Alpinestars Atem Motorcycle Jacket Test
Drawing on Alpinestars extensive experience in Grand Prix motorcycle competition, the new Atem jacket brings to the street much of the same protection options available to professional racers. With the exception of air bag technology, the Atem lacks nothing in upper body protection.
Before delving into that, it is always worth noting that this is an incredibly comfortable jacket. The fit can be customized via adjustable Velcro straps at the waist, and the neoprene collar feels great. We can assure you that the 1.3mm-thick leather used as a shell is flexible, and at the same time we expect it will hold road rash at bay in a high-speed get-off (fortunately, we did not test this first-hand).
As pleasing as the Atem is to wear and operate – the large pulls on the outer pocket zippers are easily pulled with racing gloves still on – Alpinestars has put an effort into focusing customer interest on the safety aspect and strongly supports CE certification as a protection standard.
In the case of the Atem, the jacket meets CE’s Level 1 standard, which is basic for street riding. Although much of the jacket is up to a racer-friendly Level 2, Alpinestars choose to add flexibility to the jacket to make it more comfortable, rather than the ultimate in protection.
For example, the stretch material in the inside upper arm prevents Level 2 certification, but makes the jacket easier to wear when riding. As this is not a primary location for injury, Alpinestars decided to choose comfort over protection.
We agree with this choice for two reasons. First, you’re more likely to wear a jacket that feels good, and, second, if you are mobile on the bike, an accident is less likely to happen.
The Atem has inconspicuous, but effective, chest padding. This is an area that Alpinestars points out is particularly susceptible to injury and often not properly protected.
As an option, the padding can be replaced with the Alpinestars Bionic chest pads for race-level protection. The rear aerodynamic racing hump also provides protection and can be complemented by Alpinestars’ CE-certified Bionic back protector.
When you go out for a ride, you want to come back with all parts of your body unscathed. With the Alpinestars Atem jacket, you can do that, and do it in comfort and style.
The Alpinestars Atem Jacket runs $699.95; for additional information, click here.
UPDATE TO THIS STORY FROM ALPINESTARS: There’s a lot involved to achieve CE Certification. In the case of the Atem, the jacket meets CE’s Level 1 standard, which is basic for street riding” , you did not mention that it is the full jacket that gets certification not just the armor which is normally the case. I think that it is important to tell people that jackets or suits can now qualify for full CE certification, and that the test that each must pass are designed to replicate crash situations. The tests carried out involve seam burst test, abrasion resistance, impact resistance and the test to see how far an arm can slide out of the arm of the jacket in the event of a slide.
This story is featured in the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine—available on newsstands and good bookstores everywhere. The issue is also available free to readers on Apple Newsstand (for iOS devices) and Google Play (Android). To subscribe to the print edition, please visit our Subscriber Services page.