By October 20, 2008

Rev’It Cayenne Pro textile motorcycle jacket review

Almost four months ago, I was killing time in a coffee shop in California. I was visiting family and had a PT Cruiser rental car instead of my motorcycles, and I was missing my two-wheeled friends badly. I made up for it by reading motorcycle gear reviews, and found read Web Bike World’s review of the Rev’It Cayenne Pro textile jacket and pants. I wanted it.

At the same time, my friend Fish Sprout was researching Motoport’s kevlar textile gear, mostly because her friend owned a set. The Cayenne Pro, despite ingenious venting options, was still a three-season jacket. Motoport owners reported wearing the jacket in temperatures from the 30s to 120s. The lure of a strong, four-season textile suit that wouldn’t melt to your skin like most mesh led me to order jacket and pants from Motoport in late June.

It was a huge mistake. For a product promising a “custom” fit, my Motoport jacket was put together for someone who weighed an extra twenty or thirty pounds. I sent it back twice for alterations, and am still in the process of getting my money back.

Cold temperatures were fast approaching, and I hadn’t solved the problem of a weather-resilient jacket that would hold up well in a crash. My Tourmaster Transition 2 jacket fit well and had nice features, but claims of the jacket disintegrating in crashes as slow as 25MPH made me nervous.

I bit the bullet, and bought the jacket from Beach Moto, run by a member of the community. Dennis, the owner, was everything Motoport wasn’t, and should have been — responsive, personable, professional, and efficient. Did I mention that dealing with Beach Moto was easy and didn’t make me feel like an idiot? Motoport, take notice.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. On to the jacket.

Materials and protection
I chose the high-visibility orange and white jacket combination, but the Cayenne Pro comes in a lot of awesome colors. The base fabric is soft Cordura 500D, with Cordura 1000D layers over top. Research suggests two layers of lesser-grade textile is better than one layer of superior textile, so the blend of 500D and 1000D makes me feel well-protected.

High contact areas, such as the elbows, are further protected against abrasion by “SuperFabric,” which utilizes tiny ceramic plates to provide a reported four times the abrasion resistance of leather, and up to fifteen times the abrasion resistance of kevlar.

The jacket has CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows. There is a foam back pad on the jacket; Beach Moto recommends upgrading to CE-approved armor for about $50. I wear additional armor underneath, including a CE-approved back pad, so I am not so worried. However, for the cost of the jacket I would expect CE-approved armor all the way around.

Fit, no liners installed
The Rev’It Cayenne Pro jacket without waterproof or insulated liner. Notice that it still fits well, unlike the Motoport it replaced.
Rear view, no liners. The jacket still has a little room for adjustment, but fits me very well. You can see the SuperFabric panels on the elbows.
Side view, no liners. Still a little extra material in the waist, but a very good fit for an off-the-shelf jacket.

Jacket fit with both liners installed
One of my biggest knocks against the Motoport jacket was that it only fit well with all of the liners in. I was worried that the Cayenne Pro would be too tight with both liners in, or would puff the jacket up so much that my mobility would be reduced.

Thanks to modern technology and traditional tailored clothing design principles, the jacket fits well with or without liners.
Fully “inflated,” with waterproof and insulated liners installed.

See the bulges in the front chest pockets? I have a balaclava in one, and silk glove liners in the other. The jacket material is so soft and thin you can tell I’m carrying cargo. I’ll talk about it again regarding the insulated liner, but Rev’It makes use of high technology to make a jacket that is both safe and comfortable.
Rear picture, both liners installed.

The problematic back and shoulders. Oh wait, the seams of the shoulders line up as they should on a tailored garment, and there is no blousing around the back or hem. I guess it wasn’t so hard to fit me after all. Note the diagonal rear vents; there is also a horizontal vent above the Rev’It symbol.

Venting and collar details
The thing I like the most about the jacket (besides that it fits well right out of the box) is the attention to detail. Check out the collar, for example.

The top black part is a soft neoprene-like material. I have the insulated liner attached in this shot, and it has a soft, fleece feel.

The collar snap is adjustable. Holy shit. Most jackets just have a large swath of hook-and-loop (or, in Motoport’s case, a snap system that is not adjustable at all). The Cayenne Pro’s collar snap can be moved along a track for maximum customization.

A little hot under the collar? Don’t worry — use this hook to keep the collar secured open.

The venting options are very well thought-out, too. My Tourmaster jacket has vents in similar places, but they seal shut from the wind as I get up to speed. The chest vents on the Cayenne Pro are held open by snaps:

The arm vents are backed by some sort of semi-rigid material. This holds the vents open at speeds up to 104MPH indicated (theoretically … I do not necessarily condone motorcycling above the posted speed limit, blah blah). Can they stay open at 105MPH? Who knows, I theoretically had to exit the highway and ran out of slab.

