Tag Archives: motorcycle jackets

10 Best Motorcycle Jackets For Women

Let’s face reality here: it’s only really been in the past two decades that women’s jackets have been coming out in force. Before then, in what was historically a “male-dominated hobby,” women had to make do with either custom gear or modifying men’s gear to fit. We put the quotations there because ever since the 1970s, we know that women made up a good portion of riders, usually hovering in the 5 to 10% ridership range.

Flash forward to 2021, and now women account for about 22% of riders, worldwide. That is refreshing to see and has forced even a lot of the “old school” to recognize that there are badass ladies all over the globe that will swing a leg over and crank the right wrist. It’s also refreshing to see that in what was once traditionally a male-dominated sport, road racing and even MotoGP are seeing more and more women rising in their ranks.

What this means is that many of the big manufacturers and gear makers have had to adapt to provide proper racing suits and gear for these women. This, naturally, has led to the traditional trickle-down style of motorcycle gear from racing to street, which means that more and more jackets, pants, boots, gloves, and other pieces of gear are appearing every month.

Rev’It Eclipse Women’s Jacket

Rev’It Eclipse Women’s Jacket

Price: $179.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It is one of those companies that has made women’s protective gear pretty much since their incorporation, as there are quite a few female riders in the Netherlands. On top of that, they have a history in both circuit racing and enduro racing, so both the full leather track jackets and hot weather mesh jackets are packed full of cutting-edge design.

The Eclipse is just one such example of this, with an open, flowthrough style mesh that would seem to not have any abrasion resistance at all. However, that mesh is made of polyester ripstop material, as is the main chassis of the jacket. While the solid panels are rated to 600D, the mesh itself commands a respectable 400.

With adjustable bicep and wrist closures, full YKK zippers, two external pockets, and one internal pocket, the Eclipse is also quite fashionable to boot. The armor comes in the form of Knox Flexform in both the shoulders and elbows, which feels extremely light but carries CE-rated impact protection. An optional back protector can be fitted to the jacket.

Roland Sands Mia Women’s Jacket

Roland Sands Mia Women’s Jacket

Price: $525.00
Buy: Revzilla

Roland Sands, with the Mia jacket, ticks off two-rider fashion styles in one go, without sacrificing any protection. The retro and cafe crowd will love the classic British asymmetrical styling, while the sport and the sport-touring crowd will love the aggressive fit with the included thermal lining that doubles as a hoodie when the leather is taken away.

That leather is one-grain style better than cowhide, as it is oiled buffalo leather at 1.0 to 1.2 mm thicknesses. In areas requiring stretch, premium-grade elastic ripstop polyester is used. The hoodie liner is also breathable and waterproof, meaning that even if you have to do a dash from the bike to your front door in a downpour, simply flip up the hood and you’ll get there dry.

Protection comes in the form of Knox micro lock CE level 2 armor at the shoulders and elbows, with the leather jacket’s inner mesh liner holding a back protector pocket for optional armor. Accordion panels at the elbows and a quilted stitch design around the shoulders allow the jacket to move freely, despite being pre-curved for a front tuck position. Ventilation comes via some very well hidden shoulder intakes and vents, which keep the jacket looking premium when zipped up.

Alpinestars Alice Women’s Jacket

Alpinestars Alice Women’s Jacket

Price: $479.95+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If Roland Sands has the women’s cafe market cornered, it’s fair to say that Alpinestars, realizing there was a gap to step through, made a sporty cruiser jacket with the Alice. Carrying all the right looks of the double-breasted front flaps, the asymmetrical zipper, and the relaxed arm curvature makes this both a classic and a modern sports cruiser jacket, all in one.

Don’t let its old-school looks fool you into thinking it’s not armored to the nines. Alpinestars has included their super lightweight, breathable Nucleon Flex armor, which is certified to CE level 2, at the shoulders and elbows, with a forearm extension on the elbow armor. This is carried in a mesh-backed cowhide 1.3mm leather chassis, with a back protector pocket for optional armor.

As with other jackets of the sporting style, the thermal liner of the jacket is easily detached and serves as a hoodie. Ventilation is hidden well in the underarm stretch panels, allowing just enough air to pass to wick away heat without being overly cold.

This is a jacket that would look at home being used while riding either Honda Rebel 500 or an Indian Roadmaster. Classic, timeless styling with modern armoring deserves a spot on this list.

Roland Sands Riot Jacket

Roland Sands Riot Jacket

Price: $650.00
Buy: Revzilla

Roland Sands strikes again with a superb classic English cruiser jacket. Solidly in the retro cruiser fashion sense, the Riot jacket would look perfectly at home being worn in the crowd at an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest concert as much as it does astride a Royal Enfield or a Triumph Bonneville.

Much more of a summer cruise jacket, the Riot is made of microperforated top grain cowhide sourced from Blackstone, which means it is soft, supple, and abrasion resistant with a thickness of 0.9mm throughout. The asymmetrical zipper is, of course, full YKK, and is of the bronze classic style. Quilted leather highlights and aggressive cuff YKK zippers make the jacket scream “Rock n Roll!” in that quintessential British understated-but-loud way.

The jacket is also, of note, made with a very aggressive black dye process, as the color will lighten the more it is exposed to UV light until it reaches the classic light black that well-worn leather fashion jackets eventually reach. This is also the only jacket recommended on this list that does not come with pre-installed armor. However, pockets for elbow, shoulder, and back protectors are ready to accept your own choice of the best armor, from Alpinestars’ Nucleon Flexto Icon’s D3O and Rev’It’s SeeSoft.

Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R V3 Air Jacket

Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R V3 Air Jacket

Price: $239.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

With the increase in women’s participation in BSB, ASA, MotoGP feeder series, and the like over the past three decades, Alpinestars has had a lot of exposure to creating gear that is suitable to both genders, or those in-between genders. For the men, the T-GP Plus R v3 Air is one of the best mid-range sport and track rated jackets you can get, and by simply adding a Stella to the front of that name, that same legendary jacket is available to women.

The Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air, apart from being one hell of a mouthful of words, is made of 600D highly abrasion-resistant polyester. Interspersed between these polyester panels, abrasion-resistant, tightly woven polyfabric mesh allows just enough air to wick away heat, but not chill you to the bone. A full mesh lining also helps boost that airflow’s effectiveness in carrying away sweat and warm air.

Protection is in the form of Alpinestars’ Nucleon Flex CE level 1 armor, with the shoulders being additionally armored with GP Lite slide shields. As sport riders will often choose between vest-style back protection or using jacket pockets, no back protector is included. However, Alpinestars has included both chest and back protector pockets, suitable for Nucleon KR-Ci CE level 2 armor.

A definite warm-weather riding winner, those that ride sportbikes where it never really snows have a go-to jacket that can be armored up as the need arises.

