M2R MR10 helmet we reviewed was, uh -- well, let's just
say that the M2R brand wasn't off to a resounding start in my
Nevertheless, when the clothing arrived, I was impressed.
I especially liked the styling of the M2R Rally Cross textile
pants ($139.95 list), and I still think they'd make a perfect
match for the jacket. But we found a serious problem with the
sizing, at least in the couple of pair we received, so buyer
The matching M2R Rally Cross pants are available in waist
sizes ranging from 30" to 42". I normally take a size
36", and that's what I ordered. But to my surprise, I couldn't
even come close to buttoning them up. In fact, I could barely
hike the waist up where it belonged. There's no question in
my mind that the pants I tried were much closer to a 33"
or 34" waist than a 36.
The heck of it is that the legs seemed perfect. It was like
they grafted a size 34 waist on to a 36 pant. If you're super-slim,
like people were in the 1940's, they'll work, but for "normal"
folks -- beware. Back they went for an exchange for the next
biggest size, which happens to be size 38. Unfortunately, the
pants with the 38 waist are just the opposite -- more like a
39 or 40. And the legs were huge, like they were made for an
So we sent those back also and cancelled the order. This
gets expensive, especially when the store charges a restocking
fee after the second try. Fortunately, I was able to talk them
out of it, but we're still out the cost of shipping both pair
back: $17.80 total just for postage.
OK, so now what? Well, the
Alpinestars ACR Air-Flo pants (a fave for summer riding)
or the comfy
Roadgear Tierra del Fuego pants work just as well with the
M2R Rally Cross jacket and they're both a pretty close styling
match. I did take a couple of photos of the M2R pants while
they were here though:
M2R Rally Cross Jacket
Fortunately, the men's size
44 (Large) jacket is a perfect fit. The combination of the Enduro
cut and the thick but supple mesh textile fabric, makes it very
comfortable. It doesn't have the usual hard-backed armor
in the shoulders and elbows, substituting a thick padding instead,
and this probably adds to the comfort factor because it gives
the rider more freedom of movement.
The thick weave of the outer mesh in the jacket's shell is
backed by a zip-in, removable waterproof and windproof liner.
The liner attaches to the jacket will full-length vertical zippers
located on either side of the jacket's main zipper.
The liner's zipper system includes a zipper on the inside
of the liner that is first secured. A double layer of the liner
is then placed over the inner zipper. A second liner zipper
then is secured over that.
Next, the big main zipper of the jacket is secured, then
finally the outer flap of the jacket itself lays over all of
this and secures with Velcro an nice, big, rubber-covered "King
Star" metal snaps.
It sounds more complicated than it is but the system really
works to keep out the cold air.
The liner has a separate neck flap with its own Velcro attachment.
The jacket neck is also comfortable, with some thin padding
underneath a fleece neck liner and rolled top. It has a strap
with one of those big King Star metal snaps and there are two
locations on the collar for minimal adjustment. But, it fits
my big neck, so I'm happy.
Here's a photo showing the multiple layer front liner and
zipper arrangement; note the inner liner zipper closest to the
olive-colored T-shirt, then the outer liner zipper held open
by the fingers, then the jacket zipper and finally the outer
flap with its Velcro sections and metal snaps:
Multiple zippers provide layers of protection against the wind.
What's cool about the jacket -- literally
-- is that it has very good air flow when the liner is removed.
The thick outer mesh has an open weave; hold it up to a light
source (with the liner removed, of course) and you can see right
Sure, there are a few areas down by the pockets and on the
outer arms where the solid Nylon textile material blocks the
air from coming through, but there's plenty of mesh on the front
of the jacket, just where you want it. This is one of the few
3/4 (or 5/8) length jackets that really does work rather well
in hot weather.
And, if the mesh doesn't flow enough air, well, the arms
can be removed also! I didn't even realize this was a
feature when we purchased the jacket, but sure enough, each
arm has a narrow zipper to allow removal. The mesh liner underneath
(that by the way lines the entire jacket) is removable in the
arms also. It's attached with a couple of Velcro sections up
Note that the liner can get rather sticky when riding with
only a T-shirt underneath; it works better with a full-length
moisture absorbent undershirt, especially in humid or rainy
weather. A full-length undershirt is probably a good idea even
when riding without the liner anyway to help prevent burns from
melting Nylon in case of a crash.
