Functional Fashion: The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets

If there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. The leather jacket is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for Halloween, or down for any occasion that calls for cool. No matter what you ride, the best leather motorcycle jackets are versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. A premium leather jacket will never go out of style, and the more you wear a quality one, the more comfortable it will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. Bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. So here we’ve gathered a small sampling of the best leather motorcycle jackets the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.

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Best Heated Motorcycle Gear

Updated January, 2021

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough to keep riding year round – or if you’re a hearty soul who refuses to pack it in for anything less than the winter apocalypse, heated riding gear will make your travels not only a lot better, but a lot safer as well. Hypothermia is no laughing matter. To be clear, we’re talking more than just passive gear like thick jackets, we’re talking active apparel requiring an electronic heat source, either from your motorcycle or from rechargable batteries.

With proper heated motorcycle gear, it may be January on the outside, but it’ll feel like September on the inside. Heck, if your bike’s alternator is up to it, you can make it August with a full complement of jacket, pants, gloves and boot liners. It’s important to note that nearly all of the items listed below require some sort of external hardware like a temperature regulator and/or wiring harness be added to the motorcycle, which are not included as part of the guide. But you will find a sampler of our favorite heated vests, jackets, pants and gloves to get you started.

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One Kit To Do It All: Best 4 Season Motorcycle Jackets

The perfect solution for being able to ride year-round would be to have gear that can handle all four seasons. Wait – we do! That’s exactly what this list is about. Well, at least your upper half, anyway. What you’ll find below are our picks for four-season motorcycle jackets. You’ll notice as you scroll down that most of these jackets are touring-oriented. The reason is pretty simple: those are typically the riders that will face the gamut of weather extremes on just one ride. So, if a jacket will work for them in extreme conditions, chances are they’ll handle your ride to work in December just fine. Assuming you’re not working from home, that is.

Before we jump to the list, realize that while these jackets are made to handle all four seasons, by that very definition these jackets are a compromise. None of these jackets will outperform a dedicated summer jacket in the middle of July, but if you truly only have the budget for one jacket, and are willing to sweat a little, all of these picks are very versatile.

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Best Winter Motorcycle Jackets

Updated: November 2019

Winter is usually the time when most people put their motorcycles away for safe keeping, longing for the day when spring arrives and the riding season gets back in full swing. But the hardcore rider doesn’t let cold weather stop their riding (well, to a point). As it is in most cases, with the proper gear, riding in the cold isn’t so bad. Here, we’ve gathered 10 jackets that will help keep you warm once the mercury starts dropping. And since cold rides are often associated with wet rides, most of these jackets are at least water-resistant, if not waterproof.

The price ranges span a wide swath and you’ll have to decide which one is right for you. The observant among you will notice these jackets aren’t heated. This was for a reason, not least of which is the fact we’ve already written a Heated Gear Buyer’s Guide. Granted, if you absolutely love riding – but hate being cold – heated gear would be the way to go. That way you can dial in the exact amount of heat you want, head-to-toe. Yes, there are even heated footwear you can purchase to keep those toes nice and warm.

However, heated gear comes with its own complexities. You have to find a power source for them (most run off the motorcycle, but some are battery-powered), which, if you’re not electrically inclined, can be a chore. Also, you’re now tethered in some fashion to the motorcycle, which some people are opposed to on safety grounds. With non-heated gear, like the selection below, the tradeoff of not having cords or wires is the ability to be free on the motorcycle. And if you’re still cold, you have the option of bundling up and wear layers underneath.

No matter what you choose – heated gear or not – we strongly recommend wearing dedicated motorcycle apparel over your standard-issue heavy jacket or parka. While those things may provide warmth and/or waterproofing, neither will last very long when faced with protecting your skin from the pavement and in fact could cause even more harm than good should the material burn from friction with the ground, which then gets transmitted to you. Is a scenario like this likely to happen? Probably not, but why take that chance?

Now, presented to you in alphabetical order, here are our picks.

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Best Deals On Motorcycle Gear At Revzilla For The Week Of July 15

A certain Seattle-based online retail giant is holding a big sales event this week, but retailers like Revzilla are holding sales of their own. In this week’s edition of Revzilla deals, we see a few dirt bike-focused items and riding jackets.

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Say, What's That Terrible Smell in My Jacket?

