Olympia Phantom Suit And Sargent World Sport Performance Seat - Tested - MC Garage

Olympia Phantom One-Piece Suit

Where riding gear is concerned, you've generally got two choices: affordable, value-oriented stuff that serves the purpose but may not endure the long run; and higher-end, feature-packed apparel that's way functional, way durable-and way pricey.

It's rare to come across a piece of gear featuring both character traits, but when we do it's worth writing about. And Olympia Moto Sports' new Phantom one-piece suit definitely fills the value/quality bill.

Priced at just under $450 (the cost of a decent leather jacket these days), the Phantom offers an almost unbelievably wide range of functionality. For one thing it's a full-featured riding suit, complete with 500 and 2000 denier Dupont Cordura outer construction and flexible, CE-approved armor in the back, elbows, shoulders and knees-the spots that tend to smack the pavement hard in a tumble.

The Phantom is also a heckuva rainsuit thanks to its fully taped seams and Bantex coating, which keeps air and water from entering the outer fabric but lets moisture vapor escape for breathability. We never wore the suit in a full-on rainstorm (just some light sprinkles, in which it worked as advertised), but a friend of the magazine tells us his Phantom kept him completely dry during a 40-minute soaking.

There's more: With its removable, zip-in Thermolite liner in place, the windproof Phantom is also an excellent cold-weather suit. And with the liner zipped out and the various arm and chest vents open, the suit flows enough air to keep things reasonably comfortable on hotter days-though legs sweat a bit in such conditions.

Donning the Phantom suit isn't as simple as getting into an Aerostich Roadcrafter (with its clever full-length zipper), for example, but the zipper design makes stepping into each leg easier than donning the average rainsuit. The main zipper opens all the way from neck to mid-thigh on the right leg, and Velcro- and flap-encased zippers on the outside of each leg open all the way to waist level so you can get your feet through the openings easily, even with boots on.

Our size-2XL suit (men's sizes S to 4XL are available) proved plenty comfortable during commuting, sport riding and touring duty, and its light weight (noticeably less than the Roadcrafter) kept it comfy even on a long day in the saddle. A soft, neoprene collar keeps the suit from chafing your neck, a mesh inner liner feels nice against the skin and an adjustable waist belt helps cinch things so the suit fits snugly. Eight storage pockets help you keep track of your stuff, while 3M Scotchlite piping boosts your conspicuity on the mean streets. Two colors are offered: the subtle pewter/black shown here and a hi-viz yellow/black design.

Other than the sweaty-leg issue and slight entry/exit difficulties, we have a hard time finding anything to complain about with the Phantom. It's exceptionally stylish, seems very well built (ours is holding up well), does what its maker says it'll do and works in a surprisingly wide range of riding duties. And on top of all that it's inexpensive (hundreds less than an Aerostich), making it one of the best values going in motorcycling apparel.

Sargent World Sport Performance Seat
These days, manufacturers get so many performance criteria right: power delivery, suspension, wind and weather protection, braking, reliability...the list is long. But seat comfort often remains a hit-or-miss proposition.

Fortunately, help is available from the aftermarket, which is how I came to acquire a Sargent World Sport Performance Seat for my Ducati ST2. The sport-tourer's stock seat wasn't bad for commuting or sport riding, but it wasn't as plush as I'd like on longer hauls.

Sargent starts with a lightweight seat pan, waterproof marine-grade vinyl cover and Super Cell Atomic Foam in the upper 2 inches of the seat-"atomic," incidentally, is an acronym for Advanced Theory of Maximum Integrated Comfort. Sargent says this foam traps air inside each cell, creating a suspension-like quality that does a remarkable job of absorbing shock and minimizing vibration. Our experience backs up this claim, as several 2000-plus-mile journeys resulted in no discomfort whatsoever-a big improvement over the stock seat.

The finish is extraordinary, as is the fit-the saddle attaches just like the stocker. Griptex or CarbonFX inserts are available (we chose the former, which cost $20 less), and the Italian tricolore adds a classy touch. The underside features a voluminous watertight storage tube as well as four handy retractable bungee loops. On top of all that, all non-custom seats come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Sargent? This thing is bucking for Lieutenant.