Are Leather Jackets Good for Motorcycle Riding?

Cruising down the open road, the wind in your hair, and the unmistakable roar of the engine beneath you – motorcycle riding is an exhilarating experience like no other. Amidst the thrill and adventure, the right gear becomes paramount, and the question often arises:

are leather jackets a good choice for motorcycle riding?

In this discussion, we’ll take a closer look at the merits and considerations of leather jackets as a riding companion. Beyond the realm of fashion and into the realm of practicality, we’ll explore the reasons why leather has been a long-standing favorite among riders and whether it lives up to the hype in terms of comfort, protection, and style.

When it comes to motorcycle riding, safety and style often go hand in hand, and one iconic piece of gear that embodies both elements is the leather jacket. Leather jackets have long been synonymous with the image of a rugged and cool biker, but their popularity isn’t just about aesthetics.

Pro Tip: It’s worth mentioning that most leather motorcycle jackets come equipped with elbow and, sometimes, back protection. This gear proves invaluable at lower speeds (below 30mph) when the risk of a serious slide is less frequent. To ensure your safety while riding, I highly recommend investing in a quality leather jacket. In the unfortunate event of a crash, it could make all the difference. Opt for genuine riding leather, as it offers superior thickness and protection.

Can Leather Jacket be used as a Riding Jacket?

Can Leather Jacket be used as a Riding Jacket?
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In the realm of crafting motorcycle leathers that truly stand the test of time, one essential consideration is the intricacy of stitching. To ensure longevity, this stitching is strategically concealed within the fabric, reducing the risk of bursting due to thread exposure from abrasive forces. When stitching remains hidden, the garment maintains its structural integrity, even in the face of rough pavement encounters.

Additional Features of Motorcycle Leather Jackets

Motorcycle jackets boast a plethora of additional features. These include zippered attachments that facilitate their connection with compatible pants, creating a seamless riding experience. Additionally, these jackets are equipped with specialized pockets designed to accommodate protective ‘armor.’ Most commonly, these garments incorporate reinforced areas for shoulder and elbow protection, with designated space for the inclusion of back safeguards.

Types of Leather for Motorcycle Jackets

Types of Leather for Motorcycle Jackets
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When it comes to motorcycle jackets, the choice of material can be a critical decision for riders seeking the perfect blend of style, comfort, and safety.

Leather, with its rugged allure and protective qualities, has long been the go-to choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. However, not all leathers are created equal. In this exploration, we will delve into the diverse world of leather types used in motorcycle jackets, uncovering the unique characteristics of each.

From the timeless appeal of cowhide to the lightweight strength of kangaroo leather, the selection of leather can profoundly impact a rider’s experience. The choice of leather can impact the jacket’s appearance, comfort, and protection. Here are some common types of leather used for motorcycle jackets:

  1. Full-Grain Leather: This is the highest quality and most durable type of leather. It is made from the top layer of the hide and retains the natural grain of the leather. Full-grain leather offers excellent abrasion resistance.
  2. Top-Grain Leather: This is another high-quality leather and is typically more affordable than full-grain. It has a smoother surface due to the removal of the top layer of the hide.
  3. Cowhide Leather: Cowhide leather is one of the most popular choices for motorcycle jackets. It is tough, durable, and offers excellent protection.
  4. Buffalo Leather: Buffalo leather is known for its thickness and abrasion resistance. It is a great choice for motorcycle jackets that need to withstand tough conditions.
  5. Goat Leather: Goat leather is lighter and softer than cowhide but still offers good abrasion resistance. It’s often used in sportier and more comfortable motorcycle jackets.
  6. Sheepskin Leather: Sheepskin leather is exceptionally soft and comfortable, making it ideal for cruiser-style jackets.
  7. Kangaroo Leather: Kangaroo leather is incredibly lightweight and strong. It is often used in high-performance motorcycle jackets, as it offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.
  8. Synthetic Leather: Some riders prefer synthetic materials like polyurethane (PU) or PVC leather for their motorcycle jackets. While not as durable as genuine leather.
  9. Exotic Leathers: Some riders prefer exotic leather options like alligator, ostrich, or snake. These leathers are often used for custom and high-end motorcycle jackets, adding a unique and stylish element.

How Tolerable is Leather Jackets in the Summer?

When considering attire for the summer season, leather jackets emerge as a surprisingly compelling choice. These jackets, despite their substantial armored build, offer a unique feature—the ability to unzip under the arms, ushering in a refreshing wave of ventilation.

Although they may appear sizeable and weighty, the sheer pleasure derived from wearing them is undeniable. Notably, they possess an impressive level of water resistance (while not entirely waterproof, they effectively shield against the elements for most rides, eliminating the need for additional chest protection).

Best Brands for Leather Motorcycle Jackets

In the world of consumer choices, there’s a universal truth: the allure of the “best” brands is simply undeniable.

It’s not just about the label; it’s about the satisfaction and joy that come with owning and experiencing the best. When it comes to motorcycle gear, especially leather jackets, the choice of brand can make all the difference in the world.

The question isn’t just about function but also about the delightful elements that best brands bring to the table. So, let’s explore why choosing the best brands for your motorcycle gear matters, and how it can turn your riding experience from ordinary to truly enjoyable.

Keep in mind that individual preferences may vary, but the following brands are often highly regarded in the motorcycle community:

  1. Dainese: Dainese is an Italian brand known for its premium motorcycle gear, including leather jackets. They prioritize both style and safety, incorporating innovative features and technology into their products.
  2. Alpinestars: Alpinestars is a well-established brand that offers a wide range of motorcycle gear, including leather jackets. They are renowned for their focus on rider protection and comfort.
  3. REV’IT!: REV’IT! is a Dutch brand that combines European style with functionality. They offer a variety of leather motorcycle jackets designed for different riding styles and conditions. This brand produces CE certified motorcycle jackets.
  4. Biltwell: Biltwell is known for its more minimalist and retro-style leather motorcycle jackets. If you prefer a vintage look with modern protection, Biltwell is a brand to consider.
  5. Icon: Icon offers a variety of leather jackets designed with a focus on street and sport riding. They are known for their bold designs and innovative features.

Are Leather Jackets Worth It?

Are Leather Jackets Worth It?
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In the realm of leather jackets, one encounters a multitude of options, spanning the spectrum from affordable to luxurious. The allure of budget-friendly choices may be strong, promising immediate savings.

However, the wisdom lies in embracing the initial investment of a premium, high-quality leather jacket—a decision that promises substantial returns in the long run. These well-crafted, albeit pricier, leather jackets have the remarkable potential to endure not just for years, but even decades, given the attentive care they receive.

What truly makes them worth it, though, is their unparalleled level of abrasion resistance, a vital feature for safety-conscious motorcyclists.

Leather molds to your body over time, ensuring a comfortable fit like no other, while many come with built-in armor for added protection. The durability of leather means that it’s an investment that pays off over time, as a well-maintained jacket can last for years, if not decades.

Beyond the practical advantages, the sheer enjoyment of wearing a high-quality leather jacket is something that riders cherish – it’s a feeling of empowerment and a symbol of the rider lifestyle.


In conclusion, the world of leather jackets offers a diverse range of options, spanning from the budget-friendly to the lavish. While it might be tempting to opt for the more economical choices to save a few bucks, the wise choice lies in investing in a high-quality leather jacket. This initial investment promises not only durability but also a timeless style that can last for years, if not decades, when cared for properly.

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