Roland Sands Ronin Leather Jacket
An impartial amateur's opinion
I have read of few of these but never written one so please forgive me if I leave anything out. Feel free to ask me any questions if there is a way to do so. I have been riding for a couple of years but this past spring I made my first investment in a serious jacket. I had a long West Coast circuit planned this summer and I wanted to be safe and look good.
Let me be blunt and say that this jacket was not cheap and the RSD armor seemed a necessary addition for non-bulky protection. So the high score I gave on "Bang for the Buck" tells you a lot about my opinion of this jacket. It was best money I've spent since buying the KTM 990 adventure last summer.
In part, the reason for my excellent opinion is the "Style." I have tried a couple of highly rated textile adventure jackets and the Ronin is head and shoulders above anything I have owned or seen. The leather molds to the body in a way that textile never will and the shoulders and arms fit better than I could have hoped. The "Comfort" closely follows the style. The jacket is heavy but hangs so well that it does not feel bulky on the body and moves well on and off the bike. I am 5’ 8” and 172lbs and usually wear a 42 in a sports coat. As I mentioned it fit perfectly in the shoulders and arms but there was a little extra girth in the stomach (cut for a more typical American belly?) and I did have it taken in a bit in the middle. It is a cliché but it is true that it looks good enough, even with the armor, to wear into the bar or the restaurant at the end of the day.
Over the 6000 miles and 40 days the jacket tackled cold in Colorado, heat in Arizona and rain in British Columbia. When the jacket wasn’t on me it was strapped to the top of the roll bag and, at the end of the trip, the thick tobacco-colored leather looks better than it did at the start. Over mountains, deserts, beaches and the best curves of the coast from Mexico to Canada the salt, sands, winds and bugs bounced off, leaving nothing more than a little character in a slight lightening of the brown. “Durability” seems assured after the trip and I am excited to wear this jacket for many more. I was fortunate to never have any true tests of the protection but I felt safe at any speed due to the thickness of the leather and the consistent placement of the armor.
Why would I ever take it off you might ask? Actually, I would have preferred to always be cocooned in its comforting safety, but it is a solid and serious jacket and when the temperatures in Arizona, Mexico and California rose above 100 degrees I would change to a super thin mesh jacket that basically was a shell for the armor. So in assessing “Comfort” and “Air Flow” I gave top scores to the Ronin, because I assume that the buyer knows that its protection and durability will make it too significant for the highest heat. I loved it though, up to 90+ degrees on the bike, and the airflow can be controlled at the neck, wrists and waist at the top end of temperatures.
I also appreciated the “Features,” especially the soft satin lining and neck snap which buttons on the outside or the inside depending on comfort. The zippers are hardcore and easily used with gloves and the inner pockets allow you to hide stuff without making the jacket seem chunky. The high quality of the workmanship is a good way to conclude my rather glowing endorsement of the Roland Sands Ronin Leather Jacket. It is with great confidence that, after these past four months, I can say that I am very happy with this purchase. It will be a pleasure to put this jacket on in the years to come.
August 8, 2016
Quite a Fine Jacket
Seriously. Quality craftsmanship. It really shines through in the details. The grain of the outer shell is beautiful, but you don't trip about every little scuff and spot. IMO They only give it more character. I drove through a swarm of locusts and took over a dozen hits to the arms and chest. Just had to clean it with some leather cleaner and conditioner bought off of amazon. The shell flexes well throughout, even without shoulder gussets (I can easily put my arms through backpack straps) but doesn't ever make you wonder if it would survive a crash. My commute has me riding through 100+degF weather to work and mid 60s back so the ventilation panels under the arms are perfect, right where I need them. I do find myself needing a hoodie for temps blow 65 on the freeway, but I prefer things on the warmer side. I'm 5'5" 140lbs and the small is the ideal fit. There's just enough room underneath to wear a second layer comfortably if you need it, but its never too baggy or too tight. The neck liner doesn't stick to you when you're hot and sweaty, or pinch your neck hair, so you can turn your head without pain, but the nice heavy-duty snap above the zipper will keep it closer to you when the temp drops. I wish the front zipper were a bit easier to operate with one hand, but that's the trade-off for the thick shell-heavy duty zipper combo. I gave 4/5 for protection because it has all the pockets for armor but isn't sold with armor. The 8 pockets make it super easy to loose track of all your important personal items and provide lots of opportunities for surprise! dollar bills you forgot about. Be prepared for compliments, people recognize quality when they see it. I would HIGHLY recommend this jacket be added to your gear list.
July 27, 2016
Amazing leather jacket!
If you're looking for a great classic looking leather jacket this is the one! It's a little snug, but hey it's supposed to be. This is not a bargain buy. You're buying this jacket because you see it as an investment. You want a leather jacket that has great protection capabilities while riding while also looking great for a night out with friends. The RS Ronin jacket is where style and function meet.
July 19, 2016
I've been riding for years but recently decided I wanted a nice, non-motorcycle-branded riding jacket to be the last one I should ever need to buy. I used appearance to judge first and found at least half a dozen or so that I liked. Then over the course of a few days I spent probably several hours reading reviews and watching videos (not just from RevZilla, but all over the internet) to try and make a final decision.
My heart was set on the Roland Sands Ronin so I went with that and have been wearing it around and riding in it for about a month now. All I can say is I made the right decision.
