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
This parallels the rise in popularity of
motorcycles like the
the Triumph Tiger (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
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
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
Shoei Hornet, the
Arai XD, the
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. The
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 book.
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 beware.
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 elephant.
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
OK, so now what? Well, the
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
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
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
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 through it.
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 top.
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 thinner arms.
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
Two bellows waist pockets complete the front storage. These pockets
have hand warmer pockets behind them, lined with a very nice feeling
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
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 coming soon!).
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 corralled.
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!
Review: Made2Race M2R Rally Cross EVO Motorcycle Jacket
Retail Price: $249.95
|Colors: Red, Orange, White
accents with Black.
Sizes: XS to XXXXL (4XL)
Review Date - April 2007
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC - 2000-2011. All
rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld®
page. NOTE: Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
Terms and Conditions!
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
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