- Leather racing jackets are specially designed to impart protection to the rider during the course of his journey because of their high durability and abrasion resistance properties. A superior quality leather is potent enough to shield the rider from extreme weather conditions. They are usually more expensive than racing jackets made of other materials, so one needs to pick a perfect jacket wisely as it would be worth the price.
One must know the following things before buying a leather racing jacket:
- Making selection based on the riding style:
Leather racing jackets are available in a single piece and two-piece. The former is used solely for the protection for the upper body. This must fit properly to prevent it from flapping due to the wind.
The two-piece suit consists of a leather racing jacket along with pants. Just like the jacket, this provides greater protection, to the whole body and is usually recommended for a safe journey.
The numerous pockets in men’s leather racing jackets enable the riders to carry essential stuff like wallet, cell phone etc. with them, without having to store them in a separate bag.
- Selecting the best quality leather:
The quality of the leather determines the way in which the leather racing jacket will perform. It is always recommended to purchase it from a reliable and trustworthy site that can provide genuine and good quality leather since it is not possible for a normal person to identify the best quality leather easily.
The leather is available in a variety of textures like thick, thin, hard, soft, shiny, suede, of which softer leather jackets are not meant for racing purpose.
Jackets made of superior quality leather are resistant to harsh external conditions and accidents that might occur during the racing. Thicker leather can provide better protection than thinner ones, like, if a person opts for goatskin or calfskin then he must see that its thickness is 1.2-1.4mm. If the leather is thinner than 1.2mm, then it won’t be able to provide better protection and would tear easily. But certain leather like that of kangaroo has a better strength and durability even if it is 1-1.1mm thick. Similarly, one can opt for buffalo hide or rhino hides that provides greater sturdiness.
- Considering the age of the leather racing jacket:
Generally, the jackets that are quite older, won’t be able to provide protection to the rider like a new one. A rider must see that he is not purchasing any old stock, to ensure that he gets better protection from injuries.
- Focusing on the color of the leather racing jacket:
Usually, people go for the typical black or brown color leather racing jackets. But one needs to understand that just getting their favorite color can’t guarantee their safety unless the color is noticeable in darker and high traffic areas where the black and brown colors have a camouflage effect, but if jackets of yellow or orange color are used, they can be easily identified in the traffic, thus avoiding any chances of collisions.
Jackets are available with reflective coating panels that increase their visibility to other riders when the light hits them. This ensures better protection.
- Observing the details:
A motorcycle rider needs to keenly look out for the details of the leather jacket regarding its construction. This is necessary as they play a key role in providing the rider comfort and keeping him safe during the racing.
- Lesser seams:
This is essential to ensure the stability of the jacket. Also, the seams must be present on the inner side of the jacket to prevent any abrasions due to an accident.
It is essential to find if the chest and back portions are made of a single leather piece because a combination of smaller pieces can compromise with the safety feature of the jacket.
- Plastic or metal zippers that can function smoothly:
This is essential to provide convenience to the rider. An additional layer of fabric over the zipper ensures its protection from moisture and reducing the impact of injury from a crash.
- Opting for the leather in spite of the other available materials for racing jackets:
This is because leather has a property to get stretched whenever it faces a high impact, whereas other materials tend to tear, resulting in the transfer of the impact to the rider’s body. This process is called as load distribution, which makes the leather more preferable.
Besides this, the density of leather is more than other synthetic materials that makes it comparatively more durable.
- Integration of protectors in the leather racing jacket:
This comes in the form of additional padding made at the arms, back and chest portion of the jacket. One must always opt for “CE approved” jackets as this is an indication of a good protection level. Also, there are CE1 and CE2 approved jackets available, of which the latter offers greater protection.
One needs to look out for the following the characteristics of the protectors installed in the leather racing jackets:
- A large and elastic padding that can effectively distribute the impact during an accident.
- The protectors must be attached outside the jackets that have a close fitting.
- The protectors have to be placed closed to the areas which are prone to injuries during an accident if the jacket is a loose fitting one.
- It is needed to check if the protectors cause discomfort because they cover a large area of the body to prevent the impact of injuries.
- Protective padding is a must in the elbow area.
- Checking out for comfortable jackets:
It is essential to check out the following features to see if it is worth an investment:
- Presence of an additional waterproof material:
This ensures protection during the rainy season, as very heavy rainfall can cause the jacket to become heavy due to absorption of moisture, which can make the rider uncomfortable
- Presence of removable liners:
This ensures breathability of the leather racing jacket which is needed during hot summers so that the rider can comfortably complete his journey. A fixed liner makes the rider feel bulky when it is not required, so a removable liner is preferred.
- A jacket that fits the motorcycle rider properly:
This is essential because a loose and a tight-fitting jacket makes it flap repeatedly and the rider feels choked respectively.
- Perfect length of the sleeves:
This is essential as the rider must find it comfortable when he sits on the bike and rides, as the hands bend in this situation. A jacket with improper sleeve length would not let him ride properly.
- Jackets with high cut armholes:
This ensures that the shoulders and arms move freely which is a characteristic of a good leather racing jacket. But cheap ones are usually found with wide and low-cut armholes.
Leather racing jackets are the best companion of a motorcycle rider as they tend to take bigger risks in their racing profession. Though the material will get scratched and slightly faded away with usage, this will last for years together, if it is a genuine superior quality leather. Besides this, they need to be cleaned periodically to enhance its longevity and preserve its look and features.