Dress For Success
by Pat Goss
The term “dress for success” may not seem like it applies to motorcycles, but it actually does. And to explain that term, we have Lyndon Abel from Rommel Harley-Davidson in Annapolis. Lyndon, welcome back to Goss’ Garage.
Lyndon: Thank you for having me, Pat.
PG: Alright, explain the term, please.
LA: So dressing for success on a motorcycle ride, you really wanna be protected of course, but also comfortable and visible. This is an example of a jacket that will really allow you to do all three. Protection is the ultimate. This is a heavy-weight leather jacket, that includes body armor. So, in case of an unintended dismount, you have both the top of the line protection with the leather, as well as some impact protection that the body armor provides.
On top of that, some additional visibility is provided by these reflective stripes that bounce light back to the light source. When a car driver points their lights at you, you’ll really light up like a Christmas tree. However, when it’s warm outside, this jacket can still keep you comfortable, with a removable inside liner, and a triple vent system. It allows a tremendous amount of air flow that makes you feel air conditioned out on a warm ride. If it starts to rain, this leather is specially treated to be waterproof. And the zippers are waterproof as well. So really, the ultimate in protection.
PG: Very clever design.
LA: Now here’s another example of a jacket that can keep you comfortable and protect. It gives you the protection of leather, but has perforated panels to allow flow through...air flowing through it at all times. So in the summer time, this’d be a very comfortable jacket. Not as warm in the winter, but a great summer jacket.
There are some new textile jackets out that give a lot of features, and this is an example of one. It’s a textile material that has pockets for body armor. and mesh panels that allow the air to flow right through it. However, it also has a removeable liner for warmth, and one for water.
PG: Oh, that’s a good idea.
LA: So it’s going to keep you acceptably dry if it’s not raining too hard, and acceptably warm if it’s not too cold.
Now, if you don’t have waterproof leather, you really want a rain suit. And one of the things you want to look for in a great rain suit is, as well as keeping the water away from you, is visibility. This is an example of a jacket that gives you conspicuity, by the bright colors, as well as this reflective material. So it really is possible to be both protected and comfortable...when you’re out on a ride.
PG: And something like a rain suit is easy to store on the bike.
LA: You should always have a rain suit on your bike. That way it doesn’t rain!
PG: Lyndon, thank you. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line. Right here at MotorWeek.