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Motorcycle Riding Gear That Adapts to the Weather

 Innovative fabrics that cool you when it's hot and warm you when it's cold.

Published on 04.08.2014
Halvarssons motorcycle riding gear with Outlast technology
Motorcycle riding gear with temperature-regulating materials help maximize your comfort in cold or hot weather.

Adventure rides can cover long distances across many different types of environments. In a single day, the temperature can swing wildly with weather or elevation changes. Most motorcycle riding gear is designed for either hot or cold temperatures, requiring you to stop to add or remove layers throughout the day. Carrying multiple layers of clothing adds more weight and takes up precious space in your luggage.

The ideal solution would be riding gear that adapts to the weather, cooling your body when it’s hot and warming you when it’s cold. Gear that is also breathable, waterproof and windproof. It would keep you comfortable over a wide range of temperatures, allowing you to use the same riding gear for all seasons. This may sound like a type of futuristic technology, but environmentally adaptive fabrics are here today.

Two of the technologies being used currently by some of the motorcycle riding gear brands are c_change™ and Outlast®. Both materials are able to automatically adapt to temperature changes and provide optimal comfort over a wide-range of environments. These technologies have been available for years in snow sports and outdoor gear, but have just started appearing in motorcycle riding gear recently.

c_change™
c_change™ is a windproof and waterproof material that automatically reacts to changing environmental temperatures and body heat. Depending on the situation, the breathability and heat-retention increases or decreases to ensure a pleasant body climate.

c_change™ technology was inspired by an example from nature. The material copies the behavior of a pine cone opening and closing to protect its seeds from cold weather. The c_change™ membrane works in the same way by contracting the fabric in colder temperatures to increase heat retention on the body. In higher temperatures or during aerobic activity, the material opens to allow excess heat and moisture to escape only when you need it.


c_change temperature adaptive material
1.) A pine cone opens or closes depending on the temperature.
2.) Polymer structure opens or contracts depending on the temperature.
3.) Insulates when its’s cold and releases heat and moisture when it’s hot.
4.) Wind and water are prevented from entering at any temperature.

Typically, c_change™ is used as a membrane in the outer shell of jackets or pants. The c_change™ technology creates a windproof and waterproof seal like GORE-TEX® and remains windproof and waterproof even when the fabric opens up in warm conditions. The main benefit of this technology is the increased breathability and heat dissipation in warm weather and heat retention in cold weather. This allows you to stay comfortable over a wider range of temperatures than other non-adaptable technologies.

Outlast®
Outlast® is a phase change material (PCM) that was originally designed for NASA astronauts to even out extreme temperature differences in Space. The material is made up of millions of microscopic thermocules that absorb heat when you are hot, then release the heat after you cool off. The material is tuned to the range of the human body temperature, increasing the variety of riding conditions you can maintain comfort in.

With Outlast®, you can be comfortable with fewer layers in cold weather and not overheat as quickly in warm weather. Temperatures are evened out as the material either sucks away heat or releases it back to your body. It’s the perfect material for when you’re travelling through an area with fluctuating temperatures.

outlast thermocules diagram
The Outlast® material is used as a temperature regulating inner liner for jackets, pants and gloves.

The Outlast® material is typically used to form the lining of gloves, jackets and pants and is designed to work directly on the skin. Outlast® is highly breathable and does not have any windproof or waterproof properties, so you still need an outer shell made of GORE-TEX® or c_change™ for complete protection from the elements.

Motorcycle Riding Gear Utilizing c_change™ and Outlast®

The top manufacturers of motorcycle riding gear that utilize either c_change™ or Outlast® technology are BMW, M-Tech, Halvarssons, Rukka and Richa. Below are some of their products that incorporate environmentally adaptable fabrics.

M-Tech Adventure Motorcycle Jacket ($589.99)

M-Tech Adventure Jacket

The M-Tech Adventure Jacket utilizes a c_change™ windproof and waterproof liner. Ultra durable CORDURA® material provides abrasion protection. The jacket includes 5 external and 3 internal waterproof pockets. Front vents allow for additional cooling and the liner can also be removed on hot days.
 
