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Over the last several months I've been working to upgrade the protective capabilities of my gear. I've always worn top of the line helmets but have pretty much fallen into the T-Shirts for summer/leather jacket for winter mode. I recently purchased a Vanson Vent Max III jacket for summer riding and have to admit that once on the move it's probably cooler that a T-Shirt. O.K. now that I've re-calibrated my brain after 30 years of riding I decided to look for a good pair of gloves and a new jacket. I've been using a Harley jacket purchased about 15 ago. This was before Harley decided that everything they made had to look like a rolling billboard. European type style with thick leather. Very nice but it has no armor. What I wanted was a similar conservative design, CE armor (but doesn't look like it), some sorta zip in vest or liner and lastly the leather breaks in faster than my current jacket.
After quite a bit of research I kept seeing consistently good write ups on British Motorcycle Gear's Montana jacket. I went ahead and placed an order and the jacket arrived last Friday. It's everything I had hoped it would be. The first thing you notice is the leather isn't shinny. More of a matte finish like a nice chamois cloth. The second thing is the feel of the leather feels like a chamois was well! This is 1.2 mm leather through out and it softer and more comfortable out of the box than my 15 year old current jacket. While the color is stated as black it's probably best described as cross between super dark brown and black. Kinda like dirty motor oil. It does look nice. The CE armor is removable and seems very comfortable wearing the jacket. There's 3 zippered pockets on the jacket front that have perforations just inside the opening. This is to allow a little intake air flow in warmer weather. On the back panel right about where your kidneys are is a zipper opening on each side for exhaust flow.
There's a zip in vest that looks like a synthetic fleece. Nice against the skin but thin as to not add a lot of bulk. I can't say enough about how comfortable and "right" the jacket feels when you slip it on. I ordered the optional back armor as well and even with it inserted you really can't tell it's a fully armored jacket. Heck you could wear it as a casual jacket and most folk might not notice it's a motorcycle jacket. It'll probably be another 4 months or so before the weather has me put the Montana into service. Based on my experience with leather jackets I'd say the normal operating range of the Montana is between 45 to 75 degrees. The cost of the jacket including the optional back armor and shipping was $454.55. Looks like I've got my jacket for the next 15 years. I love this thing.

Gloves. Yep, I've worn numerous versions of summer gloves over the years. None of which have provided much protection beyond leather around the palm and back of the hand. I've looked at a lot of gloves in shops but nothing had the combination of armor, comfort, ventilation, quality and style (meaning not too flashy please) to have me change my ways. Then I read a review of HELD USA's Air Stream glove. Kangaroo skin, armored, ventilated (especially between the fingers). Super comfortable and very well made. It is a gauntlet style glove so it covers your jacket sleeve but it's an abbreviated gauntlet. Not the Moto GP look. At $119 per pair they're not cheap but quality rarely is. I really like these puppies. If they can convert a old fingerless glove rider like me then you folks might want to give them a look.
 

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I can relate to HD's rolling billboard. I still have my HD police motorcycle jacket circa 1987 (which was also available publicly). It says Harley Davidson in exactly 2 places. :wow: The main zipper pull merely says "Harley Davidson" (not even the bar & shield logo) and the inside label is embossed with "Harley Davidson".
 
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