Alpinestars Black Shadow Collection: New Motorcycle Jackets for 2014

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?

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