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Women’s Jacket

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Women’s Jacket

Price: $579.95
Buy: Revzilla

If you want a sport riding jacket that is both warm-weather rated and contains the abrasion resistance of leather, Dainese has you covered with the Racing 3 Perforated women’s jacket. The “mortal enemy” of Alpinestars on the MotoGP grid, Dainese uses a special treatment on all the leather they use for track and street gear, naming it “tutu leather.”

This leather is always 1.2mm or greater in thickness, while the treatment makes it highly water-resistant, supple, and reinforces the abrasion resistance through chemical bonding. And if that wasn’t enough protection for you, the stretch panels between the leather chassis panels are made of S1 bi-elastic, a Dainese and Cordura co-development that mixes the elasticity of regular polyfabric with the 500D+ abrasion resistance of pure Cordura.

The jacket is also microperforated in key areas and includes zip closure vents in the upper chest, with intake and exhaust vents on the sides of the jacket. Protection comes in the form of Dainese composite CE level II elbow and shoulder armor, with the shoulders being covered by an aluminum impact and slide plate that is mounted on a composite base, meaning the plate is replaceable. The jacket features a back protector pocket suitable for a Dainese G1 back protector, or a Dainese D1 airbag vest can be worn under the jacket itself.

It’s a premium leather and polymer jacket that passes CE EN 1621.1 and CE Category II – 89/686/EEC Directive protection standards, meaning it is ready for track use. Dainese themselves note that the jacket does tend to run on the tighter sport fit side, so they recommend buying one size up from your measurements.

Klim Artemis Women’s Jacket

Klim Artemis Women’s Jacket

Price: $699.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you have spent even two seconds at the local gear store’s ADV and off-road touring gear section, Klim is a name that is plastered literally everywhere. Specialists in the long-distance touring style of gear, both on- and off-road, the Artemis is a design that is not shared with any other jacket in their lineup, making this one of the very few women’s only jackets.

Named after the Ancient Greek goddess that protected nature, the Artemis does a very good job at protecting whoever is within its confines. A true three-season touring jacket, this jacket is made of Klim’s own Karbonite textile, which is rated at least 600D, and up to over 750D, abrasion-resistant across multiple certification tests. Behind the chassis sits a full GoreTex membrane layer, which itself is over a Klimatek mesh layer that acts to both wick away hot air and sweat, and supports the jacket on the body.

In making the Artemis specifically for women, Klim did not have to worry about ventilation for the male torso, so airflow has been mapped specifically for the female torso. Ventilation is controlled via two centerline chest vents, two cross-core vents, 2 forearm vents, and two bicep vents, all of which exhaust out two massive vertical back vents.

Protection beyond abrasion is reinforced by D3O level 1 armor in the back, shoulders, and elbows. The Karbonite fabric is also penetration resistant, so no sharp rocks on an off-road trip should leave much more than a small bruise and a memory. The collar is comfort-lined to not be abrasive to the neck, and both sides of the collars can be pinned back to the upper chest to allow ventilation air to pass down from the neck roll into the body of the jacket.

If you are going to be off-road for any duration, you really cannot get a better ADV jacket than the Artemis. It’s designed for, built for, made for the active off-road riding woman, and it shows!

Merlin Madison Women’s Riding Shirt

Merlin Madison Women’s Riding Shirt

Price: $159.00
Buy: Revzilla

The latest trend in protective gear in 2021 has been the major push forward with armored shirts and hoodies. Either out of a desire to not look “kitted up,” or purely for comfort, there are varying degrees of quality with these newer pieces of gear, and Merlin has been at the forefront of the highest-rated, best quality shirts.

Looking like your average long-sleeved plaid shirt that isn’t out of place on a farm, the Madison shirt is much more than just a fashion statement. The Buffalo Plaid fabric, itself tear-resistant, is backed by a full, interwoven, 100% DuPont Kevlar lining that is rated to 1000D abrasion. A light mesh lining keeps things comfortable, as does a relaxed street fit, while the kevlar holds CE level 1 elbow and shoulder armor in place. There is a pocket in the mesh liner for a back protector as well.

What looks like a button up front is in fact a storm flap closure over a full YKK zip, with YYK zippered vents cleverly hidden along the tops of the chest pockets. The pockets have small inner pockets designed to hold hand-warmer packs, and if that wasn’t enough, the whole shirt is water-resistant but breathes easily.

If understated but superb protection is in your checklist for gear, or if you just want a good all-around riding shirt that pairs beautifully with some riding jeans and boots, Merlin has just the shirt for you.

Helite Xena Women’s Airbag Jacket

Helite Xena Women’s Airbag Jacket

Price: $800.00
Buy: Revzilla

To say that this jacket is revolutionary is understating just how important it is. It may not look like much, it may even look bland compared to some of the other options on this list, but Helite has made a women’s fit jacket that has the single most important protection feature that any jacket can have. Enter the Xena, a leather sport touring and cruiser jacket with a built-in, tether deployed rider airbag system.

Made from premium 1.2mm cowhide leather, the Xena hides stretch polyfabric under a cleverly designed panel at the top back of the jacket, whose importance we will discuss shortly. As well, the sides and lower back feature floating leather on stretch panels, allowing the jacket to keep a tight, close fit at all times. The arms are relaxed in their curvature, making it comfortable for long-distance cruising.

The importance of both the large stretch panel at the top of the back and the stretch panels on the sides and lower back is so that if you do come off your bike, in any way, shape, or form other than stepping off of it when it’s parked, a tether attached to a solid point on your motorcycle yanks an activation valve open, inflating the airbag hidden in the liner of the jacket in 0.1 seconds. This airbag, along with the full Sas-Tec CE level 2 back, shoulder, and elbow armor, provides extreme impact protection into the high tens of G’s.

As it is a tether-operated system, with no fancy electronics or GPS sensors, it works every time you need it to. In fact, the airbag will self-deflate over about half an hour, and as long as the jacket has not been penetrated by any object or otherwise damaged, all you need to do to reset it is replace the spent 60cc CO2 cartridge in the right lower front of the liner, and it’s ready to deploy again.

For disguising a life-preserving safety feature in a fashionable cruiser and sport-touring jacket, while it is expensive, nothing is more expensive than your life. Either this or the wearable Helite Turtle 2 airbag vest, comes highly recommended.

Dainese Lola 3 Women’s Jacket

Dainese Lola 3 Women’s Jacket

Price: $599.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Much like a couple of the other jackets in this list, if you’re going for a retro look that hides otherwise superior protective features, Dainese has a retro jacket for you in the Lola 3. Just looking at it, you’d think it was a slightly heavier track jacket, or a zip-up spring jacket to wear on the walk to the grocery store.

However, the Lola 3 is so much more. Combining high-grade Iride matte leather with S1 bi-elastic polyfabric panels and Dainese Pro-Armor impact zones, the jacket passes both prEN 17092 Class A jacket protection and EN 1621.1 armor class 1 standards. The Pro-Armor elbow and shoulder protectors are also rated CE level 1, which, while not as protective as CE level 2, allows for the armor to be more flexible and comfortable, while still being able to take an incredibly harsh whack without passing the impact to you.