Note also that most of the outer shell is not waterproof
at all, so the entire shell becomes wet in the rain, with only
the liner between you and the moisture.
Jacket Arms, Cuffs and Adjusters
The arms of the
jacket have an adjuster at the biceps and forearm. The adjusters
are attached with a "V" shaped yoke to distribute
the pull, which is a nice touch. I'd say the arms start off
slightly tight, just as they should be, but the adjusters offer
a bit more room and they can be cinched down quite a bit for
The arm cuffs have the standard Velcro adjustment on the
outside. The liner has elastic in the cuffs, with helps to keep
out wind and rain.
Zip-off arms and yoked sleeve adjusters.
Cell phone pocket and mesh outer shell.
Rear hydration bladder pocket and hose loops.
Large rear bottom pocket for storing sleeves or other items.
The M2R Rally Cross wouldn't be so-named
if it didn't have the multiple pockets that Adventure Tourers
seem to demand. What do they do with all those pockets anyway??
The front of the jacket includes a mesh pocket up on the
right chest. It has a little cell phone logo sewn on and although
the pocket isn't waterproof, it includes a separate clear vinyl
bag inside for storing a cell phone to keep it dry.
There's no matching pocket on the upper left-hand side, but
there is a waterproof vertical zipper pocket on the placket,
just to the left of the jacket zipper. This one is perfect for
storing a wallet or a map. Two bellows waist pockets complete
the front storage. These pockets have hand warmer pockets behind
them, lined with a very nice feeling felt-like material.
The back of the jacket features a huge lower storage pocket.
It can definitely fit a thick sweater, water bottle, a sammich...
who knows what else (Actually, it's designed to store the jacket
arms when they're removed).
The jacket has a pattern of sewn chevrons that covers the
thin back padding that is carried in an internal pocket. The
lack of back armor keeps the jacket flexible, but I'd like to
find a good piece of armor that will fit back there.
There's a horizontal zipper up at the top of the jacket in
the back, just below the neck, that I guess could hold a Camelback
hydration unit (believe it or not, we have a Camelback review
This pocket has 3 loops inside and there are two loops located
around the neck and down the front of the left-hand side of
the jacket, so the hose from the hydration unit can be kept
The M2R Rally Cross jacket has short
elastic sections sewn into the waist. Located on either side
at the hem of the jacket is an adjustment system, each with
two snaps to secure the bottom of the jacket from billowing.
The outer non-mesh jacket fabric is 500 denier "Rip
Stop". The seams are double-stitched and riveted.
The shoulders and elbows are Hitena 4150. The liner is claimed
to be hypo-allergenic. The piping on the jacket is 3M Scotchlite
reflective material. And finally, there's supposed to
be an available upgrade kit with a thermal liner (I'd rather
use a polar fleece sweater underneath); a 1.5 liter bladder
and CE-approved armor.
I really like the M2R Rally Cross jacket,
and I didn't think I would when we ordered it. It's comfortable,
and flexible; it does a good job of blocking the cold air in
the winter and has some of the best air flow of any full-length
jacket in hot weather and I really like the styling.
The price isn't bad, although you'll probably have to pay
list. If M2R motorcycle clothing was available at more retailers,
there'd probably be more competition and the prices would be
even lower. But this is a nice all-around jacket for the money.
I'm hoping it will hold up to some abuse, and I'll report back
if it doesn't.
Kind of makes me want to buy an '08 KLR650 just so I can
match this jacket with an Enduro helmet!
Product Review: Made2Race M2R Rally Cross
EVO Motorcycle Jacket
Orange, White accents with Black.
XS to XXXXL (4XL)
|Made In: China
Review Date - April 2007
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From "T.T." (9/09): "I'd
just like to add this comment: This Jacket, and the pants,
are marketed under the brand name 'DriRider' in Australia. i.e;
DriRider Rallycross Evo."