Member Tested: Real Reviews From Real Riders
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Our Member Tested program puts the best gear in the hands of real riders who give real reviews. You'll hear the good, the bad and the ugly about all the gear they have tested. But when it is over, you will know you can buy the best piece of equipment that is durable enough for MOA members. All product reviews must come from an active member (at the time of submission) and should include photos of the product being installed or used in some way. Drop an email to wfleming [at] bmwmoa [dot] org with your idea for a review or your completed review. Thanks!


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Member Tested: Fieldsheer Hydro Textile Heated Jacket

Posted By Mark Thompson #218859, Monday, May 11, 2020

Fieldsheer’s Mobile Warming Riding Gear makes riding gear much more useful because you can have comforting warmth both on and off the bike. As we all know (or learn), heated riding gear extends our riding season and saves the day when the weather-guessers tell us “sunny and dry” and it becomes something much different.

To use its full name, the Fieldsheer Hydro Textile Heated jacket—let’s call it the “Hydro” - is a top-of-the-line, waterproof, all-purpose adventure/touring jacket. You can either plug it into the bike's electrical system or when you're off the bike, use an optional lithium battery (another $70) to keep you warm.

I needed just such a jacket for the wet and cold autumn months in Ohio. While not inexpensive - retail is $449 - Fieldsheer had it on sale on their website, saving me a bundle. This is a jacket that does the job of keeping you warm and dry under extreme weather conditions, whether on or off the bike.

I added the optional 12-volt lithium battery for off-bike use, which makes the inner, softshell jacket ideal for cooler weather spectating, errands or hanging out late on the patio at the local pub. The compact 5200mAh 12-volt battery is a little larger than a pack of playing cards and doubles as a backup cell phone power source. Its built-in LED light helped me find the keys I’d dropped in a parking lot one very dark night.

The Hydro is a two-part jacket, with the outer jacket constructed from Fieldsheer’s own Carbolex HD™ ballistic nylon, while the removable inner softshell jacket holds the heating elements and temperature control. The inner jacket looks like a typical lightweight jacket and is easily detached and worn as such. The lithium battery slips into a small zippered pocket that comes prewired with all connections; just plug in the lithium battery and hit the ON switch. Another inner pocket holds the prewired cable connections for directly hooking into the bike’s electrical system. With everything prewired and installed, there’s nothing more for you to do other than plug-in, power up, and go, a nice touch.

On the inner jacket's right chest, you'll find a small, round rubber logo—your power switch. One three-second push (easy even with gloved hands) and a red LED tells you power is on and at 100 percent. Another button push changes it to yellow (75 percent power), then green (50 percent), and blue (25 percent). The final button push brings it back to 100 percent power. On battery power alone, you can expect real-world times of about two hours of heat on a full charge, or three hours at 75 percent power, five hours at 50 percent, and perhaps 10 hours at the lowest setting. Green LEDs report on the battery’s charge level, and I saw about four hours for a complete battery recharge via electrical outlet and 90 minutes longer via USB.

Switch to running on the bike’s electrical system and clicking through the button choices gets you the same results. At the full-power setting, the temperature is at 149 degrees, dropping to 132, 118 and finally down to 100 degrees F.

Fieldsheer’s Mobile Warming gear uses pigtail (barrel style, male/female) connectors, not the more common SAE style. If you're going to add other heated garments like gloves, pants or socks, you may want to stay within the Fieldsheer brand. An illustrated manual shows how to hook up multiple garments to the bike’s electrics. The lithium battery, however, will only power one thing at a time. Some items such as the gloves offer the option of a separate lithium battery for power. Mix and match to suit your needs.

What great heat! Both your chest and back are swathed in wide zones of soothing warmth. Your upper back, arms and shoulders especially appreciate how the jacket keeps muscles warm and relaxed even after several hours in the saddle. The heating panels are large but not intrusive. When you’re off the bike and relying on the lithium battery, you get only upper back and chest heat.

One nit worth mentioning: Temperature adjustments mean unzipping the outer jacket because the power switch is tucked away on the softshell inner jacket’s chest. It can be a minor inconvenience or require a stop. More and more of Fieldsheer’s riding gear now offer a Bluetooth option, where you can control the temperature via your phone. Perhaps this will be in the Hydro's next generation.

