A motorcycle jacket is an essential gear that protects your body from injuries during an accident. Motorbike jackets are carefully designed using specialized material for longevity and maximum skin protection.
However, modern motorcycle jackets don’t focus solely on the protective aspects as was traditionally the case. Many riders view motorcycling as a fantastic activity that should have a unique sense of style.
As a result, many manufacturers now produce fashionable jackets that fit well and keep riders comfortable without sacrificing safety.
Unfortunately, not all bike jackets meet all these merits. Those that do, especially jackets that include armor on the chest, back, and rib area, are usually too expensive.
Below we dig deep into the top 10 riding jackets that will cost you less than $1000 and still keep you safe and stylish on the road.
But first, let’s understand what a motorcycle jacket is and why you need one.
What is a Motorcycle Jacket? Why Do I Need One?
A motorcycle jacket is a piece of upper body gear with armored protection on strategic areas like the elbows, back, shoulders, and chest. It’s different from your ordinary winter jacket or coat in design, material, and how it fits.
These jackets are made with textile, leather, or a combination of the two. What works for you depends on your budget and the type of riding you intend to engage in.
Any rider, regardless of the type of riding you intend to participate in, requires a motorcycle jacket on at all riding times.
The jacket protects you against external elements like the biting wind when cruising at high speeds and keeps your organs safe from injuries during a crash.
What to Look for in a Motorcycle Jacket
Not all motorcycle jackets are the same. Some are quite basic, while others have advanced features for enhanced bodily protection.
Here are the top features to look out for in an ideal motorcycle jacket.
Leather and textile are the two main fabrics used in making motorcycle jackets. The choice of what to use mainly depends on your preference and riding requirements.
Leather jackets are great for resisting abrasions during a crash but tend to be stiffer and may not feel comfortable while still new. They have less padding at key joints and organs and may also not be ideal for rainy climates.
On the other hand, textile tends to be weaker but makes great waterproofing jackets. They also have many armor layers and additional mesh for breathability, making them more comfortable.
The kind of jacket you buy should match your everyday riding needs. For instance, buying an adventure motorcycle jacket makes little sense if you go cruising on a sports bike most of the time.
Consider getting a waterproof and abrasion-free jacket if you frequently ride in rainy and snowy climates.
A nice-fitting motorcycle jacket shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Go for a snug-fitting jacket that feels comfortable and allows you complete control over the bike.
A loose jacket may work if you ride more for leisure, especially in hot climates.
There are four main styles of motorcycle jackets—cruiser, racing, adventure, and sport or street jackets.
Cruiser motorcycle jackets are the most common among riders because of their comfortability and swanky leather look.
Racer motorcycle jackets are mostly aerodynamic jackets designed to fit tight and last long.
Adventure jackets are constructed from durable textile and feature a lot of padding, making them as versatile as the cruisers.
Sports or street motorcycle jackets are mostly made from textile with inner liners and many air vents.
Review of the Best Motorcycle Jackets
Finding the right motorcycle jacket from many available options can be challenging, especially if you’re shopping for the jacket for the first time.
I’ve done my research and compiled the top ten motorcycle jackets Amazon has available. The list comprises different jacket styles suited for different riding needs.
- Luxurious throwback look motorcycle jacket
- Premium cowhide construction
- Half belt and side adjustments for a snug fit
- A lot of storage spaces
- Detachable thermal sleeve liner for easy dry-clean only
- Inconsistent sizing
- Sturdy cowhide construction may be uncomfortable when new
What Makes Milwaukee Leather SH1011 Unique
Milwaukee Leather SH1011 is a fashionable modern motorcycle jacket with a classic throwback rider look. The folded lapels and the off-centered zipper makes it stand out among other jackets of the same style.
The jacket offers plenty of adjustment options on the waist buckle and side lace details. Plenty of storage pockets for your keys, wallet, and phones enhance the jacket’s look further.
Premium cowhide construction offers maximum protection to the body during a crash. The thermal sleeve ensures that you remain warm when cruising in a biting wind or during the winter.
If you’re looking for a modern motorcycle jacket that combines style and function, then you can never go wrong with Milwaukee Leather SH1011. The premium leather construction will guarantee you many years of service.
