You can’t beat a short sporty-style jacket for warmer summer rides. It doesn’t matter what bike you’re on - the short style lets you move around on the bike easily yet hold all the necessary armour and provide abrasion resistance, just in case you fall off.
They also tend to look less like motorcycle jackets than say, a full-on set of textiles, and can easily work with riding jeans. This means that if you are planning on spending some time off the bike as well as on, then they make a good compromise.
This short sporty jacket from Alpinestars was around a couple of years ago and it is now discontinued. You can still find it online though if you do go looking, bear in mind the RRP when it was released was around £250, so don’t go crazy.
The Alpinestars T Fuse is a nice jacket, though it does have its limitations. It is made in a soft-shell outer design with a square cut to it, so it doesn’t scream ‘biker’ if you head for a chip shop or similar at the end of your ride.
The outer material is shower-resistant, but it has got a waterproof and breathable membrane. While I've never worn it in heavy rain, it does keep the odd shower out. However, the breathability was somewhat less than ideal…
While the membrane is described as breathable, I didn’t find it particularly so. I found that on a warm ride, at anything less than motorway speeds, it got very clammy inside, even with the thermal liner removed.
It has a couple of vents at the front, but these are located under the armpits and stretch downwards towards the small of the back. I found these to be of limited use. They would also be almost completely covered by the shoulder straps if you were wearing a rucksack.
Their efficiency isn’t helped by a lack of exhaust vent on the rear, so warm air can't escape and be replaced by cooling air.
The thermal liner itself isn’t particularly thick, but it does seem to help keep you a little warmer either early in the morning or in the late evening when the sun goes down and the temperature follows suit quickly.
Overall, it is only CE rated A and comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows, though this can be upgraded. It also doesn’t come with a back protector, so that needs to be factored into the overall cost.
Again, it will take the Nucleon back protector as well as chest armour if required. It does have external TPU sliders on the shoulders though for a little extra protection.
Getting the fit right is fairly easy – it has slightly pre-curved arms so they fall naturally to the handlebars and there are popper adjusters at the upper arms with hook-and-loop tabs at the cuffs and the waist. The cuffs are reasonably narrow but will go inside sports gloves though because of the limitations of the cooling vents, a pair of short gloves under loose cuffs worked reasonably well for me.
There are two handwarmer pockets on the front and a waterproof ‘Napoleon’ pocket on the chest and the neck fastening is covered by a flap. The collar itself has been edged in the same softshell material the rest of the jacket is made of and I found it could be tight, particularly if I wanted to wear even a thin Buff scarf.
Related: Best summer motorcycle gloves
It was also harder on the neck than a ring of neoprene, particularly if you’re lazy with the razor.
I guess the fact that the T-Fuse has been discontinued after a couple of years suggests that it wasn’t the Italian brand’s most successful product.
It’s a shame as it’s a nice, stylish jacket that generally fits well and looks good. Though, at that kind of money, you should at least expect vents that work and a higher level of protection.
Again, a shame as it felt reasonably reassuring in use (with the addition of an optional back protector) but the fact it is only A-rated and only has Level-1 armour as the standard doesn’t really stack up now.
Styling, sport cut
Thermal liner included
Sweaty and poor protection