Motorcycles

Rossi retires, and now there's vegan motorcycle leathers

Rossi retires, and now there's...
The NearX vegan motorcycle suit, by Andromeda Moto
The NearX vegan motorcycle suit, by Andromeda Moto
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The NearX vegan motorcycle suit, by Andromeda Moto
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The NearX vegan motorcycle suit, by Andromeda Moto
Comes complete with the traditional "I can't hold my arms normally" posture
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Comes complete with the traditional "I can't hold my arms normally" posture
You want hump? We got hump.
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You want hump? We got hump.
With a full inner kevlar layer and Superfabric reinforcement, the NearX suit has three layers at the crash points
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With a full inner kevlar layer and Superfabric reinforcement, the NearX suit has three layers at the crash points
This guy squats
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This guy squats
Made to any human's measurements
6/6
Made to any human's measurements
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I'm sorry, motorcyclists. I know you've already had a bad day. Valentino Rossi, the Michael Jordan of MotoGP racing, has finally put an end to his awkward Washington Wizards phase and announced his retirement from a sport he took to new heights. And if that wasn't hard enough to take, I'm now going to tell you about a set of vegan leathers.

In days gone by, the worlds of veganism and motorcycling could not have been further apart. Motorycles were for hairy-chested head-kickers, wild men, rattle-eyed weirdos and the women that put up with them. You could go for days at a biker event without seeing a vegetable – at least, one that hadn't been fermented or grown in an unwashed body crevice.

But the world is changing. The church of motorcycling long ago threw its musty doors wide open, and started offering a large range of bikes in many pretty colors that don't even actively try to kill you any more. When I see a Harley these days, I don't think "roadkill-roasting outlaw," I think "accountant who likes cosplay." There are motorbikes with three wheels. There are motorbikes with traction control that won't wheelie even if you want them to. There are motorbikes that run on electricity and unicorn farts and barely make any noise at all.

And there are vegan leathers.

This guy squats
This guy squats

Now, let's be honest. Vegans were pretty annoying back when we first started encountering them in the 90s, demanding special consideration at dinners and staking out separate plots of real estate on the BBQ. But anyone who still hates the concept in 2021 should be forced to tithe 10 percent of their wages into an investment account, so their grandchildren have a hope of paying their air conditioning bills.

Meat isn't just murder, it's part of one of humanity's existential problems. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, meat and dairy production account for 14.5 percent of a global greenhouse gas emissions total that we need to get down to zero by 2050 just to give the next few generations a chance.

The average one-piece motorcycle race suit uses about 3 kg (6.6 lb) of leather. The average kilo (2.2 lb) of leather represents about 17,000 liters (4,490 gal) of water across the short life of the cow, its feed stock and the production process. So the average set of bike leathers uses 51,000 liters (13472 gal) of water. Lord knows how much my leathers use, vast as they are.

Andromeda Moto's NearX suit uses about 90 liters (24 gal), or some 566 times less. Instead of leather, it uses ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, which is typically used in personal and vehicle armor, cut-resistant gloves, parachutes, yacht rigging, often under the name Dyneema. The high-impact areas are reinforced with textured Superfabric claiming five times the abrasion resistance and fourteen times the tear resistance of leather. Andromeda claims it's lighter and more comfy than leather given the same protection.

It's got a hump on the back. It's got knee and elbow sliders, a 100 percent coverage inner kevlar layer, and level 2 SAS-TEC armor all round. It's got YKK zips, a factor nobody thinks is important until they buy gear without YKK zips. It's got venting, and it repels water much like my biker friends used to repel water offered to them at country pubs. It's got the top AAA crash rating from EU regulators. Most importantly, it's the right color.

Made to any human's measurements
Made to any human's measurements

Andromeda will build you a one- or two-piece vegan NearX race suit, custom tailored to your own manly or womanly curves, if you send them 27 key measurements, excluding the one you're thinking about. The price is €1,220.66 (US$1,440) – by no means expensive for a race suit – and delivery takes 10 weeks.

Motorcycling, like every other human endeavor on this planet, will need to evolve as humanity faces the challenges of the 21st century. It'll have to eat some lumps along the way; we'll lose our nice shouty noises, for one, and that's probably the #1 fear for a lot of future-phobic bikers.

But at least these sustainable vegan leathers look pretty sweet. If they're lighter, comfier and better in a crash than leather, they'll do just fine. And hell, they look for all the world like any other set of leathers. How would you ever know they were vegan? ... Don't worry, they'll tell you. (Enjoy the roast beef, folks).

Enjoy the video below, featuring a narration I'd describe as waaaay too sensual for the given material. Stick to feeeeeling the road, fella.

Andromeda - Human, technology, nature

Source: Andromeda Moto

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10 comments
10 comments
guzmanchinky
Loz's writing kills me. That looks like a great suit!
BogBeast
It does look like a great suit. I don't care about the vegan message and I am not wed to leather, I purely wear it because, up to now, it proved to be the most protective (for the money) in a bike accident and still be reasonably comfortable.

If this tests and reviews as being much better than leather, this will be on my shopping list for my next replacement suit.
Daishi
I just want to know if the video narrator is going to whisper in my ear when he's taking my 27 measurements.
TomLeeM
Isn't 'vegan leather' called vinyl? I think those look good.
Gandalf
Yeah nah yeah, that's not vegan. It's made from crude oil as base feedstock.
Leathers made from corn is vegan. So I'll take a pass for now.. Also, how do we ensure this suit doesn't end up in the oceans, choking whales and seaturtles? And finally, Madam Cow that uses 60,000 litres of water to make those 2.2 pounds of leather also fed 180,000 humans in the process with a glass of milk, the most perfect food for any mammal.
Maybe I'm just a scientist who likes cosplay..
Dave222
Wow! Loz, as usual, you certainly made it fun. With this article however, yove taken things to another level, highlighting your multi-dimensional thought capabilities......."Meat isnt just murder..." and then to link to the UNFAO........brilliant! Wonder how many riders will bother clicking that link. Now, whilst the UHMWPE body armour originates from the relentless drilling of the earth for crude and perhaps it could be substituted by use of cellulose based fibres from waste products of other plant based processes, similar to the skate shoes ive got, made from otherwise waste pineapple husks, it certainly is a step in a more compassionate direction, both for the animals and for the planet. My own hypocrisy is still immense.......take a typical weekend of mine.......drive my BA 4.0l V6 to ride at Wombat on the 6kW Sur ron Light bee
Dave222
with it's 200 Nm of trail eroding tyres then set up camp, light a fire to pump carbon into the stratosphere and then cook up a Linda McCartney's Plant based burger over the open flames! As far as i know, Wild Turkey is vegan, so i suck back plenty of those whilst staring into the flames, convincing myself that im doing a fair job of being green and respectful, before i stumble into the plastic tent to jump on the cell phone manufactured in China by underpaid exploited workers, to tell the wife ive had a good day. Signed Dave the Hypocrite
anthony88
Was looking at Tesla specs. They say their seats are vegan, too. Now I know it's not sourced from the Lyra constellation.
Brian M
Better protection no argument, but green credentials? Not so sure.
Cows are still produced for meat, and this is a byproduct, so less waste. This is using a man made material, probably derived from a fossil hydrocarbon or possibly synthesized using energy.

Bottom line is the only really green version is none and that's not much fun!
Martin Hone
Big on entertainment, low on information......C'mon Loz, given the safety aspect, it deserves better .....