Gear: Dainese Greyhound Pelle

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In a closet that contains an awesome Aerostich Roadcrafter, Alpinestars and Vanson race suits, and an Icon Overlord 2-piece suit, this jacket is quickly becoming a favorite piece. What does the Dainese Greyhound Pelle have over all those amazing pieces of gear? It’s a classically styled leather jacket that works as well for a night out as it does on a bike.

Photos: Ashlee Goodwin

At a glance, it’s easy to mistake it for something sold by Vanson or Schott. This Dainese is quite a bit different though. Rather than trying to recreate the past, the Greyhound applies that traditional aesthetic to a modern, armored riding jacket.

Gone are the snap down collars, thick, heavy leather, and frustrating failure-prone zippers of those old-school jackets. Instead, Dainese uses soft leather that looks amazing, fits comfortably and requires no break-in. This isn’t the usual PU coated stuff that race suits and most riding jackets are made of though; it’s a high-end leather jacket that will easily scuff and scratch so you’ve got to be nice to it. Conditioning it will alter its feel and appearance. The Greyhound’s super smooth zipper runs full length to the very top of the collar. Zip it all the way up when you’re chilly, or open up a little on hot days. It’s comfortable either way. The leather on the inside of the collar has obviously had some sort of special treatment applied, making it incredibly pliable and soft, though Dainese doesn’t share their exact technique.

Instead of two-panel tubes for arms each has six panels, one of which is an ingeniously shaped piece with nearly invisible perforation for the inside of your elbow and shoulder. There’s more of that perforation (always custom shaped to the panel in Dainese jackets) just below the arms on the body of the jacket too. With the liner removed it works decently well up to 90º heat on the freeway, but really shines when you’re cruising around town at night with the liner in and another layer over a t-shirt. The inside of your elbow and around the underarm where most jackets bunch up is where you’ll get warm and sweaty and the nearly invisible perforation takes care of it.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this jacket, and the biggest thing separating it from normal riding jackets, is a fit that makes this jacket look great with or without armor. The cut is more like that of a fashion jacket, and they’ve left barely enough room for shoulder armor. Once you arrive at your destination it only takes about 30 seconds to pull out the shoulder armor (velcro) and back protector (zipper compartment).

The cut of the arms successfully hides the harder to remove elbow armor, and the six panel sleeve design disappears into the folds and creases of the leather at night. With the armor out, the only things to give you away are the small metal Dainese logos set into each shoulder and DAINESE stitched across the upper back. Recently, it was the only jacket I hauled along to San Francisco and served me well both at fancy dinners and all day riding.

There are more comfortable jackets to ride in, and there are more fashionable jackets to stand around and look good in, but none that work so well at both.

Dainese

  • Jon B.

    Own, and love this jacket.

    • Sean Smith

      +1 I wasn’t sure I’d like it as much as I now do. Especially with that white scarf.

      • OBronin

        +1 on the scarf… Channeling the WWII fighter pilot in you?

        • Sean Smith

          Ha, I bought the scarf for Ashlee a few years ago. She likes scarves, so I figured a thin silk one would be awesome for riding with. Turns out it is awesome for riding, and because of that I steal it on a pretty regular basis. Keeps cold air out, makes any collar comfy (even stiff ones with pointy tags inside) and makes you look like timeless and classy.

          • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

            White Scarves = Total Class. Nicely paired.

            • JK

              White scarves for the HFL store? Do it

  • Tommy

    You forgot to mention the price. ;)

    • Sean Smith

      If you have to ask… $719, plus $90 for the G-type wave back protector. It’s expensive. ;)

      • BMW11GS

        yeah I have to admit, that burst my excitement bubble

        • Kirill

          Ditto. I could have dealt with it being $400 or so, but north of $700 is just ow.

  • Coreyvwc

    This is the only acceptable replacement I’ve seem for my solid black Dainese Zen. Too bad it’s going to essentially last forever. I think a solid crash is in order here…

  • ursus

    About the leather, do you think this is a jacket that will wear well, develop character, and take a few insults, or is it something that will get retired easily due to an abrasion or cut?

    • Sean Smith

      It’ll scuff and stretch and wear. It acts the way you would expect leather to act. In ten years, this jacket will look amazing.

      • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

        With this type of jacket – how would it go if you wore a backpack alot? I really want a jacket like this, but I do tend to take either a tank bag or backpack most places, and would hate to ‘ruin’ a jacket like this by having shoulder straps wear some funny looking marks into it…

        • Sean Smith

          Funny looking marks add character. The awesome thing about nice leather is how it wears and what can be done to it with conditioning and care. It won’t get ruined, it’ll just get awesome.

          • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

            Okay… you convinced me I need one!

  • Deep6Dive

    yeah it’s got that real i like kenny loggins and members only look to it… great pick.

  • http://krtong.com KR Tong

    I swear, HFL’s getting more and more expensive with the gear they review. Are there any functional benefits to having the armor integrated into the jacket? I rock a full armor mesh jacket and knee guards under my civilian clothes.

