Noru Kuki Mesh Jacket Review: Great Motorcycle Jacket For The Money
Riding your motorcycle during the summer months can be a blast as you enjoy bright and sunny days, long stretches into the sunset evenings, and warm rides during the night. The only problem is, with summer time fun comes summer time heat and that can mean big trouble if you aren't wearing appropriate riding gear — a summer motorcycle jacket that can provide adequate airflow and allow your body to breathe.
A mesh-style summer motorcycle jacket can be a great piece of motorcycling equipment to keep in your closet, however finding a good jacket that fulfills your wants and desires can be a bit pricey—well at least it used to be until Noru stepped into the game. The new Noru Kuki Mesh Motorcycle jacket hits all the right spots you'd find with a premium motorcycle jacket, such as durability, comfort, functionality, protection, and style. The savings cost of a Noru jacket versus its competitor's mesh riding jackets like the Joe Rocket's Phoenix 5, Olympia's Newport, or Icon's AF jacket will allow you to put your money into other goodies like new motorcycle accessories.
So, what makes the Kuki mesh jacket so great? Well, first of all, you have an extremely durable exterior chassis that is constructed from close weave polyester that features four-way stretching for comfort, ease of use and worst-case scenario, falling. The jacket comes with CE approved armor in the elbows and shoulders as well as a memory foam pad in the spine area that will help reduce injury. But if you like to live on the edge, or want the ultimate in a lightweight feel from a mesh riding jacket that enables maximum airflow, you can always remove the armored pads. In areas like the shoulders and elbows where extreme sliding may occur, you'll find 600d polyester paneling to help withstand abrasions and tearing.
Of course, being a summer-time piece of riding gear, almost the entire main jacket is comprised of mesh to allow air to flow through and penetrate your body for a cooling effect. Aside from cooling, when the temps get really high the highspeed airflow can help keep your body from sweating or push moisture away. If summer riding at night is a bit too cool for you, or the day time heat too strong, the included quilted liner can be zipped in or out as needed, which is a major plus. Nighttime and low light riding helps keep you safe when wearing the Kuki thanks to the reflective piping that runs around the elbows, and across the chest and back. There's additional reflection protection with panels angling along the collarbones and the scapulae as well.
The Kuki is outfitted for riding comfort and a tailored fit with Velcro adjustments at the sleeve cuffs and at the waist. There's also snaps attached to stretch material on the arms to cinch down tighter if needed. The main jacket is secured together by a robust zipper that is easy to use even with gloves on and can be zipped into position as needed. Additionally, to keep the zipper in place, there is a Velcro tag at the top of the neck and one at the base of the jacket that protects your gas tank from scrapes when in a tucked forward riding position. The last piece of comfort you'll find on the Kuki is soft neoprene material on the inside of the neck with a bit thicker roll stitched to the top.
You'll find similar characteristics on the Kuki's competing mesh motorcycle jackets, such as two zippered pockets on the exterior, a zippered Napoleon pocket on inside left, and stretch panels in the elbows for ease of movement and comfortable riding positions. However, there are certain items that are different or missing on these more expensive summer jacket that make the Kuki a really smart decision.
For instance, the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 has zippered cuffs which can be a bit difficult to operate with gloves on. The Phoenix 5.0 also has solid panels that run along the sides of the jacket which limits the amount of air getting to your body. The Icon Mesh AF Jacket is only available in solid black, mostly black with some white portions, and grey with some neon highlights—not quite the color array of Noru's Kuki jacket. When shopping the Kuki there's four color ways to choose from ranging from Neon with black accents, all black, red with black accents, and grey with black accents.
The Icon AF is also missing the Velcro closures at the top and bottom of the main zipper which can be a big deterrent for choosy shoppers. Instead of having an easy-to-use Velcro waist like the Kuki, the Icon AF has snaps that you have to locate and secure to adjust the sides of the jacket.
While the Olympia Newport is a nice jacket, it has limited mesh panels which reduces airflow in the heat. The outer arms, shoulders, chest, and back portions all have strong abrasion resistant material but it's all closed off as opposed the mesh Kuki mesh summer jacket. You'll also find the inside liner of the Kuki has bright red pockets that make it easy to distinguish from the black zip out liner and the smart phone sleeve provides ample room for just about any size phone to securely fit—a feature not typically found on other jackets.
Again, you have an extensive selection when it comes to summer time mesh motorcycle jackets but once you get to comparing the competition and see that the Noru Kuki Vented Textile Jacket has many of the same features than the higher end jackets and some improved features of its competition, most riders will boil it down to price. Price is exactly what shines brightest with the Kuki amongst its competitors. On a head-to-head comparison the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0, Olympia Newport, Fly Racing Coolpro and Icon AF mesh jackets will fall into the $170-$190 retail price range whereas the Kuki is anywhere from $30 to $40 less expensive with a retail price of $149. Where things get really great is when the sales price of the Kuki hits and the jacket is only about $90. That makes for some great savings on a really awesome jacket and a deal that's nearly impossible to pass up.