Crash Tested (and Repaired): Alpinestars Caliber Jacket Review
While in Spain on the 2024 Triumph Street Triple R/RS intro, I crashed during the street portion of the ride. As much as I’d like to let this mishap go down the memory hole, it gave me the opportunity to abrasion and impact test some gear. Let’s set the stage, shall we: By making a series of small mistakes in an S-bend that combined to tuck the front end and put me on the ground at about 60 mph, I landed on my left knee and hip, followed by my torso and the underside of the left arm – all fairly typical of this type of crash. In those few seconds of sliding, the Alpinestars Caliber Jacket did its job of protecting my hide by sacrificing its hide. I won’t get into the specifics of the Alpinestars Caliber Jacket’s construction in this review. You can read about it here. What I want to focus on is how it performed in the crash, how much damage it sustained, the repair process, and why I decided to have it repaired.
MO Tested: Alpinestars Caliber Jacket Review
Functional Fashion: The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets
If there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. The leather jacket is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for Halloween, or down for any occasion that calls for cool. No matter what you ride, the best leather motorcycle jackets are versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. A premium leather jacket will never go out of style, and the more you wear a quality one, the more comfortable it will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. Bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. So here we’ve gathered a small sampling of the best leather motorcycle jackets the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.
Limited Edition 2022 Ducati XDiavel Nera First Look
Ducati revealed a new limited edition XDiavel produced in conjunction with Italian furniture and interior design house Poltrona Frau. The 2022 Ducati XDiavel Nera will be available in a numbered run of 500 units, priced at US$29,795. That’s a hefty $4,200 premium over the XDiavel S.
An interior design studio may seem like an odd choice to collaborate on a motorcycle. Ducati’s actually working with Poltrona Frau’s Interiors in Motion Business Unit, a division that focuses on leather interiors for automotive, aviation and rail vehicles, which makes a bit more sense.
Making less sense is what the extra 42 Benjamins get you: a black-on-black livery plus a special leather saddle.
First Manufacturing Co. Is The Place To Turn For Custom Leather Jackets And Vests
Customization is a key tenet of motorcycling. As the object of our desire, we love our motorcycles. And while the manufacturers do a great job designing these bikes, it’s up to us to personalize them and make them our own. Shouldn’t the same mentality go into the gear we wear? First Manufacturing thinks so. Which is why its custom jacket/vest builder is so cool.
Before we get into that, let’s first talk about, well, First. First Manufacturing Co. has been making leather goods for motorcyclists for over 30 years. Their line of motorcycle jackets, gloves, and accessories are made with care, while new product lines are road-tested by a team of riders before they hit shelves.
MO Tested: Dainese Racing 3 Perf. Leather Jacket And Delta 3 Perf. Leather Pants Review
Updated May 2021
Best Motorcycle Racing Leathers
Updated, February 2020
One of the greatest thrills of going roadracing or doing a trackday is having a legitimate excuse to dress up in a skin-tight leather onesie. Ay, caramba! Apart from your bike, a good set of leathers is probably going to be the biggest purchase you’ll have to make when you decide to take the racetrack plunge. You’ll be glad you bought the cheapest pre-owned suit you could find, right up until you have your first gnarly, high-speed get-off. After that, you very well might wish you’d spent a bit more. You don’t have to have the latest airbag technology from Dainese, Alpinestars, et al, but if it saves you one broken collarbone or worse, maybe think of as much protection as you can afford as a wise investment. Most of the suits we’ve listed here are each manufacturers’ creme de la creme, but all of them make more affordable suits, many also come in women’s sizes, too – as well as two-piece zip-together suits that are nice for when you just want to wear the jacket. On with it!
The Best Black Friday Deals for Motorcyclists
Thanksgiving means it’s time for family, football, turkey, and, of course, Black Friday shopping. While you’ve been scarfing down stuffing or watching the Bears down the Lions (spoiler alert!), we looked around and compiled a list of some of the best Black Friday deals for motorcyclists.
Best Revzilla Black Friday Deals 2018
It’s not Thanksgiving yet but Revzilla’s Black Friday deal is already live, with savings from 20-50% on a variety of products. We’ve highlighted some of the deals that caught our eyes below, including a selection of Dainese gear, but you can see the full list of Black Friday sales on Revzilla.
