The 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets

Updated February 03, 2018 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Motorcycle Jackets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Let's face it: half the reason men ride motorcycles is because of how cool they look in biker jackets. The selections on this list will ensure that everyone turns to stare when you walk in — and that you'll keep your skin if some jerk doesn't check before changing lanes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best motorcycle jacket on Amazon.

10. Milano Sport Gamma

You'll look like you just finished competing in the MotoGP when you wear the Milano Sport Gamma. The vibrantly-colored accents make it stand out in a crowd or in bumper-to-bumper traffic, so no one can ever say that they never saw you coming.
  • flexible back and shoulder elastic
  • hard to use pockets with gloves
  • poor-quality zippers
Brand Milano Sport
Model MJGAM0385XL
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. Cortech GX Sport 3

The Cortech GX Sport 3 is made for people who actually ride, with curved sleeves to ensure that your arms stay comfortable on long trips, even if you're on a cruiser. It'll keep the rain out if you close the vents, but doing so will also likely turn your pits into a swamp.
  • runs true to size
  • adjustable elbow snaps
  • too heavy for summer use
Brand Cortech
Model 8984-0302-03
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Xelement Invasion

You'll be hard to miss in the Xelement Invasion. Its neon green coloring makes it highly reflective, so other drivers will see you coming in plenty of time to get out of the way. If you're a lane-splitter, this could potentially be a life-saving investment.
  • good for humid climates
  • excellent budget option
  • snaps on cuffs are poorly attached
Brand Xelement
Model pending
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Viking Asger

The Viking Asger has a total of five pockets, a padded collar, and bright panels for a high level of visibility at night. It is a thick, safe option with areas of exterior polycarbonate armor that will protect you even during a sliding accident.
  • extra shoulder protection
  • functions well in variety of weather
  • hard to reattach liner
Brand Viking Cycle
Model VC757
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Bilt Blaze

The Bilt Blaze is a tough and durable option that's much less bulky than most of its competition, so you won't feel the need to remove it the second you get off your bike. It features impact panels lined with memory foam and an adjustable zip tab.
  • zippered front pockets
  • mesh keeps it ventilated
  • doesn't provide much protection
Brand Bilt
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Milwaukee Leather Police-Style

For a classic, James Dean-style appearance, the handsome Milwaukee Leather Police-Style is the biker's garment of choice. It looks fantastic over a T-shirt, while still being sturdy enough to spare you from some road rash in case of a giant wipeout.
  • half-belt for simple adjustments
  • large zipper is easy to use
  • tends to run small
Brand Milwaukee Leather
Model SH1011-S-BLACK
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Viking Bloodaxe

The buffalo-leather Viking Bloodaxe has a hidden pocket that allows you to pipe your headphone wires through the jacket, which prevents tangling or accidentally knocking your media player loose, enabling you to listen to "Bad to the Bone" without being bad to your phone.
  • great at blocking wind
  • zippers are sturdy and durable
  • armor for elbows and shoulders
Brand Viking Cycle
Model VC7202-PARENT
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Pilot Motorsport Air Mesh

A little rain won't slow you down if you have the Pilot Motorsport Air Mesh. It has a zip-out waterproof liner that keeps the elements at bay, ensuring you stay warm and dry in a monsoon. (Seriously, though, you should slow down in the rain.)
  • comfortable neoprene collar
  • foam armor is well-positioned
  • room for multiple layers underneath
Brand Pilot Motosport
Model 2000503-05
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Joe Rocket Classic '92

The Joe Rocket Classic '92 comes in a brown or black finish with an attractive retro-reflective striping on the back and arms. It is made from high-quality, durable leather that is drum dyed, so it offers the ultimate level of protection and style in one package.
  • suitable for summer wear
  • zip-in liner included
  • tailored for a relaxed fit
Brand Joe Rocket
Model 1326-2304
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Roland Sands Design

