“Testing Hungarian-designed motorcycle accessories: Knee protectors, kidney protectors and face masks.
Today we’ll be presenting a brand that you may not have heard of, but should definitely consider if you’re looking for good quality, but affordable accessories – This is Asesso, a brand established in 2006, and which, very importantly, a brand manufactured and marketed by a Hungarian company.
It’s always a pleasant surprise for me when I discover products of lesser-known, smaller companies that hold their ground against bigger, more expensive brands, and in many cases – and this is no exaggeration – actually prove to be even better. And that’s exactly what Asesso is.
To begin, let’s take a brief look behind the scenes: as I mentioned, this is a truly Hungarian brand, as the products are designed and manufactured by the company’s owner Zoltán Gyula Kökény, with each released after a careful and thorough design phase – His philosophy is that he does not rest until each and every piece is developed to perfection. He is himself also an avid motorcyclist, and as such refuses to release any product that he would not use himself.
Asesso products are made from neoprene; and the company makes a diverse range of protectors, base-layers, as well as accessories and not just for motorcyclists, but also specifically for cyclists, and the product family even features certain accessories for motorists.
In their case, value for money is not just an empty marketing slogan. And how do I know all this? I myself have tested Asesso gear, and extensively at that. I tested them for months in the rough, namely one knee protector, one kidney warmer and several face mask models.
Here are my conclusions…
The most used piece was my knee protector – As I mentioned before, this is made of high-quality 2 mm thick neoprene, and it proved to be a strong and sturdy piece, sticking with me all the way through the season. I grew to like it a lot, especially that until now I have never managed to find very good knee protectors (they shifted, were too thin/thick, etc.) and I was curious to see how this would fare. There was absolutely nothing to complain about. As soon as I picked it up, I could feel that this is high-quality and my experiences down the line confirmed this. The material is outstanding, the hook and loop strap is also quality and not just for show, it has extra strong hold, and you can be certain that it will not detach by itself and it actually manages to hold the protector in place perfectly, stopping it from shifting on your knee. I’m sure I don’t have to stress how important this is, but if you fall and your protector shifts to the back of your knee, it’s like you’re wearing nothing at all.
The knees are protected by a hard protector shell, a special polyethylene memory foam (Anti-Shock) and PE30 sponge padding. Thanks to the hook and loop solution (this is an open-back piece, but the range also includes slip-on versions), putting it on and removing it is a simple task and if you happen to be riding your motorcycle in jeans, this is the least you should do to protect yourself – Once you knee gets injured, you’ll feel it for the rest of your life. These are actually the protectors that should be integrated into specialised motorcycle trousers, and not those slim little ‘wind deflectors’ that are in there just for the sake of it. That’s it for the ‘healthcare advice’ for now. We’ll be dealing with this topic in depth anyway in our Safety column, where we’ll be sitting down with the products’ manufacturers (who happen to know a great deal about the matter) and discussing why appropriate protection is important in both cold and warm weather.
The knee protector – as all the other products – is available in various sizes, meaning you can select the one best suited to your parameters. The company also recommends the knee protector for snowboarders: once you put the bike in the shed for the year, you can leave the knee protector out and off you go to do some winter sports.
The hook and loop strap keeps the accessory perfectly in place; in addition it’s very sturdy, it will not wear out any time soon and is ‘certified’ to be used tens of thousands of times.
My other subject was a cross-strap kidney warmer, which also proved to be extremely useful, especially on cooler summer/autumn evenings. This is made from 3 mm thick neoprene, with extra padding at the kidneys and a cross-strap reinforcement across the waist (which ensures stable hold, thereby reducing the load on the waist). And most importantly: it will most certainly not let the cold in, and as such is essential wear for anyone riding in cold weather. I even wore it in the warm. It fits under any clothing, and I mostly wore it under my (pretty tight) jacket. The hook and loop strap is the same as the one on the knee protector, allowing you to stably fasten the accessory. By the way, the straps are extremely sturdy, there is no need to worry that they’ll stop functioning at any time and no longer hold the accessory in place.
