Products 25 Mar 2011

Review: 2011 Alpinestars Charger gear puts Alpinestars’ latest motocross gear to the test in our latest Product Review.

Alpinestars is arguably the leader in motorsport apparel whether its dirt bikes, road racing or even racing cars, and the Charger off-road riding apparel is some of the best in the game for its price.

As the gear one below the top of the line Techstar range, the Charger gear provides both comfort and quality at an affordable price. Also a strong point is the fact that it’s not so common, sparking a nice boost of individuality.

The Charger jersey is constructed from vented microfiber for a lightweight, durable jersey that keeps you cool while you ride and this part of the jersey is particularly comforting in the summer months. Pre-curved sleeves feature a raglan cut that ensures a great fit when you’re tearing up the track.

What’s more, Alpinestars claims its ventilated polyester microfiber jersey has fade resistant graphics. It’s also designed for wearing over Astars’ Bionic jacket, and the V-neck collar has the purpose of comfort in its design.

It’s not a tight fit compared to what FOX offers, but it does fit well and I’m a big fan in the more conventional round neck compared to what Astars had on offer in recent years.

Gobert tests Husqvarna's latest Open class motocrosser wearing the 2011 Astars Charger gear set.

Gobert tests Husqvarna's latest Open class motocrosser wearing the 2011 Astars Charger gear set.

As for the Charger pant, it’s at the leading edge of off-road racing apparel with bold graphics and durable, fully ventilated materials. According to Astars, the pants are built for speed and comfort.

They’re made of a polyester/nylon/mesh construction, and there’s a heavy nylon reinforced ‘seat’ for extra durability. There are pre-bent legs for optimum fit in the riding position.

Alpinestars’ patented ‘Vector’ design back panel is designed to offer maximum comfort and flexibility while riding. There’s also a reinforced and padded 3D knee construction with a leather panel for improved heat and abrasion resistance.

In a continuation of the superb venting, there’s a lightweight ventilated mesh liner within the pant.

Venting is premium, the fit is just right for my size and the pre-curved knees come in handy while still easily fitting my PodMX knee braces underneath them.

The waist is particularly comfortable with plenty of adjustment, and it has a ratchet buckle waist adjuster that allows the fit to be fine-tuned. There’s also a hidden front zipper and the ankle cuffs are the stretch type.


Finally, the Charger glove features a Clarino reinforced palm and foam padded fingers for extra protection. Again there’s plenty of venting, the design made to provide high levels of comfort and feel of the controls.

The gloves are made of stretchable mesh, plus – like the jersey and pants – the fingers are pre-curved and Astars says this is to reduce fatigue. Another thing that helps with fatigue is the fact that the slip-on style cuff design is nice and loose while still fitting well. The only problem I’m had is that sometimes when I pull on the glove it has busted the stitching.

A thick silicone grip section on the first two fingers (next to the thumb) is designed to increase grip on the brake and clutch levers. Some other gloves on the market are simplified with less padding (i.e. more feel), but I like the padding and don’t suffer from blisters.

As the cheaper of two gear options Alpinestars makes, you’ll be well pleased with the quality that the Charger combination provides, and considering the economy right now, value is all-important.

I’ve worn the gear on motocross and enduro in both wet and dry conditions, and apart from having to clean the white as best we can, the gear lives up to all expectations.

Plus Points
+ Styling
+ Airing
+ Waist adjustment

Minus Points
– White can get very, very muddy!
– Glove stitching can come loose

Purchase Details
Available colours: Blue; Gray; Red and Orange
Price: Jersey $49.95, Pants $159.95, Gloves $34.95
Distributor: Monza Imports