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Joe Rocket Phoenix Jacket

Better Than a (Dry) T-Shirt

Ahhhh� Summer in the Northwest. The clouds are high, the sun is shining and the motorcyclists are out, many in their shorts, t-shirts and sandals. Isn't life grand�?

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! Riding a motorcycle in your shorts, t-shirts and sandals means someone at the local ER will be pulling itsy bits of asphalt out of what remains of your flesh if you go down. The idea is painfully disgusting, but it's one to consider every time you ride your motorcycle without the proper protective clothing.

Joe Rocket wants you to consider another alternative to a hot day, and our testing shows it may not be such a bad one. JR has come up with what they call the Phoenix line of clothing. The concept is that the clothing is a netted mesh style material (upper left of photo) that allows direct airflow all the way onto your skin as you ride, with armor at all the standard points you'd expect from a full coverage garment.

Simply put you're wearing a webbing with the proper foam inserts (doubled at the elbow) and so far the results of riders going down have yielded positive results. It works. "It's my around town jacket" commented one newsgroup user who was skeptical about it's ability to hold up in a high speed slide. The answer to that is that the material actually binds at high temperature and cools itself in the melding process reducing the overall disintegration that would occur with standard textiles.

This is a brand new concept, and line for JR, and no doubt changes will occur next season, but the jacket we tested throughout August had us wondering why it took so long for someone to develop this concept in the first place.

70-85 Degrees

font class="auto-style2">Between the air temperatures of 70F. to 85F. degrees the jacket performs as it was meant to, keeping your skin cool based on wind chill factor. However there are two other temperature ranges to consider�

69 and below

font class="auto-style2">If you wore the jacket out on a nice day and decided to ride beyond sundown in the Northwest you just may find yourself up a creek. At 60 degrees this clothing is downright cold. It wouldn't be too much trouble to pack some long underwear or a sweat shirt just in case, and even after putting that on it will be a bit chilly.

86 and above

font class="auto-style2">Your body sweats for two reasons - to expel heat and to cool the surface of your skin. The Phoenix actually wicks away the moisture on your skin, so basically your hitting a wall of 90 degree heat when it's 90 outside. That's no more fun than doing the same with a full textile or leather jacket on. Learn the secret of the wet t-shirt and pack a long sleeved one with you in case you want to soak it down. No jacket at these temperatures is comfortable until the shirt around your body is soaked, then the pleasure abounds.

Money and Style

The JR Phoenix jacket was originally released in black and silver. Since then the production has been stepped up and it now comes in red, yellow, blue and green too. The list price is right at just $129.

Pants are hard to come by. You can special order your size with most dealers and when you do only expect to pay about $119.

Phoenix GloveWe've also had great results with the gloves.

Save It For An Un-rainy Day

These things are like umbrellas. If you decide to shop for them on the day when the demand would be high, in this case air temps above 80, don't expect to find much of a selection out there, but if you plan ahead and buy them during the colder months you'll be glad when the hot day comes and you're prepared in advance.

Patrick Thomas/Summer 01

Special thanks to RMC Motorsports and Western Powersports for assistance with this article.

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