Roland Sands Design Riot Women's Riding Jacket MC Tested

The Rolls-Royce of leather jackets.

motorcycle jacket
A comfortable jacket with irresistible style. Also quite pricey, especially when adding optional Armor Kit.Julia LaPalme

Say the words "motorcycle jacket" and thick, black leather is the stereotypical image that comes to mind. Roland Sands Design offers a luxurious twist on the classic look with its Riot Women's jacket. Using 0.8–0.9mm "Blackstone" cowhide, the Riot has a soft supple feel and, with a silky smooth polyester lining, getting in and out of this jacket is sheer pleasure. The double-breasted cut opens on a diagonal, revealing a quilted leather inner chest panel. Quilted stitching adorns the upper and lower back, shoulders, and elbows, and sturdy YKK zippers are used throughout.

The Riot features two exterior pockets, and one inner breast pocket, which is large enough for a phone, wallet, and passport, respectively. Two inner mesh pockets at the waist, however, are less impressive; inner pockets should be secure, but the weak elastic entry points on these could mean losing a set of keys or other items while leaning over or laying the jacket down. A small gripe, but thankfully the other pockets make up for that.

The thinner leather that Roland Sands uses helps give the Riot a soft comfortable feel, which makes it a wonderful garment to wear around town. The flip side is there’s not as much cowhide between your hide and the pavement in the event of a crash. And since RSD doesn’t include armor with its jackets (claiming customers tend to pull out armor when supplied), the optional Armor Kit ($85) is a must for extra protection.

That addition puts the Riot over $700, ready to ride, which is a hefty chunk of change. Still, the RSD Riot is the most comfortable, exquisite motorcycle jacket I have ever worn. When headed out on a bike for an evening where the dress code is a notch above the everyday moto scene, the Riot is my go-to jacket. I know I’ll be protected on the ride there, and the soft Oxblood-colored leather turns heads wherever I go. And, yes, you can still get it in black.

Roland Sands Design Riot Jacket
Price: $650
Contact: rolandsands.com
MC Grade: A-
Summary: A comfortable jacket with irresistible style. Also quite pricey, especially when adding optional Armor Kit.