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Leather Motorcycle Jackets: What’s So Special?

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Leather Motorcycle Jackets


What the heck is so special about a “motorcycle” jacket? Wouldn’t any leather jacket (or other sturdy material) be just as useful?

There are a few unique features that differentiate a “true” motorcycle jacket from a motorcycle “fashion” jacket that would be sold in a leather goods store or discount store.

For the purposes of this article, I will focus on leather jackets and not textile jackets, although several of the differences will be just as applicable to textile motorcycle jackets.

  1. A good leather “motorcycle” jacket is made of thicker leather to offer more protection for the rider in the event of a fall from a motorbike.
  2. Motorcycle jackets have longer sleeves than similar non-motorcycle jackets. The longer sleeves are because bikers have their arms extended while riding, so a longer sleeve offers better protection extended over a rider’s wrists.
  3. A motorcycle jacket typically has a short collar (or no collar) and the abbreviated collar may even have a snap to secure it. The reason for this is to keep the collar from flapping around in the wind while riding a motorcycle.
  4. Many modern motorcycle jackets (leather or otherwise), feature protective pads (or “armor”) positioned at the elbows, along the spine, and on the shoulders, under the surface of the jacket. In most jackets, the pads are removable for cleaning or replacement. Good motorcycle jackets are built to protect a rider from “abrasion” injuries that can be sustained while sliding along the ground after a fall. However, the addition of protective armor offers some “impact” protection as well.

In simple terms, if you are motorcycle rider, you should be wearing a purpose-built, motorcycle jacket, with armor, which offers more protection than a non-motorcycle jacket, leather or not.



One Comment »

  • Motorcycle Jackets « motorcycle gifts said:

    […] Regardless of whether you might consider a leather or a textile motorcycle jacket, there are 4 advantages to getting a purpose-built motorcycle jacket, compared to any other non-riding […]

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