And the piping on the jacket is not just for fashion, either. It is fully reflective material in an artificial shape, so the eye at night recognizes an artificial shape among the organic clutter of the environment in their headlights. A pocket for an optional Dainese G1 or racing G2 grade protector is inlaid into the TechFrame internal comfort liner just in case that person doesn’t see you.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

10 Best Motorcycle Jackets For Men

Motorcycle jackets are one of those pieces of safety gear that it just makes sense to own. No matter if you live in a hot, humid, cold, or dry area, all roads possess the ability to be rather harsh to your skin should you ever go down. There are jackets designed for all four of those previously mentioned environmental conditions, and some of the best jackets possess the ability to handle more than one.

Since there really is no “one size fits all” type of motorcycle jacket, this list will not be ranked competitively. What we mean by this is that instead of counting down from 10 to 1, we’ll instead be showing the ten overall best motorcycle jackets for men, flat out. Simply choose the one that best suits your environment, and you’ll have many fun riding days ahead!

Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket

Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket

Price: $599.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Alpinestars is a name that has been in motorcycle racing for a long time, and it shows with their gear. The Missile Air jacket is designed to be used for the street, yet it is made from race-grade 1.3mm cowhide leather, meaning that it offers the same level of abrasion protection that MotoGP and World SBK riders have. It is also fully perforated on the front and back, and meant to move a lot of air over the rider while carrying away heat and sweat.

In short, this jacket is meant for those who go fast, but also want to be comfortable doing so. Added protection comes in the form of CE-certified hard shell sliders on the elbows and shoulders, backed by dual-density foam over CE-certified armor on the innermost layer.

One of the best aspects about the Missile Air is that it is designed from the factory to be used with the Alpinestars TechAir Race airbag vest, which is worn under the jacket. The inner lining has attachment points so that the vest offers the best impact protection without the jacket riding up or moving around, and the jacket features a small LED panel on the left sleeve that gives riders status updates at a glance.

The only downside to the jacket is that while it does have a padded aerodynamic hump and a lower backslider, it does not include a back protector, even at this price. This is mostly because the TechAir Race has a CE level 2 back protector built-in, but if you do not use the vest with the airbag, you will need to source a separate one.

Rev’It Cayenne Pro Jacket

Rev’It Cayenne Pro Jacket

Price: $559.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The Rev’It Cayenne Pro is one hell of an adventure jacket. ADV and dual-sport jackets have probably the crowd to please in all of motorcycling, as they have to be both extremely comfortable while providing protection against on-road and off-road hazards. On top of that, they are expected to also be three-season viable without being too complicated to switch between a summer jacket flowing a lot of air to a rainy day jacket that is waterproof.

Rev’It has designed the Cayenne Pro to check off all those boxes, and a few more that you probably aren’t thinking of. The biggest part is that the entire chassis of the jacket is 750D polyamide coated with Teflon coating. This textile, Rev’It’s own in-house design, feels like Cordura but contains 87% polyamide, 7% leather, and 6% polyester, giving it superb abrasion resistance while also making it reasonably penetration resistant as well.

The Cayenne Pro is 100% waterproof when all airflow vents are closed, and there are a few of them. This allows you to tailor the amount of air you want through the jacket, from none on a particularly chilly day to almost being a mesh jacket on super hot days. And throughout it all, this jacket carries Rev’it’s CE level 2 rated SeeFlex shoulder and elbow protectors, and a SeeSoft CE level 2 back protector.

It’s basically one of, if not the, best adventure dual-sport jackets money can buy.

Klim Adventure Rally Jacket

Klim Adventure Rally Jacket

Price: $1,699.99+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

For those that are serious about spending days, if not weeks, on a motorcycle, adventuring across the Australian outback, or touching all the big landmarks in South Africa, Klim has the jacket for you. The Adventure Rally Jacket is not for those looking to ride for a day, no. This is about as hardcore as you can get.

Using all the latest in material and protective technologies, the Adventure Rally is waterproof, windproof, stain-resistant, and shucks off salt, water, and biologicals that might get tossed into the air if you’re riding along a coastline near the sea. GoreTex interwoven with Armacor textile provides three layers of abrasion resistance and waterproofing, so even if you do take a spill and tear the outer layer, two more layers will still keep the integrity of the jacket.

The Adventure Rally also comes with a full complement of armor, all of it D3O CE level 2 or better, in the chest, shoulders, elbows, forearms, and full back. It has an internal kidney belt that helps the shoulders bear the weight of the jacket on the tops of the hips while also armoring the kidneys. A built-in, 3-liter hydration pack in the back is easily refillable, and contamination-proof when closed, with the drink tube able to be routed either internally or externally, depending on your preference.

Ten waterproof external pockets mean you can carry all the gear you need that’s too small to fit in your saddlebags or pannier lockers. Ventilation is also highly customizable with no less than 6 vent options, all closed and sealed by YKK zippers and waterproof GoreTex membranes behind the zips.

Yes, this jacket costs as much as a decent used dirt bike, but it is meant, as stated, to survive weeks, if not months, on an adventure. And for that, there is no better jacket.

Merlin Chase Cafe Jacket

Merlin Chase Cafe Jacket

Price: $399.00
Buy: Revzilla

The history of cafe racing personal protective gear is a bit of an interesting one, as cafe racers in the UK were the first riders to fully and truly wear head-to-toe protective gear, usually made of high-grade cowhide leather. It’s a good thing, then, that Merlin decided to not fix what’s not broken.

The Chase Cafe jacket is made of high quality, double- and triple-stitched cowhide, in varying thicknesses of 1.2 to 1.3 mm. The main chassis is backed by a smooth satin black fabric, with a removable thermal liner vest that weighs only 100g.

Keeping with the style and feel of the rock and roll racing era, the two-tone leather hides an impressive set of CE level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, with a back pocket in the liner designed to handle any of the top quality back protector inserts on the market, from D3O all the way to Nucleon and SeeSoft.

Also in keeping with the cafe history, all zips are high-quality YKK, with Merlin snap closures including a storm flap closure just under the collar if you want a little more airflow, or a full neck snap if it’s getting a little chilly. Other jackets made of the same materials, with the same level of protection, will cost you over $100 more, which makes the Merlin Chase Cafe jacket one of the best value-for-money options out there in today’s cafe jacket market.

REAX Fairmount Riding Shirt

REAX Fairmount Riding Shirt

Price: $179.00
Buy: Revzilla

“Wait,” we can hear you say. “That’s a jacket?” Indeed it is, although it is branded as a “riding shirt.” It may look like a slightly bulky cotton button-up, but that is underselling the serious protection that this jacket hides.

Looking like an average construction site work shirt, the exterior is made of 67% cotton and 33% polyester, although it is not on-brand Cordura. Instead, it is branded out as 12oz coated denim, which has about 300D ripstop equivalent. While that is not overly impressive, the 140GSM aramid knit backing to that denim is. Much like riding jeans, the aramid takes the brunt of the abrasion, with a ripstop rating of 1000D.

