Selling brand-designated clothing has created a good chunk of change in the motorcycle manufacturers’ pockets. Makes sense; drop ten grand on a Triumph motorcycle, one that you have lusted after for a long time, might as well put a couple of hundred more into a jacket to let the world know of your success.
The crafty marketing types hope that if you have a closet full of brand-specific riding gear, chances are you might stay with the brand when you think of getting a new bike. To this end Triumph has come out with a 36-page clothing catalog that offers everything from T-shirts to belts, leather jeans to beach towels—and quite a few jackets.
To complement my purchase of a Bonneville T100 I chose the Pantha SympaTex motorcycle jacket. It’s a waist-length item, with two zip-up handwarmer pockets, a breast pocket and an inside pocket to keep the wallet dry. The front zipper has a rain flap built in, which is protected by another flap secured by half a dozen snaps and hook-and-loop strips. Hook-and-loop waist cinchers keep the look trim.
The neck is semi-mandarin, with hook-and-loop closure. The sleeves open with a short zip, and close down tight with hook-and-loop. A nylon/polyester zip-in lining keeps the body warm. I have a stack of little folders that came attached to the jacket, all featuring rather patentable names.
The material involved is called SympaTex Allweather, which claims to be waterproof, windproof and breathable. Since we have had a rather dry winter and spring this jacket has been subjected only to light rains, and has done fine, but I would suspect that in a genuine six-hour frog-strangler of a storm the six zippered vents that create the Airflow System (though each one is protected) might begin to leak. But who wants to ride for six hours in the rain?
Speaking of that Airflow cooling arrangement, this jacket is designed to be worn in hot times. There are two vents on the chest, two on the back and one on each arm. Each sleeve also has two anti-flap “width adjusters,” making sure that flapping will not be a problem.
The outer shell is made of Hitena Super Tenacious Fabric, another trademarked variation of nylon, which boasts excellent abrasion resistance—should I ever find myself sliding down the road. More important is the Knox CE95 armor at the elbows and shoulders, as well as a dual-density back guard using a Hexprotect Polypropylene Honeycomb. CE95 is a highly regarded European rating. These “impact protectors,” as the industry likes to refer to them, are removable items which need to be taken out prior to machine washing the jacket —the wearer may want to do that after a few thousand miles.
I like the jacket, as it fits me well and makes me look good; price is $310. Sizes run from S-XXL, and at 6 feet, 3 inches and 220 pounds I took an XXL. The key to getting proper riding gear is to be able to try it on, and Triumph is working to get dealers to stock enough clothing that buyers will be able to find exactly what they want on the rack in the shop.
I have worn this jacket when on Triumphs, and also while riding Harleys and Hondas. The Triumph logos are reasonably discreet, and nobody has made unsavory comments; maybe all this brand loyalty the jacket is supposed to instill ain’t necessarily so. But I don’t think I’d wear it while riding a BSA.
For more information see your Triumph dealer or visit www.triumph.co.uk/usa to request a catalog