Triumph Sympatex Speed Jacket Review

MotorcycleUSA Staff | April 16, 2008
The Triumph Sympatex Speed Jacket fits right in with the Speed Triple image. The textile design is also quite comfortable and practical.
The Triumph Sympatex Speed Jacket fits right in with the Speed Triple image. The textile design is also quite comfortable and practical.

Want to look as sharp and mean as your new Speed Triple? Triumph has what you need with the its all-weather textile Sympatex Speed Jacket.

We got an opportunity to sample the Sympatex Speed Jacket during a day-long ride in Southeastern Tennessee aboard the www.triumph.co.uk Urban Sport lineup, including the iconic Speed Triple.

Fashion tastes are subjective, but we liked the looks of the Sympatex Speed Jacket right from the start. A perfect complement to the S3, the Sympatex is a little edgy, or is it hooligan… We’re not sure what it’s got, but we’ve worn a lot of jackets and the Sympatex is definitely one of the best looking.

A textile design, the Sympatex is lightweight and fit us perfectly. The convenient side zippers with Velcro adjusters at the waist help customize a fit for gentlemen whose shoulders are broad, but their 30-something waistlines are now even broader.

CE95 armor is located in shoulder and elbow inserts and is removable for jacket washings. The dual density back protector is also removable. As we often say in these gear reviews, sorry, but we are glad to report that we did not test the ultimate protective claims of the jacket but feel confident that the Sympatex would deliver in dire circumstances.

Rainy conditions were a bit of a drag for our street ride in Tennessee, but it was a fortuitous opportunity to test the Sympatex Speed’s all-weather claims. At first I assumed the lightweight cordura and denim exterior was not waterproof, but Triumph’s Clothing Manager, Matt Weinert, assured me otherwise, promising the Sympatex is waterproof, breathable and windproof.

He was right on all accounts. Ditching my raingear upper, I rode with the vents down on the Sympatex through a pretty steady downpour and my cotton undershirt remained totally dry. I stayed warm too, once I zippered up the dual vest, arm and back vents. We’d like a chance to try out the venting on a hot summer day, but, alas, our springtime weather here in Oregon has been even colder and wetter than our Tennessee experience.

Fit and finish on the Sympatex is good, with nice stitching and zippers. I liked the way the front fastened up, with a zipper, snaps and Velcro. The collar was also soft and comfortable, making the Sympatex an easy jacket to wear for long-haul rides, as well as around town to show off the new threads.

At $320 the asking price seems a bit steep for a textile jacket, but after dropping 10 Grand for that Black Matte Speed Triple, what’s another three Benjamins for the matching jacket. Oh, and did we mention it looks good!

Chevron 2-Piece Rain Gear

We also got an opportunity to sample the Chevron rain gear ($79.99 Jacket and $59.99 pants) during our Triumph Tennessee intro. Both the jacket and pant are extremely easy to jump in and out of and provide ample protection from the wind and rain. With our waterproof Sympatex jacket, we didn’t need the Chevron jacket for long, but it was comfortable and did its job well. The pants were the real workhorse for us and kept us dry during a full day of sprinkles and occasional pours. Both articles, in spite of being primarily black, were highly visible with 3M reflective material and make a good addition to those side cases for Sprint ST and Tiger owners.

We ve worn the Joe Rocket Steel Pants for almost a year now and the lightweight  convenient design keeps finding its way into our gearbag.
We’ve worn the Joe Rocket Steel Pants for almost a year now and the lightweight, convenient design keeps finding its way into our gearbag.

Triumph Clothing Lineup

Triumph has plenty of other gear options available, including more textile all-weather options aside from the Sympatex Speed, as well as leather gear and even specialty riding undergarments. Rolling out with an entire clothing lineup makes a lot of sense, and Triumph has the whole clothing accessory shebang with casual wear too, including the ultra-popular Steve MeQueen retro T-shirts.

We’re guessing Triumph dealers appreciate the extra revenue from the accessory clothing line and it can’t hurt to have customers riding for the brand, whether they own a Triumph or not. After all, you don’t need to be a Trumpet owner to want a McQueen T-shirt, and no doubt Triumph will sell oodles of them.

For more info on the Triumph accessory check your local dealer or www.triumph.co.uk

If you like the looks of the Sympatex Speed Jacket, make sure to check out our First Ride impressions of the 2008 Triumph Speed Triple.

MotorcycleUSA Staff