February 19, 2015
Americans, even those of generation Baby Boomer, seem to be changing their lifestyles for the better: No smoking, moderating alcohol intake, and... we even eat our broccoli. Motorcyclists also seem better at safely suiting up, too. More wear helmets, protective jackets and boots. The one lapse is from the waist down.
In any weekend gathering of casual motorcyclists, you are apt to find that the men and women wear a great variety of appropriate apparel above their waist, but down below there's likely to be that great American invention: denim jeans. Jeans look fabulous on some, others not quite so. But in a crash they don't offer much protection.
Rider Protection is a mantra for Paul English, proprietor of Action Stations, Inc., designer and marketer of the Bohn line of protective products made especially for motorcycle riders. Bohn's Bodyguard System includes shirt and pant styles, which are worn under jeans, leathers or other everyday clothing and incorporate removable CE-approved body armor at vital points.
Lightweight and flexible, Bohn's regular undergarments are manufactured from a high performance, breathable Lycra material. CoolAir items are made from a proprietary stretch mesh that has excellent breathability and durability. I've been evaluating Bohn's CoolAir pants on cross-country trips and day rides, and in hot, cold and wet weather conditions. They've been worn under jeans, insulated but non-armored riding suits and riding pants. And on cruisers, standard motorcycles and large scooters.
CoolAir pants are designed to closely hug the body, so I was concerned that the fine fabric might tear when taking them on or off. Didn't happen. The lower portion of the legging is zippered for snugness and ease of removal. The pants are very lightweight and you soon forget you are armored up! Better yet, the pants are not noticeable underneath your clothing.
The protective feature of the CoolAir pants is the removable and replaceable armor pads at the hip, thigh, knee/shinbone and tailbone areas. Fortunately, I didn't crash test the pants but believe they would offer equal or better protection in a fall as riding jacket/pants armor.
The breathability of the CoolAir fabric worked well with no added heat or perspiration, even on days of riding in midsummer. Just hand wash and hang for a quick dry. I found an added feature of the CoolAir pants was that the tailbone and thigh armor pads served as a nice cushion on a long riding day.
Bohn's CoolAir Armored Pants sell for $173, direct from the company's website. A CoolAir Armored shirt goes for $163. Non-vented versions go for a little less, and insulated versions slightly more. Action Stations offers special pricing for pants and shirts bought together. Good news for women: there is a wide range of unisex sizes.
Now you can keep the James Dean or Brando look, with a lot more protection.
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