Dear MOby,

After a party at a new friend’s house last weekend, I decided to do the right thing and slept on the couch instead of riding home slightly inebriated. As punishment for that good deed, when I woke up early the next morning to make good my escape, I noticed an inescapable and pervasive odor wafting up into my helmet as I began to ride off. I managed to shrug it off as I was riding home, but when I stopped and removed my favorite old Vanson jacket, there it was again – cat pee! And plenty of it. I’ve tried a couple of cleaners but the memory of that night refuses to leave my jacket. What can I do to get rid of it? Will it go away over time? Help me…

Olfactory Rider

Dear Olaf,

My former cat, Bob, tried to warn me off my first ex wife by performing the same operation in her nice leather jacket very early in our relationship. This was a fashion-weight ladies’ garment that wasn’t going to put up with a lot of harsh chemicals and things, but it was also thrift-store and no great loss. Still, my ex seized upon the opportunity to get a new jacket after chastising Bob and me at length about the old one. After we were married, anytime there was unpleasantness, after things cooled down Bob would often give me that look from his end of the couch: See? I tried to warn you man.

Before we go any further, look inward and ask yourself if the feline in your story (most certainly a fellow male), was simply trying to offer you some good relationship advice?

If your jacket is truly soiled, don’t waste your time or money on any of the stuff they sell at pet stores to remove odors. Even if your old Vanson is up to it, the smell will live on to some degree. What you want is a professional cleaner, specifically one that offers Ozone cleaning.

Ozone, (O3), sometimes called “activated oxygen”, contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilant in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odors. Interestingly ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. In fact the “fresh, clean, spring rain” smell that we notice after a storm most often results from nature’s creation of ozone. However, we are probably most familiar with ozone from reading about the “ozone layer” that circles the planet above the earth’s atmosphere. Here ozone is created by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This ozone serves to protect us from the ultraviolet radiation (rather than to deodorize a rain of cosmic cat pee from the heavens -ed.).

While ozone is very powerful, it has a very short life-cycle. When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, they are destroyed completely by oxidation. In so doing, that extra atom of oxygen is consumed and there is nothing left…no odor…no bacteria…no extra atom, only oxygen. Ozone reverts back to oxygen after it is used.”

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Roland Sands Design Gets Technical

An informal little get together last night at Roland Sands Design in Los Alamitos, California, is where the 2016 Spring collection of Roland Sands apparel was on display. Among the custom two-wheel fabrications and a taco stand hung the full-line variety of stylish biker wear. Punctuating the new offerings is an uptick in technical functionality, as well as an expanding variety of products.

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Black Brand Reveals Line of Moto-Clothing with Attitude

Today, Black Brand launched its line of motorcycle gear aimed squarely at the V-Twin/Cruiser market, and you might be wondering why you should care. Well, when developing the line the folks behind Black Brand did their due diligence and found what they think is a huge hole in the cruiser gear market. Anyone on the cruiser scene is aware of the 800-pound gorilla of the V-Twin world, and the Harley team does a pretty good job of dominating its corner of the market with well-made clothing with its name emblazoned all over it.

What about the riders who don’t ride that brand or the lifers who do but have almost nothing in common with the weekend warriors who sport the exact same gear? Then there are the riders who are looking for the absolute cheapest gear they can find. You know, those pop-up no-name displays that populate parking lots near rallies.

Black Brand is stepping into that void and plans to fill it with gear that ranges from bargain-priced quality items to the high-end riding apparel that many aspire to. What you won’t see, initially at least, is any motorcycles in their advertisements. The reason is either insanity or genius.

Since riders tend to be kinda tribal in their motorcycle choices, if you have Brand S or Brand Y, odds are that you associate with other riders of that brand and possibly that model. (MO’s parent company runs web forums affiliated with hundreds of niche markets that cover just about every model of motorcycle. You can see the list here.) So, Black Brand doesn’t want to muddy the water by showing a particular brand of bike in their advertising. Instead, Black Brand is selling attitude and fun and fashion with its introductory line of gear featuring riders who embody how we see ourselves as motorcyclists.

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Cold-Weather Jacket/Pants/Suit Buyer's Guide

Brrr, there’s a chill in the air. To extend your riding season into the fall and winter months we’ve compiled a list of new wearables from our industry’s recognized apparel manufacturers.

For this guide, we stuck with gear that doesn’t require electricity to keep you warm and specifically sought out waterproof – not water-repellent or -resistant – items. Keeping to this criteria, we still found a staggering 246 items, for both men and women, ranging in price from a couple hundred bucks to well over four digits. And odds are good we still missed a few. Instead of clogging the internet with everything we found, this guide will bring you 10 items (or combination of items) that span the collection.

