Enginehawk. Another relatively new name on the motorcycle apparel scene and, like their sister company Ruroc, one making a few ripples. And rightly so, actually.
I've had the opportunity to test one of their jackets for the last few months and, to be honest, the more I use it the more impressed I am.
First things first. It's a proper leather bike jacket - it's heavy, it's fairly stiff and unyielding when you first get it and it's fitted with CE armour in all the right places. There is, of course, a little more to it than that. Let's have a proper look.
This is a traditional styled jacket. No lurid colours, no frills (literally!) and what branding and logos there are are discreet and generally in keeping with the overall look. Enginehawk do make more, um, exhibitionist jackets, but this isn't one of them.They also, by the way, do a range that is styled and cut to fit ladies properly. And I am delighted to report that they are...black. And also proper bike jackets. Yes, a motorcycle related company which doesn't patronise half the marketplace. Wonders will never cease.
Now the fella on the right isn't me. But the jacket fits me just as well. It's an off the peg item but it is beautifully cut and is quite literally a perfect fit for someone of roughly average height and build. Not only that but it's also spectacularly comfortable, warm enough and largely waterproof.
On the practicality side it's got good deep pockets which are wide enough to get your gloved hands into. The inside pocket zips up and will hold even the most extravagently large mobile phone. Plus your wallet. The sleeve zips are positioned on the top rather than the outside. Why? Because they're easier to use and their user surveys asked for it. And it works, too. Plus the cuffs are wide enough that you can get your gloves inside, meaning that they don't fill up with water when it rains. A small but impoortant thing.
That's it actually. There's no one big thing that makes this an especially good jacket. there's nothing which especially stands out and says that it's significantly better than similarly priced alternatives.
But there are lots of little things, and added together they actually do make this a bloody good jacket. At least as good as significantly more expensive rival offerings from established names, and head and shoulders above a lot of the other stuff out there.
I guess at £379 it's not especially cheap. But it is very good value. I have a jacket that I bought in 1982. There is no way I would wear it on a bike now - it's got no armour, the lining in one sleeve is a bit crusty where I bled into it and to be honest what used to feel like really solid leather now...doesn't. Oh, and it seems to have shrunk a little over the years. This Enginehawk jacket, on the other hand, I could actually imagine using in 40 years time. I mean, I'll be ancient and we may not be allowed to ride bikes by then because they'll have to be autonomous or something equally dreadful, but you get the picture. It's a jacket that will last.
So to sum up, go to www.enginehawk.com and take a look. You should be impressed. I am.