- 100% waterproof polyester construction
- CE-Certified armor and padding on the elbows, shoulder, chest, and lower back
- Stainless steel protector at the shoulders for enhanced safety
- Reflective design for clear visibility on the road
- Adjustable velcro straps for a custom fit
- No rib and kidney armors
- Low-quality zippers
What Makes Scoyco Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Unique
Scoyco Mesh is a rugged and robust summer adventure motorcycle jacket designed from windproof fabric and abrasion-resistant material. The stainless steel protector is strategically placed at the shoulders to protect you from bruises if you slide.
The jacket has two external zippered pockets to keep small items safe during a ride. Scoyco Mesh Motorcycle jacket also features adjustable velcro straps for a snug custom fit.
The jacket is easy to clean and maintain using mild liquid detergent and gentle hand wash. Scoyco Mesh Motorcycle jacket is available in sizes L to XXL. You can never lack what fits you.
Scoyco Mesh Motorcycle jacket is designed with maximum focus on safety in mind. It’s a reflective design with paddings on all essential upper body parts, including a stainless steel protector on the shoulders.
The jacket is highly breathable, making it your number one go-to jacket for summer riding.
- Carbolex 600 denier external shell
- 1680 denier Ballistic elbow protection
- Advanced venting opens to circulate air when hot and closes to act as waterproof on a rainy day
- A reflective signature at the back for clear visibility
- Adjustable waist belt
- At 5.75 Pounds, the jacket tends to be heavy
- Front hand-warmer pockets are tight and less comfortable
What Makes Tourmaster Transition Series 4 Unique
Tourmaster Transition Series 4 stands out with its unique venting. The pipeline venting features pinch vents for excellent ventilation on a hot day. The vents close to make it act as a waterproofing jacket in rainy weather.
The Tourmaster Transition Series 4 is designed for weather-conscious riders in mind. With a pipeline venting jacket offering both cooling and waterproofing effects, you don’t need to carry a spare jacket change in case the weather changes during the journey.
The jacket doesn’t compromise on safety either. For advanced protection, the Tourmaster Transition Series 4 features CE-approved elbow, shoulder armor, and a triple-density protector at the back.
- All-weather cool mesh fabric
- Lightweight and fits snuggly
- High-density foam padding on key body parts
- Extra tough shields for advanced torso protection
- Adjustable velcro kidney belt for a comfortable and snug fit
- Lacks side-ribs protection
- Tough safety pads spread all over the jacket may feel uncomfortable
What Makes Gute Motorcycle Protective Jacket Unique
Gute Motorcycle Protective Jacket features 3-D top protection on the shoulders, chest, back, and arms. The elastic PVC construction material is lightweight, more comfortable, and promises multiple years of service.
The high-density EVA guarantees maximum bodily protection during any intense impact. The removable back and adjustable belt give you complete control over how you want the jacket to fit.
The Gute Motorcycle Protective Jacket is the ideal choice for riders looking for a balance of safety and comfort. The jacket promises exceptional safety without denting your pocket.
- CE approved armors on key body parts
- All-weather and durable 600D denier construction
- Removable armors for easy and quick dry cleaning
- 100% waterproof and breathable courtesy of its lined REISSA membrane and mesh lining underneath
- Made to last with up to 5 years of replacement warranty
- Lacks side-rib protection
- Acton stretch in elbows and shoulders may render it oversize
What Makes Product HWK Women’s Motorcycle Jacket Unique
HWK Women’s Jacket features CE-approved armors on all key upper body parts—spine, elbows, shoulders, chest, and back. The jacket has double-safety stitching and comes with waist and arm adjusters for a comfortable fit.
It’s a fully reflective jacket that keeps you visible during the night. The air ventilation systems will keep your body at a favorable temperature.
HWK Women’s Jacket is designed to serve you in all weather extremes. The jacket is available in many different sizes, with the smallest chest size at 36” and the largest at 5XL 50”. HWK also uses high-quality zippers on the chest and waist.
- Quick dry clean
- Abrasion-free 100% genuine leather construction
- Two hand-warmer pockets and three chest pockets for essential stuff
- Detachable hood for easy cleaning, comfortable riding in hot climates
- Ribbed hems and cuffs to keep you warm
- May feel uncomfortable when new
- Some zippers are designed for aesthetics and lack pockets
What Makes FLAVOR Men Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket Unique
HWK Adventure Motorcycle Jacket ADV 1 is a fabulous motorcycle jacket that combines style, function, and comfortability. The jacket allows you to remove the hood in hot weather and still leave you with a stylish collar jacket that protects your neck.
