Comfortable, breathable and seems to work as advertised.
I’ve had mixed feelings on this motorcycle underwear thing.
And that goes double when it comes to motorcycle underwear for summer.
Sure, the pioneers in the Old West wore Long Johns under their wool bloomers…but what did they know from Coolmax?
I mean after all — every time you see one of ’em on TV they’re sweating like pigs, right?
Anyway, the idea is supposed to be that the right type of underwear will wick moisture away from the body and also help the wearer slide in and out of full-length leathers.
Sounds good in theory, but I always figured that any extra layer of clothing worn in summer is guaranteed to make me hotter and sweatier, no matter what the manufacturers claim.
And that has pretty much proved correct — until now.
I’m not sure what secret formula was discovered by BMW, but they’re usually pretty serious about motorcycle clothing. The fabric used in their summer underwear does seem to have a much different weave than any of the other types that I’ve seen.
I can feel the cooling effect start to work as soon as I put them on — the first time I tried it, I felt instantly cooler, which is pretty weird actually. BMW claims that the underwear is made from a special fiber that is specifically designed to draw moisture from the skin. As moisture evaporates, it removes heat, thus the wearer will feel cooler. This effect is especially noticeable on my back and other areas that are not in the direct air flow when I’m riding.
BMW also says that the underwear is designed to work best with clothing that has “active pores”, such as Gore-Tex.
The fabric is very sheer — so sheer, in fact, that no one wanted to pose for a front view photo. You can see in the photo below how the model’s hand shows through the fabric. The photo shows the model wearing underclothes beneath the summer underwear, but in reality, the BMW summer underwear should be worn next to the skin as the only undergarment.
The only thing that BMW says about the fabric is that it’s “100% micro functional”. The underwear is very light weight; the size large long pants weight 5.125 oz., or 143 grams and the same size long-sleeve shirt weighs 6.5 oz. or 184 grams (the pants and shirt are also available in short lengths). They can also pack in a very small bundle.
The product is very nicely made, with special flat seams designed for motorcycle use to prevent chafing and pressure points. BMW also claims that it’s cut and styled for motorcyclists.
The fabric also seems to breathe very well, and BMW claims that it’s also hypo-allergenic. The pants and shirt have a lot of stretch, although I’m not sure if there is any special elastic fabric included or not.
Part of the problem though in wearing this type of motorcycle underwear is that you really need more than one pair unless you’re planning on washing them after each use. The BMW summer underwear can be machine washed on the delicate cycle. I’ve worn the pants and shirt on a couple of trips and I wash them in the sink at the end of the day and hang them over the shower curtain bar in the hotel room to dry.
By the way, the size large seems to run true to size; I’d say that the size large pants would fit a male rider with a 34-37″ waist and maybe 30-32″ inseam and the size large shirt would fit around a size 43-44″ chest.
While a complete set is a bit on the expensive side, the BMW summer motorcycle underwear really does seem to work. I actually feel cooler when I’m wearing it, which is probably due to the fabric’s excellent wicking capabilities.