This is an incredibly high-tech jacket. Most motorcycle gear will have CE-approved parts of it but the entire garment is fully CE-approved – not just the armoured elbows and shoulders but even the leather itself.
Initial impressions are that it looks fantastic – very stylish design and a definitely sporty cut – and well-made with clever stitching. I prefer the look of the 2014 model over the later version so this is the one I own.
The Atem jacket passed the Abrasion, Impact Cut and Seam Burst tests so well that it met the CE level 2 standards but overall the jacket is CE level 1 because it’s also been designed for comfort so the inner arms and armpits have stretchy material which isn’t as protective as the rest of the jacket.
So what’s it like to wear on a day-to-day basis? It’s a racing jacket so the cut is typically sporty, feeling comfortable when on the bike in a racing crouch but less comfortable when off the bike and walking around as it hunches you forwards and is a snug fit. However, it’s a performance jacket so is not designed to be worn for long periods off the bike. It feels very reassuring and sturdy – it’s noticeably heavier than my other Alpinestars jacket (GP Pro) and gives you confidence that it’s up to the job of protecting you as you slide down the road at high speed.
It’s heavily perforated to keep you cool in summer by allowing lots of air in. There is hard plastic external protection on the elbows and shoulders and a mesh neck and cuffs. There are both internal and external pockets to make it semi-practical and it also has two straps which are designed to fasten under your legs and ensure the jacket doesn’t ride up in the event of a crash. It also has a zip to attach it to trousers although there isn’t an available Atem set of trousers to make it into a 2-piece suit – you either get a 1-piece or the jacket on its own.
Niggles – having ridden in it for a good few weeks, I find the cuffs to be quite thick so when you fasten your gloves over them, it’s all a bit bulky but this probably just takes some getting used to. Also, the race hump presses against my helmet when I’m more upright so it’s not ideal for riding when you aren’t going for it.
Overall, it’s a fantastic, stylish jacket offering the best levels of protection which is far more in its element when you’re out for a blast and not riding through town.It isn’t cheap at around £500 but then it’s significantly more protective than most other jackets on the market.
Being a bit of a fashion whore, I now also want one in black but can’t find one in the older style…