Fly Racing makes all kinds of off-road motorcycle gear that we usually wear for motocross or enduro riding, but we turned to the Idaho-based company for our needs on dual sport and adventure riding over the summer. It started with a trip to San Diego, CA for the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride. With a personal preference for the dirtier side of ADV riding, we opted for the Fly Racing Patrol Zone gear instead of a more street-biased option. Several features in the Patrol Zone jacket and pants grabbed our attention and made it an easy choice.
Fly Racing Patrol Zone Jacket – $140
What first drew us to the jacket were the massive venting options. Riding in the summer can be brutal and the Fly jacket is a great way to stay cool. A large vent runs down each side of main closure zipper. These vents use water-resistant zippers and are 16 inches long. Additionally, zippered vents are located on each shoulder and each opening has a mesh liner behind it. The back of the jacket has two vertical exhaust vents, also zippered. If that isn’t enough airflow, the sleeves zip off to convert into a vest and can be stored in the large rear pocket. The entire jacket can be rolled up and stuffed into the rear pocket which contains a belt strap so the bundle can be carried along
Overall the jacket is very lightweight. There are no CE-approved pads, which make it less viable for street use, but we like the mobility that it offers instead. It has four large pockets on the front, two on the chest (Velcro closure) and two at the waist (Velcro and zipper). The chest pockets are exterior, but the lower pair carries their cargo inside the body of the jacket. We would prefer if they were outside which makes for easier access. It also has an I.D. pocket on the left sleeve.
Fit can be tailored through the internal bungee straps or the hip relief zippers. The rubber straps on the wrist cuffs are too long and are useless. They need to be about half the length to provide any cinching. The cuffs are comfortable and the fleece-lined collar is also nice to wear.
We even cracked the zipper on the knees to allow more airflow through the pants. Removing the pantlegs or sleeves entirely is a nice option depending on what type of riding.
Fly Racing Patrol Zone Boot-Cut Pants – $100
The pants are a matching convertible design with zip-off lower legs. Vertical zippers make the lower legs easy to get over boots and the cuffs use Velcro for adjustment. The waistband also has a Velcro belt as well as traditional belt loops. Cooling is controlled by four vents on the upper leg. Pockets on the thighs allow for storage but are not notably large or easy to access. They are sufficient for minor items which is fine since large amounts of bulk limit mobility.
The gear was paired with the AGV AX-8 Dual helmet and a set of Fly Racing CoolPro Mesh gloves. We didn’t order the Fly Racing Patrol Zone jersey, but looking back we should have in order to keep a lightweight, breathable layer under the jacket instead of standard cotton T-shirts which collect sweat.
After the Tiger camping trip we headed to the Oregon coast for Sandfest 2011 and used the jacket to cut the wind as we patrolled the beach in our Polaris RZR 900 XP. Removing the sleeves was a nice option and having pockets to carry cameras, cash and other items is nice any time storage is at a premium. We received multiple compliments on the white/black gear just for its looks, but the Fly Racing Patrol Zone jacket and pants offer a wide range of performance to match.