Motorcycle riders want to stay protected when riding, but also want to look good. Motorcycle jackets are designed for protection and also come in custom designs for the occasional or daily rider. You can choose from real leather jackets or synthetic materials. Weigh the pros and cons of the level of protection and comfort before choosing what type of jacket to wear.
Jackets made from leather materials provide comfort to the rider and protection from precipitation, heat and cold. Leather has some abrasion resistance and will last for years with proper care. Synthetic fibres do not provide much resistance to abrasion, but provide better protection from precipitation. Synthetic fibres will need less care over time to protect the material from growing mildew. Synthetics can be washed, and they provide an overall lighter weight for the rider.
Synthetic fibres do not provide the same amount of protection as leather. Synthetic fibres are thin and can wear away much faster than leather.
Leather also has some disadvantages for riders. It is bulky and can restrict movement if the jacket is not fitted to the rider. Leather also needs a lot of care to prevent mildew from building up on the material. Odours are difficult to remove from the jacket.
Style is a large part of creating the biker look, but safety and comfort should also be weighed when choosing between synthetic and leather. Most weekend riders will not need to invest in jackets that have added abrasion resistance. Instead, look for jackets that provide warmth in cold weather, wind resistance and protection against the rain, which both leather and synthetic fibres can provide.
Medium-weight leather jackets range in price from £162 to £292. Synthetic jackets can be found at a much lower price, typically £65 to £113 for a men's motorcycle jacket. The cost of the jacket, whether leather or synthetic, will increase when additional abrasion resistance, body armour or other special features are added.
Synthetic fibres wear well in bad weather conditions. Synthetic fibres will not deteriorate in precipitation and do not need special care.
Leather will need special care to last. It is important to keep the leather clean and treated with leather conditioner to keep the material soft. Many riders add rain gear on top of their leathers to protect them from precipitation. Leather can also be rebuilt if there is wear from abrasions.
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