Classic Bomber

One item of scooterists wear it’s hard to avoid is the classic MA1 flight jacket. This took over from the ubiquitous fishtail parka – sometime in the early eighties I suppose. It’s easy to see why, it’s inexpensive, warm, casual and with enough pockets to easily stash the stuff you need to get access to. It’s also a great platform for stitching all your SC regalia and Paddy Smith run patches onto. Not a lot of crash protection, and not terribly waterproof, so a lot of riders will pack waterproofs, or upgrade to a ‘proper’ motorcycle jacket, or a classic waxed jacket for hardcore riding. For everyday riding, though slinging on a MA1 is quick and easy. Here’s a few I’ve found, with my thoughts.

Entry Level

As with everything in life, you usually want to avoid the cheapest. Quality usually suffers! There are bargains to be had online however… and this jacket has all the features you look for in an MA1 with a bargain basement price. Available in the classic scooterist ‘sage’, ‘petrol’ (my colour of choice) ‘burgundy’, and black. There is also a white one, which I’m sure is a fine fashion colour (if you want to look like an astronaut or a member of East 17) but less than practical for scooter riding.

SageMA1
PetrolMA1
Available on Amazon Here

The Real McCoy

A step up in price is the genuine article, the classic MA1 from the original manufacturers, Alpha Industries. 95% of people won’t notice the subtle differences between this jacket and the ‘entry level’ one posted before, but it’s the 5% that will that matters, right? At the time of writing you can pick one up on Amazon for under (just under!) a £100, so they are not that unaffordable.
AlphaIndMA1-Detail2

AlphaIndMA1-Detail1

AlphaIndMA1
Alpha Industries Olive/Sage MA1 Flight Pilot Bomber Jacket Sizes XS – XXL

A Variation on the theme

As well as the classic MA1, here’s a variant of the jacket that I have owned, and I think I actually prefer. The CWU 45 has spacious patch pockets and a proper collar instead of the knitted one of the MA1. And I think you can get away with one in black without looking like you’re a neo-nazi.
CWU45-Detail

CWU45

Alpha Industries CWU 45 Flight Jacket – Colour Black

They look good in Gunmetal too…
CWU45-Gunmetal
Alpha Industries Alpha CWU 45 Flight Jacket – Gunmetal Size 2XL (46-48)

Have you got a favourite riding jacket? Let me know.

Scooter attire – The Barbour

Barbour-biker1
Ok, so the sun is shining and it’s probably Harrington weather… but who know’s what the rest of the year has in store…
I’m pitching this somewhere between the full mod fishtail, and the biker jacket I posted previously. You really can’t go wrong with a classic Barbour. I’ve got something similar by another brand – Jack Murphy.
If you want to know why I got it wrong, and should have gone for a Barbour there’s a great article here. Although, to be honest, I’m pretty happy with my choice :).

Scooter gear – Hi viz amoured waterproof jacket

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Well, this is as much ‘biker’s gear” as scooterists – it’s a far cry from the traditional mod attire of fishtail parka, or the scooterists jacket of choice the MA1.
But it does it’s job. And it does it bloody well. I bought mine off eBay in November, and wore it throughout the winter. It didn’t leak, on even the wettest of days.It has removable body armour, which coupled with the hi-viz green/yellow colour and genuine 3M Scotchlite trim along the arms make you feel much safer, and more visible.
now the sun has come out I’ve zipped out the inner liner, which kept me plenty warm enough even on the coldest days.

It’s got loads of big pockets – including a handy mobile sized one on the chest.
For about 50 + P&P on eBay you can’t really go wrong. Highly recommended.
BTW – this isn’t a paid for testimonial – I bought this jacket with my own pennies.

Available from Aussie Biker’s Gear online shop.