The ribbed hems of the sleeves and the cuffs make the jacket fit snug and keep you warm on a chilly day. The jacket also offers many storage spaces for small items like phones and wallets.
As the name suggests, FLAVOR Men Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket is a modern upper body protection gear designed to look good on you, keep you comfortable, and safe from bruises during a crash.
Despite the small sizing that may feel uncomfortable when new, the FLAVOR Men Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket stretches and fits perfectly well after repeated use.
- An all-season jacket that features a durable 600D Cordura construction
- Removable CE-Approved armors on the shoulder, back, and elbows
- 100% waterproof and has an internal REISSA membrane for breathability
- Available in up to three styles
- 5-year replacement warranty
- Some users report irregular sizing. You may need to remove the inner lining to fit well
- Zippers are prone to wearing out quickly.
What Makes HWK Adventure Motorcycle Jacket ADV 1 Unique
HWK Adventure ADV 1 is a CE-approved motorcycle jacket constructed from high-quality materials to last. The jacket features an innovative waterproof material to keep you dry on a rainy day and many mesh panels for sufficient airflow on a hot day.
The jacket is available in three styles, all made from highly visible reflective strips so that other road users can see you in the dark. HWK Adventure ADV 1 motorcycle jacket also has a stylish waist adjuster for a comfortable and fashionable fit.
The jacket has an adjustable collar with a neoprene layer that protects you from neck injuries during a fall or a slide. The thermal inner lining will keep you warm on a cold day, but you can also remove it on a hot day when you don’t need it.
HWK Adventure ADV 1 is a versatile motorcycle jacket suited for riding needs in all seasons. The 600D Cordura fabric lining in high-impact areas and the CE-approved armor at the back, shoulders, and elbows guarantee maximum safety during a crash.
- Available in more than ten colors to choose
- Detachable spine padding
- CE-Approved elbow and shoulder armors
- High-density rib, kidney, and lower back padding
- Two hand-warmer pockets and internal storage pockets
- Flimsy zippers
- Tends to be a little heavy when all paddings are fitted
What Makes Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Unique
Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 is a high-quality motorcycle jacket with a mesh shell for unrestricted airflow. The jacket is reinforced with CE-Approved pads at the shoulders, elbow, and chest for maximum safety during an accident.
Unlike many motorcycle jackets in this list, Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 also has high-density pads at the rib, kidney, and lower back areas.
The jacket also includes a removable waterproof liner and a zipper for attaching the pants. Also included is a safe storage pocket for your eyeglasses.
Despite many detachable features, Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 motorcycle jacket is still very secure and user-friendly. Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 motorcycle jacket is available in many colorful designs and reflective strips for visibility. You can never lack what works for you.
- 100% waterproof jacket
- Fully adjustable at the arms, waist, and collar for a custom fit
- CE-Approved removable armors at the shoulders, elbows, and the back
- Compatible with different types of motorcycles
- Available in different reflective color strips to choose
- Lacks ribs and kidney protection armor
- Irregular sizing
What Makes Alpha Cycle Gear Bikers Motorcycle Jacket Unique
Alpha Cycle Gear Bikers Motorcycle Jacket is an all-season and versatile piece compatible with different motorcycles, including cruisers, sportbikes, scooters, adventure bikes, and dirt bikes.
A removable thermal liner allows you to use this protective power jacket during the summer and fit it back for use in winter. Alpha Cycle Gear Bikers Motorcycle Jacket also features CE-Approved armor at all the susceptible body areas when a crash occurs.
The jacket has a reflective logo and other artworks at the front and the back for clear visibility on the road. There are multiple reflective colors to choose from if you’re color-conscious.
Alpha Cycle Gear Bikers Motorcycle Jacket is a stylish piece of upper body protective gear designed for all riders.
The jacket features high-end safety elements, including CE-Approved armors at all vital body parts. It’s a highly reflective jacket that’ll keep you visible to all other road users when riding in the dark. The jacket balances function and style, typical of a modern rider.
- CE-Approved for protection against high-impact collisions
- Removable armor on the shoulders, elbows, and spine
- Two-zippered ventilation points at the front, back, and the arms for adequate airflow in summer riding
- Adjustable waist and cuff straps or a custom fit
- Lots of dedicated internal secure storage pockets
- Some users report partial waterproofing capabilities.
- Inappropriate sizing. Some parts fit snugly, others are off
What Makes Viking Cycle Ironborn Textile Jacket Unique
Viking Cycle Ironborn is an all-season textile jacket but is mainly a favorite for summer riding due to its advanced airflow features.
