Participating in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride does mean experiencing retro motorcycles and vintage style. However, while leather jackets and gear do fit in, many DGR participants ride in clothing that isn’t quite as protective. But then, non-DGR riders often take to the streets with less safety gear than is recommended, too. Especially in the warmer months, when motorcycle jackets can become oppressive. Now, though, one company is releasing a product that claims to provide safety with style: the Brummell Blazer.
The Brummell Blazer is an alternative look for motorcycle safety
Brummell co-founder Nino Karas was inspired to create the New Jersey-based company due to a conundrum, RideApart explains. Karas loved riding to work, but dressing safely for the ride meant he couldn’t meet his job’s dress code. And since he couldn’t find a ‘formal’ motorcycle jacket, he decided to make his own. Now, after roughly two years of development, the Brummell Blazer is ready for release.
At first, the Brummell Blazer looks just like an off-the-rack blazer or sport coat. That could be a problem, Silodrome explains, because blazers are normally worn with only one button done up. And in an accident, that button could easily fall or get scraped off, taking the jacket with it. If that happens, it leaves the rider with one less protective layer. Hence why iconic motorcycle jackets like the Schott Perfecto use zippers instead.
However, while the Brummell Blazer does have one button, it also has an internal YKK zipper. That maintains the formal appearance without potentially compromising safety. Plus, the Blazer comes with a removable wind-proof gilet to cover the rider’s chest and neck. And to protect against overheating, it has under-arm vents.
Riding in ‘regular’ formalwear poses another problem besides potential abrasion, though. Speaking from personal experience, riders move and stretch throughout their journey. And that can be difficult in slim-cut suits and jackets. The Brummell Blazer, though, takes that into account with rear gussets for the arms and a stretchable back panel.
Is the Brummell Blazer as safe as a ‘regular’ motorcycle jacket?
Secure zippers and stretchable fabric are helpful, but neither is what makes the biggest impact on safety in proper motorcycle jackets. That would be armor and abrasion resistance. And while not all casual gear, such as motorcycle jeans, has the former, Motorcyclist notes, it does have the latter. The Brummell Blazer, though, has both.
On the armor front, the Brummell Blazer features CE Level 2 protection in the shoulders and elbows made of PU foam. And sandwiched between the outer and inner layers is a layer of abrasion-resistant Schoeller-Keprotec and Kevlar. Said layer is rated at Class AA according to the CE’s PR EN 17092 standard.
But how does this compare to more typical motorcycle jackets? In terms of the armor, CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow pieces aren’t unusual in casual jackets, such as the $349 Merlin Odell Air Jacket. CE Level 2 armor, though, transmits less force than Level 1 does. So, in that regard, the Brummell Blazer is a step up. However, it’s worth noting the Odell Air has a pocket for a removable back protector, something the Blazer lacks. That’s likely due to the latter’s needing to stick to a formal look.
Looking at the Blazer’s abrasion resistance, Brummell doesn’t list any claim of CE approval. Though considering CE is an EU institution, and Brummell is an American company, that’s not unusual. But Class AA is the second-highest classification in the CE abrasion hierarchy, Bennetts explains. In that regard, the Blazer serves well as a textile motorcycle jacket.
How you can get one
As of this writing, the Brummell Blazer is being funded via a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign runs until June 11, 2021, but is already fully funded.
If you want a Blazer of your own, the minimum pledge required is $529. That gets you a Founder’s Edition version, which includes the gilet, at a $125 discount from the retail version. As of this writing, only two colors are available: black and a checkered blue. Brummell expects Blazer production to start in August 2021 with deliveries starting in October.
Is the Brummell Blazer the answer to all motorcycle jacket questions? No. Besides the lack of a back protector option, it isn’t waterproof. And despite the wind protection, I can’t imagine Brummell envisions riders wearing it throughout cold winters. But it has the safety features to work as a casual jacket without leaving you under-dressed for work. Exactly what Karas was looking for.
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