You could argue that there’s no specific difference between a motorcycle jacket and a scooter jacket, and you’d be absolutely right. The demands of either are pretty similar, and any of the thousands of motorcycle jackets out there would certainly protect you equally on a scooter or motorycle. The difference is fashion. 10 years ago, your choice consisted of three varieties: The too-colorful leather “Power Ranger,” the leather classic “Biker,” and the hundred-zipper Scotchbrite-and-black-fabric “Tech.”
Vintage scooterists, on the other hand, always wore a flight jacket, a shop jacket, or a parka, all of which were better than a t-shirt, but not much.
All that changed in about 2000, when Joe Rocket finally started putting a little effort into design. Their jackets were still pretty Troy-Lee/tribal-tattoo-looking (and now, 9 years later, that’s still the dominant look in motorcycle fashion), but they at least were trying something new. On their heels, Icon appeared on the scene with the first armored jackets that trendy scooterists might actually not be embarrassed to wear, notably the armored flight jacket.
Corazzo appeared just as the modern twist-and-go scene started to take off, and is now as ubiquitous as the bomber and parka once were in the U.S. scooter scene. This is all for very good reason, Corazzo’s line is well-made and attractive, and they’re a huge supporter of organized scootering, so it’s good to see them doing well. (The Corazzo Shop Jacket is my personal favorite, and I rarely ride without it.)
(If you’re counting, that’s over 300 words and I haven’t mentioned the product I’m reviewing. Go get a soda and a bagel. Ready? Here we go…)
(That’s about 600 words, I guess it’s time to talk about the damn product, right?)
Scooterworks sent me a black and grey XXL Prima Pullman jacket to try out. First off, as a Chicagoan, I like the name “Pullman,” though I’m not sure if it’s a reference to the suburb, the industrialist, the railroad car, or the riots. When I first saw the press photos of the jackets, especially the red one, which looks a bit “Beat It” in the promo photos, I wasn’t wowed, the silver area looked like elevator padding and the color combinations seemed strange, but seeing the black and grey in person it’s a downright good-looking jacket. Hopefully my photos get that across. Scooterworks, Genuine, and now Prima seem to design things without endlessly recycling the obvious scooter memes: Europe (and specifically Italy), Mod targets, racing stripes, etc. Aside from the Buddy Internationals, which are sort of a funny premise if you think about it too long, most of their products are thoughtfully designed on their own merits without depending on cultural baggage. I think that’s brave, and a big reason why they stand out in a sea of scooters and accessories with italian-sounding names that start with “V.”
So Prima’s biggest competition in the armored scooter jacket market is Corazzo. Most Prima dealers probably sell Corazzo too, so it’s going to be a frequently-made comparison. The most obvious difference is price. The Pullman retails for a mere $125, while Corazzo’s armored jackets start at $180 and go up to $250. Sure, Corazzo’s designs are generally flashier and trendier, but not everyone’s flashy or trendy, if you like the design and fit of the Prima, and it’s got the features you want, the decision is a no-brainer.
The shell features a built-in mesh liner and is quite breathable, but it could use a bit more venting. A large zippered vent in the back is nice, but a little armpit ventilation might help, too. The quilted zip-in liner is easy to zip and snap into place. It’s cozy but not toasty, so I’m guessing Winter is the missing season in their “3-seasons” designation, though a few layers under it would probably make it a decent year-round jacket. It all depends on where you live, I suppose.
Since the jacket didn’t fit me very well (because I am a giant troll), I didn’t wear it out in the rain, though it’s allegedly waterproof. I have a couple other “waterproof” jackets, and I’ve found that nothing will keep you dry if it’s raining hard enough. In the Pullman’s case, the zippers and seams and pocket flaps aren’t as ridiculously overdesigned as some other fabric jackets I’ve tried, but all those gimmicks don’t seem to keep you dry anyway, so unless you do a lot of riding in heavy rain, it should be just fine.
The biggest negative for me (aside from the sizing) is the lack of back armor. Many jackets, even far more expensive ones, lack back armor, so that’s a personal-choice sort of thing, I suppose, but it’d be nice to have it as an add-on option at least. If you’re anti-logo, the Prima logo appears a lot, (I lost count around 10 times), but they’re all fairly small, and it’s a handsome logo. Most could be quickly removed. I’ll take that over a giant brand name across the back and down the sleeves any day.
All in all, this is a solid, well-made jacket that should appeal to longtime scooterists and newbies, at a great price. If you’ve been holding off buying an armored jacket because you couldn’t find anything in your price range, or anything you weren’t embarassed to wear, this is the jacket for you.
And if you’re REALLY cheap, stay tuned. Since this one didn’t fit, we’re going to give it away in a contest soon.
Buy the Prima Pullman jacket online at ScooterworksUSA, or better yet, support your local dealer, where you can try it on and make sure it’s right for you.
Check out our Prima Pullman Photo Gallery.
Also read Eric Almedral’s Prima Pullman review at ModernBuddy.com. You will find his opinions are very similar to mine, to the degree of plagiarism, yet he wrote his review first.