BMG Mercury II Motorcycle Jacket-XX-Large (45-47)-Black/Yellow-Male
"The Belstaff Mercury was designed by bikers, for bikers. The numerous unusual details in this jacket are abnormally well thought out, abnormally well executed, and flat out work. Let’s take a look then... The bomber jacket style shell is mainly Cordura, but with a tighter weave than most. Belstaff describes it as “waterproof, breathable and windproof high tenacity (sic!) Teflon coated nylon.” Whatever it’s called, it’s light enough to be comfortable; substantial enough to provide solid abrasion protection; long enough at the back to stop drafts; elegantly styled by Italians; beautifully finished; and works better and looks far more expensive and classy than a lot of gear I’ve seen at four times the price. The lower sleeves and upper chest, irrespective of jacket color (it comes in Blue, Red and Gunmetal in addition to the 'Gold' shown here), use a matte silver, reflective material and the shoulders are covered in “illumiNITE” reflective fabric. The latter is a gunmetal grey matrix of material that looks ever so stylish during the day but, when viewed from behind a car’s headlights at night, gives the impression that the driver is warping the Starship Enterprise into a meteor shower. Along with the 3M Scotchlite piping and reflective Belstaff logos on the front, back and upper sleeves, it also kills any excuse a cage driver might have for not seeing you after dark. This is without doubt one of the safest and most visible jackets you can wear without signing on as a police officer. The main closure is by a beefy, high-quality YKK zipper, with a tough, well-stitched textile pull tag attached that makes opening and closing easy for even winter-gloved hands. In fact, all zippers are YKK, and all have sturdy textile pulls with reflective Belstaff logos – something often overlooked on far more expensive kit. A double storm flap that folds back on itself provides a triple-layer gutter system that completely covers the zipper, and a full-length Velcro strip secures this most waterproof of arrangements. Once you have the thing Velcro’d closed, four rubber-coated press studs (can’t have any marks on the bike now, can we?) secure the whole shebang. Belstaff’s been using this system since Noah used their first waxed cotton jacket on the Ark and, believe me, it works. I rode a naked bike through a two-hour downpour in a Washington State rain forest last year and not one drop of rain found its way through this jacket (my pants and gloves were a different story). Consequently, I’ve since purchased Belstaff over-trousers, too, but more of that another day. Two reflective-surrounded hand-warmer pockets provide the only external storage. Their zippers are protected by a double-cover system where the outer layer’s leading edge folds back on itself and keeps out water as effectively as the main closure. These pockets can also be left open in summer to provide additional cooling – hence the lack of Velcro. As experienced riders know, it’s all in the details - and a lot of thought went into these details. Belstaff knows motorcycling. Two mesh-backed, zippered upper chest vents provide primary front cooling. On cold days, the vents are not only covered by the waterproof jacket material but also hidden under outer storm flaps and secured by yup, fabric pull zippers. Twin rear kidney vents let the grungy air out, this time with just one covering on the zips. Cooling is good as long as you open up the jacket’s front a bit, too, but it could be improved dramatically by the addition of forearm vents – one of only two complaints I have about this garment. Your arms get sweaty in a real scorcher, and that heats the rest of you. Sleeves have three adjusters: at the cuff, forearm and bicep. The cuff is a typical British storm cuff, features natty Union Jacks on the tabs, and can be secured either under or over gloves. Forearm adjustment is by rubber-coated press stud, and loose upper arm material is gathered with a Velcro strap. Torso adjustment, found under the armpits, is also provided by tabs with rubber-coated press studs. Together these adjusters make sure the Mercury stays streamlined at speed and you don’t end up impersonating a Michelin-man-shaped airbrake. A stretch panel inside the lower back supports a 9” zipper attachment for trousers. Adjusters are included on the middle side (ribs) of the jacket body. The neck closure is lined with soft, flexible neoprene at the rear, and has a similar insert under your chin where most of the nodding/chafing takes pace when the jacket is fully closed. Neck size is adjustable through a rear strap. My second, and last, complaint about