A few months ago, before I even had my bike, I was bored. When I get bored I tend to migrate towards Ebay for some reason, and that day was no exception. I was working on collecting my riding gear (I was in pre-bike purchase anticipation mode) and a Jacket was something that was missing. I knew I wanted leather for the added protection, but didn't want to spend $350 on a jacket.
That fateful day was the day I came upon an auction for a new Teknic Violator jacket with about 15 seconds left on the auction and a high bid price of $50. So, on whim I bid $51 and won. Wait, I won? A $400 jacket for $51? Yup, so I did a little dance, didn't make any love, but did get down that night.
Upon arrival at my door I was impressed. The jacket was in pristine condition and came with pretty much everything I was looking for. Think leather, armor in the shoulders, elbows/forearms, and back, a removable liner, etc. Sadly it was missing something that I knew instantly I was going to want...ventilation. It seems that most of the high end leather jackets today don't seem to have ventilation or perforation anywhere and this baffles me, as I live in an area where in the summer it is constantly over 90 degrees and extremely humid almost every day. Alpinestars, Teknic, alot of Joe Rocket's gear...all with almost no ventilation.
Feeling that the jacket would be just too hot, I decided to add my own vents so one Saturday I went to a friend's house and we plugged in his power drill and added some perforations. Ok, so that's a lie, but I think it'd make for a better story
The jacket fits a little small, which is a good thing for me because the jacket on ebay was one size larger than I'd have normally wear. The jacket fits excellently, with the only area being a little on the large side is the width between my shoulders. After putting the jacket on I have to reposition the armor in the shoulders as...well, I'm a bit of a pencil. I'm tall and thin and my shoulders just aren't wide enough to keep the armor in place unless I position it before I get on the bike. Once positioned though it fits quite nicely.
The jacket is a "sport cut" meaning that it's a little shorter in the front than in the back (since you're supposed to be in the fetal position (basically) when riding sportbikes. Also, the elbows are bent at an very tight angle (once again, it's made for the riding position of sportbikes.) Cruiser riders would probably find it...a bit odd to say the least.
Anyways, upon getting my bike I was excited to give it a try. It was in the end of May and vurry steamy here in Alabama. Once on the bike though I noticed that while moving it isn't too bad. Air comes down through the collar and keeps you a little cool, but when stopped it is an oven! So don't stop. Run red lights, pull out in front of cars. Just do what you have to to keep that air flowing! Ok, that's also a bad idea. But do stay cool.
The jacket doesn't restrict movement very much and feels quite nice. I havn't yet worn it with the liner in but I feel that it'd keep me even warmer (not something I'd like to experience anytime soon). The jacket looks sharp (even better than it does in the picture once it's on you) and the leather seems to be supple and in the right places. The stitching also seems to be pretty sturdy, although I'd rather not test the durability of the leather and stitching. But if I did go down I feel that the jacket would do it's job quite well.
For those of you who sport ride and do track days there is a zipper in the back to connecto to any Teknic brand pants. Also, there is an extra connecting piece of zipper fabric that (I heard) can be sewn into pants that do not have a zipper to make them match up. While I've never tried this, it seems like a smart idea!
Overall I'm happy with the jacket, although I will admit that every once in a while I am tempted to perforate that thing (which will negate it's safety, but heck, it's hot here!) I see these go on ebay for $120 all the time, sometimes less. So if you're looking for a good, solid jacket I'd say pick one up! Even if you live where it's hot it really isn't too terribly bad. The added protection is well worth the sweat in my mind!