Regarding fit, in size large it felt like Fieldsheer designed the Hydro specifically for me (they didn’t), but at six-nothing and 170 lbs., I’m a slim dude that usually goes for “athletic fit” clothing. This is a jacket you should try on first to see if it matches your physique. The inner jacket has drawstrings at the waist for sizing tweaks, and the outer jacket has hook and loop at the cuffs, double pairs of snaps on the sleeves, and more hook and loop on the waist for perfecting your fit. Level 1 CE armor hides in removable pockets in the back and shoulders. Zippered vents on the chest and back are there to provide a breeze on warm days. It’s all backed by a one-year warranty.

Phoslite® reflective panels in multiple spots on the jacket aide nighttime visibility. Carbolex-HD® fabric ballistic nylon fabric developed by Fieldsheer provides a high level of abrasion resistance. The Carbolex HD® is also waterproof, hence the “Hydro” in the jacket’s name, while a breathable internal membrane keeps you from getting clammy. All seams are thermo-sealed, and there are multiple large, convenient pockets both inside and out, most closing with zippers or hook and loop for secure storage. I could easily open the external pockets while wearing gloves. An adjustable neck bandana is built into the collar to help keep the breeze out—I flat out love this feature!

This is a substantial jacket with a weight of about seven pounds with the optional 11-ounce battery tucked into its pocket. This weight, however, is comparable to many other top-of-the-line riding jackets that don’t offer the versatility of dual power sources.

All this goodness comes at a price, of course. The suggested retail is $449, but I got mine for $337 at an end-of-season sale. You can order the Hydro and all Fieldsheer’s riding and work gear directly from the company. Their website includes a size chart. Go to for more information or to order.

Tags:  gear  jacket  winter 

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Café Racer Collection by SHAD

Posted By Jean Excell #112063, Monday, October 14, 2019

I am always looking for different options to carry my gear for moto camping and commuting on my 2018 R nineT Urban G/S, so when I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the SHAD Café Racer Luggage system for the R nineT, the gear geek in me was happy to give it a go.

The SHAD SR28 Rear Tail Bag has a capacity of 27 liters and includes a waterproof rain cover, a TSA Security Lock, three inner pockets for organization, and a shoulder strap to carry the bag off the bike. The outer material is a Synthetic Leather and 1000D Polyester.

The Tail Bag was a breeze to install using the SHAD Quick Mounting System. I opted to attach the four harness points to the screws under the seat, but you can also use the Velcro® strap version which simply wraps around the rear subframe. The Tail Bag then slips onto the straps using four Trimmer® aluminum ionized clips which provide a very secure mount.

The SHAD SR18 Tank Bag has a capacity of 8L and includes a tank base for easy access to the gas tank, a waterproof rain cover, and a lockable and glove-friendly zipper. I secured the bag tank base in place using quick clips that attach to the frame of the bike. The outer material is also the Synthetic Leather and 1000D Polyester. There is an inner mesh pocket for electronics and a large padded handle for transport off the bike. There is also an optional tablet holder that can be added on top.

The SHAD SR38 Saddle Bag has a capacity of 10L and attaches using the SR18 Saddle Bag Holder fitting kit, which attaches using three screws to the bottom side of the seat pan. This installation proved to be a bit more difficult, as the fitting kit bracket did not work with my Rizoma Rear Rack. The rack would have had to be removed to attach the fitting kit and since this would have involved removing the tail lights to get the rack back off, I opted to leave my rack on. The bag is only available for the right side, as the exhaust on the left side prevents having a matching set, but this would provide for an additional 10L of storage. The bag also locks to the frame and has a roll down top closure.

In order to give the system a full review, I used it for nearly a month of commuting, weekend day rides and trips to the grocery store. I have to say the system as a whole worked very well and provided ample storage for the trips that I took. I was most impressed with being able to put my helmet in the rear tail bag, as I like to be able to store my helmet on the bike, and with the locking tail bag this was quick and easy. Though the tail bag itself does not lock to the bike, at least the helmet is out of sight. I was also able to commute and keep my laptop and office gear secure in the tail bag.

