Cortech Piuma Jacket Review
[This Cortech Piuma Jacket gear review was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Rider magazine]
Piuma Road, extending a mere 6.5 miles from end to end, from its junction with Malibu Canyon Road until it merges with Rambla Pacifico Street, is one of the most celebrated motorcycling roads in Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains, as revered for its elevation changes and challenging turns as Mulholland Highway, Latigo Canyon Road and Stunt Road, among others.
Piuma Road is also just a few miles from the headquarters of Helmet House, one of the nation’s largest distributors of motorcycle apparel, luggage and helmets. Tour Master and Cortech are Helmet House’s proprietary brands, with Tour Master dating back to 1978.
Cortech’s homage to Piuma Road and its humbling mix of blind corners, decreasing-radius curves and mountain-climbing switchbacks is an eponymous, sporty jacket made of 1.2-1.4mm top-grain drum-dyed leather. (Cortech offers a racier one- or two-piece suit with matching gloves and boots fittingly called the Latigo.) The stylish Piuma combines perforated leather on the chest, arms and sides of the back with nonperforated leather on the elbows, shoulders, yoke and spine, accordion stretch panels at the shoulders and elbows, and 600-denier stretch nylon on the arms and sides, so it adorns, protects, ventilates and flexes.
The whole point of wearing a jacket like the Piuma, besides looking cool, is to protect one’s body from the downside risk of ambition exceeding skill, throttle exceeding traction. To that end, CE-approved armor safeguards the shoulders and elbows, and a triple density back protector cushions the spine and ribs, the latter being removable should you prefer a beefier reticulated back protector. Helping the leather resist abrasion is triple and double stitching with high strength, bonded nylon thread. The Piuma’s mesh lining is comfortable and is said to aid airflow through the jacket. A zip-in quilted vest is supposed to provide warmth on cold days, but the perforations provide such good ventilation that once the air comes in the liner isn’t able to provide much warmth. I recommend keeping a windproof fleece or similar liner handy, as well as a rainsuit since the Piuma offers no water resistance.
No complaints on comfort or features. The Piuma’s rotated sleeves feel natural when riding in various positions on bikes ranging from sportbikes to cruisers. Hook-and-loop straps at the waist and zippered cuffs make it easy to loosen or tighten fit. And unlike some sporty jackets, the Piuma has two generously sized handwarmer pockets plus two inside chest pockets—one in the jacket and another in the quilted vest. It also comes with two jacket-to-pants zippers, a 360-degree zipper and an 8-inch zipper, that are compatible with Tour Master/ Cortech pants (I’ve used the full circumference zipper with Tour Master Decker pants). I also appreciate details like the small air-scoop vents on the shoulders, the neoprene- edged collar and reflective piping and a reflective Cortech logo on the back.
A great jacket at a great price that commemorates a great road, the Cortech Piuma comes in black only in men’s sizes S-XXL for $229.99.
For more information: See your Tour Master/Cortech dealer