This is backed up with full Sas-Tec CE Level 2 armor, certified to EN 1621-1 performance, in the elbows and shoulder areas, held in by aramid and polyester lining. There is a pocket for a back protector at the rear of the shirt and will fit all major armor types in that pocket.

Hiding behind the front buttons, in case there was worry that the shirt might rip open during a slide, is a fully double-sewn YKK zipper. The collar has hidden snap-downs to prevent it from flapping in the wind, and there are belt loops hidden in the hem to keep the shirt from riding up during a slide as well.

All in all, if you want to look casual, but ride protected, REAX has a relatively inexpensive but amazingly protective riding shirt for you.

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Jacket

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Jacket

Price: $579.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

As easily seen in the top form of motorcycle racing, MotoGP, there really are only two houses of racing suits across the entire competitive field. One is Alpinestars, the other is Dainese. If there ever was a war for sportbike and supersport gear dominance, it is between these two companies. So it’s only fitting that while one of our top recommended sports jackets is Alpinestars, the other is one of Dainese’s best.

Instead of relying purely on cowhide for abrasion resistance, Dainese has invested a lot of research and development money into what is known as S1 Bielastic Fabric, developed in partnership with Cordura. While high-quality leather does make up a large part of the chassis, especially abrasion areas, it is backed by S1, and S1 is also used to form the stretch panels between leather panels. As well, the S1 in and of itself is equivalent to 600D ripstop and contains polyamides, polyester, and aramid fibers for the strongest, but most flexible, protection possible.

This allows for the jacket, which is relaxed just under a full race fit, to stretch and conform to the rider’s body without needing to be fully tailored to the rider. On top of that, the jacket features composite armor in the shoulders and elbows, with replaceable aluminum external slide points. The entire jacket is also CE Cat 2 certified, meaning it is a viable track jacket and passes all requirements to be worn for track days if you do not have a full suit.

Rev’It! Stealth 2 Hoody

Rev’It! Stealth 2 Hoody

Price: $399.99
Buy: Revzilla

Sometimes, riders want to have gear that serves as both protection while riding, and outerwear when they park up somewhere. While most jackets can feel a bit stuffy or even downright heavy when air is not flowing through them, Rev’It has balanced the Stealth 2 Hoody right on that razor’s edge.

In terms of protection, the Stealth 2 is made of triple-layer stretch Cordura, backed by a HydraTex pro waterproofing membrane. The elbows are reinforced with polyamide fabric to help with abrasion resistance and sliding. The shoulders and elbows are protected with Rev’It Seesmart armor, with a back protector pocket in the liner of the hoody.

In terms of outerwear, the Stealth 2 also comes with a detachable thermal liner that brings the jacket to a full three-season level of warmth and wearability. Being stretch Cordura, the hoody is also highly breathable, allowing sweat and moisture to wick away from the body. This means that when you arrive at your destination, you can wear the hoody as normal outerwear without having to lug around a heavy jacket.

Scorpion EXO-1909

Scorpion EXO-1909

Price: $499.95+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The Scorpion EXO 1909 is a jacket that has both an interesting story and a specific design behind it. A cross between a sports jacket and a cruiser jacket, the 1909 in the name symbolizes the incorporation and opening of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where throughout the years motorsports of both the two and four-wheeled varieties have taken place.

Made of distressed leather for a soft feel, it nonetheless offers over 1.1mm of cowhide abrasion protection. Sas-Tec CE level 2 armor is discreetly hidden in the shoulders and elbows, with a pocket in the rear for a Sas-Tec CE level 2 back protector. On the elbows specifically, extra leather overlays have been sewn in so that there is added protection on one of the most common slide points.

Zippered rear vents work in conjunction with discreetly hidden perforated underarm and flank panels. A removable thermal liner allows for both warm and cold weather riding. All of the zippers on the jacket are genuine YKK but in a special process antiquated brass look. The wrists are zipper closures with accordion stretch panels to create a good air seal for cruiser riding, and a good glove seal for sport riding.

The biggest thing with the EXO 1909 is not that it features a hell of a lot of protection, but that it does so while recreating the look and feel of an early 20th-century leather jacket.

Roland Sands F@#k Luck Jacket

Price: $800.00
Buy: Revzilla

Before anyone asks, yes, that is the actual retail name of this jacket. Roland Sands is a premium gear maker, and the [email protected]#k Luck definitely deserves the premium tag. Each jacket is handmade, and the entire jacket chassis is 1.1 to 1.3 mm thick premium cowhide, which is hand-finished in vegetable dye.

It comes with Knox CE level 2 armor at the shoulders and elbows, with a pocket for a back protector. All zips, as are common on high-quality jackets, are YKK. There are four mostly hidden vents, closed by zips, at the shoulders and middle of the back.

The jacket is water-resistant, with a waterproof internal device pocket. It is also articulated so that if you ride a supersport, a sportbike, an ADV, or even a cruiser, the jacket can move and adapt to each riding position without stretching or straining against your body. That alone makes it one of the best, and the fact that it technically qualifies as a track-wearable protective jacket is just the icing on the cake.

Rev’It Ignition 3 Summer Jacket

Rev’It Ignition 3 Summer Jacket

Price: $499.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

A lot of motorcycles live in places where it can get uncomfortably warm in many other types of jackets. This is why mesh jackets first started getting made back in the early 2000s. Evolutionary materials and engineering have brought what used to be bits of nylon stretched between leather panels into fully armored, abrasion-resistant, yet exceptionally comfortable modern mesh textile jackets.

Of these, Rev’It has the Ignition 3, possibly one of the finest examples of protection with maximum airflow. The third iteration, the base chassis is made of Monaco Performance cowhide leather, some of the best protective leather you can get in the world. Between the cowhide sections is tightly woven Dynax mesh, which is heat-resistant and deflects off as much heat as it allows air through, and also will not melt during a slide.

Backing up the Dynax is PWR I shell 500D stretch fabric in the arms and 600D waxed polyester in the torso. All of this is then backed with Lorica fabric. It may sound like a lot of layers, and it frankly is, but the fact is that you can hold this jacket up to a light with it fully closed and zipped up, and still see the light through it.

Because it’s Rev’It, and they over-engineer almost all their gear (which is a good thing!), there are two detachable liners, a full Hydratex 3L waterproof one, and a thermite liner in case it gets chilly. Protection comes in the form of full CE level 2 Seeflex armor on the elbows and shoulders, and there is a pocket in the back of the jacket for a Seesoft CE 2 back protector, which will fit D3O, Nucleon, and other armor types without issue.

