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Discussion Starter #1
How do I go about selecting a leather jacket? Where do I start? I've been browsing the relevant sections on NewEnough and KneeeDraggers, but the choices seem endless. Only the color schemes seem to differ on some models.

What are the things to look for in a good jacket? Should I start narrowing on price, features or brand?

I'll mainly be using the jacket for sport riding and don't want to skip on protection. Dainese and Alpinestarts looks like the way to go!
 

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There's a million bits and pieces of advice that I or others could throw your way, but the 1st is go to a local shop and try everything on. Different brands fit different ways. Once you've tried everything on and figured out the fit, then go online and do some comparison shopping.
 

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absolutely the only way to do it.

You can't buy gear over the net without having tried it on.

Give your local shop a chance to match whatever pricing you've found.

Unless the savings are huge I always go local.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll probably see what is available on the internet regarding prices, feature etc. Then I'll go and fit the jackets with an open mind. After that I'll look around for the best price.
 

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Since you asked, here are some things to think about & look for:

- Weight of the leather - heavier leather = more protection and longer life, but more cost. Try a Vanson jacket on (very heavy) vs. other brand and you'll see what I mean. Heavy leather jackets take a *long* time to break in and may not feel all that comfortable until you have them broken in.

- Perforated vs. non-perforated - if you live somewhere hot, consider getting a jacket that has either a perforated section, or zip-open vents.

- Pocket for an integrated back protector. If you don't want to strap on a back protector each time, you can find jackets with a pocket in the back to have one in there all the time. (If you do plan to wear an external back protector, factor that in when fitting the jacket!)

- Armor type - armor roughly falls into hard and soft - each has its proponents, but more and more people are leaning toward the better soft armor, like T-Pro.

- Full or 3/4 length zipper to attach to pants. If you plan on doing track days, you'll need to have some pants (leather) you can zip your jacket to. Eventually when you're really bitten by the track riding bug you can get a full suit, but until then, two piece leathers (zipped together) are fine.

- Jacket length - if you ride in chilly weather, and don't have matching zip-together pants, you might want a longer jacket to keep the draft off your lower back.

When you try on the coat, be sure to try it sitting on a bike with a similar position to yours. What might feel fine just standing there can be constricting once you're bent over and holding onto the bars.

That's about all the advice I can think of right now... Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I've been to multiple stores now to try on jackets. To my distress the local stores only sell (what I think) inferior products. My research continues.........

Am I correct in saying that A* seems to have more built in protection and features while Dainese have better quality leather and finishing for the same price? The A* seems to be more bulky as well while the Dainese fits tighter.

It's difficult to compare online, but I've narrowed down the field:

A* SMX Airflow
Dainese Santa Monica

Any experience with these?
 

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Als take into consideration your climate. It's you live in a hot area and buy a jacket that doesn't breathe well, you'll be less likely to wear it. That said, I live in Phoenix, AZ and wear AGV Sport Breeze perf'd leather (full armor) with the AGV Sport Vented leather pants (also fully armored). Helmet is a KBC AC-11 (custome paint by ducpainter [thumbsup]) gloves are new, ProGrip Motard gloves (perf'd between the fingers, gouble leather palm and CF knuckles). Boots are OXTAR TCS Evo RX.
 

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The Santa Monica is as nice a jacket as you're going to find and the best Dainese has to offer. If you can afford it, get it and don't look back.
 

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That Santa Monica looks good....will you get the matching pants as well? (watch how women act when your dressed in this...you'll thank me)

I love zipping together my pieces - increases fit and safety.

and like Michael said - get the back protector - put it in the built-in jacket pocket, and you're always protected. I just know that I had to strap one on I'd be tempted to forget it.

By the way, the heavy stuff doesn't feel heavy when it's on, it just feels right!
 
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