We all dream of being a super hero. The ability to fly, cool gadgets, sleek powerful vehicles, immense strength, or invulnerability are all traits and trinkets that we mere mortals wish for. They inspire confidence that exudes from every facet of your being; allowing you to assuredly face whatever situation arises and overcoming improbable odds.
As motorcyclists, either asphalt or dirt biased, we face improbable odds as soon as we raise the kickstand. Whether you encounter cages of steel surrounding inattentive drivers weaving chaotically to get to their destination minutely faster than everyone else, rutted trails with fallen trees, or the weatherman’s failed prediction, the last doubt you have in your mind should be the quality of your gear.
I purchased the Klim Badlands jacket and pant combo last summer after a small accident made me re-think my current ensemble. I was working in my garage and waiting for some fluids to drain. With time to kill I went on the notorious “little ride”, and ended up high siding. I was thrown 20 feet, landing on grass. When I came to and found my flip-flops, I picked up my bike and nursed it back to my house. Adrenaline subsiding, I surveyed the damage and drove myself to the ER. Three weeks of not being able to lay flat due to broken ribs and more scrapes and bruises than one of the Joker’s henchman somehow made me more safety conscious.
After thoroughly breaking the Badlands in, I can attest that it gives me a sense of security normally reserved for super-heroes and bomb technicians. It is constructed with D3O Armor and Gore-Tex Armacor Fabric which is the absolute top-of-the–line in the motorcycle industry. Very little can compare with the impact protection and abrasion resistance this concoction of materials provides.
D3O armor was born from the extreme sports industry. It made its public debut at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and helped push the US and Canadian teams to victory. The molecular based armor, before it is subjected to a curing process, is neither a solid nor a liquid. It will mold and form to any shape, however upon impact becomes rigid and will suffer repeated abuse without degradation. Once the jacket warms to your body it is near impossible to feel the armor and there is no bulkiness whatsoever. The Dow Corp. overlapping chest protector completes the package and may give you grand illusions of seeking the inherent evil in the world and fighting crime. (At this point I find it necessary to disclaim that the jacket is not bullet proof.)
The Gore-Tex Pro Shell is ideal for the motorcycle community. Its ability to shed water like Superman sheds bullets keeps you and the actual material dry. It never really absorbs water keeping the garments light while its ability to breathe keeps you more comfortable. When you arrive at your destination, which in many instances is a tent, you can bring your gear in without fear of drenching your surroundings. There are no liners to be accounted for and no stopping under an over-pass, which is decidedly un-super-hero-like, to don cheap nylon rain gear. All you have to do is close the massive vents and soldier on to meet your destiny.
Aside from the materials, the engineering and design stands out among its peers. Large pockets with glove-friendly zipper pulls provide ample space for smoke bombs, ammunition, and priceless tribal artifacts. The large arms vents keep your pulsating muscles cool and a built-in hydration ready pocket keeps you in the fight. If you are like me, and maybe have a less than hero-like physique, the kidney belt helps to keep your beer gut sucked in and stop from jiggling. If you have to save the girl, you might as well look good doing it.
The Badlands is not just moto-gear, it is battle armor. It is a confidence inspiring technical masterpiece that should be in a vault nestled under Wayne Manor. It is impervious to Kryptonite and even has tabs to attach a cape.
If the Apocalypse was tomorrow and the bowels of Hell were to release its minions, and you had only one chance to escape by motorcycle, you need to be wearing the Badlands!
-- Jason M.