welcome to this guide where we’ll go over the different options out there for motorcycle jackets, as well as how to get the sizing right.
how to size and fit motorcycle jackets guide + video
motorcycle jackets are one of the main pieces of riding gear since they cover your chest, arms, and your back. so, it’s important to keep in mind what features you’re getting with a riding jacket, and what applications you’re going to be using it for. so, we’ve divided our guide today into textile and leather jackets and we’ve also got a few subdivisions within
who so we can take you through the pros and cons of different types of jackets.
but first, a quick note on the safety certifications, you can usually expect any riding jacket to come with protectors in the shoulders and elbows and a pocket for a back protector. these protectors are then certified to either ce level 1 or 2, with 2 being the best. there is a new standard for jackets as well, which is the pren 17092 certification which you should also keep an eye out for. now, let’s get to it.
casual leather motorcycle jackets
so, to start with we’ve got your basic leather casual or street jacket. these are usually called urban or lifestyle jackets. usually made of cow or bison leather, these leatherjackets will give you a good level of all-around performance. they will come with integrated protectors in the shoulders and elbows and are usually offered in perforated and non-perforated versions depending on what temperatures you usually ride in. so, these types of leather jackets will be good thanks to their neutral style that will fit a variety of bikes. they can easily be worn on or off the bike, and they can do well within a limited range of temperatures. the downsides of leather jackets will be that they won’t be great for temperature control in the cold, in the rain, or on very hot days and they also offer only a limited amount of adjustability.
casual textile jackets
next, we’ve got full textile casual jackets. these types of jackets, which you often see as hoodie style jackets, have become increasingly popular as of late. they’re really designed for city use since they are designed to specifically offer both motorcycle and ordinary jacket features. these will be most akin to your overshirt, but with a bit more practicality to them. so, these jackets are a great option for short errands around town since they look like any other jacket out there. they also frequently offer a variety of liners whether they are thermal or waterproof, and they offer additional features off the bike like a hood. however, they usually are lighter than most full textile jackets, so they won’t cover you in a high-speed impact. they also won’t offer the same level of features as a full textile touring jacket as far as weatherproofing.
summer touring jackets
next we come to the touring jacket category. here, you’ll mainly see either mesh or full textile jackets depending on the weather and temperature. so, looking at mesh jackets first, these are going to be ideal for hot weather in the summer. they’re usually made so you have large mesh panels all along the chest, under the arms, and the back, and you also get extra reinforcement in the jacket’s usual weak points. so, they’ll be ideal for summer thanks to the large amount of air they let in. they’ll be very light, and, as a result, more inexpensive because of their more basic construction. however, they won’t be very good in cold or wet weather without additional liners, and the mesh of the jacket is also going to be a weak point.
winter touring jackets
lastly for touring is the full textile jacket. this is where you find the most high-end features like waterproof, gore-tex, or thermal liners. you’ll also get a higher level of protection since this is where you’ll also sometimes find the jacket even comes with the back protector included. this type of jacket will offer you the maximum level of protection for a textile jacket for high or low speed impacts as well as maximum protection against the weather. however, the downsides of this will be that these are frequently more expensive jackets and they’ll be one time use if they are in an impact.
at the far end of touring, you also can’t forget about adventure jackets. these are going to basically share a lot of similarities with a touring jacket, but in a much more rugged, beefed up version. these jackets will usually offer the greatest level of variety making them great for 4 season riding, they have a high level of adjustability, and they usually have a higher ce protector rating. however, they won’t be as cool as mesh jackets and they also come at a premium due to the number of features they come with.
sport motorcycle jackets
this finally brings us to sports jackets. these are almost exclusively made of leather due to its high abrasion and tear resistance. these jackets will also feature some of the most high-end features that you see in motogp. so, they’ll have a slimmer fit and will also have a lengthened back to keep you protected when you’re in the tuck. the advantages of these jackets will be their high level of protection thanks to external protectors and sliders in addition to what you usually get inside the jacket. these jackets will also be comfortable in a racing tuck since they usually have pre-curved sleeves and extra elastication in the back. the downsides of these jackets will be that they will only fit a specific type of bike due to their cut, they won’t usually be very weatherproof, and they will also frequently be the most expensive.
do you like your jacket regular, european, or race fit?
now, if you’ve got an idea of what type of jacket you’re going to go for, it’s important to say a few words about fit. usually, with motorcycle jackets you have 3 main types, you have slim, regular, and race fit. slim or european fit is what you’ll most often see with european manufacturers like alpinestars, revit, or dainese. so, the sleeves and waist will be a bit more tapered while the shoulders will be slimmer. you usually see this fit with sport-touring or urban jackets, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule either. regular fit or city fit usually means you don’t have any tapering, it will be a bit broader in the shoulders, and it will be more straightforward in looks. lastly, coming back to race fit again, you mainly get this with sports or racing jackets because of their pre-curved sleeves and aggressive look.
how to measure yourself for a motorcycle jacket
with your jacket and your preferred fit in mind now, all that’s left is to make sure you get the right size. while this will vary by manufacturer and even by product, there are some things you can still keep in mind. first, is it’s always easier if you have someone help you with the measurements especially since it’s best to use a flexible tape measure. for the chest, you want to take the measurements just underneath the armpits, while standing upright and breathing normally. when you need to take your waist measurement, you don’t use your actual waist like you would with a pair of pants, but you actually go a bit higher to just above the hip bones and run the tape around there while breathing normally again. for sleeve length, it does get more complicated since this varies by manufacturer. so, some will require you to measure from the top of the shoulder down to your wrist. usually you’ll be in the mid-50 to mid-60 cm or 20 inches range here. others may need you to measure from the back of your neck down to your elbow and from there to your wrist, though you can tell this by the fact that you’re dealing with measurements ranging from the high 60s to 80 cm or in the 30 inches range. it’s important to remember though that these numbers may vary with different jackets and some may run smaller or broader than what the size should be.
if you’d like to purchase a motorcycle jacket, then don’t forget to head to championhelmets.com where we have a lowest price guarantee and bundle deals including a matching pair of pants. if you have any questions, then you can always check out our video reviews or contact us via email, telephone, or our website live chat.
now that you know the basics about jacket types, different fits, and how to measure yourself, you’re ready to go out there and find a jacket that will keep you safe and do what you want it to do. once you do though, don’t forget to check out our jacket product reviews where we go in depth on the jacket’s features and specs, or if you’re not sure what jacket is right for you, you can always check out our guides.
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