This particular type of kidney protector warms the waist by way of extra padding, and protects it through the cross-straps.
And finally, I also tested the quality of the masks, as I received a shorter and a longer version. I found this piece to be the most alien because, to tell you the truth, I have never been a fan of such extra accessories. I never really used these before, as after putting on all the ‘obligatory’ accessories, I never had the urge to fumble about with this as well. I also found these to be unnecessary. Of course you can do without it, that is very obvious, but I realised very quickly that such masks can improve a person’s comfort level a great deal. And why wouldn’t you treat yourself? Anyway, the very first test run actually became a ‘live run’ as I was forced to test the mask on a trip to Brno under horrible weather conditions. Wind, rain and cold – I was thinking that it may be the middle of summer, but the weather was perfect for the mask to prove its worth. And it did, as it protected my face (and neck) completely from the cold, as opposed to before, when the cold wind was essentially burning my face off. Despite its protective qualities, I was not suffocating as the material is exactly as breathable as it should be. All in all, it was a very pleasant surprise and I would now say it’s a mandatory piece for autumn/winter riding.
When headwind starts to become uncomfortable and unpleasant, a mask like this can improve your comfort level a great deal.
And don’t think they cost a fortune. These masks are available from Asesso for a price of around HUF 1,000-2,000, which is actually not really more than the price of the antibiotics you must purchase at the pharmacy after you catch pneumonia in the cold. While we’re on the topic of prices, the knee protector I used costs less than HUF 10,000, and the cross-strap kidney warmer was HUF 6,800, but if you are unwilling to pay that much, a simple stitched version of the kidney protector is available for as low as HUF 3,800 (which of course in terms of function is identical). All products can be machine washed, meaning they’re very easy to clean – And in fact, daily dirt is even easier to remove, simply using a moist sponge. This is where I would start writing about my negative experiences, but to tell you the truth, after more than half a season of use, I don’t really have anything to list.
And here’s a second opinion:
“I have to say Asesso proved to be a very pleasant surprise as prior to the test (and this is clearly my fault), Asesso was just one of those ‘no-name’ brands there are so many of out there. Often people only believe in the products of hyped-up brands and this is a mistake. Those who don’t have the funds to pay for such products (and the brand name of course), are forced to test lesser-known brands – Yes, this is the ‘blind bag’ category, where you don’t know what you’ll get, but this is where we found Asesso. Don’t let the Italian sounding name fool you, this is a Hungarian product through and through, but one that is actually (given useful relationships with relatives) also present on the Italian market, where such a name obviously serves its purpose better than ‘Kiskőrösi’ for instance.
Anyway, getting back on point, I have to say this knee protector is excellent. It’s comfortable, does not ‘move around’, the trick is to put it on properly. In the past, I wore larger, multi-piece plastic and strapped knee protectors, but this proved to be much better. Those weren’t really uncomfortable either, but they were nowhere near this stable – And I also had to pay attention not to scratch the plastic on the motorcycle. Despite the comfortable wear, you won’t find yourself putting it on on your way to Balaton, but you’ll be thanking yourself that you have it with you when riding on colder summer nights. Of course, I don’t have to tell you that this is an excellent tool to prevent joint problems – Even if you don’t fall with your motorcycle…
The face mask: you won’t know how good this is until you’ve tried it. All this time, I was under the impression that a headscarf is perfect for this, but it’s not. Unless you ask for a cheeseburger menu, this does not cost more than a meal at McDonald’s, it fits anywhere and there’s nothing you’ll find to be more useful when riding on the motorway, in the rain, after having travelled 300 km. Asesso’s solution is well-thought-out, practical, comfortable and also protects your neck (something which is typically missing from the accessory repertoire). It requires a bit of attention putting on, you just have to make sure that when you’re putting on your helmet, the mask does not slip down to your neck. I didn’t really wear the kidney protector that much, because together with the spine protector I thought it was just too much of a good thing, but I have nothing negative to say about that either, so Forza Asesso!”
The original version of the article can be found here: Tesztmotor.hu