A childhood photo of the world’s only female Ducati Master Tech, Hannah Johnson, hanging out with biggol’ bikers.
Icon Raiden DKR Jacket Review
Sash Walker’s time in the saddle through rain, snow, sun, and more, give her an edge when it comes to reviewing gear. For that reason, I asked her to do a write-up on one of her new favorite jackets, the Icon Raiden DKR jacket for ladies.
The Raiden DKR jacket is made to withstand whatever weather your adventures throw at you- with tons of pockets, multiple vents, extra closures systems, it’s perfect for folks who like to ride long distances. It’s warm, waterproof, and pretty good lookin’. It retails for $395, and comes with removable D3O armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back.
Sash and her husband Steve Johnson ride their motorcycles full time as homeless, traveling bloggers. She’s a former beauty queen (thus the nickname “Sash”) turned biker, now living on the road, fulfilling her dreams along the highways of North America. She began riding in January 2013 and subsequently rode 32,000 miles in the next 20 months, chronicling her adventures along the way.
During one of her last big road trips, she put the Raiden DKR jacket through it’s paces. Read her review below, and find out more about the Icon Raiden ADV Gear collection in the past article here.
Riding over 1,000 miles in a month in the Icon Raiden DKR Jacket, specially designed for women, has been a pleasure. I had been wearing leather for most the time I’ve been riding, except for a lightweight, textile, summer jacket that certainly isn’t practical for touring. Leather has it’s benefits, but in this case, it doesn’t begin to compare with the benefits of the Raiden DKR.
I picked up this jacket in Portland, OR. When I first tried it on, it seemed really long and oddly sized for me, but once I zipped it completely and the magnetic flaps slapped shut on their own over the zipper, I realized was perfect. The sleeves are a bit long, but keep in mind I’m rather short with shorter arms, so it should fit an average sized woman beautifully. One or two rolls of the sleeve and a set of gloves and the sleeves are just fine. I actually realized in the rain that once I put my gloves on and unroll the sleeves once, my arms are completely insulated from the cold and wet. What a fantastic surprise! After leather jackets that leaked, soaked up rain, and had gaps here and there, this was such a relief.
Right after we visited Portland, we headed to Seattle, WA for a few days. Rain and cold followed for the next few cities, Kennewick in the Tri-Cities area of Washington, into Boise, ID for a week, into Pocatello, ID for two nights, and finally over the Grand Tetons through a snowy pass into Jackson Hole, WY. Exactly 1,044 miles later and I’ve had a marvelous experience with the Raiden DKR.
I wore the jacket with the vents open while riding in Seattle traffic on a warm afternoon, with temps rising into the low 80’s F, and found I was quite comfortable. To the other extreme, riding over the Grand Tetons we passed snow on the roadside with temperatures dropping to 42 degrees F. That day I opted to wear a thin, long-sleeved Columbia Women’s Outerspaced™ Half Zip top along with leggings underneath my riding pants and my new Icon jacket. I inserted the quilted liners in both my pants and jacket and made certain to close all of my vents for the ride.
I was so surprised when we arrived in Jackson Hole and I asked my husband Steve how it could be so warm on the summit and still have snow. “It was 42 degrees. . . ” he replied. “What!? I was so warm! Wow!” Seriously, the jacket kept me so cozy, warm and dry through all of these conditions. I’m ready to tackle 10,000 miles wearing this, as I see it as meeting all of my needs.
Beyond comfort, I’m really pleased with the pockets and their placement. I’m really an organized person, so I like to have everything I need accessible and in the same place every time. I have a spot for everything I need on the road; my credit cards for gas stops, my camera for in-the-saddle shots, my lip balm (OK, who am I kidding? My lipstick!) and my keys when I’m stopped. I utilize the inner pocket for my MP3 player with the holes to thread my speaker cord to.
Lastly, I love the peace of mind I get while wearing armor. I’ve been rather cavalier about protection in the past, but after thinking about it long and hard, I realize I travel quite a few miles, thus increasing my chances of an accident. Recently I had lunch with my friend Brittany Morrow, who has dedicated her life to encouraging ATGATT for all riders. After a tragic accident which scarred her severely and involved unbelievable pain, she started Rock The Gear and now works for Icon as a Brand Manager.
“I really care about you as a friend, and I know what could happen. Even if you don’t wear Icon, wear gear that protects you! Please Sash!” She really woke me up to the possibilities. I thought about my new Grandson and how much I wanted to be in his life for a good, long time. So armored gear was all I could think about. Then my zipper broke on my leather jacket, almost like a sign to change up my gear. Since Brittany had made such an impact, I reached out to her information on the Icon line, I couldn’t be happier that I did.
My only complaint about the Raiden DKR is the way I look in it. Because of how it fits me, while riding it fills up with air (even with the vents closed) and I look puffy. The truth is, at 4’11 inches tall and a size 16, I’m puffy enough naked, so add a few layers of clothing and an armored jacket that fills up with air, and I feel really bulky going down the road.
It’s a small concession I’m willing to make for touring with so much protection, warmth, and a dry ride.
Icon Raiden DKR features and manufacturer description:
- Fit: Raiden Relaxed Fit
- Material: Honeycomb Ripstop Chassis with Laminated HycorTM Membrane
- Waterproofing: Level 3
- Protectors: D3O® Impact Protectors – Shoulders, Elbows, Back
- Liner: Insulated Thermolite PlusTM Full Liner – Removable
- Details: 2 Chest Vents, 2 Pit Vents, 1 Exhaust Vent, Sublimated Chassis, Get Blocktm Waterproof Chest Pocket Zipper, YKK® Waterproof Zippers, Double Storm Flap with Rare Earth Magnet Closure, Waterbladder Hose Routing, 3M® Reflective Accents, Rear Storage, Ballistic Nylon Paneling, Three Position Elbow Protector Pockets, Fully Taped Seams
Buying online? I suggest Revzilla, as they have excellent sizing guides, fitment and review videos, and an excellent return policy. Check out the women’s Icon Raiden DKR jacket, and the men’s DKR jacket here.
Follow the author, Sash Walker, on her blog ‘Rude Biker Chick’ at sashmouth.com.
related: more Gear & Gizmos
Tags: adv, adventure, gear, icon, icon raiden, motolady, motorcycles, raiden, raiden dkr, real, review, road trip, sash walker, touring
Posted on June 23, 2015 in Gear & Gizmos, News & Features by Alicia Mariah Elfving
It’s not the jacket it’s the saddle bags. I ride a sport bike that sits the rider in a standard position and don’t not have the “bubble” issue until i put saddle bags on my bike. Then all the sudden the jacket ballons. Tighten down the sides of the jacket as much as possible, it’s all you can do.