When the going gets hot, the cool get going. I’m referring to thermal temperature rather than personal image here, and in my case, it’s absolutely true.I suffered mild heatstroke some years back, and ever since then, I’ve found myself overly impacted from being too hot. So, mesh gear that gives maximum airflow without sacrificing too much protection is a necessity for me in the Southern California heat.
Dainese makes several mesh jackets. In that range, the Air Frame D1 is a good-looking and more robust jacket constructed from QuickDry fabric, with several mesh fabric inserts in the essential areas. Dainese’s garment cut is excellent, and the Air Frame D1 tailors nicely around my torso for a relatively slim fit. There are Velcro strap adjusters either side of the waistband, so there is some room for expansion if needed.The Air Frame D1 sleeves have poppers at both the shoulders, and on the forearms just below the elbows—if you have slimmer arms, you can tighten things up a little. There are no popper closures at the wrist; however, the wrist-length zippers do tighten the sleeves.I dislike too much fabric flapping at my wrists, and the Dainese jacket is so well tailored that it fitted the full length of my arms. I can wear gloves with no problem, and I didn’t miss the closures at all. The soft, smooth, stretchy fabric at the wrists feels good, and so there is zero chafing on long rides.The Velcro-attached (removable) padded plastic body armor is certified to the CE standards for the should shoulder and elbow pads. The fitment is well placed; once the jacket is on, the armor is not a hindrance.The Dainese Air Frame D1 does lack a back protector, and so you will need to buy that separately. For this jacket and application, I’d recommend the ventilated Dainese Pro-Armor G2 back protector ($90) with CE Level 2 certification. It slips nicely into the integrated pocket designed for just that, within the breathable and perforated fabric lining. The pocket zips closed, so the protector becomes an integral part of the jacket. The Air Frame D1 liner also includes a jacket-to-pants fastening zipper if you have compatible trousers.The softly padded neck feels good on my neck and doesn’t rub or chafe, even on all-day rides. It closes using one of two popper buttons depending on your neck size. For me, the fit is ideal—tight enough without strangling me.The three pockets on the Dainese Air Frame D1 jacket are traditionally placed with two exterior zippered hand pockets, plus an interior Napoleon pocket for more valuable items. As the jacket is a well-tailored slim fit, carrying anything more substantial than a cellphone and wallet can make for uncomfortable bulges digging into the ribs.The Dainese Air Frame D1 also has a removable windproof liner which is unneeded in the summer. The liner does extend the season and conditions when this jacket can be worn, so you don’t have to reserve this jacket only for the hottest weather.Available in matching his and hers colors, as well as a couple of individual variations, the Dainese Air Frame D1 jacket is a beautifully tailored and constructed garment that delivers as promised.The detail touches—especially at the wrists and neck—are very welcome on long days in the saddle. The high-quality fabrics, stitching, and zippers used by Dainese make for a robust garment, and make the jacket machine-washable with zero ill effects. When the temperatures rise, the Dainese Air Frame D1 is my go-to jacket for the majority of my street riding.Dainese Air Frame D1 Jacket Fast Facts
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!