Remember that old cartoon starring Country Mouse and his cousin, City Mouse? Sure you do: Country Mouse goes to visit his cousin in the big city, finds it too fast and glamorous (but not without its merits; the lady mice there were indeed hot), and ends up back home; City Mouse visits the country, only to find that life there can be pretty challenging, too (but those country lady mice? Yee-haw!). That’s how I felt last October in the Verona Waterproof Jacket, part of the City Collection from Alpinestars. A bit out of place, but smart enough to adapt, and even thrive.
The City Collection is chic, modern, and cosmopolitan. Snug and sleekly cut, dominated by subtle grays and blacks, the line is unadorned with brash logos and bright colors. Clean and classic, the City Collection is designed for the urban jungle.
I wore the Verona to Texas to test Victory’s new touring bikes. That’s right, I wore the City Collection in the country, and guess what?
In the sweltering Hill Country autumn, the Verona adapted nicely. I found it lightweight yet sturdy, brawny but not bulky. The color, Desert (a tan, really), was a nice change from the leather-clad world of motorcycle gear, and I didn’t feel like a billboard.
A midlength jacket with a sportbike cut, the understated details of the Verona create a clean look. It sports a tall, sophisticated collar with a contoured neoprene edge — same with the cuffs. The sleeve forms a slight curve for a comfortable riding position, and armor in the elbows and shoulders provide protection without bulk. In a quick and nasty Hill Country thunderstorm, its waterproof fabric performed as advertised. Made of Cordura and coated for durability, the Verona also rocks a removable, full-sleeved, quilted, thermal liner. Storage is achieved through two external pockets and an inside cellphone pocket, and the tabbed Velcro waist adjusters came in real handy.
Able to withstand the rigors of both city and country, the Verona is my new favorite riding jacket. RB
– by Jon Langston
Hard Data: Alpinestars, Verona Waterproof Jacket, $179.95, 323/325-9814, www.Alpinestars.com