The days are getting longer, the temperatures slowly but reassuringly on the rise. Which can mean only one thing: riding season is here. It’s a perfect time to take inventory of your riding gear to assess what needs repair of full replacement, starting with arguably the second-most essential piece of gear you need on a motorcycle, the jacket. There’s been a flood of new releases ahead of the riding season; here are some of our favorites for 2019.
Merlin Wesley Jacket
Merlin doesn’t have the same history of fellow British brands Belstaff and Barbour, but history isn’t the only avenue to developing a quality motorcycle jacket. The Merlin team works closely with professional riders in top-tier racing categories like MotoGP and WorldSBK to suss out what performs, then wraps that technical gear in a casual vintage style. The Wesley Jacket is made of abrasion-resistant Halley Stevensons 10 oz cotton and coated with a water repellent treatment. Hidden underneath is DuPont Kevlar at the elbows and shoulders, which also have removable CE1 armor for extra protection.
Alpinestars Tailwind Air WP Jacket
Alpinestars is a titan of the industry with reach into almost every aspect of motorsport, so it knows what it’s doing when it comes to on-road protection. The Tailwind might look like a lightweight, minimal mesh jacket at first glance, and the large mesh panels do allow for lots of cooling airflow on hot days, but under the durable 600D polyester top layer there’s a detachable waterproof lining and a waterproof pocket for your wallet and phone. Protection-wise, there’s industry standard CE 1 level armor at the elbows and shoulders. Most importantly, the Tailwind is compatible with Alpinestars airbag system, which inflates in the event of a crash (even a low-side), making this one of the safest jackets on the list.
Rev’It is one of the most trusted names in adventure riding gear. The Dutch company cut its teeth in the wilds of Europe and its popularity skyrocketed when it made landfall in the US a few years ago. The Offtrack jacket is the latest result of Rev’Its in-the-field testing. Protection comes from the lightweight but tough 450D and 600D polyester outer construction combined with CE2 level armor at the elbows, shoulders and back. The detachable thermal and Hydratex liners make the Offtrack one of the more versatile jackets on the list, but you’ll be happy with the options when the weather on your adventure ride takes a turn for the worse.
Dainese Bardo Perforated Jacket
Dainese earned its reputation back in the ’70s in the Italian motocross scene and they’ve kept that certain sprezzatura along the way. The Dainese Bardo exudes vintage style, but it’s a modern jacket constructed with full-grain cow hide for protection and is perforated to keep you cool. One caveat: you have to buy the shoulder and elbow armor separately.
Belstaff Brooklands Leather Jacket
Belstaff is one of the more storied brands in the industry. They were the first company to use waxed cotton for motorcycle apparel back in the ’20s and made a name for themselves protecting riders in some of the worlds toughest motorcycle races, like the Isle of Man TT and the Scottish Six Days, since the early 1900s. The Brooklands Jacket is a direct call back to the jackets of the riders who raced the famous Brooklands circuit at the turn of the century. The Brooklands Jacket is old-school leather with modern waterproofing treatment and removable CE D3O armor at the elbows and shoulders.
All styles have markdowns so no matter what kind of riding you’re looking to get done, you’ll be able to save on a new lid. Read the Story
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