Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cheek Chillers, Not Just for Fetish Seekers

STREET & STEEL Heavy Duty Deep-Pocket Leather Motorcycle Chaps Review

Last year when Old Man Winter came into town and started blowing cold air around, which, I might add, happens earlier in the year for those traveling on two wheels, I started looking for a way to keep my legs warm. I did not have the funds for a fancy coordinated one or two piece Sport Tourer technical style outfit. I thought that a good pair of leather chaps would work sufficiently and were within my budget constraints. I decided then it was time to go shopping for some Cheek Chillers.

I started riding around to all the local area motorcycle gear shops looking at leather chaps checking features, benefits, and prices. Cycle Gear’s Street & Steel brand, made by FMC I believe, seemed to have the best value, features and they were on sale. I tried on several and decided on a larger size in case I needed to layer other clothing underneath on really long cold rides.

The Street & Steel Heavy Duty Deep-Pocket Leather Motorcycle Chaps differ from the regular Deep-Pocket Chaps in that they have a removable Thinsulate quilted liner. This is real nice to have on cold days. The YKK zippers have held up real nice, even after one of the zippers accidently got caught in a dress pant leg once. The Snaps are all heavy duty and surprisingly, have also held up to all my yanking and pulling. I have seen one leg edge seam that the stitching didn’t quite get it held down all the way but this has not affected their use in any way.

The buckle is also good quality. They do take a bit of getting used too to be able to put them on and take them off efficiently. The hardest part is being able to snap the snaps at the bottom of the legs and it is hard to do for this old fart without a place to sit down. I use the right side running board of my V-Star 1100 Classic motorcycle as a step so I can reach the buckles easier.

The deep pockets have been very useful in holding odd stuff while riding. I have used them for all kinds of junk including, but not limited to, keys, Palm Treo (phone), dew rags, receipts and stuff purchased while shopping. Interestingly enough, the insulating properties of the chaps also keeps the heat of the engine off your legs while riding in the summer. Keep in mind in the winter they do not help keep your derrière or crotch area warm, but that’s what your Pillion is for, right?

Here is a video of Stephen Young of First Manufacturing discussing the features of this classic bit of 1.3mm cowhide cruiser apparel that is meant to be worn over your jeans. He shows the thigh pockets, the gunmetal YKK side zippers, the removable Thinsulate liner and the secondary liner:

So far I have been very happy with these chaps. They keep light rain, bugs, rocks and other road debris off your legs and pants. Torch gives the Street & Steel Heavy Duty Deep-Pocket Leather Motorcycle Chaps a M.M.M Rating of 9.0 on a 1-10 scale.

Ride on,

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