It has been a summer for Kevlar shirts and the run back from Prague on an Ultra Limited – with its ‘Willie Wings’ diverting air behind the screen – was the best test for a vented textile that I could have hoped for.
With my excess luggage heading back to Blighty in Harley’s support truck leaving plenty of space for my leather jacket in the Tour Pak, I was as free to make the most of the weather and any concerns that the Batwing would block too much wind were allayed by the time I cleared the urban jungle.
I felt as though I was cheating, riding past fellow visitors to the 115th Party as they made their way home in full riding gear, and I wondered how many thought I was doing some last minute sightseeing before packing for home – or tutting under their breath about the irresponsibility of just wearing a shirt – but I was loving it.
I’d made a point of unzipping the underarm vents and the exhaust vent across the back, to get the maximum effect, and remembering Amanda’s comments on how fresh the RSD Stoddard shirt smelt after a ride in the summer, I was glad to be out of the city heat and on the road.
I’ve been switching between the two shirts for most of the summer and they have very different characteristics, the John Doe Motoshirt being more a classic shirt with the breast pockets backed up by a couple more inside, and its full length zipper concealed behind a conventional shirt front, whereas the Stoddard has a couple of waist pockets and is more of a lightweight, satin-lined plaid jacket.
Even with the diverted air on the Ultra, the underarm vents made a massive difference – I could tell just by closing them, which is a bit fiddly as the zipper tags are small enough to be unobtrusive in normal use – and it was a more generous size. I had considered sending it back and requesting a smaller one – because it’s a lot of material to fit beneath a jacket – but was glad that I hadn’t because the extra material was welcome, flapping about in the breeze and aiding convection.
You wouldn’t know, to look at it, that it was anything other than a western-style shirt, with branded studs apparently keeping the shirt front and the pocket flaps closed, and a couple concealed to hold the collar down.
Even the John Doe branding is subtle: a sew-on laundry tag at the front and crossed adjustable spanners on the left shoulder to mark it out as being for a biker rather than a lumberjack.
It is pocketed for amour but none is supplied as standard, giving you the option of hard or soft, or none at all, which is how I’m wearing it: I really should look out some 3DO armour and see how the material copes with it, but having ridden for most of my adult life without it, I don’t miss it and I’m wearing this for its abrasion resistance more than impact protection.
An excellent piece of clothing with multiple uses.
John Doe Motoshirt. Colours: Grey/Black, Red, Blue, Dark Grey, Raw Denim // Size: Size: XS-5XL // RRP: £220.00