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Motorcycle shirts have proved a game changer of late, with many manufacturers dropping new product into the market around this time every year for summer/autumn wear.

Of course, like leather jackets, there are not that many avenues you can follow in terms of style, so if anything different happens on the market, it is bound to capture your attention, as is a flashy colour. There are certainly many mixes out there by way of plaid and check offerings, for example, from greens and whites to yellows to blues to reds to blacks, which sit neatly alongside the more traditional solo black or white biker shirts.

I have been a convert for several years now, as I like to dress casually in the summer… as long as what I am wearing has decent, and by that I mean, proper, protection. Levels of security are a high priority for many a biker these days, and rightly so, whether we are talking double or triple A ratings. Basically, you should never compromise on safety.

Roadskin Munro

Venting across the back of the Roadskin Munro armoured shirt… nice

Venting also plays a key role for summer riding, which is why companies the likes of Knox perform so well with products such as their Action Pro and Urbane Pro riding shirts. RST have just introduced the Roadster Air CE Mens Leather Jacket, having adapted the classic RST Roadster and created the Roadster Air, and is perfect for warmer weather conditions. Using fully perforated leather, RST additionally has fitted a lightweight mesh liner to guarantee airflow across the body. I will be reviewing this soon, but today is all about a brand new to me – Roadskin.

This UK family-run concern specialises in cool, protective outerwear for bikers – modern biker clothing that you can wear all-day long. Jeans, T-shirts, hoodies and jackets are all in the mix and I have heard it said that their premium motorcycle jeans are among the best in the business, thanks to the use of modern fabric technologies which offer protection where you need it alongside a perfect balance of style, comfort and safety.

Roadskin Munro

Roadskin Munro… the proof is in the wearing… and yes, that’s a leather leg bag, not a holster… and yes, my beard does require a trim, but that’s ‘cos I ride a Harley

The company is run by bikers Ian and Nicky, who put their many collective years of biking knowledge and experience together to design motorcycle clothing fit for function, safety, style and comfort. The inspiration for Roadskin came about when they realised that they could make premium, high-quality jeans that were tougher than the rest, and that could be delivered directly to customers at low prices. What’s more, Roadskin pride themselves on personal service. I don’t like plugs, so I don’t do plugs, this is merely some background history for you. So, for me, the proof is in the testing, so I was delighted when Roadskin offered to send me their Munro Armoured Motorcycle Shirt for test.

For starters, it is clear that this jacket will take a beating. It’s heavier and sturdier than other armoured shirts in my wardrobe, which is no mean thing, because immediately I knew I would be wearing a substantial garment. And whilst I pray I never have to try it, I imagine that a heavier jacket is always going to offer superior abrasion resistance.

Roadskin Munro

Full zip and popper closure, two chest pockets and small zipped pockets above… wear a leg bag… it’s easier and keeps the jacket more streamlined (er, not like here!)

The jacket has, I guess, a timeless quality about it. It has two patch pockets with popper closures, an inside zipped pocket to the left breast and a pocket for a mobile on the other side. No handwarmer pockets. It is a shirt, after all. But it kinda doesn’t look like a shirt, if you get my drift. There’s a rogue quality about it, which I really like.

As I say, it’s heavy, yet it ticks all the boxes in terms of both comfort and style. And, for me, it’s right on trend as opposed to all the copycat plaid-style shirts out there which, admittedly, mostly come with armour in the elbows and shoulders and spine, although you will find others with simple reinforcements in likely contact areas.

Roadskin Munro

The Munro has been named in tribute to the legendary motorcycle rider Burt Munro. He’s the chap who, in 1967, as a 68-year-old New Zealand native, made motorcycle history by setting a new official land-speed record of 184.087mph – with an unofficial top speed of 205.67mph – when he raced his heavily-modified 1920 Indian Scout Streamliner across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, U.S.A.

The Munro shirt in question here boasts AA-rated protection with Kevlar® lining (for those not in the know, and to save you looking it up, Kevlar is a strong, heat-resistant synthetic fibre, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora). The shirt is constructed of 200gsm cotton fabric. And that was one of the first things I noticed when riding in this shirt – how much comfort and freedom of movement I could enjoy. And what I really love about the styling: the diamond stitched pattern detailing at the top front and rear of the jacket… such a unique look, so a thumbs up to Roadskin for that.

Roadskin Munro

Dual press stud cuffs with small zipped gussets at the wrist… Great for wearing gloves either inside or outside the sleeves

I mentioned the CE Level 2 armour which comes as standard; that fits in the internal armour pockets for the back, shoulders and elbows. It has a zipped and press stud closure fastening at the neck, and dual press stud cuffs with small zipped gussets at the wrist. For you techies, the Munro boasts a 98% Cotton/2% Spandex outer, and 60% Kevlar/40% Polyester inner. The light mesh lining helps keep you cool and protects against skin tearing should the worst happen and you hit the Tarmac, but we won’t go there. Double-stitched on all the main seams, it also features a reinforced rear hem, two zipped front ventilation pockets, and a large rear zipped ventilated section to help maintain an optimal temperature while riding. Oh, and that CE AA-rating… that’s the whole garment, not just the material.

The Roadskin Munro Armoured Shirt is available in either black or khaki, in sizes M-XXXL, and retails at £159. That’s a bargain, I reckon.

IN CONCLUSION: What you have here is the perfect balance between casual motorcycle shirt and jacket, with excellent protection in all the right areas. It feels great, it looks great, it’s comfortable. Oh, and it offers good wind protection, and a refreshing cooling effect through those vents, if you want that, too, during our long, hot summer (that’s a joke, right!). And that quilted shoulder yoke… yes sirree.

Gonzo

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