Gear of the Day: Roland Sands Barfly Jacket

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Roland Sands Barfly Jacket

Roland Sands Barfly Jacket

A no nonsense leather riding jacket with all the style and modern amenities you’ve come to expect from Roland Sands. You won’t find flashy logos or embellishments on the Barfly. Inspiration stems from leather racing shirts from the board track racing era. The Barfly proves there is beauty to be found in simplicity and something to be said for quality leather worthy of stain or two.

Roland Sands Barfly Jacket Detail

While it may look like something you’d find at a vintage swap meet, this jacket can also be equipped with the protection you need in this modern world of ours. The Barfly has shoulder, elbow and back protector pockets that fit RSD Armor. The armor does not come with the jacket and must be purchased separately. But either way you look at it, the Barfly is a jacket you can be seen in public without drawing too much attention to your two-wheeled habit. $480.00

  • Emptybee

    I don’t know why, but I can’t look at that name without seeing barf-ly instead of bar-fly. Urp!

    • NOCHnoch

      barf.ly is the name of my new vomit-based startup. looking for angel investors.

  • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

    It’s too bad it’s almost $100 extra to get the armor. Not that I would be getting a jacket like this, I don’t spend enough time on my bike going to places that I wouldn’t just ride in my stich and lock it to the bike and go inside looking “normal”.
    It does appeal though, leather jackets really do go with motorcycles a lot better than ballistic nylon.

    • Davidabl2

      I must say, you can look plenty “normal’ in a RSD jacket..being protected in one on your motorcycle, well that’s another matter.
      If i owned an open sportscar I’d certainly rock one…

      • CB

        Yeah, I tend to feel the sand about the RSD jackets. A Vanson Mark 2 comes with armour, last forever and is $650, versus the suggested price of $580 RSD with armour. Personally I’d got with the Vanson because I think RSD is a bit of a style over substance kind of deal. That said, you can actually wear the RSD off the bike, there’s no break in and I’m sure it’s comfortable and it looks great. There is a price to be paid for fashion, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a jacket that looks awesome. Some people want to pay a premium to look good, some people want that money to go to safety and durability. Both camps are valid.

      • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

        Once I get my Dad’s old crusty old 914 running, I’m in.

      • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

        That was my point. I don’t need a RSD jacket to look normal. I can use my stich and leave it locked to the bike.
        Though I still would like a nice looking leather jacket that had armor, just not sure I’ll ever want to pay for one. I certainly can’t afford 500+ for one. (I’ve got motorcycles to save for with that money!)

    • Piglet2010

      I just forget about looking normal and wear my Roadcrafter Light inside.

      If anyone asks, I work as the janitor on Red Dwarf. ;)

      • http://motocynic.wordpress.com/ Scott Otte

        Haha! awesome.

  • Strafer

    I like the styling of the Roland Sands jackets and gear
    I saw the jackets – they look great in person too – the fit looked short, stocky, and with wide sleeves
    Unfortunately this was not my fit at all so i didn’t even bother trying one on

    • RandomGRK

      Just like I have seen on most reviews. Baggy biceps even if you are relatively muscular.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    I really like the gray interceptor jacket. If I had a cafe racer or sweet naked I would pick one up. Unfortunately my dual sport sensibilities would never let me buy one.

  • Davidabl2

    As Roland Sands says “they’re not race jackets.” This is an understatement, to say the least.
    Last year I took a look at a couple of RSD jackets on close-out.. The”Rocker” was being sold off at $200 without armor. Great fit , but looking at the single stitching i

    found myself thinking that “this is a very nice fashion jacket.” One with pockets for armor..But it’s likely to come apart at the seams if i were to collide with something hard enough for the armor to come into play.” Didn’t buy one because I might wind up riding a motorcycle in it if i bought it.

    • Vincent T.

      Any idea if they’ve resolved any of the quality issues I keep hearing about?

      • Davidabl2

        I have no idea. But it’s kind of irrelevant in my case because I don’t think I’d want to ride a motorcycle in one.

  • hunkyleepickle

    This jacket reminds me a lot of my Icon 1000 chapter jacket. I have the black one, but the brown sku looks a lot like the RSD jacket. Add in the armour and the Icon is a tad cheaper, i guess a person would have to try both on. Not sure how the RSD armour compares to the D3O in the Icon, which is amazing imo. The icon does have a lot of little details that i really appreciate though…

    • NOCHnoch

      Icon is a better jacket hands down. RSD is plagued with quality control issues and poor decisions like single stitching.

    • Campisi

      Sadly, the Chapter jacket (being a limited-run item) is getting difficult to find in common sizes. Hopefully they come out with something along those same lines again, preferably with their Sport or Attack fitments.

  • Campisi

    The complete lack of incredulity in this article rubs me the wrong way. Roland Sands Design jackets have well-known issues with materials, construction, quality, and fitment that make recommending them as legitimate riding jackets borderline irresponsible.

