Alpinestars Black Shadow Collection: New Motorcycle Jackets for 2014

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Alpinestars Black Shadow Collection

The Black Shadow Collection by Alpinestars was designed for those of you who prefer not to look like a billboard on wheels when you ride. There are three jackets in this new black leather line intended to address the needs of riders participating in pure sport, pure cruiser, or a mix of both.

Alpinestars Phantom Leather Jacket
Type: Sport

The Phantom leather jacket is the sportiest of the group. I tried on the sample, which was a size or so too small, and got just enough of a taste to be really excited about this product. The Phantom uses their premium 1.3mm leather and pairs it with both Aramid and leather accordion stretch panels. The design is so effective that the jacket moved perfectly with my body as I moved my arms, despite the sample being too small. The Phantom also uses Alpinestars new shoulder protection system, which places sliders at both the shoulder and clavicle that are mounted into the silicon-injected shoulder pad. This jacket, complete with hump, is on par with the GP Tech, just in a more stealthy package. Look for it to cost around $800.

Alpinestars Huntsman Leather Jacket
Type: Cruiser

The Huntsman is made from an entirely different, pre-distressed and more supple leather that feels incredibly soft to the touch. As the “cruiser inspired” member of the Black Shadow Collection, you can tell immediately it was designed as a blend of form and function. This leather is not going to have the same abrasion resistance as the other two in order to look nicer (form), but does include CE armor at the shoulders and elbows as well as reinforced stitching (function). Cost: $700

Alpinestars Hades Leather Jacket
Type: Performance/Road Mix

The Hades Leather jacket is the “middle of the road” street inspired jacket. Sans hump and padded paneling, this jacket is slightly more understated in its appearance than the Phantom, while keeping most of its function. This jacket has the same Aramid and leather stretch panels, as well as the new shoulder protection system as its more costly Phantom sibling, and it adds an 80g thermal removable liner making this jacket work across a variety of temperatures. I think this may be my favorite of the bunch. Priced the same as the Huntsman at $700

We had a very quick preview of these jackets, with units available soon for more extensive testing. Which one should we review first?

  • livacpa

    Phantom first!

  • Guy

    Do the Hades jacket first for those of us who ride on the street every day!

  • John Chavez

    i need to be less tall to wear Alpinestars jackets. lol damn belly jackets on my long torso.

    • sean macdonald

      I have the same problem. I wear a thin, form fitting hoodie under pretty much everything for the length in the torso and arms.

  • susannaschick

    gawd that Huntsman is sexxxxxxy. I might even look twice at a guy riding a cruiser if he had a jacket like that. But I’d still rather see it on Steve McQueen on a vintage RD350…

    OK, so there’s no back protector. But that can be added, it’s not something you have to make room for like elbow & shoulder armor.

    And it reminds me, I have the exact same black leather I’m supposed to reupholster my R1 seat in today. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Wes Siler

      Yeah, I’m thinking I might need to try a Huntsman.

      Not clear if there’s a pocket for a back protector or not, but it’s Astars, so I’m guessing there is. Worst case: just have to strap on that Bionic Air underneath it, which’ll actually give me more protection in a slimmer package.

  • Michael

    when are you guys gonna do a base layer gear comparo? Or back protectors? Cant tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to find the perfect combination of protection, breath-ability, and comfort.

    • sean macdonald

      I’ve actually been working on that this week.

      • Michael

        glad to hear it. Cant wait to read the article.

  • Michael

    you know what else would be a great article? Something related to on-bike fitness! You hear so much about how hard the professional racers train. Ok that’s great but how? I highly doubt me showing up at Gold’s and squatting a bunch of weight for 3 set of 10 reps is really gonna improve my ability to run consistent laps over a race distance

    • Wes Siler

      That’s a good idea, I’ll put something like that together. In the meantime, squats help a ton. You use your Quads, Hamstrings and Glutes when you’re moving around on a sportsbike or doing anything off-road. Stronger muscles = better shock absorption and improved endurance.

      • Michael

        Thanks Wes. And I completely agree re: squats. I was just using a standard football squat routine as an example. 3×10 would build bulky, powerful muscle but certainly wouldn’t provide much endurance which is very important over the course of a track day or 20+ lap race. I actually had knee surgery last summer so my on-bike fitness was horrible. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of mountain biking, spinning, and higher rep, stabilization exercises. I’m still not quite to the point where I feel comfortable riding two full days of a track day weekend.