If you need the best protection with the best airflow, Rev’It have you covered!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Earnest Co’s ‘Smiths’ K-Canvas Jacket

Unless 2020 scared you into a prepper cave somewhere in the desert, you’ll no doubt have noticed a trend over the past few years for ‘moto workwear’. Put simply, it’s gear that’s made for both the workshop and the ride to and from it. Antipodean innovators in their field are the Aussie/Kiwi-based Earnest Co., who have been owning the style locally since they were founded in 2012.

With this trend in mind, we decided to try out their front-runner in the segment. Ticking all the boxes with ‘factory’ looks, Kevlar protection and some seriously heavy-duty construction, we spent a few weeks testing the thing out both on and off the bike. Please meet the ‘Smiths’ Kevlar and Denim jacket.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What is it?

This is the company’s flagship – and only – jacket. Being a home-bred concern, Earnest Co. ain’t a business to bang out 13 different types of jackets to corner every part of the market. No siree. Proponents of the ‘do it once and do it properly’ school of thought, this is their sole jacket offering. And while the temptation would have been to try and be a ‘something for everyone’ type product, it’s actually surprisingly focused.

What you get is essentially a CE-rated Kevlar and denim jacket in any colour you like, as long as it’s charcoal. This functional approach continues to the design itself, which is part classic denim jacket and part Chairman Mao uniform. If standing out from the crowd is your thing, then this probably isn’t the jacket for you.

Who’s Earnest, then?

Headed up by Aussie fabricator, mechanic, customiser and drift addict, Nigel Petrie, the company was started in New Zealand and Nigel liked it so much he bought a chunk of it, making it a dual-country concern. There’s little doubt that he and his colleagues know what they are talking about. This is no fashion-obsessed, latte-sipping bunch of pret-a porter prima donnas; it’s more a group of builders and riders who saw a gap in the market because they just weren’t finding the gear they were after themselves.

The company is now a well-known force in the ANZ moto scene, too. Think of them as small, crafty bike fanatics rather than giant multinational megacorp owned by some suits who prefer calculators to motorcycles.

The other cool part to this is that your hard-earned will go straight back to the riders who got off their butts and built the company from scratch. If you’re into buying grassroots and not feathering the nest of some random non-biker CEO, Earnest Co. would be a great choice to consider.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What’s it look like?

Refreshingly devoid of skulls, flames or fluro colours, it’s not going to match with your lime green Harley chopper. Not unless you’re an ‘opposites attract’ freak. Quite frankly, I really like the look and I’ve worn it out sans my moto, too. It’s that cool.

Of course, the intention here is that you can jump straight off the bike and start work without having to change your gear, so it makes sense that dark (i.e grease-proof) colours and zero screaming skulls is the order of the day.

And I don’t think it’s too much to say that you’d look pretty decent grabbing a coffee or a beer at your favourite drink dispensers, too. While the lack of armour does reduce your protection should you come a cropper, it also means you’ll be able to wear the thing in more situations without feeling or looking like you’re dressed in a Hulk body suit.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What’s it made like?

Cut entirely from Earnest’s own 13oz ‘K-Canvas’ Kevlar cotton blend (it just looks alot like denim to me), the thing feels as tough as nails on first inspection. If they told me that it’d stand up on its own if positioned correctly, I’d totally buy it. Yes, it’ll probably soften up after long-term use but like a decent pair of heavy jeans, you can tell this thing’s tough.

If you were handed this on your first day of work in your local moto engine foundry, you’d be more than happy that management (or the local metal-workers union) had your safety front-of-mind.

And while I would have liked to have seen it made locally in with OZ or NZ, it’s sewn up in China and then shipped down under for distribution. Yes, local-made is better, but the added increase in price is probably something that most of us would not be willing to cop.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket

What features does it have?

What the jacket lacks in pretence and colour it more than makes up for in usability. This is clearly a product that’s been thought through to the n-th degree. A great example of this is the way the lower buttons on the front of the jacket are covered to protect your bike’s tank. And the rear length ensures you aren’t exposing the base of your back while you’re hunched over on the bike.

There’s also a bunch of external pockets – with some being divided into separate tool holders – that show a similarly researched understanding of what both the average biker and the career toolsperson would need. This includes a padded breast pocket for a mobile phone, decreasing your chances of broken screen both on the road and in the workshop.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket pocket detail

Photo by Ben Pilatti

Other neat-o details includes spark and slash resistance, triple stitching and plenty of reinforcement on pocket entries (think copper rivets, but again without the scratched bike), reinforced sleeves/elbows, and a top button that’s not going to choke you should you decide to do the jacket all the way up.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

Notable exceptions to the design are the exclusion of armour, the lack of internal pockets and there’s no removable lining to keep you snug on colder days. Also, no reflectivity to help you be seen on the road. And while this completely makes sense when you consider the design brief it was made to, some still might pine for these. Personally, I like to keep my phone inside my jacket so that a little rain doesn’t risk me voiding my warranty, but that’s me.

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket detail

Why should I buy one?

If you’re currently in possession of a fully-armoured leather jacket that is overkill for inner-city trips and makes you sweat in summer like a criminal in a police club sauna, then this is the jacket for you. It’s not gonna be as breezy as some options when the mercury rises, but unless you’re cashed up enough to buy a jacket for every single season, it’s a great option.

Those who like long trips at freeways speeds and that don’t have an fully-armoured jacket option will want to look elsewhere, or consider wearing individual back and shoulder protectors under the jacket to keep you safe should the bitumen suddenly jump up and take a bite out of you.

And yes, the workshop look and functionality is great, but I feel that it’s more a nifty added extra than something that only mechanics and welders will look at. Honestly, its; not that limited; if Levi’s can sell a trucker jacket as a fashion accessory to the masses, then why not buy a Kevlar moto slash workshop jacket to wear on the street?

Earnest Co. 'Smiths' K-Canvas Moto Workwear Jacket detail

Pros:

  • Built like a tank
  • Beautifully functional
  • Nicely understated
  • Genuinely multi-purpose

Cons:

  • No armour as standard
  • Summer only, unless you layer up
  • No internal pockets

Right now, the jacket will set you back $310.00 NZD (that’s USD$222.00, £160.00, €185.00 and AUD$288 at time of writing). It comes in sizes S to XXL, but Nigel notes that sizing runs a little small, so maybe consider going for one size up than usual. Click below to find out more.

EARNEST CO. WORKWEAR

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Blackbird Motorcycle Wear’s ‘Fly By Night’ Leather Jacket

Ah, the classics! There’s a good reason why they never go out of style. It’s all fine and well to have your Power Rangers outfits with their hi-viz this and their airbag that, but if you have a bike and helmet that suits, you’d be silly not to lean on history a little. Why, if it worked for Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley, who are we to question it? Looking to get a little more leather in our lives, we spent a few weeks with brill cream in our hair and a Triumph between our knees while we gave the ‘Fly By Night’ Leather Jacket from Australia’s Blackbird Motorcycle Wear a good ol’ spin around the block.

