Opposed to popular folklore, motorcycle jackets mean a lot more than leather and style. Motorcycle specific jackets and pants are a lot more functional and have technical features to give you the best riding protection. Riding jackets are a critical part of your motorcycle gear. Indian Moto Rush brings you a variety of options of motorcycle jackets and other riding gear but that’s just half the story. Here is how to choose a riding jacket that will add a chic statement to your looks, be comfortable for long hours, and protect you from unavoidable impacts.
Saving a few bucks on cheap fashion hoodies or jackets for your ride is not the solution. Invest in a good abrasion-resistant motorcycle riding jacket that keeps critical body parts safe in the event of an unfortunate crash. Purpose-built riding jackets are also designed keeping in mind the weather conditions while riding.
How To Choose A Riding Jacket?
What features you should look for while choosing a jacket for the safest and most comfortable riding experience? We have rounded up the basic guide to choose a perfect motorcycle jacket for your riding needs below.
Traditionally bikers preferred wearing leather jackets and they are still viable. Wearing a leather jacket will make you look cool but not everyone can afford one nor is it suitable for all climate conditions. In warmer climates, leather jackets become sweaty and uncomfortable.
Many riders opt for riding gear made from more breathable, high-quality materials that are more flexible, strong, and form-fitting. Jackets made from high-density textile jackets or mesh jackets are preferred, however, there is nothing like those classy leather jackets.
2. Thickness and Durability
Follow the thumb rule: The thicker, the better!
The weight of the leather jacket is proportional to abrasion-resistance. A professional motorcycle or racing jacket is around 1.4mm thick and provides the best protection in slide times. Also consider its construction, tanning process, stitching, and finish for best performance.
3. Safety Labeling
Motorcycle gear is subjected to destruction testing for determining its sustainability in times of crash. These tests include impact-resistance, abrasion-resistance, and burst strength. Therefore, do check the safety labels before you buy your riding gear.
If a leather jacket bears a CE tag it means it’s been tested as per European standards while those tagged with AS are the Australian government equivalent. American motorcycle clothing follows their stringent in-house testing and quality standards. Though there are no safety labels you can be assured of the products if you buy from trusted sources.
Armors provide cushioning at the elbow and shoulder to protect these body parts from impact in a motorcycle accident. These armors are rated as CE level 1 and level 2. Level 2 armor offers better protection during a crash. Do check the back protector while buying riding jackets.
Armors work if they stay in place during a slide. Once you fully fasten your jacket try pushing the armor around. If you can move them you’re making the wrong choice, probably the wrong size too.
A moto-specific riding jacket is not just a fashion statement. It is designed to put itself between the rider and the road. Motorcycle jackets can be broken down into four categories: Sport/Street Fit and Touring Fit jackets are most commonly available in India. Finding the right fit for your style of riding is important before you shop for one.
If you’re buying online make sure you buy the correct size. If it’s too loose it will ride up, or it fits snugly it will create pinch spots and become prone to burst on impact. Built-in armor protection is a must. Each style of jacket is tailor-made to suit the specific needs of different riding positions. You may also get matching riding pants with your jacket.
Liners are removable components of a riding jacket and the rider can choose to wear them depending on the weather. Most leather jackets keep most of the rain out but cannot be 100% waterproof. You get separate rain and thermal liners for convenience. Wind proofing is an entirely different matter. High-quality motorcycle jackets will provide excellent protection from the gushing current of air.
7. Jacket Construction and Fastenings
Look for a double seam or triple stitching in your jacket. Pull the seams to check if you see holes or thread elongating. This indicates poor quality. Also, check if the jacket is made up of smaller panels. The lesser the panels, the higher is the burst strength.
Don’t forget to check the fastenings and zippers, even at the cuffs and pockets. Do they feel secure and move freely? It’s best if there is a zipper at the waist to connect to the riding pants. Try as many options as possible before you finalize one. If you’re buying online, check for the return policy first.
Being visible to others on the road is a necessary safety feature. So always choose a riding jacket with reflective elements and fluorescent colors (especially on the back). If wearing a fluorescent jacket is not your style, choose brands that manufacture innovative high-viz stripes or inserts. Macna offers night eye technology for excellent visibility in the night.
Air venting in a motorcycle jacket can help prevent sweating, especially in warm weather riding. Unless you’re wearing a mesh jacket consider one with ample ventilation. This is a crucial element while riding in most Indian habitats.
We hope our guide on how to choose a riding jacket has been of great help to you. If you’re a beginner or seasoned rider, choosing the correct riding jacket and other motorcycle gear is a crucial element for a safe trip.
Experience the Rush!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the use of a jacket?
The primary use of a riding jacket is to protect in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Why do people wear leather jackets?
Wearing a leather jacket is a style statement but it provides high protection from impact and has wind proofing abilities as you ride.
Is CE Level 1 or 2 better?
CE level 2 has a greater level of protection than level 1 safety labels.
What does a CE rating mean?
The CE Rating is a mark designating that a product meets safety, health, and environmental protection standards for the European Economic Area (EEA).
Is d30 armor any good?
The d30 armor has the lowest impact transmission amongst others. It is the best choice a rider can get.