Date reviewed: March 2019 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £249.99 (jacket); £209.99 (jeans) | www.rst-moto.com
When I first started riding I only ever wore two-piece leathers; the safety of leather, with the convenience of a separate jacket and trousers (it was also pretty much the only real option back then). But for the past decade or more I’ve either worn textiles, one-piece leathers on track, or aramid and denim jeans with a leather jacket; testing motorcycle kit every day means you have an unusually broad choice.
I’ve been wearing the RST GT two-piece leather jacket and jeans for the past few months on my Yamaha MT-10, an MT-09 and a CBR650R; without wanting to give away the end of this review, I can’t believe what I’ve been missing...
Fit is of course extremely subjective, but I’m happy with the RSTs. I’m 5’10” with a 42” chest, 34” waist and 32” inside leg; I’ve got the size 52 jacket and 54 jeans, and both are very comfortable, with the armour sitting perfect on my elbows, shoulders and knees, while the waist – elasticated at the rear – doesn’t dig in or feel loose.
Corrugated leather stretch panels on the hips, knees, sides of the waist, backs of the shoulders and above the elbows – not to mention fabric at the calves – means the GTs are very accommodating, and comfortable all day.
The cuffs could be a touch tighter on me, and I find the bottoms of the legs a little loose; if I don’t take an extra few seconds to get them properly seated inside my boots, they can get rucked and put a bit of pressure on the backs of my legs. It’s easy to get the bottom leg zip pressing on your Achilles, but a quick jiggle and it’s fine.
Off the bike, the GT jacket and jeans are extremely easy to get on with – even in a restaurant with my wife. My only tiny reservation is that the fit is almost always going to be a compromise; compared to my made-to-measure RST race leathers, the GTs feel a touch baggy at some points, mainly around the bum and hips. The tighter leathers fit, the less likely they are to ruck up in a crash, which increases abrasion to that area, but the GTs aren’t race leathers, and they’re exceptionally well-priced. The fact that I can get a light wind-stopper fleece underneath means these are a lot more versatile than my made-to-measures.
Despite the fact that these aren’t as snug or perfectly fitted as a set of made to measures (and obviously that’s no surprise), I’ve no problem wearing these on the infrequent track days I attend.
I want a good level of protection when I’m riding (especially the ridiculous MT-10), but I also need to be able to wander around for the day – whether I’m at a bike meet or exploring a city centre. The convenience of these two-piece leathers, along with the excellent levels of protection, mean they really are ideal for a great many riders.
RST must be applauded for its approach to the new CE standards that have been in force since 2018; its whole range is fully CE-approved, and the GT jacket and jeans are rated to AAA – the highest standard in abrasion under the new certification.
The jeans have CE Level 2 armour (the highest level) at the knees and the hips, while the jacket includes Level 2 kit at the shoulders and elbows. The fact that a Level 2 back protector is also included is another reason to be thoroughly impressed at the value of this gear.
Even knee sliders are included, though I’m saving them for the next track session, opting to wear my Wiz leather sliders, because, well… they look cool.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the new laws, click here.
The RST GT jeans have a single pocket on the front, while the jacket has two at the front and two on the inside. All of them are a little snug, so you’re not going to get much in them at all – coming from wearing textiles most of the time, I’ve got used to cramming my pockets with a big bunch of keys, my phone, wallet and more. But I wear a bum-bag with the GTs, which takes more, and is safer than potentially having my keys poking into me in a crash.
If you’re using the jacket pockets for a phone or slim wallet, you might find the openings to be a little far back, which makes them slightly awkward to get to.
The jacket’s main zip is easy to use with a large, rubber-coated tag. The cuffs have a similar tag, while the zip that connects the jacket to the trousers is really easy to find and use. With the connecting zip going three quarters of the way around the waist, this will also be fine for track-day use. Dedicated track riders will be best off with one-piece leathers, but for the rest of us, these are ideal.
The jeans have a zipped fly with a hook and loop strap that passes through a small plastic buckle to keep them closed – it works a treat, but the strap doesn’t give any adjustment due to the zip underneath; poppers might have been an option here, through they’d have needed to be rubber-coated to prevent scratching your bike’s tank. As it is, this seems a good choice, and if the hook and loop did weaken after long-term use, it’d be easily replaced.
There’s no real adjustment in the jeans, so as with any bike kit, always try it on before you buy. Having said that, the generous stretch areas will accommodate some change to your dimensions.
The jacket has a small amount of adjustment at the waist, but as has always been the case with leathers, try to get the most snug fit you can, while still being able to move around. The fact that the GT jacket and jeans are made of a soft, full-grain drum-tanned cowhide with plenty of stretch panels means that adjustment isn’t really necessary.
The jacket has perforated areas at the chest, waist, biceps and back, while the jeans have them on the front of the thighs. Impressively, these holes are punched out only where needed, rather than using perforated panels sewn into the garment, which can cause weak points at the stitching. Another plus point for RST.
In the colder months, this ventilation can be a bit much – on the jacket, a windproof top underneath solves the problem, but it’s a bit trickier on the jeans (gents will find their balls getting a little chilly). Ultimately, if you’re planning on doing long distances in the cold months, wear some suitable under-garments, or some waterproofs over the top.
In the summer, both on and off the bike, the ventilation will be appreciated.
The jeans have an airtex lining that’s comfortable directly against the skin, while the jacket has a 3D mesh to aid ventilation, with airtex on the arms. At this price especially, RST has really done an excellent job.
Combining safety and convenience, the RST GT two-piece leather jacket and jeans really are outstanding value for money. They’re easy to put on and take off, you can wear them all day, and they come with the confidence of the top-level of the latest CE approval.
They’re my new go-to kit, and from someone fortunate enough to use a massive range of motorcycle gear of all price ranges, these come very highly recommended.