The last time I wore a textile jacket was 12 years ago. I remember it clearly, because it was also my first time ever riding on a motorcycle. It was a hand-me-down jacket, borrowed from my boyfriend who's ex-girlfriend had left it behind. I remember getting on the back of the bike, in my borrowed jacket, helmet and gloves, praying to God that I wouldn't die. Little did I know that less than two years later, that boyfriend would become my husband, and I would have a motorcycle of my very own to ride and no more hand-me-downs. That textile jacket is forever burned in my memories of that first ride though: The very start to my journey as a motorcyclist. You could say it has a special place in my heart.
For the last 10 years, I have not worn a textile jacket. I've worn leather--primarily a leather one-piece suit. While it has done a great job protecting me, leather suits have their downsides. They're hot and can be cumbersome. When I get off the bike, it hangs down and has been known to knock things over. When I ride, I typically ride like at a quick pace (or at least what feels like quick to me!). I often ride for speed, I do track days and I race pit bikes. For all that, yes, a leather suit provides the best protection regardless of how hot it is. But what about days I'm just kicking around? I've often thought a textile jacket sure would be nice.
As luck would have it, I was given the opportunity to choose a jacket from Viking Cycle and I decided I really need a mesh jacket for those days I'm cruising around. I picked out the Warlock Women's Mesh Motorcycle Jacket. Here are my thoughts:
As soon as I put it on my immediate thoughts was, "wow." The jacket is nice and light! After being accustomed to a heavy leather suit, it felt like a feather. I could move easily in it too and it felt good on the bike. The jacket has great ventilation but also has a zip-in liner for cooler weather.
I was concerned at first that I would be sacrificing protection for the comfort. But this jacket has chest and elbow protection and the material is a durable polyester that's lightweight and resistant to abrasions.
Look and Fit:
I'm a girl. I like what I wear to look good. I like how the jacket fits a woman in all the right places--plenty of room in the chest and a tapered waist. It even has adjustments in the back and arms so you can cinch it to be just the right size.
I didn't realize this jacket had so many features until I had it on and was pleasantly surprised. There are ear bud pockets, a phone/tablet pocket, wallet pocket, and extendable key holder and you can even access your phone in under 3 seconds in case of emergency.
The only downside of the jacket is that at very high speeds it won't offer the same protection as a leather suit with armor throughout, but, if you pair the jacket with a good pair of riding pants with armor, it should provide plenty of protection for road riding.
Viking Cycle has some other cool products, so I encourage checking them out! vikingcycle.com