    Also this jacket comes in brown!? I love bike gear that comes in greys, browns, sand, olive, military/enduro colors (A-Star’s Durban & Kevlar jackets come to mind) Black, white and primary colors are too flash.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      We review affordable stuff all the time. Here’s a $150 helmet:

      http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2011/08/gear-fulmer-adv-helmet/

      The problem is, affordable stuff doesn’t tend to stand out or be remarkable in any way, so it just doesn’t make good stories.

      “Oh hey, this jacket is unremarkable in every way.” Probably isn’t something you’d tune in for.

      Your motocross armor will probably do a halfway decent job of ameliorating impacts in a crash, but it’s extremely bulky and designed for dirt crashes, which have lower outright impact velocities on softer surfaces. It gives you nothing in the way of abrasion or weather protection. Try a real riding jacket or suit at some point and be prepared to be amazed at how much less fatigued you’ll be and how easy it is to ride in adverse conditions. And you’re realize why they’re worth the money.

      • http://krtong.com KR Tong

        Oh yeah and the Messenger jacket review too. You guys do have a couple cool reviews of budget jackets that I get pretty excited for. Then with these reviews I just say “fuuuuuuuu whatamIsupposedtodowiththisssssss” and storm off.

        The armor i have isn’t motocross-specific. It’s the same CE shoulder/elbow/back armor in sport bike jackets, just stitched to a mesh jersey. The jackets i’ve got are smedium high-denier cordura jackets. Ive even crashed in an adidas anorak i got from TJ max for $60. Looks like the 1000 denier cordura you find in messenger bags and ballistics jackets. ER didn’t know it wasn’t a motorcycle jacket. Always a bummer when the EMTs cut apart your favorite gear.

        Shit’s not ideal but when you’ve gotta ride it works.

      • je

        “Oh hey, this streetfighter 848 is unremarkable in every way.”

        • ike6116

          I see what you did there and I like it a lot.

    • ike6116

      I’d say it’s a combo of what Wes said and the fact that with the move came greater access so price has become less of a factor as they actually get review units now.

      • Sean Smith

        I think that more than anything else, it has to do with my borderline dangerous obsession with motorcycle gear. Also, a little harassment goes a long way when it comes to getting products to test ;)

        • ike6116

          Haha, you guys mentioned you’d be cracking more into A*’s new fall line up over time right? Or did I imagine that?

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Yeah, it’s gotta show up in their warehouse first though.

        • Thomas

          why don’t you go harrass REV’IT? I’m looking at some of their stuff.

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            We’re friends with them and have explained multiple times how easy it is to work with us and how valuable the coverage. But, they’re of that old school motorcycle industry mindset that doesn’t value media AT ALL. Honestly, I’ve never even seen a revit product in real life.

            • Jon B.

              That is a total shame, they have such a nice office in Red Hook.

              • Filipe

                I like their stuff alot, tends to be more subtle with the branding and works off the bike… Generally very well tailored / fitted.

                The Vespa store in Soho carries a lot of their stuff.

            • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

              That’s a shame. I needed new gloves recently. Tried on some A*s GPs ($190), $170 Vansons, and some Rev’it SLRs ($140). The Rev’its were far and away the highest quality and most comfortable. Never really thought about their stuff until I tried them on.

  • je

    Jacket looks great as does your beard :) while the cost doesn’t bother me that logo on the back does. Race suit? Sure. Classic leather jacket on the other hand should not be tainted like this.

    • Spencer

      I have to agree. I am so sick of the branding! We pay this kind of money and we still have to advertise…I actually live close to the Dainese store in SF and am constantly disappointed with trying on the perfect jacket only to see a GIANT logo somewhere for all to see on the back.

      I settled on a $400 dollar off the rack jacket from Johnson leathers here in SF and six months later Im loving it! No branding just meat and potatoes motorcycle jacket that will take a beating..check em out!
      http://www.johnsonleather.com/

    • Sean Smith

      I think the logo on the back is tastefully done, especially for a mainstream company. It’s just stitching on padded leather. I’m not sure how to respond to what I assume is man on man beard compliments. Maybe Tommy can help out here?

  • resonance

    looks really nice.

    RSD just released their new gear, and chance you guys are doing a review at some stage?

    cheers

  • Thomas

    How does this compare to something like the REV’IT Union Jacket? The Union is half the price, but looks fairly similar (clean, simple, claasic-styled black leather jacket). The Union is equpped with CE-certified armor (or whatever you call that certification). Any comments?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      We’d love to give you an answer, but have yet to receive any gear from Rev’It for review. I love drinking with all those guys and they just had some major shifting in management happen that I think will allow them to really step up in the American market.

    • Sean Smith

      It’s certainly similar, but the Dainese is all leather and the logo applications are more timeless. It looks like the Rev’it is tailored more as a riding jacket and less as a fashion jacket, and though the arms are similar, the different panels are a lot more visible.

      At least, that’s what it looks like. Like Grant said, we’ve yet to sample Rev’it.

