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Old 19th September 2021, 10:01   #1
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Default Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Like most other purchases of mine, any riding gear purchase, is predicated on a lot of research, repeatedly trying out the shortlisted options in stores, getting long term feedback from fellow riders and searching for reviews on forums etc. I have a mesh jacket for city usage (Revit Eclipse) and one for touring purposes (Royal Enfield Khardung La) and hence there was no real need, or want, for another riding jacket. But this very informative post (Ownership log of my Rocker Red Continental GT 650) from my buddy deepfreak15, opened my eyes to the option of owning a leather jacket in Indian conditions. Later, an email popped up with details of Royal Enfield's riding gear sale, which included a 10% discount on their leather jackets.

Below are details of the decision making process, the shortlisted jackets, the armour that I used and my initial impressions of using a leather jacket in Cochin. Since there are lots of pictures, I will split all of this into separate posts to make readability easier.

Why another jacket? That too leather!

I am not one to fall for these marketing emailers, but out of curiosity, I began to browse through Royal Enfield's site (as if I havent done it a 100 times already!). The prices on the leather jackets were mouthwatering and I pinged deepfreak15 to ask for his updated feedback on his leather jacket and it was all positive praise from him. I shortlisted the Spirit jacket which was available in both black and brown colours as well as the Cafe Racer jacket which is what deepfreak15 owns. The Royal Enfield site provides hardly any information on these jackets and I learnt more about the jacket from deepfreak15's post, than Royal Enfield's own website!

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Spirit Jacket - Black

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Spirit Jacket - Brown

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Cafe Racer Jacket (only black)

The same jackets were available on Amazon and there, I could see a few more details on each jacket. On the Spririt jacket it says,

Quote:
A classic motorcycle leather jacket that's ride-ready with armour pockets on shoulders, elbows and back so you look good both on the saddle and off it.;Fit: Cafe racer fit Outer Layer: 1.2mm leather; Vintage patina finish; Protection: Pockets available for armour at elbows, shoulder and back; 4 pockets: 2 side cargo pockets, 1 chest pocket, 1 inside pocket; Abrasion Resisitant: Reinforced quilted shoulders and elbow patches; Double stitched seams for added strength; Genuine YKK zippers;Wash & Care: Hand wash only
IIRC, there was a similar writeup on the Cafe racer jacket page as well, but I cant find it now. The advantage of buying the leather jacket(s) from Amazon is that there is a 10 day return policy and I get an additional 5% discount on a particular credit card. So a 15% discount on these jackets with 10 day returns made for a mouthwatering combination.

Please do keep in mind, that I do own a full leather suit that I have used on the track, for a grand total of 2 track days, so this is not the first time that I have used a leather jacket / suit.

Both are nice. But which one to buy?

I reached out to deepfreak15 once again and not surprisingly, he suggested that I order both jackets, since they arent available in local Royal Enfield stores, to try on. If I dont like the fit, I can always return one or both. Something in me, tells me that deepfreak15 was hoping that I would really end up liking both jackets and wouldnt return them! Needless to say, every bit of information that deepfreak15 shared with me, was very useful and without his inputs, I wouldnt have purchased the jackets. So a big thanks to him for taking the time out to respond to all my questions and for guiding me through this purchase (this is my get out of jail card, in case the Home Minister reads this post!). I took his sound advice and placed the order for both the jackets. This is the first impulse buy of riding gear that I have done, but the option of hassle free returns gave me some peace of mind.

What about armour?

I had L2 shoulder, elbow and back armour from my recently retired 1.5 year old Rynox Air GT3 jacket and I had a back protector from my A* jacket that I retired in 2020. So, I thought that I was covered on this front. But I would only know this for certain, after the jackets were delivered.

Won a lottery? 2 leather jackets must have cost a bomb, right?

You will be surprised, but the combined cost for 2 leather jackets, with the discounts, came to below Rs 20,000.That is a helluva deal, if there ever was one!

For context, the best VFM touring jacket in India, the Royal Enfield Nirvik jacket costs Rs 15,000 and a mid range mesh jacket from Revit, costs Rs 18,000. Here, one leather jacket, costs around Rs 10,000 after discounts.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 18:42.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:07   #2
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Default A leather jacket is a leather jacket is a leather jacket. Right?

So, same same? Or are there any differences?

