Maybe think of this as more a second opinion than a review, since Ryan Adams already wrote quite a bit about Alpinestars’ latest Tech Air 3 vest in Best Motorcycle Airbag Jackets last week. While he was posting that, I was attending the Los Angeles premier of the new vest last Wednesday. I haven’t spent enough time in the thing to know how I really feel about it yet, but I can highly recommend The Bike Shed’s breakfast burrito.
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.
Airbags are kind of a big deal around here, ever since I had the unfortunate pleasure(?) of putting one to the ultimate test. Since that fateful day, however, I never hop on a motorcycle without wearing an airbag, and I’ve been an advocate to anyone willing to listen that they should wear one, too – no matter who makes it, and no matter how it’s activated.
Leather vests have been a staple of the motorcycle scene for generations. Go to any rally, and you’re going to see a wide array of vests – all in black. While they may be customized in the form of patches with organizational affiliations or pithy slogans, the vests are largely a variation of black-on-black. First MFG wants to shake up the vest market in a big way with its custom vests.
When it comes to motorcycle apparel, quality is about much more than just fashion, staying warm, or added protection, which is why the way it’s made is essential. First Manufacturing Co. has been making leather goods for motorcyclists the traditional method 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.
I bought my first electric vest in the winter of 1989, and I’ve been using them during cold weather ever since. When Tom Roderick and I began planning our SaddleSore 1000 ride, I knew that an electric vest would be essential piece of my ability to keep warm in the cold temperatures that were forecast during our riding through the night. Thinking that this would be the ideal time to test Aerostich’s newest electric vest, I ordered a Kanetsu Airvantage Electric Vest to see if its internal air bladder was a worthwhile innovation.
Drum roll… And the award for most enthusiastic gear presentation goes to Alpinestars’ technical media guru, Heath Confran! Applause, cheers, whistles… Heath’s excitement for Alpinestars’ products is palpable and infectious. For good reason because coming soon Alpinestars has a variety of cool new kit for all riding disciplines. The marathon presentation included way too much to cover in entirety, so we chose our favorite five items. For viewing everything new that requires a license plate to ride, go here. For all you dirt-only guys, click here. To see our five faves simply continue reading.