An Indian Summer Ep14: Indian Riding Gear Review

An Indian Summer Ep14: Indian Riding Gear Review

An Indian Summer Ep14: Indian Riding Gear Review

‘Proper riding gear is a necessity for all motorcycle riders. It doesn’t just protect you in the event of a fall but protects riders from the elements on the open road. Thanks to Indian riding gear, we not only rode safe, but we rode in style! Read on to see our thoughts about the gear we chose from Indian’s line-up for men and women.’

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
The Iconic Indian Logo

 

Products Reviewed  Price Point
Women’s Mesh Springfield 2 Riding Jacket with Removable Lining, Black $209.99 USD

Men’s Leather Phoenix Riding Jacket with Removable Lining, Black

$449.99 USD
Men’s Solo Riding Gloves with Hard Knuckles, Black $59.99 USD
Reviewers Eric and Carrie Leaverton
Motorcycles Gear was reviewed on 2020 Indian Springfield Dark Horse
2019 Indian Scout ABS
Review Dates: 06/24/2020 – 08/20/2020

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
The Indian Springfield 2 Mesh Jacket on the Springfield Dark Horse.

Women’s Mesh Springfield 2 Riding Jacket with Removable Lining

It’s been between 90 – 103 most of the summer here in Utah and I’ve really had an opportunity to put my new Indian riding gear to the test.

When it is hot out, we all know it’s important to stay hydrated so your body can sweat. Did you know that sweat serves a purpose if you wear a riding jacket? Let’s talk about how swamp coolers work. They have large pads surrounding the unit. In the center, a water pump continuously hydrates the pads like sponges. Then the engine moves air through the pads resulting in cool humid air being pushed into your living space. Making temperatures comfortable and cool.

Indian combines this theory into a mesh riding jacket for more air flow with an easy to install and remove liner that is both windproof and waterproof. This makes the Women’s Indian Mesh Springfield 2 a perfect jacket for riding in the heat. It’s plug’n’play air conditioning for your body, no having to remember to unzip your air vents for a long ride when the mercury rises!

 

‘Simple additions like these add the extra amount of comfort a rider needs to keep her mind on the road, instead of her riding gear.’ 

Features

My Women’s Mesh Springfield 2 Riding jacket has removeable armor in both shoulders and elbows. The armor is flexible enough to be comfortable and almost unnoticeable and doesn’t hinder my ability to move around as I please. Nor do I feel out of place wearing this jacket while off the bike. Such as on my way into the store to grab some groceries, standing in the elevator at the office or walking into back to school night.

It has two nice big zippered pockets on the outside and a zippered inner pocket just large enough for a cell phone, some cash, cards and a key ring. I LOVE the security of hidden inner pockets like these on riding jackets because sometimes biker events can get pretty packed with crowds of people watching demo’s, standing in line for vendors, or watching live bands. The liner also includes it’s own slightly smaller velcro pocket. A nice idea for when the liner is in and your inner jacket pocket isn’t easily accessible.

 

Indian Summer 2020 Riding Gear Review
The Indian Women’s Springfield 2 Mesh Riding Jacket has stylish lines to accentuate curves

 

All of the zippers are rugged with glove manageable zipper pulls and have never gotten off track or stuck on stitching. They simply work like they are supposed to. The collar has a quality snap that is wonderful for closing up on windy or buggy days. The wrist cuffs both have the same snap that do a great job of keeping the wind out and pair very nicely with my Indian Women’s Leather Classic Riding Gloves that have velcro closures. This clever pairing avoids excessive fasteners on my wrists. Simple additions like these add the extra amount of comfort a rider needs to keep her mind on the road, instead of her riding gear.

 

Style

Lastly, the style of this jacket is simple and elegant in basic colors that match most riding gear. It was a perfect match for both of the Indian Motorcycles we had the pleasure of testing this year. The classically styled 2019 Indian Scout in Indian Motorcycle Red Over Thunder Black with Cream accents, tan leather seat and saddle bags. And the enormous masculinity of the 2020 Indian Springfield Dark Horse in Sagebrush Smoke.

Indian does a wonderful job of accommodating the difference in women’s shapes and sizes in all of their jackets and vests I’ve tried. They include a vertical zipper at both sides of the waist accentuating curves and making the fit better. The sleek vertical white lines are slimming and accentuated my curves making me feel confident while having a blast on the bikes. Also the sizing chart was right on with a little extra room for laying underneath when needed.

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
The Women’s Springfield 2 Mesh Jacket has side zips to accommodate fit and curves.

 

‘It’s plug’n’play air conditioning for your body, no having to remember to unzip your air vents for a long ride when the mercury rises!’

 

The inside of both the liner and the jacket itself is smooth and comfortable and cooling, think basketball shorts. It is mostly polyester with bits of leather in the shoulders and along the white reflective accent lines. The care instructions warn that the Springfield Mesh Springfield 2 Jacket is wipe clean only, no machine washing, dry cleaning, bleaching or ironing. Indian includes a 1 year warranty on all of their riding gear.