Alpinestars Pikes Drystar Jacket, AST-1 Waterproof Pants
Price: $429.95 (jacket), $199.95 (pants)
Size range: S-4XL (jacket and pants)
Colors: Black/Red/White, Black/White (jacket), Black (pants)

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Alpinestars 2016 Collection Preview

No, sorry, replica Lorenzo leathers are not part of Alpinestars’ 2016 apparel collection, but the company is inextricably linked to the sport by protecting many of its participants. Many safety developments available to the public originate from knowledge gained at the track. And the above photo is much tastier than a logo or a studio shot of a new jacket.

Safety tech in the form of Alpinestars’ Tech-Air, made available in Europe last Spring, is targeted for U.S. availability, but no hard date was given. According to Communications Manager, Jeremy Appleton, the company is establishing warranty and tech support for the garments utilizing the airbag system, and progress toward a U.S. introduction is in an “advanced state.”

The entire line of new or updated apparel for 2016 from Alpinestars that will be available to consumers includes numerous items, which you’ll be able to see on the Alpinestars website Monday. Until then, here’s some highlights from the Alpinestars 2016 collection press introduction held at the company’s U.S. headquarters.

New and updated performance riding gear includes Atem one- and two-piece leathers ($1499 and $1299, respectively), Atem leather jacket ($799), Celer leather jacket ($649), Missile leather pants ($399), and Supertech R boots ($499).

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Warm-Weather Jackets And Pants Buyers Guide

It’s June and the temperatures are now starting to hot up. That can only mean one thing: Summer’s here and riding season is in full swing. For some, riding in hot weather means shedding the protective gear in order to stay cool. You don’t need us to remind you what a bad idea this is, as one of our favorite adages when it comes to riding in hot climes is “I’d rather sweat than bleed.” For this buyer’s guide, we’ve put together 10 jackets and pants that’ll both keep you cool on a hot ride and also protect your hide should you have the unfortunate fate of falling down. The list is organized in ascending order based on price.

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Waterproof Winter Jackets/Pants/Suits Buyer's Guide

Winter riding means different things to different people, but we can all agree riding in the winter means chilly temperatures and a high possibility for rain. So, for this week’s winter buyer’s guide, we’re bringing you jackets and pants, all built to keep you dry and warm when the elements conspire against you. We’ve thrown in one-piece over-suits, too, for good measure.

For this guide, we stuck with gear that doesn’t require electricity to keep you warm and specifically sought out waterproof – not water repellent or resistant – items. Keeping to this criteria, we still found a staggering 246 items, for both men and women, ranging in price from a couple hundred bucks a piece to well over four digits. And odds are good we still missed a few as well. Instead of clogging the internet with everything we found, this guide will bring you 10 items (or combination of items) that span the collection.

Alpinestars Stella Bogota Drystar Jacket and Pants

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Rev'It! 2014 Spring/Summer Urban Collection Unveiling

Lately, there’s been a rise in popularity in cafe- and naked-type bikes. Take the recently reviewed Royal Enfield Continental GT, quirky Moto Guzzi V7, old-is-new-again Yamaha SR400, and of course the venerable Triumph Bonneville as examples. They are simple motorcycles that take you back to a simpler time. And these days, wearing full-fledged, Power Ranger-like protective gear just seems, well, silly.

That’s where Rev’It! comes in. Ever ones to capture a new market when it emerges, Rev’It! has been producing casual-looking motorcycle safety apparel that looks great off the bike all while keeping you protected on it. Take the Brera jacket, for example. A cool weather motorcycle jacket that’ll keep you warm when it’s chilly and protected in a tumble, Rev’It! is tapping in to a set of riders looking for form over function.

Recently, Rev’It! invited us to Beach Moto in Venice, California, a specialty high-end apparel store and an authorized Rev’It! dealer, to get a look at its Spring/Summer 2014 Urban collection. It was a casual event, with items simply hung on display, but it was the first time many, myself included, got to actually see and feel these items in the flesh. And since pictures are worth 1000 words, check out the shots below to see the things Rev’It! hopes you’ll want to wear during your commute this summer.


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Dainese/AGV Opens New HQ And Warehouse In SoCal

Southern California residents who are also fans of the Dainese/AGV brands are likely familiar with the D-Store Orange County. One of three official full-fledged Dainese/AGV retail stores (the others being San Francisco and Chicago), what you might not have known is that the OC store, which is roughly equivalent to a large two-bedroom home, also housed Dainese’s North American headquarters for several years. Think about that – Dainese, known the world over as one of the finest motorcycle apparel companies, ran its North American operations in modest office space at the back of a retail store.

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