Cortech Accelerator Series 2 Jacket - Dirt Rider Magazine

Riding jackets can perform a variety of duties. First, they may be called upon to keep you warm. Then there are the bonus functions like protection, storage space, waterproofing, venting and downright fashion that are called into play. Looking at the Cortech Accelerator 2, it seems to have a lot of those bases covered. In fact, when you first pick up the jacket and spot all of its features, you realize this is more than just a standard riding jacket.It comes with a removable inner liner for when it gets really cold (and we mean near the 30-to-40-degree zone before most humans will need insulation this warm). Then, there is the integrated-yet-removable backpack/pouch/drink system, comparable to many available on the market today individually. The sleeves zip off and stow in the rear pack area of the jacket, and elbow, shoulder and back protection is built into the coat-so it actually acts as a chest protector as well. Let's not talk about the pockets, all nine of them. Add the zip-open venting, and you have one of the most technical pieces of dirt bike riding gear I've sampled. It is available in all black or gray with black in a very wide range of sizes.In reality this jacket is too much for most riders unless you like excess. But it can be set up to do a lot of stuff. And if it wasn't for one major flaw-the fact that the sleeves are cut too tight in both diameter and length to the shoulder, making it difficult to move around aggressively when wearing it-this could be the only jacket a rider would need.The sleeves seem to be cut in more of a street style or for an adventure-type rider, so they don't flop around in the wind while holding the elbow pads in place. But even after removing the pads, the jacket still tugs on the shoulder when you extend your arms in aggressive off-road riding. Worn as a vest, all these constrictions go away and you're blessed with the back protection and integrated backpack (with the aforementioned drink system and room for most other goodies I like to carry on a trail ride).The venting really works and the jacket is decently water-resistant, though it will soak through if you're stuck in a downpour.At $229.99, the Cortech jacket is a bargain in the features department and is one of my first choices when I'm riding on my BMW or KTM adventure bikes where I'd rate it higher in comfort and function. But unless I'm going sleeveless, I can't get away with it in any aggressive riding on my dirt bike. -Jimmy Lewis