When most people think of a motorbike jacket, they usually automatically think about a generic black leather jacket.
The truth is that many of the motorbike jackets being sold offer very little when it comes to actual riding.
Actual motorbike jackets come with a variety of different features and aren’t focused mainly on design per se.
If you are thinking of getting a motorbike jacket for riding purposes, we’ve lined up three essential criteria:
Choose the right fit
If there’s one thing that should be essential when picking a good motorbike jacket, it’s comfort.
Some people might think that choosing the fit for a jacket isn’t important or that it’s an easy decision between large, medium or small. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re a regular biker, you’re going to wear this jacket a lot and if it makes you uncomfortable, it might eventually affect your riding ability.
First of all, don’t make the mistake of choosing a jacket that is too loose. A motorbike jacket should ideally fit very snugly, without being too tight. This is because most motorbike jackets have extra padding on the inside and need to be close to the body to work optimally. This is especially important when it comes to protecting your elbows, back and shoulders.
You should also make sure that the jacket fits properly in the riding position, not only when standing up. A jacket might feel good when you’re standing, but might be too loose or tight when riding. Try to mimic your riding position when trying the jacket to make sure that it’s just the right fit.
Get enough padding
Protection is the main function of a motorbike jacket, not style. Between a stylish jacket with little to no padding and a less attractive one which is fully padded, you should go for the latter option every time.
A motorbike jacket is very much like a life jacket on a boat. Even if it might feel uncomfortable at times, without it, you are exposing yourself to much more danger.
This is why it is important that you choose a jacket with sufficient padding in the shoulders, elbows and back since these areas are usually the first impacted at the time of an accident.
The type of padding is also important.
Look for the armour’s European approval number. EN1621-1 is for shoulder, elbow and knee armour and EN1621-2 is for back protectors.
Sometimes they will also indicate a number to show protection levels. Level 2 has a higher impact rating than level 1.
Sometimes they can also include a letter which corresponds to the location such as S for shoulder, E for elbow, K for knee, etc.
Choose the material
Leather was the material of choice for many years when it came to motorbike jackets, but there are many more options available nowadays.
However, most people prefer to go with leather because of its thickness and the extra protection it offers against asphalt.
If you’re going to choose a leather jacket, make sure that it has a mesh lining to allow air to breathe during long distances.
The best leather to use is cow or kangaroo leather and it needs to be at least 1.1mm thick. Some superweight jackets go up to 3mm, but they can be very heavy.
These are three of the most critical criteria when choosing a motorbike jacket.
Make sure that it is just the right fit while standing up and in your riding position, make sure it has sufficient padding and also make sure that you choose the right fabric depending on your needs.
If you apply these three principles, you should be able to find a great motorbike jacket in no time.