RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

Digital Rider: Aerostich Roadcrafter Light Midsummer Report

Aug 20, 2013 View Comments by

Digital Rider: Aerostich Roadcrafter Light Midsummer ReportAnd so the Aerostich is filthy. Like industrial grade filthy. Like I’d better wash it before it gets up and walks away filthy. No, it wasn’t the woods of Ontario that did it, although some of the bugs (big enough to throw a saddle over) left their mark. And no, it wasn’t the mist of the Smoky Mountains or the summer heat of Virginia. No, the Aerostich crossed over from brand spankin’ new to in desperate need of a wash on the backroads of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Had I been off road legend Jimmy Lewis I might have walked away unscathed, but my riding more resembled Jerry Lewis, and I fell not once, not twice, but three times. The first two were muddy and the third one was at a crystal clear water crossing; I really should have lathered up before that last one. Alas, I didn’t plan ahead. So in the wash it will go.

Otherwise, it’s been much of what I expected—sturdy, convenient, and good to about 85 degrees. It’s also less bulky and lighter than a standard Roadcrafter. The weight loss has come in handy as it’s been stuffed in luggage more than once; with the armor removed it’s quite compact. Do I miss the lining? Kind of. There was originally some chafing at the neck, but repositioning the shoulder pads fixed that problem and it’s now a distant memory. And when putting it on, the unlined right kneepad can get in the way of an inserted boot, so it’s best to perform a little kick and twist for quick entry. I call it the Aerostich Jig, and some folks at the Touring Weekend were lucky enough to see the first live performance. For the record, I got into the Roadcrafter Light in around sixty seconds, but that was with a LeMans style running start and a balky zipper. I bet after the wash I can get that time down to thirty seconds or less.

Speaking of Touring Weekend, the highway slog home saw temps in the mid 90s. An evaporative cooling vest helped greatly, but only for 60 minutes or so before it got really hot again. At those temps (and with East Coast humidity), the only way to stay cool is to stay in air-conditioning. But how fun is that?

Best of all is the convenience. On one of those summer days when storm clouds are looming in the distance, I can just enjoy the ride while others spend an hour thinking, “Should I put the rain gear on? Should I put the rain gear on?” And on those climbs into the mountains where the temp drops twenty degrees, a couple of quick zips and the ride goes on. Now if only I could manage them while on the move, that would be something. But even now, the Aerostich Roadcrafter Light continues to be a versatile bit of kit.

Tags: , , , , , , Categories: Digital Rider

About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.