 

Men’s Leather Phoenix Riding Jacket with Removable Liner

Very few things in life fit into nice polarized categories, one or the other without any shades of gray. Riding gear is no different, but generally gear comes in two flavors. Technical, or lifestyle. Designers create technical gear with function over form. The creators dial in the function and purpose, and only consider style once those features are satisfied. Lifestyle is the opposite, the design of the piece determined first and function created only where it doesn’t interfere with the desired style.

 

 

‘The Phoenix Jacket by Indian Motorcycle is definitely a lifestyle piece.’

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
Adjustable Side straps for custom fit.

 

Style

The Phoenix Jacket by Indian Motorcycle is definitely a lifestyle piece. It’s aesthetic is the most important feature, and function is built in afterwards. And that aesthetic is retro. Distressed leather construction, banded leather sleeves, embossed hardware. This jacket is as ‘biker’ as it gets.

It really is a handsome piece. The leather is smooth, supple, and beautifully mottled. The banded sleeves look like every picayune motorcycle movie you’ve ever seen, whether it was Steve McQueen or Pete Fonda in front of the camera. It’s unequivocally cool. Any person who appreciates a good leather jacket would be happy owning the Phoenix, whether they own a motorcycle or not.

 

Features

Indian constructed the Phoenix with heavy, rigid leather, firm stitching and tightly joined panels. Overall it feels rugged and well made, and you get the sense it could take some abuse. The jacket itself weighs 4.77 pounds, and the liner adds another 6 ounces.

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
Durable stitching and quality zippers

 

VERSATILITY

I’ve got the most use out of the beautiful red quilted liner. Covering the torso only, not the sleeves, this liner zips in and out easily and provides extra warmth. It can fold down to a very small bundle about the size of a softball, so you can take it with you even if you’re not sure you’ll need it. I’ve ridden with the liner in temperatures as low as 50°F here in Utah and stayed warm. And it doesn’t obstruct the inside pocket on the jacket, so you’re not paying a price to use it.

The Phoenix jacket has several other features well-suited to motorcycle riding gear. All the zipper pulls are wide and chunky, so they’re easy to find and use with gloves on. The pocket and vent zippers are also bordered with nylon webbing, so you wont catch the leather piping in the zipper while you’re opening or closing them. And the main center zipper has a wide placket underneath to help with water infiltration and prevent binding. Perforated vents on the forearms allow for air infiltration, and a vent across the shoulders at the back of the jacket expels that air after it’s served its purpose.

 

‘This jacket is as ‘biker’ as it gets.’

 

STORAGE

We can always use some pockets on a good riding jacket, and the Phoenix doesn’t disappoint. Two huge hip pockets in front with zippered closures can each swallow an 8″ tablet, as can the vertical zip pocket on the inside right breast. There’s also an external pocket high on the left breast, large enough for some registration paperwork, a wallet, or a large cell phone.

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
The Hedstrom Jacket is rugged leather with a convenient back vent for air flow on hot days.

Fit

In an effort to provide consistent, usable information to our readers, TMW orders all riding gear in exactly the sizes identified by the manufacturers for our measurements. My chest circumference put me squarely in the range for a Large, and I ordered that size. The Large fits snugly across my chest and midsection, but not uncomfortably so. Zip in the liner and it gets worse.

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
The Hedstrom Jacket is tastefully distressed

 

The sleeves are a different story. They’re very narrow, almost tubular, and they’re noticeably restrictive any time you have to bend your arm towards yourself. Putting on your helmet or opening your visor, getting something out of a pocket, or opening and closing the vents on the jacket can all be ordeals. When you’re actually riding, though, the narrow sleeves don’t pose a problem. If I had it to do over again, I would order a size larger.

 

Men’s Solo Riding Gloves with Hard Knuckles

I have sort of a hard time knowing what to say about gloves. They’re very simple garments that do a single precise thing, and they either do it well or they don’t. There’s just not a lot more to it.

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
Armored Knuckles and breathable mesh

 

The Solo gloves that Indian sent us as part of our riding gear ensemble do it well. They fit nicely without any bunching or twisting, and the Velcro closures are secure and easy to use. Given the condition of my last pair of Indian gloves, it’s a safe bet the Velcro will wear out before the gloves do though. Stitched suede panels on the palm and web of the thumb create grip, while the rest of the inside of the glove is smooth leather. The backs are leather, woven meshing, and hard rubber.

The thumb and forefinger of each glove have a capacitive touch panel sewn into them, so you can use them with most touchscreens. Given that a lot of Indian’s bikes comes with a touch screen info center, it makes sense that they’d offer this feature on their gloves.

 

An Indian Summer Riding Gear Review
Indian Men’s Solo Gloves and the keys to the Scout go hand in hand!

 

The Solo gloves offer armored knuckles, and they’re excellent. They’re thick and solid and robust, and it feels very satisfying to wad your hand into a tight fist with those knuckles perched atop.

One thing I really appreciate about the Solo gloves is the quality and stability of whatever dye Indian used. Most gloves I’ve owned have done a great job of staining my hands at some point. Some of them literally stain my hands every time I wear them. These Indian gloves don’t.

 

Indian-Motorcycle-Logo-2017

 

Have you missed an episode of our Indian Summer? If so, you catch up on our previous review episodes right here:

 

About Carrie Leaverton 17 Articles
Carrie Leaverton is a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) Certified RiderCoach. She regularly teaches Basic Rider Courses and also 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.