A proper-fitting Leather Motorcycle Jacket is as important as a well-fitting helmet. A motorcycle jacket like your helmet is also for your safety. When a jacket is too tight or loose, it may lead to some accidents. If it is too tight, it may restrict your movements while riding your motorcycle.
Sudden involuntary movements caused by external factors such as what you wear can lead to loss of control. One of the best ways so that you can have a properly fitted jacket is to try one on personally. You should never buy one without trying it out. Here in this article, we will guide you on how you can properly fit and wear a Leather Motorcycle Jacket.
What Should You Do Before Buying?
A size chart for the garment is handy when you are buying the jacket. You don’t have to guess what size you are when it comes down to measurements. You will need to measure your chest circumference and waist circumference. Sizing charts also ask for sleeve measurements.
Sleeve measurements are usually taken from the edge of your shoulder to the end of your wrist. Longer sleeve measurements are usually recommended for motorcycle jackets.
There are sizes specific for body types as well. European jacket measurements usually have 10 inches to the normal American sizes. For example, if your chest measures 40 inches in diameter (In American sizing), then you would have 50 inches in a Euro size jacket.
You don’t always have to follow this sizing. Checking specific sizes available is always excellent rather than following the ideal sizing rules.
How does a Motorcycle Jacket Properly Fit?
Length of the Motorcycle Jacket:
Motorcycle Jackets usually come in shorter fits for comfort and safety. The length of the jacket ensures that you are comfortable when you are riding on the bike. Excess jacket fabric must not hinder any movements when you are riding.
Excess leather to your waist can cause discomfort and can compromise safety when riding. The ideal placement of the length of the jacket is that the bottom of the jacket rests nicely on your thighs when riding. The jacket should sit at your belt line when standing up. This factor is true for tight-fitting motorcycle jackets as well.
Short-length jackets add efficiency as well. It prevents any fabric flailing when you are out riding. You can get better fuel efficiency as the jacket causes no wind-lift. This type of jacket length also does good for your safety. It will not catch on anything that protrudes from the bike.
Should you pick a tight-fitting Leather Motorcycle Jacket?
A snug fit is great when you want to prevent airflow as you ride your motorcycle. Too tight-fitting jackets are not advised as they can restrict your movements.
These are some tips to keep in mind so you can have a correct fitting jacket:
- A proper fitting jacket won’t pull up over your head.
- If the collar is too loose, there might be air drag and bugs might collect in that area.
- Protective armor should be well-placed on critical areas of your body, such as your elbows and shoulders.
- A snug fit is desirable but too tight, and you restrict movements. It can result in discomfort as tight measurements often have poor ventilation.
- If you’re using the jacket for cold weather, you might have extra clothing underneath it. Take note of this when you take measurements.
- Keep in mind the constrictions on your shoulders. Your shoulders are important when maneuvering and movements from this area should not be limited. It can compromise safety as you cannot adequately take quick turns or actions when there is a hazard on the road. You also won’t enjoy feeling cramped when riding your motorcycle. You are going to wear this regularly, so a proper fit is a must.
- Test the jacket when you’re riding your motorcycle. The sleeves should end at your wrists when you are in a riding position. The jacket’s sleeve must end at the middle of your palm when you are standing.
- Choose a jacket that has a zipper that nicely reaches the base of your throat. It can help the jacket to remain tight and secure, especially at high speed.
- Adjustable waist, sleeves, cuffs, and collar are great features when choosing a leather motorcycle jacket. It provides you with customizability and precise fit.
1. Steps To Properly Fit a Leather Motorcycle Jacket:
- Choose from different types of fit, such as European, Race, or American.
- Ask help from your friend to find your jacket size.
- Order the jacket and carefully check if the fit is good for you.
- If the fit is right, then you have found yourself a new motorcycle jacket.
- What fit to choose? European, Race, or American?
There are usually three main types of jackets that are commonly available when looking for a motorcycle jacket. European fittings often have a close fit with a tapered profile. Often, this fit is called a “sport cut”. The American fitting is the most common and is called the “Touring” or “Regular”.
If you want a sportier look, the European fit might be for you. It is also great for riders who don’t want loose fitting. The Race type of fitting is mainly used for sport motorcycle riding. The race motorcycle jacket fit is snug and has pre-curved arms so that you don’t have to feel restricted. This race-inspired fitting offers flexibility and comfort when riding in a full-tuck riding position.
2. Finding the right size.
- For you to have a nice fitting jacket, you need to know your body’s measurement. Ask help from a friend to measure your chest and back. Use a soft tape measure to know your measurements. The first step is to measure your chest area. The soft measure tape should run along the chest area around your back. This measurement is usually the widest. The tape measure should run across your chest nipples that are wrapped around evenly on your back. Don’t take any deep breaths while measuring as it would result in an inaccurate measurement. Once done, you don’t have to add any more inches to this measurement. You don’t need to add chest measurements for the back protector.
