During spring time the motorcycling community is buzzing about what to wear for the next summer. A lot of reviews get written for gear people have bought, but I noticed there’s a lack of reviews for the more high-end stuff. Well, I’ve rode the Alpinestars MX-1 leather jacket for two seasons now, and it still being the top jacket in their collection, I decided to write a review of my experiences. This jacket is basically the MX-1 suit cut in half. It’s their third best suit and with the lower half cut off, makes for their best jacket.
- First and most importantly, protection. The jacket has an abundance of protection. There’s CE-approved paddings in the chest, back, shoulders and elbows, which is just about the most you can comfortably wear. Being made of 1.2-1.4 mm high quality leather, and with all the important seams double-stitched, it’s guaranteed to take a bit of a slide rather well. Luckily, I haven’t tested this in action myself, yet. All the protective paddings are removable, and the back and chest protections are upgradeable into hard ones. These are quite cheap, $30 for the back and $40 for the chest, and I recommend you upgrade atleast the back piece. Of course, it can be your own separate back protector as well, but I definitely think that you should keep your spine behind a hard cover.
- Ventilation. This jacket is very well ventilated. The thermoplastic protections on the shoulders have big air intake scoops as well as exit vents. The back hump is perforated too, and it takes in a crazy amount of air. And while you can’t see much perforation on the front of the jacket, that’s because when you’re on a sportbike ducked down, the chest really wouldn’t even get that much air. There is perforation on the side of the hands as well as the stretch panel on them since they are a bit more exposed while riding. For the air to exit they have added small vents to where the shoulder blade area in the back. Overall, this jacket flows a lot of air, and will keep you cool. Downside of this is of course that it makes this jacket unusable in the colder months.
- Features and quality. Being a leather jacket, it’s bound to be a bit stiff at first. It will break in for you, and be a lot more comfortable once you get using it. With all the protection in it, though, it is a heavy jacket. I personally don’t find this much of a problem, because it’s the price to pay for being protected. There’s some handy features in the jacket. The front outside pockets are some warming material, I’d guess maybe neoprene, and they’ll keep your hands warm. You can find a few pockets inside the jacket, too. On the 2008 model there’s neoprene on the cuffs and collar, making them really comfortable. I think this is the only change from the 2007 model. It’s been unchanged since. There’s a zipper for connecting the jacket with your Alpinestars pants of choice. I personally ride with leather pants. Makes a great trackday suit this way. The jacket also comes with a thermal vest liner which can make your riding season a bit longer when it gets colder. Overall, the jacket is very well finished, as expected from Alpinestars. Next summer will be my jackets third season and it’s still held up well.
To sum it up, the jacket is optimal for hot weather riding and combined with some leather pants, a great track day suit. It will not hold out rain for one bit, so if you have to ride in bad weather, you need to get another outfit. The cut of the jacket is optimized for aggressive sport bike riding and I don’t think it’d work too well in a more upright driving position. Retailing at about $600, it is expensive, but I think it’s an excellent jacket even for the price.