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VR Equipment: From the Track to the Trail

Image source: VR Equipment

There aren’t many people on this planet who haven’t heard the name Valentino Rossi, you could have lived underneath a rock for the past 30 years and for some odd reason you would have still heard of the name or the nickname, “The Doctor.” Most remember him as the seven-time MotoGP world champion. Still, I remember him not only for his amazing talent and aggressive riding style but for his showmanship, the crazy victory celebrations, the epic motorcycle and leather liveries, the mad hairstyles and the unforgettable nail-biting on-track feuds with other riders. I think it’s fair to say that Valentino Rossi started an obsession for many youngsters before and during my generation, an obsession that has led us to watch MotoGP in an almost religious fashion.

Image source: Red Bull

Racing aside, Rossi was more than just a legend on track, but someone who stood out from the crowds, to this very day many think he has shares in the colour “Straw Yellow”. Straw Yellow or Rossi Yellow as fans would call it, formed a big part of Rossi’s image on and off the track. If there were four keywords tied to Valentino Rossi it would be Yamaha, AGV, Dainese and the colour Yellow.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

Rossi and his apparel company VR|46 have been in business for years and since branched out to functional and performance wear under VR Equipment. VR Equipment strays away from fan wear and is a focused collection of MX, MTB, STREET, ACTIVE and VISION wear for those who are active in the arenas of sport. The collection or kit still has a Rossi-inspired design but with no trace of the infamous number “46”.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

With blue and yellow blood flowing through their veins AMP South Africa has taken it upon themselves to extend their family tree with VR Equipment. For this season AMP welcome their new 2024 VR Equipment MTB collection. With AMP’s business manager Doug Farrell being a keen cyclist, we both kitted up in VR Equipment and clipped in on Husqvarna’s latest E-Bikes for a shred session.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

As we pedal out, AMP is currently bringing in two ranges from ‘VR’, of course, we are talking about the performance range and the trail range. The VR kit is heavily inspired by your free ride, trail and enduro style of mountain biking, so the kit isn’t your usual second-skin lycra roadie or cross-country style wear, but rather a more comfortable baggy look.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

The trail kit seen on Doug takes a more minimalistic approach in its colour and design but focuses on quality and functionality, whereas the performance range focuses on breathability and longevity with more durable Nylon material for those riders who treat their gear with less mercy.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

The trail t-shirt receives the full 100% polyester treatment which gets partnered up with a mesh body and moisture-wicking pinhole material, making for a fitted look, premium finish and overall breathable shirt. The front of the shirt goes big with the VR logo with what looks like a cheeky non-branded Dainese look-alike triangle in the ‘V’ of the VR logo.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

Although subtle in its design the fluidity of the yellow wraps around the shirt and the premium finish of the dark grey sleeves branded with the VR Equipment logos just round off the look. The trail ‘T’ does have less breathability than the performance ‘T’, but very minimal as far as we could tell. For the average Joe or all-season rider, the trail is the way to go. The kit is available in two other colours (in an all-black and a half-black half-white) and will cost around the R1,130 mark.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

On the bottoms, we see the trail shorts bring with them a four-way stretch ripstop front and durable saddle. Unlike the trail t-shirt, the shorts drop the high amounts of polyester for a more durable and flexible nylon material. Easy fitting and adjustments can be made with its clever double-sided waist adjusters and storage is sorted after with zip-equipped hand pockets.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

The shorts are comfy but do not come with built-in chamois, so unless you wear your chamois underneath your VR shorts, you will run into possible comfort issues on your ride. Colourwise the trail shorts also come in white and black with pricing at a competitive R2,043—they offer riders design elements that are unique to the VR brand.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

On the head, Doug and I are both wearing the half-face VR MIPS helmet, which comes in a trail helmet-inspired design with its extended peak and lower head protection. Hold up, what is MIPS? MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is a low-friction layer located between the EPS and inner helmet liner that reduces rotational impact forces. This helps protect your brain from concussion and trauma and on our helmets that’s the yellow stuff that you see.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

