Tested: uglyBROS Motorpool jeans, Velomacchi luggage

Review: uglyBROS Motorpool jeans, Velomacchi luggage
This month, Wes and Matt check out two new additions to Velomacchi’s range of moto luggage, and road test the Kevlar version of the famous uglyBROS Motorpool jeans.

uglyBROS USA Motorpool Kevlar review
uglyBROS USA Motorpool Kevlar Matt: When I first reviewed the Motorpools, I was impressed with the fit, finish and fashion-forward approach uglyBROS had taken with rider protection.

The CE-rated padding at the hips worked without giving me an hourglass shape. And the ability to slide the armor out of the external knee pockets made them an easy option for casual days at the office, or running errands around town. On top of that, flexible fabric made them as comfortable as all that “athleisure” stuff that’s on fleek with the kids these days.

uglyBROS USA Motorpool Kevlar review
One thing the original Motorpools don’t excel at, though, is abrasion resistance. The 11oz. denim is tough, but it isn’t designed to slide. And after a low speed crash on a dirt road, a spinning knobby rear tire tore the right leg on my pair.

To their credit, uglyBROS stepped up immediately and couriered out a fresh panel to be sewn in, and my Motorpools were as good as new. But if you’d rather not suffer the indignity of naked flesh on your ride back to camp—or worse, having that Koi fish tattoo on your leg erased by asphalt—check out the new Kevlar-lined Motorpools.

uglyBROS USA Motorpool Kevlar review
Dubbed the Motorpool-K, a Dupont Kevlar liner has been stitched into the seat and thighs, and continues down the length of each leg to just below the knees—essentially covering all the fleshiest bits most likely to need that extra protection.

With that skin-saving fabric in place, the slim fit of the Motorpool-K’s gets a touch cozier but there’s no need to size up. The flexibility of the originals remains intact, so any initial snugness fades after the first couple of miles. In fact, now they feel the same on my lowers as the originals, whether out riding or not.

uglyBROS USA Motorpool Kevlar review
The only time you become acutely aware of the new addition is during hot weather. The extra layer of fabric can make things a touch warmer during the dog days of summer—but really, this is a tedious point since the protection levels increase exponentially.

Other changes to the Motorpool-K include the swapping of buttons for metal snaps on the cargo and rear pockets. This makes getting into and closing the flaps infinitely easier, especially with a gloved hand, and is worth the $30 surcharge alone, IMHO. Sure, the metal will turn into a branding iron during any extended slides but the snaps all fall well within the Kevlar’s coverage range.

If you’ve been on the fence about the Motorpools because of concerns about abrasion resistance, the Motorpool-K’s are the model for you. They’re an incredibly comfortable set of strides that blend into the urban aesthetic and now, tick all of the protection boxes too. [Buy]

Review: Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L
Velomacchi Extended Carry Packs Wes and Matt are both huge fans of Velomacchi’s gear. But both agree that the 28L Speedway roll-top backpack is a daypack only. The Oregonian brand now offers a couple of extra options for more hefty carry, and the boys have put each bag through its paces.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L Matt: If you don’t need the capaciousness of Velomacchi’s big 50L duffel but find the 28L a smidge cramped, this new 40L version should be on your radar. Like everything else in the ‘Speedway’ line, the 40L duffel is constructed from rugged and weather resistant 1000D Cordura fabric—and encapsulates your vital belongings in a completely watertight cocoon.

Review: Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L
Despite its added size, the 40L version still fits incredibly well on and off the bike, thanks to Velomacchi’s 3-point harness system. The oh-so-cool Iron Man-esque magnetic closure is carried over from the 28L version and makes unloading at your destination a cinch.

But this time around, you get a highly usable secondary, watertight front pocket. And elasticized panels integrated into this pocket make it easy to secure smaller items like phone cables, portable charging stations or a set of tools for a trailside repair.

Review: Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L
This is the bag I wish Velomacchi had debuted with: it offers up all of the storage space I need for my daily 9-5 life, and works incredibly well to schlep clothing, computer and camera gear whenever I’m on assignment. And, if you’d rather not ride with a pack on your shoulders, there are tie down loops to allow the 40L to function as a tailbag too. [Buy]

Review: Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffle
Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffel Wes: Velomacchi call this “the ultimate watertight ADV duffel,” and they’re not far off. With a total capacity of 50 liters (42 in the main compartment, and four in each of the two side pockets), the Speedway Duffle (above) is designed as an all-purpose stuff-and-go pack.

It’s made from the same 1000D fabric as the rest of their bags, with a fully waterproof main compartment. (I’ve tested it, and it really is waterproof.) The main zip is heavy duty, with a chunky anchor on the end to get your fingers around, and stretch panels to help you close it when you’ve over-packed.

Review: Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffle
Features include a hidden pocket with a small lanyard for securing keys, and two compression straps running over the top. They tighten via a system that uses sliding buckles, and leaves no tailing straps. The base of the duffle is a heavy-duty quilted affair, so you can bet it’ll stand up to abuse.

The side pockets fasten with elasticated toggle closures, which I find a bit fiddly. To be honest, I would have loved this pack without the side pockets, as they tend to billow when empty and take up precious space when you’re loading the bike.

Review: Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffle
But it’s the versatility of the Speedway Duffel that has me hooked. Behind the side pockets are hidden compartments that stow a pair of carry handles. And behind the hefty base panel are backpack straps. It takes a couple of minutes to set them up, but once you’re done the pack actually functions surprisingly well as a backpack.

That’s mostly because those straps have the same rotating clavicle hinges as their bona fide backpacks. And Velomacchi also include size markings on the straps—so if you know what works for you, setting the pack up second time around is quicker. There’s also a sternum strap with a magnetic closure.

Review: Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffle
The Speedway Duffel’s also designed to mount to the back of your bike. Velomacchi include four tie-down straps—each with an aluminum buckle that hooks into a corresponding nylon loop at the base of the pack. It takes a little while to set up but once that’s done, it’s a neat and effective system.

The nylon loops are tough, so you can tie it down tight. And even though it felt like I could shift it around a bit with of force, it seemed to stay put on the road—provided I packed and mounted it in a balanced way.

My biggest gripe? With all these carry options, I would have liked a shoulder strap too. But I’ve already used the Speedway Duffel on the back of a bike through the Bavarian alps, on family weekends, and as a backpack on a small local airline with lenient carry on restrictions. Recommended. [Buy]

Review: Velomacchi 50L Speedway Hybrid Travel Duffle

Images by Wesley Reyneke and Tom Jeffries.