The jacket has a removable sleeveless inner lining, two zippered vents for maximum airflow, and a comfortable ride in a scorching hot climate. The jacket features reflective strips all over the body, giving a 360° visibility while on the road.
The arms feature a snap button closure and an adjustable waist for a customized fit. The jacket also has a lot of internal, secure storage pockets for small items like a headphone wire system, wallet, phone, or keys.
Viking Cycle Ironborn Textile Jacket is a modern and stylish jacket suitable for different riding applications. The 600D polyester coating is water repellent and wrinkle-free, making it reliable on a rainy day.
Types of Motorcycle Jackets
Motorcycle jackets are available in different styles, designs, and construction materials. Each jacket is designed for specific riding needs, although some tend to be versatile. Here we look at the four main types of motorcycle jackets and their suitable applications.
Cruiser Motorcycle Jackets
Cruiser jackets are the most popular and mostly use leather in their construction. These jackets are more comfortable and fashionable and are primarily designed for fun riding.
Racer Motorcycle Jackets
Racing jackets are mostly leather, but you’ll also find textile-made ones. The jackets fit tight and tend to assume an aerodynamic look to improve speed.
Due to the high-risk involved during racing, these jackets have a lot of armor on all critical body parts to protect you from injuries during an accident.
Sport Motorcycle Jackets
Sport or street motorcycle jackets are available in leather and textile construction materials. These jackets feature many safety features, including liners, air vent, and advanced armor additions. Sports jackets also tend to fit a little closer to the body.
Adventure Motorcycle Jackets
Adventure jackets are all-season jackets designed to keep you comfortable in hot, cold, and windy climates and environments. They are mostly designed from textile and include insulation inserts to accommodate various weather changes.
How Motorcycle Jackets Compare
Motorcycle jackets come in leather, textile, or a combination of the two. You’ll also find mesh jackets and vests among many riders.
Below is a review of how these jackets compare and why you’d choose one over the other.
Leather vs Textile Motorcycle Jackets
Leather jackets are common among many riders for the obvious reasons—durability, high-level protection, warmth, and style.
Unfortunately, they may not be your ideal jacket in hot climates or on a rainy day. They trap a lot of heat, which may make you uncomfortable in the scorching sun.
You may waterproof your motorcycle leather jacket, but they’ll still not guarantee 100% protection during rains.
On the other hand, textile jackets are more versatile and will keep you safe and comfortable on a rainy day or in hot climates.
Most textile jackets have advanced ventilation systems and are made from 100% waterproofing material to keep you dry on a rainy day.
Textile motorcycle jackets are also more appealing fashion-wise, which makes them an ideal piece of urban motorcycle gear.
Mesh vs Textile Motorcycle Jackets
Mesh jackets offer more breathability, making them ideal for sweltering climates.
Many textile jackets incorporate mesh in their construction in strategic areas like the arms and chest for adequate airflow on a scorching day.
Unfortunately, motorcycle jackets with predominantly mesh construction tend to be less safe than textile and leather jackets. They are suitable for adventure in hot climates. Otherwise, textile jackets are superior in terms of safety.
Motorcycle Jackets vs Vests
A motorcycle jacket protects sensitive upper body parts like the back, arms, and elbow during a crash. Such jackets feature armors in these regions and are a little pricey.
Motorcycle vests protect your chest and back, leaving your arms exposed. They are ideal for scorching summer climates where a thick layer of fabric on your arms may feel uncomfortable.
Many riders wear a vest together with a light and breathable fabric underneath. Vests allow more airflow but may not be your best bet if you intend to engage in dangerous sports like motorcycle racing.
How to Break in a Motorcycle Jacket
Motorcycle jackets may feel sturdy and uncomfortable when new, especially if you opt for a leather design. It may take a couple of days or weeks before they can fit comfortably.
Below are steps you can take to make a new motorcycle jacket feel comfortable almost immediately.
- Buy a motorcycle jacket made from premium animal hide. Strong hides like goatskin and cowhide will withstand some form of stretching without the risk of tearing apart.
- Stretch the jacket moderately on critical areas that feel uncomfortable. The jacket may not fit right if you over-soften some parts more than the others.
- Wear the jacket in light raindrops. The light showers will make the jacket flexible and conform to your body as it dries up. Do not over-soak the jacket while riding in the rain as it may become stiffer when it dries up.
