The product lines of the new Cortech brand continue to expand in interesting ways. Previously known as a sports brand, Cortech introduced The Boulevard Collective, a collection of retro-style jackets that will appeal to both sportbike and cruiser riders. To present ourselves to Boulevard Collective by Cortech, we opted for the most elegant offer: the Trans-Am leather jacket.
Although the name Trans-Am is associated with motor racing – the motorcycles closest to that name were the Trans-AMA 500cc motocross series from the 1970s – it’s still a name that resonates with gearboxes. The bovine leather jacket is very stylish with a racing stripe quilted shoulder padding, numerous patches, many vintage style YKK zippers and a buttoned exterior pocket. Either it speaks to you or you consider it exaggerated. Whatever your taste, it will suit a retro style motorcycle of any type.
From a functional point of view, this is a very versatile jacket. It’s summer right now, so I’ll skip straight to a feature that I found useful as the temperatures were nearly 100 degrees in the Mojave Desert. The Trans-Am jacket offers ventilation, something you rarely see on a leather jacket. There are four discreet leather flap vents with thin black zippers to circulate air through the Trans-Am. There is one on each bicep and one for each side of your upper chest near your armpits.
With the four air vents open, as well as the two vertical zippered air vents on the back, air circulates generously through the jacket. I was able to ride for hours in temperatures over 90 degrees on a faired 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival. Yes, I was warm enough to sweat, but the airflow kept me comfortable enough to travel hundreds of miles in baking conditions.
On the other end of the temperature spectrum, Cortech’s Trans-Am Jacket is quite comfortable when the mercury drops – with the zippered vents, of course. Keep in mind that there is no permanent or removable quilted liner. I started a mountain to desert hike in 45 degree temperatures on that same Electra Glide Revival, with just a thin, super-light long-sleeved base layer and a cotton t-shirt under the jacket. I have never felt the least bit cold at speeds up to 85mph. It’s impressive that you can wear the same stylish leather jacket on a ride with a 50 degree temperature variation, with just one change in a single base layer.
As for comfort, it is a jacket that you will enjoy wearing on and off your motorcycle. The leather is very supple right out of the rack, with a thickness ranging from 1.0 to 1.2 mm. Two accordion stretch panels in the upper back allow easy arm movement in all situations. Riding cruisers or sport bikes where you need to reach for the grips is no problem for the Trans-Am Jacket.
Inside the jacket is a satin polyester lining that feels great against your body and bare arms. The neck is made of soft leather and has a loose fixed button closure. The size can be adjusted via two double position flaps on the sides. Thanks to the soft leather, you can wear this jacket all day without feeling tired. The size is perfect – I’m generally a tall, and it fits me perfectly.
YKK zippers are of high quality, although the main double slider zipper requires everything to be perfectly aligned. The two sliders should line up, then the box pin pushed all the way to the bottom of the lower slider. If you don’t do it right, the zipper won’t cooperate. To compensate for the resistance of the zipper, the upper main slider has a Blvd branded pull tab. lightning bolt. Fortunately, the Trans-Am’s other zippers are still obliging.
Storage is distributed differently from what you would usually find on a leather jacket. The familiar large square interior pockets, usually unsecured or with buckles and hooks, are not there. Instead, on the inside you have a choice of two mid-height pockets with vertical opening and buttoned up on opposite sides. This is instead of a traditional Napoleon zippered pocket. While Cortech nicely describes them as “hidden carry pockets,” I love them for my wallet and my phone.
On the outside, you have a variety of choices for freight. There are two hand pockets with sturdy zippers with steel and leather pull tabs – plenty of room on those. In the right part of the chest there is a zipper which closes a roomy pocket behind the Cortech key and shank patch. It’s easily accessible, so I could see storing something there that you want to be able to access quickly.
The Trans-Am also has a square pocket on the front which has a snap closure. My wallet fits there, but the snap doesn’t seem as secure as I would like for my relatively large wallet – it’s probably fine for a thin wallet, or if you want a place for the toll money. Finally, the two ventilation zippers can be found at the ends of a single large pocket on the lower back, although you only want to store something soft in there for security reasons.
Speaking of safety, Cortech’s Trans-Am Jacket comes with the expected Safe-Tech elbow and shoulder armor. Cortech offers an optional Safe-Tech CE Level 2 back protector – it’s $ 20 and well worth it, and I won’t ride without it. As we have said many times, we believe CE back protector should be standard on all motorcycle jackets. However, another Jackson added to a $ 350 jacket is no big deal.
Cortech’s Trans-Am jacket is a pleasant surprise. Sometimes a very stylish jacket can be less functional than I would like. The fact that I receive unsolicited compliments on the appearance of the jacket is expected – this is a statement jacket. The interesting bonus is that the Trans-Am is simply a fantastic jacket for motorcycle riding.
Photography by Kelly Callan
Cortech’s Trans-Am Jacket Highlights
- Sizes: S-3X Large
- Black color
- Leather: Bovine
- Zippers: YKK
- CE protection: Elbows and shoulders (back is optional $ 20)
Cortech’s Trans-Am Jacket Price: $ 350 MSRP ($ 370, as tested)
Cortech’s Trans-Am Jacket Review Photo Gallery