'Ich bin ein Berliner', said Kennedy, claiming to be a donut...
‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, said Kennedy, claiming to be a donut…

Leather eh? That’s very retro in a world of high-tech textile jackets. Scooterboys of the 80s weren’t averse to a leather jacket but hardly anyone rides in leather today.

Yet, when it comes to sliding down the road, leather is still about as good as you can get in terms of saving your skin. Grand Prix riders don’t race in leather for any fetishist reason. I don’t think…

Crashing in the rain? Let cow-hide take the strain…

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Achtung!

For the Berliner, Spada took inspiration not from your common-or-garden greebo, but from German police gear.

There are problems with traditional leather jackets though that they will eventually leak in the rain and get much heavier. Spada have dealt with that in the same way as modern textile jackets; by adding a breathable waterproof drop-liner. The leather will still soak up water in a big storm but you should stay dry. This liner is fixed inside the longer-than average jacket.

The jacket also features a removable thermal liner complete with Spada’s playful pockets for ‘Stuff’.

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My Experience

The Berliner was my jacket of choice for most of last year. Somehow it suited riding around on a 1959 Maicoletta.

After five minutes of wearing it the weight evaporates and instead I was imbued with a feeling of comfort and security. Unlike loose-fitting textiles, the leather holds all the armour perfectly in place.

Leather is also good at keeping wind-chill out so I often rode with only a t-shirt underneath when textiles would normally demand extra layers. As a lizard, I love the warmth provided. In the rain it never leaked but I was never out in anything heavy enough to really test the liner. Certainly, there’s no second storm channel between the zip and the press-stud single flap.

The Berliner has no form of ventilation panels but I never over-heated on hot days. Simply wearing short gloves and opening the arm cuffs did the trick.

My only problem with the jacket was with the belt buckle pin being too short and the stitching for the belt loop coming loose. I had an early example of the jacket and after reporting back to Spada they inform me that both of these issues have been rectified in the current stock.

I’ve now abandoned the belt (it sat too high on the size jacket that I needed for a snug fit on my lanky frame) and I prefer it without.

 

Summary

The retail price is around £329; which is steep compared to textiles. However, the Berliner has a style, feel and level of protection that fabric just can’t match; particularly with the waterproof liner adding year-round practicality.

Words: Sticky

Photos: Iggy

More Info: Spada stockists

Now also in Oxblood
Now also in Oxblood
Berliner1
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PROS:

  • Waterproof drop liner
  • Fully armoured
  • Removable thermal lining
  • More pockets than the Artful Dodger
  • Tons of cool detailing
  • Longer design is good for warmth.
  • Sturdy

CONS:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Not ventilated
  • Loose stitching on belt hoop of my example

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