Riding jackets


  • Gizmo
    started a blog post Riding jackets

    Riding jackets

    My riding jacket collection seems to grow in number annually. They multiply like rabbits, according to my wife. The number currently sits at seven with the recent addition of a hi-viz Olympia Expedition. Of course, armored MC jackets take up a lot of closet space so It will be up to me to someday (soon, according to her) cull the herd. Determining which one has to go won't be so easy, however.

    Why have so many riding jackets when I can only wear one at a time and I usually have one favorite that I wear 90% of the time? Oh sure, I'll suck it up and don one the older (usually smaller) jackets on occasion but it is mostly for nostalgic reasons that I keep them around.

    My oldest riding "technical" jacket is a Joe Rocket I wore on a 48/10. It was not a very good jacket- clammy and poorly ventilated in the heat and leaky in rain but I have no intention of unceremoniously tossing such a flawed but good friend in the dumpster. One does not throw away memories.

    My first leather MC jacket was bought on a whim at a leather store in Seattle about 20 years ago. Prior to that I had just worn work gear for riding. Carhartt coats and coveralls worked just fine for many years and I never got "attached" to them for some reason. Anyway, the insulated leather jacket was on sale for only $98.00 and it fit me perfectly. That jacket filled a need for cold weather riding protection and I continue to wear it regularly even though it is low-tech by today's standards. In these days of buying "distressed" leather off the rack, I have a coat that earned its patina and, most important, I feel good every time I put it on.

    Other jackets marinating in my closet are models from Tourmaster (49 states), Belstaff (first Alaskan trip), another leather ( nothing special) and an Olympia mesh ( love it!). The old Tourmaster still gets regular duty as my go-to jacket on my local KLR rides. The new hi-viz Oly has not made it to the closet yet. It's too busy to get hung up.

    I have great hopes for the hi-viz Expedition but my experiences with "four season do-it-all" motorcycle clothing has always left me either wet, cold, hot or all of the above. Maybe this one is different.... I'll know when I get back from Alaska in three weeks.

    Most important, however, is that the new jacket's memories fit in the closet alongside all of the other fabulous experiences therein. Space is tight, but I think there is space for one more!

    Now, what about all of those old helmets?

    Ride safe!

    • Pooch
      Pooch commented
      Editing a comment
      I probably could use another jacket but it's kinda hard to beat my Aerostitch Roadcrafter 1 piece, it does it all pretty much.

    • kwthom
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a couple of shelves that have helmets - oldest one there is almost 30 years old. It was the one I wore when I had my last unplanned ride termination event, back in November of 1990.

    • RoadRat
      RoadRat commented
      Editing a comment
      I feel your pain Gizmo. I'm up to number 5 jackets now but wear my First Gear leather jacket that I paid big bucks for about 30 yrs ago. It wasn't distressed leather when I bought it but after 30 yrs of use it's definitely distressed now. Every now-and-then I'll wear one of my newer mesh jackets but after the ride the jacket goes back in my closet to "take up space". My leather jacket is my go too jacket 95% of the time and when I return from a ride and park the bike in the garage I lay the jacket on the seat ready for my next journey.
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