Modern motorcycle jackets have come a long way from their yesteryear counterparts. From simple leather jackets to Kevlar ones, the variety of riding jackets at a motorcyclist’s disposal is huge. Whether buying your first motorcycle jacket or replacing your trusty old one that has seen many a mile (and hopefully none a fall), there are scores of options you can choose from. That said, as you go about hunting for the best motorcycle jacket for the money, here are three things you ought to know.
The Jacket Should Complement Your Riding Style
Are you a track junkie? Or do you love exploring unpaved routes and trails? Or do you instead prefer cruising through the countryside?
The question is pertinent because the riding jacket you should pick depends on your riding style and preferences. Track riders are better off with a one-piece suit that hugs the skin tight and doesn’t flap at high speeds. But in the other two scenarios, a separate riding jacket and pant is more suitable. The combination is far more flexible and in case you prefer to wear denims on your rides, a standalone jacket trumps a one-piece suit any day. Furthermore, jackets are more comfortable compared to one-piece suits and offer more storage space as well.
Know Your Jacket Material
Motorcycle jackets are made of different materials. While leather is the best when it comes to protection, textile jackets are quite good too and have carved out a significant niche for themselves in the riding apparel market. But for a leather jacket to offer quality protection, its leather should at least be 1.2 to 1.4 millimetres thick. Any thinner, and the jacket’s ability to protect you from abrasions during a fall goes down considerably.
Textile jackets made of synthetic fibres like nylon are popular and tend to sport abrasion resistant materials like Armacor, Dynatec, Kevlar, and Cordura. In addition to offering brilliant abrasion resistance, these materials also excel at breathability, cold protection, and waterproofness. These qualities make textile the perfect material for all-weather riding jackets. They are adept at both keeping you cool in the sweltering summer and insulating you from the biting cold of winter.
There are also manufacturers that make jackets using a mix of textile and leather materials. These jackets feature leather at the most susceptible areas of your torso like the shoulders, the upper back, and the top and bottom parts of the arm. Textile is used in the rest of the areas to enable better ventilation.
If you are a casual weekend rider or tourer, go for a nylon or polyester jacket as it offers unmatched comfort. If you are a sportier rider and do not mind sacrificing a little bit of comfort in the quest for greater safety, go with a leather jacket eyes-closed. And for a best of both worlds choice, a leather-textile jacket is perfect.
The Most Important Aspect of Your Jacket – Its Armour
This is the most important part of choosing a good motorcycle riding jacket. It should have certified and integrated armour at all the right places. That includes your back, arms, and chest. Look for a jacket that has ‘CE’ approved armour. CE1 and CE2 are standards that any piece of riding armour is graded on. Though CE1 armour costs lower than CE2 armour, the latter offers a higher degree of protection. If budget is a constraint, you can opt for a jacket with CE1 armour and later upgrade to CE2 armour. Most riding jackets allow this and the armour swap takes no more than a couple of minutes and doesn’t require the jacket to be altered either.
Regardless of which grade of armour you opt for, make sure its protective padding is elastic and large enough to dissipate the energy of an impact efficiently. The armour’s fit should not hamper your range of free movement and yet offer adequate crash protection. Lastly, the jacket’s elbow protection should safeguard your ulna at all costs.
Why is the Fit so Important?
Your riding jacket has to fit you in a snug yet comfortable manner. Comfortable because it should allow you to perform your full range of motion, which is necessary when you are riding a motorcycle. When trying on a jacket, check if the jacket fits you well while standing and sitting. Also stretch your arms out and rotate them in a full circle to see if you are able to move without hindrance. You can also bend your arms at the elbows as well as try twisting your torso from one side to the other to check if there is any resistance from the jacket. Motorcycle clothing is usually sold separately for men and women. And while a few can be labelled as unisex, sizing usually differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
While there is no arguing that a motorcycle jacket makes you look good, that alas is only its secondary function. Top-grade protection, function, and comfort are its primary responsibilities. The answer to the question of how to buy a motorcycle jacket as such lies in giving due credence to those factors above everything else. If you’re looking for a seller of motorcycle clothing Essex’s riders have trusted over the years, S&D Motorcycles is the place to go. In addition to motorcycle clothing, we also offer motorcycle helmets online.