November, 2009 – Hard to believe it’s already Thanksgiving, November of 2009!
This is the time of year when the motorcycle clothing manufacturers announce next year’s new products, to give the distribution chain a chance to place their orders and make room for the new gear.
REV’IT! won’t be attending the Indianapolis Dealer Expo in 2010, and by time that show takes place in February the new gear would have already been ordered anyway.
So when they asked if I’d like to visit their New York showroom to take a look at the 2010 gear and, of course, I jumped at the offer!
(Full disclosure: the trip was funded by webBikeWorld, not REV’IT! and REV’IT! bought me lunch at a local café!).
It just so happens that the REV’IT! USA office is located in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York — not too far from my childhood stomping grounds in what is now called East New York.
Red Hook is a very interesting neighborhood that now looks something like a cross between Popeye’s home town, Woodstock and a set from “On the Waterfront”.
It wasn’t always that way; let’s just say that at one time, Red Hook was probably the last place in the world you’d want to find yourself at night with a flat tire…
Actually, Red Hook is one of the most historic districts in the U.S. It was first settled by the Dutch in the early 1600’s as a landing point for goods.
The docks, marine supply firms, warehouses and the sea-faring atmosphere that still exists attests to that heritage
It is said that the first child born to the Dutch settlers in America was born in Red Hook; her name was Sarah Rapelje and the Rapelje family lived in the area for many generations.
So what’s a company like REV’IT! doing in a place like Red Hook?
Actually, it makes a lot of sense. The area is now known as a sort of haven for artists and design firms and it’s close to many clothing and styling resources in what is probably the capital of the garment, textile and apparel industry in Manhattan.
And it just so happens that the area is popular with motorcyclists.
I probably saw a larger concentration of motorcycles, scooters and bicycles in the 6 or so blocks around the REV’IT! headquarters than I have anywhere else I can think of.
Cool bikes too, and parked right outside on the street. They included a BMW R90S, a newer F650GS Dakar, a Ducati 1098, a tricked-out Honda café racer of some vintage and old and new Vespas, among others.
And by the way, lane splitting is common, although illegal in New York. But who’s going to stop you in the wall-to-wall traffic on the Gowanus Expressway? If you’ve got the guts (cast iron) and narrow handlebars, go for it.
REV’IT! is located in a beautifully restored old building, said to be the original New York Port Authority offices.
The view from up top is mind-boggling; a deck on the roof offers a grandstand seat to view the Manhattan skyline, lower Manhattan, Governor’s Island, the Statue of Liberty, a sweeping view of the Upper Bay with ships coming and going and even the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
In fact, I was so awestruck by the view, I forgot to take photos! I did make a quick sweep with the videocam though, along with a short take of the REV’IT! showroom, and I’ll include that below.
OK, so what’s new in the REV’IT! lineup for 2010? While not as extensive and radical as their 2009 announcement, there’s still plenty to talk about.
This article will describe the major new REV’IT! releases for 2010, but there will be more coming; REV’IT! promised the release of a major new product in 2010 and we’ll bring you details of that as soon as possible.
REV’IT! was also able to institute a new pricing strategy due to increased sales volumes and relationships with suppliers.
The price of the new Sand jacket, the new CR line of clothing and some of the gloves are very competitive and indeed lower than many lesser-quality items we’ve seen recently.
So one sure bet is that some of the other motorcycle clothing manufacturers are going to have to re-think they’re 2010 pricing!
I’m a big REV’IT! fan, mostly because the company has such an intense focus on the performance of their products through the use of technology and also because they offer such an extensive “one stop shop” lineup.
Continuous improvement is a passion at Rev’it, and anything that makes a better, longer-lasting, harder-wearing and safer garment is always under consideration.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s the very tiny details that make the difference with REV’IT! clothing. Sometimes, these details don’t get noticed in the showroom, but if you see as much motorcycle gear as we do, you definitely notice the differences.
2010 REV’IT! “Victory” Leather Race Suit
For example, REV’IT! has a new top-of-the-line one-piece leather racing suit for 2010 called the Victory.
The suit, developed on the track with riders like Randy de Puniet and Karl Harris (British Superbike) is acting as a testbed for some advanced REV’IT! technologies which are then incorporated into the rest of the REV’IT! clothing line.
An example of the REV’IT! attention to detail can be found right on the front of the Victory suit.