- The Second step of measuring is to look at the product page for the leather jacket that you would like to order. This step is for your arm measurements. Keep in mind the size chart and arm measurements when looking at the product page. These product pages can list the sleeve length in the 20-inch and 30-inch range. The 20-inch range is measured from the top of the shoulder, down the elbows, ending at the wrist. The 30-inch range measures from the center of the spine to the base of the neck where the jacket’s collar is found. These are two ways of measuring your arm lengths. When taking measurements and you want a Race fit, keep in mind that these types of fittings may have shorter sleeves as gauntlet gloves are used in this type of fit.
- The final step for measuring your motorcycle jacket is knowing your waist measurement. Run the tape measure around your torso, placing it an inch above the belly button. Waist measurements should not be compared with your pant sizes. Waist measurements can be the least important as these sizing often changes. Most motorcycle jackets can be adjusted in the waist area. It is important to note that you should use the product’s size chart when you have the measurements. Manufacturers often have varying size charts. Motorcycle Jacket Sizing is often offered in two ways, Alpha and Numerical sizing. Alpha sizing is listed in Small, Medium, and Large. Numerical sizing is listed in numerical sizes such as 51, 52, 53, 54, and so on. It is essential to follow the product’s size chart, as these can be specific.
3. Checking for proper fit.
- Once you have your Leather Motorcycle Jacket delivered, you would want to check if it nicely fits. It would help if you first tried it around your house and not outside riding on your motorcycle. Manufacturers usually don’t accept returns once the jacket is used for a motorcycle ride.
- Once you ride it outside, it means that you own it. Sit on your motorcycle and try the jacket. Make your usual movements when riding so that you know if there are any restrictions or discomfort. Your movements should not restrict you from leaning, turning, or reaching the handle grips.
- These factors are crucial when riding as when these are compromised; they can cause accidents. You don’t want to be restricted when riding your bike. A snug fit while not being too loose is a good sign that you have a properly fitting leather motorcycle jacket.
- Loose-fitting motorcycle jackets can be hazardous as the protective features of the jacket are compromised. A properly fitting jacket feels snug on the waist, arms, and chest.
- Assume a riding position with your motorcycle and try it out with your other gear as well. Wear the jacket with your helmet, pants, gloves, and even with your backpack. It is essential that the motorcycle jacket interfaces with your other gear as well.
- Riders that like a sport fit should look for a nice and tight fit. Tight jackets keep the protective armor in the right places. It also prevents friction heat.
- Leather jackets have a break-in period of about 5%. A tight fit might be uncomfortable at the first few tries, but it will get better as you wear it over time.
- You have to make sure that the protective armor nicely sits on your shoulders and elbows. If the protective armor does not fit nicely, sometimes these can be adjusted. A motorcycle jacket is not useful if it cannot protect you.
4. If the fit is right, you have found a new motorcycle jacket for your rides.
- Suppose you are satisfied and are sure that the jacket ticks all the boxes, then it’s time to test it out on the road. Leather Motorcycle Jackets can be stylish and protective at the same time. It can serve you for many miles of riding, protecting you, and can make you look good as well. Motorcycle Jackets are an important piece in any motorcycle rider’s collection that must not be overlooked. You can add additional safety features such as adding a back protector. Ride safe and stylishly with your new motorcycle jacket.
Main Fit Issues When Choosing a Leather Motorcycle Jacket:
- The jacket must have a firm fit. It must not flap around when riding on the highway. When the jacket flaps around, the protective armor built in the jacket will shift out of position if you may crash. This is an important issue to keep in mind.
- A very tight fit restricts movements that it doesn’t function well and may also be dangerous for your safety. Look for stretch panels in the jacket for extra movement.
- Non-adjustable jackets don’t have the capability of increasing your personal fit. It may also shrink as Leather often shrinks when exposed to heat. Leather can also harden through time.
- Jacket Sleeves might fit perfectly, but they often come short when you reach for the handlebars. Choose a jacket that has slightly long sleeves as you wear it normally.
- Race-fitting jackets have short sleeves. They are short because you would wear long gauntlet gloves for this type of fit. Long sleeves would clump under the gauntlet gloves.
- High collars will create air drag resulting in inefficiency when riding.
The Advantages of a Leather Motorcycle Jacket:
The main appeals of choosing this type of jacket are that it can adjust to your body fit and provides a comfortable shape. The leather will stretch and conform to your body shape as you wear it regularly. When the jacket is new, it would feel tight. This is normal though as leather jackets have a 5% break-in period.
For a faster stretching of the leather, you can wear it around your house for a few hours. Use a leather conditioner as it will also help with the stretching of the material. Spray it with water and allow the jacket to dry.
So that it would not harden over time, you can also manually stretch the leather several times a week to quicken the stretching phase. You can opt for a professional leather crafter if these tips don’t work for you.
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.