Review: Rowdy Women’s Vest by Viking Cycle

TMW Review: Rowdy Women's Vest by Viking Cycle

TMW Review: Rowdy Women's Vest by Viking Cycle

When Viking Cycle gave TMW the opportunity to review the new Rowdy Women’s Vest, I just couldn’t wait for it to arrive. I love a good leather vest and they’re a necessity in every biker girl’s wardrobe.  Whether she’s getting in a little sun on an afternoon ride, showing off her tan at a bike rally, or donning layers of gear to accommodate a chilly early morning for a road trip, a good vest will do it all. This versatility makes a vest more than just a stylish accessory in a woman’s collection of riding gear.

 

 

Viking Cycle Rowdy Women’s Vest Review

Reviewer:  Carrie Leaverton
Review Dates: July 10, 2018 – August 22, 2018
Price as Tested: $39.99 USD
Tested on: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R

 

A helmeted woman sits astride a red Kawasaki Ninja 650. Her arms are extended to hold the controls of the bike, and her feet are planted firmly on the ground. She wears black boots, blue jeans, a white tank top and a black leather vest. The vest is partially unsnapped at the neckline to show the white top beneath. In the background, dry grass and scattered trees and a public bus stop.

“The quality and durability of this vest is head and shoulders above any others at this price point.”

Appearance

The first thing I can say is the Rowdy Women’s Vest is gorgeous.  It has beautiful leather lacing up the sides and has stitched bust lines up the front that accentuate my curvy figure. The brushed nickel snaps compliment the buckles, rivets, zippers and snaps found on your classic leather motorcycle jacket, which makes it perfect for layering.  The overall execution is that of understated elegance; it accents my ensemble without overpowering it.

  A helmeted woman sits astride a red Kawasaki Ninja 650, looking down at the camera, which faces up from a low vantage. She wears blue jeans, a white tank top and black leather vest. The tank top is visible through laces in the side of the vest. Her right arm is extended and she clutches the throttle of the motorcycle, showing brightly manicured red fingernails.

A woman sits astride a red Kawasaki Ninja 650, quartering away from the foreground so that her back, left arm, left hip and left leg are visible. She wears blue jeans, black boots, a white tank top and a leather vest. The white tank top shows through laces in the side of the vest. She also wears a black and gray full-face helmet, the crown adorned with a long faux ponytail of braided red fiber.

“Every stitch, every seam, and the beautiful orange liner still perfectly in place…”

 

Durability

At Viking’s request, I really put the Rowdy Women’s Vest through its paces.  I wore it back and forth to work every day, rain, shine, or wind. The summer sun really beat down on this vest too, with temperatures regularly above 100°F here in the western United States. I sometimes remembered to hang it up at home, as directed on the care instructions, but not always. Sometimes I just wadded it up and stuffed it in my saddlebags, or left it draped over my bike parked in the sun.

I’ve snapped the snaps hundreds of times.  It’s worth mentioning that I wore it in bumper to bumper freeway traffic after visiting the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet two cities away from home. Despite it all, the snaps are still intact and my Rowdy vest is like new, as gorgeous as it was the day it arrived!  There is not a leather fold or wrinkle to be found. Every stitch, every seam, and the beautiful orange liner are all still perfectly in place.  Even wafts of that amazing leather smell still rise through my full-face helmet.

 

Displayed is the side seam of a black leather vest, joined together with black leather laces tied at one end in a classic bow. Ambient light shines brightly off the leather, giving the impression of a smooth supple finish.

An extreme close-up of the inside lining of a leather vest. A gray, black and red label displays the manufacturers logo "Viking Cycle", on a perforated orange background.

“I was leery of the durability of the snaps, but after constant use I’m pleased to report they snap into place every time like new.”

 

Features and Functions

I opted for the snap closure ‘Rowdy Women’s Vest’ vs. the zippered ‘Haughty Women’s Vest’ because I love the look of it.  You don’t see a lot of ladies’ snap vests ‘in the wild’.  I was leery of the durability of the snaps, but after constant use I’m pleased to report they snap into place every time like new.  The snap feature is consistent throughout the design, including both the inner and outer pockets.

