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.
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.
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.
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.
They look good in Gunmetal too…
Alpha Industries Alpha CWU 45 Flight Jacket – Gunmetal Size 2XL (46-48)
Have you got a favourite riding jacket? Let me know.