Monday, February 10

Alpinestars GP Plus R Jacket: Juuuuust Right!

There comes a time in every new riders’ development when he or she starts looking for a proper leather jacket. Some riders get a leather jacket right after buying a bike, while others have a jacket before even looking at bikes.

For me, it took a little bit longer than that. I spent two years after I got my license riding in a three season textile jacket before I moved up to leather.

Picking out the right leather jacket can be a daunting task at times, with plenty of options vying for your attention. There are very pretty jackets that put form over function, and there are very technical jackets that come at a high cost. Ideally then, we are looking for a reasonably priced jacket that works great while looking good. At around 400 bucks, the new Alpinestars GP Plus R Leather Jacket might just be that Goldilocks jacket.

The 2014 Alpinestars GP Plus R is the replacement for the GP Plus jacket, and is available in a Perforated, non-Perforated, and Stella (women’s) version. The biggest change right off the bat compared to the GP Plus is a completely redesigned aesthetic. The fit of the jacket remains the same, but the styling is more streamlined, and in my opinion, much sharper looking.

Alpinestars GP Plus R Leather Jacket Review:

The GP Plus R is a step down from the GP Pro leather jacket, and as such it has a more relaxed fit. This is still a sport fit jacket meant to be worn in a ¾ position, but it is slightly wider in the hips and through the shoulders. This is not a race jacket like the GP Pro, so the GP Plus R can certainly be used for fun rides and commuting as well as spirited weekend blasts and track days.

The majority of the changes over the outgoing GP Plus are in the details. The Plus R is now incorporating Temper Foam padding on the chest to absorb vibrations when in a full tuck, improving long term comfort. The stretch panels running up the sides of the jacket have been lengthened compared to the GP Plus and extended onto the back as well for greater ease of movement.

The GP Plus R is going to have a 3D mesh collar and sleeve cuffs, with a helmet cutaway at the back of the neck. This is a trick Alpinestars pulled from their race suits, and the cutaway means that a helmet will not bind on the back of the jacket when riding in a fully tucked position - again contributing to long term comfort. Another new and very welcome addition is a pair of shoulder vents to promote better airflow through the jacket. If ventilation is your ticket, make sure to pick up the Alpinestars GP Plus R Perforated Leather Jacket for maximum airflow.

When it comes to protection, the Plus R uses a mixture of 1.3 mm thick full grain and textured leather with TPR shoulder sliders. As we have come to expect from Alpinestars, the shoulder and elbow armor is CE-certified, there are pockets for chest armor, and there is a snap system incorporated for attaching the Bionic back protector. There is built-in adjustability at the waist of the jacket, along with a waist connection zipper for attaching riding pants.

The Alpinestars Stella GP Plus R Leather Jacket is the women’s version of the Plus R jacket and the only changes are in fit and color options. The Stella has a princess seam, narrower shoulders, and a higher waist for a more hourglass shape - basically a female specific ergonomic fit. It is nice to see Alpinestars offering this level of technical leather jacket in women’s sizing, and I am very happy to report that they have avoided painting the whole thing pink. There is going to be a Black/White and Black/Red color option in the Stella, but no Perforated version.

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus R Leather Jacket Review:

The men’s GP Plus R will be available in Black, Black/White/Blue, and Black/White/Red in both Perforated and non-Perforated versions.

The GP Plus has always been a bread and butter product for Alpinestars, and with the changes they rolled out for the GP Plus R, this jacket just got much better. Perhaps the best news of all is that Alpinestars managed to thoroughly revise the jacket while keeping the price unchanged just under 4 bones. It looks like your dollar gets you a little bit more in 2014 thanks to the new GP Plus R.

- FlipZwicki
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