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Let's Teach Nick Denton About Motorcycle Jackets

Illustration for article titled Lets Teach Nick Denton About Motorcycle Jackets

Ol' Man Denton wanted to buy a scooter. Nothing wrong with that. "I like scooters fine. But why not just get a motorcycle?" I asked. Especially since he was looking at 600-pound BMW maxi-scooters, which are great machines, but not exactly the little Soho-to-Brooklyn runabout he was talking about in the first place.


Then he saw the Zero FX electric motorcycle and was intrigued. Light, futuristic, and set up perfectly for the cobblestone streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn? He was booking his Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes next week, he said.

"So what jacket are you going to get?" I asked, knowing he'd balk.

"Do I really have to wear a jacket on a motorcycle? Perhaps I'll just get a scooter instead," he said in that accent I still can't emulate.


"Well, you should wear a jacket on a scooter or a motorcycle. Helmet is mandatory. Gloves are basically mandatory. But a jacket is kind of the bare minimum for real safety." (I didn't want to talk to him about pants. And besides, I usually just wear jeans in the city myself, even though I know I might as well be wearing shorts.)

"There's a bit of irrationality," said Denton, "that people on bicycles don't wear jackets."


I hope to heck that Denton gets a motorcycle. Riding has been the single-most rewarding and probably most therapeutic thing I've done in my adult life. And having a motorcycle completely unlocks navigation in New York, even if the city is full of maniacal Uber drivers and sleepy bus drivers. I really want him to learn to ride a motorcycle (especially so I can borrow the Zero), but I'd prefer he not die, since he pays my bills.

What's it going to take to convince the guy that riding a motorcycle or a scooter without armor isn't a great idea? Or even better, how cool motorcycle jackets can be? Like the Rev'it Hillcrest summer jacket: doesn't look too futuristic (although I personally love that shit), should be cool enough to live in through heat of a late summer, won't embarrass him by looking too poseur-y. Not bad, right?


What would you advise? What's a good "This is a motorcycle jacket but it's not annoying and hot to wear" suggestion?

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