The suit has some tiny little black holes peppered in the front and rear of the leather. The black holes on the chest are laid out in small triangles, and at first they look like a painted-on styling flourish.
Here’s the suit:
In reality, the tiny black dots are actually perforations, made with a laser.
The holes are so perfectly round that even on very close inspection it was difficult to tell that they were actually holes, until I held the leather up to the light.
Here’s a close-up:
Using a CNC-controlled laser to make these dots not only improves the ventilation in the leather suit but the use of the laser means that the holes are cauterized by the laser, and they have less of a tendency to tear as they would with punched holes.
The holes are also located on the back and sides of the suit for ventilation.
By the way, the suit also looks fantastic, and it incorporates stretch Kevlar material in the sides of the legs and the arms (seen as the narrow red V-shaped sections in the photo above).
The stretch material at the bend points should make it much more comfortable than a “normal” one-piece leather suit.
REV’IT! “3D” Mesh Lining
REV’IT! has also designed a new “3D” mesh lining that is used in the Victory suit and other 2010 REV’IT! garments, like the new Sand jacket. The 3D mesh is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.
It has highly perforated mesh fabric on either side, but the best part is the squishy folded ribbed material in the center. It keeps the outer leather or textile shell away from the skin, allowing lots of air to pass between the rider’s hide and the outer protective layers.
Here’s a photo of the 3D Mesh in the back of the Victory suit:
The Victory suit also has a ventilated hump in the back, which forces air down through a grid on the top of the hump and out the bottom, through the rear of the suit and through the 3D mesh to keep the rider cool.
Another new feature to help make the suit more flexible and easy to wear (besides the stretch panels in the exterior) is a new process for pleating a single piece of leather to make it more flexible in the elbows and knees, as seen in the next photo:
And finally, the Victory suit has an extra zipper at the bottom of the leg, which can be opened to make the suit easier to put on and take off, a problem in most leather suits, especially when the rider is sweaty.
Here’s a photo showing the opening zipper and the additional release zipper:
Anyone who has worn a one-piece leather suit will immediately recognize these features as a big advancement towards comfort and flexibility.
Maybe this will encourage more street riders to take advantage of the protective features of one-piece leathers also?
The 2010 REV’IT! Victory suit will be available in three colors: the red, white, black and gold shown here; a white and blue “BMW-ish” color scheme and a more subdued mostly black suit.
Even cruiser owners will like the CR jackets and REV’IT! also has a new and superb-looking (and feeling) black leather modern-retro jacket called the “Hawk” for 2010 that should appeal to everyone (more on that below).
The 2010 Rev’it collection includes this fantastic-looking “American style” black leather jacket with special Elk-skin soft leather that feels silky soft and smooth.
The jacket has French-style stitching in front and rows of contrasting stitching on the shoulders and elbows.
The stitching on the production version of the Hawk jacket which will be darker and in double rows, rather than the single stitches shown on this pre-production version.
The jacket has a removable insulating vest and although I don’t have a photo, the lower “tail” in the rear just below the hem is made from quilted leather for that retro ’50’s look.
The jacket will list for $499.00, which is very reasonable for an Elk-skin leather jacket of this quality with full armor. The sizing for this jacket will be different from the other REV’IT! gear, since this jacket will be sold only in the U.S.
Here’s a photo and a detail of the arm:
2010 REV’IT! “Union” Jackets
REV’IT! is also releasing a line of slightly more basic leather jackets with a removable liner and a lower price point, the jackets will be $350.00 list and the men’s jacket will come in an expanded sizing range from European 48 to 62 (U.S. size 52).
The jackets also have very discreet REV’IT! logos, one on the front and what I call the REV’IT! “Trimus Circum Circulus” logo on the back. The Union jacket is still in development so I didn’t take a photo of the mock-ups.
2010 REV’IT! Bronx and Brighton Jackets
Last but not least, REV’IT! has a couple of nice commuting or scooter or “lifestyle” jackets for 2010.
The Bronx (left in photo below) and the Brighton have water-resistant (REV’IT! says waterproof) outer shells and full armor, but the armor can be removed and the jackets can be worn on the street also.
The jackets have removable insulation and the collars can also be removed. The idea was to deliberately make a jacket that did not look like a motorcycle jacket.
The jackets will retail for around $220.00.
wBW Video: 2010 REV’IT! Gear
wBW Video: Quick tour of the New York skyline and the REV’IT! showroom.