Would these bags be able to accommodate a full weekend of moto camping gear including a tent, sleeping bag and Kermit chair? No, but that is not what they are intended for. I was lucky enough not to hit any rain, so I cannot attest to the performance of the rainproof covers, but they were made of quality materials that should stand up to the elements.

The styling of the bags in my option would be better matched to the R nineT Scrambler with its brown leather seat, but I did get many compliments on the overall appearance of the bags.

Overall, for the quality, functionality, style and price point of these bag, I give the system a thumbs up!

MSRP for the gear is $199.99 for the SR28 Rear Tail Bag, $99.99 for the SR18 Tank Bag, $126.99 for the SR38 Saddle Bag, and $117.99 for the SR18 Saddle Bag holder. For more information, visit your local dealer or SHADUSA.COM.

Tags:  Gear  Luggage  MemberTested  rninet 

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Trilobite Ace jacket

Posted By Justin Marquardt #219185, Saturday, August 31, 2019

When I first saw the Trilobite Ace jacket at the MOA Getaway at Fontana Dam this spring, I realized this wasn’t traditional cotton denim. Stiffer than denim, it was more like a technical, textile-based riding jacket. The cut and style of the Ace jacket are like a modern textile sport riding jacket as well, and it fit me like a glove, though just a little tight in the arms.

The jacket features a pair of zippered chest pockets as well as two zippered hand-warmer pockets. Inside the main zipper are interior pockets on each side with metal YKK zippers. These pockets are likely waterproof or at least very resistant, considering their placement, and during a ride through a light rain the contents of the pockets remained dry. The jacket's collar features a soft, microfiber lining and uses a single metal snap to close. I found the snap requires a deliberate action to release.

The long arms of the jacket feature zippered cuffs and a two-position adjustor that snaps for closure, allowing a rider to wear gloves inside or outside the sleeves. The jacket's branding is somewhat subdued, with only a small metal “Trilobite” text logo above the left chest pocket, while at the rear above the waist is a larger, embroidered version of the same text. Between the shoulder blades is a Trilobite graphic. The jacket's shell is made from a tough polyester fabric treated for water resistance. Additionally, there is a TriTex ® waterproof but breathable membrane for serious protection from the rain.

I found when reaching for the grips on my Yamaha R1, the extra sleeve is perfectly taken up by the riding position, and stretch panels behind the shoulders and on the hips make the reach comfortable.

A denim jacket isn’t usually what one reaches for when it is chilly or wet outside, but that is exactly where this jacket shines. One of my first rides with the jacket was on a cool morning ride on the Dragon. It turned out that I never got chilled. Between the polyester shell, liner and TriTex waterproof membrane, very little wind passed through the jacket to my torso and arms. Later that afternoon with the temps starting to climb, the jacket began to get a little stuffy. While not a summer jacket, I believe the temperature range of the Trilobite Ace jacket is suitable for mild weather, but on hotter days I’ll likely reach for a mesh jacket.

The jacket is constructed of a water resistant, polyester denim material with impact zones including the back, shoulders and elbows lined with Dupont Kevlar® aramid fibers. Trilobite includes their own brand of CE Level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, which are inserts consisting of three foam layers of differing density. While no back protector is included, a pocket for one is there. For visibility, the Ace jacket has a little secret that I didn’t notice until my riding partner told me he noticed the 3M reflective stitching along the upper back and arms. While not “blinding,” it is certainly better than nothing. This is something most denim riding jackets don’t offer.

A couple of interesting features of the jacket include what looks like a buttonhole with a strap beneath it on the right chest. After a little research, I found this is for holding your glasses. The idea is that a rider slips one temple arm of their glasses into the buttonhole and then the glasses are safely held against the chest under the strap. Additionally, the Ace jacket has a small LED flashlight tucked into a little rubber covered "garage" at the lower left front of the jacket. The small light is activated with a simple squeeze and is perfect for any situation where a little more light might be needed. The small light is attached to the jacket via a 20-inch auto-retracting tether so it can't be lost.

