When something is described as a “Race Replica” it’s almost always a sportsbike with ridiculous graphics, an over-priced helmet or occasionally a really nice set of leathers. The Alpinestars Venture Jacket is another kind of race replica. For $279.95 you can have the same jacket that Marc Coma wore on his was to victory in the 2011 Dakar.
This jacket is especially interesting to me because it’s the kind of thing I would wear off-road. Rather than wearing an MX jersey, I usually wear a mesh jacket sans armor over a separate armor jacket like this. This odd looking setup gives a little more abrasion protection on the freeway and also leaves me with convenient places for my wallet and garage door opener. I’m also a big fan of carrying water which means I’ve always had to ride with some sort of backpack with a bladder inside.
The Venture jacket addresses all of those points. There’s no armor in it. Rather than being built like a regular road jacket, it’s designed to work as a shell worn over MX armor. The collar zips off leaving a sort of v-neck shaped hole that perfectly accommodates a neck brace and, if things get hot, the arms zip off too. What’s left is a vest that will hold a hydration system, all your paperwork and, if you really pushed it, I bet you could fit a complete Ural tool roll into the back pocket that’s designed to hold the sleeves.
The Venture is intended more for dual sport or enduro riding than it is adventure touring. It’s not waterproof, so the main advantage of wearing this over a jersey is going to be that abrasion protection, the water bladder compartment and the pockets. Yes, pockets really are that big a deal. What makes it unique is its combination of all the above with easy adaptability to fit an Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support, an item many are beginning to view as essential for off-road riding.