Motorcycle Racing Jackets and Suits
As the popularity of Extreme Sports continues its rise, the concept of
Motorcycle Racing has taken on new meaning. From road racing to Grand
Prix, to motocross, supercross, and freestyle competition, one thing is
for sure: if you race, you are going to fall off your bike on one or more
That being said, todays motorcycle racing jackets and apparel are
designed taking this into consideration, and they compensate by giving
you the best possible protection in the most likely places prone to
injury. The basic principal is to design garments that will pad the most
vulnerable body parts, and allow for a clean slide on asphalt or dirt
without bunching up or tearing to shreds.
Racing jackets will and should come with some kind of body armor either
fixed inside the jacket, or removable. Armor comes in different forms,
from thick foams, to plastic covered compounds, to hard, shock absorbing
When considering the purchase of a racing jacket and/or suit, make sure
the armor is CE approved. Certifique Europe is a European standard of
certification that grades armor on three levels, level 1 being the least
protective, level 3 the most.
At the very least, a racing jacket should have protective armor at the
shoulders and elbows, and pants should have extra protection at the knee
and hip. In the case of a two piece racing suit, the bottom will often be
zipped to the jacket, to allow the garment to act as one piece during a
Back protectors are not often found in racing jackets, but there is in
some jackets a place to insert one. Since most spinal injuries are caused
by blows to the extremities as opposed to direct impact to the back, the
back protector is better suited for protection from flying projectiles,
and thus is often made from hard plastics.
Another major consideration for a racing jacket is the comfort factor.
Motorcycle jackets are usually made from a combination of materials, the
basis of which is leather. Kevlar stitching can be used to insure the
strength of the seams, and patches of Kevlar or other high stress
synthetic materials are used on particularly vulnerable areas like the
shoulders, elbows and knees. Stretch panels of various materials are
often employed at strategic locations such as under the arms and at the
knee to promote ease of movement in extreme conditions.
Because black leather has a natural tendency to be hot, racing jackets
tend to be more colorful than your typical black leather jacket, using
combinations of colors, obviously to attract attention to a particular
racer, but also in part to reflect the heat of the suns rays. Some racing
jackets employ perforated leather to allow the air to penetrate the
jacket, and air vents are often used to provide circulation.
With modern synthetics gaining in popularity, many racers are choosing
these tough and durable materials over leather because of their coolness,
light weight, and waterproof characteristics. It is not uncommon to find
legitimate racing gear that forgo the use of leather altogether.
Whereas todays modern day motorcycle racing apparel employ all the
technological know how to keep the racer safe and comfortable, racing
jackets are also popular within the traditional biker community. A little
bit of extra armor never hurts, and because many jackets use removable
armor, you don't have to look so robotic at your local biker bar.
Additionally, you dont have to be stick with basic black, the colorful
styles often found in the racing jacket genre add another layer of
coolness for the biker to choose from!
Michael Talbert is the creator, owner, and operator of Biker Leather
Ltd., an online retailer of fine leather and textile motorcycle jackets,
chaps, leather vests and biker accessories. Visit the website at