Underwear is probably the last thing you’d think of when it comes to gear, but it’s a valuable bit of kit, especially when it comes to hot days on the motorcycle. Good inner liners serve two functions. The first is moisture wicking, where they allow the sweat to quickly evaporate off your body, keeping you cooler for longer. The second (if the inner liner is tight fitting one) is a compression function. The idea behind this is that the liner fits tightly over the muscles, which is said to improve blood circulation and thereby, muscle performance. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that inner liners make it infinitely easier to slip into and out of a one-piece leather race suit.
A few minutes on the internet will reveal that there’s a huge number of options available, many of them promising incredible performance and often at a high price. SIXS is a little-known company based out of Italy that specialises in the stuff. So much so, that they’ve developed their own unique carbon weave fabric that’s used in most of their apparel. The material is special because it is among the lightest bit of clothing I’ve ever seen.Advanced, carbon-infused material is super light and demands care. That’s the magic formula.
Removing the liner from it’s box, I was quite sure I’d ordered the wrong size; but when you try it on, you soon realise that the material stretches to fit your form. Following the size chart on the website, I got a very snug, body-hugging fit, which is exactly how they’re meant to be. Fresh out of the box, the liner also has a very pleasant and fresh smell, but this did fade after a few washes.
The initial impression is quite strange, because it made me feel uncomfortably chilly in our air-conditioned office. Out on the bike though, the liners perform incredibly well. The feeling of lightness is very pleasant, and because the material is so incredibly thin, moisture wicking is on a level I have not experienced before. From a performance standpoint, these liners are excellent, which is why it’s not surprising that I saw Sherco TVS’ Adrien Metge wearing them at this year’s Dakar. In fact, SIXS says they’ve derived a lot of their learning from the mighty desert rally.
The downside is that this material needs a lot of care. There’s a strict set of washing instructions; but I found that most of all, you need to be careful while taking them off. Things can be quite sticky at the end of a long ride, and it’s easy to stretch them to the point of damage. With that, and the price in mind, these liners aren’t something I use on the daily run, but I find them invaluable for long and hot days on the road or track.
Price: Upper: Rs 4,900; Lower: Rs 4,800