Do you long for the days when men were men, motorcycles were fire-breathing (sometimes literally) and unpredictable , and MotoGP bikes had less electronic whizz-bangs than the Space Shuttle?……Then this might be the jacket for you!
Komodo is a small company that has little interest in being the biggest name in motorcycle gear. That’s right they are just fine being a smaller company. Their goal is to build some of the best, highest quality motorcycle gear and sell it at a price point that their bigger competition can’t match.
The Komodo Vintage Leather Jacket was one of their first designs and it came from feedback that they were getting from riders that wanted an old school type of motorcycle jacket but with modern protection. No funky designs, no 50 gazillion pockets and zippers everywhere; just a good old fashioned motorcycle jacket. Komodo, being a smaller company, listened to what riders were asking for and made a jacket just for them; try getting a big gear company to do that!
The Vintage Leather Jacket is made with 1.2-1.4mm premium drum dyed cowhide so you know it is going to give good protection when and if needed. Better quality leather isn’t all that’s needed to make a jacket give good protection though, you also need CE approved armor which the Vintage has in both the shoulders and forearms. Double stitching in critical impact areas also helps the Vintage’s crash-worthiness. As you can see the jacket may have a Vintage style but it is fully modern when it comes to safety.
Of course all those safety items won’t mean smack if the jacket isn’t good looking or doesn’t fit correctly, right?
As you can see from the pictures the jacket is designed with what they call an “athletic reflex cut” which simply means that when you are in the riding position (OK stop with the “assume the position” jokes) the jacket doesn’t feel like it is cutting off circulation to your arms. The torso of the Vintage is kind of square cut and in keeping with the “simple is better” mission of the jacket there is no waist adjustment.
The sleeves have a panel of Schoelller Keprotec on them for breathability and anti-abrasion. At the bottom of the sleeve is a zipper and an old fashioned snap to help seal the cuff. This is a jacket that the longer you wear it the more comfortable it is going to get; much like leather jackets of old. One of the areas that will get more comfortable as it breaks in is the cuffs. Right out of the box they are a little stiff which is due in part to their design; a piece of leather is “rolled” around the edge of the sleeve to make the cuff. While this looks completely old-school it does leave them feeling stiff. My suggestion would be to sit and work the cuffs as you watch TV for a few nights and they should be soft and supple from then on.
The front panel of the jacket is ventilated and there are 2 vents at the shoulder and two vents on the lower back. The vents on the lower back are so well designed that I didn’t see them until a few minutes ago! One quirk of this jacket is the liner vest for colder weather riding; it doesn’t zip in. It also doesn’t snap in, velcro in, superglue in, or attach in any other way. The nice thing is that you have an accessory quilted vest that zips together and can be used even off the bike under or over any other clothes. There really is no drawback to not having the liner attach to the jacket, it is more of an oddity than an issue.
CE rated armor is located in both the elbows and shoulders and Komodo also puts a back pad in as well. Now this is not a back “protector” but it is better than nothing, which is what other manufacturers give you.
As far as sizing goes the Vintage is an aberration. I have always had to buy jackets in size large because mediums never fit me in the sleeves. I apparently have the torso that fits a medium jacket but my arms are too long for size medium sleeves. I don’t think I have monkey arms so I’ve never been able to figure out why this is. Komodo originally sent me the Vintage jacket in a large and when I put it on the sleeves were down past my knuckles and I looked like I was swimming in it. OK then, medium it is. The sleeves on the medium are still a little long by about a half-inch but this only bothers me when I’m off the bike and wearing the jacket.
Two parts of the jacket that may get overlooked by some are the leather flap that sits behind the main zipper and the welting that sits on either side of the zipper. On any leather jacket the zipper is really the weakest part; not only in the event of it pulling apart but in the just as likely event of wearing through from sliding along the ground. Komodo has done what most manufacturers do to help avoid the zipper pulling apart by using quality YKK Nickel zippers but it is their method of avoiding the wearing through that really sets this jacket apart. As you can see in the photo, the welts to either side of the zipper are large enough to completely cover the zipper with two layers of leather. To supplement that and in case there is a wear through incident, Komodo left a panel of leather behind the zipper that is wide enough to go from one side of the front panel to the other. Basically if you are sliding on your stomach long enough to wear through the welting AND the zipper itself, you still will have one more layer of leather to wear through. If you wear through that layer as well then you are on your own; heck you wanted to lose that beer gut anyway right?
The Vintage Leather Jacket from Komodo isn’t for everyone and Komodo knows it. This is why, I’m sad to say, the jacket is going to be discontinued once all current stock is sold out. Apparently sales have been slowing down on this model once the initial flurry of people wanting one was over so the decision was made to drop the Vintage.
So if you are looking for a high quality jacket that offers great protection without all the bells and whistles you should head over to Komodogear.com and order yours. The Vintage Leather Jacket is available (quantities are limited) in Yellow, White/Red/Black, White/Blue/Black, Blue, Orange, Red, and Silver for $249.95.
Ask questions, make comments, or read what others have written at our Komodo Vintage Leather Jacket Forum.