        • Wes Siler

          I’ve actually gotten better bike endurance by lifting than I used to get by cycling every day in NY. It’s just a superior form of exercise.

          • roma258

            Biking around the city and mountain biking (especially if you have some serious climbs) are just completely different animals. Plus it’s a fucking blast!

        • jefflev

          Squats would be great but only if you are doing them correctly. The crease of where the quad and hip meet should go below the top of your knee. That’s a FULL squat. Most people do not even come close to that depth. This will do wonders for strength AND flexibility. (and they don’t hurt your knees. that’s basically bs) And you don’t even need weights. Try and do 100 3x/week of air squats. You’d be amazed how your flexibility, strength and endurance will got through the roof after a month or so. (of course, the first week I would avoid stairs)

        • Chris McAlevy

          Mark Rippetoe, one of the greatest strength coaches/writers of all time, disagrees with you:

        • Michael

          See Wes? Hot topic. Now let’s get some of the professional trainers like Aldon Baker on the record. That guy has trained Josh Hayes, Nicky Hayden, Ricky Carmichael, etc.

      • Johnny Thunder

        Wish it was possible for RideApart to do an in depth interview/video following someone competitive in MotoGP thru 1 day of exercise. Doesn’t need to be a full 3-5 hr video just a good look at what different types of exercise some of the pro’s do. Even some after injury exercise to get back on a bike so quickly after breaking something would be awesome!

    • Stuki

      Unless you’re already doing some squats, 3×10 will definitely help on bike fitness.

      In general, in any sport, weekend warriors benefit mostly from specificity. As in, to become a faster rider, ride fast more. To be a better runner, run, etc… Full time pros have already maxed out how much specific training they can recuperate from, hence benefit from more tangential exercises.

      A basic weight program; squats, deads, benches, presses, chins and rows, will pretty much benefit anyone, so why not do it? But, for getting faster on a bike, don’t do it to the point where it decreases the quality and quantity of time spent actually riding.

      Just speculating, but I wonder if riding with a weighted west may bump bike fitness? Weighted gloves tend to improve power in boxers, as do pulling sleds and parachutes for sprinters and other speed athletes. Just as for the above, it would have to be done carefully not to throw off timing, however….

      • Chris McAlevy

        I own a 40 lb weighted vest, and trained up to run a 5k in it a couple months ago. Speaking purely subjectively from my own experience, I think you’d be better off just doing squats and deadlifts.

  • Dan

    Nice looking gear – alpinestars style seems to get better with time. Back humps on jackets are silly, but this is definitely a big step in the right direction.

    I wonder if Astars is pricing itself out with this gear, though. $700-800 makes these every bit as expensive as jackets from dainese. Alpinestars makes top-shelf equipment, no doubt (I have a race rep suit and love it) – but I think most people would rather have dainese if prices are the same.

    • sean macdonald

      I would have agreed with you I’m the past and I may still now. The sample I tried on was way too small but my first thought was “they can finally compete with Dainese.” The fit and finish is awesome. We’ll see how they stack up when we get one in to live with for a while.

  • Stuki

    Looks great. Just like something like 100 other available jackets. And 0 available pants. So, yet another advanced, pricey jacket to pair with nothing more than jeans for most rides..

  • Andrew Kinsler

    hades for sure! Id also like to see how the pants will interface with this.

  • roma258

    I bike in Philly, our drivers might actually be worse. But anyway, it really is different, there’s a reason why so many racers do it. Not that I’m totally against lifting, I used to lift pretty seriously and still do on occasion since I have a gym membership (mostly for hoops). It’s just more fun to be outside.

  • Tony Dyb

    Aerostich Transit Jacket is similarly priced(tad higher) with more features/benefits and has an option for pants.

  • appliance5000

    Hades – really? I mean this stuff is bland. Why not “Fireball of Burning Plasma that Will Really Burn You”? – or that won’t fit on the label.

  • Campisi

    I would LOVE to see tasteful use of real colour in motorcycle gear. Modernity bleeds in greyscale, it seems. Corazzo comes close here and there, but only if you want a scooter cut to your eye-pleasing jib.

  • Will Mederski

    Still don’t understand by SO much riding gear is BLACK.

  • Jesse

    I like the look of that Phantom. Looks a lot like my Icon Overlord, especially from behind.

  • Muscle Building Resorce Site

    Alpinestars continues to deliver the latest in classy performance technology. I really like it because this is made for all-weather and adventure comfort with
    water-resistant cover is also included for when the weather turns soggy.