And with Sydney now descending into Autumn, we weren’t a moment too soon, either. It goes without saying that reviewing a leather jacket in the height of a Sydney summer is like trying to hammer a nail with a banana; it’s the wrong tool for the job. So with a welcome layer of hide between us and the not-so-chilly Sydney Autumn, off we went. Read on to see what we thought.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Is It, Exactly?

According to the Blackbird website, the Fly By Night is ‘a ladies leather motorcycle jacket that balances classic biker and edgy aviator style.’ Of course, the intermingling of the aviation and moto genres goes all the way back to WWII and the penchant ex-fly boys had for motorcycles and the as-close-as-you-can-get-to-flying thrills that they have always delivered. So off they went on their two-wheeled adventures, with their ex-air force gear in hand.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The cafe racers of the late ’50s in London adopted this double-breasted look and the city’s famous Lewis Leathers took the whole kit and kaboodle and set it in stone (or skin, as the case may be) with their still best-selling ‘Bronx Jacket No. 384.’

Taking this as their baseplate and adding their own little spin on things, Blackbird have tweaked the design both for modernity and to reinstate a little more ‘aviator’ style into the mix – most notably with the addition of a removable, genuine Aussie wool collar.

Who’s Blackbird Motorcycle Wear, Then?

Owned and run since 2013 by the Mother-and-Daughter team of Belinda and Matilda McPhee, the company was founded after a particularly spiritual moonlight run on a Ducati 1100 down a country road. In my head, the Beatles’ famous song ‘Blackbird’ is playing; but in reality, I guess the blast of the wind would have overwhelmed any Hollywood-like soundtracks. Damn you, real life.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the Blackbird team on numerous occasions and I can tell you that they are not only in the business for all the right reasons, but they also live and breathe the gear like only a family-run business can. There’s no faceless global megacorps here, just two passionate women who clearly love what they do.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Does it Look Like?

Right out of the rather large Blackbird Moto Wear-branded shopping bag, the jacket impresses. Its weight is impressive without being unwieldy; this is clearly a substantial leather stock. Linings are 100% polyester and all zippers on the jacket are YKK brand – a good indication in my books that things are being done without corners being cut. Similarly, the detachable collar (which doesn’t come with the item and must be purchased at an additional cost if the necessity takes you) looks and feels top shelf.

And while it definitely draws from the classic aviator jacket of years gone by, the design has been simplified by Blackbird into a cleaner, less fussy look without the multitude of zips and pockets the original air force designed called for. The leather has a pleasant sheen to it before any decent patina has set in, and clearly it will be a few years until some decent aging is accomplished. And if it looks this good now, just imagine how it’ll look then?

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What’s It Made Like?

The tags on the jacket indicate that it was crafted in Pakistan – aka the world’s tannery. There’s no surprises here. In this modern world of globalisation, a vast majority of the leather products you see on shelves come out of this part of the planet. Whether it’s a small boutique label like Blackbird or heavy hitters like AlpineStars, this is where modern moto gear is made. And you thought AlpineStars were an Italian brand?

Of course, the country of origin doesn’t dictate quality and I’m happy to report that this jacket ticks an army of boxes upon closer inspection. As always, the devil is in the details but nit-picky checks of the pocket linings and the compartments designed to take the CE-rated armour that comes supplied with the item is promising. And unlike some jackets I’ve reviewed in the past, all the press studs here fasten with a similar amount of pressure; there’s no ‘dud’ ones that seem to eternally pop open if you dare even look at them sideways.

And the smell? It’ll send vegans packing but if genuine leather is what you’re after, then this ‘Supersoft, natural milled cowhide’ will be the perfume for you. With a thickness of about 1.1 to 1.3mm across the entire item, it strikes a rather nice balance between toughness and useability. One issue I have come across in the past with certain types of Pakistani leather is that regular exposure to sun and the elements can cause some inconsistent fading – especially across the back and arms. Now I’m not suggesting that it will be an issue here, but it’s something to think about when considering a relatively small-batch item such as this.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

What Features Does it Have?

As mentioned, it comes with a full set of CE protection armour; bright yellow shoulder, back and elbow memory foam squishies are for you to insert or not, as the mood or intended purpose of the jacket may call for. The woolen collar comes in two shades, ivory and black. The lining is a satin-finish polyester and the two external pockets are matched to two internal (and unzipped) ones.

Zips on the cuffs include some pretty substantial pulls, as do the external pockets and the big sister main zip that runs right up the front. For those unfamiliar with the design, this zip closes the jacket up entirely when put to use and the large lapels that go such a long way to providing the jacket its style are neatly folded away when needed, or when the temps drop to such a point that wind must be banned from your core.

Finally, some side buckles just above the hips allow a tighter hug should you see fit. Buckles here are aged with a tarnished finish, as below. This integrates them more comfortably into the overall look and prevents them from being too bling-y, too.

 blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket

Earnest Co. Tasker Moto Pants

Stitching is doubled up where required and the design itself means that when fully zipped, you’ll actually have two layers of hide at your front quarters should it ever come under sustained attack. The back of the jacket has a seam right up the middle that forms a sporty vee with the shoulder panel above it and the cut-off at the base of your back is extended ever-so-slightly to keep things covered up.

The final word in the features list is its clearly-intended functionality as a fashion piece alongside the fact that it can also save your bacon and keep you warm while riding. If you need any further justification as to why you should spend the money, a classic moto jacket like this will probably get used far more than you might think. You may not be riding at night with it on, but chances are you’ll definitely be using it after the sun goes down.

blackbird moto wear fly by night jacket on the road

Why Should I Buy One?

If the cafe racer boom of the past 15 years has taught us anything, it’s that some things never go out of style. If you have a bike and the helmet to match, then a classic leather jacket like this is a real no-brainer that should certainly go on your moto shopping list. The fact that you can wear it even when you’re not on the bike is just the cherry on the gasoline cake.

Yes, the design – or something like it –  is available from a plethora of brands from the boutique likes of Blackbird all the way up to the original gangsters like Lewis Leathers and Belstaff. Who you go with should you decide to pull the trigger on the purchase is entirely up to you, but I’m happy to say that this here Fly By Night jacket is well worth your consideration.

Pros:

  • Timeless styling
  • Well made
  • Wool collar is a great addition
  • Genuinely multi-purpose

Cons:

  • Zip pulls can flap about at speed

Right now, the Fly By Night jacket will set you back AUD$599.00 (that’s USD$466, £335 and €385 at the time of writing). It comes in sizes from XXS to XXL, and it ships free worldwide. Click below to find out more.

BLACKBIRD’S FLY BY NIGHT JACKET

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Best Motorcycle Jackets You Can Buy [Updated Q4 2020]

Every motorcyclist needs at least one motorcycle jacket. Riding a motorcycle leaves you exposed to the dangers of the road, as well as at the mercy of the weather. The best motorcycle jackets offer crash protection in a comfortable, flexible, and hopefully, waterproof package. Despite there being thousands of products to choose from out there, there are plenty of so-called riding jackets out there that aren’t fit for purpose.

