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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Reinventing The Moped: Monday Motorbikes M1

Monday Motorbikes is a Brisbane, California-based company producing a modern moped. Like the mopeds of yesteryear the Monday Motorbikes M1 is outfitted with pedals, but in place of a small internal-combustion engine resides a brushless DC motor.

According to Monday Motorbikes, the M1 can travel up 50 miles in Economy mode at a steady 20mph on a single charge, without pedaling, and up to 35 miles in city traffic. Sport mode increases power but decreases range to about 25 miles. To meet California electric bicycle regulations, Economy Mode is tuned for a top speed of 20 mph, while Sport mode is good for 40 mph, but only to be engaged when off public roadways (yah, right).

Currently, the M1 is available in the United States for $5,995 with plans for worldwide domination in 2018. Monday Motorbikes offers test rides most Saturdays at its shop in Brisbane, but encourages interested parties to contact them to see if they may be traveling through your part of the country. For information about the company, the bike, or to order one check out

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Ask MO Anything: MotoGP Drive Chain?

Dear MOby,

How long do MotoGP drive chains last, do they have ‘O’ rings, (probably not?) and what do they use for lube?

Chris Backhouse
Kelowna, BC, Canada

Good question. We shot this one off to Neil Spalding, motorcycle racing journalist extraordinaire and author of the excellent MotoGP Technology (2nd Edition, 2010).

“Rossi,” Spalding responds, “is usually on DID’s finest ERV3 in 520 size. Maximum mileage is about 500 km. The only real difference in the final drive is that titanium sprockets are used, since launch control beats the crap out of aluminium (sic) ones.”

520- and 525-sized chains are generally found on 600cc sportbikes and middleweights, with a ⅝-inch “pitch” (distance from pin to pin) and an inner width of ¼- or 5/16-inch respectively. The 530 size usually found on 1000cc streetbikes uses the same ⅝ pitch, but with an inner width of ⅜ in.

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Ask MO Anything: Why is Valentino's Clutch Spinning Backwards?

Dear MOby,

Watching cool super slo-mo MotoGP action the other day, I saw the dry clutch on the Yamaha M1 spinning backwards instead of the same direction as the wheels. Is that confirmation that the Yamaha also has a backward-spinning engine? Or an optical illusion or what?

Counterrevolutionary Carl
Kansas City, KS

Backward-spinning engines, i.e. the crankshaft turning in the opposite direction of the wheels, is kind of a closely guarded secret in MotoGP, and one that’s not lightly given away by the clutch’s rotational direction. As a matter of fact, a quick consultation with MV Agusta’s Research and Development Director Brian Gillen reveals that all modern sportbike clutches rotate backwards, since the clutch is always mounted on the transmission input shaft. That rotation direction is then reversed as drive passes through to the transmission’s output shaft, which of course must turn in the same direction as the the drive sprocket and rear wheel.

In a normal, forward-spinning engine, that’s easy since the input shaft is geared directly off the crankshaft. In the case of a backward-spinning engine like MV’s Triple (and Yamaha’s M1 –Ed.), there has to be some kind of jackshaft to reverse drive direction between the crankshaft and transmission.

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