In terms of build, the two jackets share a lot of similar elements but they have three major differences
- Style wise, the Cafe Racer jacket looks simple, smart and elegant. This is a leather jacket that 30 year old me would love to wear on a ride, or at a cafe. With it's quilted elements, the Spirit jacket is what 45 year old me would love to wear on a ride, or to a pub.

- Ventilation wise, the Cafe Racer jacket is like a leather suit that is chopped in half. All leather, no fluff. The inner liner is also not perforated. On the other hand, the Spirit jacket takes a more balanced approach towards making a leather jacket usable for daily use. It has massive perforated leather section at the armpit, that enables a good deal of air circulation. The inner liner is also perforated.

- The size and placing of the back armour in both jackets is completely different. The Cafe Racer jacket takes the smaller armour and it sits quite high up on your back. This leaves your lower spine exposed. The Spirit jacket, on the other hand, has a much bigger slot for the back armour and it perfectly takes in the armour from the A* jacket. To be clear, the L2 back armour from the Rynox jacket is much smaller than the A* armour and it wont fit the Spirit jacket. And vice versa. The shoulder and elbow armour from the Rynox jacket, fits perfectly in both jackets.

Here is a picture of the back armour that fits the Spirit leather jacket (left) compared to the one that fits in the Cafe Racer jacket (right).

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010598-large.jpg
Front of the armour (that sits against your spine)

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010597-large.jpg
Back of the armour


Delivery

The two jackets reached me within a few days and were delivered in a huge carton. Each jacket came in a plastic cover.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010554-large.jpg

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010555-large.jpg

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 15:50.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:11   #3
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Default Initial Impressions - Royal Enfield Cafe Racer jacket

Thoughts after 10 minutes

+ Felt like it was a more snug fit than the Spirit jacket
+ Looked far more stylish than the Spirit jacket

- No perforated armpit area.
- No perforated inner lining
- The back armour sits way too high for my comfort

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Royal Enfield Cafe Racer jacket

TBHPian deepfreak15 has already done a great job of covering the jacket in his post.

I was really torn between the two jackets. At below Rs 20K for two leather jackets, a part of me wanted to keep both! Needless to say, deepfreak15 enthusiastically approved of such a thought process (second get out of jail card)!!! But the exposed lower part of the spine, on this Cafe Racer jacket, was a deal breaker for me.

Long Story Short

- if I was looking for a stylish leather jacket for non riding use, the Cafe Racer jacket was the clear winner.
- if I was looking for a stylish leather jacket for riding use but without a back armour, the Cafe Racer jacket was the clear winner.

Unfortunately, I was looking for a stylish leather jacket for riding use, with a back armour. That meant that I had to sadly return the Cafe Racer jacket.

I still have my eyes on it, as a regular jacket for travelling or something. Maybe I will pull the trigger at the next Royal Enfield sale.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 18:45.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:18   #4
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Default A closer look - Royal Enfield Cafe Racer jacket

Here is a pictorial walk through of the jacket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010557-large.jpg
Front view. Quite elegant.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010558-large.jpg
A closer look at the collar. A 15% discount on this MRP is exceedingly attractive pricing!

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010559-large.jpg
Nice side pocket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010560-large.jpg
Back view.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010562-large.jpg
Logo is subdued.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010567-large.jpg
A closer look at the pattern on the shoulder area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010563-large.jpg
A closer look at the elbow area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010565-large.jpg
A closer look at the wrist zip.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010561-large.jpg
A closer look at the side straps. From the back.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010585-large.jpg
Inside of the jacket. No ventilation. One pocket on each side.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010586-large.jpg
A closer look at the inner pocket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010588-large.jpg
High quality, inside and outside.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010590-large.jpg
Made in India.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010592-large.jpg
Slot for shoulder inserts

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010599-large.jpg
The A* armour is too big for the back protector slot.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010601-large.jpg
Replacement buttons are helpfully provided.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010602-large.jpg
The small back protector slot. Notice the non ventilated inner lining.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010603-large.jpg
This is with the L2 armour from the Rynox jacket. You have the apply the velcro to fit the armour snugly.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010605-large.jpg
You can see the armour inserted into the back. Notice the yawning gap between the base of the armour and the bottom of the jacket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010606-large.jpg
Here is the other Spirit jacket with the back protector in it, for comparison. Gap between the bottom of the armour and the bottom of the jacket is much less here.


Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 16:05.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:23   #5
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Default Initial Impressions - Royal Enfield Spirit jacket

Thoughts after 10 minutes
+ Felt like it was a more comfortable fit than the Cafe Racer jacket
+ Perforated armpit area makes the jacket usable in hot and humid conditions
+ The back armour is very well placed and is reassuring
+ Ventilated inner lining

- Styling may not appeal to young riders

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Royal Enfield Spirit jacket


Overall, despite preferring the looks of the Cafe Racer jacket, the Spirit jacket was a clear winner. Not only did it accommodate the bigger back protector, but it also offered perforation at the armpits and a perforated inner. It is the far more practical choice for hot and humid conditions. The Cafe Racer jacket is the better choice for cooler environs and winters.

Real world experiences

I waited to do a 50 kilometer ride before posting about the jacket on the forum. In a word, the jacket is amazing!

- The sense of protection that you perceive from wearing a leather jacket (and by extension a leather suit) in unbeatable.

- The perforated sections do a great job. I didnt start sweating at all on the ride which was in a mix of the city, open roads and highways. All this on a sunny afternoon.

- It looks very subtle and works very well for someone who doesnt want to scream for attention.

- The jacket doesnt feel heavy or cumbersome.

- There is one major flip side to wearing a leather jacket. The moment the rain clouds come out, you have to rush home or jump into a nearby store! So its not an all season, all weather, all conditions jacket. But Im fine with that, I will pick my battles and pick my jackets accordingly.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 16:06.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:49   #6
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Default A closer look - Royal Enfield Spirit jacket

Here is a pictorial walk through of the jacket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010568-large.jpg
Front view. Notice the perforated leather at the armpit area. And the quilted shoulder area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010569-large.jpg
A closer look at the pattern on the shoulder area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010571-large.jpg
A closer look at the collar and the chest zip.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010572-large.jpg
Nice side pocket.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010574-large.jpg
A closer look at the wrist zip.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010575-large.jpg
A closer look at the perforated leather at the armpit area, from the front.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010576-large.jpg
Back view.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010583-large.jpg
Logo is subdued but has stitching around it. The Cafe Racer jacket doesnt get the stiching around the letters.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010584-large.jpg
A closer look at the pattern on the shoulder area. This time from the back.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010580-large.jpg
A closer look at the perforated leather at the armpit area. This time from the back.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010579-large.jpg
A closer look at the elbow area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010581-large.jpg
A closer look at the side straps.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010593-large.jpg
Ventilated inners are a blessing!

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010595-large.jpg
No inside pocket on the right side.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010596-large.jpg
Only one inside pocket on the left side.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010594-large.jpg
Huge back protector area.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-p9010600-large.jpg
With the A* armour inserted in it.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 16:08.
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Old 19th September 2021, 15:41   #7
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Default Final Thoughts

Who should or should not, look at a leather jacket?

Mesh jackets serve a particular purpose. As do touring jackets. But for out and out protection, nothing can come close to a leather jacket.

If you just want a leather jacket and have no interest in riding, go pick one up! They look and feel uber cool.

For those who indulge in Sunday morning leisure rides when the weather is good, a leather jacket can be perfect.

If you are OK with not having an all weather jacket, then a leather jacket is a great choice as a second, or third, jacket. You trade versatility for a ton of additional protection.

I still wont recommend a leather jacket as your only jacket, if you ride in a variety of conditions.


A leather jacket, yes. But a Royal Enfield leather jacket?

Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of the Royal Enfield leather jackets.

In terms of touring jackets, Royal Enfield has a sure fire winner in the excellent Nirvik jacket. Just the other day, a friend of a fellow TBHPian, was looking to buy a touring jacket and I strongly recommended the Nirvik. He tried it at the local Royal Enfield showroom and bought it immediately. He was very happy with his purchase.

Similarly, I think Royal Enfield has another winner on its hands, with its range of leather jackets. For the price, these jackets are extremely high quality gear, and if you can justify having one in your wardrobe, you certainly wont regret it!

Last edited by neil.jericho : 19th September 2021 at 18:52.
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:54   #8
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage later this week . While we do have a riding gear thread, your posts are too detailed & awesome to be buried there. Let's keep this thread independent (and the same for any other super detailed posts on riding gear).

I'm a big fan of Royal Enfield's merchandise. Have bought a few things myself, including cargo pants that are 4 years old and still look great. Among all the OEMs, Royal Enfield is doing the best job with their merchandising & attire. Even their stores are so well-designed, it's a pleasure to just spend time in there checking out all the new stuff.

