Textile apparel may be more versatile, but for the traditionalists among us, there are times when a motorcycle ride just doesn’t feel right without a good ol’ leather jacket. And it’s still pretty hard to beat leather when it comes to falling off a motorcycle…which is why riders started wearing it in the first place.
My only real gripe with leather is that it can be too warm and heavy in the thickness needed for real abrasion protection. Black Brand’s Fahrenheit jacket is a simply styled, robust black leather jacket that addresses the heat issue in three ways. First, the soft, 1.1-1.2mm thick milled top-grain leather has a KoolTek chemical treatment that Black Brand says makes it reflect the sun’s heat, keeping it more than 20 degrees cooler than an untreated leather jacket in the sun without affecting its high-quality appearance. Discreet zippered vents in the shoulders and both sides of the back allow some airflow, and the liner is made of soft, smooth moisture- and odor-wicking material. Together these three lines of heat defense genuinely help the Fahrenheit feel cooler when it’s warm outside than a comparable black leather jacket without these features. We didn’t measure the surface or inner temperature of the Fahrenheit vs. regular black leather in the sun, but resting the back of a hand on each it did seem like the KoolTek was slightly cooler, and I was comfortable wearing it all day in 80- to 85-degree temperatures both on and off the bike.
Even discounting the mysteries of its KoolTek treatment, the Fahrenheit jacket has become a favorite for its basic, mandarin-collared styling and comfortable fit. YKK zippers with gussets snug the cuffs, and stretch panels in the back of the shoulders allow it to flex with different handlebar reaches. Unlike some leather garment makers, Black Brand also takes armor seriously, and the Fahrenheit has removable D3O CE-approved Level 1 pads in the shoulders, elbows and back that are supple and flexible. There’s a zippered wallet pocket inside, two on the chest and a pair of zippered handwarmer pockets, all of which are sizeable, and a zip-out full-sleeve insulated liner for colder days. Overall it’s extremely well made and comes with a six-year warranty. But my favorite features are the Fahrenheit’s simplicity and good looks, which do without extra snaps, straps, buckles or epaulets. It’s a jacket for both grown-up touring guys and biker dudes that makes a bold statement without trying to.
The only odd thing about the black-only $451 Fahrenheit—and the Fahrenheit Perforated version, which should be even cooler—is the sizing, which runs large. I normally wear a large or XL jacket, and I needed a medium in the Fahrenheit, which is the smallest size. So I hope I never anger someone who needs the 3XL.
For more information, call (844) 676-2416 or visit blackbrandmc.com.