Dusshera Celebrations turned extra special this year, thanks to Royal Enfield, who sent over some #REUrbanGear goodies for us.
We were jumping around in joy as we went about opening each of the boxes like giddy kids. In-fact our happiness was heard well around the residential complex by the time we’d unboxed every one of the #UrbanGear goodies we’d received.
The best way to enjoy the newly rec eived #REGear goodies, was by taking them out for a spin onto the open road. Even as the usual social updates on Twitter & Instagram happened, a suitable loop was selected. It included everything, from city traffic conditions to winding highway blasts, back country roads as well as stretches of no roads. Having spent some quality time with the gear over 600-odd kilometres, here is my first ride impression on Royal Enfield’s Safari Touring Jacket & the Street Nimbus (Shiro) Full-Face Helmet
Safari Touring Jacket:
The Safari Touring Jacket is a great choice for someone looking for a light-weight touring jacket that offers competent impact protection & weather protection which is a boon on those long rides. Let me quickly run through some of the key features as observed,
Fit: The longer cut offers improved overlap with your riding pants & helps prevent the jacket from creeping up like regular street versions. Fit adjustment at the waist & around the rib-cage is taken care of by Velcro-backed tabs, while button-snap ones are present along the arm. Ribbed accordion stretch panels make life easier when on the move.
Safety: Royal Enfield have walked the tightrope of safety & comfort by using 1000D, abrasion resistant Cordura along key impact areas such as the shoulders and elbows while using 350D polyester for the outer shell. CE Level2 SAS-Tec protectors are used as impact protection in the shoulders and elbows. The back-protector is of the EVA foam type that one can (must) upgrade to a proper CE Rated one at the earliest.Low-light visibility is improved by means of reflective piping along the torso, with the brand logos prominently placed at the front, the arm and at the back.
Storage: There are 4 Storage pockets (2 chest pockets with button snaps & 2 zippered pockets at the side) That’s enough space to stow away the mobile phone, ear-plugs, wallet, bike key & documents, along with a couple of energy-bars and not to forget, the balaclava/buff.
Air-Flow & Ventilation: A total of 6 zippered vents (with mesh-backing, to prevent debris from entering) are present, with two along the fore-arm, two along the torso to help keep the core cool & two at the back to direct the air-flow away from the body.
The Safari touring jacket proved to be a lot more comfortable than my regular RJays all-season workhorse. The light-weight construction kept the fatigue at bay, and I truly enjoyed the single layer construction right off the block. The sun was on its best October heat behaviour, so the key was to keep moving at a brisk pace and give those vents a chance to do their job. The heat did get to me though when navigating through traffic, as there wasn’t enough air-flow at those crawling speeds.
- I liked the long, tour-cut of the jacket, as I tend to move about on the bike & it kept my lower back from being exposed to the elements. The pockets provided are quite generous, as used them to stow away my keys & bike documents, wallet, spare buff, camera battery and other knick-knacks. The adjustment tabs & snaps too were well appreciated.
- I also appreciated the fact that this was a single layer jacket, with no additional layers adding unnecessary bulk. It also gives me the freedom to layer up (or down) as per my convenience. In any case, internal rain/cold weather liners border on being useless, as one would already be drenched or frozen by the time they’d stop to zip the liners to the jacket.
- The zippered air-vents were the key trick though. All through the day, I’d kept them open and they helped in keeping me from being soaked in sweat, at-least, as long as I could stay on the move to keep the air flowing. Later, at night, when I was passing through thick woods where the temperature dropped for a bit, I could zip-up the vents and ride through comfortably.
- I would however, love to see more venting, on the torso, as well as the lining material on the inside to be a full mesh affair, to help flow more air inside.
All-in-all, I’d say that the Safari Touring Jacket stays true to its name, being built with conveniences and features that are most relevant to riders who spend a considerable time out on the open road. For the usual city commute, as well as the occasional Lonavla/Charoti runs though, one’d be better off seeking a mesh jacket, such as the Jaisalmer Summer Jacket instead.
Street Nimbus Helmet:
The Street Nimbus helmet is a full-face helmet offered by Royal Enfield in collaboration with Shiro Helmets. Here are my thoughts on it:
- Made in Spain, the Street Nimbus sports ABS construction and is said to be among the most value priced, ECE 22-05 certified helmets on sale today. The glossy grey paint finish on mine was of high quality and the helmet felt pretty solidly built too.
- Swinging it over the head, the inner liner felt plush and there was sufficient space for my glasses to slide in comfortably.
- The micro-metric fastener provided snaps with a reassuring click and it fit snug without bouncing about on the head. The view out the eye-port was wide-enough and the clear-visor did not throw up any noticeable visual distortion.
- Ventilation is taken care of by a set of air-vents on the chin and above the forehead, with two exhaust vents to draw out the airflow at the back.
- There are no dedicated speaker pockets, so I’ll have to see just how intercom friendly the helmet is. There was however, enough space to ride wearing dedicated foam ear-plugs as well as in-ear headphones.
- A pair of ear-plugs would be recommended with this helmet too, for the very vents that keep things airy, also let in a fair bit of road noise.
The Street Nimbus helmet performed well throughout the 600 kilometre ride. The removable/washable inner liner offered a plush experience. The full-set of vents kept the air-flow going in the hot October conditions, which meant that I was as fresh as the weather permitted me to be.
From a design/graphic standpoint, the Street Nimbus is available in neutral, mono-shades, which, coupled with the classical design of the shell, is in marked difference to the edgy, graphic heavy helmets found in the market today. I did experience slight discomfort around the ears at first, but I’d put that down to the fact that I wear large framed spectacles & also that the liner had yet to break-in properly. All-in-all, the ECE safety certification, quality fit & finish and Spanish origins, give the Street Nimbus a certain edge in the mid-priced full-face helmet segment.
Royal Enfield’s riding gear catalog is among the most extensive of them in the country today and the great part is that you can browse & buy it online too. You can also head down to your nearest dealer for a look & feel, if that’s your kind of thing. So, whether you’re a city loving, occasional open road seeker, or someone who is looking to spend an extensive time on the road, you are sure to find a wide range of gear to suit your riding needs. So gear up and ride.