  • Deep6Dive

    Rev’it makes some really classy jackets.

  • R13

    Very nice but I feel the same about my $150 Corazzo Postale. Still i’d be willing to trade.

  • jeremy

    I have the vintage pelle, which is the same jacket just with a different wear on the leather. Shit looks good without making you look like a rock and roll guy.

  • Eric

    Haha I totally own a Dainese Pelle very similar to that one and wear it with that Aerostich white silk scarf all.the.time.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    That jacket is incredible. Very nice job done by Dainese. They’ve historically, and for obvious reasons, tended to overly Euro their stuff, but this is a seriously nice piece. And as Sean mentions, this is real top grain leather, not the PU-coated, embossed stuff.

    As for the collar, it looks like they spec’d the leather from the belly of the cow. This is what gives it the very soft, stretchy properties. It’s not great for the back panel or elbows or shoulders, but it’s the right choice for the “touch points” of a leather jacket.

    Yeah, it’s super expensive, but damn worth every penny. You keep a jacket like this and if you raised your son right, you will it to him. And he fucking covets it.

  • nick2ny

    Nice looking jacket, shame about the big logo across the shoulders and on the sides. How about a name-brand jacket with no logos? Pleeaaaase? Country of origin?

    • Sean Smith

      Here‘s your logo-less jacket. The Greyhound is made in Ukraine.

      • nick2ny

        I appreciate the tip Sean. I’m not crazy about logos and that jacket looks nice. Now, if I could just borrow Ben’s printing press (and maybe his helicopter!).

      • contender

        I just picked up a schott in Van Nuys for $200 on craigslist. Gonna have my seamstress friend sew in some armor pockets. And no huge logo anywhere.

  • Spencer

    Sick of the logos!

    • Sean Smith

      Here‘s one for you.

      Both the Vanson and the Schott have more classic American style cuts, are built of incredibly stiff leather that needs to be broken in and will never have the soft, supple feel of the stuff this Dainese is made from, and lack any armor.

      The closest thing what you’re likely looking for is a brown Kushitani jacket I once saw. It was completely logo-free, waterproof and had completely hidden GP-spec armor in the shoulders, elbows, back and chest. It cost $1700 and wasn’t even available for sale in America. It was $1700 nice though.

      For a readily available jacket, built with modern construction techniques and neat tricks like sneaky six-panel arms with hidden perforation and armor in all the right places, I think this is as good as it gets unless you custom order something.

      • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

        In the same “thick leather jacket with classical styling” category i’m very happy with my aero (that isn’t available on their site, it’s custom ordered by a french store and looks very much like the Schott).

        I wear it with a full back protector and I’m still on the fence abbout fitting some elbow armor in it like you guys did a while back.
        No plans to pursue that by the way?

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        Strange that you put the Vanson and Schott into “incredibly stiff” land. I agree with Vanson, but most Schott’s at the local shop are remarkably soft.

      • Spencer

        yeah, that’s essentially the same jacket I got at Johnson Leathers here in SF…after 3-6 months of every day riding it has broken in beautifully!

        I actually wanted that Vanson but thought it was a little steep…I nearly bought a Dainese last year during one of their sales, I loved the way it fit and I told the sales people I would purchase in a second if it didn’t have the giant logo on the back. Working in high end retail myself i know the company listens to customer feed back..I can’t be the only one who strongly dislikes the branding.

        I do appreciate the research and Info you found

  • Mr.Furious

    Another option that isn’t quite so dear is the Spidi JK. Again, almost no branding, classic styling and modern armour. And it comes in multiple colours (including brown).

  • 1

    I have to add, wish it didn’t have the log on the back.

    Nice jacket, have been looking at this, for a while. great to have a review on it.

    BTW, really like the tone of the photography. I know it’s not the same as the NYC stuff HFl used to do, but the vibe is great none the less.

    Plenty of good stories this week. Still amused by that guy in white leather on the panigale.

  • jonoabq

    Nice but… Why is it nearly impossible to find a high quality name brand jacket, or two piece for that matter, without a big fucking ugly logo on it? Maybe its just me but I really have an aversion to shelling out so much money to be a walking advertisement.
    Last winter I pulled the trigger on a fully custom fitted, custom designed, fully lined (removable) black leather (thickness and finish of my choosing), removable elbow/shoulder/back armor (forcefield) for about the same price as the jacket reviewed here. Yeah, the Johnson Leathers website is uninspiring, if not poor, but they can make just about anything you want, even reverse engineer a pre-existing jacket of your choice, and they only leave one small label on the INSIDE of the jacket to remind you who made it.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I prefer the soft leather over the stiff stuff. This jacket is really, really nice, and I am sure if you had that kind of money to spend on it, it would reward you nicely.

  • ontheroad

    Mmmm tacos.

    • Sean Smith

      Wes and Ashlee go for the al pastor, I go for the pollo and carne asada. Taco’s Leo is legendary.

  • Nik

    For the best pastor try La Estrella in Highland Park, both the truck and stand are equally amazing.