Alpinestars Venture R Kit Review
Words by Drew Rohde
After reviewing plenty of dirt bike kits from various brands, we’ve learned a few things about what makes a motocross kit less than ideal in off road dirt bike applications. Alpinestars reached out after we reviewed their Tech 7 Enduro boots with the opportunity to try a more off-road focused kit. The Alpinestars Venture R line remains light and breathable yet is durable and tough enough for adventure and off-road riding in the rugged areas dirt bikers find outside the confines of a groomed motocross track. We rode in the Venture R pants, jersey and jacket for the last four months and have been stoked on how well they’ve held up and performed.
Venture R Pants: Designed for the rigors of enduro riding, Alpinestars Venture pants are not the lightweight pajama pants track riders desire but are still light enough to be ridden on warmer days. Granted our high desert air hasn’t risen above 60 degrees in the last few months, but thanks to the zippered air intake vents, we think they’d do alright in all but the warmest deserts.
The zippers are easy to pull on the move and allow a decent amount of airflow through the Rip-Stop equipped Nylon and Polyester pants. We certainly tested the water-resistant treatment this winter and are happy to report that they do keep the moisture out. They are not water proof, but if you’re crossing streams, in light snow or quick rain showers, the pants hold up.
Mobility in the pants is great for a rugged kit thanks to the extended stretch area on the crotch and knee and rear yoke. The calf panels also have a stretch panel, which fit nicely over our knee braces and tucked into several different boots without any hot spots. The Venture R pants also have a lightweight, ventilated mesh liner to help wick away moisture.
Another highlight of the pants is the PU film reinforcement on the knees. They do a great job holding up against muddy bikes and clean machines alike.
Venture R Jersey: Alpinestars didn’t do a whole lot to the Venture R jersey to make it a marketer’s dream but that’s fine with us. We don’t need acronyms and marketing hype to know if something works, and honestly, something as easy as a jersey either does or doesn’t.
The Venture R jersey employs multiple materials in its poly-fabric construction, which is pretty neat. Rip-Stop fabric is used in high exposure areas and is also supplemented by PU film reinforcement at the shoulders and pre-curved elbows. Alpinestars also uses vented mesh at strategic points to increase airflow.
Venture R Jacket: The most feature-packed item in the test group, the Alpinestars Venture R jacket is an off road, adventure or enduro rider’s dream. Developed and tested in grueling conditions like that of the Dakar Rally, the jacket is fashionable and functional. It serves as a protective layer, offers a lot of warmth and also lets riders stow tools, water or other necessities.
Rip-Stop Nylon and polyester are used on the fabric and offer great abrasion resistance. The pre-curved sleeves are detachable so that riders can modify the jacket into a vest if the temperatures rise. Alpinestars also placed zippered air intake vents strategically on the front of the jacket along with two escape vents at the back of the jacket.
Storage on the jacket is plentiful with two large front hand cargo pockets. They can easily fit a lot of snacks, sleeves or a tube and tools. A large back, utility pocket also adds to the cargo carrying capacity if you don’t want to ride with a pack. There is also an inner water bladder compartment.
I rode this kit for several months here in Bend, Oregon in a variety of conditions. Our high desert winter has been great for riding with cool temps and light snow showers and rain. It’s allowed me to venture into the woods on 35-degree days where I was slapping wet branches on tight, singletrack and then the next weekend traveled to the east side of town and ride high-speed desert trails in 60-degree sunshine.
Our terrain is varied, but one thing that’s common no matter desert of woods, is the contact with shrubbery. We beat up equipment here, whether it’s the lava rock fields, sharp juniper and manzanita, or pirate singletracks through new growth pine trees. Sleeves and pants often succumb to the sharpness, so it’s always a pleasure to get a kit that we like that lasts more than a month.
The Venture R kit is durable without being overkill. It still moves, breathes and rides like a motocross kit without that thin, silky feeling that always results in tears and snags. The pants are a bit warm on hot days, but worth the extra sweat as they look good, fit good and last. The air vents work great and they don’t even look like I’ve been dragging them across Manzanita all winter long.
The jersey is plenty breathable for my liking and it subtle, another plus. The Rip-Stop material has held up and the vents are not snagging or coming apart. The drop tail tucks into my pants nicely and stays in place thanks to some nice silicone grippers on both the pants and jersey.
As much as I love the pants and jersey, the Venture R jacket is the most technologically awesome piece of the kit. Granted it will probably get the least amount of use, I am stoked to have it in my gear back for many winters to come! The jacket keeps me warm when it’s cold out, but doesn’t cause me to overheat as the temps rise, as long as I’m not riding super technical or physical terrain. If the speeds drop and the “hard” starts popping up in hard enduro, then I’ll drop the jacket and stuff it in my pack. It does take up a bit of room when folded up because it’s a substantial item. If you’re trails are moving along then simply unzip the jacket and enjoy the airflow around your core while your arms stay nice and warm.
The Wolf’s Last Word
I’ve been testing and riding lots of kits over the last few years since moving to Bend, Oregon and I can say none have held up as well as the Alpinestars Venture R kit. I 100% recommend the setup to riders who are looking for a riding kit that will stand up the rigors of off road and enduro riding. The pants are comfortable, move well, and aren’t overly built. Yet they still hold up well and offer decent ventilation when the zippers are open. The jersey is pretty simple, but it works! The jacket is the standout item here for riders looking to pack stuff on them or keep warm and protected on narrow, overgrown trails. It’s a testament that when I’ve got a gear bag full of the latest, flashiest gear I continue to reach in and pull out the Alpinestars Venture R kit…Then again black is my favorite color.
Pants – $149.95;
Jersey – $29.97(on sale);
Jacket – $219.95;
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link (Buy now). If you buy something through BTO Sports, we will get a small commission, you won’t pay a penny more, but it helps keep the lights on. Thank you for the continued support.
Jacket is Awesome
Black – Subtle
Withstands the Ruggedness of Enduro Riding
Could be Warm in Summer
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