Rynus Ruah Jacket
Rynus Ruah Motorcycle Jacket Review
I first encountered the brand during this year's Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis and I jotted down a few thoughts in this brief narrative after browsing through their display.
The company was nice enough to send us some gear for a look-see, including the Rynus Charisma leather jacket, the Rynus Ruah jacket shown here, and a pair of the wild Exodus gloves that were also on display at the show.
There isn't much information about the origins of the company on the Rynus website or in the nice, thick, color glossy printed catalog I saved from the show, so perhaps this is a new strategy: let the product speak for itself. If so, it speaks volumes, because I think the styling is very unique and the company offers some of the most interesting motorcycle gear these jaded eyes have seen in a long time.
What impressed me at the show is the different look of the Rynus clothing and the attention to detail in the fittings and construction. And I'm not the only one who thinks so -- the first three people to see these jackets all had the same reaction; a combination of "This stuff looks different" and "It has a sort of Power Rangers (or Blade Runner or Anime...) look to it". These are exactly the impressions I had after first seeing the gear at the Indy show, as I related in my report.
In comparison, other brands of leather motorcycle jackets seem rather old-fashioned in comparison; with styles and graphics that suddenly seem to be derived from, oh, the mid-1970's, like they belong on somebody riding a Yamaha XS750 Special or something.
Motorcycle clothing manufacturers apparently spend more time updating their textile clothing lines than their leather gear. I know textile fabrics outsell leather, so the logic probably goes something like this: More effort goes into designing textile clothing because, well, it sells, it takes less time to make, it's quicker to retail and it's cheaper all around, so more people buy it. Thus, fewer leather items are sold.
This means that less time and effort is spent by the manufacturers in updating their leather clothing lines. The leather clothing starts to look outdated, so customers keep buying more textile garments. So more time and effort goes into designing the textile lineup. The leather items start to look even more outdated, so fewer are sold...
Leather used to be all there was for motorcycle riding, and it still offers the ultimate protection. I mean, if Kevlar was so good, wouldn't the MotoGP riders be wearing it? That's the way I look at it anyway.
Yes, leather does have disadvantages. It's typically heavy, doesn't do well in the rain and it can be hot in summer. But anything's hot in the summer temperatures we get around here anyway, and some textiles can be hot and sticky in any weather. In any case, I wear leather whenever I can. Besides, leather just looks cool!
Especially the Rynus Charisma and Ruah jackets. The Ruah jacket fills the second spot in the Rynus lineup, with the Charisma as the current top dog. By the way, a quick search tells me that the word "ruah" apparently means "breath" or "spirit" in Hebrew, but I don't know if that was the intention of the Rynus marketing staff.
The stitching on the Ruah doesn't have race-style blind seams, but it's very well done and perfectly even with the edge of the seams. All of the seams have been either tucked or rolled or hidden with leather piping, and all of this lends an air of quality to the entire garment.
This is the attention to detail that can make or break a jacket, in my opinion -- it's not always something that's blatantly obvious, but once you appreciate quality construction and start looking carefully at the seams, it sort of pops out at you as an important feature to consider.
The Ruah jacket has two slash hand pockets in front, and the zippers are nicely protected under a leather flap and seam. The zipper pulls are all protected with a little piece of nylon or plastic, and if you look closely, the little Rynus Rhino head is embossed on the surface.
Inside the left placket lies a wallet pocket, and the zipper receives the same styling treatment as the outside pockets, with the same zipper pull and the pull even has one of those little "garages" to hide under when it's closed. The seam around the zipper is tucked and rolled just as nicely as any of the other, more visible pockets, which is a nice touch.
The Ruah also has two front vents, very well hidden in the seam where the white leather meets black (photo below). There's another vent in the rear, just under the collar, that lies horizontally across the top. A few venting perforations have been placed where the upper chest meets the upper arm, and also along the sides, under the arms.
The perforations on the sides, under the arm, are hidden among the very cool "squiggle" seams, which include some chrome-plated rubbery-feeling "swoosh" appliqués. This area is a perfect example of what is apparently the Rynus design philosophy -- take a section of the jacket that no one else has thought about and turn it into a design statement.
Other areas of the jacket incorporate elastic stretch material, Cordura stretch under the arms and the Rynus "360 Degree" sections of 3M retro-reflective fabric.
The Ruah jacket also includes elbow armor, a large and thick but soft back pad and CE-approved shoulder armor. The back padding isn't removable, but I think a zipper or Velcro opening could easily be added at the bottom for adding your choice of hard armor.
The leather on the sleeves has been perfectly sectioned to accommodate the elbow armor. The sleeves fit perfectly and they have been specially cut to allow enough room to both hold the armor and provide room for movement. There are no adjusters on the sleeve forearms, which is a good thing -- I don't like most of those adjusters anyway, and they usually mean that the sleeve is cut too wide and needs an adjuster to get it back down to size.
The sleeve on the Rynus Ruah is cut race-snug by design. Leather jackets especially need to be snug to offer the type of protection necessary in a crash. Riders with Popeye forearms may have a problem, but those with normal proportions should be fine, and I'd venture to say that the well-proportioned sleeves on this jacket have the best fit and feel of any leather jacket I own.
The Ruah has a removable insulating vest liner that attaches with a full-length zipper and snap keepers down along the sides. The liner isn't just your typical silver-colored quilt; it also gets the Rynus styling touch, with some nice colors and graphics (photo below).
Again, this gives the jacket a rich-feeling ambience; most companies throw in a liner more or less as an afterthought, but this one has become part of the overall design. The jacket also has a short attachment zipper with the mating half, which can be sewn on to a pair of riding pants.
Speaking of which, there are other small details that go completely unnoticed on other jackets but become tiny islands of style in the hands of the Rynus designers.
For example, the snaps on the waist adjusters are sparkling little dark-chrome plated jewels with a star shape, repeated at the sleeve cuff snap. Next to the waist adjuster on the left side is a little chrome-plated button with a tiny Rhino head, and on the other side is a little red Rynus logo, embossed on a rubber tag.
The main zipper in the front has probably the coolest-looking zipper pull I've ever seen, with a bit of chrome and molded style. Again, it's the attention to detail on these little parts that no one else considers that makes the real difference in this jacket.
And by the way, I didn't even notice it until I looked at the photos myself, but there's a stylized black leather Rhino head sewn on to the upper arms, just at the shoulders. Do you see it?
Rynus also seems to have perfected the blending of white and dark leathers. The white leather shown here is actually a sort of eggshell pearlescent color in real life, and it has a very nice sheen and goes together perfectly with the black and red colors. This size XL is the equivalent of a U.S. men's size 43-44.
Rynus is just getting established in the U.S. market, so the products may be slightly difficult to find, but definitely worth checking out.
wBW Video Tour: Rynus Motorcycle Clothing
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