MXA TEAM TESTED: FLY RACING 2021 ZIPPERLESS LITE GEAR
WHAT IS IT? Originally, Fly Racing was considered an affordable motocross gear brand that sponsored a big chunk of the Supercross privateers, had simple designs and was well-liked. But, it was not considered to be on par with the high-end premium brands. My how times have changed. Fly Racing has boosted its reputation by offering high-quality gear at great prices. Its popular athletic-fit Fly Racing Lite gear has been redesigned for 2021. The pants have a zipper-less design that makes them the lightest pants around.
WHAT’S IT COST? $49.95 (jersey), $179.95 (pants).
CONTACT? www.flyracing.com or (208) 319-3079.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Fly Racing 2021 Lite Racewear collection.
(1) Concept. The new 2021 Fly Racing Lite pants truly live up to their “Lite” name, as they now weigh 7 ounces less than the previous 2020 Lite pants. How did they shave 30 percent off the weight? For the first time ever in motocross gear, Fly Racing created zipper-less pants. Say what? They replaced the old-school zipper and buckle closure by moving the ratcheting Boa system from the rear of the waistline to the front. Previously, the Boa system was used to offer micro waist-size adjustments; now it handles all the waist adjustments.
(2) Pants. Besides the zipper-less design, the 2021 Fly Racing Lite pants have a new four-way stretch fabric used to create an ultra-simple, athletic-fit chassis that reduces weight, increases ventilation and enhances flexibility. As with the 2020 chassis, the inner liner is only used on the seat of the pants, and it is sewn down to increase durability. The pants also feature laser-cut holes for ventilation and ergonomically pre-shaped knees to accommodate knee braces and reduce the clumping of excess material while riding. The leather heat shields on the inner knees are 9 inches tall and 5 inches wide to protect against heat and abrasions.
(3) Jersey. The 2021 Fly Racing Lite jersey comes with multiple ventilation and stretch panels to ensure that it breathes well and moves without restriction. While the pants are all new for 2021, the only structural update on the jersey is the new, low-profile, streamlined, taped collar that continues to promote the minimalist theme of Fly Racing Lite gear. The jersey tail extends 2-1/2 inches at the rear to help it stay tucked into the pants, and it features laster-cut perforation holes to help dissipate heat.
(4) Fit. It takes some time to get comfortable with zipper-less motocross pants. Every MXA test rider was concerned about how the gear would perform on the track. Would the pants fall down? Could the Boa system hold the waistband in place? Would it feel awkward? Thankfully, the pants stayed in place, and we didn’t have any issues. The Lite gear was designed with an athletic fit; however, we noticed that the sizing of the pants and jersey was slightly bigger than in 2020. Yes, it is still tailored to fit closely to the body, but now it offers more give and less of the yoga-pants look of most athletic-fit motocross gear.
(5) Durability. Compared to the 2020 pants, the new pants are considerably thinner, which decreases durability against roost and normal wear and tear. After assigning the Lite gear to our toughest test riders, we found holes in the front and back of the knees and also slight tears in the laser-cut holes on the front of the jersey. It isn’t the most durable gear, but that’s to be expected with gear that prioritizes light, flexible and stretchy attributes. If you want durability, buy one of the other three gear lines from Fly Racing.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Putting the pants on and tucking in the jersey was more of a challenge with the new zipper-less design. The sizing was slightly off, which required our testers to go down a size. And, we wish that the material in the area previously used for the zipper was thicker—for discretionary purposes.
MXA RATING: The 2021 Fly Racing Lite gear is the most innovative design since No Fear Attack pants, which mimic hockey gear. The pricing on the Fly Racing Lite gear is more affordable than almost all of its athletic-fit competition. By the way, if you want a zipper, you can still find it on the Fly Racing Evolution, Kinetic and F-16 gear lines.