Whether it’s for recreation or as a means of transportation, every motorcyclist knows the importance of protective gears. Motorcycle safety gears such as helmets, jackets, boots and gloves serve to protect the rider from serious injury in the event of an accident. Jackets are one of the most important motor cycle gears, serving as a protective covering for the shoulder, chest and back and the organs contained therein.
What Features Make A Motorcycle Jacket High Quality?
- Body armour and thickness: When it comes to protective gear, you get what you pay for. Therefore, a cheap jacket is most likely to be of poor quality. Quality motorcycle jackets should have standard body armour padding covering the back, spine, shoulders, elbows and forearm. Low quality jackets are usually made with little to no armour in order to save cost. If safety is of paramount importance to you, then you should go for thick jackets of about 1.5mm. The thicker a jacket, the more likely it is to protect your skin from abrasion in the event of a crash.
- Linings and Air vents: Liners are what gives Expensive motorcycle jackets usually have quality linings that keep the rider warm in cold seasons. The lining is often times removable to enable use of the jacket in warmer seasons. Motorcycle jackets usually contain zippered air vents on the chest, shoulder, back and under the arms which allows for airflow inside the gear in order to prevent excessive perspiration and heat exhaustion.
- Fitting: Your motorcycle jacket should fit like a second skin without restricting your movement or ability to breathe normally. An overly large jacket will hike up during a slide leaving your skin exposed. An overly tight jacket can cut off blood circulation. It should be comfortable both when you’re standing and sitting.
- Seams and Zippers: The seams of your leather jacket should be inside so as to avoid abrasion in the event of an accident. Also, the seams should be overlaid or triple stitched so they do not burst open on impact. The zippers should close and open easily, they should be covered with a flap to protect them from the elements and so they don’t pose an extra risk to the rider in an accident.
- Fewer panels: The fewer panels that make up your jacket, the better. Smaller individual panels are likely to burst at the seams in an accident.
Why You Should Buy High Quality Leather Motorcycle Jackets.
It makes sense that the fewer features on a jacket, the lesser it will cost. High quality motorcycle leather jackets are usually expensive for a number of reasons such as the features listed above. The following are reasons why you should consider going for high quality jackets.
Protection: Although high quality leather is usually more expensive and heavier than low quality leather, it is made with the rider’s safety in mind. Visibility plays an important role in a rider’s safety as motorists may fail to notice motorcycles in the dark, thereby leading to accidents. Many motorcycle jackets come with reflective material that enhances the rider’s visibility to motorist. Many motorcycle jackets have waterproof liners that prevent water from seeping in and making the jacket heavier. Gore-tex or entrant coated jackets are usually expensive but are the best for driving when it rains.
Durability: When shopping for leather jackets for motorcycling, one might be tempted to save cost by going for cheaper and lower quality leather but keep in mind that although they are cheap, they are unlikely to last. There may be need to replace them after a short period of time leading to increased cost in the long run.
Eco-friendly: Leather is made by tanning animal hide. Several methods of tanning leather exist but the two major methods are chrome and vegetable tanning. In chrome tanning, chromium salts are used to tan leather. About 80% of leather is tanned using this method. Although it is a faster means of tanning leather, it is considered more environmentally harmful than vegetable tanning method which takes longer and is more labour intensive, thus resulting in more expensive leather. Vegetable tanning produces more breathable leather and poses less risk to people with chemical sensitivities.
What if I don’t own a motorcycle?
Let’s face facts, not everyone who owns a leather jacket is a motorcyclist. Leather jacket have always been a fashionable clothing item. Although leather jackets worn as normal clothing material may be cheaper than those worn for the purpose of protection, the rule of thumb still applies here; you get what you pay for. The rules below will help you pick a durable and genuine leather jacket.
- Check armholes: A high-cut armhole allows for better arm movement which is what you want whether or not you are a motorcyclist. Cheaper jackets tend to have lower and larger armholes to fit a variety of body types whereas pricier jackets will have a higher armhole.
- Check stitching: A high quality leather jacket should have neat and quality stitches. A leather jacket with haphazard stitches is most likely a fake one.
- Put your senses to work: One way to check for real leather is by putting your sense of smell to work; Real leather has a natural smell whereas fake leather has a plastic, chemical smell. Also, feel the material. A material that is grainy, soft and glossy is likely genuine. Keep in mind that fake leather is also glossy. It is however less likely to have the richly textured feeling of genuine leather.
- Know your brand: If quality is what you’re after then buying from a reputable brand is the surest way to get your money’s worth.
In conclusion, when buying a leather motorcycle jacket you have to know what your priorities are (whether protection in terms of accidents or from the elements) and shop accordingly. If you need a jacket that would offer protection and durability, then go for higher quality leather jackets. They may be more expensive but they are totally worth it.