23 February 2015

REVIEW: Aldi Motorcycle Range

Burn rubber, not cash.

We had a bit of a bet going here at Test Pit Towers as to what sport or activity would next get the Aldi treatment. So far we've enjoyed reviewing their skiing range, their workshop stuff and, most recently, their line of clothing and accessories for anglers. Although paintball was the hot favourite for Aldi's next range (come on Aldi, imagine it... goggles, helmets, paint ball guns!), it is in fact motorcyclists who should be particularly interested in the following. It's the Aldi Motorcycle Range!

Choosing motorcycling is actually pretty shrewd on Aldi's part, as here is a lifestyle choice that needs stuff unlike any other - even cycling. Although you can pop down to the shops on your push bike in shorts and t-shirt, do the same on your Harley and there is a chance you'll freeze to death and/or fall off and become a very unattractive stain on the road.

And so the new range from Aldi features just about everything a motorcyclist could hope for, from socks and boots all the way up to armoured jackets. We were sent  a selection of the range, which goes on sale nationwide from 8th March, to try it all out. Here's what we got:

Men's Motorcycle Jacket (£79.99)

The priciest thing we've ever reviewed from Aldi, but it's not hard to see why. Although you might've picked up a pair of socks from one of the Aldi special buy ranges caring more for their low price that if they'll actually last you a while, when it comes purchasing something designed to save your life in the event of an accident, you think twice. Clearly Aldi have taken this new range very seriously, as this lead product has cut no corners what so ever.

According to Aldi, the jacket passes stringent requirements for impact abrasion and impact cut resistance demanded by the EN13595-1: standard Level 2. With the jacket on (which possesses a weight only real motorcyclists will be immediately used to) one can certainly feel all the plates of protective armour in the arms and along the back. In addition, the garment exceeds the requirement for impact abrasion, which means it can be dragged along a road surface for at least seven seconds before tearing. In fact the Aldi jacket achieved over 13 seconds of abrasion resistance across all zones of the garment. This is all according to Aldi however, as we weren't prepared to throw ourselves from a moving motorbike to test that.

Men's Motorcycle Trousers (£59.99)

And of course, it's all well and good protecting your top half when cruising the highways on your chopper, but what about your legs and arse? The Aldi Men's Motorcycle Trousers are made from the same tough and standard-attaining material as the jacket, and we really can't see the point of owning one without the other. The trousers feel surprising light when on, feature an adjustable waist, and also feet straps to keep the legs down when slipping on your boots. With both the jacket and trousers on we felt pretty invincible.

Motorcycle Gloves (£19.99)

Completing your exterior safety shell, these gloves are an absolute steal. They feature a carbon fibre knuckle (which made us what to try to punch holes in walls), finger and thumb protection, as well as a high quality cowhide leather outer shell, DuPont Kevlar palms, and a warm Thinsulate lining. Adjustable around the wrists they seem to offer masses of protection and warmth, while being flexible enough to keep your fingers moving.

Motorcycle Tank Bag (£12.99)

The only non-clothing item from the range that we were sent, this tank bag allows you to take your vital belongings with you on bike rides. It attaches to your ride via pretty strong magnets which stick directly to most kinds of fuel tanks, while the main compartment is plenty big enough for your thermos and sandwiches.

Motorcycle Wind Protection Base Layer (£9.99)

A fairly universal-use garment, this base layer is perfect to put under your thick jacket. Like all base layers we've reviewed in the past, the thing itself takes a couple goes to get used to, as it is definitely figure-hugging. We were sent a large but it still felt pretty snug (nobody mention how big our guts are - NOBODY!) but we suppose that is the point. The great thing about this is that it can be worn for other activities as well, particularly cycling and jogging. A real steal at less than a tenner.

Motorcycle Socks (£3.59)

It wouldn't be an Aldi special buy range without a pair of socks thrown into the mix, and greatly received they are too! This pair can stretch up to your knees, feature slight padding around the ball and heel of your foot, and look pretty manly to boot (Boot! Pun, pun, pun, pun!) Yes, you can wear them while on your motorbike, but should you also be considering a career as a hired killer, these will help keep your tootsies warm as you lay on the roof of that abandoned building, your cheek resting on the butt of your sniper rifle, awaiting your target to stumble out of the strip club. Also for cycling.

On sale from 8th March. Visit www.aldi.co.uk 

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