Date reviewed: July 2019 | Tested by: Jon Mansfield, BikeSocial Test Team | Price: £129.99 | www.nevis.uk.com
As a motorcycle instructor at 1on1 Rider Training in Bedfordshire, I wear my bike kit all day, every day – if I’m not riding, I’m walking around in it. I’ve been using the Richa Softshell trousers in all weathers for 3,000 miles on my own Kawasaki ZZR1100, as well as our company’s ER6, Honda Hornet 600, Yamaha MT-07 and XJ6.
Priced at £129.99 up to size 3XL, it’s worth noting that 4XL to 6XL are £142.99. I’m an XL and the fit is okay – they’re great on the legs, but I find they sit too low on my waist; I’m constantly feeling like I want to pull them up.
The zips on the bottom of the legs go up high, making it easy to get these pants on, and they fit well over the top of your boots.
The Softshell trousers have D3O CE-approved Level 1 armour in the knees. The Softshells are (the clue’s in the name) soft to the touch, but with no CE approval on the garment the material doesn’t really inspire much confidence in crash protection. With no testing to back it up, I can’t help but worry about how safe these are.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.
Richa’s blessed us with three pockets on the Softshells – two on the front and one on the rear. They’re really handy, though the front two aren’t very deep – only about the length of my fingers.
The fly is easy to use with a reasonably-sized pull tag, while the waist fastens with a popper and a clip.
There’s a short zip at the back, rather than one all the way around the waist, and it’s this I use to connect to my Richa Nimbus jacket – that’s a different product line really, but it’s good to see that Richa has made them compatible.
A Velcro belt strap on either side of the waist helps get a good fit above my hips. Other than that, there’s no adjustment around the legs, though as the material is stretchy I’ve not missed having any extra straps or buckles.
There are no vents built into the Richa Softshell pants, and the material doesn’t seem to breath very well. When it’s warm they tend to get to get very hot and sticky inside, despite the mesh lining.
There’s no removable thermal liner supplied with these trousers, so if you’re wearing them in the winter, you’ll need a pair of long johns.
Looking at the fine mesh liner, I’d have expected these to be comfortable on the skin, especially combined with the stretchy outer. The lack of air moving around in them is a real problem for me though, probably not helped by spending a lot of time having to stand around.
The Richa Softshell trousers have proven to be very waterproof, even in a 90 minute ride through driving rain. They dry off quickly too… impressive.
It’s hard to recommend these due to the lack of a thermal liner and the sweaty nature in warmer weather, not to mention the lack of confidence the soft outer gives with no testing to back it up. They are really good as waterproofs, but for my every day use throughout the year, there are better options out there.