 

BMW ComfortShell Motorcycle Jacket ($499.00)

BMW ComfortShell Jacket with c_change technology

This jacket comes fitted with abrasion and water-resistant panels covering wear points. Removable NP protectors at the shoulders and elbows provide superior shock-damping. The unique c_change™ membrane provides complete wind and waterproofing while breathability and insulation adapt to the environment. Also see the matching ComfortShell Motorcycle Pants.
 
 

BMW Streetguard 3 Motorcycle Jacket ($849.00)

BMW Streetguard 3 Jacket with c_change membrane

The Streetguard 3 is the top-of-the-line BMW textile jacket with more safety and warmth than the ComfortShell jacket. You’ll ride in comfort in anything between freezing and warm temperatures. The jacket incorporates removable NP protectors and a c_change™ membrane. Cold Black technology reflects sunlight. Also see the matching Streetguard 3 Motorcycle Pants.
 
 

Richa Spirit Motorcycle Jacket ($599.99)

Richa Spirit Jacket with c_change membrane

This wind and waterproof jacket is designed for comfort and performance in all weather conditions. At its core is the climate-sensitive c_change™ membrane that regulates your body temperature and humidity. Highly abrasion-resistant Dynatec fabric is used in the protective outer layer. A NanoSphere finish repels water, dirt and oil. Also see the matching Richa Spirit Motorcycle Pants.
 
 

Rukka Armas Motorcycle Jacket ($1,299.00)

Rukka Armas Jacket with outlast liner

The Rukka Armas offers the ultimate in comfort and protection in a 4-season jacket. A GORE-TEX® shell and waterproof zippers keep you 100% dry in any condition. A robust inner-liner keeps your temperature regulated with Outlast® technology. Ultra durable Armacor material is used for abrasion and tear protection. Also see the matching Rukka Armas Motorcycle Pants.
 
 

Halvarssons Optimal Motorcycle Jacket ($491.00)

Halvarssons Optimal Motorcycle Jacket with Outlast removable liner

Halvarssons Optimal Textile Motorcycle Jacket uses an Outlast® liner to keep you cool on hot days and warm on colder days. A Tough Airdura outer shell is treated with TFL Cool System Technology to keep the surface cooler in direct sunlight. The jacket also features a removable and reversible high visibility vest and storm collar.
 
 

Halvarssons Odyssey Motorcycle Jacket ($647.00)

Halvarssons Odyssey Motorcycle Jacket with Outlast removable liner and c_change membrane

Halvarssons Odyssey Textile Motorcycle Jacket is the ultimate in motorcycle riding gear, featuring an Outlast® liner to regulate your body temperature and a c_change™ membrane that provides optimal breathability, warmth and protection from wind and water. In addition, Nanosphere waterproofing treatment prevents water from soaking the surface layer of the jacket.
 
 

Roadgear Adaptive Tec Motorcycle Gloves ($74.90)

Roadgear Adaptive-Tec Motorcycle Gloves with OUTLAST liner

Roadgear Adaptive Tec Motorcycle Gloves utilize Outlast® technology on the inside and cowhide on the outside to create an extremely versatile multi-season glove. These unique gloves sense your body temperature and automatically adjust to cool or warm your hands for optimal comfort.
 
 

Rukka Outlast® One-Piece Undersuit ($99.00)

Rukka Outlast One-Piece Motorcycle Undersuit

The Rukka Outlast® One Piece Suit works like a comfortable thermal under layer that helps your body maintain just the right temperature over a broad range of environments and activity levels. The Outlast® thermocules trap heat to cool you down when you become hot and release heat to warm you up when temperatures drop.
 
 

Author: Rob Dabney

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2 thoughts on “Motorcycle Riding Gear That Adapts to the Weather

  1. These 2 technologies mentioned in the article are really great. I own a couple of items that use them and it really amazes me how well they adapt to temperature changes.

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