This is something that has changed the mountain biking helmet industry as mountain biking opposed to road cycling has way more obstacles which lends itself to more dangerous accidents— the presence of action cameras on riders, such as GoPro’s hero range, has helped provide corroborating evidence and data of real-world crash dynamics. Even with MIPS, Doug and I feel that the air ventilation is still sufficient enough even with the extra padding for our hot southern hemisphere weather.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

Safety attributes aside, the half-face from VR Equipment is a seriously good-looking helmet with slick designs whether you put on the performance or trail design. The helmet is easy to use and adjust, you’ve got the retention system adjuster for adjusting the size at the back of the helmet and a magnetic slide-through chin strap—both of these systems are easy to use with thin and thick gloves. VR have priced the helmets well at just R1,957 which isn’t a lot for that extra bit of safety and they are available in the two above shown colour options.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

On the bars, we are both rocking VR’s Mountain biking closed-finger gloves, which are available in three colour options: black, grey and yellow. Obviously, Doug wasn’t going to settle with a set of grey gloves, especially when he could go for yellow and luckily with the VR kit you can make your own combo, as all the colours work hand in hand.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

The closed-finger gloves are again more trail rider-focused and feature a microfiber leather palm, laser-perforated material, and silicon lever grip, these gloves combine comfort with ultimate functionality. The gloves are thin and the silicon lever grip doesn’t just offer good grip on the levers but also that extra thickness for longevity. The VR Equipment Mountain biking gloves will set you back just under R640.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

Riding with the performance kit you can expect another level of in-your-face yellow, reflective stripes and loads of perforations to keep the rider cool and visible on the trails. This flashy ‘T’ has reinforced and perforated nylon on top of the shoulders in yellow and on the shoulder blades in black to strengthen, vent and give the performance range a sporty design.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

When riding you barely feel like you’re riding with a shirt on, it vents extremely well and looks like it came straight out of “Vale’s” cupboard. You will be looking at a slightly steeper price compared to the trail t-shirt, but as mentioned you get more ventilation and a more in-your-face design at a justified price of R1,434.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

My favourite piece out of the whole kit has to be the performance shorts. The shorts are not only feature heavy with abrasion-resistant fabric, waterproof zipped pockets, laser-perforated air intakes and reflective stripes, but they also have coordinates printed on both sides of the shorts with the location of Rossi’s Motor Ranch in Tavullia, Italy. Isn’t that just epic? You also get an outline graphic of the flat track on the shorts, performance half-face helmet, socks and matching trail black gloves.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

Unlike the trail shorts, the performance shorts only have one quick-release adjuster in the middle of the shorts. Otherwise, the shorts wear as good as they look with a decent amount of ventilation through the perforated holes in the centre of the shorts. Both the performance shirt and shorts are available in full yellow and a darker monster-styled design setting you back R2,433.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

To finish off the look you have the VR Equipment socks made with moisture-wicking materials and a ribbed arch, these socks keep your feet dry and have handled a few weeks of abuse with zero issues. If you like the feel of a compression sock, then you’ll enjoy a set of these. The socks will set you back around R550 depending on what style you end up going for.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

At the end of the day, we lovers of petrol and nature are happy to see another fuel-powered brand enter the lifestyle market with a big stride in quality. We think VR Equipment offer a great product for a competitive price and for us, petrolhead, having an association with the legend Valentino Rossi is also a good spinoff.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Lifestyle

For more information on VR Equipment contact Doug Farrell (Email: [email protected] or Cell: 084 247 0391).

Bjorn Moreira
Bjorn Moreira
My name is Bjorn Moreira (Senior Editor at ZA Lifestyle) and I always long for the next adventure. Why yes this may be a problem, but I’m what you call a #LIFEAHOLIC which I have been since my very first breath. My passion leads me to enjoy capturing memories on camera, riding motorcycles, cycling and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.
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