A motorcycle jacket is a must-have piece of gear for any rider, providing protection against the elements and injuries in the event of a fall. But with so many different styles and features to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start when shopping for a jacket. Here's a quick guide to help you find the right motorcycle jacket for your needs.
Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Jacket
A good motorcycle jacket will keep you warm in cooler weather and protected from the sun and rain. But more importantly, a jacket will help protect your skin in the event of a fall. Motorcycle jackets are made from durable materials that can slide on the pavement, helping to prevent road rash. And if you choose a jacket with built-in armor, you'll have extra protection against impact injuries.
Types of Motorcycle Jackets
There are two main types of motorcycle jackets: leather and textile. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Leather motorcycle jackets are the most durable and offer great durability and insulation during the winter, but they can be expensive and are not as breathable as other types of jackets. Textile motorcycle jackets are usually cheaper than leather and come in a variety of styles, with some even including armor and weather protectants.
Leather Motorcycle Jackets
Leather jackets are often the best choice for motorcycle riders for a few reasons. First, leather is more abrasion resistant than most other materials, so it offers better protection in the event of a fall. Second, leather is also fairly waterproof, so it can help keep you dry in case of rain or road spray. Finally, leather jackets tend to be very comfortable and thick, giving riders a great fit on the road, especially during the winter.
Textile Motorcycle Jackets
Textile jackets are extremely breathable, so you won’t get overheated while riding, due to the mesh airflow provided. These jackets are also usually very lightweight, so you won’t get as tired while wearing one. Some textile jackets also have armor in the form of pads or plates that help to protect the body from impact in the event of a fall or collision.
Besides the two main types of motorcycle jackets, there’s also even more defined jackets that can be broken up into four categories, all based around riding style.
A street sport style motorcycle jacket is a great choice for riders who want the best of both worlds. The style is similar to a racing jacket, but with a more relaxed fit that is perfect for street riding. These are usually made of mesh and textiles. The benefits of this style of jacket include the following:
1. The relaxed fit allows for more comfort and mobility while riding.
2. The style is versatile and can be worn both on and off the bike.
3. The jacket provides excellent protection from the elements
A cruiser style motorcycle jacket is usually made of leather and offers a number of benefits. These are a great choice for cruiser riders or riders who want to harness that classic motorcycle look and feel. Some benefits of a cruiser include:
1. They’re usually made of leather, which makes them durable and will protect you in the event of a fall.
2. Cruiser jackets will help keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather, due to their insulation.
3. These jackets are great at protecting from the elements, and will give riders a great sense of style.
Racing motorcycle jackets are made to be worn by people who race motorcycles. The jacket is also designed to be aerodynamic so that the person wearing it can go faster. Some benefits of these jackets are:
- A racing motorcycle jacket is designed with abrasion-resistant materials that protect the rider in the event of a high-speed crash.
- The jacket is made of sturdy materials that can help to prevent road rash and other injuries.
- The jacket may also include features such as a built-in back protector and elbow and shoulder pads.
A dual sport or adventure riding motorcycle jacket is a type of motorcycle jacket that is designed to be worn both off-road and for street riding. ADV jackets are designed to take on any terrain you may enter and are extremely weather-resistant. Some more benefits of ADV/Dual Sport jackets are:
- These jackets are usually made from a waterproof and breathable material, and they often have a number of pockets and features that make them ideal for motorcycle riders.
- Are very versatile and include various protective materials, so riders get the best of both worlds.
- Armor is usually included in these jackets as well as ventilation flaps.
Before you make your first motorcycle jacket purchase it is important to note that there are three main fits amongst all the jackets you may come across. Depending on your body type you may find that some motorcycle jackets aren’t as comfortable to ride in as others. That being said, here are the three fits:
American fit motorcycle jackets tend to be more roomy in the chest and waist area, while European fit jackets are more tailored and snug. Also called touring or regular fit, American jackets tend to have more room in the arms as well. So, if you need a bit more space in your jacket and like a more comfortable style jacket, the American style is the way to go.
European jackets, also known as sport or slim jackets, tend to be all-around more slimmer and tailored to be more tight around the chest and tapers down the waist. They also usually have longer sleeves and torso measurements.
Racing jackets are designed to provide the rider with a snug fit, while still allowing for a full range of motion. They are often made from a lightweight material, such as leather, and may include features such as a zip-up front, a collar, and pre-curved sleeves.
Best Motorcycle Jackets For Beginners (Budget Friendly)
When you’re a beginner, you don’t necessarily need a really expensive motorcycle jacket. However, you also don’t want to cheap out on one that lacks armor or safety features that you’ll need when riding. So here are some beginner and budget friendly choices that are perfect for your very first riding season, or that will simply be easy on the wallet.
The HWK ADV 1 is a solid textile motorcycle jacket that is just south of $100. It features decent airflow, CE approved armors, 600D Cordura construction materials and is waterproof. The ADV 1 is a solid motorcycle jacket from a lesser known and newer company, but is highly rated by riders. Overall a great choice for the money.
This is an all season textile motorcycle jacket that is abrasion resistant and windproof. This jacket also features 600 denier polyester high performance fabric and is rugged and comfortable to the touch. This European style jacket has removable lining to adapt to any season. Adjustable sleeve and waist clamps that make this jacket versatile to any fit and body type. Overall a great jacket that won’t break the bank, however would recommend getting sturdier back and shoulder pads.
This textile and mesh jacket from Joe Rocket is a very affordable and protective jacket. It is more of an American style jacket that comes in various colorways. It has multiple safety pads and contoured armor at the spine, shoulders and elbows. Lastly, it features a waterproof removable liner that makes this jacket great for multiple season riding.
The Shadow jacket is a solid leather option, which will always be slightly more expensive than mesh, but will last longer in the event of a crash. This jacket comes with 5 pieces of pre-installed armor, reflective lining on the back for visibility and waist adjustments. Additionally, this jacket comes with multiple zipper pockets and ventilation zippers. A great choice for those looking for a leather jacket.
This low profile jacket will get riders where they need to go with all the safety materials and fabrics of a higher-end Alpinestars jacket. This jacket is perfect for summer and spring riding and has excellent ventilation all throughout. Additionally, this racing jacket features pre-curved sleeves great for riders assuming a forward leaning riding position. This multi-fabric shell constructed jacket also has reflective logo features on the front and back.
There is a lot to consider when purchasing a motorcycle jacket, but with the right research, you can find the perfect one for you. Motorcycle jackets are an important piece of gear for any rider, and can make the difference between a comfortable ride and a painful one. With so many different styles and materials to choose from, it can be overwhelming to try and pick the right one. But with a little knowledge, you can find the perfect jacket for your riding needs.
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