Joe Rocket Super Tour Motorcycle Jacket Review
[This Joe Rocket Super Tour Motorcycle Jacket Review was originally published in the March 2008 issue of Rider magazine]
When Honda authorizes a jacket to bear the name of its popular Gold Wing dresser tourer, you know it’s going to have to be versatile. Long-range riders encounter all sorts of weather, so their gear must be adaptable to heat, cold and rain, though with the Wing’s excellent wind protection it need not provide super warmth. They want high-tech flair in something as stylish as their bikes.
As a result, when Joe Rocket developed its official Honda-licensed Super Tour Jacket with the Gold Wing logos, it gave it a Hitena nylon shell and removable waterproof liner. It carries CE-rated protectors in the shoulders and elbows, and a removable spine pad with a pocket for an optional CE spine protector.
To test a pair of these jackets I called on my Gold Wing-riding friends Byron and Janet, who soon put about 1,500 miles on them, including a two-day September blast from Oregon down to Southern California in weather that varied from hot to hail to windy. Byron was heartened to find that the jackets are not only available in “jolly man” sizes up to 5XL, but that he only needed a 2XL. Janet, meanwhile, was happy to find them in women’s sizes, from XS-2XL.
What makes the Super Tour so versatile is that for warm-weather riding a 4-inch-wide torso panel zips off all the way around to reveal a mostly mesh lining underneath. Airflow is luxurious even behind the Wing’s windscreen, especially with the additional zipper vents in the sleeves, and two exhaust vents in the back. When it’s time to reinstall the panel, however, the fun begins. Two long zippers completely encircle the torso, including the shoulders, and it’s a major project to reinstall. “When it’s 95 degrees it’s work to take off the chest panel and expose the vent,” Byron said, “but what a difference it makes!” For fun, Byron measured all the various zippers on his jacket, and they totaled 24.5 feet!
The liner, which is waterproof, is not insulated as its warmth comes from sealing ability rather than warmth retention. It’s easy to remove and install with its pair of zippers and several snaps. Our riders did not ride in the rain, but report that the liner breathes well and does not become clammy. When removing the jacket, however, the wearer must make the hands small in order to slip them through as it’s possible for them to catch and become entangled in the elastic in the wrist liner. To alleviate this problem one just needs to hold the liner sleeve at the wrist before pulling through.
The two-position sleeve adjusters keep the sleeves snug with or without the liner, and the jacket has an adjustable waistband. The hook-and-loop cuffs are easily adjusted, but the button neck closure was hard to snap–more hook-and-loop would have been preferred. A reflective stripe encircles the jacket, and it also offers two handwarmer pockets, with an inner wallet pocket. So ends the formal evaluation; as for the informal evaluation, Byron and Janet enthused, “We love it, just love it!”
The Joe Rocket Super Tour Jacket is available in men’s sizes from S-3XL in Black/Yellow, Dark Blue/Black and Dark Red/Black, and in S-5XL in Black/Titanium for $269.99-$289.99. In women’s sizes it’s available from XS-2XL in the same colors for $269.99-$284.99.