AFTER seven years and a large number of kilometres, it was time to find a new jacket. Mostly because the multiple doses of dust, buffalo dung and other animal waste encountered on back roads through the mountains of Vietnam.
There was so much ingrained dirt, quarantine in Australia would have had a fit if I tried to bring it back into the country!
Unfortunately, the same model of the jacket was no longer available so it was time to do the rounds of the motorcycle shops to find out what was on offer.
Many modern jackets rely on a removable waterproof liner to keep the rider dry in the wet. However these liners do not breathe, and the jacket gets soaked with water running down the liner into your gloves. Not conducive to comfortable riding.
Its Gortex membrane is immediately underneath the outer shell which itself is quite highly water resistant in moderate rain.
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My personal preference is for a jacket with a water-resistant shell and zippered vents to allow air flow on warmer days. My other requirement was a waterproof inner pocket accessed from outside the main zip but protected by the outer zipper flap, so I can access wallet and phone without undoing the main zipper. It is even harder to find this combo.
Enter the Dainese Carve Master Jacket - it has the water resistant shell, removable quilted liner for the cold weather and the bonus of a quilted removable neck collar for when the temperatures head towards single figures.
Its Gortex membrane is immediately underneath the outer shell which itself is quite highly water resistant in moderate rain. I have yet to try it in torrential rain, but it is raining that heavily I will wear a waterproof over jacket and pants anyway.
Gortex keeps the rider dry and comfortable while still allowing moisture to move through the membrane from the inside, thereby avoiding the build up of perspiration.
Venting is available by two front and two rear vertical zips that allow air movement through the jacket and keep the rider cool. Being vertical the front zips are relatively easy to open while on the move, though obviously, the rider will have to stop to open the back zips - or ask a mate.
You can adjust the fit of the jacket at the sleeves, elbow and waist and the whole design results in a very comfortable fit, while still allowing freedom of movement while riding.