When you purchase a motorcycle all that you really want to do is go out and ride it. Chances are that you are so excited about your new bike that you are not even thinking about the gear that you need in order to make the ride more enjoyable. While you can hit the road in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, this is really not your best option. You really need to invest some time and money into finding the appropriate motorcycle attire.
Motorcycle gear is designed to help make your ride more pleasant. Not only will it keep you warm in the cooler months and cool in the hotter months, and dry during the wet months, it will also protect your body should you ever happen to be in an accident of any type.
There are a few things that you need to know about purchasing motorcycle gear. First, proper motorcycle attire is expensive. However, this gear is just as important to riding a motorcycle as the bike itself. This means that you will need to factor in the cost of the gear to your overall budget when you purchase your bike.
For example, if you have a budget of $5000 for your bike, you will want to factor in another $1000 to $1500 for your gear such as a helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and everything else. Once you have your first set of gear the financial burden lessons as you purchase items separately as they wear down. The basic motorcycle gear consists of a helmet, boots, a suit, a motorcycle jacket, and gloves. All of these items are designed with your safety in mind.
Read our Detailed Buyer's Guide to Moto Jackets:
Since there is so much gear necessary for riding a motorcycle, this article is focusing solely on the motorcycle jacket. Finding a good quality motorcycle jacket to wear is almost as important as finding a high quality helmet. Good motorcycle jackets offer protection for your arms, back, and chest should you happen to fall off of your bike.
A quality motorcycle jacket is designed with your safety in mind. They have pads and armor located in different areas in order to protect your bones and skin when you fall. You may be thinking that you will never fall off your bike, but this is illogical as everyone will suffer from a fall at some point in time. Just like you fell off your bike as a kid, you are going to fall off of your motorcycle at one point or another when you are out riding on a regular basis.
Many people may be thinking that they ride in a t-shirt all the time and do not have any issues. However, if you were to fall off your bike wearing just a t-shirt, think about all of the scratches and burns that you would suffer from.
Not to mention the chance of breaking one of the bones in your arm or even your back. While wearing a motorcycle jacket offers no guarantee that you will not be injured, it does offer you a form of protection and may even save you from injuries that could have been much, much worse.
A motorcycle jacket will have a lot more functionality than your regular every day jacket that simply protects you from the elements. You might be thinking that you can save some money by simply purchasing a regular leather jacket or by simply wearing a hoodie to protect you during your ride, but these items are not going to have all of the features that you need when you are out on your motorcycle.
Motorcycle jackets are built to provide you with comfort while you are out on your bike. In addition, they have several safety features that can help keep you intact should you find yourself involved in any type of accident. Paying extra to purchase a real motorcycle jacket is going to be worth it when you avoid getting road rash, scratches, or burns, when you turn your bike over.
In addition, a motorcycle jacket will be designed to help deal with whatever climate you may be riding in. These jackets have the extra protection you need while riding, and the ones that are designed for wearing during cooler weather will have an insulating layer as well as wind blocking features that will help cut down on the effects of riding through cold, brisk air.
Other jackets will do the opposite. If you are riding during the summer months you still want the protection of wearing a jacket, but you do not want to roast under extra layers. Warm weather motorcycle jackets will use special materials such as mesh combined with special vents to allow air to flow through to keep you cool.
These warm weather motorcycle jackets still have abrasion resistant panels as well as armor to provide you with the protection that you need during your ride.
There are even some motorcycle jackets that are considered all weather jackets. These jackets will typically have an armored shell that can be worn with different liners such as a warming liner for the winter months, a waterproof liner for when it is wet outside, and a windproof liner to use if it is cooler and windier. You can simply snap or zip in the liner that you need for your ride that day. These all weather jackets are very versatile and truly have all season capabilities.
The biggest differences between a regular jacket and a motorcycle jacket are the extra safety features that come with these specialized jackets. A good motorcycle jacket will include armor that is designed to protect you from unwanted impact.
