Title:
Motorcycle jacket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The motorcycle jacket is an article of apparel for providing protection while riding and a lightweight, attractive street jacket for casual wear when not riding. The motorcycle jacket includes a jacket shell having a rear panel and a split front panel, the shell defining arm openings and being adapted for covering the shoulders and torso. A pair of sleeves extend from the arm openings. The split front panel includes a releasable fastener, such as a zipper, for closing the front panel. At least the sleeves have a lining formed of an abrasion resistant fabric. The elbows have pockets inside the sleeves that removably receive protective foam pads, and a protective foam pad for the spine is removably disposed adjacent the rear panel on the inside of the jacket shell. The spine pad is attached to a flexible panel of abrasion resistant fabric, either directly or by being placed in a pocket or pouch formed on the panel, the panel being secured to the shell by releasable fasteners.



Inventors:
Driehorst, Kathy Mccurry (Lithonia, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/519839
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D3/02
View Patent Images:
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20040131830Protection and insulation clothJuly, 2004Davidson et al.



Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A motorcycle jacket, comprising: a jacket shell having a rear panel and a split front panel defining left and right front portions, the jacket shell defining a pair of arm openings and being adapted to cover a wearer's shoulders and torso; a releasable closure attached to the left and right portions for selectively joining the left and right front portions to close the jacket; a pair of sleeves extending from the arm openings, the sleeves being lined with an abrasion resistant material; a protective back member assembly removably secured to the jacket shell adjacent the rear panel, the assembly having a flexible fabric sheet formed from an abrasion-resistant material and a protective pad attached to the flexible fabric sheet, the assembly providing protection for the wearer's back when riding a motorcycle and being removable for casual street wear of the jacket.

2. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 1, wherein the protective pad is releasably attached to the flexible fabric sheet.

3. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 1, wherein the protective pad has an upper portion adapted for providing protection and support for the wearer's upper back, and a lower portion adapted for providing protection and support for the wearer's lower back, the upper portion being wider than the lower portion.

4. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 1, wherein said flexible sheet has a plurality of holes formed therein laterally and grommets reinforcing the holes, the motorcycle jacket further comprising: mating first releasable fasteners attached to an upper portion of said flexible sheet and shoulder portions of said jacket shell; and a plurality of straps extending laterally from inside seams of said jacket shell, the straps having second releasable fasteners disposed thereon, the straps being selectively looped through the grommets and secured by the second releasable fasteners to form closed loops removably attaching said flexible sheet to said jacket shell laterally.

5. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 4, wherein said first releasable fasteners comprise mating strips of hook and loop fastening material.

6. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 4, wherein said first releasable fasteners comprise zippers.

7. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 4, wherein said second fasteners comprise snap fasteners.

8. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 2, wherein said pad comprises a foam pad made from ethylene vinyl acetate.

9. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 2, wherein said abrasion resistant material comprises 600-denier nylon.

10. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 1, further comprising: a pocket formed within each of said sleeves; and an elbow pad disposed within each of the pockets, the elbow pad being made from a synthetic foam material.

11. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 10, wherein each of said pockets further comprises a releasable closure, whereby said elbow pads are removable.

12. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 10, wherein said releasable closure comprises a zipper.

13. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 1, wherein said flexible fabric sheet has a pocket formed, said protective pad being removably disposed in the pocket.

14. The motorcycle jacket as recited in claim 13, further comprising a first releasable fastener attached to said protective pad and a mating second releasable fastener attached to said sheet within said pocket for releasably securing said protective pad within said pocket.

15. A motorcycle jacket, comprising: a jacket shell having a rear panel and a split front panel defining left and right front portions, the jacket shell defining a pair of arm openings and being adapted to cover a wearer's shoulders and torso; a releasable closure attached to the left and right portions for selectively joining the left and right front portions to close the jacket; a pair of sleeves extending from the arm openings, the sleeves being lined with an abrasion resistant material; a pair of elbow pads; means for removably securing the elbow pads within the sleeves; a protective back member; and means for removably securing the back member within the jacket shell adjacent the rear panel, the back member assembly providing protection for the wearer's back when riding a motorcycle and being removable for casual street wear of the jacket.

16. The motorcycle jacket according to claim 15, wherein said means for removably securing said elbow pads comprises a pocket formed within each of said sleeves, the pocket having a releasable closure.

