by Gus Breiland
The end of July and into August brings the dog days of summer to Minnesota. Heat and humidity cause me great internal struggle between the squid who wants to wear a t-shirt and flip flops and the old wise sage that says sweat cleans up better than blood.
Fortunately the threatened shaming from my riding partners and the egg that would be on my face if I didn’t wear gear keeps me safe rather than cool (hip, bad, dyn-o-mite!). I have gear that I wear every day, every night…heck I even camp in it rather than haul around a sleeping bag but at 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity, it is stifling.
Last year I decided to do something about the heat. I borrowed a perforated Vanson jacket from a friend and rode around the block. What an amazing difference! It was like wearing a t-shirt with out the risk of skin grafts and road rash. I immediately headed over to Manley Cycle to get my order in. Now Manley has a wide range of Vanson leathers, but I needed an extra cow to be put down for my size. Manley Cycle helped me find the right size and model and put my order in right away.
I went with the Vanson Mark 2 Cobra. It is a high grade leather jacket with perforation on the chest, but not on the arms or back. The mesh liner allows air to flow around the body and through the back vents. There is a vent on each arm that can be opened to get more air up the sleeves than just the open cuffs. With all of the vents open, this jacket is as cool as it can be on a 95 degree day. It is down right cold on a 75 degree day.
With the ability to close off the arm and back vents and an internal flap that covers the majority of the chest perforations, I can limit the air intake of the jacket making it comfortable in a variety of temperatures. I also like the idea of solid material on the back and arms which tend to be the natural sliding positions of any crash that I or my friends have been involved in.
You can add armor to the back and elbows of the jacket by purchasing additional padding. When you are being fitted, make sure you allow room for the padding if you decide you want armor. The jacket retails for $589 while the elbow pads are an additional $55 for the pair and the back pad is another $79.
So far the gear that I have purchased and use is for universal weather conditions. In this case I have a single condition jacket. If it is hot and the sky will be clear, the Mark 2 Cobra will be put to work. Plus now I look like a real biker on my bad motorscooter. Well, as much a guy with a fish sticker on his lid can look like a real biker.
Go over and talk with the fine folks at Manley Cycle. You will find them at www.manleycycle.com or at 2845 Harriet Ave S in Minneapolis Minnesota. Give them a call at 612 822 7377 or just stop on by. Vanson Leathers can be found online at www.vansonleathers.com