- Use steel wool or sandpaper to soften stubborn areas. Do not overdo it, as you risk damaging the jacket or rendering it too soft to withstand abrasion during a slide.
- If you can wait, wear the jacket as many times as possible until it feels comfortable on your body.
How to Clean a Leather Motorcycle Jacket Like a Pro
Caring for a leather jacket requires more attention than you would for textile jackets. Here are steps on cleaning a leather motorcycle jacket like a pro and maintain its shine and function.
- Assemble all the things you’ll need, including serum, leather cleaner, a soft towel, and an applicator pad
- Apply the leather cleaner to the soft piece of towel and rub gently on any visible stains or dirt on the jacket.
- Spray the cleaner directly on stubborn dirt and scrub using a soft brush. A toothbrush will work perfectly without creating dents or scratches on the leather.
- Buff your clean leather jacket with a microfiber towel to shine and remove extra layers of the cleaner.
- Use the applicator pad to rub the leather serum on the clean jacket. Apply the serum on the pad and rub it on the jacket if it has holes. This will prevent blockages and serum from sticking to the holes.
- Wipe off any excess serum with a soft piece of a microfiber towel.
Best Motorcycle Jacket Brands
Motorcycle jackets differ by brand, design, style, and protective capabilities. Below is a short review of the top three motorcycle jacket brands today.
Alpinestars are the pioneers of the Tech-Air system architecture that makes motorcycle jackets lightweight, comfortable, and highly durable.
Alpinestars’ groundbreaking technology makes Alpinestars one of the most trusted motorcycle jacket brands with durable men’s and women’s jackets.
Joe Rocket boasts over two decades of producing high-quality racing jackets also used in AMA Road Racing championships. The company manufactures a wide range of other motorcycle jackets for all types of riding needs.
Gute is famous for producing high-level safety jackets featuring CE-approved armors on all key upper body parts. You can rely on a Gute jacket for high-risk riding like racing for maximum protection during an accident.
Motorcycle jackets have significantly advanced over the years. These jackets now have many features with different levels of protection and also vary in appearance.
And while many people associate some of the most sophisticated motorcycle jackets with enhanced safety, that’s rarely the case.
Many cool motorcycle jackets today barely cost you more than $1000’ and still guarantee a high level of protection during a crash.
Once you know the type of riding you plan to engage in, write down all the features you want in a motorcycle jacket to guide you as you shop.
Of course, motorcycling is a cool sport, and you want something that’ll keep you stylish while cruising on the streets.
Ensure you get your priorities right. Don’t let your love for fashion overshadow the key safety features to look for in a good motorcycle jacket.
People Also Ask
Choosing a cool riding jacket is still challenging for many new and seasoned riders. Here I address some common questions people ask about motorcycle jackets.
How Much is a Decent Motorcycle Jacket?
The cost of a motorcycle jacket depends on the construction material, style, and other additional safety features. You’ll spend about $150 on a good motorcycle jacket.
However, for a professional and authentic motorcycle jacket, you’ll pay well over $1000.
What Are Leather Jackets Made Of?
Leather jackets are made from raw animal hides. These could be cowhide, antelope skin, sheepskin, or goatskin.
Why Are Motorcycle Jackets So Short?
Motorcycle jackets are designed to offer comfort and safety.
A long jacket fabric that folds into the saddle when you sit may feel uncomfortable and prevent proper control of the bike in case of a slide.
Are Leather Motorcycle Jackets Waterproof?
Leather jackets are made from animal skin, which means they’ll absorb water. However, there are effective sealant sprays and wax you can use to waterproof a leather jacket.
How to Waterproof a Leather Motorcycle Jacket?
Depending on the type of leather you want to waterproof, find a compatible sealant spray or wax and follow manufacturer instructions to waterproof your leather motorcycle jacket.
Are Leather Jackets Good For Winter Riding?
Leather jackets are great pieces that keep you warm in cold weather and the biting wind when cruising at high speed. They make an excellent choice for riding in chilly winter climates.
Why Do Bikers Wear Leathers?
Leather jackets are warmer and offer high-end protection during a crash. Although not as protective as textile jackets with a lot of armor, most riders prefer leather jackets for their abrasion-resistance nature.
Should Motorcycle Jackets Fit Tight?
A good motorcycle jacket should fit tight and snug to keep the protective padding as close to the body as possible. However, it shouldn’t be too tight such that the rider finds it challenging to control the bike.