It was snowing lately here, but the weather is breaking and the time comes to run this "Formula Jacket" back where it came from, I say. It's 45 here and really humid, with the kind of bone-chilling air that makes Chicago famous, and those with wimpy jackets cringe. I have a 25-mile commute with lots of highway, and I'm not going to wear much insulation to help out. The jacket has to go it alone today, and it may not be pretty.
The three things I notice after the commute are, the sleeves are long enough for my semi-ape arms without riding up and exposing them to the weather, the lack of weight makes it very comfortable to wear, and incredibly, I'm NOT cold. I don't know how a jacket this light can stay this warm, but it did. I was shocked at how well it worked. I have since ridden many miles with this jacket, with temps ranging from 40 to 80 degrees, rain and shine, and the jacket just keeps getting better. The quality fit, construction, and weather protection is noticeable with each ride, and little extras like Velcro closures for the sleeves, zippered hand warmer pockets, and Patented "Pop-Up" shoulder and side venting, and reflective stripes really stand out. I do have a few nits to pick though.
Yes, just as you thought Longride was getting soft and mushy, I did find a couple flaws that I must mention. First, the hand warmer pockets are nice, but I felt I needed an extra hinge in my forearm to get my hand into them. Slightly lower placing would help, and I do know I have long arms, but they were higher than I would have liked. Next problem is the collar. It's not a snap down or Velcro, and has an opening in the middle. It's not uncomfortable or annoying, but this jacket can be ridden in the cold, and a larger collar with a fastening device would make this jacket almost perfect. The collar isn't terrible, but just not up to the standard of the rest of the jacket.
So, to sum it up, the Formula Jacket from Kawasaki is a nice piece of work. It's got the features, styling, and functionality that can be used for more than a short trip on a nice day. It retails for $169.95, and that's a bargain in my book. They can be purchased at your local Kawasaki dealer or check out the Kawasaki website. Until next time...