this jacket concerns the utterly useless hook-and-loop closure for the neck band. The hook system is rubber, and is one of Nature’s great irritants as it will not stay attached in a gentle breeze and needs constant fiddling to stay closed while on the move – never a good idea! Just turning your head will unstick this thing. The good news is that the cure is simple: replace that rubber abomination with a similar-sized piece of Velcro. Why Belstaff didn’t do this in the first place escapes me – they thought of everything else? Crash protection is by extra material in impact zones, covering European race-quality Knox CE armor at the elbows, shoulders and forearms. A pocket is sewn into the liner for a back protector. All armor is easily removable for washing. The inside lining is as lush as 007’s dinner jacket and interior storage holds far more than a silver cigarette case and a Walther PPK. A large, vertical zippered left chest pocket is about a foot deep by 6” wide and holds everything but the kitchen sink. Mine holds bike docs, an auto-answer cell phone/inline headset, glasses and a baseball cap. There’s a smaller passport pocket on top of this, also zippered, but with a see-through mesh panel and an adjustment strap to keep everything in place. There’s a pen/penlight/tire gauge pocket, too. The right side offers a single 6” square net pocket with an open elastic top. Another interesting detail is that the nylon lining does not cover the full depth of the jacket, but incorporates a 3” deep panel of strong mesh around the bottom. This enables air to circulate freely between the lining and the outer shell, allowing the jacket to “breathe” where others would “sweat”. Warmth – and this thing is toasty down to about 20F – is provided by a zip-in, padded Thermolite liner that doubles as a personal sauna in anything above about 60F. I have yet to buy or need an electric vest despite all the cold, foul-weather riding we suffer through up here. My hands, feet and legs may freeze on occasion, but my carefully cultivated fat has never been wet or cold in this jacket. I’ve now had my Mercury three years and, when clean and apart from the inevitable odd scuff mark, it shows no significant signs of wear. I’ve ridden about 50,000 kms in that time. So, is this the only jacket I have? No. I use a FirstGear mesh jacket for hot summer day rides but if I’m on the bike for a weekend or a week, sunshine notwithstanding, it’s the Mercury that travels – not the mesh. That Belstaff can produce a jacket of this quality and functionality with all this careful thought built in for a measly US$249 amazes me. It’s two small details away from perfect. Buy two now and put one away before they discontinue it. I have. Rick's Notes: I recently acquired a Belstaff Mercury and I have to agree with Richard that this is probably one of the best all-around jackets available. The quality of the construction and the details are first-rate, and I especially like the many tab adjusters on the lower and upper arms and on the sides of the jacket body. These are important to keep the jacket from billowing when riding and also to help keep the armor located in case of a crash. The Mercury goes great with a pair of motorcycle jeans (like the Sliders or Joe Rocket Steel Jeans) as a nice minimalist solution for riding gear. I'm actually fond of the neck closure, because it seems like one of the few jackets that actually fits comfortably around my bulldog neck. I haven't experienced any problems with the Velcro. The double front flap closure is actually very clever. It's hard to describe, but the single flap folds back on itself and secures with Velcro and then the jacket's outer flap buttons over the top. This provides a double seal to keep out wind and water without having to use extra layers of material. I think this actually makes the jacket slimmer in the front than it might be otherwise, and that's a good thing. My feeling is that the size large Mercury fits about one size big. British Motorcycle Gear (the U.S. importer and distributor for Belstaff) lists the size large Mercury as a 41-43, but based on my example, it fits more like a 44-45. Other than that, this is a very nice jacket and an absolute steal at $249.00. The Mercury is treated with "Stormshield" hydrophilic membrane between the liner and the outer fabric. This is designed to transfer moisture (i.e., sweat) away from the rider. Richard mentioned the "illumiNITE" reflective coating and the Mercury also uses 3M's Scotchlite piping. And finally, Belstaff uses Knox armor in the shoulders and elbows of the Mercury jacket. " WebBIkeWorld.com
British Motorcycle Gear Protecting The Café Racer in all of us.