Overall, I would highly recommend this jacket not only for mild weather riding, but as a casual jacket when the armor is removed. MSRP of the Trilobite Ace jacket is $319 and is available in sizes S - XXL. For more information, visit Pros:

  • Good looking with good protection.
  • Water proof with liners
  • Quality construction with interesting features including glasses holder and flashlight
  • Lack of venting can make the jacket warm on hot days
  • Runs one size small

Tags:  Gear  jacket  trilobite 

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Colorado Chaps - Made in the U.S.A.

Posted By Gray Buckley #27846, Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Colorado Chaps is one of the best companies you never heard of! When you need custom fit, hand cut chaps suitable for motorcyclists, hunters, construction workers, horseback riders, snowblower operators and anyone else who enjoys working or playing hard while staying clean and dry, then check out

You won’t see much advertising in the usual places, but you will see owner/operator Lorna Reed at motorcycle rallies and small town festivals in western Colorado. She first made chaps in 2002 for a few equestrian friends who frequent Colorado's remote forests. Eventually the customers convinced her to spread the joy to motorcyclists.

I met Lorna at the Top o’ the Rockies Rally in Paonia, Colorado. Looking first hand at the variety of fabrics, colors and styles, and then holding a few samples in my hands, made me a customer. After wearing the product for several summers and winters, I became a believer! During several Rocky Mountain blizzards I wore them while driving a snowblower. They stop the wind, fit comfortably over Bermuda shorts or jeans, and are comfortable on the warmest days.

My Colorado Chaps arm gauntlets live in my side bags, ready for any sudden drop in temperature. They are easier to store and to put on than digging around for the extra jacket. You will be surprised how much protection they provide while covering just the forearms behind a pair of gauntlet gloves. Your hand signals will be a LOT MORE VISIBLE to drivers behind and ahead of you. If you are the delicate sort, you may need a fleece-lined pair.

Neither these chaps nor the gauntlets are cookie cutter products. They are assembled in Mesa County, Colorado, near the Colorado River.

Decision Making

When you decide to get a pair of these chaps you will need specific information, and to make some decisions. How long is your inseam? Do you want leather, water-resistant nylon or breathable cotton canvas? What kind and color of nylon do you prefer: Ballistic, 1000D Cordura, Basofil, Kevlar? Do you need knee armor? (It’s the real stuff.) Get fleece lining if you are going to ride in 35 degrees or less. Do you want mesh backs for hot days? Do you ride at night? If so, consider reflectorized striping. What color stripes do you want? What is the circumference of your thigh at the most ample point? There are more choices if you want a classy pair. Once you are wearing the chaps you may forget the flap-covered pockets on the front of each leg because they fit so well. They come standard. The chaps come with a belted stuff sack that fastens to your rear pack or to your handle bars.

“Not for me,” you say?

You may prefer to wear over-pants, the kind that cover your knives, tools, cell phones and everything else you hook to your belt, and to cover your front port hole even when you really have to go. You may prefer to remove your boots to get out of the over-pants. There is no need to remove footgear to exit Colorado Chaps. Your flexible parts stay flexible and your belt gear says accessible and you never have to remove your boots. Every pair of chaps is custom fit, hand cut, and built for you in the USA.

If you don’t like any exterior bulk above your knee and you don’t wear a belt, then consider the half-chaps, especially if you need shin and knee protection. Colorado Chaps guarantees a custom fit on a durable garment that you will enjoy for a long time. You will not find this quality in a factory made, off the rack wearable from overseas.

Lastly, when it comes time to order another pair, or possibly a gift or two (half-chaps, gauntlets?), you can get your questions answered and any problems resolved directly from the person who supervises the production of every order. Send your email with questions or just pick up the phone. I like this gear! Happy Trails!

Contact:, call 970-464-5803, or write to Colorado Chaps, 3553 G Road Palisade, CO 81526.

Gray Buckley (MOA #27846) lives in Lakewood, Colorado, and rides a 2015 R1200RT. After service as a Maryland State Trooper and as an agent of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, he retired to ride full time. He is allergic to gravel, asphalt, cement, lead and sharp pointed and/or cutting instruments.


Tags:  ATGATT  chaps  Gear  MemberTested 

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