Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Motorcycle Jacket Review
I’ve worn hundreds of motorcycle jackets during my tenure at Ultimate Motorcycling, and every once in a while I truly fall in love with a jacket.The Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket leather jacket has a style that speaks to me, comfort that makes me want to wear it, and a durability that has gives me no sense of when it will wear out.
Having a legitimate reason to wear a classic leather jacket is one of the fun things about riding a motorcycle. The Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket jacket has a timeless style that makes it one of my go-to jackets that rarely spends much time on its hanger.Along with the black drum-dyed cowhide, it has quilted shoulder padding and white racing stripes down the arms (on the Black/White version I tested). For me, this look is unbeatable.I can wear the Vintage Rocket jacket on any cruiser, go touring with it, or ride anything short of supersport or off-roadable motorcycle. Scratch that—I could wear it on a modern scrambler and enjoy some time in the dirt, too. Oh, and the branding is appealingly subtle—just right for an old-school style jacket.Despite the name Vintage Rocket, Joe Rocket has given the jacket modern features. There is a quilted full sleeve liner that is easily removed and installed—mostly via a zipper. The quilted liner has two large pockets that close with hook-and-loop, though they aren’t repeated on the jacket when the liner is taken out. A roomy zippered Napoleon pocket is on the inside, and accessible whether the liner is in or not—that’s where I store my iPhone 7.Outside, there are four YKK-zippered pockets, though I was never enticed to use the smallish breast pockets. Instead, I put my wallet and reading glasses in the hand pockets. The hand pockets and main closure have leather pulls attached to the standard brass pull—they look cool and make it easier to zip and unzip the pockets. I would, however, like to see the pulls on the wrist closure zippers.The leather, which runs from 1.0 to 1.2 millimeters thick, is supple right off the rack. There is no need to break this jacket in—it is comfortable enough for a cross-country ride from the word go.As sold, the Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket jacket has no armor. It’s optional for the shoulders and elbows, with the interior pockets ready to accept it. Installation takes a few minutes, but it’s a one-time thing. Spend the extra $50 to get Joe Rocket’s CE shoulder and elbow armor.As usual, there is a dual density spine pad; don’t mistake that for protection. Toss it out and replace it with legitimate CE-rated back protection. I put a Forcefield Body Armour Pro Lite K CE Level 2 soft back protector in and it didn’t detract from comfort at all—again, consider this upgrade mandatory.I typically wear a large jacket, and the Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket jacket in Large was just right for me. There’s no binding, the arms are the right length, and the snap-close collar uses a neoprene roll—I never think about it on the bike, or off. Again, this jacket has the comfort for touring, along with a great look off the bike.I suppose there is something irrational about getting smitten with any piece of motorcycle apparel. I wear so many different kinds, and most are impressively functional and stylish enough. However, the Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket jacket pulls me back to the roots of motorcycling, when you started the motor with a kick and a manual advance of the spark. I’m glad I don’t have to do that in the 21st century, yet I like looking like I can fire up a bike that way if I need to.Action photography by Kelly Callan and Brian J. Nelson
Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Jacket Fast Facts
Colors: Black/Black; Black/White
Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Jacket Price: From $330 MSRP
Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Motorcycle Jacket Review | Photo Gallery
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!