Safety! Safety! Safety!
Viking Cycle’s Reflective Vest
Ever walk through the darkness of your bedroom and you bumped into furniture, maybe even stubbing your toe? Of course you have and this happened while you know the layout of your room. Your furniture wasn’t visible in the dark, so here’s a question; how visible are you on your motorcycle?
For the longest time, I’ve been thinking about getting a reflective vest. For one of my safety rides, I had bought fluorescent vests for the leaders of the ride to be more visible, but those vests were inexpensive nylon ones worth a couple of bucks and in no way compare to the one I tested from Viking Cycles.
For one, the second you hold it, you can feel the difference. There is no cheap material, no shortcuts, just a quality reflective vest.
The front of the vest is zippered, but also has three additional strips of Velcro for a perfect fit and the reflective vest has two front pockets. Since I moved to the Saint Augustine area earlier this year, wherever I go, it’s new to me but when I ride my Harley Street Glide, I have a GPS built in, so no issues there, but when I ride my Honda Vtx 1800, I got a problem.
I use my cell phone as the GPS, but I have to slide it into my back pocket and run the earbud wire through the inside of my T-shirt. My cell in my back pocket isn’t the most comfortable thing, but it’s the only choice I have. Now, I can slide my phone into the front right pocket. In addition, if I’m riding through areas with tolls, I can slide some money or loose change in the front left pocket which is clear.
Inside, there is also another zippered pocket that will hold your cell phone or wallet. In the back, there is an additional pocket which is the only jacket of any type I’ve ever used with a back pocket. For me that little detail is perfect because when I ride with my wife, I always worry about her dropping her cell phone since she is taking pictures, but now she can just drop her cell phone into the back pocket.
As to fit, don’t stress it. You have the pull strings on the side to tighten up if you want or loosen the drawstrings if need be. And being that I live in Florida and in the summers it can be hot, the mesh fabric will allow for air to flow through.
Another small detail that I noticed and is mostly overlooked, is the collar. Most vests don’t even have a collar, but Viking’s Reflective Vest does and the spongy like material feels comfortable and won’t be flapping around when you hit highway speeds.
Now, look at the photo below. You are probably thinking that is the worst photo ever taken, but actually, it’s the best photo to showcase the effectiveness of Viking Cycle’s vest.
Try using a computer screen or tablet that would have a larger screen than your cell phone.
I could have taken this photo with my cell phone camera, the terrace lights on, maybe even with my Cannon camera with 300 mm telescoping lens. Instead, I chose my Go Pro on purpose because while the Go Pro is an excellent camera for up-close shots, from a distance it’s not so great.
My property borders a preserve so there is no light pollution. I took this photo at approximately fifty feet with a cheap single beam flashlight with batteries I should have replaced long ago, and yet under those less than ideal conditions for a Go Pro, the vest seems to be free floating in the darkness, but visible.
So imagine at what distance you would be visible to another vehicle with much more powerful dual headlights, not to mention street lights and other vehicles whose headlights reflect off the vest. And to be clear, no filters were used nor did I even bother to adjust the aperture or the shutter speed of my Go Pro.
At approximately twenty feet, you can now see my patio chair holding up the reflective vest. If you had any doubt on the reflective strips, there’s your answer.
How many bikers yourself included, drop $20k on a motorcycle and walk out of a dealership with no helmet or the cheapest helmet they can find because they don’t want to spend anymore money?
Realistically, when you spend 5, 10, 15 thousand dollars on a motorcycle, another $100 isn’t going to break the bank, and neither is Viking Cycle’s reflective vest at under $30.
How much do you spend on bike night? Not less than $30 that’s for sure, so there is no excuse. Skip a bike night, get your jacket, and use it next time you ride whether day or night, because as a motorcycle rider that advocates safety and gives free lessons to riders to improve their skills, like we say- ride like you are invisible, but with a reflective vest, you are now more visible.
And browse their site, they have plenty of other goodies that we can all use from rain gear, riding gloves, to leather jackets.
Have fun. Be safe. See you on the road.