Graham Mudd is a Bennetts Rewards member who we asked to give us an honest and unbiased review the Richa Infinity 2 Pro waterproof textile motorcycle jacket …
I have a 50 mile commute to work, so riding 100 miles a day – all year round, in all weathers – asks a lot of my bikes and the kit I wear.
I vary my route to take in rural roads, fast single carriageway, dual carriageway and a bit of urban work. A real mixed bag. Besides commuting I love getting lost on scenic single-track roads with grass growing down the middle and the odd gentle byway. Taking all this on are my trusty Kawasaki Versys 650 and Zero DSR.
I’ve been wearing the Richa Infinity 2 Pro jacket for six weeks, and have covered about 2,000 miles in that time. I’ve been using it with my existing Colorado trousers, which aren’t laminated, but Richa has released the Colorado 2 Pros, which I hope to review in the new year – I’ll update this as soon as I can.
I’ve already reviewed the original Colorados that I’m wearing for now, as well as the lower-spec Infinity 2 (not the pro) jacket, and you can check that out here.
Though the weather has largely been pretty good, I have been caught in a few really heavy downpours. There’ve been a couple of chilly early mornings too…
Straight off the hangar the Infinity is a comfy jacket. A semi-sporty design, it’s fairly short, sitting level with your hips and having a pretty snug fit. Normally I’d take an XL, but I think for this model I’d go up a size for 2XL. As always, try before you buy to be sure.
First impressions are that this is a really well-made jacket, and you can see every aspect of the design has been thought about and implemented well. Slipping it on for the first time feels the same as the 400th time – comfortable and reassuring.
Adjustable in many different ways, you can tailor the jacket to fit you perfectly, which I’ll cover below. Top marks for fit and feel straight off the peg.
I’ve been wearing Richa kit for years and trust the brand; I still reckon its ‘lobster claw’ gloves are some of the best non-heated winter kit.
The jacket shell is a PTFE/Polyester/Nylon mix textile and is CE rated to prEN17092-4:2018 Level A, which is deemed suitable for ‘urban riding’. AA is typically for touring kit, while AAA is deemed as offering the highest level of protection in this certification method.
Armour is taken care of by D3O Evo X inserts at the shoulder and elbow which meet EN1621-1:2012 Level 1 and a central back protector meeting EN1621-2:2014 Level 1 (Level 1 offers good impact protection, but Level 2 offers more). There are also pockets in the chest for chest armour, though these are not fitted. D3O shock absorbing material can be found in everything from Karrimor trainers to British Army body armour; lightweight yet sturdy, this non-Newtonian fluid-based design is comfy when fitted, and generally sits fairly well in place.
Unfortunately the pockets that take the armour are quite large (presumably to make it easy to get the D3O back in after washing the shell) so the left elbow pad spent most of its time on the underside of my arm, and as the pocket for the central back protector expands to accommodate a full back protector, the comparatively thin strip spent a lot of its time not quite square on my spine. For this reason I sacrificed the fitted armour for my Knox Urbane armoured shirt, which offers Level 2 protection and a tailored fit.
For added safety the Infinity 2 Pro has high-vis piping along some of the seams and 3M reflective tape in the shoulders, arms and back, though this is nowhere near as effective as the ‘Flare’ version of the Infinity 2 I tried last year, which had large panels that caused the whole thing to light up in certain angles of sun and at night.
In the last few days part of the high-vis has started to peel off from the piping on the right arm, which is a bit of a disappointment.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.
There are two fairly small pockets on the front that aren’t waterproof and I struggled to fit my phone or wallet into them, which is a bit of a shame as that means I pretty much have to take my tank bag (or use the storage cubby on the Zero) everywhere I go. There’s also a small zipped pocket under the storm flap and a massive pocket on the back, about the size of an A4 sheet of paper, which is waterproof. Capable of holding your OS maps, my wife tends to use it to store all her worldly goods.
The inside of the jacket has two wallet-sized pouches. Overall, I think Richa could have made the pockets a bit bigger to make them more versatile.
Chest fastening is taken on by a quality chunky YKK zip covered by a storm flap. The collar is closed with Velcro and a press stud, and with the padded chin section does a sterling job of keeping out draughts. It also has an elasticated loop with a hook fitted by your jaw to hold the collar open in warm weather, which works really well.
