OSX 'Top Gun' jacket

Paul Taylor
By Paul Taylor
platinum_paul Production editor. Worked in bike industry for 15 years, gets fatter and slower every year. Unhealthy obsession with Honda C90s, top boxes and small bikes.

OSX 'Top Gun' jacket

Biker clothing has now become so varied and diverse that it rivals the outpourings from the Paris fashion houses. There's everything from the 'look at me, I'm a racer with a hump on my back one piece, strawberry striped leather suit', to the 'I'm an invisible biker in a camouflage jacket' - not to mention the 'Wild West' gear that would be more suited to a cowboy in a rodeo.

Much of it puts style above function and is of limited use when it comes to offering good insulation from the cold and protection in the event of a spill.

I'm pleased to report that one jacket that has come my way recently is not only stylish and cool but is made of such good quality leather that a degree of protection is assured and - thanks to its thickness and substance - keeps you toasty warm.

How can a jacket this tough and this warm - and this sensible - manage to look like a blast from the cutting edge of style, I said to myself.

I'm talking here about the new 'Top Gun' jacket from OSX - a small manufacturer building up a reputation for stylish kit whose products are becoming known for quality over and above what is on offer from some very big names.

The 'Top Gun' jacket is really a reproduction of the United States Navy G1 jacket which was issued to aircrew and was once again put into the limelight when worn by Tom Cruise in the film Top Gun.

It's one of the better replicas that are on the market and is true to the genuine article in most detail - except that it doesn't have an inside pistol pocket, it's black instead of dark brown (although the OSX website says it's dark brown) and the patches are interesting in that the United States Navy never had Tornado F3s! Best to order it without patches then if you want to be 'proper'.

That aside, it's tailored in the finest supple leather from cows - unlike lots of G1s that look super but are made from mouse skin or have cardboard glued to the back of paper thin leather - and with a lining that must be 'tog factor warp' plus the warmest faux fur collar you're likely to find this side of The Sweeney and the toughest zip this side of Klondike Jack, it's an 'action man' jacket par excellence. You'll look the part on or off your Cruiser as well as on the deck of the USS Nimitz in a North Atlantic gale.

Broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip, it's a real hot number wrapped up in a style package that packs an afterburner punch enabling you to 'walk tall' in town.- much more so than the mystifyingly popular Antarctica wear that makes a chap look like Scott of the Shopping Precinct.

Not being a flashy fellow, I elected to have my G1 jacket without the patches as worn by Maverick in Top Gun. Nevertheless, I can assure readers that OSX's version of the G1 is guaranteed to reduce any threatening Iceman to a puddle on the ground.

It's the type of jacket that is ideal for 'cruiser' riders who just want to go for a pleasant and leisurely bimble on the bike - and when they stop they don't want to struggle about in an inflexible, body armoured suit that wouldn't have been out of place at Agincourt.

Selling for around £150 it's quite a bargain when you consider that lesser replicas can cost way over £400, and there's a ladies version too.

Of course, you might look a bit of a plonker if you choose to cruise in this jacket and wear your super dooper full face helmet so I tried one of OSX's open face leather covered helmets (about £50) that are not too far removed from yesteryears 'pudding basins'. (There's now a degree of temple protection.).

Naturally, with this helmet, goggles are essential and OSX have an interesting range - the most appropriate, I thought, were the traditional Mk V111's as worn by Biggles at the battle of Waterloo.