by Soul Cohen
During the past several years one sector of motorcycling has seen steady growth, the “Adventure” segment. It has been driven primarily by the GS series from BMW, who is credited with creating this category. BMW sells more GS motorcycles than any other they make. At this point almost all motorcycle manufacturers have an “adventure” model in their lineup and new models are constantly being announced.
To understand what makes a good boot for this segment, we should examine the Adventure category and what it entails. Originally, the Adventure Bike was a motorcycle that was made to win the famous Paris-Dakar rally and a replica was offered to the public. The concept of a mammoth dirt bike was a bit hard to swallow, especially in the US, but the upright seating position, wide handlebar, long travel suspension and large fuel capacity made it a very comfortable touring bike. Add to it the fact that the manufacturer actually encouraged owners to take the motorcycle off-road gave this motorcycle (and others that follow) the “go anywhere” allure of a modern rugged adventurer vehicle which appeals to a very wide audience.
Although most “adventure” motorcycles rarely see dirt, a motorcycle that goes anywhere requires a boot that will go anywhere and provide adequate protection under any of those circumstances. This sort of versatility is the most you can require from any product. Naturally the area of riding requiring the most robust protection is off-road riding, dirt, rocks, and water have a tendency to show a boot’s weaknesses in a hurry. Especially when combined with the average weight of a beastly adventure motorcycle at around 500lbs. One would think a robust motocross boot should do the job – right? Not exactly, these are “go anywhere” machines plus they offer very decent luggage capacity. When was the last time you kept your motocross boots on when going grocery shopping at your local farmers market on Sunday morning then to Starbucks, then going canyon carving, and later walking down Main Street of a quaint little town you came across? What if it decided to rain at some point during the day? Would your typical MX boot be right for all this?
By now I hope you are seeing the point. “Adventure” boots must provide robust protection for off-road riding, including water crossing, good feel for sport riding and still be comfortable enough for walking a decent amount. The Sidi Adventure Rain Boots hit the sweet spot on all those requirements.
I have been riding adventure motorcycles for the better part of 25 years and have worn an eclectic mixture of boots during this time. After testing for almost 8,000 miles, the Sidi Adventure Rain Boots are the most versatile, well balanced boots I have worn to date.
The two adjustable cam-lock buckles offer much better adjust-ability and support than the single buckle my previous boots had and another very important build feature is the fact that the buckles are attached to a leather/plastic band instead of being attached to a single anchoring point on the boot surface. This provides a very even, snug adjustment without stretching the boot surface. The upper buckle is actually a part of a wide strap that surrounds and protects the shin.The shin area has a robust, injection molded, plastic plate which saved my shin from certain injury after a head on collision between that part of the boot and a metal guard rail.
The oil resistant, soft, yet rugged sole is thick, grippy and comfortable to walk on for extended periods. During my 8,000 miles of testing, the Adventure Rain’s water resistance was put to the test while riding for several hours in a torrential downpour. I arrived at my destination having my legs and feet completely dry confirming the waterproof, breathable membrane in combination with the wicking soft liner do their job brilliantly. Riding in temperatures ranging from the 40’s to over 100° Fahrenheit, I was neither too hot or nor too cold in these boots.
At a street price of around $400.00, purchasing the Sidi Adventure Rain Boots is a serious commitment. But when you consider the strong feature set, build quality, and availability of replacement parts it’s a wise investment. These boots will surely give you your money’s worth. If you want the best adventure motorcycle boot available, look no further. The Sidi Adventure Rain is waiting for you.
As tested Retail: $400.00
Also available in “Gore-Tex” model for $500
For more info go to www.motonation.com