Viking Cycle is an 8 year old company based out of sunny So-Cal, they manufacture their own gear, allowing them complete quality control. All of their jackets include CE rated armor.
* Full disclosure: We're not selling Viking Cycle gear in house and, other than this review, I have no affiliation with this company. Those of you that have been following along over the years know that I'm not going to bullshit or pull any punches, so let's get at it!
I'm going to approach this experience from start to finish. We all work hard for our money and buying gear can be a pain in the ass, so things like service and website functionality are pretty big have-to-haves nowadays. Straight up, my experience with this company has been heavily favourable. I don't take my reputation lightly and I have my own brand integrity to protect, so when I tell you I'm a happy little ducky pay attention. I can, in all honesty, be a raging asshole when I think things are shite, but the more I deal with the gang at Viking Cycle the more I like them. Service has been awesome. Scott has his poop in a group and any questions I had were answered toot-fucking-suite. These guys take their shipping seriously too. From the time I chose the Bloodaxe Leather Motorcycle Jacket to my door was three days. That's a huge fricken' deal considering I'm up here in Victoria, BC, Canada and these guys are down in Cali. So service and shipping both get an A+ on my end.
Alright, now that all the intangibles are out of the way let's get down to the meat and potatoes, how is the Bloodaxe Leather Motorcycle Jacket out in the wild? You know what, It's pretty fucking badass!
Okay, here we go! After having the Bloodaxe out and about in the wind, rain and sun, (welcome to Victoria in the Fall, hope you brought layers) it absolutely passes the versatility test. Any leather is going to have you stewing up a nice bowl of biker chowder when it's a scrambled egg day, but the removable quilted liner and ventilation zips in the upper chest and lower back do a great job of airing things out. I'm a sucker for a nice quilted liner and let me tell you, this fucker is WARM with that liner in. Personally I'm a huge fan of mandarin collars on a jacket as well, not crazy about things on my neck, and when it does get a bit too snotty out, I just whip on one of our Shemagh Tactical Scarves or Authentic Kustom Baja Hoodies. Instant bug-snugness and comfort!
I have torn this jacket apart repeatedly now, checking out the features and looking for fails and I've gotta say, the more I root around the more I love this thing! Viking Cycle's designers have obviously put a shit-ton of thought into this jacket. It's the little things that really make life better when you're tired and dragging ass out in the wind and the rain and the Bloodaxe has a whack of feel-good bells and whistles. From the little pictogram labels on the different pockets for your phone, shades and even a pen holder, to the sneaky but spacious pocket that holds an 11" Ipad or tablet, to the media and earbud cable routers, to the velcro fasteners at the bottom rear of the removable liner, there's just more and more reasons to smile. You know that private grin you get when you're pushing hard and you get confirmation that you've spent your gear money wisely? You will if you're wearing the Bloodaxe.
More in your face matters, like the ease of insertion and removal of the interchangeable CE rated armor and the high reflectivity of the old school looking stripes, are all marks of the forethought and quality that's gone into this solidly sexy beast. Other pleasantries included subtle blousing of the zippered cuffs. Meaning I can actually fit a decent pair of longer gloves instead of knuckle dusters under there if I want to, while still maintaining a smooth line. They also included felt-lined front pockets, don't know about you all, but I freaking LOVE toasty front pockets and it's even better when they zip from bottom to top to keep my shit from falling out.
So, let's kick the crap out of the elephant in the room now. Price and place of manufacture. No bullshit, I was ready to hate on this thing when I saw the prices. Figured it was going to be more cheap, poorly made crap. Joke's on me though. I can't believe I'm recommending a price hike, but straight talk, these guys are doing themselves a grave disservice by offering this gear at these price points. It gives the impression that the quality just isn't there and it's going to scare folks off. I get that their website says Viking Cycle are fellow riders looking to put out quality gear at an affordable price, but sometimes you just need to price for perception. This is one of those times.
So let's let you in on a little secret, I've already got my eye on a couple of Viking Cycles' other offerings and after I've shown them the Bloodaxe to get their opinions, I have clients asking me to hook them up too. One of my "thriftier" regulars honked that it was a shame there wasn't a big ass fucking harley logo on it, because he loved the thing and wanted one. I suggested a nice embroidered patch and he got the warm and fuzzies pretty damn quick. No one guessed the price of the Bloodaxe at less than USD $500 and a couple of the Brit and Euro machine owners actually estimated around a grand. With a better known brand name this gear will easily start commanding a higher cost in days to come. This is one seriously sexy piece of kit and I've had it on the backs of literally dozens of riders over the last month, with a whole lot of love thrown it's way. Every single one of them commented on the quality of the leather and pointed out something else that they loved about it. So good job, Viking Cycle, you got all the points from the leg over crowd!
So, in conclusion, is the Bloodaxe Leather Motorcycle Jacket by Viking Cycle good gear? Yup. Is it worth the money? Abso-fucking-lutely!
Well that's about it. Hope you enjoyed the read. Any other companies that feel confident in their shit, feel free to reach out if you dare and If anyone's got any further questions get at me!