Fall. Is there a better time of year to go riding? Of course, the changing foliage makes for some of the most scenic views. But the average temperatures are what really makes it great. You no longer have to melt your skin as you race from one stop to another to escape the summer sun. And you don’t have to weigh the consequences of choosing between breeze on your skin versus the protection of a motorcycle jacket. Fall is also when many brands drop new jackets, right in time for the great riding weather.
Here’s a look at some of the standouts from this fall’s class of fall cruiser jackets.
The 1000 line of gear from Icon has become a mainstay in the premium category. The gear incorporates classic styling with the latest tech. The new Squalborn jacket is the latest installation and upholds the integrity that the rest of the 1000 line exhibits. The beauty of the Squalborn is its ability to excel in all weather conditions. In the changing conditions of autumn, this versatility allows you to ride in comfort through it all.
The Squalborn lives up to its name. With Level 3 waterproofing and breathable textiles, you are equipped to withstand the elements if a squall does happen to kick up. Heavy rain and even wet snow are no match for the seam sealed shell and YKK AquaGuard zippers on this jacket. A removable insulated SatinCore liner allows you to customize the jacket throughout the day as temps rise and drop. The jacket has a sporty fit, but is still loose enough to add another layer if needed.
Protection and comfort are definitely not forgotten in the Squalborn. It comes with a full suite (shoulders, elbows, and back) of pliable D3O armor for impact protection. Ballistic articulation panels allow you to move about the bike without worrying about bunching. The roomy sport fit also creates a bit more freedom compared to other jackets in this category. A micro-fleece collar prevents chafing when fully zipped.
Hoodies and autumn go hand in hand. You’ll often find yourself riding with one under your jacket on cool mornings and evening rides. The only problem is that some hoodies can become a bit bulky under your motorcycle jacket. The solution: a hoodie that can be attached to a motorcycle jacket. The new Speed & Strength Straight Savage is a perfect example that melds the two together. There have been examples of this before, even by Speed & Strength themselves in the Off the Chain jacket. But the Straight Savage ups the ante on them all.
The jacket portion of the Straight Savage is a great setup for fall riding on its own. The waxed cotton chassis provides a perfect level of warmth and breathability for fall temps. Plus, it will develop an amazing patina over time with proper care. Cowhide leather adorns the sleeves, shoulders and collar for added slide protection in these high impact areas. It also add a nice contrast to the cotton. Well-designed shoulder gussets allow for great mobility, no matter your riding position.
On the inside lies the hoody part. The hoody zips into the jacket to reduce bunching. When riding, the hood pulls can be tucked into the jacket to prevent them from slapping your helmet in the wind. You can remove the hoody to either wear it on its own or to also provide a cooler ride in the jacket. Also on the inside, you will find a full suite of their removable Vault C.E. approved armor. A conceal and carry pocket allows you to ride ready as well.
There are still some warm rides left in the fall, where a heavier jacket might be too much. For years, guys have grabbed their favorite flannels and hopped on their bikes on these kinds of days. The only problem is if you go down, it’s not going to be pretty. Apparel brands have noticed this in recent years and have introduced their own reinforced flannels for riders. The Highway 21 Marksman Riding Flannel is one of the newest this fall and has the protection you need for your fall cruising.
This is not your Grandpa’s flannel. Kevlar fiber is woven into the shoulders and elbows to reinforce these high impact and slide areas. There are also pockets in the shoulders, elbows and back where the included armor resides. The shoulder and elbow armor is CE rated, while the PE back armor is perforated for cooling. The armor can be removed and the Marksman can be worncasually, like your favorite flannel. Gusseted shoulders provide more mobility for when you are in your riding position.
This ideal period of riding in the fall doesn’t last long. It’s best to get out and enjoy it as soon as possible. While a new jacket isn’t needed, it certainly makes the ride more enjoyable when you are equipped with the best gear for the season. And it also helps when they look damn good too.
Ryan is one of the lucky ones who gets to combine their passion with work. He has enjoyed powersports his whole life and now gets to write about it. Ryan has been around the industry since High School and continues to enjoy learning and sharing about powersports with others in his role at DK.