Product review: Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex Pants
I blame Royal Enfield and Rev'it for the amount of money I've spent on the Dainese D-Explorer Gore-Tex riding pants. You see, the Royal Enfield Darcha is a lightly breathed on Rev'it Outback jacket and pants combination that works really well in every condition except for humid-hot. And that condition is a Mumbai staple. And the lack of venting, really, is all that stops the Darcha/Outback from being a genius all-rounder. So when my venerable, long-suffering and really rather impressive Joe Rocket Alter Ego pants finally wore out, well, I got tired of them to be honest, I was looking for the perfect pants. And given that the JR's lasted three days short of forever, I decided to be generous with the budget. Rs 37,000, it turns out.
The D-Explorers are made of the excellent, stretchy Mugello material that I already use in the Air Tourer S-ST jacket. Inside is the silvery-grey Gore-Tex liner and still further inside is the quilted warm liner. You can use either of the two inners individually or together to ride in whatever condition you encounter. The Gore-Tex liner isn't even that bulky.
But why I'm in love with the D-Explorers is two things. First, the Dainese sporty, snug styling is wonderful. And not for vanity. On the motorcycle, the pants fundamentally disappear and you don't notice you're wearing them, which is perfect. They also have soft hip armour and comprehensive knee protection plus reflectives. The second reason is that massive thigh vent which can be opened or closed off fully or opened just halfway.
And now, I've ridden motorcycles - nakeds, adv tourers, sportsbikes and dirt bikes - with them on and they've proved sweet. They've also kept me dry in the Mumbai monsoon, warm in windy, 7°C riding in France and well-ventilated at other rides in India. In short, they seem to be near-perfect for all the conditions I have encountered so far.
And that should explain why they are so frighteningly expensive. You get what you pay for? Certainly looks like it. I've just ordered the matching jacket.
$530 (Dainese D-Store, San Francisco)