Fits like a glove, flattering to the figure and fully protected--what's not to love?
Over an 8,000-mile assessment on and off road in Mexico, the States and Canada, the elements have had the nonstop pleasure of putting the Flexina through its paces.
Fit, cut and aesthetics
As a slim rider at 5’ 5” the Finnish-made suit is a European fit working with my contours and curves. Unlike the methods used in a handful of culprits still out there, my body can vouch that the Flexina is a world apart from donning a men’s suit where a few inches have been added or removed, here and there. A far cry from previous ones I’ve worn, the Flexina is not masculine. It’s anything but bulky, nor does it billow or look like I’ve come dressed in my partner’s riding garb. Heck, it’s stylish even and the compliments received are testament to that. Rukka has gone to considerable lengths in the cut, fit and fastenings—as we’ve come to expect from any suit worth its salt: to eliminate flapping in the wind and ensure the armour stays in place. For instance, a body hugging fit throughout coupled with the width adjustment on the upper arm—permitting a snug fit to my pipe cleaner arms into the bargain—achieves just that. Wonderfully, the trousers are not too wide in the leg or baggy in the backside. High waisted to prevent chilly draughts racing up and down my back, the waist closure has a double fastening (with a zip and Velcro strap)—hugging my waist.
Chiefly a traveller and motorcyclist second, there are times on the road when it’s impractical to abandon my motorcycle gear in order to experience something interesting off the bike on foot. Hiking a couple of miles to Delicate Arch in Utah over rocky terrain; traversing if not sliding my way through a series of slot canyons around Page, Arizona; and clambering up and down big boulders at Joshua Tree National Park, California, proved easy endeavours. The trousers are built for the long haul with an endless supply of ruggedness. The vulnerable parts of the body against the suit enjoy the shielding of high-tear, abrasion-resistant reinforcements and MC-approved Cordura Stretch 500, which is a double-duty bonus to anyone wishing to connect to nature’s elements when in or out of the saddle.
Living with the suit
For me, the finishing touches distinguish a good suit from a great one: the seams throughout are strong, the neoprene collar feels comforting around my neck and I especially appreciate the plastic zips; all of which are easy to open, placed between anti-snag fabric and quick to close. Furthermore, the connecting zipper on the trousers to the jacket is covered with a flap of fabric, so it doesn’t pose extra risk of injury in a crash. I’ve come to rely on the adjustable fastenings on the cuffs, seamlessly preventing the draughts from charging up the sleeves on a cool day, as does the jacket’s inner red zip and removable neck gaiter (known as the storm collar), made from an elastic Gore-Tex Stretch three-layer laminate material.
Perhaps the finale feature for me is the breathable, waterproof Z-liner, a Gore-Tex membrane fixed in each garment. At all times the suits stays free of taking on moisture while I remain dry without having to stop riding, which when it’s particularly hot or cold, is beyond convenient. It’s heaven sent. Where other suits dictate stopping to don an outer shell to waterproof the armoured jacket, or undressing on the roadside to incorporate the weatherproof liners when it’s bucketing down with rain, the Flexina requires neither. Permanently rainproof and windproof makes it supremely versatile.
Openings on the thighs and a long two-way zipper on each of the jacket sides afford the suit a degree of ventilation in warm weather. As suits go, this one is geared slightly more for spring, autumn and winter riding. Contentment however is always reached in cooler conditions, where the suit comes with detachable quilted liners for the jacket and trousers, comprising 60 grams of plush insulation and Outlast for temperature regulation. The Flexina came into its own during cold temperatures with the wind chill on top, particularly during long, unforgiving days in the saddle through Canada’s springtime. Aided by the Rukka AirCushion performing as a climate buffer, and Antiglide system on the seating area—facilitating a comfy ride and secure hold in the saddle respectively, certainly during the 1,500 mile stint through BC and the Yukon in six days.
Safety is paramount above all other features in a motorcycle suit for me. The Flexina is loaded with securely fastened, D30 Air back and limb protectors: derived from a protective material that essentially produces high performance shock absorption and impact protection. The resultant outcome is it keeps my back, shoulders, elbows, arms, hips, knees and shins armed against any potential ‘offies’ or incidents, while ensuring flexibility without restricting comfort or movement. Coupled with the integrated armour, the laminated reflective detailing on the front, back, upper arms and trousers all project excellent visibility at night in the oncoming headlights, further adding to its protection from danger, risk or injury.
Rukka has made strong headway in recognition of making apparel for ladies astride their two-wheel steeds, the more apparent we become. Maximum protection, functionality and optimal comfort are paramount within the Flexina without compromising on fit, which makes it a joy to ride and manoeuvre in. Fully featured with a close fit, anyone with a lick of consciousness will find that it’s a solid suit, no matter what your riding style. In a nutshell, it’s a suit that articulates well on the bike and for me constitutes the perfect travelling companion. Without a moment’s notice, it steps up when the weather changes: keeping me cool and fairly well ventilated in warm conditions—the cooling capacity being the only minor reservation I have in searing temperatures. Or, come inclement conditions as frequently encountered, keeping me consistently wind-proofed, toasty and dry. Rukka’s designers have ensured the armour gives an assurance-to-your-family level of safety without compromising movement, staying functional at all times. As a nomadic traveller currently riding towards Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the Flexina represents as sound of an investment as one can make. Whatever your must haves, whether craving decent protection, absolute weatherproofing, a double dose of long-distance comfort and, or a great looking, body hugging suit, the Flexina—filled with all those features—is my preferred choice and doubtless will be for many years to come.