It was January, a brand new start, not just to the year, but to life in general. Celebrating our first month of having run slo-mo donuts ’round the holy fire, the missus and I were planning to experience the magic of India Bike Week. Having made our maiden long-distance ride together only a month earlier (yep, that tale is still pending), we were on a different high. Maybe, it was that or the fact that we wanted to reassure ourselves, that making a 1000+ kilometre trip on two RX135’s wasn’t a fluke.
Our eagerness to ride down to Goa again & this time, in our own riding jackets had us all excited & we set about with a range in mind with a basic idea on the brands in our budget.
First up was Outdoor Travel Gear (OTG), nestled in a quiet lane off the famed Carter Road in Bandra. Now, OTG is a place we love. We’ve bought stuff from them & the overall experience has been good enough for us to return over time. Browsing through their collection, we came across brands like Cramster & DSG. Sadly, the K2K by the former was out of stock & the ‘Breezer’ wasn’t there in my size. I did try a slightly smaller one, but overall the Cramsters were a tad bulky for my taste. I did spot a new entrant, Mototech & kinda liked their stuff. But they are for casual, in-city riding, not what i had in mind.
Next stop, Planet DSG, in Juhu. A few close pals rave by their stuff & had my hopes up a lil. As we parked our bikes & walked into the store, a smile came up on the face. Having seen a ton of fake Alpinestars, it sure was heartening to see the real deal (even though it was way beyond our combined budget). So we politely inquired about the house brand – the DSG’s. Maybe coz’ it was just after lunch or something else. but their energy levels were rather low. Upon inquiring about the jackets, we were merely shown the racks & left to our own. No feature explanations, no offer to help in closing a sale, nothing. Tried the Nero & Genesis but the former was unavailable in my size, while the latter didn’t feel right when worn. Inquired about the Fusion Leather, but were curtly told that they were out of stock. The disappointment continued when we learned that there was no after-sales support in terms of repairs/warranty, etc.
Tired & weary from our ordeal, it was time to call it a day. We rode back home like sad kids. As we weighed in the options, names such Spartan Pro Gear, Rynox & LS2 came to mind. But the only place that stocked the first two was on our personal black-list, for another motorcycling related purchase. The third, LS2 was more famous for their helmets & we didn’t know where we’d find their jackets. The only name that was left was RJays & thus, a trip into town (we live in the suburbs) was going to be made.
About the RJays line – had seen their ‘Swift’ Jacket from close quarters as two of our friends wore it extensively. Bachoo Motors was the place that stocked them & we trooped right into the store. As the minutes ticked by, we began to make ourselves comfortable there. Maybe it was the personal attention or the promptness, we couldn’t quite tell. We even forgot our jacket buys for a while, as we were taken in by the helmets on display. Yep, we spotted the Hi-Viz Airoh that we’d first seen with @MissManakawad the other half of @Motoreels!
Striking up a rapport with Zulfi, an avid motorcyclist himself & the force behind Bachoo Motors proved to be rather easy. Of-course, it helped that his Hero Honda Impulse was parked right there, in the centre of the shop! Coming back to our hunt, we’d gone in with the thought of checking out the Swift II. Once there though, we discovered there were more!
We took quite the fancy to the All Seasons II. I mean, the fit & feel right from the Swift II felt much better than the competition. But the fact that the AS2’s came with dual removable liners: one to keep us dry when the clouds opened up & the other to keep us warm in sub-zero temps were what nudged us. Thing is, apart from being a significant investment, a Riding Jacket is a purchase that is going to be like a second skin. When that happens, it better be the best protective layer one can get. Besides, we didn’t want a jacket that would stay hung in the closet, nor did we want to spend on stuff we wouldn’t need. With proper after-sales & warranty support to reassure us, it was thanks to Zulfi’s guidance that steered us in the right direction.
And that my friends, is how, @crabby226 & I came to be the proud owners of a pair of RJays All Seasons II Riding Jackets! So how did you come about buying your Riding Jacket? Do share your tips, suggestions & your buying experience, for it’d be great to learn from your tales too.
The Missus: @crabby226 – without her, none of this would be possible. She’s also the force behind the snaps featured in this post.
and of-course, Zulfi – the force behind Bachoo Motors.
P.s. this, like a bunch of other posts has been sitting in the drafts since months. Am just super happy to finally get it out there , not just to share my views with you’ll, but also, to acknowledge the inputs of all the awesome folks mentioned above.