We all want to look good when we ride. Yep, even those Goldwingers in their orange vests want to look good. And while we all have different ideas of what looks good, those of us with half a brain in our head know the real key is protection. How safe will our hide be if that girl putting on her makeup two lanes over on the 5 Freeway swerves and throws us to the ground? Trust me, I’ve been there. Thus, combining these two areas was the goal for Shift Racing when they designed the Streetfighter Jacket.
I was thrown off a Sportbike on a major Los Angeles freeway going close to 90mph when a driver changed lanes without looking. While, admittedly, I was speeding, they didn’t so much as look where they were going. The next thing I knew I was sliding on my back watching Minivans come within feet of my head. It happens all over the world every minute of the day. I’ve crashed racebikes at twice that speed and said street accident still wakes me up at night in a cold sweat.
But, I was wearing a good-quality gear. And despite sporting jeans, I walked away with a few small gravel rashes and a bit of a concussion – that’s it. As for the bike, well it didn’t do so well (think 100 mph fireball). But what really matters is the rider. For this very reason, when riding, I always wear gear with ample protection, even though I like to be as stylish as the next guy.
Putting the Streetfighter jacket through a grueling 350 miles on BMW’s latest K1300S. Both passed with flying colors.
Nice thing is, these days more and more gear manufacturers are making stylish, well-made jackets, boots, gloves and so on to keep us fashion-minded riders safe. Enter Shift Racing. Known for their crazy-looking motocross gear (remember Jeff “Fro” Emig back in the ‘90s?), they are taking on the street market full-bore. We recently picked up their Streetfighter jacket (in my always-favorite color of white, of course) and put it to the test.
A hybrid of textile and leather, Shift’s new rag for your back gives you the move-ability of textile with the protection of leather, ideally combining them for the best of both worlds. While thankfully we didn’t test the crash-ability, the jacket fits like a glove and is very unrestrictive, which is something hard to find in a completely leather jacket. Abrasion zones, as well as panels front and back are made from 1.2mm-1.4mm premium-grade leather, while the rest is a textile blend. Removable CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor further up the safety factor, while accordion panels in key flex areas allow for unrestricted movement. The liner is removable for washing, behind which sits an integrated back-protector pocket.
Stylish looks and protection is what Shift offers with this jacket. Now, how are we going to get those spikes off the shoulders?…
We found the fit and finish to be top level, as was the comfort while riding. During our month of repeated use durability has been good as well, with no visible signs of wear showing yet. Ventilation is adequate and the air can flow through if so desired, though this time of year we’ve been more concerned about staying warm than keeping cool, which the insolated liner has done well at. It’s not too heavy for the amount of protection provided and the styling we dig – for the most part. Not too into the little white spikes on the shoulders, but I guess that’s just not my thing? Available colors are Black, Red and White, with a retail price of $299.95.
By virtue of its comfort, protection and price, we give the Shift Streetfighter jacket the MotoUSA Seal of Approval. If it’s style you want while still keeping your skin, make sure to check out: Motorcycle Superstore.
Buy it Now: Shift Racing Streetfighter Hybrid Jacket