I do love the look of a classic, black motorcycle jacket.
They evoke a nostalgia for the golden days of bad-boys Marlon Brando and James Dean. They are almost universally flattering for men and women alike. They always come and go at the top of fashion must have lists, but are never out of style. They are currently on trend as an accessory item.
But what if you really ride? Most of these jackets on the market for women are only built for style. Soft, buttery leathers look and feel great—but they will provide very little warmth or protection when rolling down the road on two wheels.
And that’s what has been in my closet. An adorable, short, whimpy jacket that I would never wear on my bike.
I’m a safety-girl. Almost always ATTGATT. If I’m not wearing armor on shoulders, elbows, spine, and knees, I am most definitely wearing the heaviest leathers I can afford.
So when Motorcyclehouse.com reached out to me to review their Viking Cycle Cruise Motorcycle jacket, I was interested but skeptical. I’ve tried on so many of these classic-look jackets, and have never purchased one for riding. One of several reasons always makes me put it back on the hanger and walk away: they are too short in the waist and/or the sleeves to provide lower back and wrist coverage while riding; the cut is for a man’s silhouette and looks nice on me when unzipped--but when zipped-up I look too boxy; or, I just can’t afford it.
I’ve been wearing the Cruise jacket for the two weeks straddling August and September. It is made from thick, heavy leather and has a quilted lining (not removable) that keeps me warm on evening rides. Zippered sleeves and v-neck-opening allow for some cooling during the day. There are no other vents on the jacket, so it may not be for summer riding, but I will definitely be using this jacket into the Minnesota November (or whenever they start salting the roads.)
The two interior and two exterior pockets are all very spacious with more than enough room for a phone, keys and small wallet on the inside and room to fit my entire hand in each of the outside pockets. If you’ve watched the video I made, you’ll know this is one of my biggest complaints with motorcycle jackets!
But a bigger issue I have with most jackets is that they don’t provide coverage for the lower back when in riding position. A too-short jacket can make for a very cold ride, and—straight up—it isn’t a look I want to rock.
This model not only has enough length to cover in the back, but it also has elastic gathering at the waist that gives it a very flattering, feminine silhouette. A tasteful line of braiding down the each of the front sides accents the feminine line, as does the belting accent on the lower back.
The sizing, too, is generous. I asked for the size I usually wear in other leading motorcycle brands, and find this to be much larger than most others like Joe Rocket or Icon, but am keeping it so I can add layers as winter approaches. If you want to have a slim, snug fit, I suggest going down a size.
I don’t know who draws the designs and patterns for Viking Cycle, but I’d like to think that a woman had a hand in some of the design decisions for this jacket. It feels like it, anyway.
And finally, the most shocking surprise came when I looked up the price. As of this review, it is listed at less than $80. This is nearly half of what I’ve seen elsewhere, and definitely puts this classic within reach or anyone looking to buy. Check them out at motorcyclehouse.com.
Disclosure: Motorcyclehouse.com sent me this jacket free of cost and asked if I would write this review. Whenever I review or refer to a product that was provided to me, I will make it clear in the post. My reviews are honest, and if done at the request of a company, rest assured that the compensation of product does not have any bearing on the content. If I do not like a product, I will either not review it, or I will state the reasons why I don’t like it.