17. The motorcycle jacket according to claim 15, wherein: said protective back member comprises: a flexible sheet of abrasion resistant material having a plurality of holes defined therein laterally and grommets reinforcing the holes; and a foam back pad attached to the flexible sheet; and said means for removably securing the back member comprises: mating first releasable fasteners attached to an upper portion of the flexible sheet and shoulder portions of said jacket shell for selectively securing the flexible sheet to said jacket shell at the shoulders; and flexible straps extending from lateral inside seams of said jacket shell, the flexible strap having second releasable fasteners, the straps being selectively inserted through the grommets and secured by the second releasable fasteners to form closed loops securing the flexible sheet to said jacket shell laterally.

18. The motorcycle jacket according to claim 17, wherein said flexible sheet of abrasion resistant material further comprises a pocket formed thereon, said foam back pad being removably disposed in said pocket.

19. The motorcycle jacket according to claim 18, further comprising a first releasable fastener attached to said foam back pad and a second mating releasable fastener disposed within said pocket for securing said foam back pad within the pocket.

20. The motorcycle jacket according to claim 15, wherein said jacket shell further comprises a liner formed from a moisture wicking material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to apparel with protective padding, and particularly to a motorcycle jacket having removable padding to provide protection while riding the cycle and to provide a fashionable conventional jacket with the padding removed.

2. Description of the Related Art

Potentially dangerous recreational activities, such as riding a motorcycle, often require the use of protective jackets. Motorcycle riders, for example, commonly wear leather jackets or other garments formed from durable materials that offer at least a minimal degree of padding. For comfort and aesthetic reasons, many motorcycle riders wear “off the rack”, or unaltered, garments, such as the aforementioned common leather jacket, which may not provide additional means for protection.

Although padded garments are well known, such garments are typically used in contact sports, such as football, or in hazardous duty, such as body armor, flak jackets and the like. Such padded and protective garments include pads, shields and the like, but are typically designed purely for functionality. These typical protective garments are not only often aesthetically displeasing, but also inhibit full movement of the wearer. Motorcycle jackets, in particular, may have padding sewn into the lining so that is not removable, and an outer layer of leather or an abrasion resistant fabric, both of which may provide a degree of protection to the cyclist, but are rather bulky and not very attractive for casual wear. The bulk created by the single purpose design of the conventional motorcycle jacket is a drawback for riders and passengers of cruising and touring motorcycles, since there is little room for storage of the jacket when traveling long distances. Further, such padded motorcycle jackets often include hard armor, which inhibits the movement of the wearer and may be uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time.

Although such padded and protective garments might shield a motorcycle rider from injury in the case of a crash or skid, the garments might also inhibit the range of motion of the rider due to their general inflexibility and bulkiness.

It would be desirable to provide a motorcycle jacket to be worn during potentially hazardous activities, such as motorcycle riding, which provides the user with protection from abrasion, the elements and the like, as well as providing the user with flexibility, comfort and an overall pleasing aesthetic appearance. Preferably, such a motorcycle jacket would be comfortable, flexible and easily convertible between a protective motorcycle jacket and a conventional jacket, with easily removable protective elements.

None of the above inventions, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a motorcycle jacket solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The motorcycle jacket is an article of apparel for providing protection while riding and a lightweight, attractive street jacket for casual wear when not riding. The motorcycle jacket includes a jacket shell having a rear panel and a split front panel, the shell defining arm openings and being adapted for covering the shoulders and torso. A pair of sleeves extend from the arm openings. The split front panel includes a releasable fastener, such as a zipper, for closing the front panel. At least the sleeves have a lining formed of an abrasion resistant fabric. The elbows have pockets inside the sleeves that removably receive protective foam pads, and a protective foam pad for the spine is removably disposed adjacent the rear panel on the inside of the jacket shell. The spine pad is attached to a flexible panel of abrasion resistant fabric, either directly or by being placed in a pocket or pouch formed on the panel, the panel being secured to the shell by releasable fasteners.

Since the spine pad is attached to an abrasion resistant fabric panel that is removable from the interior of the jacket shell, the exterior of the motorcycle jacket may be made from any desired material, e.g., soft suede, leather, vinyl, natural or synthetic fibers or fabrics, etc. Removing the padding renders the jacket lightweight, more flexible, and less bulky, so that the motorcycle jacket is suitable for casual street wear. The elbow pads are preferably disposed in pockets within the sleeves that are releasably closed by zippers. The spine or back pad is attached to a panel of abrasion resistant fabric or material, the panel being attached to the shoulders by hook and loop fasteners or zippers, and being secured to the torso of the jacket by loops extending from the seams of the garment through grommets in the panel and being closed by snap fasteners or other releasable fasteners.

