The downpour is torrential, and within minutes there is the cold creeping dampness seeping into my underwear of a waterproof promise broken. At a moderately premium price of $269.99US, I expected more out of the Olympia Moto Sports X Moto All Season Transition Pant purchased 10,000 kilometers ago, but those expectations haven’t borne out.
As a relationship it started well. Beautiful warm days racing down the West coast from Vancouver to LA, followed by a fully vented joy ride through the American Southwest. Cool mesh airflow lining doing its job through the giant intakes of the Mega Vent Panel system. Then in Palm Springs I squatted to take a photo, and there was a rip, as the threads in the crotch broke. A small hole, no big deal, but also a bigger worry. If that’s how the seams hold taking a picture, what would happen in a 120kph fall?
Nothing good I’ve surmised. For a start I’ve never managed to place the “removable and adjustable height CE approved Motion Flex armor at knees” into a position where they would do any good in a fall. The range of placement always puts the armor too far to the inside of my knees, leaving the middle exposed. Perhaps genetics has placed my knees in the wrong place?
Still there was the waterproof liner, a saving grace during the pre-Christmas 2010 deluges riding through California’s worst storms in recent memory. The liner worked as advertised and being dry forgives many deficiencies. Until of course, the outer pant soaks through, and the waist starts wicking water under your jacket and into your underwear. A fold over of waterproof lining rimming the waist might help that, or a water resistant shell material. At that point the waterproofing was still mostly as advertised.
As another consideration the liner isn’t breathable, so if you do wear it for an extended period, count on a horrendous case of monkey butt. That might explain why the 80’s hair-model rocking the liners as a stand alone pant on the Olympia site is looking a bit grim.
Now though, there’s been a downhill slide in water resistance with the last ride, six months after purchase, proving the lining is only moderately effective. There’s also additional tears in attachments loops between the pant and the liner, which don’t speak to a quality production.
It’s not all bad though, the venting does work phenomenally well. The leather reinforcement panels, from inside thigh to hem bottom, protect your inner leg from the bike’s heat and hard bits in a down and grip the tank when standing. The 3M Scotchlite piping increases visibility at night. The full leg zippers making getting in and out even with boots on a breeze. Also, these pants are long enough to come well down over your boot, a small detail that’s been an issue with gear like the Thor Ride Pants I took to the Arctic. Finally, liner out, these pants are comfortable enough for riding or even walking around once off the bike, a number of stretch panels take credit for that.
Still the decrease in water proofing means that until the warm summer months (or given this riding season on the west coast that might be “month”), the usefulness of the X Moto Pants is limited. Or maybe it’s just that the my repair stitching in crotch has broken again, giving the winter rains easy access.