    • Paul Cypert

      Really not trying to stir anything, but is this like some people reporting on some loose stitching in forums or something else? Asking because I’m honestly looking for a new jacket and was considering one of these or the RSD wax jackets, but if they’re rushing them to market to cash in I’d avoid.

      • Davidabl2

        For wax jackets I’d look at the competition first. Icon, Aerostitch, Vanson (!) who knows,maybe even one of the offerings from http://britishmotorcyclegear.com or
        http://www.speedwear.co.uk

        Personally, I’d look carefully at the more understated offerings in the Icon line in particular before pulling the trigger on RSD. Wax or leather.

      • Campisi

        It’s an accumulated word-of-mouth sort of thing, but physically looking at their products confirms much of it.

        Roland Sands Design use thinner leather than can be trusted to give proper abrasion resistance. The stitching used is weak and exposed; fine for a fashion item, but at risk of panels coming apart in a crash. Loose stitching and rough cuts to the leather reveal a lack of emphasis on quality on the part of their manufacturing facility in Southeast Asia (if that matters to you), and the placement of the armour pockets in conjunction with the bizarre cut Roland Sands Design employ means the armour will not necessarily be where it should to protect you in a crash.

        There is enough competition in the stylish-yet-functional segment of the marketplace these days that such compromises for the sake of aesthetics need not be made.

        • Paul Cypert

          Thanks both. I’m actually in SE Asia currently. They’ve gotten better over the years but I’d say consistency is usually the biggest issue when getting products made over here.

          Nice to see there’s a few alternates in a similar style.

    • Kevin Schell

      “It’s an accumulated word-of-mouth sort of thing, but physically looking at their products confirms much of it.” -Campisi

      …and yet, I there are only a handful of negative reviews to be found when sifting through more than 100 reviews of RSD Jackets on Revzilla, Motorcycle Superstore, Amazon, etc. It’s strange how satisfied people are with their RSD jackets. :-)

      • Campisi

        How many have crashed in them?

        • Kevin Schell

          At least one. Roland himself.

          “Ran into Roland Sands at Anaheim Supercross the other night and complemented him on the jacket he was wearing. It was simple, obviously well made, looked nicely broken in and had some very subtle design touches made from perforated panels. Turns out it’s his newest product, the RSD Barfly, and he’d just crash tested it, walking away without a scrape thanks to the proprietary Forcefield Armor.” -from Ride Apart’s “RSD Barfly jacket: understated cool” posted January 9, 2013.

          • Campisi

            He fell off going jogging speed and landed directly on the shoulder armour without sliding an inch. The thin leather and shoddy stitching never came into play in that crash, and nobody is claiming the armour itself doesn’t work.

            • Kevin Schell

              Lol. You asked for a crash report. I provided one. It wasn’t good enough. Fair enough. My mistake was thinking that your comment was intended as a statement of fact because of the way it was worded. I now see that you meant to say that it was your opinion that RSD doesn’t make quality leather jackets.

        • Kevin Schell
  • Aaron

    Fashion jacket

    • NOCHnoch

      Agreed. Great for driving and posing.

      • Davidabl2

        …posing with your sportscar there’s nothing better. Except a non-smelly Barbour or Belstaff?

        • NOCHnoch

          Non-smelly is a $200 option on Barbour and Belstaff.

          • Davidabl2

            More than that if you just get the leather versions available for many of their jackets :-)

  • Davidabl2

    Great style on some of the RSD jackets..but as others have pointed out once you’ve bought armor you’re pretty much in Vanson territory if you buy RSD anywhere near
    list. Getting one of the various armored shirts sold by Forcefield, Knox etc. might be a better idea, since you’d still have some protection if the jacket came apart. I have an armored MX impact rig and a Draggin’ Kevlar shirt,but I didn’t think of bringing them when i made a trip to try on some close-out RSD’s last year.I suspect I’d NOT look good off the bike in such a setup, as I’d probably have to go up a jacket size to fit it under.

  • Reid

    I’d rather have the Joe Rocket Classic ’92 than this. That’s saying something.

  • RandomGRK

    If you want this look of jacket, look no further than Spidi. The Spidi Ring and Spidi Ace jackets are beautiful! They come with armour, sexy fit and good protection. I own an older Spidi Factory jacket and its beautiful, but I am looking to get the Spidi Ring soon.

  • Michael Howard

    “… a jacket you can be seen in public without drawing too much attention to your two-wheeled habit.” But I LIKE letting the world know I ride. Riding is who I am.

  • Piglet2010

    I think the Aerostich Darien is a better looking jacket.

  • Zack Crowther

    I am constantly amazed that people speak highly of RSD jackets. I checked them out at Munroe Motors in SF and just could not believe that people are willing to pay this much for a fashion jacket. The leather is thin, the fit lose and the added armor would not stay in place in a crash. They just strike me as hipster jackets. I really am not enough of a fashion victim that I am going to wear overpriced and substandard gear to look cool.