Dainese style is on full display in the Veloster Lady Leather Jacket, combining sharp asymmetrical design details with appreciable protection. Built for street riding, the jacket combines safety elements with on-bike comfort, all while making you look like a motorbike rock star.Leather is still the go-to choice if you’re riding fast, and the Dainese Veloster Lady starts with a satisfyingly substantial cowhide. When I slip the jacket on and zip up the slightly stiff zipper, I welcome the weight of the jacket. It gives me an immediate sense of security.[Visit our Motorcycle Apparel Page]With Dainese keeping in mind the natural riding position, the leather chassis has been interspersed with stretch panels in key locations. Elasticized panels run along the inside of each arm. They then merge with stretch panels coming up from under the armpits to the collar.Accordion-style bi-elastic inserts on the shoulder blades complete the picture, allowing me to reach the handlebars without any binding or resistance. Similarly, the low profile, soft Mandarin collar never chafes when twisting my neck to look over my shoulder.The Veloster jacket’s heavy leather will protect against abrasion, but a serious jacket also needs impact protection. Special attention is paid to the shoulders, with a multi-layer protector that has been permanently affixed inside the jacket. High-density memory foam is molded around the shoulder joints, and then overlaid with rigid plastic shells. The combined components are CE-certified to absorb and disperse energy during an impact.The advantage over removable protectors is that these co-injected shoulder components do not shift or move around. My joints are encompassed and more reliably protected should I come into contact with the ground. Black, sporty-looking aluminum sliders are riveted to the outside of the shoulders, providing additional protection from abrasion.The Veloster’s elbows are similarly fortified with non-removable CE-certified protectors that extend down your forearms. Disappointingly, the pocket for back protection arrives without CE-rated protection. Fortunately, Dainese offers two CE Level-2 back protectors—the Wave D1 G and Manis D1 G. Buy one.Inside, the Dainese Veloster Lady jacket has a fully perforated nylon liner, though venting on the Veloster is minimal. There are two short zippers on the sides of the lower back that flow a bit of air.I’ve taken advantage of the zippers on the lower sleeves, opening them up while keeping the wrists snapped closed, to send some air up my arms. This helps, but I definitely found the jacket warm in the left-over summer temps we had in late October in SoCal.Targeted for the other three seasons of the year, the Veloster comes with a long-sleeved thermal liner. Instead of one long zipper, the liner installs easily with two separate zippers on each side of the jacket, and one loop and snap attachment at the upper back.The sleeves are kept secured by way of loop-and-snap, and simple snap, attachments. I found these fiddly and relatively time consuming, as I’m fishing around blindly inside narrow, stiff sleeves, trying to find the matching pieces. Even so, the whole installation takes less than four minutes—first world problems!Fit personalization is minimal on the Veloster, with just a two-position snap adjustment waist tab on each side. There is also a full waist zipper for connecting the Veloster to compatible riding pants.The only nod to night visibility is a perfunctory 3.5-inch reflective insert above the cool double-stitched Dainese logo on the back of the black jacket. Dainese likely doesn’t expect urban or commuting riders to gravitate to the Veloster.As this is a pure-sport jacket, pockets on the Dainese Veloster Lady are kept to a minimum. There are zippered hand pockets on the outside with large enough pulls to grab with gloved hands. Inside, you’ll find one roomy zippered pocket in the nylon liner where your wallet and smartphone will have to cohabitate.Happily, you don’t lose that interior storage when the thermal liner is installed, as the square pocket is replicated, though it has a less-secure Velcro closure instead of a zipper. I do miss the standard vertical pocket right inside the front zipper where I usually stash my Wojo wallet.This is not a supple riding jacket that you hang about in when you’re not riding. However, the almost six-pound jacket (size 44, curb ready with thermal liner and a Fly Racing CE back protector installed) is purposeful and worth its weight in safety.Manufactured in Romania and designed in Italy—with full style points for the asymmetrical design and sharp color accents—the Dainese Veloster Lady Leather Jacket has the technical features to keep you covered on the street.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.