We all want the best we gear can get for the lowest possible price, and that’s why many bargain hunters end up buying their motorcycle gear from Aliexpress. But is it safe? Are the goods genuine? Are the prices too good to be true? We’ve bought a selection of gloves, jackets and pants over the past 18 months from the online superstore so you don’t have to and our conclusions should help prevent you from wasting your hard earned currency.
For those who haven’t heard of the website before, Aliexpress is the online retail arm of Alibaba, a massive Chinese e-commerce company that acts as a source for thousands of importers from all over the world to buy goods and then sell them locally. Most of the stuff you buy on eBay? It’s sourced from Alibaba at a wholesale level or Aliexpress for smaller players. At it’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, it was valued at $231 billion. Amazon is only valued at $144 billion and in stark contrast, Alibaba is actually profitable.
You can buy motorcycle fairings, rearsets, sliders, decals, replacement parts and clothing, be it gloves, boots, jackets or helmets. But we’re not talking about t-shirts here that you buy for looks. Motorcycle protective clothing is for just that – protection. So are all the Alpinestars gloves and Dainese jackets genuine?
Some of the products you buy are obviously fake. Dodgy looking logos, sizing that’s completely wrong and exotic materials that are clearly not what they’re supposed to be. But some goods are so realistic that if you put them side by side with the same product at a retail store, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Perhaps they are genuine – there is the potential they’ve come from the same factory as the full priced items but I’m basing that judgment at a superficial level. The stitching and dyes which hold everything together may very well be poor (and cheap) imitations which completely changes the structural integrity of the product. Here’s what we found.
We purchased a number of gloves from Aliexpress as follows:
- Alpinestars S1 (RRP of $159.95 on Revzilla, $29.95 on Aliexpress)
- Dainese Full Metal RS (RRP of $349.95 on Motorcycle Supestore, $80.00 on Aliexpress)
- RS Taichi RST369 (Now discontinued, but $39.99 on Aliexpress)
- REV’IT Summit H20 (RRP of $134.99 on Bike Bandit, $49.99 on Aliexpress)
As you can see there’s a massive difference in price between what you can get on Aliexpress compared to general retail stores. So is it a case of too good to be true? Pretty much.
The RS Taichi gloves were the best out of the four. We honestly couldn’t tell the difference between them and the genuine article. And out of the four pairs of gloves we purchased, they’re the only ones we crash tested – numerous times. They held up perfectly. I have no doubt the carbon fiber palm sliders and knuckle protectors are just plastic, but nevertheless they did the job.
The next best is the REV’IT Summit H20 gloves. They look genuine, the feel genuine but for some reason they just seem off and I can’t put my finger on why. The Alpinestars S1’s looked genuine until you take a closer look. First of all they’re pleather, not leather. Secondly, you know they’re fake because the logos are in the wrong places and the holes on the wrists aren’t fully perforated.