RSD Ronin Perf Jacket Review
The Mojave Desert is unforgiving. My journey to Sturgis took me right through the heart of it. The ambient temperature gauge on the motorcycle’s display read 114 degrees and at 75 mph it felt like I was in a furnace. If ever there was a perfect place to test the ventilation of the RSD Ronin Perf Jacket, this was it.
RSD’s Ronin Perf Jacket is a combination of two leathers. The solid shoulders and the outer arm panels are made from top grain cowhide while the perforated body is made from goat leather, the primary difference being thickness. It’s quality leather, pliable and durable. It comes with pre-curved arms to expediate break-in and is cut a little longer in back. The Ronin Perf has zippers on both sides at the waistline to help tailor fit. Small zippers on the sleeves allow for a little adjustability as well.
I went with a 2XL, a size up from what I normally wear, because riding jackets are often tight and restricting in the shoulders for my build. The arm length on the 2XL is ideally at my wrist when I reach for bars, the shoulders are spot-on, and there’s a little wiggle room around the waist. In hindsight I probably could have gotten away with ordering an XL because RSD sizing runs pretty true.
The interior features a permanent, perforated polyester liner. Sewn into the liner are pockets for elbow, shoulder and back armor, the first two featuring Velcro closures while the back pocket has a zipper. Armor wasn’t included with the jacket, but with a price tag of $620 you’d think armor would come with it. There’s four pockets in the liner, the most useful one in the fold of the leather on the inside of the left chest panel that zips shut. There’s another small pocket on the other side of the chest that buttons down but it’s only big enough to stash some emergency cash. The last two pockets are ample-sized cargo-style pockets just above the waistline which don’t close up.
The exterior of the jacket has three zippered pockets, two hand pockets and a smaller stash pocket on the left pec that’s about four-fingers wide. There’s two buttons on the collar, the collar low cut and comfortable. While the collar buttons are stamped with the RSD logo and tabs on the pocket zippers are imprinted with RS, badging is succinct. After five months of wear the jacket’s decorated with splattered bugs and creases in the leather from wear but otherwise there’s not a stitch out of place.
Now back to the Mojave. On that day I was very grateful for how well the RSD Ronin Perf Jacket breathes. Even though it was blistering hot I wasn’t roasting alive and still had the peace of mind from the protection a good leather jacket provides. The fact that I was wearing the BlkSteel version worked to my advantage too because the blue perforated panels don’t absorb near as much heat as solid black. Granted, it’s not necessarily a cold weather jacket but I like the jacket so much I’m still going to rock it this fall. Just means I’ll be layering up with the RSD Stoddard Plaid Shirt I’ve been waiting all summer to wear.
The RSD Ronin Perf Jacket is available in Black, Tobacco or BlkSteel in sizes ranging from small to 3X. At $620, it’s up there in the price range, but rates high in quality, durability, and style. It’s an investment but one that will easily pay dividends over several riding seasons.