I have several motorcycle jackets but none are any good when it comes to staying dry in the rain – especially when it comes to a prolonged downpour. Past experiences tell me that when it comes to waterproofness, products manufactured with Gore-Tex are hard to beat. But damn, the price! Usually you’re looking at several hundred dollars. And so it is with this product, with a retail price of over 300 bucks. Youch! Imagine my delight when this item was put on clearance for $54.99!!!
- Item: Teknic Sirocco Gore-Tex jacket.
- Made in: China
- Date purchased: January 19, 2011
- Vendor: Iron Pony Motorsports (via eBay)
- Price paid: $63.94 (extra $$ for shipping)
- Summary: Some minor design issues but a killer value and performs very well.
So there I was in January, 2011 reminiscing about all the cycle rides where I got caught in Biblical deluges. The kind of rain that initially seeps in through the coat, then the shirt, saturating the skin until a trickle of water is slowly but surely inching down your spine, then a cool shock as it wanders between the crack of your ass before finally shaking hands with your sphincter. Yeah… such fond memories! And so it was in this state of mind that I proceeded to troll the Internet for a waterproof motorcycle jacket. I wanted something made of Gore-Tex but each time I looked at the price, I nearly had to perform a self-induced Heimlich maneuver. But on this fateful day, I was wandering through eBay and found the Teknic Sirocco Gore-Tex motorcycle jacket for $54.99 + shipping. I couldn’t believe it and figured it was either a piece of trash or a typo on the price. The coat was offered in three colors: red, blue, or black. And so, with some trepidation, I ordered a red coat, size 44, then waited on the mail.
Once received, the coat impressed immediately. This is no cheap garment. It is well built and has the following features:
- Gore-Tex membrane
- Removable insulated liner
- Knox Body Protection System armour inserts at the elbows, shoulders, and back
- Two front outside pockets (not waterproof)
- Two inside pockets (only one is waterproof)
- A rear cargo pocket
- Three vents for air flow on warm days
- Reflective piping
- A removable storm collar (stored in rear cargo pocket when not in use)
Though well made and feature rich, several modifications were needed to make this coat a favorite. At 6 foot 2 inches and 190 pounds, the size 44 coat fits fairly well. The chest and arm length are perfect but the waist was snug to the point of absurdity. The waist band is comprised of elastic material and was quite accommodating in accepting my girth. There are also adjustable waist straps on the left and right, secured with Velcro to ensure a snug, tight wrap in windy / wet weather. But the straps are too short for my 34 inch waist. It’s possible to “suck it in” and get the straps to fit but I found that uncomfortable and tedious. I remedied the situation by sewing a 2 inch extension on the coat’s plastic D-ring using some nylon strap and an additional D-ring. This was done on both the left and right sides.
Next modification to the coat was in removing the Velcro used to hold the front vertical storm flap shut. I hate this stuff. It snags on everything and I find it very annoying. Fortunately, the small, rectangular Velcro material was sewn on and not glued. So I snipped the Velcro off the storm flap panels and purchased some heavy duty snaps (sometimes referred to as grommets). A two piece tool from Dritz comprised of an indented black plastic disk (to hold one end of the snap) and a punch (to ram the other half of the snap) is needed to mate the two halves of each snap together. In order to fasten them to the coat, I needed to cut a small incision along the edge of the flap, then puncture a small hole into the material for each snap. Once the snaps were secure, the flap edge was sewn shut. Worked like a charm!
Last modification was in the zipper pulls. Out of the box, there is no way you’re going to find, much less open / close a zip on this coat while riding, even without gloves. So I added 5 zipper pulls. I added a braided pull that my daughter made for me to the inside pocket and used 550, 7-strand red paracord for the four front outside zipper pulls (two for pockets and two for vents). I sourced the paracord pulls from eBay pre-assembled. Just search eBay for paracord zipper pulls. These are pretty cool in that if you get into some unforeseen bind, the pull can be unravelled into a 3 foot length of cord. A gazillion possibilities: fix a broken shoe lace, repair a tent fly cord, secure loose luggage on the bike, etc.
I’ve had this jacket for three full seasons and have put it through some massive downpours. I have yet to get wet – anywhere. No leaks of any kind, including the neck area. “Goodbye” wrinkled sphincter! Though there are five storage areas within this coat, only one (an inside pocket) is completely waterproof. The remaining four are positioned outside the Gore-Tex lining. So any delicate electronics i.e. cellphones must be positioned in the appropriate pocket. I find that the cooling vents don’t work particularly well. With all three open (two front and one back) I’m still warm on a hot day. The red has faded somewhat but the shell is not showing any signs of noticeable wear. I am very pleased with this coat and at 60 bucks, it’s literally a steal.