Waterproof liner and insulated liner

The two-part zip-in liner is fairly easy to put in and remove. It is best to put the liners on first, then put the jacket on in order to snap the sleeves in correctly. Each sleeve has two, spring-loaded snaps at the cuff. The waterproof liner zips into the jacket and snaps at the coat rack loop. The insulated liner then mates to the waterproof liner. I believe you can also just wear the insulated liner, and leave the waterproof liner out.
The insulated liner is charcoal-colored; the waterproof liner is shiny gray.

Cuffs and zippers
The soft “hand” of the fabric makes it easy to put on my full-gauntlet Teknic Speedstar gloves. I can pull them over the sleeves and cinch them down, or I can put the sleeves over the cuff. This was something I was unable to accomplish with the Motoport mesh kevlar jacket. The Motoport was so stiff and bulky that I couldn’t put the gauntlet over or under the sleeve.

I wish the sleeve cuff adjuster had a pull-tab or similar; it is hard to pry the hook and loop closure apart. Something rubberized would great. Given the attention to detail to other parts of the jacket, I am surprised there isn’t something more substantial at the wrists.

The main zipper on the jacket is awesome. It’s a robust YKK that is easy to manipulate with gloved hands. It has a nice rubberized pull-tab, which is also easy to find with gloves on:

Which makes the front zippers all the more frustrating:

Look at that. $550 and no pull-tab on the second most-used zippers on the jacket? Come on, Rev’It. I keep my work badge in one pocket and my earplug case in the other. It’s a pain in the ass to find the zipper with my gloves on.

Temperature and comfort
Rev’It worked their magic again with their “EXKIN” insulation, which is very thin but effective.

My commute is about 45 minutes each way. I have ridden in 22°F temperatures, adjusted for wind speed on the highway. I had a cotton t-shirt on underneath the jacket. I also wore my Knox Sport Shirt underneath the jacket. I was very toasty warm with both liners in. I believe I will be nervous about riding on ice before the Cayenne Pro is defeated by cold temperatures.

I rode in the rain for about an hour with the jacket on. The waterproof liner worked very well, but the outer shell of the jacket remained damp for about four hours. One major drawback to the closer-weave textile versus the Motoport mesh is that moisture doesn’t evaporate as easily. My Motoport mesh kevlar pants were dry in about twenty minutes.

I find that removing the liners and hanging them separately from the jacket speeds the drying process. If I have time, I will don my Frogg Togg rain gear. A wet jacket will make me cooler at highway speeds, and once the ambient temperature hits 20°F or so that may prove to be a problem.

The Good:

  • CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows.
  • High abrasion resistance thanks to layered Cordura and SuperFabric.
  • Waterproof liner and insulated liner are very effective.
  • Nice touches like top-grade snaps, collar system, and vents.
  • Fit and styling make you look more like a human and less like a firefighter.

The Bad:

  • No pull-tabs on the front pockets makes finding the zippers a pain in the ass with gloves on.
  • Wrist enclosures need a pull-tab of some kind. It’s hard to grip the hook-and-loop strap.
  • Temperfoam back pad. Really? Didn’t I just pay $550? At this level, it should be CE-armor or nothing.
  • No chest armor, unlike the Motoport. I wear additional armor underneath, but keep this in mind.
  • Price 🙁

The Ugly:

  • $550 for the jacket, and $400 for the pants

The jacket looks great, and fits comfortably on my long-armed, wide-backed, no-chest frame. I got excellent customer service from Dennis at Beach Moto, and they will be able to answer all of your questions and help you with sizing.

Highly recommended.

Addendum, 02/24/2009:
Per Jim’s request, I have added pictures of me with my arms up and fully outstretched. Exposing my midsection was a major concern when evaluating the Motoport Ultra II Kevlar mesh jacket. I voiced my concern to the owner of Motoport, and was told that in the many many years he was in business no one has every slide with both arms up. However, in the interest of parity, here I am with my arms up in the Rev’It jacket:

As you can see, my stomach is still exposed. This doesn’t happen with my leather gear, and this may be mitigated by zipping the Cayenne Pro into a pair of pants — something that was discouraged by Motoport as irrelevant.

Let’s hope I never have to test that theory. 😉

Posted in: motorcycling, review

15 Comments on "Rev’It Cayenne Pro textile motorcycle jacket review"

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  1. jim says:

    I just read your posts on Motoport on ADV. A couple questions for you, because, we have the same setup.
    I’ve got the Ultra II pants and a Revit Cayenne Pro jacket. Great setup, but, your picture of you lifting your arms and exposing your mid section got me thinking. I put my Revit jacket on, lifted my arms, and, damn. When I do that, I’ve got about 4″ ABOVE my belly button exposed! I’m wondering if yours is the same, and, how your feeling about it?

    Reply to email, if you like.


  2. drfaulken says:

    Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. After getting berated by Wayne at Motoport and a few members of for complaining about exposing my midsection in the event of a wreck, I never tried it with my Cayenne Pro.

    I’ll do it tonight and report back.