Instead of just the sleeves, other portions of the motorcycle jacket may be lined with an abrasion resistant fabric sewn to the interior of the garment. Alternatively, the jacket may be lined with a moisture wicking fabric, such as CoolMax® (a registered trademark of E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company of Wilmington, Del., now owned by Invista North America S.A.R.L. Luxembourg) for greater comfort in warm climates.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a motorcycle jacket according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a partial environmental side view of the motorcycle jacket according to the present invention, showing details thereof.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the motorcycle jacket according to the present invention, showing the interior of the motorcycle jacket.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the motorcycle jacket of FIG. 3, showing the back pad assembly exploded from the interior of the jacket, the jacket being partially broken away to show a shoulder fastener.

FIG. 5 is a partial view of a sleeve of the motorcycle jacket according to the present invention, the sleeve being broken away and partially in section.

FIG. 6 is an exploded rear view of an alternative embodiment of a protective back member assembly of the motorcycle jacket according to the present invention, the back pad being exploded from a pocket of the protective back member assembly, the pocket being broken away.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is directed to a motorcycle jacket, designated generally as 10 in the drawings. It should be understood that garments, such as jackets, are often provided in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and include varying fashion-related elements. The jacket illustrated in FIGS. 1-6 is shown for exemplary purposes only, and various characteristics of motorcycle jacket 10 may be altered or customized for fashion or stylistic reasons without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention described herein.

As will be described in greater detail below, the motorcycle jacket 10 includes a protective back member 42, which may be back member assembly 42a, shown in FIG. 4, back member assembly 42b, shown in FIG. 6, or equivalents thereof, for protecting the user's upper and lower back, the protective back member 42 being removable from the jacket 10. Further, the motorcycle jacket 10 includes removable elbow pads 54. Thus, by removing the protective back member 42a or 42b and the elbow pads 54, the motorcycle jacket 10 can be worn as a conventional jacket for casual wear on the street, without the added protective padding, if desired. When riding a motorcycle, the wearer may secure the protective back member or the elbow pads 54 or both within the jacket 10.

The motorcycle jacket 10 provides a degree of protection and support for a wearer when motorcycle riding. The motorcycle jacket 10 includes a jacket shell having a rear panel 34 and a split front panel forming left and right front portions 14, 16. The front portions 14, 16 are further provided with a releasable closure, preferably in the form of a zipper 22, for selectively joining the two portions 14, 16 of the front panel to close the front of the jacket. The jacket shell may have a flap 26 overlapping the zipper 22, the flap 26 being secured by snap fasteners 24, if desired. The flap 26 conceals the zipper 22 to improve the appearance of the jacket 10. The jacket shell is adapted for covering the shoulders and the torso of the motorcycle rider.

The jacket shell further defines a pair of arm openings, and a pair of sleeves 12 extend from the arm openings. Generally, sleeves 12 are long enough to cover the wrists when extending the arms to reach the handlebars. A pair of elbow pads 54 (shown in FIGS. 4-6) are disposed in the sleeves 12. Each elbow pad 54 is removable from its respective sleeve 12. In a preferred embodiment, a pocket 55 (shown in FIG. 5) is provided within each sleeve at the elbow for receiving a respective one of elbow pads 54, the pocket 55 being selectively closable by a releasable fastener, such as a zipper, which is accessible by inserting the hand within the sleeve 12.

Further, as best shown in FIG. 5, each sleeve 12 preferably includes an interior lining 57 formed from an abrasion-resistant material. Pocket 55, as shown, may be formed as part of the abrasion-resistant lining 57. As will be described in greater detail below, the protective back member assembly 42 further includes a flexible fabric sheet 51, also formed from an abrasion-resistant material. The abrasion-resistant material of the protective back member 42 and of the sleeve lining 57 may be Cordura® nylon, manufactured by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, a Cordura®like material, 600 denier nylon or nylon of similar strength, a CE approved armor material (CE is a European standard of motorcycle and other protective armor), or any other suitable material.

