Roland Sands Rocker Jacket Review

Dusty Jim - Gear Geek


So you’ve got your old Bonneville, or BSA, or your CB, or another UJM all stripped down to the bare essentials.  You’ve got your clubmans or your clip-ons, your pod filters and your loud exhaust, your rear-sets and your single seat. 
Front fender or turn indicators?  Maybe. 

Street legal?  Possibly.....depends who’s asking. 

Looks awesome and is a blast to ride?  Definitely.

Only problem is finding a jacket which can match both the look and feel of your cafe/brat/bobber/badass2wheeledstreetmachine.

Enter the Rocker Jacket from Roland Sands Design.  From the “broken-in” leather to the asymmetrical zipper, you’d be hard-pressed to find a jacket which better compliments the cafe-racer look.  With zippers and rivets aplenty, all you would need is a “59 Club” patch and you would be right at home with rest of the Ton-Up Boys.

Surprising thing is, this jacket functions as legitimate protective riding gear in addition to being an obvious fashion piece.  Probably its greatest feature would be the optional CE-rated shoulder, elbow and back armor pieces designed and produced specifically for RSD by Forcefield.  Slim, flexible, and well ventilated, its truly top-notch stuff.  The only downside would be the price, as the full armor kit is going to set you back another $80 or so.  I’d be more inclined to fork over another $50 for the jacket if it came equipped with the armor from the drop.

Granted, the leather is not as abrasion resistant as some of its competitors (1.1mil distressed leather vs. 1.3mil industry standard), but its a small price to pay for looking so damn good.  Speaking of looking good, the Rocker’s Satin poly lining is absolutely gorgeous.  Its got plenty of interior pockets for things such as gloves, or maybe a shorty socket wrench and some spark plugs, or a cell phone to call your friend with a truck when your bike inevitably breaks down.

Fit-wise it falls somewhere closer to the Euro-cut (i.e. Dainese/Alpinestars) as opposed to that of an American-cut garment (Joe Rocket/Icon).  The leather is perforated along the flanks and behind the chest underlay which improves ventilation and will extend its usage in the summer months, yet decrease some cold weather riding.  However, with room for a layer or two underneath you should be able to hang tough in the winter.

I’ve had mine for about 3 months now and love it.  Granted, I have not been able to ride with it as much as I would have liked due to the East Coast’s consistently hot and humid weather this summer, (I mean the areas of perforation help, but +90F degrees with +90% humidity is too damn hot for a black leather jacket).  However as soon as the temps start dropping this will be my daily riding jacket. (That is if the bike starts everyday, of course....). 

Bottom line, if you’re interested in the Rocker (or anything from the RSD line for that matter)  pull the trigger and buy it.  You’ll be glad you did.  Now, go fix that leaky gasket!

-- James W.

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