After 5 different orders from 2 different online stores, I’ve finally managed to “build” what I think would be the best riding jacket for Indian conditions.
You should not do this, it’s a stupid thing to do. It’s far too much work and hassle, and it may or may not be worth all this money and effort in the end, I still don’t have a bloody bike to test the jacket on.
And the money, 30,000 bucks is an idiotic amount of money to spend on a jacket alone, especially considering the domestic options available in India.
Stunts performed by professionals and so forth.
Jacket: Rev’it Airwave 3
Cost: 177 Euros (~16000 INR)
In the end, the choice came down to this:
- Jacket should have extremely good ventilation
- Jacket should have pockets for chest protectors
- Jacket should not be an Alpinestars
No specific reason for the Alpinestars thing, it’s just that my previous jacket was an A*, it was alright, I wanted to try some other brand this time.
I’ve listed the options I had in this article, and by the end of my overly complicated thought process only two of them had survived:
a. Rev’it Airwave 3 – Chest protector pockets available
b. Rev’it GT-R Air 2 – Better airflow than the Airwave 3, but no chest protector pockets
So I went with the Airwave 3. It helped that FC-Moto ran out of GT-R Air 2 stock in my size, plus the Airwave 3 came in this black-grey combo that I hoped will not retain as much heat as the all-black GT-R Air 2.
Back protector: Dainese Pro Armor G back protector – Level 2
Cost: 71 Euros (~6400 INR)
There was no competition, nothing provides the level of airflow that the Dainese Pro Armor G back protector can, and there’s nothing else I cared about.
Sure the Rev’it Seesoft back protector would be far softer, The D3O Viper 2 may be more flexible, and the Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2i would be both softer and more flexible, but this is supposed to be the ultimate summer jacket, it would be quite stupid of me to restrict the airflow to the most sweaty part of my body.
I got the Dainese one from Louis.de. Based on the dimensions available online it looked like the G2 size would fit perfect, but it was just too perfect, it was so perfect that there was no room to wiggle around and shove it into the jacket pocket. So I had to place a second order and got the G1 size, that’s a perfect fit, an actual, usable perfect fit.
Unfortunately, G1 is the “women’s” size. RIP my macho manliness.
Chest armor: Dainese Pro Armor chest protector – Level 1
Cost: 35 Euros (~3200 INR)
Again, nothing comes close, it was an easy choice, especially when paired with the back one. This is the only level 1 item on the jacket, because there doesn’t seem to be any level 2 split chest protectors in existence.
Replacement shoulder armor: Nucleon Flex Pro shoulder protector – Level 2
Cost: 22 Euros (~2000 INR)
The Rev’it Airwave 3 comes with level 1 shoulder and elbow protectors. They are quite good, if a bit weird in shape, you can read the details and dimensions etc. in this post.
My aim with this jacket was to get the most amount of comfort possible for Indian conditions, but I also didn’t want to compromise on safety. So I decided to upgrade these level 1 protectors to level 2.
If you read into the CE Level 1 and 2 stuff, there are a lot of numbers and units and Newtons. What does it all mean? Who the fuck knows. Crashes don’t happen in perfect laboratory conditions, so those numbers are not all that important. It’s just that if all else remains magically constant, a level 2 protector will help you feel less of the impact forces than a level 1 would.
I would rather not crash, but if I do I would like to know as little about it as possible, hence the level 2.
As a sanity check, I did get a 20 year old German girl to punch me real hard on the chest and the back with the jacket on, and I couldn’t feel a thing. She’s a self-defense expert, hence proved and such.
Take that European scientists in sparkling white lab coats doing genuine CE tests.
As I’ve mentioned before, these Nucleon protectors are absolutely awesome, extremely soft, airy, and comfy. No competition in the market to these right now.
Replacement elbow armor: Nucleon Flex Pro elbow protector – Level 2
Cost: 22 Euros (~2000 INR)
Same as above, with the only difference that I tried both the size L and S, and neither of them fits in the Rev’it Airwave 3. I discuss the reasons why in the post linked above, it’s basically due to Rev’it silly decision to use the same protector in the shoulders, elbows, and maybe even the knees.
I still am using the size L in the jacket, I can’t close the velcro, but the fit is right enough that they don’t move around.
Total cost of jacket + protectors: 327 Euros, 29600 INR
The most important lesson from all this jazz for you is don’t buy riding gear online, it’s too much of a pain in the ass to get the right fit.
If you must, measure properly, check the official size and fit guidelines, check reviews on Revzilla to know if they are correct or not, and then order at least 2 sizes of the same item. Keep what fits, return the rest.
Based on the size guides, I should’ve got the Medium, but even with the extra chest and back protectors the Small fits perfectly. If I’d ordered both sizes in one go for the back and elbow protectors, I could’ve finished this exercise in futility in 3 orders, rather than 5, but 3 is still too much.
Time to buy a bike and get this shit over with.