While you may not realize it, the truth is that you can buy safety when it comes to motorcycle jackets. There are lots of different types of jackets available and it’s not always easy to find the right one. In addition to your personal preferences, you are going to need to pay attention to some other things so that you can enjoy riding comfortably and safely.
Match your riding style
The very first thing you must determine if whether you need a one-piece suit or a separate jacket.
One-piece suit: Offers full body protection, fitting closer to your body and will not flap in the wind when you’re riding. If you enjoy racing or ride through traffic on the highway on your sport bike, a one-piece suit might be your best option.
Two-piece suits: offers protection and flexibility. When you’re just going for a casual ride, you don’t have to have both pieces. When you get to where you’re going, you can simply stow your motorcycle jacket in your trunk/saddle bags and put on your everyday coat. Plus, a motorcycle jacket has more pockets than a one-piece suit, so you can have more places to stash your wallet, sunglasses, and more.
One of the most common discussions that bikers have regarding motorcycle jackets is whether you should get a leather or a textile one. They are different but do have a few things in common. The quality of the material and the way it is constructed determines the performance. Of course, it takes lots of experience to recognize quality, that’s why new riders should talk to more experienced riders for advice.
Typically, touring bikers, cruisers, and weekend warriors select motorcycle jackets that are made of textile, such as polyester or nylon because they are the most comfortable. The sporty riders emphasize safety a little more since they typically are either racing or taking more risks in traffic, so they choose leather. You can come to a sensible compromise by choosing a jacket made of a combo of textile and leather.
Choose a well-made jacket
Your motorcycle jacket must be constructed so that you can be both safe and comfortable. This is why you should pay close attention to the following when you make your decision.
- The seams should be inside of the jacket so that they don’t cause abrasions if you are in an accident. If you choose leather, it should have very few seams, since the seams compromise the stability of the jacket. Additionally, the back and chest should be one piece of material instead of several smaller pieces sewn together
- The zippers should be made of metal or plastic and should be quick to close but easy to open. In addition, they should be covered with a flap so that they don’t increase your risk of injury in case of a crash.
Ensure a good fit
Be aware that motorcycle jackets are sold in women’s sizes and men’s sizes. Though some are labeled as unisex, sizing differs from one manufacturer to the next. So, it’s important to take the time to ensure a good fit.
The jacket should fit you perfectly when you’re sitting and when you’re standing. This is why it’s best to try on the jacket in the position that you’ll be sitting on your bikes. The sleeves should be long enough to reach your wrists when your arms are bent and extended, in the position they will be in while you are riding. The cuffs need to have a zipper so that the sleeves will not bunch up over your wrists in case of an accident and there needs to be a cover over the zipper so that your risk of injury is decreased.
Take care of your jacket
Regardless of which type of jacket you choose—leather or textile—you will still need to take care of it, which could help to determine which material you choose. Taking care of your jacket increases its lifespan, keeping it looking great for longer.
When it comes to caring for leather, you want to take steps to keep it from drying out and hardening. Therefore, you need to treat it with Vaseline, leather balm, or leather oil on a regular basis. The oil also prevents water from getting into the leather. Depending upon the color of your jacket, you may choose a black grease or a transparent product.
On the other hand, if you have a textile motorcycle jacket, you will be able to find care instructions on the tag. You must follow the instructions explicitly. In most cases, you can wash these in your washing machine on the delicate cycle in cool water (under 85 degrees). If there are some major stains on your jacket, you should be able to use a detergent booster.
In addition to looking good, your motorcycle jacket should protect you in case of a crash. That is why motorcycle jackets are so short—you don’t want all that extra material to get caught on anything.