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Motorcycle enthusiasts take notice of lighter, drier, cooler apparel

THE Dri+ concept store is hatched by (from right) Burlington Industries general manager Ruddy Tan, Dri+ brand manager Noel Chua and production manager Dexter Tan.

Yes, riding a motorcycle looks cool. Beats the traffic rush. Low gas consumption. Very little parking requirement.

But out here in the Philippines, motorcycling is certainly a hot, sweaty experience — among other things.

So, if there’s nothing that comes between you and your motorcycle outfit, you’re not being sexy.

IT’S a shop and lounge built by, and for, motorcycle enthusiasts. | Photographs by Marc Anthony Reyes

That’s practically the mantra of Dri+, the first of its kind to provide comfortable, tropical weather-proof accessories for riders.

They provide specialized dry-fit balaclava, shirts, arm sleeves, socks, bags and shoes that are treated to stay dry and kill microbes that cause bad smell.

Already, through word-of-mouth, the whole line of apparel is growing its own legion of fans who are collectively called Dri+ Nation.

FROM T-shirts to balaclava, Dri+ got everything a rider needs.

It was started by Burlington Industries general manager Ruddy Tan and associates Dexter Tan and Noel Chua with an aim to cater to the expansive motorcycling public.

“This is still a concept store for us,” said Ruddy, referring to their first physical store at The Grid Co-Living, Bakawan, Corner Lumbayao, Makati.

“We started with balaclava and addressed the concern of Noel who is actually a rider. He encountered all the problems of an ordinary rider. So, we want to make it easier for riders and help prevent future problems for them.”

Ruddy also rides every now and then. His first bike was a previously owned Honda 400 he bought from an insurance company.

“I just had it fixed by a neighbor,” recalled Ruddy. “I got a lot of memories with it.”

In short, they know what they’re doing.

A MINT-CONDITIONED Honda CT 125 is displayed in the store.

You don’t have to ruin an expensive helmet or a riding jacket with a smell of sweat (which could only mean it was already a petri dish of bacteria).

“But we improved them. We treated them. And we make them thin, smooth, absorbent.”

They are developing balaclava for female riders so it won’t mess with their makeup (seamless) and keep their long hair safe from the elements during long rides.

The products also cater to the whole swath of social classes. “We once have a carpenter who bought balaclava, then the same day he came back to buy for his son. And at the same time, we have BMW owners happy with our products,” Ruddy said.

Dri+ also does customization with sizes up to 7-XL. Companies can also have their emblem emblazoned on them.

Recently, Dri+ partnered with Boss Ironman Motorcycle Challenge First Mindanao stage where they received a lot of feedback from the competitive sector.

“We are still new to this. We’d like to know what the riders are thinking and we are still in the process of completing our product line and improve our sizes.”

The idea of coming up with a spin-off for the popular Burlington socks brand came just before the pandemic. It just happened to coincide with the boom in motorcycles in the country.

“Just like Burlington, we want our product to be affordable,” said Ruddy.

“BMW balaclava can be very expensive, and they are mostly knitted. Because they are used in Europe more for thermal reasons,” he added. “Our cost is one third of the imported products.”

He said Dri+ is soon offering a treatment service to motorcycling clothing. One treatment could last for more than 50 washes. They have already tried it with fencing and karting uniforms.

Dri+ products can also be availed from Shopee, Lazada and the Dri+ Nation Facebook page.

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