In a first embodiment, the motorcycle jacket 10 includes a protective back member assembly 42a (best shown in FIG. 4), which is releasably secured adjacent an inner surface of the rear panel 34 and provides protection and support for the back of the wearer. The back member assembly 42a includes a flexible abrasion-resistant fabric panel or sheet 51 with a protective foam pad 46 secured thereto. The protective pad 46 includes an upper portion 58, adapted for protecting the upper back of the wearer, and a lower portion 56, adapted for protecting the lower back and lumbar region of the wearer. Preferably, the width of the upper portion 58 is greater than the width of the lower portion 56, allowing the user to rotate his or her lower back freely.

The back member assembly 42a is secured within the jacket by a plurality of releasable fasteners, as shown in FIG. 4. Mating hook and loop fasteners 48 and 53 releasably attach the upper end of panel 51 to the shoulders of the jacket shell. Instead of hook and loop fasteners, fasteners 48 and 53 may comprise zippers or similar releasable fasteners. Preferably, at least one pair of openings protected by grommets 50 are formed through panel 51 along the lower side edges thereof (shown in FIG. 4 as being two pairs of openings 50). Fabric strips 52, which may be formed from nylon webbing or the like, have a first end secured to the interior seams of the jacket, and second ends that are looped through the grommets 50 and releasably secured by mating snap fasteners or the like to form closed loops through the grommets 50.

Optionally, as shown in FIG. 4, a storage pocket 44 may be formed on the interior surface of rear panel 34. The interior surface of rear panel 34 may include a liner, and the pocket 44 may be formed in the liner. Pocket 44 may be releasably closed by any suitable releasable fastener, such as a hook and loop fastener. Pocket 44 is preferably configured for holding folded maps or the like.

In the alternative embodiment of FIG. 6, the protective back member assembly 42b includes a pocket or pouch 47 formed of abrasion resistant material for removably receiving the back or spine pad 46. Removability of the spine pad 46 permits washing the panel 51 of abrasion resistant material. A first releasable fastener 79 is mounted within the pocket 47. The first releasable fastener 79 releasably engages a second releasable fastener 77 secured to the back pad 46. First and second releasable fasteners 79, 77 may be hook and loop fasteners, as shown, or may be any other suitable releasable fasteners. As shown, the pocket 47 is configured to securely and snugly receive the back pad 46.

As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a collar 18 is secured to the upper end of rear panel 34 and to the respective upper edges of front portions 14, 16. The collar 18 may be secured about the neck of the wearer through the use of a suitable releasable fastener, such as exemplary snap fasteners 20, shown in FIG. 1.

Similarly, a waistband 30 may be secured to the lower end of rear panel 34 and to the respective lower edges of front portions 14, 16. When the jacket is equipped with a waistband, the waistband 30 fits snugly about the waist of the wearer when the jacket 10 is closed, and may be formed from elastic for adjustment to the waist size of the wearer. The waistband 30 may further include a releasable fastener, such as that described above with regard to collar 18.

Each free end of each sleeve 12 has a cuff 28 secured thereto, and each cuff 28 preferably fits snugly about the wrist of the wearer. Cuffs 28 may each have an elastic gather or a suitable adjustable fastener, such as a hook and loop fastener.

Optionally, additional features may be added to motorcycle jacket 10, such as pockets. In FIG. 3, interior pockets 36, 38 and 40 are shown being formed within the interior of motorcycle jacket 10. It should be understood that pockets 36, 38 and 40 are shown for exemplary purposes only, and that the motorcycle jacket 10 may include any desired number of pockets, in any desired size or configuration. Similarly, outer pockets, such as pocket 31, shown in FIG. 2, may be provided. Pocket 31 includes a zipper 32 for releasable closure thereof. It should be understood that any of pockets 31, 36, 38, 40 may include any suitable releasable fastener for the releasable closure thereof.

The exterior surface, or shell, of motorcycle jacket 10 may be formed from any desired fabric or other material, e.g., soft suede, leather, vinyl, natural or synthetic fibers or fabrics, etc. Elbow pads 54 and protective pad 46 may be formed from any suitable protective material, which further provides flexibility and comfort for the wearer, such as CE approved armor, or ethylene vinyl acetate, which is typically softer and more resilient than polyethylene foam, a material commonly used in padded garments. Further, spine pad 46 may be encased in a fabric cover, preferably the same flexible, abrasion resistant material that is used to form panel 51.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.