Finding a balance of protection, ventilation, and versatility can be difficult when looking at summer jackets; however, the Super Speed textile jacket from Dainese does a pretty good job at the balancing act. While it is not new in Dainese’s line-up, it is year-after-year a bestseller that will keep you calm, cool, and collected on your summer rides.
Once upon a time, textile riding gear was the red-headed stepchild of motorcycle safety gear. Well, the manufacturers got wise and started producing high-quality riding gear made out of something other than the hides of dead critters. With textile gear, you now have the option of some of the most current protection technologies in styles that you’ll be happy wearing for years to come. So, we thought we’d put together a selection gear that shows the full breadth of what’s available from top-shelf gear makers.
When it comes to textile motorcycle gear, there’s a fine line between looking well-traveled and being just plain dirty. If you don’t notice when you’ve crossed that line, usually a riding buddy or someone close to you will let you know. For example, when I returned from my four-day Gold Wing Tour ride from Austin, TX, my wife wrinkled her nose and said, “That jacket’s filthy…and you kinda stink.” So, instead of ending up in a pile on the floor where I wanted to drop it after my 600-mile day (with a 102° fever), I carried my Spidi suit outside to my garage office and hung it up where it wouldn’t offend her delicate sensibilities. The things we do for love.
Living on a budget is a fact of life, and MO staffers remember how buying our first motorcycles drained our available funds. So, like many young riders, we skimped a bit on our first riding gear. (I, for example, rode in a jean jacket until I could afford my first leather one.) The advent of textiles in the moto-gear arsenal of materials helped bring proper gear within reach of many budget-minded riders. On the flip-side, however, we’ve also noticed a ton of gear that went well beyond price-consciousness into the realm of cheap – as in crappy – gear that offers either little protection or sub-standard construction. The folks behind Pilot Motosport noticed this, too, and decided to create a price-point jacket that didn’t skimp on the protection or quality. The result is the Pilot Slate Air Jacket.
It’s June and the temperatures are now starting to hot up. That can only mean one thing: Summer’s here and riding season is in full swing. For some, riding in hot weather means shedding the protective gear in order to stay cool. You don’t need us to remind you what a bad idea this is, as one of our favorite adages when it comes to riding in hot climes is “I’d rather sweat than bleed.” For this buyer’s guide, we’ve put together 10 jackets and pants that’ll both keep you cool on a hot ride and also protect your hide should you have the unfortunate fate of falling down. The list is organized in ascending order based on price.
When riding in the summer, it’s a must that a capable riding jacket for this kind of weather flows a significant amount of air to the rider. Traditionally, jacket manufacturers use mesh panels as the way to achieve this goal. Some use more than others, but when it comes to flowing air, unless you prefer riding shirtless, mesh is the best we’ve got. The problem with mesh, of course, comes when it’s greeted by asphalt.