Spidi R/T Leather Jacket Review
A premium Italian brand not to be confused with footwear experts Sidi, Spidi has been on the map of racing fans since Kenny Roberts wore Spidi gloves to a 500cc Grand Prix World Championship in 1979. Focusing on gloves for motorcyclists and bicyclists, Spidi expanded to racing suits and jackets in 1994, and has continued to widen its lineup of street apparel.
The Spidi R/T is a race-based jacket with multiple features designed for performance. However, as it is intended for street riding, the requirement is there that it is also comfortable for all-day excursions.
Putting on the Spidi R/T leather jacket, one will notice the aggressive cut. As is typical of Spidi, the fit is tight and if you aren’t familiar with the company’s sizing policies, you must try on its apparel in person and not rely on sizing nomenclature. I have a closet full of euro 52 and US 42 jackets, and this one did not leave much room for error.
In this case, of course, we are talking about a performance jacket, so you don’t want to be swimming in it. Personalization capabilities are minimal—just hook-and-loop belts on both sides of the waist. Snug in the arms and torso when I initially donned it, I was a bit dubious that a 52 was the right size. That concern was squashed as quickly as the first ride.
Just as a one-piece race suit feels awkward off the bike, and perfect when on the track, the Spidi R/T leather jacket justified its design as soon as I got going in the twisties. Bombing through the canyons, my upper body felt perfectly at home, with stretch panels in the arms and sides doing their jobs.
Any looming thoughts of discomfort in the arms or shoulders were replaced by satisfaction that I was wearing exactly the right jacket for the job. Perforated for comfort on warmer rides, the R/T does flow a decent amount of air, with some entering through the permanently open shoulder vents. Air exits efficiently through two rear vents with zipper closures, so there is a bit of tuning for different temperatures.
Further, there is a thin insulated vest that adds some warmth without taking up much room inside the jacket. The good news is that the vest is held on with light-duty buttons; you can install it in less than a minute, and remove the vest in seconds—a great design.
Manufactured in Ukraine with full-grain 1.2mm Italian leather, the Spidi R/T leather jacket will offer plenty of abrasion protection. There are EN 1621-1 Forcetech protectors in the elbows and shoulders, and like the back protector, do not hinder movement or comfort in any way. Built-in snaps are ready for chest protection, something Americans have not yet embraced (but should).
Spidi is making another effort to crack the US market, and its R/T jacket is a superb example of what we can expect from this leading Italian manufacturer. For additional information, visit Spidi.
Review from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.