Top 10 Must Have Motorcycle Gear
Guess what month it is at MO? It’s geeaar month, sergeant. The kind of motorcycle gear you wear, that is, that makes life on your bike much more pleasant no matter the climatic conditions. No doubt there will be amazing breakthroughs in the future of which our feeble 21st-century minds can’t even conceive: I’m picturing a shoulder-mounted rocket-propelled drone that deploys in 0.001-second to lift you above and away from an imminent left-turning Buick hovercraft. For now, we celebrate the 10 best pieces of gear the human race has come up with so far. Some you wear, some carries the gear you might want to wear later, some just makes the ride way more enjoyable.
MO Tested: Reax Gloves, Jacket, And Jeans
Every now and then a new riding gear manufacturer enters the competitive motorcycle apparel market. Some grow while others wither and fade away. What typically separates the rising newcomer from the soon-to-be also-rans is usually quickly apparent in the form of missing necessary features or comfort issues when riding. Motorcycle gear places a high emphasis on function, and often, that function also dictates the styling. What if you’re looking for function with a less flashy style? Reax Motorcycle Gear may be what you’ve been looking for.
Developed by Comoto, the parent company of RevZilla and Cycle Gear, Reax appears to have benefitted from that lineage. After a couple months riding with a selection of Reax gear, if I had to sum up my experience with the products, my impression would be that it is well thought out, practical riding gear. In my time with the Jackson Sport Leather Jacket, the 215 Denim Riding Jeans, and the Castor Sport Leather Gloves, the items have, with one small exception, performed like products from a much more established brand.
Icon 1000 Retrograde Jacket Review
Leather is nice. Leather chairs, leather interior, leather underpants (some chafing may occur). You name it, it’s good in leather, especially riding jackets. They’re classic, classy, and typically a high-quality piece of equipment that will keep the skin on your back.
Alpinestars GP Plus Leather Suit Review
The one thing I’ve learned wearing Alpinestars’ GP Plus Leather Suit is trackside photographers have no problem picking me out of a crowded field of leather-clad motorcyclists. Whether I’m at a press launch with a bunch of other journos all outfitted with newish leathers, or at a trackday thick with fellow sportbike junkies in sometimes outlandish attire, the asymmetrical styling of the GP Plus suit is more obvious and attention-grabbing than a naked Margot Robbie (we should probably test that statement for accuracy…).
MO Tested: Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket Review
Summer is upon us, and that means that vented gear is in high demand. While the options of flashy, multicolored sporty bike jackets are numerous, finding a good looking black vented jacket that can be worn on a variety of motorcycle types can be a challenge. The Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket is a great option for someone looking for a classically styled black (or brown) leather jacket in a slim, European fit.
The Brera Airflow is constructed of a leather shell in a natural finish in either black or brown. Straight out of the box, the leather is supple yet still sturdy. The perforated front, back, and inner sleeve panels deliver plenty of airflow when you’re moving, though at a stop, you’ll still get warm. The cut of the jacket is a slim fit that forms to your body without limiting movement. The pre-curved sleeves and expansion panels on the shoulders allow the jacket to naturally fit the rider’s arms in a riding position without binding. The waist of the jacket has a five-inch zippered flaps on each side of the lower back to accommodate those of us who are a little fuller in the midsection.
2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic Video Review
What’s wrong with admitting that a cruiser model is a styling exercise? Cruisers are all about style – perhaps even more so than any other motorcycle category. So, if a cruiser that works as well as the Indian Roadmaster gets some new clothes in an effort to appeal to more buyers, that can be a good thing. In this instance, the result is the Indian Roadmaster Classic, a Roadmaster with a heaping helping of classic design cues.
2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic Review: First Ride
The Roadmaster is a good handling motorcycle, and the Classic is no different. Both use Indian’s forged and cast aluminum frame employing the engine as a stressed member. With a 25-degree rake and 5.9 in. trail attached to a 65.7 in. wheelbase, the ride is as stable as you’d expect. The slow-revving, torquey Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin engine motivates the Classic as ably as its does its siblings. The riding position is all-day comfortable – as is the weather protection.
Which brings us to the bags, covered with the same stylish, durable leather as the seats on several Indian models, just begging for you to run your fingers over them. If you liked the full-grain American leather featured on those other bikes, you’ll love the extra dose of it on the bags and trunk. The only downside is they are more weather-resistant than waterproof.
Take a look at the video review below to see 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic in all its leather-clad glory – complete with fringe!
2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic Review: First Ride
First introduced by Indian in 2015, the Roadmaster built on the Chieftain platform, adding additional touring and luxury features. Now, the company is releasing a Roadmaster variant, the 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic. If the Roadmaster was a Chieftain with a trunk, the Classic is a Roadmaster for fans of leather.