As soon as I held it I knew I had something good. The leather itself, the stitching, and the liner were all great. I noticed there were a small percentage of low and mixed reviews on here, but I decided to take my chances. Shame that some people sound like they might've got one that slipped by quality control but it happens. No problems here though.
I put it on and right away was more than relieved to have chosen the right size. I read so many reviews trying to make up my mind on size, but I was getting so many mixed signals I didn't know what to believe. Some say they run small, some say large, some say they're cut slim, some say pretty boxy. Because of this, I wouldn't expect you not to take my review of the size with a grain of salt but here it goes. I'm 5' 8", 155lbs, 40" chest/29" waist, so more of a slim, muscular athletic build. Most jackets I wear a medium, and in rare cases a small, and sometimes even a large in more euro-cut items. But for this one I used the size chart and I will say the medium fits me perfect. Plenty of room in the chest and shoulders even in riding position without excess material around the waist. I can still fit a tight hoodie underneath no problem. I will say though that if I intended to put armor panels in, I probably would've traded for a large but I have no intention of that so I didn't factor that much into my purchasing decision.
This jacket looks beautiful off the bike, but when it comes to features there's no question this was designed to be a riding jacket first. The pre-curved sleeves are comfortable and the perfect length for riding. The perforated arm panels are just enough and in the right place to reduce swamp-pit without limiting the jacket to warm weather. And the back panel extends down just enough to keep you covered. I find the jacket warm enough by itself around 70 degrees and up. In the 50's or 60's I'll likely need a hoodie underneath and I'm not even worried about anything colder than that as that's why I have an insulated touring suit too. In the 90's and 80's it can get warm at a stop but it's nothing unbearable to me that would necessitate having a lighter jacket too or simply not wearing one.
The elastic inside pockets on both sides make me feel like someone finally understood how to do inside pockets properly. You still get a deep, narrow zip pocket on one side for documents or your registration or something, but those elastic pockets are perfect for just throwing things into and easily getting them out. And you'd be surprised what you can fit in there if you have to. I recently bought three shirts while out on a ride and didn't bring any pack or anything with me. I was able to roll them up and fit all three into one side. It looked awkward but I got them home. I also found a nice little feature I didn't even know about: the left outside pocket has a spring clip inside for hooking your keys or something onto.
Overall you can probably tell I've been pretty satisfied with my purchase and have had no regrets. I'm looking forward to years and years of riding in this jacket.
June 21, 2016
Just a cool leather riding jacket. A wear it during the day and on the bike. Just a great classic motorcycle jacket.
June 7, 2016
Style style style!
Hey guys just wanted to do a review on sizing, if you find yourself in between sizes as I was, 5'10", 38 chest, 150 pounds, went for Medium thinking it runs small (as a lot of reviews say on here). Turns out it doesn't really run small, exchanged it for a Small and the small fits way better. Yes its tight, but I can still fit a long sleeve tee and my Icon chest/spine protector underneath so there's still room even with the smaller size.
Oh and YES get it! Its expensive but makes your hotness level go way up so its priceless..haha..
May 27, 2016
Nothing but style!!
Been riding it with it for a solid month before doing a review. Well here it goes:
Love the way this jacket looks!
Probably the best looking jacket I have in my closet.
I was looking for something that had that old racer casual look and this jacket is it!
The size is very loose!
At 5'7" and 195lbs I'm usually somewhere in between a medium / large. I like to layer so I went with a large and let me tell you, a large is HUGE!!
I ended up exchanging it for a medium and it fits a lot better with a good amount of room for layering. Sadly my arms are short, at 24" everything is going to be oversized for me. I wouldn't mind so much but there's a lot of leather materials at the cuffs that the zippers on the end doesn't zip up all the way. Which is fine with me cause they still hold in place (for now, can't tell you how it'll hold up in two years from now).
It's a really styling jacket and at $600 it doesn't have armor. So that's something to any buyer needs to consider. Which is why I marked the protection/ durability as fair. I have other jackets with armor and wanted something without the bulk and this was my answer. Plus, you can add armor to the jacket if you wanted too.
May 27, 2016
I've had this jacket in the tobacco colour for a few months now and love it, obviously it looks amazing and the quality is great (but you do pay for it). The forearm pocket is perfect for an e-tag for tolls and the inside stash pockets are really useful as well.
The leather has a nice weight and a slightly waxy feel to the finish. The lining helps keep you cool in warmer weather, overall it s great jacket for warm to mild weather. I do have a different jacket with a zip out liner for the colder months through....to me, this isn't a cold weather jacket.
I definitely recommend it for both the style and functionality for street riding.
Just be careful of sizing if you like a snug fit and have an athletic shape.
I'm 5'11" and 160lb and pretty lean. 41 inch chest at 9% (sometimes creeping up to 11% body fat.)
According to the size chart I should wear medium (which I initially bought). I've now sold my medium as it was just too big through the body and I didn't feel the jacket was snug enough to hold the armour inserts in place if I was ever involved in a crash. I am now in the process of buying the same jacket in small which is a trimmer fit (obviously) but surprisingly not too small at all. The armour inserts don't add much bulk at all so don't buy a size up thinking you need extra room for them.
Weirdly though I also just bought the Ronin reserve textile (for off the bike casual wear) and got the same fit from the medium in that??!!
Anyway, the take home message for the leather version is, if you hit the gym and are lean and don't have the "typical" American pudgy build with a beer belly or aren't "bulking" then sizing down would probably be a good idea.
May 18, 2016