First Manufacturing Turbine Jacket Review: Are Premium Materials Worth it?

With summer weather arriving, it’s time to gear up with motorcycle jackets built for warm temps. I recently tested the First Manufacturing Turbine, the company’s new perforated leather cafe racer jacket.

Made from premium cowhide with extensive venting, it’s designed to provide protection without overheating.

I’ll evaluate the Turbine jacket’s quality, comfort, and value in this review based on extensive testing.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best leather motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

First Manufacturing Turbine Jacket


Key Takeaways

  • Great value for the price
  • Premium materials, quality craftsmanship
  • Extensive ventilation keeps you cool

An Overview of the First Manufacturing Turbine Jacket

The Turbine jacket features a minimalist vintage design constructed from high-quality naked cowhide leather.

It has a banded collar, zippered pockets, and perforated paneling throughout the front, back, and sleeves for maximum airflow. The mesh liner enhances breathability.

The jacket is also compatible with many third-party protectors. With perforated leather and a mesh liner, the Turbine is designed for warm-weather riding.

While CE-rated armor doesn’t come standard, the Turbine has interior pockets allowing you to add First Manufacturing’s optional armor kit.

Key Specs:

  • Material: 1.0-1.1mm naked cowhide leather
  • Season: Spring/Summer
  • Gender: Mens
  • Perforated panels: Front, back, sleeves
  • Armor: Optional (sold separately)
  • Color: Hi-vis yellow

Getting the Right Fit

I’m 6’0″ with an athletic build, and I normally wear a size medium jacket. Based on the size chart, I ordered the Turbine in the medium.

The fit was spot-on straight out of the box. The Turbine has a tailored cut but is roomy enough to layer a hoodie underneath.

The sleeves are plenty long, and the slightly dropped-back hem provides coverage while riding.

For reference, here are the measurements for a size medium:

  • Chest: 42-44 inches
  • Length (front): 25 inches
  • Length (back): 27 inches
  • Sleeve: 25.5 inches

I’d recommend ordering your normal jacket size unless you prefer a looser or tighter fit. Just be aware that First Manufacturing’s size chart runs smaller than other brands.

First Manufacturing’s size chart


Design and Build Quality

The Turbine definitely exceeds expectations for a jacket in this price range. The naked cowhide leather has a premium look and feel – thick, sturdy, soft, and pliable. The leather is top-notch, especially considering the price.

The perforations across the front, back, and sleeves allow significant airflow. I stayed cool wearing it in temperatures up to 85°F. The mesh lining adds breathability and makes sliding on over bare arms or long sleeves easier.

The banded collar has a streamlined design. It snaps tightly so it won’t flap at speed. The dual waist adjusters customize the fit, while the gusseted back panel allows flexibility. The zippered chest and side pockets are roomy enough for essentials.

Overall, I’m impressed by the quality of construction, clean aesthetics, and versatility. It’s a straightforward design focused on high-value materials.

Ride Protection and Safety Features

Out of the box, the Turbine doesn’t include any armor. But the shoulders, elbows, and back have interior pockets to add protectors. I installed a First Manufacturing CE armor kit which only cost $20.

The kit includes basic foam armor for the back and CE composite protectors for the elbows and shoulders.

While I’d prefer if it came with armor standard, the price makes adding your own easy. You could upgrade to better third-party armor down the road for serious protection.

The thick leather construction provides abrasion resistance in a slide. Extensive perforations reduce tear resistance compared to solid leather. However, I feel adequately protected from street riding.

For visibility, the hi-vis colorway is a smart choice. The reflective piping provides added nighttime conspicuity.

Overall, while not a feature-packed racing jacket, the Turbine includes the essential protections for regular riding.

The Riding Experience

I’ve been wearing the Turbine as my go-to summer jacket for a few weeks now. Here are some highlights from my experience:

  • Cool and comfortable: The perforations and mesh liner make this my most ventilated jacket. I stay cool even riding in 90-degree heat.
  • Freedom of movement: The tailored but relaxed fit gives full freedom of movement on and off the bike without restricting reach.
  • All-day comfort: The smooth leather doesn’t chafe my neck, and the armor doesn’t cause pressure points. It’s comfortable enough for long days of riding.
  • Weather protection: While not waterproof, the Turbine has kept me dry in light rain. For serious weather, I use a rain liner.
  • Strong visual presence: The hi-vis color and reflective details help drivers see me. I feel conspicuous riding in traffic.

Overall, the Turbine excels as a warm-weather riding jacket. The extensive venting keeps me cool even in sweltering temperatures. It also transitions seamlessly into everyday wear.

Pros and Cons of the Turbine Jacket


  • Premium-quality naked cowhide leather
  • Perforated panels for ventilation
  • Mesh lining enhances breathability
  • Clean, classic styling
  • Relaxed but tailored fit
  • Armor can be added separately
  • Good value for the price


  • No included armor
  • Not waterproof
  • Limited storage pockets
  • Sizing runs small

While not perfect, the Turbine excels in areas that matter most – quality materials, protection, and comfort. For a basic warm-weather jacket, it’s tough to beat at this price.

How Does it Compare to Similar Jackets?

The Turbine hits a sweet spot between price and quality. Here’s how it stacks up to some comparable jackets:

First Manufacturing TurbinePremium naked cowhideYesOptional
Roland Sands Clash PerforatedNaked cowhideYesOptional
Alpinestars Oscar CharliePremium bovine leatherYesCE-certified
Dainese Air Flux D1 PerforatedCowhideYesComposite

The Turbine provides premium leather quality rivaling pricier options. While more expensive jackets may offer more features, the Turbine nails the basics for much less.

My Final Verdict on the First Manufacturing Turbine

I’m thoroughly impressed after testing the Turbine leather jacket through daily riding and weekly commutes. It offers premium construction and materials at an affordable price point.

The perforated leather panels and mesh lining make it comfortable in warmer weather. While I wish it included armor standards, the ability to add it separately is a plus.

The Turbine is an outstanding option for riders seeking a versatile, vintage-styled summer riding jacket. It provides protection and breathability for casual street riding.

With quality that punches above its price tag, the Turbine is an easy recommendation for an affordable perforated leather jacket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Turbine jacket fit true to size?

The Turbine fits very close to standard sizing. I recommend ordering your usual jacket size unless you like a slimmer or looser fit. The size chart runs smaller than some brands.

Q: How is the Turbine leather quality compared to more expensive jackets?

I’m impressed by the naked cowhide leather used on the Turbine. It has a premium look and feel that rivals jackets costing much more. The quality far exceeds the price.

Q: Does the Turbine include any armor?

The Turbine doesn’t come with armor but has pockets to add the First Manufacturing CE armor kit for around $20. This provides basic