Your Motorcycle Jacket is your second skin, keeping you cool, warm and dry. How does yours rate?This article will help you to pick a quality, comfortable, stylish Motorcycle Jacket !
A comfortable, top quality motorcycle jacket compliments any rider's outfit.
The WiseGuy (almost) always rides in a jacket. It does get too hot for me sometimes in the dog days of summer.
The new styles in textile jackets with mesh that allows the air to flow really comes in handy in hot weather. You really do need the protection in case of a spill.
This motorcycle jacket article is organized to help you find the information you need quickly! Use the HOP-Links above to jump directly to the advice that's geared toward the way YOU ride.
The first image that always comes to my mind when I think of body protection on a motorcycle is of a GP race I happened to be watching on the tube a few years ago.
The racer came out of a corner and went into the long straight stretch and quickly accelerated into triple digit speed. All of a sudden, and I'm not sure of the cause, he fell off the bike and he and it went tumbling for several hundred feet.
To my amazement the racer got up and walked away with apparently no serious injuries. To be sure his leathers took a good beating, but this example says volumes for wearing the proper protection, including a motorcycle jacket while riding.
Sportbikes, with their highly potent powerplants and low weight designs make it even more critical to choose the right motorcycle jacket. This is especially true if you tend to be a speed junkie ;-).
Most manufacturers offer colored leather and textile motorcycle jackets that will coordinate with your bike.
Exmples of SportBike Jackets
The Alpinestars and Joe Rocket lines of motorcycle jackets are some of the most popular for sportbikes. Of course there's nothing wrong with wearing basic black either and both manufacturers offer more subtle colors if that's your taste.
Look for removeable armor, a good ventilation system, the ability to attach the jacket to matching pants and if your budget allows it, a waterproof liner.
Touring and Commuting
Do you like taking on endless miles of blacktop or using your bike as your primary means of transportation? You simply want a motorcycle jacket that WORKS.
Although a leather jacket will work for touring and commuting, I highly recommend one of the excellent textile motorcycle jackets that are on the market.
These man-made materials are easier to take care of and most importantly offer waterproof protection in many cases. If you're going to be many miles from home, chances are VERY good that you'll encounter at least a shower of rain.
You simply can't always look for a roof to get under. Besides you can't make time to your destination sitting on the side of the road, right?
Examples of Touring Motorcycle Jackets
For all out protection, by all means check out Aerostitch Rider Warehouse. If you find their prices are a bit out of your range (I can relate), then at least visit their site and request their catalog. It is very educational and entertaining.
The most versatile jackets I've found are the convertible textile jackets that have a waterproof outer shell that can be removed and packed away. This reveals a mesh jacket that in most cases carries the armor so you have no loss of protection.
The Teknic Spider was one of the first of this type of jacket. The Joe Rocket Alter Ego 2.0 Jacket is another example. I loved my Teknic Spider, but unfortunately it's no longer available. You can find my original Spider reviews in the archives:
When shopping for a suitable touring or commuting motorcycle jacket, consider the large amount of time you'll spend wearing it. Don't skimp here. Your jacket will be one of your larger investments, but you'll be glad you went with a high quality item.
Look for plenty of storage. The more pockets, the merrier as long as you don't end up looking like a fly fisherman! The less storage space you have on your bike, the more important pockets are.
Make sure the pockets close securely so that items don't fall out while your leaning around curves or bending over to pick up a dropped glove.
Cruisers and Customs
Protection is still the most important factor, even when I'm just cruising. It is at this point though that you're probably most tempted to just do without a jacket. You know, to look cool.
With that in mind, make sure you like the way your motorcycle jacket looks and that it's comfortable even in hot weather. That's a big challenge for a leather jacket.
Yes, leather is by far the most popular among the Harley and metric cruiser riders. Some manufacturers offer perforated leather, but it's still not as good at flowing air as a mesh textile, so make sure your leather jacket has zippered vents in all the right places.
Examples of Cruiser Motorcycle JacketsThe Classic I Jacket from Fox Creek Leather is a great example of a low key, simple looking motorcycle jacket. It has plenty of zippered vents to allow you to vary the airflow. If you get your hands on one, you'll find the vents on the front, arms and back.
For a jacket with fewer exposed zippers and buckles, Fox Creek has the Commander Jacket shown here. Besides good looks it lets you get to your map quickly since it has a map pocket right on the front.
If you don't quite feel comfortable depending on just the 1.5mm leather for protection, you can get armor inserts for the back, shoulders and elbows.
Too hot? remove the Thinsulate liner, neck warmer and loosen the Velcro cinching system that it has in the waist.
Still to hot? Open the two arm vents, the two rear exit vents and the front vent which runs down the inside edge of the map pocket.
This is beginning to sound like one of those info-mercials, but bear with me. . .the Commander Jacket also comes with a lifetime warranty. Check it out.
Other Motorcycle Jacket Considerations
Get the right size: Consult the manufacturers sizing charts. Get that tape measure out and measure at the correct points around your chest and down your arms.
Allow room for a warm layer, but not enough that the jacket flaps in the wind. Most motorcycle jacket manufacturers make sleeves longer to accomodate the riding position, but don't count on it. Make sure. Take it from one of my readers:
"Having recently bought a $250 cruiser styled jacket (on sale!), I had to return it. When I sat on my motorcycle and reached for the bars (I ride a stock HD Superglide) the sleeves were way too short. The odd part was that when I stood up with the jacket on, the sleeves seemed plenty long (they came down past my knuckles). My cheap $100 jacket worked much better in that regard.
The culprit was a design flaw of cutting the arms too low so that when I reached forward, the arms are pulled back. So I suggest that you put the jacket on, zip up most of the way, sit on a chair and reach straight forward with your hands almost touching. If the jacket sleeves come to your wrist, excellent. Also the zippered sleeves should close just enough to stop some air from coming in.
If you have a long sleeve fleece shirt you don't want the sleeves so that
the zipper cannot close. Also you don't want them so tight that it will only
close on bare arms."
More Motorcycle Jacket Resources
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