Common Tread

ZLA Awards for 2014: Gear we love, gear you love

Nov 18, 2014

We vote with our hearts and minds. You vote with your cold cash. The winners get the ZLA Awards for 2014's most innovative, appealing, significant and successful new motorcycle gear.

The ZLA Awards are based on a combination of objective and subjective criteria. As Anthony explains in the video, "We judge them on the basis of four criteria. Do riders love it? Do we love it? Did it change the game and has it been a complete juggernaut?"

You can watch the video for the full effect, or skim the list below for a quick look at the ZLA Award-winners for 2014.

Shoei RF-1200
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200

The RF-1200 won a ZLA Award because Shoei made this successor to the popular RF-1100 helmet even better, and thousands of you voted with your cash. The RF-1200 is lighter, quieter and more aerodynamic. The RF-1200 is a quality helmet that can do it all and remains a bestseller. That earns it the ZLA Award for helmet of the year.

REV'IT Rodeo boots
Boots: REV'IT Rodeo

Some ZLA Award products are predictable. Nobody will be surprised by the RF-1200, for example. The Rodeo boots from REV'IT, however, were a surprise hit this year. Gear that's styled not to look like motorcycle gear, but still incorporates protection, as the Rodeo boot does, often sells better overseas than in the states. REV'IT broke that trend, this time, and the biggest challenge is keeping these boots in stock.

Dainese 4 Stroke Evo gloves
Gloves: Dainese 4 Stroke Evo

Here's another product so popular it's hard to keep it in stock. Dainese upgraded this all-leather, short-cuff sport glove with additional protection and features for 2014, but did not raise the price much. Result: another bestseller and a ZLA Award.

Alpinestars GP-R leather jacket
Leather jacket: Alpinestars GP-R

This leather sport jacket comes in perforated or solid versions. For the new version, Alpinestars made changes to improve the protection and the comfort, from the neoprene collar to the additional flex panels. It provides the full protection sport riders need for under the $500 mark.

Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex
Textile jacket: Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex

Textile jackets are all about protection and flexibility, and Dainese stepped up its game for 2014 with a true, four-season jacket in the D-Explorer Gore-Tex. The D-Explorer combines the top-of-the-line waterproofness of Gore-Tex with pass-through ventilation, so you can wear it in hot weather, and not just three-season use. Of course you still get the CE-rated protection, a thermal liner for cold weather, and the Italian style you expect from Dainese. If you're leaving home and plan to ride through several biospheres before you return, and you want to pack just one jacket, this is the one we recommend for 2014.

Alpinestars Stella Motegi Race Suit
Women's gear: Alpinestars Stella Motegi Race Suit

Why should women get less protection than the men? The Alpinestars Stella Motegi Race Suit wins a ZLA Award because it takes all the protection of the men's version of the Motegi and brings it to a women's suit. This is no dumbed-down men's suit with some pink added to make it a "ladies'" version. Alpinestars reworked this suit to fit the female form, even down to reshaping the speed hump.

REV'IT GT-R Textile jacket
Sleeper Hit: REV'IT GT-R Air Textile Jacket

Sometimes even the gear experts at RevZilla who live and breathe this stuff don't see a hit coming. The REV'IT GT-R textile jacket is an example, and its unexpected sales success earns it our Sleeper Hit award. Styled like the GT-R leather jacket, the GT-R Air uses textile and mesh to provide a sporty jacket that's lighter and cooler than leather.

Of course you can get the full details on any of these ZLA Award-winning products by watching the detailed breakdown videos and reading comments from other customers.