The look is certainly appealing, but I was a little disappointed with the lack of a zippered pocket.  I prefer not to sling a bike purse when mingling in a crowd of rowdy bikers or carving a windy canyon, so I require at least one zippered pocket for my bike key, cash, insurance/registration cards and whatever else I need to secure.  I’ve had two mishaps with the outer snap pockets to date, one in which I bent over to pick up a dropped glove and my bike key went skittering across the asphalt, and another where I came home from work to find my mini garage door opener was missing.  On the other hand, I can fluidly remove or re-position a concealed pistol when I feel the need to carry. That would be hard with a zippered pocket.

A woman with striking red hair stands next to a Kawasaki Ninja 650. She wears a black leather vest with snaps, undone to her naval, and a white tank top beneath it. An Umbrella Corp logo tattoo is visible in the crook of her right arm. She smiles with good humor. In the background is an expansive parking lot with evergreen trees, and further away, groomed ski slopes rise to the horizon.

Comfort and Fit

Accurate fitting of any type of women’s clothing is a touchy subject.  Respectfully, there are many a curvy biker mamas to be found out there. In fact, I could argue that larger sizes are in more demand than smaller sizes worn by biker bar poster models. I asked my sister rider social group for some statistics on this, but nobody volunteered to publicly admit sizes. Us lady riders are a complicated breed, I suspect that’s part of why you love us so!

A woman with striking red hair stands beside a polished Honda Shadow ACE in a concrete parking garage. She wear a leather vest snapped closed, a skirt and high heeled boots. Above and to her right, a bright light bathes the scene with intense white illumination.

 

I’ll be publicly honest and state up front that I ordered my Rowdy Women’s Vest in the largest size available, a women’s 2X. This is comparable to the measurements of a men’s XL. My vest is a bit snug, just as I’d expected based on the sizing chart on the website, but it hasn’t held me back in the least.  I just loosened the lace-up side panels, which is a feature I really love! I’ll sometimes wear a long sleeve shirt or jacket liner with body armor under a vest for added warmth or protection, and I can adjust the laces anytime to accommodate these preferences.  Side laces on other vests I’ve owned haven’t been functional, they’re usually nonadjustable and just for decoration. Also, the leather is very supple and soft so it doesn’t pinch.

 

Review: Rowdy Women's Vest by Viking Cycle

Conclusions

The quality and durability of this vest is head and shoulders above any others at this price point of $39.99 USD.  It has held up exceptionally well and I trust that it will for many years to come.  It’s also a wonderful investment as it’s made of high quality genuine leather and vests of this particular design will still be in style when I’m 70 years old.

A big concern I have is that the sizing tends to run small with Viking Cycle apparel. This is true not only with this vest, but also with a textile jacket from Viking Cycle we recently reviewed. I feel like there are many consumer’s who would love to have a Viking Cycle Rowdy Women’s Vest in their collection of riding gear but would be unable to purchase one in their size.  Finally, I was disappointed that the vest didn’t include even one secure pocket.  The ability to safeguard valuables while on the road can make or break a good day of riding.

Based on these assessments, we award the Viking Cycle Rowdy Women’s Leather Vest The Total Motorcycle Editor’s Gold Award, 4 Stars! Thank you Viking Cycle for giving us the opportunity to rate your gear and we look forward to seeing Viking products on riders just like us on the road in the future.  Ride safe and keep it shiny side up.

 

http://www.vikingcycle.com

A Final Word

We wanted to give a special thanks to 64 Degree Racing for giving us a chance to check out their latest t-shirt.  The awesome edgy design and high quality modern fabric make an excellent addition to any biker’s wardrobe.  http://www.64degreeracing.com

 

A woman sits astride a red Kawasaki Ninja 650. She is wearing the Rowdy Women's Vest. She wears a white tank top, which displays the image of an aggressive dragon styled after the fairings of a super-sport motorcycle. Behind the woman is a grassy field with scattered trees and a public bus stop.

About Carrie Leaverton 3 Articles
Carrie Leaverton works as senior financial analyst and account reconciliation specialist. She was a competitive off road motorcycle racer in her youth and now enjoys street motorcycling with her husband. Carrie is a proud mom of three and also enjoys fiber/needle arts, camping and gardening and is a parrot enthusiast. She is also a product reviewer and field correspondent for Total Motorcycle Web.