For most riders, the number one quality to look for when buying a motorcycle jacket is longevity. After all, you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a top-notch jacket, and you naturally want to get as many years of use out of them as possible.
But exactly how long does a motorcycle jacket last? The truth is there isn’t a clear-cut answer for this question. A variety of factors determines the longevity of your jacket.
And in this post, we explore these factors to shed more light on the subject.
What Factors Determine How Long a Motorcycle Jacket Lasts?
Your motorcycle jacket’s lifespan depends on three main factors:
- Type of material
- Frequency of use
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Type of Material:
Motorcycle jackets come in a variety of materials. Each of these materials has its strengths and drawbacks.
||Over 20 years|
||Between 5 and 10 years|
||At least 5 years|
||At a minimum of 10 years|
||At least 10 years|
Let’s further examine these four commonest materials used.
Leather is arguably the best material for motorbike jackets. The material has been around for decades and is preferred by the majority of seasoned riders.
If leather appeals to you most, opt for the 100 percent full-grain option. However, it comes more fitted and not as relaxed as other options, taking a while to break in. But when treated properly, its comfortability is unmatched and lasts quite a long time.
Top-quality leather jackets can last over 20 years. This remarkable level of durability makes up for the relatively high initial price.
Check out our list below for some of the best leather motorcycle jackets available on the market.
AGVSPORT Ascari Men’s Leather Motorcycle Jacket
AGVSPORT Imola Men’s Motorcycle Jacket
Textile jackets are also quite popular among motorcycle riders, although the material offers less abrasion resistance than some of the materials on this list, particularly leather. But like nylon, textile offers remarkable breathability and is waterproof. Thus, the material is perfect for both sunny and rainy days.
Textile motorcycle jackets can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years.
Here are some of the best textile motorcycle jackets today:
AGVSPORT Mojave Men’s Thermal All-Season Motorcycle Jacket
AGVSPORT Flex Tex Women’s Protective Motorcycle Jacket
3. Para-Aramid (Kevlar)
Another popular material for motorcycle jackets is Kevlar. This synthetic material is quite sturdy and has high heat resistance. Riders also love the fact that Kevlar jackets are lightweight, which makes them perfect for long trips.
Usually, Kevlar is used together with another material. Jackets made of this material can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years.
Waxed cotton has been used to make motorcycle jackets for almost as long as leather. The material has been around since the mid-19th century.
The material’s remarkable ability to withstand the toughest of weather conditions makes it highly preferable for making motorcycle jackets. Waxed cotton provides excellent wind protection and will keep you warm and dry during heavy downpours.
With proper care, you can expect over 20 years of use from your waxed cotton motorcycle jacket.
These are a few of our recommended waxed cotton motorcycle jackets:
|AGVSPORT Sonoma||AGVSPORT Compass|
4. Nylon 6,6 (Cordura)
Also known as Cordura, nylon 6,6 is much stronger than ordinary nylon. The material is extremely lightweight and breathable. These features make it the preferred material by motorcycle racers.
Cordura jackets are highly comfortable, regardless of the season. They’re also more affordable compared to the other jackets on this list.
Expect at least 10 years of use from motorcycle jackets made of nylon 6,6.
Some motorcycle jackets are made from oxford cloth. The material is usually woven from cotton, although other fabrics may also be used, including polyester.
One of the most impressive features of oxford is its hardiness. The material is waterproof and can withstand heavy downpours. It also performs excellently against strong winds, which is essential when you’re riding a motorcycle.
A top-quality oxford motorcycle jacket should give you at least 10 years of use.
How Much Do You Use Your Jacket?
The second determining factor as to how long you can expect your motorcycle jacket to last has to do with how frequently you wear the gear. The more frequently you use your jacket, the faster it will wear out. But if you only use the jacket occasionally, you can expect to get more years out of it.
Key Factor: What About Motorcycle Jacket Cleaning and Conditioning?
Just like your motorcycle, your protective gear needs good maintenance to stay in good shape for long. Even if you ride your bike every day, taking proper care of your jacket can extend its life.
So, what exactly does proper motorcycle jacket maintenance entail?
Here are my two suggestions:
Keep Your Jacket Clean
As you’re going to find out, wearing your motorcycle jacket can be a sweaty endeavor. Sure, the sweat on your gear will dry, but it leaves behind sweat that makes it stiff and stinky.
You’ll also notice that your motorcycle jacket gets dirt and grime from the road as you use it. To keep your leather gear looking good, you need to clean it regularly in two phases:
- Clean the interior
- Clean the exterior
In both phases, use a desalter to get rid of the salt from your sweat and shampoo for the dirt and grime.
Condition Your Jacket
Conditioning your motorcycle jacket helps keep the leather supple and pliable, which can add years to its life. Be sure to do it every two or three months.
When conditioning, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Apply a liberal amount of your preferred conditioner to a soft, damp applicator and then work it in through your jacket. Move over the entire garment and apply evenly throughout.
- Step 2: Let it dry to enjoy the full benefit of the essential oils as they absorb and bring out the best in the material.
- Step 3: Don’t over the condition. Remember not to do it too often.
Ready to Hit the Road? Here are Some Benefits of Riding in a Motorcycle Jacket
Nothing says you’re ready for an adventure on the open road with your motorcycle than a top-notch motorcycle jacket. And when you’re doing your best to maintain your gear, you can expect it to provide you years of protection, comfort, and warmth.
When people think of motorcycles, they think of that cool guy in a leather jacket. So, why not be that guy? Throw on your leather jacket and instantly look cooler.
Wrapping Up: Get the Most Out of Your Motorcycle Jacket
How long your motorcycle jacket lasts depends on various factors, including the type of material it is made of and how frequently you use it. The thing to keep in mind is that you can always get more years out of your jacket, as long as you’re taking good care of it.
Would you like to read more content on creating the best experiences with your motorcycle? Please keep visiting our blog for our featured articles.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.