SHIFT Streetfighter Jacket
SHIFT Streetfighter SS
Waterproof Motorcycle Jacket
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
The Shift Avenger Jacket
Summary: Comfortable jacket for street or
touring is adaptable to a wide variety of weather conditions. Good
looks and relatively low price make it a bargain.
Buddha stopped answering the 14 questions, and I long ago stopped
answering this one: "What's the
best four-season motorcycle jacket?".
That quest is something akin to
Pygmalion striving for perfection with his statue of Galatea or Diogenes
searching for his honest man. The Ultimate Jacket may be out there,
but it will take an intervention by Mount Olympus dwellers to bring it to us mortals.
Am I stretching the analogy too far? Probably -- but
note that I
studied the Greeks only enough to understand the Romans...
I'll bet every motorcyclist knows the "perfect" jacket will
never become a reality, but that doesn't stop us from hoping. Maybe --
just maybe -- the very next box that the UPS driver delivers will hold The Answer.
manufacturers do nothing to stop us from our eternal wish -- after all, that's how
they make their money, right? What they give us instead are many
choices, all laying claim to
that one, true "all around" label. I'll admit -- there are a
couple that come close, but we're mostly faced with a market full of
So what's a motorcyclist to do?
The only thing we can do. We rank order our criteria,
with price as numero uno and a bunch of boxes ready for ticking. Windproof? Check. Liner? Check.
Cold weather? Check. Warm weather? Check... Scan the wallet to
make sure the Card of Credit wasn't lifted by the better half and it's off to the
store for drooling and fitting.
OK, so where does that leave the Shift Streetfighter?
Well, not everyone is willing to lay out cinco C's for that Super Deluxe
World Tour Edition with the built-in Electrostatic Anti-Tick Prevention Shock
Collar 'n' Cuffs. I was in an upscale motorcycle shop last week and
found one with a list price of $799.99. Ouch! And the
Electrostatic feature was optional!
Just kidding -- about the collar 'n' cuffs anyway -- but I'll bet dollars
to doughnuts that the vast majority of the unwashed masses see two hundred bucks
as a likely target for a jacket that will get them through a few years' worth of springs, summers
-- and falls (get it?).
Give 'em a modicum of wind protection, a zip-out liner to
growl at the chill, cool styling and a comfy fit. Throw in a waterproof
liner and they're sold.
The Shift Streetfighter Jacket
That's the equation that the Shift Streetfighter
jacket was meant to solve, and it pretty much hits that demographic right on the money.
I'll bet more short textile motorcycle jackets like this are living on the
backs of more riders than any
other type, hands down.
This Streetfighter has been keeping me cozy at the outer edges of its
performance envelope in the damp and chilly Mid-Atlantic last-gasp-of-March
winter. The permanently attached waterproof lining actually
does its thing, as I discovered with surprise und delight.
I didn't catch the "Waterproof" label at first, and just
between friends I'll admit that I haven't ridden through a 6-hour downpour
yet, but it did the job when I was foolishly caught unaware in the hefty storm
that knocked out power for 2-1/2 days recently.
I wonder if the Streetfighter's outer 600 denier nylon shell has been
treated with some type of water repellent, because liquid seems to bead
up and roll off as easy as spit on an iron. Maybe this was by design,
to help prevent geysers of water
from reaching the waterproof liner that's permanently attached under the shell, or
maybe it's because the fabric has only recently been liberated from the factory.
But it does seem to work, even though the Streetfighter
doesn't actually look like a waterproof jacket (does a waterproof
jacket have a certain look?). The water beading puzzled
me, so a few days later when me and the jacket both dried out I took the Streetfighter in for a shower to evaluate it under "controlled" conditions
and yep, it works!
A couple of drain holes, covered by grommets, are located at
the hem on either side of the waist adjusters. Apparently, any water that
has the nerve to blast through the shell gets stopped by the liner, drips down and drains out the bottom, but I can't imagine the
length and intensity of the storm that would make that happen.
Let's be honest -- if you are doing that World Tour, you
probably wouldn't be wearing this jacket, but hey -- who knows? Frank
Huffman had only a '50's typical leather jacket and pair of jeans when for his totally unplanned adventure around Southeast Asia in "Monks
and Motorcycles". And how about Theresa Wallach's 7,500 mile jaunt
through Africa in The
Rugged Road -- in 1934! Nylon? Only Flash Gordon had
SHIFT Streetfighter SS Waterproof Jacket - Waterproof Pocket Zipper
The Streetfighter's styling works, and
get a load of
the not-so-subtle "S" on the front -- like the guy with the cape
and X-Ray vision, right?
The jacket is
very comfortable; the oversized articulated panels in the back of
the shoulders and the elbows take care of that. Comfort is definitely
important, and the size large shown here fits with perfect snug-ishness,
just like a motorcycle jacket should.