The jacket attaches to trousers via another chunky YKK zip and works really well to help seal the bottom of the jacket and eliminate cold air up your back.
In addition to this there are eight-inch-long zips on the wrists that are great to help you get your cuffs over your gloves, or to fix in the thermal liner; final closure is by a Velcro flap over the zip. Weirdly, the wrist ventilation zip has a tab, but the closing tab doesn’t, which makes it a touch awkward with gloves on.
There’s a connecting zip for the jacket and trousers, but it’s only a short one on the back, rather than securing two thirds of the way round like many others.
A big plus point of the Infinity 2 Pro jacket is its ability to fully tailor to you. Forearm, upper arm, waist and hips are all adjustable with Velcro straps and make what was already a comfy all-day jacket even more so. In the chilly early mornings it was nice to be able to tighten down the upper arms quickly while riding to keep more heat in my core.
Another massive plus of the Infinity 2 Pro is its ventilation system. Two huge eight-inch chest vents combine with the ten-inch vent across the shoulder blades to give a pleasing amount of airflow around your body. The Infinity 2 (not Pro) I tested last year flowed even more (it was possibly the best jacket I’ve ever worn for hot summer riding without going to mesh), but the Pro beats it because it actually stops the draught fully when you close the zip and I’ll take dry in the rain over marginally less breeze in the heat. When it came down to it, I simply undid the chest zip part-way to increase airflow.
The zips have a rubbery edge to them, which improves their waterproofing and draught-proofing.
The wrist vents are brilliant too. Eight-inch zips let a stiff breeze up your arms that you can feel all the way to just short of your shoulder; probably the best jacket arm ventilation I can remember after those plastic vent things you shoved up your cuffs (remember them?).
These vents do have a tendency to balloon your sleeves a bit as the air can’t escape into the main body of the jacket as fast as you’re putting it in, but this magnifies the cooling and is never restrictive.
Like the chest and back vents, the zips have a rubbery edge so when the zips are closed they seal well and the draught stops completely.
The shell on its own is not warm in any way. It’s a great summer jacket being cool and breezy, but heading into September and towards autumn, it doesn’t take much to want to slip the liner in.
The journey to work is made comfy with the liner in, where without it I’d doubtless be on the cool side. I think if you are one of the few who ride distance in the deepest depths of winter you’ll almost certainly want some extra layering.
The outer shell is lined with an airtex mesh fabric that helps air move around, and stops you sticking to it when you get sweaty.
Laminated kit has tended to be more expensive thanks to the complexity of the taped seams, so it’s great to see it appearing in more budget-friendly jackets
Gone is the bulky, clammy and largely ineffective zip-in liner of the Infinity 2 (no Pro) I tested last year, replaced by a two-layer laminated shell. And a much better jacket it is for it.
The older model quickly leaked like a sieve, but this Pro version corrects all the flaws. I’ve ridden for over an hour in several properly heavy downpours – the type where you can’t see and have to decide whether to pull over and wait it out or persevere. The M6 in one case was down to 30mph with all the surface spray and the only thing I could see was the wibbly faint red glow of the car in front ploughing a track for me to follow.
And through all that, my top half was dry.
Grateful to get home, and with most of my other body parts saturated, I got my wife to check my upper body (can’t check for damp with wet hands!); Only the forearms were faintly damp… the rest of my torso was bone dry. That’s quite a feat in an hour of truly torrential rain wearing a £300 jacket. I’ve owned more expensive items that would not have performed that well.
I’m always sceptical of manufacturer’s claims of waterproofing (especially when it comes to boots), but finally here is a mid-level-priced jacket that fully does what it claims. Despite the large vents, the fact that Richa has put a waterproof membrane behind the vents means you stay drier (though that of course reduces the effectiveness of the ventilation).
The Richa Infinity 2 Pro jacket is a well-made and high performing all-season jacket. Comfy on and off the bike with a fully adjustable fit, it is both cool and breezy for summer use and comes with a warm and snug liner for when the temperatures fall. The previous model’s flaws of being draughty and leaky have been rectified with rubberised zips on the vents and using a two-layer laminated construction in the shell. Minor quibbles over the size and placement of the pockets do not detract too much from what is a solid mid-level textile jacket; it would come high on my recommend list if someone asked.