Sharing a related picture. That's me on Saturday night in a sexy Tata Motors "dark edition" leather jacket:
Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-20210920-08.49.33.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th September 2021 at 08:55.
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Old 20th September 2021, 10:15   #9
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Boss!! Neil!! Leather jacket!! That too in KL???

Anyway, your personal choice; I would like to hear your review during Apr, May & July 2022 (but before Onam) preferably on an all day ride please.

Last edited by aargee : 20th September 2021 at 10:17.
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Old 20th September 2021, 10:56   #10
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Mods: Please ensure a tax is collected from Neil everytime he posts about buying new stuff. That money should be distributed amongst unfortunate souls like myself, who had no idea until this moment that they really, really need to buy a leather jacket.
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Old 20th September 2021, 12:00   #11
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Nice one Neil, I still remember how you almost made me buy this jacket

Leathers though is a tough one in our country, it does have an added amount of security without a doubt, but extremely tough to carry it on the road, even for morning rides. The peeps in North they can still use it for around 4-5 months a year, but for us down south, it is a tough sell. I gave it a serious thought, but decided against it for now, I am happy with Level 2 protectors on my Mesh jacket. As a matter of fact as you are already aware I am eyeing a jacket which will make riding even more better and safer without the additional heft.

That said if you are looking for a leather jacket, this is Insane VFM, and specially even more so as it comes with a seal of approval from Deepak and Neil. My riding buddies up north should definitely get one till stocks last, and the time to wear them is almost here for you, so you can put it to it's paces for next 4-5 months.

Neil, will await your long term review on this jacket to see how it fares in the hot days and longer riding hours, and also how do you plan to protect the leather in case it starts raining on the ride, though ultimately for the money you got it for, the latter is actually a moot point.
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Old 20th September 2021, 13:25   #12
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Dang you, should have kept both jackets! By virtue of REs incompetent product description team I had no idea they had a vented version and I feel like an idiot now. I might end up with both jackets and would have felt better if I had company (cue- "With friends like this..."). Ill wait to see if they bring their Belstaff collection to our shores first. And you have to first buy a standalone armor system, I find your process of trying to match outer shells to currently owned inserts very restrictive- set yourself free buddy (You can put this one on me in case your home minister catches you browsing for standalone armor)
For someone looking at these jackets, do yourself a favour and pick the vented version. That said the quality of the jackets are really first class and I would gladly suffer a bit of discomfort (Im vain that way).

Last edited by deepfreak15 : 20th September 2021 at 13:37.
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Old 20th September 2021, 15:30   #13
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Leather Jackets are just a great attire that can hardly ever go wrong

Finding a good quality one is difficult but worth the money when you get one.

Great thread man, keep it up

Just read a bit on the care it may need to maintain the look for years to come. Moisture isn't a good friend of these and they may loose the shine soon in that case. But I guess you know that already and will do the needful.
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Old 20th September 2021, 17:39   #14
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Royal Enfield now offers custom riding jackets

In January this year, Royal Enfield had launched an online personalization tool for apparels, called 'Make It Yours'. Initially, the company offered custom T-shirts and helmets. Now, the service has been extended to riding jackets as well.

Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures-miy_riding-jackets_image-1.jpg

Enthusiasts can now buy riding jackets as per their requirements. They can choose from a catalogue of different components and customize their jackets. These include colours, liners and Knox or D30 armour for the chest, shoulders and back. Customers can also add winter and rain liners to their jackets.

A basic rain jacket costs Rs. 1,750, while a thermal liner is offered at Rs. 2,500. The Streetwind range starts at Rs. 4,500 and depending on the material, a proper touring jacket can cost between Rs. 11,900 and Rs. 14,950.



Link to Team-BHP News

Last edited by TusharK : 20th September 2021 at 17:41.
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Old 22nd September 2021, 00:46   #15
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Default Re: Buying a Royal Enfield Leather Jacket | Review & Pictures

Love leather jackets. When in 1st year in college, my mother gave me a "Terminator Judgement Day" leather jacket, 25 years later, still using it. Got a question, why don't I see bikers use those? Agree, not functional as these Royal Enfield jackets, but I find the riding jackets I am talking about are extremely classy. The shopkeeper told me the leather used is extremely thick on those "Terminator" riding jackets, reason being if one slides during a crash, it protects the torso from cuts and abrasive wounds.

Last edited by sbanerjee : 22nd September 2021 at 01:00.
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