The elbows and shoulders have CE-approved armor and although
the back padding is noodle-wimpy (as it usually is in short textile jackets
of any brand), it can be replaced with the nice
SAS-Tech Level 2 back
protector, same as the
jacket we reviewed last year.
Manufacturers, hear my plea: join forces and
standardize on dimensions for a back armor pocket, so motorcycle riders can
buy high-quality armor with a standard shape and then swap it in and out of
their jackets for the best protection.
Other pockets on the Streetfighter are minimal, but the
important ones are there, like the two waterproof slash hand pockets with
waterproof zippers and a zippered pocket inside the left placket, perfect
for holding a wallet.
The liner seems warmer than it should be. It's been in
mid-40's F lately and I'm actually surprised that it keeps me relatively
cozy. The liner has a vestigial flap that snaps over on itself under the
left placket, but there are no corresponding snaps on the right-hand side,
so I'm not sure what it's supposed to do -- maybe fold over the inside,
under the zipper?
The main zipper has a lightweight piece of fabric behind it,
serving as a wind block, but it's pretty basic. The liner attaches
with a full circumference zipper (up one side, around the back of the neck
and down the other side in one continuous loop), which is better, I think,
than a two-zipper arrangement, one on each placket.
The liner also uses elastic loops at the waist to hold it with snaps
that attach to the shell. This is a nice extra touch not often found on jackets of this
type, and this feature serves to keep the liner from bunching up. The
cuff at the end of each liner sleeve attaches to the shell with two snap straps
instead of one, for added security.
Cuffs, Collars and Comfort
I also like the way the lower part of the sleeves and the
cuffs are cut on the Streetfighter's exterior; the sleeves are
gauntlet-friendly, with their tapered and
thin profile -- a definite plus.
Note that I haven't tried the Streetfighter in anything over
about 50 degrees F., so I'm not sure how it will fare in the summer.
The jacket has no vents in the front and I'm not sure how much air will get
through the waterproof liner, but I'm assuming it will work in anything
approaching reasonable riding temperatures.
There isn't much to say about the collar on the
Streetfighter -- it's basic
and short with a relatively soft-ish lining to lay against the skin.
But the collar closes with a very small piece of hook-and-loop, so there's
not much room for adjustment.
I can fit it over my 17" neck, but this
is the second jacket we've seen recently (see our
Rainier TPG jacket review) that uses a too-small closure on the neck.
Have the stylists forgotten about variability in human neck diameters?
SHIFT Streetfighter SS Waterproof Jacket. Liner and MP3 Pass-through
Other features include some reflective piping and a
pass-through inside the left placket, just above the wallet pocket zipper.
This opening can be seen in the photo above. It has a headphone icon
printed on it, so it's obviously designed for an MP3 player, but the hole doesn't lead
anywhere in this jacket -- it's an opening with a wall behind it composed of solid liner.
It could be that this particular jacket missed a procedure
at the factory (likely) or that the owner is supposed to cut a hole and thread the wires
up through (unlikely)? I'm not sure, but
this "feature" isn't really a problem because I don't plan on using it anyway.
The Shift Streetfighter SS has a zipper in the back that will
allow it to connect to
pants or other matching Shift pants, but the jacket also looks great with
a pair of
Shift "Lodown" jeans.
Add in a pair of
Shift Fuel Street Shoes we reviewed just a couple of weeks ago and
you've got yourself a nice, stylish riding outfit for about $370.00,
list price. Can't beat that with a stick, as they say...
The Shift motorcycle clothing we've tried has been through service with three different
webBikeWorld evaluators and all have positive impressions. The company
provides good value with style and functionality that should satisfy a vast
majority of motorcycle owners.
I think the Shift Streetfighter will come pretty close to
serving as an all-around solution for many riders looking for a basic short
jacket at a very reasonable price.
NOTE: Note that this review describes the SHIFT
Streetfighter SS Waterproof jacket, not the SHIFT Streetfighter Hybrid Motorcycle Jacket, which is similar but includes leather on the front, rear and elbows
and lists for $249.99.
Review: SHIFT Streetfighter SS Waterproof Jacket
Retail Price: $199.99
|Colors: Black or Black/Red.
Some White/Black and Blue/Black colors may still be available at
|Made In: Vietnam
|Comments: These products were
provided by the manufacturer for this review per our
guidelines. Review Date: March 2008
Note: For informational use only. All material and
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From "W.M.B." (10/08): "I spoke with Shift Customer
Service and they said that the measurements in the back of the Streetfighter
SS waterproof jacket were made from the Dainese Wave G1-G2 back pad. I
don't understand why Shift doesn't offer a backpad, but at least they're
willing to point a buyer in the right direction to get one aftermarket."