Warren
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I have previously owned three dedicated summer jackets but never been really happy with any of them. The first jacket was made by Dryrider that I purchased 10+ years ago. This was a very light weight item with minimal protection but maximum cooling. I expected to use it for a limited time until I found something better however I still have this jacket.

The second jacket I purchased was a Cortech item that was supposed to do it all. The base was a combination of mesh, textile and leather with lots of armor. To this you could zip in wind and water proof liner and thermal liner. Instead of doing it all it really did not work well for anything. Heavier than my full leather jacket it was simply too heavy and hot to wear on a summer day and with the liners in I remained cold on a winter day.

In the USA I was caught out by the 40+ heat I purchased a full mesh jacket made by River Road and this was similar to the Dryrider, a light weight item with minimum protection. I gave that jacket away later as the Dryrider was better.

This summer I decided to try get a summer jacket with better protection. I have been very happy with the BMW pants I have so I decided to investigate their jackets.

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The BMW Airflow 4 Jacket is actually very expensive (in Australia) if you were looking at it full retail price. I happened to walk in to my local dealer when they had a 40% off clearance and even at a reduced price it was at the upper envelope of what I would be prepared to pay. Fortunately with eBay, Amazon, Google shopping etc you can seek out items worldwide and hopefully avoid paying full retail.

Instead of open weave the jacket has sturdy construction, full complement of BMW’s armor including full back protector and uses ventilation panels at specific locations. Sizing I would say it runs a little small and fits a little more snug but arms are good length. 

I was at first a bit sceptical about the ability of the panels to flow enough air but reviews seemed good so I decided to try and indeed the jacket works fairly well on a non fairing bike. The front and rear panels flow air in and along and around your arms and body and back out the rear panels to cool you effectively without resorting to a open weave type construction. An added feature is the jacket is a pale sand colour which does not hold heat like a black item does.

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I don’t want you to think I said this was good because of the brand as I actually do not like the brand itself per se as I find like Harley, BMW has too much elitism attached to it however their clothing line seems to be quite good albeit super expensive.

But it is not without fault. The arms have no liner and I find that less comfortable and when not moving you start to heat up faster than a mess jacket. If wanting higher strength than regular mesh this jacket is worth considering but if wanting maximum cooling and comfort in humid conditions then a mesh jacket is better.

Update. I find the jacket on a full fairing bike does not flow enough air.

Update 2. If you are on bike with wind protection this is not the jacket to get. I find I need a full mesh jacket on my touring bike in Japan and arms get heat rash with this jacket.

Update 3. I sold it and have returned to using mesh jacket but am looking for something that is better.  

6 Comments

  1. its niche blog, i like this blog..thank's

  2. thanks. anyone can tell me which brand is the helmet in the picture?

  3. Thanks for the review.
    I'm thinking of buying the bmw airflow jacket and pants for an upcoming tour from Sydney to Tasmsmian in Jan. On a naked bike with smallish fairing, sport screen purposely installed for this trip.
    I'm expecting some hot weather around Bright, Vic highlighands, MLB, etc but maybe cooler temps around Tassie.
    My question is how do you keep warm in early mornings and cooler days with the airflow gear?

    • Hi Brendan, the BMW jacket has no liners at all which did not concern me living in the tropics but where you are going it may not be up to the job.

      Riding in Thailand early in year the mornings can be cool and there I take a thin spray jacket that I wear underneath to stop the wind. That might work for you, like a sports windbreaker underneath.

      I do not use mesh pants. I have the BMW City pants and these have the protection woven into the cotton rather than panels of kevlar. They also have a special inner mesh lining that helps circulate air. Whilst sold as urban riding wear I followed a tough ride report across Angola and they took everything thrown at them.

  4. Eamonn McKenna

    Thanks for posting an update on the Airflow.
    I am looking at one well used, and you answered some queries I had.
    Stay safe,
    Ed.

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