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RST Retro Classic TT | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

RST became the official safety partner of the Isle of Man TT in 2015, and what a great move it was from the brand’s colourful ambassador Johnny Towers. This partnership paved the way for a limited run of products bearing the insignia of this legendary road racing event that has captivated motorcycle enthusiasts for the past 110 years.

Towers, who created RST back in 1988, not only models in his own catalogue but also happens to be a formidable UK motorcycle racer and cyclist in his own right. He started the brand with a vision of producing high quality riding apparel at an affordable price, and it’s clear from the quality of this product that JT wasn’t taking any chances with his signature IOM range. The smooth and supple full grain aniline cowhide is set off with a classy, understated Isle of Man TT insignia that is laser-etched on the right-hand side of the chest in a flat gold colour. There’s a quilted diamond stitched pattern on some sections which distinguishes it from the rest of the pack, and the brushed cotton flannelette liner not only suits this style of jacket perfectly, it also helps you effortlessly slip the jacket on and off. The triple stitching with heavy duty nylon bonded thread on seams indicates that this product will stand the test of time.

We liked

The CE Approved ‘Contour Plus Armour in the shoulders, elbows and forearms is removable and this is definitely a jacket you can wear out without any fear of committing a fashion faux pas. Being leather it will stop wind but it’s probably more suited to mild weather riding owing to the open cut collar. The half-zipped sleeve, and combination of internal and external pockets offer plenty of storage capacity for cards and a phone, and with the armour and 1.2-1.3 thick leather it also offers adequate safety for road riding. There’s also a 360º zip too, so you can attach them to your RST jeans for added peace of mind when you’re out scratching.

We didn’t like

The zips on the front pockets are a little finicky and I found them difficult to operate with riding gloves. In saying that, longer tabs or a bit of cord could be attached to make this task easier but it might detract from that clean and classic vintage look. If you plan on leaving the armour in (as we recommend) it may be wise to go up a size as the extra bulk can restrict mobility.

Verdict

This is the kind of jacket that just feels right straight off the rack. You won’t have to wait months or even years for it to mould to your build – it is so soft that you instantly feel at one with it. As a summer road jacket, it has quickly become my firm favourite.

PROS

Soft leather Minimalist cut Street cred

CONS

Little zip tabs

Colour: Brown, Sizes: 48-62 (XS-XXL)

RRP $429.95

Monza Imports (03) 8327 8888 monzaimports.com.au

PAUL MCCANN