  3. alejandro fernandez says:

    i want that jacket please tell me how much i really like that model (orange and black)

  4. Brandt Prewitt says:

    I have been looking at the Cayenne Pro pants (I already own the jacket) and was wondering what size you ordered with them. I am six feet in height and approximately 180 pounds (about 33″ waist). What size did you get? I’d like a fairly snug with all the liners in.
    Thanks for your help. Brandt

  5. drfaulken says:

    Hey Brandt, I don’t have the Cayenne Pro pants. You may want to email Dennis, owner of Beach Moto. I have purchased two Rev’It jackets and a pair of gloves from him and he is fantastic about sizing people via email. His Web site is Beach Moto.

  6. Dandy says:

    I have owned the original Cayenne and Ultra Pants for maybe 3 yrs and can tell you they are not worth the price you’re trying to convince yourself to pay. The collar adjusters break, the sleeve velcro adjusters don’t hold up and loops holding the liner in give out and you won’t stay dry with liners in. ONLY a one year warranty with little help from Rev’It once you own it. Just a thought….

  7. drfaulken says:

    Hi Dandy, sorry to hear about your experience with your original Cayenne. I’d like to see pictures of your gear so I can see if those areas have been improved upon with my Cayenne Pro and other Rev’It gear. Please email any pictures to me at [email protected]

    Thanks for your comment.

  8. Dandy says:

    I’m not sure you received my private email but thought this might work. I’ve posted the pictures in Snapfish since the pic files are pretty big. Here’s hoping I got this right.

  9. drfaulken says:

    Hi Dandy, thanks for posting the pictures. I am going to post some of the pictures here as well.

    Hook and loop wrist adjustment delaminating:

    Rain liner loop fraying (what’s up the fabric below the loop? Is that folded over or frayed?).

    Collar adjuster is broken (left side), snap is collar broken (right side, on tab):

  10. Hanif Jaffer says:

    Wondering about whether you are still using the Knox Sport Shirt under your jackets? I see that you tried Motoport but had some bad experiences with them.

    I just had an accident and my armor rotated out of the way. Before I get back on a bike, I want to make sure that I have better gear. I was going to bite the bullet and get the Motoports, but your experiences convinced me otherwise.

    What do you think is the best combination: the Knox shirt/short with fabric jkt/pants or just good-quality leathers (with an aftermarket good back protector)?


  11. drfaulken says:

    Hello Hanif,

    First off, I am sorry about your accident. As you noted, motorcycle safety gear fit is often just as important as construction and materials. I have lost a lot of weight recently and have had to buy more gear so that it fits properly.

    I don’t wear my Knox Sport Shirt under my jacket during the summer. It is too hot where I live to wear it. I will start wearing it again once the temperature cools down.

    I have switched back to a perforated leather jacket for summertime wear. It has CE-approved armor all the way around and I feel safe in it. When the weather cools, I will switch back to my Cayenne Pro. For me, the material selection has to do more with the weather (cold and rainy here during the fall).

    If you do most of your riding when it is warm and sunny, I would say leather all the way. If you ride in different temperatures and the rain, you should look into textile.

    Did that help? Please feel free to email me with more questions, too.

  12. Hanif Jaffer says:

    Thanks for your quick (and thoughtful) reply. I appreciate it.

    Upon further reading, it looks like most people suggest that leather is the best. I agree with you, however that in rainy areas (like mine), textile is probably a better choice.

    Perhaps a good compromise is to get tight-fitting leather (with good CE armor) and a cheap rainsuit that can be quickly donned over the gear when rain threatens.

    That way, leather isn’t exposed to the wet/dry cycles that are detrimental to their effectiveness.

    Thanks again. Great blog, BTW. Lots of useful info (e.g. SentryPro)

  13. Joe says:

    Great write up even 2.5 years later. The reason I decided to post something is that your “arms up” demonstration is very relevant. There is a reason Rev’it and many other companies provide zippers to link a jacket and pants together and why almost everyone on a track wears one piece leathers…when you slide you jacket tends to be pulled up due to friction. Its not that you’re going to be sliding with your arms up in the air but with a shorter jacket, you run a higher risk of there being a non-protected gap between your pants and jacket when you slide.

    I’ve also been considering a pair of Motoport pants but the Rev’it pants are looking more attractive. I recently laid my bike down in a corner at 40mph and my current Scorpion pants wore through the textile and this has me thinking much more about the materials used. My leather jacket and Held race gloves were fine. I ultimately would want leather pants but not the most ideal solution for commuting to an office job.

  14. Bc says:

    I’m built like you and also have trouble getting gear that fits. I’m 6 feet and 155 lbs, no gut or chest, skinny arms and broad shoulders. Would you write what size you chose for the cayenne pro and your dimensions?


    • DrFaulken says:

      I have a size XL Cayenne Pro. I am 6′, currently 175# with a 43″ chest. The best thing to do would be to contact Dennis over at Beach Moto: … he will get you into the right fit over email or the phone. Please tell him DrFaulken sent ya!