The most common places for this armor to be located is around the shoulders, in the back, and around the elbows. The reinforcement that is used will vary based on the type of jacket that you purchase.
Some motorcycle jackets will simply use a layer of dense PE foam in order to absorb impact while others will have a flexible armor such as D30 that will harden on impact. Other jackets may even have a hard cup racing style of armor that has sliders to provide the maximum protection. The type of armor and the level of the protection will vary based on the style of jacket chosen and of course the price of the jacket.
Some of the motorcycle jackets that are available have race style back protectors that are very heavy duty. This will typically consist of a piece of foam and articulating plastic that is designed to absorb large impacts.
The armor is placed in a pocket that is located down the middle of the back and is designed to protect your spine. Not every motorcycle jacket has theis features and many riders actually prefer to invest in a high quality back protector that they have chosen and then install it themselves.
When you are purchasing a jacket that has armor, you will want to make sure that all of the pieces are secured within the jacket the right way. In order for armor to work correctly the jacket is going to need to fit snugly against your body.
If you are able to move the armor past the area that it is supposed to be protecting, such as your elbow, then an impact is going to be able to move it as well. If the armor does not stay put, try moving down a size in the jacket or choose a different style of jacket that will fit better. Remember, armor is only going to work if it is fitted properly.
Another safety feature to consider, especially if you are planning to ride your bike at night is reflective materials. Having an all black motorcycle jacket may look great, but wearing a black jacket at night is going to make it more difficult to see you when you are riding in the dark. It is hard enough for people driving cars to see you in the daytime, so imagine how hard it is to see you at night when you are wearing nothing but black.
One option is to purchase a hi-vis safety vest that you can wear over your motorcycle jacket when you are riding at night. This is a good economical choice. However, there are several motorcycle jackets available that have reflective piping or a reflective logo that are attractive and offer the visibility that is needed to ride at night.
You can also choose a motorcycle jacket that is in a light or bright color. When it comes to riding a motorcycle at night, follow the rules of jogging at night, the more visible that you are, the lower your chances of being hit by another car on the road.
As mentioned, in order for armor to work your motorcycle jacket is going to need to be properly fitted. In addition, the fit of your motorcycle jacket will also play a role in how comfortable you are when you are out riding.
When you purchase a motorcycle jacket you want it to fit snugly up against your body. This will provide you with the most protection. Your shoulder pads are not going to provide you with much protection if they are sliding down your arms and your elbow pads will not do much good if they are twisted around to your forearms. When it comes to a motorcycle jacket, bigger is not always better.
It is important to make sure that your motorcycle jacket fits you well when you are sitting on your bike as well as when you are standing. The fit when you are sitting is obviously the most important as this is the position that you are going to be in when you need the most protection.
You may try on a jacket while you are standing up and have your arms down at your sides. While it may fit perfectly in this condition, think about when you are wearing the jacket the most. You are going to be sitting down with your arms on the handles of your bike. Your posture when riding a motorcycle is much different than your posture when you are standing or even sitting in a chair.
It is best to mimic the way that you sit on your bike when you are trying on your motorcycle jacket. Keep in mind how far you lean forward when riding and make sure there is enough room in your jacket to allow for this positioning.
Take a look at our own Moto Jacket Size Chart;
Since you are going to be in a sitting and leaning position when wearing this jacket, many of them are designed with sleeves that are a bit longer. Some jackets will even be pre-curved so that they work better in the riding position.
There are also many motorcycle jackets that are longer in the back so that they cover up the area just above your pants when you are bending over. This helps to avoid the dreaded plumber’s crack.
When considering the fit of your motorcycle jacket you will want to find one that has closures around the waist, neck and wrists. Even if the jacket fits perfectly, you are going to want to be able to cinch it down around the openings when you are riding so that you keep the air and other elements from blasting through the openings.
In addition, the extra bits of fabric located in these areas often will flap around, so keeping them locked down will minimize the annoyance caused by your jacket.
When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle jacket you are really going to want to think about the seasons that you like to ride in. Do you put away your bike for the winter or do you want to ride in any type of weather?
