Posted On 26 Mar 2024
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This entry is part 16 of 26 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#26


SIDI CROSSFIRE 2 BOOTS Price – $699.95

Foot, ankle and lower leg protection is paramount when venturing off the bitumen and into the dirt. Not only for support while standing up, but also in case you get a foot caught in a rut, tree root, or whatever else is out there in the bush ready to snap your ankle, crush your foot and bash your shin.

My Alpinestars off-road boots have been worn a lot over the past three years and it was time for a new pair. I thought I might complete the package of road, waterproof road and now off-road boots by getting a pair of Sidi Crossfire 2 boots. They are quite a substantial boot (around 2kg each) and very stiff . They take some time to break in. This does give you massive amounts of support for the ankle and foot, but it’s not so good if you want to walk any distance. Well, unless looking like a duck waddling along doesn’t bother you. It doesn’t bother me.

Standing just over 43cm high, the boots cover most of my lower leg. When combined with my knee braces, I am well protected – in fact, well protected enough to go into battle!

A Crossfire boot, considered from the top down to the ankle pivot, is actually comprised of two layers: the stand-up boot itself and the inner lining or sheath. This lining is made up of two large flexible wrap-around multi-piece assemblies or plates held together with light screws. The plates form their protective outer sheath when secured by the Sidi cam-lock buckles and straps.

Sidi’s unique “Dual Flex System” provides two circlip points on each side of the boot; one rear-set at the midpoint of the boot and the second centered just above the ankle joint.

These points allow the inner liner assembly to be attached to the boot itself and as pivots, provide improved flexibility of the foot. Sidi says that with the “Dual Flex System and the four floating independent straps, the Crossfire can provide each rider with a personal fit no matter his body shape or if he uses knee braces or not”.

Having suffered through more than one pair of highly protective but cast-like boots over the years, I was more than a little intrigued by the approach. What can I say? Did I find them too stiff? No, this feature really works well.

The upper part of the boot is full grain leather with Lorica inserts on the front tongue and the back joint to provide better flexibility and comfort.

Lorica is a leather-like microfiber material claimed to be stronger than leather while also being lighter, softer and, unlike many leather products, requiring little maintenance.

Something a lot of riders appreciate is an adjustable system to accommodate different calf sizes and Sidi really delivers here. The Crossfire boot and top plate uses the patented Sidi adjustable calf system that allows precise fitment of the boot around the calf.

Believe me; this is especially important for riders with larger calves and in general for all riders depending on any under or over layers being worn. The Crossfire is designed to fi t riders with up to a 56cm calf diameter measured at a distance of 36cm above the bottom of their heel.

The front or shin section of the outer wraparound plate is anatomically correct and like all of the plate sections on the Crossfire boots, it is replaceable. The inner plastic plate is made from a stiff material to support the boot and the large upper plate is a multi-part replaceable polyurethane component that wraps securely around the upper inner and front part of the boot. The side piece has a heat resistant rubber insert to protect the leg from exhaust heat (if applicable) and to minimise wear and tear over time.

Another feature so typical of Sidi but still not found on all off-road boots is the rigid nylon insert added to the inside wall of the boot for metatarsus protection. In instances where the boot/foot slides off the foot peg, the kick starter (remember those things?) gets missed or a well-placed rock makes known its presence, this side protection can prevent or at least minimise damage to the metatarsal region. Temporary or permanent damage to this area of the foot is no laughing matter, which is why it is so important to find a boot that provides direct protection like the insert or a reinforced sole edge for direct support as well. This small plate is secured with four screws and is replaceable, too.

The whole boot becomes a snug, secure and protective environment once the adjustable buckles are brought in to play. While somewhat different from the standard buckle fastener I was used to on my Alpinestars, the Sidi cam-locks are probably easier to use if you get some dirt and mud into them. The Crossfire features four of these buckles – two on the upper plate, one on the lower or ankle pivot plate and one at the instep.

Standard for this type of boot and fastener, each buckle has a longish serrated plastic pull strap (of a decent length, too), easily adjusted from the inner side of the applicable plate. Each buckle works independently allowing you to get the precise fit desired for comfort, flexibility and security. Again, everything can be replaced.

Last, but certainly not least, on the form list is the sole and by virtue of a close relationship, the insole. The thick sole is made of anti-skid rubber with a unique pattern designed for grip, mobility and wear and fastened to the boot with heavy stitching and a sealing bond.

De rigueur for most off-road boots, a polished metal toe plate is screwed to the front edge of the sole, adding additional frontal protection.

Another appreciated feature of Sidi boots is the attention paid to the insole.

The shaped insole in the Crossfire is reinforced for strength and features are movable arch support.

