The denim jacket has been a hallmark piece of fashion in countless subcultures over the years, and has always been intimately tied to the world of motorcycling.Looking back at iconic imagery of v-twin, café racer and urban riding styles over the years, the denim jacket has managed to sneak its way into motorcycle fashion without a misstep.
The creative minds at the Lithuanian-based Pando Moto brand wanted to couple the classic look of the denim jacket with protection for the modern urban motorcyclist – enter the Pando Moto Capo Rider jacket.The Pando Moto Capo Rider motorcycle jacket has all of the fixtures of a traditional denim jacket when it comes to looks, but there’s more to it than that. The Capo Rider is constructed out of a stout 12.5oz Cordura denim, a cotton and nylon mixed weave that not only has far more abrasion resistance than your average denim, but is also equipped with Coolmax technology to help wick sweat away.Thanks to the Corduro denim, there is no need for Kevlar liner. All of your protection is in a single-layer, meaning that you’ll be saving weight, gaining mobility and it’ll still have that stylish denim jacket look to it. It’s a great, light-weight denim jacket that could easily blend in with any social gatherings.Having worn the Capo Rider in the hot and humid Southern states, as well as the scorching Southern California sun, I was certainly glad to have that Coolmax weave, but it still is a robust denim jacket. As long as you’ve got wind in your face, you’ll be fine. But don’t sit around in the sun too long. Though due to the breathable material, it will offer more ambient cooling than your average leather jacket.Cordura denim has another favorable property for motorcyclists – elasticity. That aspect, coupled with the bi-swing stretch panels in the shoulder, improve the fit when in the riding position. The Pando Moto Capo Rider allows you to move in the saddle, without having your jacket hike up or create uncomfortable binding.The Capo Rider’s ability to stretch to the user’s form is an important quality, especially when armor gets involved. The Capo Rider is equipped with CE-rated armor in the elbows and shoulders, with a pocket for an optional back protector.Fitment of the armor is quite good and doesn’t become uncomfortable, most likely because of the flexibility build into the jacket. Even when leaning a bike into the twisties, the armor didn’t create any discomfort.Though Pando Moto does not provide a piece of armor for your back, the armor pocket is a fairly generic size, which means you can borrow a piece of armor from another jacket or purchase one with ease.Ventilation is sparse, as the Capo Rider jacket follows the aesthetic direction of the traditional Levi Strauss Denim jacket, first introduced in the late 19th century. Riders can expect to find riveted vents in the armpits, but in terms of functional venting – that’s all you’ll have at your disposal. As long as you’re riding, you’ll feel a bit of air flow, so it’s best to keep moving.Hip adjusters can deal with any fine tuning, should you want the Capo Rider jacket to feel a bit snugger around the waist.When it comes to storage, the Capo Rider has it all upfront – two main pockets on the exterior of the jacket. You can easily store your phone and other precious items in them, but that does mean that cargo is a bit limited. On the next run of Capo Rider jackets, it’d be great to see the addition of an internal pocket.The Pando Moto Capo Rider, which sells for around $260 USD, is great for those who want a stylish option that can still be an everyday riding jacket. It’s a perfect choice for cruisers, café racers, and vintage builds in terms of styling while still offering a good level of protection that should help keep riders protected
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.