Bikers have an undeniable affinity for black leather jackets. Every since British rockers haunted English byways in the early ‘50s sporting the thick black coats, the style has been inextricably linked to motorcyclists. But not everybody wants to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator. Enter Shift Racing’s 967 Leather Jacket.
Shift maintains its reputation for producing stylish riding apparel with the 967. The leather jacket has vintage appeal, with retro-looking racing stripes running across the chest, on the upper sleeves, and around the back. The rest of the jacket is soft leather with that worn-in look. Shift saves you the hassle of breaking the jacket in because the distressed leather is comfortable right off the rack. Even the zippers and snaps are made out of what Shift calls ‘antique’ metal to give it that well-worn, old school look.
It features a zippered front and snap closures at the collar and sleeve cuffs. It has two inside pockets, one that snaps on the left and another, more secure zippered pocket on the right. The 100% polyester liner is soft and comfortable but is not removable. It does feature a small loop for attaching to pants, but it is definitely tailored for an upright riding position as it is cropped right at your waistline and will ride up in back with any type of forward lean.
Protection is nominal, coming in the form of small shoulder inserts and padded elbows. The shoulder armor is removable if you’re looking to wear it as casual wear. It also has a zipper pocket that you can slip a back protector in. With the softness and pliability of the leather, I assumed that it would tear easily. But after a 40 mph run off into a ditch and the ensuing flip over the handlebars and roll through dirt and rocks, the jacket held up admirably. I hit hard on my right shoulder, then somersaulted and the jacket suffered a few scratch marks right below my right arm pit and down by my ribs, but didn’t tear and is no worse for wear.
What better way to ride around on the retro-styled Harley-Davidson Crossbones than with the vintage-looking Shift 967 Leather Jacket?
The one thing that the 967 doesn’t have is any zippered vents, so there’s not much circulation on hot rides. Fortunately, the combination of its brown exterior and thin leather keep it from becoming unbearable. It also means it’s good for cool evening rides but if you live in climes where it gets downright cold, you’ll need to add a layer underneath because it is definitely meant for medium to light duty.
Shift Racing’s 967 Leather Jacket runs a tad small, so if you’re borderline between two sizes, opt for the larger. My upper body is thick and broad and an XL fits me snug in the shoulders. When I extend my arms the sleeves ride up and expose about an inch of my wrist.
Over the seven months I’ve been wearing it, the white and red stripes have weathered and faded some, but this has just given the jacket even more character. Its worn-in look was part of its appeal in the first place, so the abuse I’ve subjected it to means it looks better now than when I got it. It gets high marks for its comfort, retro-styling, and out-on-the town good looks. And even though it’s not overly fortified, it passed the true test of a get-off at speed and didn’t shred. Overall construction quality is high and there’s no loose stitching even after wearing it for thousands of road miles. And though I’ve got another jacket to test, the 967 somehow keeps finding its way back into my gear bag.
Product: Shift Racing 967 Leather Jacket
Color Options: Black/Orange, Black/Red, White/Blue
Buy it Now: Shift Racing 967 Leather Jacket
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