Getting your feet into any motocross style boot, especially in a big boot like the Sidi Crossfire, can range from a minor exercise to a full out attack which you might not always win. The Crossfire at first appears to be a challenge, but only if the features of the boot are not exploited.

Like most off-road or full-height boots, the foot still needs to be at the just-right angle to make for an easy entry – the Crossfire boot simplifies this exercise considerably.

Pivot the outer plates back away from the boot itself, open the front flap wide and slip the foot in, albeit with a little effort.

With the feet planted firmly inside, it is a simple matter, seated or standing, to pull the inner flap across and secure it to the outside edge of the inner boot.

I find it easier to adjust the strap and secure the bottom or in-step buckle after flexing the foot a few times to determine just how much play, if any, is desired.

It is not hard to heap praise on this pair of Sidi off-road boots, they offer top quality and functionality. The Sidi Crossfire 2 boots come in a range of colours. White, Black, Wht/Blk (as you see here), Wht/Blk/Yel, Wht/Blk/Gry, or Blk/Gry/Yel and range in sizes 40-50 (depending on colour). See your local bike dealer to grab a pair, or visit

Price from $379 to $419

It isn’t usual to start a product review by praising the precursor of the product you’re looking at, but what the hell.

You’re used to me by now. I wore a Nolan N43 to work for years, and it just about weaned me off open face helmets, which I’d always favoured for commuting. It was nearly as light as an open face and sideways field of vision was extraordinary. The only real problem I found with it was that wind pressure at open road speeds jammed the cross bar against my chin.

As will happen with something that you use every day, the N43 eventually came up for replacement. I’m sure it was still as safe as ever, but I make a habit of replacing helmets after three years – so it was lucky indeed that Australian Nolan importer Ron Angel had its replacement, the new and more stylish and aggressive looking N44, in stock.

Like the N43, the new helmet can be used in several configurations ranging from a standard full face to an open face with or without a peak. It has a concealed flip-down sun visor, and can be worn with goggles. All in all there are six variations, although I normally use only two – the full face with the huge clear visor (and the sun visor if it’s bright) and the full face with the peak and sun visor. The new helmet has taken the place of my N43, and I wear it to work almost every day. It is very similar but, I think, even better. The visor is bigger, and the field of view is so wide that you could be forgiven for thinking that you weren’t wearing a helmet at all. The visor even has its own ventilation valve.

Ventilation, both intake and extraction, has improved as well, and the cross bar no longer presses against my chin no matter how fast I go (under controlled conditions on a closed track, of course).

Like other Nolan helmets the N44 can be fitted with the integrated Nolan n-com intercom, and the standard of finish both on the inside and outside is very high.

To give the N44 a real test on the open road, I will be taking it on my next European trip; I’ll report back on how I cope with wearing it all day, and occasionally at speed. I expect outstanding comfort. After all, I will be taking it home: Nolan helmets are designed and made entirely in Italy.

For versatility and comfort, without sacrificing anything else, the N44 comes up trumps. More details, including pictures of the six different configurations, at . PT

Price – $44.99

No, I’m not sure why these are called “cube sets” because they are not cubes. Um. What they are is rectangular zipped bags in a variety of sizes (10.5 litres, 5 litres and 1.2 litres). They’re made of 300 denier Poly Micro-Weave plus a water repellent mesh at the front. Grab handles make them easy to carry around and they are of course washable. Zippers seem to be of good quality.

The manufacturers take their ecological responsibilities seriously;

“we strive to make stuff that lasts a lifetime which means Eagle Creek products inevitably stay out of the landfill that much longer,” they say.

As a travel convenience, these bags are terrific. I have been using similar ones from other manufacturers for some years, and they have served me well in a number of ways.

On a trip in Europe, I was sharing a room with a German photographer, and I hadn’t realised that he didn’t entirely believe that I was originally German myself. Then he saw me open my suitcase, which was carefully packed with these kinds of bags in different colours. He took one look and said, “Ah, now I know you’re German!”

The Cube set is only a small part of the convenient and environment friendly range of travel products offered by Eagle Creek; take a look at You will also find lower prices than the above on the net. PT


Here is a fantastic 30 piece multi tool, featuring socket, torx, E socket, and screwdriver functions all in the one tool for motorcyclists by Berner quality German tools.

This tool comes in a durable cordura pouch for easy storage and is just the right size to tuck away under your seat, in your panniers, topbox or tankbag. It contains the following items – 1 x 1/4 Ratchet driver with pivoting head that can be set straight 45 or 90 degrees, Phillips No. 2 and 3 bits, Flat head screw driver bit, Pozi drive 1, 2 and 3 bits, 1/4 drive but holder, T10,T15,T20,T25,T30,T40 and female torx bits, 6,7, 8,10,11, 12,13 single hex 1/4 drive sockets and it comes with 12 months warranty.

Get it through Kenma – SW

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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