Originally Published In The February 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Oscar by Alpinestars
When I saw the Oscar Collection by Alpinestars for the first time, it looked like a line of road gear I’d want to wear every day, whether I was riding or not. Then I started to hear the reviews, raves for the boots, the jeans, the jackets, assertions about quality and fit—I knew I had to try it out. I’ve gone both ways with gear in the past. I’ve purchased inexpensive gear when strapped for cash. I’ve bought expensive stuff, too. I’ve also been given gear—for instance, a good friend gave me my first leather motorcycle jacket. I’ve had it repaired a few times, and I still wear it today, 25 years later. Like you should be able to do with any good leather jacket. Oscar by Alpinestars is a whole other animal, though. Originally conceived in the early 1970s, Oscar products have won fashion awards and the wholehearted endorsement of top-end motorcycle racers and weekend warriors alike. The line has been through several phases and iterations, but the new versions “exist as a fusion of classic styles and silhouettes, punctuated by technical features and modern processes.”
Schuberth C3 Modular Pro Helmet MSRP $829.00
Integrated SRC Bluetooth MSRP $399.00 I’ve worn a helmet for the last 12 years, ever since my son was born. This is a personal choice I make, to (hopefully) protect myself, now that I have responsibilities for people other than myself. I don’t feel like it’s my job, or the government’s, for that matter, to tell people what to do with their heads. As far as I’m concerned, it’s really up to you. But if you’re looking for a helmet that is versatile, lightweight and allows for handsfree communication and entertainment, then this is definitely the helmet for you. I’ve ridden with headphones before, and I’ve ridden with a variety of helmets, but the C3 Pro is by far the quietest I’ve ever experienced, in terms of road noise. Interior helmet sound levels are rated at 82 dB at 60 mph. It’s also the easiest to operate with Bluetooth. When you couple this helmet with the SRC system, which features two integrated antennas to boost FM and Bluetooth reception, it makes being on the road a lot easier. I spent a lot of time in this helmet, including a 400- mile trip to Sturgis. I’m not ashamed to say that on the way up I listened to a book on tape and answered my phone without anyone knowing. In my helmet. Some of you may think this claim is the most ridiculous thing ever. But before you scoff, give the Schuberth C3 Pro helmet a try. I’m telling you: it’s the last helmet you’ll ever need to buy.
Oscar by Alpinestars Robinson Gloves MSRP $89.95 I’m a big snob when it comes to riding gloves. I know what I like, and it’s hard for me to find what I consider a proper fit. I can’t stand cheap gloves, the kind where the dye comes off on your hands. So most of the time, I go with synthetic, sometimes even shop gloves. Oscar by Alpinestars gloves give you the fit, style and function you need, as well as top-notch protection. I put quite a few miles on them, and I can say they are definitely a welcome addition to my late-summer / early-fall riding gear.
Copper Alpinestars Jeans $229.95 I’d been given a pair of Copper Alpinestars jeans, and I was about to head for Sturgis. Being on a bike, I, of course, had limited packing space. If I committed to the Alpinestars pants, they’d be the jeans I’d wear for a week. I don’t know about you, but typically I don’t have time for laundry during a rally—I take one pair of pants, and that’s it for the week. I wore these jeans all the way up to Sturgis and throughout the entire week of the rally. I had some reservations about the fit at first, because they were a little snugger than what I’m used to, but once I’d logged some miles in the saddle, they broke in and felt great. They definitely possess more features than a typical pair of jeans, including interior aramidic reinforcement in knee and seat areas for abrasion protection; leather, vintage-authentic belt patch and coin pocket; internal knee compartment that allows for adjustment of CE-certified knee protection; and more. I never wore them with the kneepads in, but without them they were comfortable while still being heavy and durable. My only complaint is that the color faded quicker than I would’ve liked, but they still look and fit great.
Oscar by Alpinestars Monty Boots MSRP $259.95 The thing I like about these Oscar by Alpinestars Monty boots is that they were designed for riding—that’s their purpose. They feature a sole that works well on asphalt or concrete, and they have a nice worn look when you get them. They aren’t gaudy. They’re sharp and utilitarian at the same time, blending retro styling with modern materials to produce a handfinished, CE-certified boot that draws on Alpinestars’ Italian craftsmanship heritage while utilizing the latest developments in comfort and protection. I had only these boots for my entire Sturgis trip, and I was leery about relying on only one pair of shoes, but I didn’t have much of a choice. As it turns out, my apprehension was unfounded. My feet are wide, but these boots fit great, were really comfortable and provided all the protection I needed. I rode through a good portion of rain, and my feet stayed dry.
Oscar by Alpinestars Monty Jacket MSRP $599.95 One thing I could tell from the start with the Monty Oscars by Alpinestars leather riding jacket was that it was well thought out. They had obviously put a lot of time and effort into making sure the sizing and protection was correct and adequate while keeping the jacket form-fitted. The venting was good, even on some very hot summer days. It features a removable thermal liner for comfort and protection, and the leather main shell is specially treated—washed and waxed for durability and finish. Another great blend of classic aesthetics with modern material and manufacturing standards. It felt tailor-made for me, and it didn’t blow in high winds or let in any unwanted air. I wore it in both hot and cold conditions, and it was always up for the task.