updated march, 2021
You're reading: Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets
if there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. the leather jackets is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for halloween. no matter what you ride, the leather jacket is versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. the beauty of leather motorcycle jackets is they will likely never go out of style, and the more you wear them, the more comfortable they will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. so here, we’ve gathered a small sampling of what the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.
the original dyno jacket from alpinestars was one of the first leather jackets the company ever made. it became a best seller, and the updated version 2.0 carries on the tradition. fully ce-approved, the dyno v2 is made from supple leather with stretch panels across the chest for greater mobility. two exterior pockets are paired with a waterproof internal pocket, and snaps at the waist help make for a better fit. ce certified bio-armor sits in the shoulder and elbow pockets for impact protection. a modern take on a vintage-ish jacket, the dyno is classically understated but still has plenty of pop.
bottom line/italian stallion
from the absurdly expensive department comes the ivy 2.0 from belstaff. at $1650, it’s the most expensive jacket on this list, and could be useful for showing your so what a bargain the $500 jacket you want is if nothing else. but what does a giant wad of cash get you? in short, extravagance. bull leather construction from 1.0-1.1mm thick hide, the ivy 2.0 also gets cotton/viscose lining. the diamond pattern on the shoulders and elbows (along with ce approved armor underneath) is a signature belstaff feature, while the collar is corduroy-lined, with hardware made from vintage nickel. there are two zippered side pockets and an embroidered logo on the sleeve. looking at this jacket, the classic leather jacket look is clearly still there, with the offset zip being a clue to the classic design. the ivy 2.0 is a little shorter than the version 1.0 to make it better suited for sportier motorcycles.
Read more: Laminated vs Drop-Liner Motorcycle Garments
bottom line/dress to impress
dainese is code for slim-fit italian fashion and top-notch protection. iride matte leather, s1 bielastic stretch panels, and pro-armor impact panels come together in a vintage-inspired ladies’ jacket. a techframe internal liner provides increased air circulation on hot days. safety stitching and reinforced construction help the lola 3 meets pren 17092 motorbike protective jacket certification, and there’s a pocket for an optional back protector as well. (for the latest in protection, google up dainese’s d-air line of airbag-equipped gear.)
bottom line/safety and bellissima
icon has a good rep for high quality at reasonable prices, and the hypersport 2 prime is at the top end of its performance envelope. thick, 1.1-1.3mm tracspec cowhide, designed with strategically sewn accordion leather flex zones, results in icon’s “attack fit,” for high speed work. your d3o impact protection package handles impact absorption – and an internal waist zipper connects to the matching hypersport prime pants. deep chest pockets double as chest vents. reinforced perforation zones let the breeze in as needed, and the microfleece-lined collar adds, ah, comfort.
bottom line/good bang for buck
the rev’it glide vintage jacket contains modern protection – ce-rated armor at the shoulders and elbows, with a pocket for an optional back protector – inside an understated, vintage-inspired old-school jacket. motogp-inspired, the jacket incorporates a connection zipper to attach to any rev’it pants. the standard removable sleeveless liner makes this a three-season jacket as well as one that looks great off the bike.
styled after rsd’s popular ronin jacket, the maven is a basic cafe racer style jacket form fitted for the female anatomy. airbone leather is rsd’s premium cowhide offering. pre-curved sleeves, relaxed collar and a dropped back are all part of the performance riding fit; an adjustable zip waist and comfort flex panels under the arms are designed to let women further tailor the maven to their form. inside, there’s a satin poly lining. if you want impact protection, though, you’ll pay a bit more for armor to fit into the jacket’s shoulder, elbow, and back protector pockets.
remember the jacket marlon brando wore in the wild one? this is it. the original. the perfecto. schott and brando defined the leather motorcycle genre with this jacket. constructed from u. s. sourced, drum dyed, hand cut, heavyweight 3-3.5 oz. steerhide leather, the perfecto is the standard by which all others are judged. for example, the offset zipper and slash cut front zip pocket are now iconic, just like the huge back panel design, other signature touches include the snap-down lapels and attached belt with nickel plated buckle. there’s not actually any armor or padding inside, but for many people, especially ones who don’t ride, that may not be an issue.
bottom line/what are you rebelling against today?
with the spidi super-r jacket we move away from the old school and into something thoroughly sporty and modern. in place of the schott’s offset zipper, the super-r brings offset coloring. the chassis itself is made from full-grain 1.1-1.3mm bovine leather and there’s spidi’s warrior tech external elbow sliders – ostensibly for promoting a slide during a crash, which is likely to happen if you try your best marquez impression instead. forcetech armor inserts are included at the elbows and shoulders and an optional warrior protector can be worn in the back. flex inserts on the arms give natural range of motion. the super-r features a full zipper to be used with riding pants, and a snap system to use if you’re wearing riding jeans.
bottom line/italian flair, real-world protection
an iconic american brand, vanson is known for its leather jackets. go on the company website and prepare to be bombarded with a variety of different options. the ar3 is vanson’s first leather jacket, but updated with ce-approved f.a.s. armor at shoulders and elbows, and the ability to accept the optional backpad. the action back segues into a dipped back and kidney panel for a windtight fit. hardware is brass, zippers are metal. vanson uses a specially formulated hot wax recipe dating back before ww2 to give it its distinct sheen and look. to quote vanson, “this is a living material that changes with use and time all the while gaining a fine patina from use.”
bottom line/a mo and crowd favorite
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