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Olympia AST evaluation


AdventurePoser

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AdventurePoser

After some very careful consideration I picked up an Olympia “AST” ¾ length jacket, in “high visibility,” and so far my impressions are very positive. First the color is quite bright. Motorists continually made eye contact with me due to the brightness of the color. In fact, when stopped I got several very favorable comments such as, “Wow, that sure is bright…” In fact, the only drawback to the color seems to be that when I am riding into the sun, the reflection from the front of the jacket pretty much blots out the face of my Zumo 550!

 

The jacket is very well made, and seems very sturdy, but not too stiff upon first use. All buttons are rubberized to help protect the finish of your motorcycle. Tabs and zippers are oversized for easy operation with gloves on. Upon closer inspection, all seams appear to be taped and sealed. Taped and sealed seams combined with the waterproof lining of the jacket using Oly’s proprietary material should translate into a very waterproof garment. Despite chasing a couple of ominous clouds for 300 miles, I could not test this feature in real life… :dopeslap:

 

There are other thoughtful features as well. For example, the pockets not only have flaps, but also zippers, which are also taped. Very cool, and probably overkill as the flaps are generously cut to keep water out.

 

The jacket has a tough 600 denier cordura outershell with CE approved shoulder, back, and elbow protection. It also comes with a stand-alone inner jacket liner which provides extra warmth. As a bonus feature you can wear this liner as a windbreaker, which provides much appreciated flexibility when the riding is finished for the evening.

 

I took the Oly out for a 300 mile spin up the coast and into the local mountains around Ojai and Lake Cachuma. The temps were in the high 50s to mid 60s. The AST performed beautifully. I was comfortably warm with the liner zipped in, and a tee shirt underneath. There were no drafts as the jacket seals up nicely. The cut is good with no binding-I wear a 44 suit coat and the “large” size is perfect, even with my long arms.

 

Drawbacks? I couldn’t really find any. Some riders have noted that the top of their AST jackets rubbed their necks. Maybe I AM a pencil-necked geek…as long as the liner was zipped up I didn’t notice a problem. Without the liner I doubt I would button the very top snap, so this was not an issue.

 

I got my Olympia AST at Brown BMW in Pomona CA. The retail price is around $280. In my opinion this jacket is extraordinarily made, very stylish, and will work in a wide variety of temperatures which makes it an ideal touring jacket.

 

Here are a couple of pictures. Note a couple of things...first, the incredible brightness of the coat, and the rugged masculinity of the model...

 

461882668_7Ljfn-M.jpg

 

Here's another...

461885993_Wgz3u-M.jpg

 

Thanks for reading..

Steve in So Cal

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I agree with your statements.

 

The most critical one is the awareness other drivers have when i ride with the AST versus when I don't.

 

Plan to get an Airglide in Hi-Viz for the warmer riding days, if that ever happens :Cool:

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Oly is getting great reviews on jackets and suits, especially considering their low price. I'll have to consider them on my next replacement.

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AdventurePoser
Oly is getting great reviews on jackets and suits, especially considering their low price. I'll have to consider them on my next replacement.

 

I'm sure the AST is gonna be too warm on the hottest of summer days, but other than that, I believe it to be as sturdy as the Darien, at a much lower price point.

 

Of course, YMMV!

 

Steve

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Nice n Easy Rider
Just curious, where is Olympia made?

 

A check of the website suggests that the origin is Korea?

 

MB>

 

My Olympia says China on the collar tag.

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I got this jacket just before my first long ride - 3800 mile jaunt from Dallas area, through NM, UT, WY, and lot's of Rocky Mtn. riding in CO.

 

The weather was everything from 32 and freezing rain at altitude to 107 and windy in the TX panhandle. The jacket was great for everything below about 95 degrees. Once you got above that even the massive air vents didn't provide enough cooling. At 100 and above I cooked and had to take it off to avoid overheating.

 

I never had problems with water getting in, air leaks or anything that bothered me when it came to keeping out the elements - except when I forgot to close the rear vents one morning! I made sure I had room underneath for several layers so I was able to tune it to my comfort level pretty well.

 

There are pockets everywhere and I had them stuffed most of the time and didn't want for any storage.

 

Short version - very good and versitile jacket.

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+1 on agreeing with the review. Used it from the teens to about 85 or so, gets a bit toasty for me over about 70 in traffic. I road tested mine a week ago, hit some ice on a off ramp, so I was only doing about 30. Actually landed on some ice/snow and slid on it a bit, no noticeable damage to the fabric. CE Armor did it's job and I've already replaced it.

