Triumph ISDT Motorcycle Jacket Review

I like my riding gear like I like my motorcycles––simple, classic and functional––and when I got a Triumph Bonneville I developed a yearning for a jacket like the old waxed-cotton Belstaff I had in my lost youth. It was a foul green and smelled so bad my roommates wouldn’t let me come in the house wearing it––they made me hang it in the garage. I wanted something like that again, minus the smell, and I finally found it––the ISDT––in Triumph’s own apparel catalog.

Like the jackets many riders wore in the International Six Day Trials back in Triumph’s glory days, the ISDT jacket is pretty basic. It has no handwarmer pockets or anti-flutter straps––not even vents. There are four front pockets with flaps secured by snaps to keep the rain out; the bottom pockets also have zippers under the flaps. Low on the back of the jacket is a rear pocket measuring about 12 inches by 7 inches, secured by snaps and hook-and-loop. Inside the jacket are two horizontal zippered pockets, one on each side, and a vertical zippered pocket alongside the main zipper. Unlike some jackets covered in pockets and pouches, the ISDT is no substitute for soft luggage. If you want to carry more stuff on your person than the smallish pockets can accommodate, you should consider a backpack.

A strong magnet secures the collar, but the tab should be longer for those times when you wear the included zip-in and snap-in thermal liner. An elasticized adjustment strap lets you snug up the waist, but since the adjustment is accomplished with snaps there isn’t a lot of leeway; this also applies to the cuffs, with just two snaps each. (If it’s starting to sound like there are a lot of snaps on the ISDT, it’s because there are.) There is a zipper above the hem on either side that lets you flare out the waist if you wear bulky winter pants.

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In a welcome nod to modernity, the elbows and shoulders are fitted with Knox armor. There’s no back protector included, but there’s a sleeve to fit one. The metal main zipper is large and coarse and should withstand years of use; it’s also balky sometimes and benefits from an occasional spritz of silicone spray. A full-length front storm flap secured with hook-and-loop keeps the weather at bay.

The ISDT’s shell is made of Textland fabric and 500-denier stretch Cordura nylon with a Tri-tex waterproof, windproof and breathable liner. Over the course of a winter it proved watertight. It also proved uncomfortably warm once summer arrived; the liner’s been hanging in the closet since spring, and the lack of vents has seen the jacket hanging next to it on warm days in favor of some other, better-vented jacket. Overall, the ISDT works best as a three-season jacket. It’s extremely comfortable and, unlike some textile jackets, felt broken in right out of the box. The sleeves are snug enough to keep the elbow armor from shifting around, but not so tight as to bind when I bend my arms or wear another layer under the jacket. After months of use I still find the zipper/snap pockets a bit fiddly, and the adjustment snaps on the cuffs have two positions––too tight and too loose––but neither issue is enough to keep me from reaching for the ISDT almost every time I grab the
Bonneville’s keys.

The ISDT comes in light green or navy blue in sizes XS-3XL and has a suggested retail price of $264.99.

For more information: See your Triumph dealer or visit triumphmotorcycles.com

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