There’s nothing like the sense of freedom you feel when you’re gliding down the open road on a motorcycle. And there’s no greater feeling of belonging than when you’re decked out in the right gear, amongst which, the humble yet significant motorcycle jacket holds a place of pride. Now, for many of us, that jacket is often made of leather, a material as timeless as our love for two-wheeled machines. But what is the best leather for motorcycle jackets? Today, I’m going to share my wisdom, gathered over many years and countless miles, to help you find the answer to that question.
Leather, for centuries, has been prized for its durability, resistance, and ability to protect its wearers from the elements. When it comes to choosing a motorcycle jacket, you need to take into consideration these attributes, but you also need to consider the type of riding you’re doing, the climate you’re in, and your personal style.
So, let’s dive into the various types of leather and see which one could claim the title of the best leather for a motorcycle jacket.
The Best Leather For Motorcycle Jackets: An Experienced Biker’s Guide
For most riders, cowhide is the first type of leather that comes to mind when thinking of motorcycle jackets. It is widely available, versatile, and provides excellent protection. The thickness of cowhide can vary, but typically, it’s around 1.2 to 1.4 millimeters, offering a great blend of comfort and protection.
The high abrasion resistance of cowhide makes it an ideal choice for riding at high speeds or in challenging environments. It’s tough, it’s durable, and it becomes more comfortable with time as it molds to your body shape, almost like a second skin. If you’re a rider who craves longevity and a vintage look that only gets better with age, cowhide is a great choice.
Goatskin leather is lighter and more flexible than cowhide, while still offering good abrasion resistance. This makes it an excellent choice for riders who value mobility and comfort. It’s also very adaptable to various weather conditions, handling moisture better than many other types of leather. If you frequently ride in varying weather conditions and need a jacket that’s easy to move in, goatskin could be your best bet.
Buffalo or bison leather is thicker and tougher than cowhide. It’s characterized by its unique grain pattern, which gives it a distinctive look. However, due to its thickness, it can be a bit stiffer and heavier. This might make it less comfortable for long rides, but its robust nature provides excellent protection. For riders who don’t mind the extra weight and value a rugged aesthetic, buffalo or bison leather can be an excellent choice.
Sheepskin leather is incredibly soft, supple, and lightweight. It’s also naturally insulated, making it a good choice for colder climates. However, it doesn’t offer as much protection as other types of leather and may not withstand high-speed slides as well. If you’re a casual rider, cruising around town, and need something stylish yet warm, a sheepskin leather jacket could be an excellent fit.
A less common but still effective choice is kangaroo leather. It’s incredibly strong and durable while also being lightweight, more so than cowhide or goatskin. Kangaroo leather is also highly resistant to abrasion and tearing. It’s often used in high-end racing gear due to its strength-to-weight ratio. If you’re a sport rider or frequent track-day enthusiast, kangaroo leather might be worth considering.
6. Choosing the Best Leather for You
In conclusion, there’s no single “best” leather for a motorcycle jacket. The best leather for you depends on your personal needs, riding style, and aesthetic preferences. Each type of leather has its own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. The best way to decide is to try on jackets made from different types of leather and see which one feels right for you.
Remember, no matter what type of leather you choose, a good motorcycle jacket should fit you well, be comfortable for long rides, and provide ample protection. The allure of leather isn’t just in its stylish appeal but also in its age-old promise of protection. Because as much as we love the ride, safety should always be a priority. Stay safe on those winding roads, my fellow riders, and ride on.