To help separate the wheat from the chaff, or rather, the fashion jackets from the real deals, we’ve put together a list of our current favorites.

Since there’s no one-size-fits-all jacket, we’ve divided this list up with entries from across the range. It includes two sport-focused jackets, two-adventure options, something for traditional cruiser riders, and our top choice for urban, café-racer style riders. And for good measure, we’ve rounded it off with a solid summer option, and a jacket for colder climates too.

To make our decisions, we looked at a wide range of factors, from build quality to comfort, as well as the level of protection offered and the overall value-for-money. Of course, we also evaluated jackets based on other reviews from real-life customers too.

Here’s what we came up with.

Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket

Alpinestars Missile Air Leather Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $599.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

For riders who like riding fast, on-road, or on track, we recommend the Alpinestars Missile leather jacket. It’s a close-fitting, aerodynamic leather jacket that has been designed to accommodate the brand’s Tech Air Race Vest airbag system—though that is sold separately. Even without the airbag technology, this jacket offers excellent protection. It has a steep price, but it reflects the quality of the garment.

Made from race-grade 1.3 mm cowhide, with stretch panels and a breathable inner liner, this jacket is tough yet flexible, and comfortable to wear. It’s loaded with protective features, including CE certified Alpinestars GP-R shoulder and elbow protectors, injection-molded armor, and an ergonomic back hump. The back protector is sold separately, which is a bit of a shame.

Like most premium jackets, the Missile features pockets for additional armor, secure fastenings, and a full-length waist zipper for a pants attachment.

It’s a light and airy jacket with plenty of airflow that will keep you safe in the event of a high-speed crash. Upgraded with the optional extras, it’s a hard jacket to beat.

Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket

Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $179.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you want a sports jacket but don’t want to pay Alpinestars prices, then the Atomic 5.0 from Joe Rocket is our favorite budget alternative. This jacket is ideal for sports riders and thanks to its combination of materials, it’s a great jacket for both warm and cold climates. Though it’s not the best jacket on the market, it offers excellent value for money: it’s safe and secure, versatile, comfortable, and affordable.

Made from a combination of Rock Tex and Hitena, the jacket’s outer layer is waterproof and abrasion-resistant. It features a variable airflow system that can be tailored to your needs by the opening and closing of zippers. The interior has a removable insulated liner for additional warmth if you’re riding in colder climates.

Despite being a budget option, the Atomic 5.0 ships with some excellent safety gear as standard. These include some quality CE-approved shoulder and elbow pads. It does come with a back protector too, but it’s not worth keeping—replace it with something more substantial asap! Other cool features include neoprene cuffs, pockets for more armor, practical stowage pockets, and a pant-attachment zipper.

The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket offers great value for money and armed with an upgraded back protector, it could rival some of the more expensive jackets out there.

REV’IT! Cayenne Pro

REVIT Cayenne Pro Adventure Riding Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $559.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The REVIT Cayenne Pro is a premium adventure jacket that offers protection from the road and the elements, in a comfortable and practical package. ADV jackets have to perform a range of roles: they have to offer good protection for both on and off-road spills, they need to keep the rider protected from a range of weather conditions, and they have to be comfortable and ergonomic too. Though many jackets claim to be great ADV jackets, very few tick all of the right boxes. The REVIT Cayenne Pro, however, is the real deal.

Made from a 750D Polyamide and Teflon-coated shell, the Cayenne Pro feels like it’s made from Cordura, but it isn’t. Instead, this blended material is REVIT’s own textile that uses 87% Polyamide, 7% leather, and 6% polyester. It’s abrasion-resistant, waterproof, and very durable. The outer shell uses mesh panels for added airflow, with Neoprene sections for improved flexibility. It does have a comfortable inner layer, but if you’re riding in cold climates it could be a little chilly if you’re not wearing a pullover!

In terms of crash protection, the Cayenne Pro uses SEEFLEX CE-level 2 protectors, a Seesoft back protector, and a very useful detachable kidney belt. It also has the ability to be upgraded, with an optional Adventure Neck Brace, and cooling vest.

This is a premium adventure jacket for genuine all-season riding. And it looks cool too.

Sedici Garda Waterproof ADV Jacket

Sedici Garda Waterproof Adventure Motorcycle Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $249.99
Buy: Revzilla

Next up, we have a more budget-friendly ADV jacket. This is the Sedici Garda, and it’s a very capable adventure jacket that won’t break the bank. Sedici is one of the in-house brands from COMOTO Holdings, the parent company of Revzilla, Cycle Gear, and J&P Cycles. As the in-house brand of some of the largest gear distributors in the world, you can rely on the quality of Sedici-branded products. The Sedici Garda is one of their best jackets.

Made from a 600D laminated textile with 1200D reinforced sections, this textile jacket can keep out the water, deliver good airflow, and won’t restrict your movement. The jacket features a microfiber-lined collar, with neoprene edges, and a full mesh airflow lining. Six vents help the jacket breathe, and a series of adjustable straps give the jacket a perfect, snug fit and help reduce turbulence.

Protection is provided by textured rubber panels at common impact areas, along with CE rated armor at the elbow and shoulder. It doesn’t feature a back protector, but it does have pockets to accommodate one. It also has a hydration bladder pocket and a number of practical inner pockets for your things. Oversized zippers, carbon reflective trim, and a pant-connection zipper are also cool additions.

If you’re looking for quality and reliable adventure gear on a budget, this jacket is what you need.

BMW TwinStripes Jacket

BMW TwinStripes Heritage Cruiser Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $749.00
Buy: Revzilla

Motorcycle jackets don’t have to be about aerodynamic shapes and cutting-edge materials, as seen here in the BMW TwinStripes jacket. Part of the 2020 BMW Motorrad Heritage Collection, the TwinStripes jacket was designed to accompany the brand’s latest cruise, the R 18. Whether you’re a BMW rider or not, you can’t deny that this jacket isn’t seriously cool.

It’s not just good to look at. While it looks like a fashion jacket, the TwinStripes jacket was built for protection. Made from premium cowhide leather, the TwinStripes features CE Level 1 NP-Flex armor at the shoulder and elbow, with a pocket for an additional back protector. It also has a full comfort liner, gusseted shoulders, and a zipper to connect it to pants if you feel the need to go for the full suit.

For the sake of practicality, it also boasts four outside pockets and three interior ones, but apart from that, there isn’t much else to say. And that’s a bit of a shame considering the hefty price tag—but if you want an embossed leather BMW logo, you’ve got to pay for it. For a rugged, old-school cruiser rider look that ticks all the right safety boxes, this is a great choice.

Scorpion EXO 1909 Leather Jacket

Scorpion EXO 1909 Leather Jacket

Best Motorcycle Pants

Review: In-depth review
Price: $499.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you’re looking for something a little more café-racer rather than cruiser rider, then we’d recommend the Scorpion EXO 1909 leather jacket. Again, it’s one of those effortlessly cool looking jackets that looks more like a fashion item than a serious jacket—but it’s not. The Scorpion EXO 1909 is tough, rugged, durable, and will protect you in an accident.

