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Wearing a good quality leather jacket that was designed specifically for motorcycling cannot guarantee you will not be injured if you come off your bike - but it can minimize you chances of receiving road rash on your upper body if you do. A good quality motorcycle jacket WILL guarantee you are as comfortable as possible in the widest range of motorcycling conditions, and will give you many years of reliable service (unless you crash...)

For motorcycle riding (as opposed to general wear) these are the things I look for in a leather jacket:

1) Minimum of 1.3 mm hide thickness. A lot of "fashion" weight leather jackets will come apart if subjected to the stress of sliding across asphalt.

2) Either a mandarin (band) type collar, or collar that can be snapped in place so that it doesn't flap around at speed.

3) Zipper should be protected by either an external or internal flap to prevent wind getting in.

4) Sleeves should be slightly curved, and longer than usual.

5) Cuffs should be zippered and tapered to prevent wind getting in.

6) A zip-out lining, and zippered vents to keep you comfortable over the broadest possible range of riding condtions.

7) Drum-dyed leather holds its color best. Other types of dyes have a habit of running when they get wet.

8) Protective armor in the forearm, shoulder and kidney regions.

9) Slash pockets on the outside with snaps, plus at least one inside zippered pocket to hold items you really don't want to lose.

10) External zippers that you can pull up or down with one gloved hand. Heavy-weight YKK zippers that are double-stitched will rarely snag or tear - something that cannot be said for the zippers found on many inexpensive jackets.

11) Reflective piping or lettering on the back and sides.

12) A neck protector that snaps or zips in place for when the weather gets cold.

13) The ability to zip the jacket to your riding pants.

14) Any color you want, so long as it is black. Unless you are a professional test rider or a true-blue sportbike rider, bright neon leathers just look foolish.

Unless you buy used, I have found it difficult to find a jacket meeting these criteria for less than $250 - $350 or more, regardless of brand. You certainly can buy a jacket that "looks" like a motorcycle jacket for a lot less, but like so many things in life, you usually get what you pay for. I have found a lot of the leather items on sale at rallys and bike shows to be of questionable value in the event of a crash or when riding in less than ideal conditions.
 

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I look for a 38-24-28 in a leather jacket!:D
 

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Re: one minor problem

VRodDrew said:


Sounds top-heavy to me... this could cause a low-side accident in a tight curve!
Time to change your riding style. Need a different style of jacket for it though (at least they are cheaper):D
 
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