Tourmaster Transition Jacket and Venture Pants Road Test
An excellent motorcycle riding suit that also comes in women's sizes
Tester Margie Siegal stops for a break in Colorado on a sunny, hot day. She found it easy to adjust the Tourmaster Transition Jacket and Venture Pants to ambient riding conditions by opening or closing air vents built into the combo.
Back in the day, if you wanted to go touring, you bought a waxed cotton riding suit. It was amazingly protective and waterproof, as long as it was kept waxed. One manufacturer boasted the only way you could get wet wearing one was to ride into a lake.
If it was cold, you layered a heavy sweater under the suit, and if it was hot, you wet down a T-shirt, wrung it out and put the suit on over it. The major downside was that waxed cotton is almost impossible to keep clean, and leaves dark smudges on upholstery.
The few hardy women tourers of the classic era often wore waxed cotton suits, too. Nothing came in women's sizes back in the day, and the waxed cotton suits were loose enough to fit, more or less.
Fast forward 40 years, and we have the Tourmaster Transition 2 Jacket and Venture Pants, an updated version of that waxed cotton suit. Like its predecessor, it is waterproof. Unlike its predecessor, it is made of easy to clean and non-marking Carbolex abrasion and tear resistant polyester. Also unlike its predecessor, it comes in WOMEN'S SIZES. Although women now own 12.6 percent of all bikes, Certain Manufacturers Still Don't Get It. Clearly, Tourmaster does.
The Tourmaster Transition/Venture suit has numerous features. In fact, one of the minor problems with the suit is that it has so many features it should really come with an instruction manual.
I spent two weeks riding from my home in Oakland, Calif., to the AMA Women's Conference in Keystone, Colo., and back, and a second, short tour in northern Idaho and British Columbia, which gave me plenty of time to figure out the suit. I did cool mornings in the Colorado and Idaho mountains and hot afternoons in the high desert of Northern Nevada and eastern Oregon. I even got rained on for 50 miles in Canada.
To start with, both jacket and pants have zip out linings and CE approved armor in strategic places. There's even a small back protector. Phoslite reflective material helps you be seen on the road. There are all sorts of pockets, a real necessity when traveling. A couple of the pockets on the jacket were even big enough to fit the soft hydration bottle I took along in case the thermometer broke 100, which it never did.
The two pieces zip together in back, and I was able to zip them together while wearing them. The pants zip up the sides, making it possible to put them on over boots. The zippers are produced via a new process that is supposed to make them waterproof, and none leaked during that miserable 50 mile stretch of wet, cold road. All external zippers have velcro-secured flaps over them.