Tested: Firstgear Mesh-Tex Motorcycle Jacket

Affordable and free-breathing

Synthetic mesh motorcycle jackets appear to be the rage this summer--or at least that's how we saw it at the rallies we've attended so far. Everybody seems to be wearing them (or wishing they were) in every color under the sun. So I thought I'd better jump in and see just how cool the latest trend in motorcycle apparel really is, and I had the perfect stack of steamy days to do it. Joe Rocket makes a version of this jacket that initially caught our eye, but every time we held it in our hands we worried over the loose knit and size of the holes that formed the mesh. When we fondled this First Gear Mesh-Tex jacket in turn, there is was a feel of potential integrity we were more comfortable with.

There is, of course, no way to tell how these jackets will hold up in any given skid. We do know perforated leather will outperform the textile, but it's heavier, hotter and definitely more expensive. The Mesh-Tex promises a full breeze, yet incorporates body armor in elbows, shoulders and spine, which makes it so much more logical than a denim shirt or--worse yet--a T-shirt or tank top. So how did it feel? Light. Light and airy, even behind the gargantuan stock windshield on my Yamaha Venture Royal Star. In addition to the CE-approved armor in this jacket I also appreciate the quality closures, especially those at the wrists, which batten down with adjustable hook-and-loop straps so they won't ride up. This baby's all mesh though, so don't plan on wearing it in chilly weather. Your nipples will hate you for it.

Get a First Gear Mesh-Tex jacket in Men's sizes S to XXXXL in black/black, silver/black, blue/black or red/black for a mere $140. For a dealer call (800)416-8255 or visit www.intersportfashions.com.

Jamie Elvidge

Reach Motorcycle Cruiser's windy lady at Jamie.Elvidge@primedia.com.