If you’re gonna call yourself biker, you’ve gotta play the part - and that means wearing a killer leather jacket. In fact, even if you’re not the greatest rider there is, the right leather jacket will make you look like you are. With that said, there’s a subtle art to picking the right jacket, and you need a sharp eye to make the right choice. Fortunately, we can help you choose the right one off the shelf.
Colour Sets the Tone With Your Leather Jacket
First off, the colour of a leather jacket makes a world of difference in terms of how it will look on you. Certain colours give off certain “vibes”, expressing aspects of your personality. And of course, certain colours will simply look better on some people as opposed to others. Let’s take a look at this closer.
Black Leather Jackets for Motorcycles
Black is the classic colour for leather jackets. It’s the perfect starting point for anyone who’s looking for a leather jacket to match their motorcycle, and will typically look good on just about anyone. In terms of colour symbolism, black conveys a sense of power, fear, mystery, strength, and authority. So in other words, if you want people to respect you (and the leather jacket), then it’s clear that black is for you.
Brown Leather Jackets for Motorcycles
Brown is also a popular colour for leather jacket-wearing motorcycle riders. Symbolically, brown gives off a sense of steadfastness, friendliness, simplicity, and dependability. It’s not as popular as black leather jackets, namely, because it’s not as conservative as black ones. But here’s the catch: brown jackets can be more stylish and versatile if you wear them right. If you’re a natural fashionista, you can throw a brown jacket on top of some jeans and shoes or boots.
When matching your jacket with your bike, it’s important to consider how the colours will work as well. A black leather jacket will match virtually any kind of motorcycle style and design. With a brown leather jacket, however, you will find that they look better with more classic motorcycles, or ones with more earthy tones where brown would match.
The Fit - Function Matters When Choosing a Leather Jacket for Motorcycle Rides
The ideal fit for leather jackets worn by motorcycle riders has changed over time. Also, different groups of people have worn different fits altogether. For example, the military preferred baggy and loose fits, whereas movie A-listers and rock stars wore slimmer fits. We won’t tell you how to wear your leather jacket, but the look that’s currently en vogue is the slimmer, tighter look (probably worn by your favourite entertainers).
There are times when a baggy jacket may look better, but the slimmer look accentuates your body shape. The right jacket will tend to look bigger at the shoulders and taper down narrowly at the waist.
The other factor to consider when choosing the right leather jacket for motorcycle riding is a functional one which offers some range of movement. This refers to how tight the jacket feels on your body. Ideally, your leather jacket will feel snug on your body - not too tight, not too loose. If anything, you want a bit of restriction in the sleeves but nowhere else. Comfort is a major component of riding a motorcycle, and a snug fit will prevent a stifled or untethered sensation.
Padding - Not All Jackets Come With It
Wearing a leather jacket isn’t all about fashion - there’s an element of safety that you should consider as well. You will hopefully never have an accident on your bike, even if it’s just a small one such as falling off at a very low speed, which can easily lead to abrasions. But if it were to happen, the right leather jacket for motorcycle rides could actually spare you from more serious injury. How?
Features of a Safe Leather Jacket for Motorcycle Riding
- Shock-absorbing padding - One of the biggest causes of bike injuries (and motor vehicle injuries in general) is the trauma resulting from hard impacts. Shock-absorbing padding can reduce that force so that injuries aren’t as severe as they normally would be.
- Thicker construction - The thicker the jacket is, the more protection it will offer you in the event of a slide. Thicker material can simply withstand more friction.
- Armour-tested/certified - Jackets that are tested and receive certification are more trustworthy than other ones. In fact, there is a tiered testing system in Europe to ensure the efficacy of motorcycle armour and padding.
True, a padded leather jacket isn’t going to make you invincible to the effects of blunt trauma. Nevertheless, a motorcycle jacket that comes with extra padding can offer a measure of protection against high impact forces, that could be potentially life-saving.
The Style - Patterns and Textures of Leather Jackets for Motorcycles
A major component of leather jacket design is the style, which refers to the patterns, cuts and trims of the jacket itself. In general, modern leather jacket styles complement modern bikes, whereas classic leather jackets suit older motorcycles better.
If you’re going to get a modern leather jacket style, then you might want to steer clear of ones with too many panels. It’s your preference, of course, but too many panels means more seams, which can ruin the look of a leather jacket. A modern jacket will definitely suit younger guys in their 20s and 30s, although older guys can wear them if they’ve got a sharp sense fashion.
With that said, older guys - who might be less into sporty bikes - will probably rock the classic leather jackets better than their younger comrades. The classic look is simple and it will match just about any bike, especially if it has a single back panel.
Quality - The Aspect of Leather Jackets for Motorcycles You Can’t Ignore
Of course, the ultimate deciding factor for buying a leather jacket should be the quality of the jacket and its fabric itself. First off, buying a leather jacket that’s cheap will show - cheap leather looks ‘cheap’. As the cliche goes, “you get what you pay for”. What’s more important to look at is the construction of the leather and what it can do for you. For example, what you want to look for things such as:
- Comfort & fit - This will vary from person to person, but the way a jacket fits and feels on your body is a prime deciding factor. It goes without saying that a comfortable fit is what you want.
- Grading - When using the term “grading”, think of it as a rating or score of quality. With that said, there are four grades which rank as follows from highest to lowest quality: 1) Full-grain leather, 2) Top-grain leather, 3) Genuine leather, 4) Corrected-grain leather.
- Durability - The hardiness of a leather jacket strongly correlates with its grade - the higher the quality of the leather, the longer it will last. With that said, more durable leathers cost more than less durable leathers, which may be enticing due to their lower price.
You should consider your leather jacket as a long-term buy. That means choosing an item you know will withstand the passing of time and the elements - the latter of which you will encounter as you take your bike out on the road.
Accessories - Complement Your Leather Jacket
Sometimes, you’ll want your leather jacket to “pop” a bit and altering an already crisp jacket won’t cut it. But the right accessories can do the trick. Sure, they’re not essentials, but they can give you the look that you’ve always wanted to capture in a photo and share with your friends. With that said, there are a few ideas you can try in terms of add-ons for your leather jacket.
Accessories to Accompany Your Leather Jacket
- Messenger bag - Motorcycle riders are busy people too! If you need to stash important documents or work items but want to maintain your cool, a messenger bag can complement your leather jacket, providing you pick the right colour and style.
- Detachable hood - A hood can add an element of style to your jacket while serving a functional purpose of keeping your head warm in cooler temperatures.
- Gloves - Although gloves aren’t technically attached to your jacket, they can make you look even more like a biker who’s got a killer sense of style.
Here at Hides Canada, we offer a range of accessories that can serve as fashionable and functional additions to your choice of leather jackets.
Suit Up for Motorcycle Rides Wearing the Right Leather Jacket
When it comes to motorcycles, it really pays to “dress the part”. The right leather jacket will make you look like a total rebel who belongs on a bike, and you’ll definitely catch the selfie bug if you haven’t already. Also, the right jacket will offer you some bodily protection against impact forces and trauma in the event of an accident. So if you’ve traditionally seen leather jackets as a vanity item, think again - you and leather belong together!