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AdventurePoser

It's a never ending challenge to wear the proper gear on any given day. It is not uncommon in California to go from 105 degree days to 50 degrees in the space of 125 miles. On my long tours I'll take the AST and Darien pants for the versatility of the combo, and take my chances with the heat...

 

For those rides where I know it's gonna be hot and stay hot, I'll wear the mesh...

 

Cheers,

Steve

 

 

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You're right about the challenge on a typical day here. I start off with my Gerbings plugged in and have to strip that off and open the vents in a few hours! My Motoport jacket is unlined and I still often sweat my brains out, so I don't know that I'd enjoy any of the perma-lined designs.

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AdventurePoser
You're right about the challenge on a typical day here. I start off with my Gerbings plugged in and have to strip that off and open the vents in a few hours! My Motoport jacket is unlined and I still often sweat my brains out, so I don't know that I'd enjoy any of the perma-lined designs.

 

Oly's proprietary lining which is bonded to the outer jacket purports to let body heat and moisture escape, while keeping rain out...just like Gortex. I suppose those claims might be true, but when it's hot, it's HOT!! The only solution is a wet tee shirt and mesh at that point!

 

Cheers,

Steve

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I have the Olympia mesh gear in the same color and completly agree on driver awareness. I am mistaken for a LEO all the time. This last weekend I had a local officer stop me in a parking lot and ask if I was doing "off duty" escort work.

 

 

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I have the Voyager jacket for winter in "red", and the airglide mesh in yellow (both hi-viz) for summer.

 

My understanding is that the Voyager is almost identical to the AST, but cut shorter.

 

I wore the Voyager for my first significant ride to Death Valley Days from SLC about 10 days ago. Temps from 10 to 77 F. Was very comfortable in the warmer temps in, and only ever opened the arm vents... lots of vents left to open up. Possibly the shorter cut makes this a more versatile choice than the AST, and a bit more comfy in warmer temps. I think I would be happy in it into the 80's somewhere, anyway.

 

In the cold weather I had my warm and safe jacket underneath everything. I put my rain pants on over my Olympia mesh pants and brought them up over the lower portion of the Voyager. This was comfy to about 25 F. My legs and feet were not pleased at temps lower than this, but the jacket worked fine with that wind seal from the rain pants.

 

I think the Voyager is a pretty nice way to go.

 

My Oly airglide mesh pants have been great. I was going to get some Rangers for winter, but found them tight around my knee when sitting. Still looking for winter pants.

 

Jan

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I bought the black and gray AST a year ago and have always regretted not getting the HiViz. Bought one yesterday while on holidays in Florida, and will be selling the first one.....

Have toured in all kinds of weather in it, and am extremely satisfied. Yes, I wish the ventilation was better in the heat of summer, but I have found that once underway it is not a problem even in SD last July at 95F !

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Two years ago my wife bought me the AST HiViz. I wore it back to the shop and exchanged it for on a gray AST. Wish I didn't do that! Now I wear a HiViz vest. Anyway, the AST has been great. Don't have to stop and put on rain gear and when it gets hot I open up all the flaps. Where I live it gets over 100F in July and August. When I am at the gas station I hear out of towners saying, quick get back in the car, it is too hot here. It does get a little uncomfortable in my AST above 100F, but as long as I am moving it really does not bother me. Besides, I wouldn't ride without it. Just my $0.02

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Based on the link post for the half price sale on Voyager version (shorter but otherwise the same), I just got one delivered today. Really impressed with quality and at half price, it is a great buy.

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I have the Voyager jacket for winter in "red", and the airglide mesh in yellow (both hi-viz) for summer.

 

My understanding is that the Voyager is almost identical to the AST, but cut shorter.

 

I wore the Voyager for my first significant ride to Death Valley Days from SLC about 10 days ago. Temps from 10 to 77 F. Was very comfortable in the warmer temps in, and only ever opened the arm vents... lots of vents left to open up. Possibly the shorter cut makes this a more versatile choice than the AST, and a bit more comfy in warmer temps. I think I would be happy in it into the 80's somewhere, anyway.

 

In the cold weather I had my warm and safe jacket underneath everything. I put my rain pants on over my Olympia mesh pants and brought them up over the lower portion of the Voyager. This was comfy to about 25 F. My legs and feet were not pleased at temps lower than this, but the jacket worked fine with that wind seal from the rain pants.

 

I think the Voyager is a pretty nice way to go.

 

My Oly airglide mesh pants have been great. I was going to get some Rangers for winter, but found them tight around my knee when sitting. Still looking for winter pants.

 

Jan

 

Voyager jacket

 

460781114_cZerm-M.jpg

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