Nothing says “motorcyclist” like a leather jacket. Yeah, yeah, textile may be more versatile and is often less expensive, but nothing beats leather for abrasion resistance. Plus there’s that unmistakable creaking sound it makes when you move, and it smells good (until it gets wet, that is).
For a winter trip to chilly, gray Madrid, Spain, for the launch of the Triumph Bobber (see the review here), a vintage-style leather jacket seemed like just the thing. Scorpion’s Catalina jacket fit the bill perfectly, with its asymmetrical racing stripes sewn onto one arm, relaxed fit and distressed brown, 1.2mm-thick leather shell. Importantly for this trip, it also features a zip-in insulated vest with a KwikWick II lining up the middle that kept me comfortable as the temperatures varied throughout the day. I also appreciate the Catalina’s low-key branding; there is only a small embossed “S” on the upper back and the word “Scorpion” embroidered in dark brown inside the zipper flap on the front of the jacket, making it invisible when it’s zipped up.
The Catalina includes high-quality, CE-approved SAS-TEC armor at the elbows and shoulders, and there’s a zippered pouch for an optional SAS-TEC Level 2 back protector. Two good-sized hip pockets and one inner zippered chest pocket provide plenty of space to carry the essentials (wallet, keys, phone, etc.) and an 8-inch zipper and belt loop strap allow it to be attached to riding pants or even jeans. Vents at the shoulders and two rear exhaust vents flow air nicely, which I took advantage of when the sun briefly showed itself after lunch.
The Catalina’s sleeves are just a bit pre-curved for comfort, and the armor didn’t chafe at all. I liked the large, easy-to-use bronze YKK zippers, especially at the cuffs. Nothing is more annoying than fiddling with snaps and bulky straps with gloves on. Which reminds me of the snap at the collar—my gloved hands had such a hard time, I eventually gave up and asked someone else to do it for me.
Women’s jackets can be notoriously difficult to fit, but the Catalina seems like it will be comfortable and attractive on a wide range of body types. Its relaxed fit worked well for the cruiser seating position of the Bobber, and accordion stretch panels running from the underarms to the waist, as well as snap adjusters at the hips, make customizing the fit easy. It even features a nice amount of extra room at the chest area—no more corset-like squeeze!
The Catalina is available in Distressed Brown, in women’s sizes XS-2XL, for $399.95.