Designed as a tribute to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (which was founded in 1909), this heritage-inspired jacket features soft distressed leather with reinforced overlays on the joints, for a flexible and functional feel. Inside, the jacket has a removable EverHeat liner, stretch panels, and plenty of ventilation.

Protection is provided by Sas-Tec Level 2 armor at the elbow and shoulder, along with a pocket that can accommodate a Sas-Tec back protector. Other practicalities include zippered vents, perforated panels, adjustment tabs, zipper closures, antique brass zippers throughout, and a pant zipper too.

It looks great, but reviews have even found that it can stand up to real-life accidents too. It’s an expensive jacket, but it will take care of you if you have a spill.

Dainese Super Speed Summer Jacket

Dainese Super Speed Textile Summer Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $369.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

For our last two entries, we’re looking at the best overall summer and winter jackets. For summer, we’ve chosen the Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket. It shares a lot of DNA with Dainese’s premium racing jackets but in a lighter, mesh-based form. If you experience hot summers or live in a climate that’s hot all year-’round, then this jacket offers serious airflow and serious protection in equal measure.

Made from a selection of top-quality textiles such as Duratex and Boomerang, the Dainese Super Speed is tough, secure, and close-fitting. On the inside, the jacket has a removable windproof insert and a sanitized lining. It’s a slim jacket, so it might not be the best option for larger riders, but there is a degree of adjustment that can be made at the waist, wrist, and neck.

In terms of protection, the Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket comes with composite protectors certified to EN 1621.1/97 standards and aluminum shoulder inserts. There are pockets for extra pads, including a back pocket for a G1 and G2 back protector, with a front pocket for chest pads.

If you live in a warm climate, this is worth your money. However, if your summer doesn’t get that hot, you might find another more versatile jacket a better investment.

Firstgear Kathmandu Jacket

Firstgear Kathmandu ADV Jacket

Review: In-depth review
Price: $369.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Our choice for the top winter riding jacket would be the Firstgear Kathmandu. Named after the capital of Nepal, the Kathmandu jacket is designed with cold weather in mind. Built from a Hypertex waterproof outer shell, with 420 denier rip-stop nylon, this jacket is both durable and tough, but lightweight at the same time.

Protection is provided by fully-adjustable D3O T5 CE armor for the shoulder and elbows—a more flexible material than standard CE foam—with an EVA back pad at the rear. The armor is adjustable, but so is the rest of the jacket. Thanks for a series of straps, it’s possible for a real body-hugging fit, whatever your shape.

Other cool features include an under-helmet rain hood, 1.5-liter hydration bladder (and pack), and more intake and exhaust airflow vents than you’d know what to do with!

Even though it’s our top choice for a winter jacket, the reality is that this jacket is a true four-season jacket. It’s great in the cold at high altitude, but it’s also nice and breathable for when the sun comes out. Given the price and the level of protection that it comes with, this jacket is a real bargain.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The History and Evolution of the Leather Motorcycle Jacket

The Iconic Leather Jacket

The leather motorcycle jacket is an icon. It’s as much a style choice as a piece of protective motorcycle gear. The leather jacket now is offered in a wide variety of styles and this has only improved its popularity. 

This iconic garment, and extremely important piece of motorcycle gear, has changed and evolved over time. It’s made its way into popular culture and the very history of the world. The leather jacket is now one of the pieces of clothing we should all have in the closet whether your ride or not. 

Because of the importance of the leather jacket, I thought it best to take a look at the history of the leather jacket, and specifically the leather biker jacket. Let’s start at the beginning. 

Where Did Things Start?

leather jackets in The Wild One

The original company behind the leather jacket design that has become so popular is Schott NYC. This New York company started making leather jackets in 1913. 

The company made leather jackets of all kinds and in 1928, it produced its first leather motorcycle jacket. It was named the Perfecto and a version of it is still manufactured today. The jacket was a hit thanks to smartly placed pockets and a large zipper. Most other leather jackets at the time had buttons, and this zippered design was far superior. 

These jackets and versions similar were then used in the military in WWII. This helped their popularity in many different circles. They were specifically used in the air-force, but versions appeared in other branches of the military as well. 

The leather motorcycle jacket that Schott designed was successful, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it really skyrocketed to success and birthed a whole slew of copycat designs and other spinoff designs. 

In 1953, heartthrob Marlon Brando wore one in The Wild One movie. This movie was very popular and became a legendary film for the world of motorcycling. Schott’s jacket was suddenly known by most Americans. From there, it spread around the world and became a cultural icon and a symbol of counterculture. 

Shifting into the 1960s, the classic biker jacket design that Schott pioneered was associated with carefree attitudes and rock and roll this furthered its counterculture identity. The design could be seen pretty much everywhere, and it became even more of a stylish thing to wear. 

This trend of the leather jacket as a stylish garment continued in the 1970s and on into the 1980s with the leather jacket, and specifically the biker jacket design, as a symbol of someone who was individualistic and free-spirited. 

This symbolism of the leather jacket continued into the 1990s and is still prevalent today. These days there are far more styles and variations of the classic leather jacket, but the image of a person who wears one was solidified early on and continues to thrive today. 

How Have Things Evolved?

woman in leather jacket

The leather jacket is a style choice today. It’s also one of the best ways to stay safe and comfortable while riding a motorcycle. Leather has inherent qualities that allow it to be one of the best materials for protective motorcycle gear. 

The classic design that was pioneered by Schott persists. However, other companies have taken on the design and made it their own. Also, plenty of other designs have made their way into people’s wardrobes and on their backs when riding motorcycles. 

There are now bomber-style jackets, shearling leather jackets, hooded leather jackets, casual leather jackets, and more. These come in at a wide variety of price points, but you’ll often find the truly excellent jackets come with a high price tag. In other words, you tend to get what you pay for. 

The style has evolved, but so has the construction and the materials used. There are now plenty of grades of leather that are used and the pockets, zippers, and cuts of the jackets have evolved and changed as the trends do. 

What’s most surprising about the leather jacket is that it’s actually very similar to the originals from the 1920s, and the rebellious identity that comes with leather jackets persists to this day. 

The Modern Leather Motorcycle Jacket

leather motorcycle jacket

While any well-made leather jacket can be worn on a motorcycle and provide some protection, there are numerous leather jackets specifically designed for motorcycle riders. Many of these jackets offer far more than full-grain leather as protection. 

You’ll often find motorcycle jackets feature padding and armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back. They also have vents for airflow and additional pockets designed specifically for motorcycle riders. 

There are also motorcycle jackets that aren’t leather, but they lack the sense of style that all leather jackets have. If you want to find yourself a good leather motorcycle jacket, check out the jacket reviews on our website and our sister website Web Bike World.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com