Hello everyone! I just found this site (wish I had found it many years ago!), and decided to give my review of the UD Replicas SAM jacket and pant, and the QUORRA jacket from the movie Tron. I will write this from a motorcycle gear standpoint and from a purely costume oriented standpoint. Oh, and most of the pics are from a mobile phone, so you'll have to forgive the quality; I didn't feel like getting out my photography gear and setting up some studio shots.
I would like to say that I have had several interactions with David on the phone, and he has impressed me with his courteous and professional manner. There was an issue with all three of the articles of Tron motorcycle gear I bought from him, as well as sizing issues ( No fault of David's, but more on that later), and David dealt with the situation professionally and quickly. I will note that UD Replicas is slow to respond to emails, and more than one of my emails apparently slipped through the system, and was forever lost to digital purgatory. Placing a call to UDR attains much better results. Although I am going to give my honest opinion about these products, some of which will not be stellar, I am in no way passing judgement on UD Replicas or on David, merely listing areas of improvement. (which I would be more than happy to help as a real world tester and consultant on future motorcycle gear design)
First, I ride my motorcycle every day of the year, unless it's snowing (rarely happens here on the coast of NC) or raining heavily, so I have a LOT of riding experience, and I have a lot of experience with different brands of riding gear. Unfortunately, most people who ride motorcycles really only ride once in a while, so it's hard to find a truly subjective opinion on this matter. Well here I am, and here we go..
Me in the SAM jacket and pants.
A REALLY bad shot of my wife in the QUORRA jacket, no flash.
The easy part is reviewing this as a screen-accurate costume. In that standpoint, it's about as perfect as can be. The materials are all top quality, the leather is VERY thick over most of the jacket and the construction is superb. The screen-accuracy is about as close as can be while using these materials. There really are no faults in this area.
Sizing however is very strange. I am 6 ft tall and 175 lbs. I normally am right in between a medium and a large jacket. My shoulders and arms fit a large while my abdomen fits a medium. I had to get an XL just so my shoulders and arms would fit into the jacket at all, and my arms still BARELY fit into the jacket. The forearms are uncomfortably tight, which I know will subside as the leather stretches and breaks in, but that will take quite some time, considering how thick the leather is. The shoulders on the XL fit me well, if only just a little bit loose. The body is WAY too large for my body. I have so much room around my stomach, the jacket looks downright goofy viewed from the side. I will certainly have to bring the jacket to someone to have it taken in.. probably several inches in the sides.
The fit of the QUORRA jacket is also strange. My wife had to get the meduim, and she normally wears an extra small or small in motorcycle jackets, like this Scorpion leather jacket:
While the jacket fits well around her chest (she's not large chested, being between a 34b and a 34c), the shoulders and body are too large for her, not excessively so, like mine, more like a size too large. The strangest part of the QUORRA jacket is how the jacket sits. It's like the leather is formed in a hard, forward curve, making it difficult for her to stand erect with proper posture, and because of the extra room in the body, if she does force the jacket straight erect, the back sticks out and looks very strange. The forward curve also makes the very high back of the neck push hard against the back of her neck, making it uncomfortable to wear. This may be alleviated after the leather breaks in, but considering how thick and stiff the leather is, how long does she have to wear an uncomfortable jacket before it drapes properly? There is also no consideration for the female chest. The chest of my wife's QUORRA jacket is pretty much a straight, flat panel, which is probably why she had to get a size too large for it to fit over her chest. If the jacket were designed more for the curve of the female chest, she would have easily been able to wear her proper size.
Where this jacket starts to fall short is it's usability on a motorcycle. As I said, the leather is VERY thick. Too thick actually. None of my jackets made by motorcycle gear manufacturers are this thick or stiff, and I have several very good quality jackets by reputable manufacturers. They are in no way thin or light weight, just not excessively thick or stiff. I went down and slid down the road in one of my Scorpion brand jackets last winter, and the jacket held up so well and took so little damage, I still use it. It's leather is very pliable, moves with my body and drapes nicely, so leather jackets don't have to be super thick or stiff to protect. I have worn this jacket several times for over a month, and it is barely starting to break in.
The design of the jacket is wonderfully beautiful, but not good for the rider position. The front of the jacket is too long for the rider position (it goes down lower than the pivot of the waist), so when you're on a bike, the front of the jacket (being super thick and stiff), has no where to go, other than bunching up and digging into the legs. Most motorcycle jackets are made with a shorter front to avoid this problem.
The armor passes CE rating and that's about where it stops. the armor is bulky, stiff and noticeably cheap upon inspection. I switched out the elbow/forearm armor for some SAS-tech armor taken from one of my Scorpion jackets. This armor is thinner and very flexible, yet better than standard dual-density armor, because the material reacts to an impact by spreading the force throughout the armor by stiffening as it is compressed. Placing this armor in the elbow/arm of the SAM jacket gave me much more comfort in the forearm and allowed my arm to fit better in the jacket.
One other detail left out is vents. This jacket will be great during the winter, late autumn and early spring, but if you live south of about the 40th parallel north, you won't be wearing it any other time unless you love being drenched in sweat (trust me, I HAVE been wearing it to try and get it broken in). It seriously needs some zippered vents in the standard places front and back.
The SAM pants fit pretty good. I had to get a large, and the waist is definitely too large for me (I have a 32 waist) but the length and width of the legs are pretty good, though again, very stiff.
I'm sure this jacket will be very protective in an incident, and the reflective parts are VERY reflective, which I love, both aesthetically and as a safety feature. All in all, I love the look and quality of materials/construction of these jackets, but there are several things that need to be redesigned to make them feasible as true riders jackets.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have, and thanks for reading!