You complete your ride for the day, check into the motel and then decide to walk downtown for dinner. Only now it’s dark and cold, and you wish you’d brought a hat. In recognition of this scenario, Tour Master has introduced a new leather jacket called the Blacktop that gets its name partly from its unique feature: an integrated black jersey knit hood that can be utilized when needed, or it can be zipped off and stowed away.
But of course, beyond this feature the Blacktop is a fully functional riding jacket. Constructed from top-grain 0.9-1.0mm thick cowhide leather, its classic style is accentuated by its antique silver hardware. Protective elements include removable CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor, with a high-density foam back protector. The waist belt is three-position adjustable for a custom fit.
Secure the main zipper and snap closed the two-position upper neck flap, and the Blacktop will keep out a good deal of wind. Inside is a zip-out polyester-fill vest-style insulated liner, but it is quite thin. Because the liner doesn’t meet or overlap, it leaves an uninsulated 7-inch-wide strip down the front. In terms of temperature range, the Blacktop should be considered for moderate to warm weather. When things heat up, zip out the liner and open the pair of functional upper-arm vents that will allow some welcome coolness. And of course, leather should not be exposed to rain.
The hood, which is made of a jersey material, is rather large and loose fitting. Without any elastic or a drawstring it does not hug the head and thus may not be as warm as it could be; it is also susceptible to being caught by a breeze. I tried donning my helmet over the hood, but found it too thick…the hood, not my head. The hood is also bulky when zipped off; when stowed in a pocket it creates quite a lump.
In addition to the usual handwarmer pockets the Blacktop also has an external breast pocket seven inches deep; all zippers are of the ubiquitous YKK brand. Inside there’s also a wallet pocket, a second breast pocket and a mobile media storage pocket, the latter properly sized for today’s iPhones and similar devices.
Tour Master’s Blacktop is a classically styled, high-quality leather jacket with all the usual necessary features in regard to pockets, venting, armor and its removable liner. As for its unique hood I liked the concept, but felt that it would have been better realized had it offered a method of cinching the hood a bit tighter around the face.
The Blacktop is available in men’s sizes only, from XS to 3XL, and MSRP is $324.99.
For more information, see your dealer or visit tourmaster.com.