The weather plays an important role in the type of motorcycle jacket that you choose. As mentioned there are some jackets that are designed for every season, while others are better suited for the warmer or colder months.
If you truly love your bike and you will ride it in any type of weather you are going to want to invest in a quality winter motorcycle jacket to wear during those cold wintery rides. A high quality winter jacket should have a heavy amount of insulation that will help you maintain your body heat. You may also want to consider a jacket that has a removable liner for the changing conditions in the weather.
When choosing a cold weather motorcycle jacket you are going to want to find one that is made from materials to keep the rain and snow out.
Many winter motorcycle jackets are much longer than the warm weather jackets and some are even a parka style and will reach down the thigh wear a summer jacket will cut off at the waist. A good jacket designed for rainy and wet conditions will have this extra length in order to help keep more of your body dry.
In addition, a winter motorcycle jacket should be sealed at all points where moisture may enter. Look for ways to seal off the areas around the wrists, neck, the waist, and the zippers. Jackets that have adjustable flap style closures are preferred as this will keep moisture from running down your neck and up your arms while you are riding.
When it comes to keeping warm, the material that the jacket is made out of is going to play a significant part. Leather jackets are not the best choice for wet weather as wet leather can change its shape and color when it dries out.
Synthetic materials or textiles are the best choice for any type of weather. These advanced fabrics such as Kevlar, ballistic nylon, or Gore-tex will protect you from both harsh climates and other road hazards.
As the weather starts to warm up in the spring you may be able to get by with simply taking the liner out of your winter jacket to wear it. While you may be tempted to simply go without a jacket when riding during the summer months, this is really not a good idea. The potential for becoming seriously injured during a crash goes up immensely if you are not in the appropriate attire.
Instead of going for a ride in your t-shirt, it is better to find a lightweight summer motorcycle jacket to wear when riding in the heat. A quality mesh jacket will provide you with the armor and padding you need for safety, but you will not feel like you are in a sauna during your ride.
Mesh jackets are lightweight and are built with porous and breathable materials that allow your skin to breathe when riding in the hot sun. While you want your winter jacket to be able to keep the heat in during your ride, you will want your summer motorcycle jacket to let the heat out.
If you are riding in an area that has a wet summer, you do not need to feel like you need a heavy jacket to keep you dry. There are many mesh motorcycle jackets available that have waterproof liners that you can zip into them when the weather is wet, but still warm.
You can also find many summer rain jackets that you could wear over your regular summer motorcycle jackets. These are light enough so that you will not get overheated, but will keep your regular jacket and you dry during your ride.
Now that you understand what goes into making a motorcycle jacket it is time to find a jacket that offers the features that you need to keep you comfortable, safe, and protected during your ride. Of course you are also going to want to find a jacket that makes you look good while you are out on your bike.
There are many different types of motorcycle jacket styles and the manufacturers of these jackets have created a wide variety of different looks to suit any type of motorcycle rider.
Since your jacket can say a lot about the type of person you are, make sure that your are not afraid to shop for the way a jacket looks as well as the features that it offers. After all, you may try to deny it, but when it comes down to it when it comes to riding it is really about looking cool and one thing that many motorcycle jackets have in common is that they will make you look cooler.
When you purchase a motorcycle it is important to think about your safety while you are riding it. While a helmet may be the most important safety gear that you purchase as it will protect your head if you are involved in an accident, a motorcycle jacket is just as important and should not be overlooked.
There are many different styles of motorcycle jackets available from which to choose. The most important thing to remember when searching for a motorcycle jacket is the fit. You want to make sure that you purchase a jacket that fits you well. The fit of the jacket will enhance the security features that are included in these types of jackets.
In addition to the fit, choose a jacket that is designed for the weather that you will be riding in most. There are many versatile motorcycle jackets available that are designed to be worn in any type of weather. Choose one that will allow you to be comfortable during your ride all while being able to protect your arms, shoulders, neck, and back while you are out riding.