The Spidi Bolide jacket is the latest addition to the Italian manufacturer’s prolific sport riding line up, ready to tackle the canyons and beyond. For those looking for one of the most aggressively styled and uncompromising jackets on the market, the Bolide jacket could be for you.
Constructed out of hearty 1.1mm to 1.2mm cowhide, the Spidi Bolide has a tailored, European cut to match its competition-inspired styling. The leather is soft and compliant, which undoubtedly reduces the chances of uncomfortable binding while contorting your body and ripping along on your Sunday ride. With robust leather, you can rest assured that you’ll have superior abrasion protection on hand.
In many ways, the Spidi Bolide is a no-frills affair, making it clear that this jacket is aimed at those looking to tackle the fast stuff, with nothing extra to slow you down. Although warming liners can be installed, the jacket comes with nothing of the sort.
Pre-curved arms allow the Bolide to feel at its best when your head is down in the canyons, and mobility isn’t an issue, despite the lack of tell-tale accordion paneling in the shoulders.
Instead, Spidi has opted to extend the ample neoprene inner-arm area, extending across the collar bone, armpit, and rear shoulder, maximizing movement while also providing a decent amount of airflow.
Pure leather jackets are not the best when it comes to staying cool in the warmer months, and our keen-eyed readers may notice the total lack of vents throughout the Bolide. While that may be a deterrent for some buyers living in hotter climates, the Bolide performs well in balmy Southern California weather as the neoprene paneling allows fresh air to pass through the jacket. Of course, if that isn’t enough for you, Spidi offers a perforated version.
Everything is buttoned up by fine-toothed zippers, and Velcro flaps at the wrist. I’ve been using the Spidi Bolide with short, street gloves, which still works even though the wrist fitment is snug. In truth, the Bolide works best with gauntlet gloves that extend over the sleeve.
When it comes to protection, Spidi loads the deck with several CE-rated armor pieces. Should things go south, owners will be able to rely on removable internal armor in the elbows and shoulders that will inevitably displace energy from an impact.
Externally, designers have chosen to supplement impact protection with Spidi’s proprietary Warrior and Force-Tech armor that absorb impacts and encourages sliding. The elbow sliders have been lifted right off Spidi’s one-piece race suits, and while dragging elbow on the street is a bit presumptuous, they do offer additional protection.
My single complaint with the Bolide in terms of impact protection is the lack of a back protector, although a slot is available to install one. Spidi offers Warrior back protectors in your choice of CE Level 2 protection ($130), as well as CE-rated Warrior chest protection ($70), as an optional add-on. If you have a spare protector from another jacket, you might be able to sneak it into place.
Unzipping the Bolide reveals a non-removable mesh liner that isn’t harsh on the skin. Storage, while on the lighter side, should be more than enough for most riders in this demographic. There is a lone mesh pocket secured by Velcro internally, while there are two large waist pockets that can hold a phone or wallet.
If you find the fitment off a bit and need to snug things up, the hip adjusters can cinch the waist tight by roughly half a size.
There are a couple of other features that make this a bit of a do-it-all sport jacket. For those of you who, like me, prefer to wear denim motorcycle pants on the street, there is a loop to connect to the two and make sure your jacket stays in place and doesn’t ride up.
If you’re the type to forgo the niceties of denim and want to run the Bolide as a two-piece leather suit, it can easily be paired to leather pants with a zipper. That should allow you to head out for your first couple of track days before bumping up to a one-piece racing suit.
A one-piece suit isn’t always the most practical option for many riders, especially those that need to get the most out of the gear they purchase. At $600—figure in an additional $130 for a back protector—and the Bolide is about half the price of entry-level suits.
Luckily, the Bolide’s versatility allows owners to get ample protection on the street and at the occasional track day, should that organization allow two-piece kits. When hitting the canyons and freeways, you’ll have plenty of protection, and you might even look good while doing it.
Location photography by Don Williams and Kevin Wing
Spidi Bolide Leather Motorcycle Jacket Fast Facts
- Sizes: 46-58
- Colors: Black/White; Black/Red; Black/Fluo Yellow; Black
- Optional Spidi Back Warrior Evo Inside price: $130 MSRP
- Optional Spidi Warrior Chest protector: $70 MSRP
- Spidi Bolide Price: $600 MSRP
Spidi Bolide – Photo Gallery