It may cost almost as much as your bike did, but this offering from Roland Sands Design is as comfortable as it is stunning. It fits snugly while still allowing you plenty of freedom to move around, so looking fantastic won't interfere with your ability to ride.
  • luxurious satin liner
  • doesn't get too hot
  • multiple interior pockets
Brand Roland Sands Design
Model pending
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Funny Bones Aren't So Funny When You Break Them

It's a strange and terrible feeling to bang your funny bone off a desk, or a wall, or any surface for which you simply weren't accounting. That tingling feeling isn't quite pain, though it certainly qualifies as discomfort. The reality is that there's a nerve running along that area of your elbow, and when you hit the bone just right the nerve gets compressed, resulting in that miserable combination of feelings.

Now, I'd like you to imagine hitting that bone against a run of pavement, your body traveling along at 65 m.p.h. without a shred of protection between the asphalt and your skin. Sounds pretty terrible, right?

Yet, day after day, I see riders out on the highways and sideways of southern California with nothing but a T-shirt on as protection. Maybe they're convinced that they're invincible, and maybe they are. Even if they are invincible, though, I can tell you this: they aren't doing their tan lines any favors. T-shirt + Motorcycle = Farmer's Tan. That's basic, third grade math right there.

If you've tried on a few motorcycle jackets, you might have noticed that their arms tend to run a little long. That's so the skin on your wrists will be protected from the sun in your riding position. Along those arms you'll also find strong elbow pads, designed to keep that area of bone protected in a sidelong fall, and to protect that nerve from the kind of damage than can result in a potential amputation.

Shoulder pads exists for a similar reason, as there are a lot of fragile bones and joints in the rather complex shoulder assembly.

Not all motorcycle jackets have back pads, and some come with a much softer padding that you'd find in the elbows or shoulders, but you ought to be able to upgrade this or any other pad in a good jacket.

Never Say Never To Leather

You're going to encounter two pretty staunch camps in the motorcycling community when it comes to jacket material. The one camp prefers leather, the other textile. Both jacket types have their pros and cons, and part of the final decision for you is going to come down to style.

Leather motorcycle jackets come with a much heftier serving of built-in cool. I mean this metaphorically, of course, since leather is probably the worst material to don along a sun-bleached freeway on a hot summer's day. In any other weather, though, leather can't be beat.

It isn't just a matter of leather having superior abrasion resistance to textiles, either. Over time, a leather jacket will mold to your body in its riding position better than any other material, which will ensure that your padding is firmly set in all the right places should you take a spill.

Textiles, on the other hand, come in a much wider variety of climate options, with layered, weather-proof models that can withstand even the harshest of winter storms. Why you would be out riding in the middle of a blizzard is beyond me, but, hey, to each his or her own.

You can also get amazing hot weather gear in textile jackets, the mesh construction of which makes it feel like you've got a weak air conditioner blowing on you as soon as you get above 35 m.p.h. It's not going to keep you quite as cool as riding around in a T-shirt, but it's a lot cooler than leather and it's not going to expose your skin to harmful UV rays.

In short, you probably need two jackets. My first jacket was a killer leather number with a removable cotton quilt lining. That's because I bought my first bike in December. Come May, I went out and got a mesh textile jacket for the summer. I suggest you do the same.

A Zipper To Seal The Fates

Before the 1920s, leather jackets worn by motorcyclists were of the fashion used by aviators and other military members. One notable thing about them was that they were made as button-ups. It wasn't until Irving Schott of Schott Bros. added an asymmetrically offset zipper to his leather jacket design in 1928 that the leather jacket as we know it today found its iconic form.

Still, despite its popularity and its practicality for and among motorcyclists, the Schott and its imitators by Sears and Harley Davidson didn't find a point of resonance in popular culture until a little movie came along in 1953 inspired by the Hollister riot of 1947.

That movie was called The Wild One, and it featured a young actor named Marlon Brando whose sleek, rebellious appearance in a classic Schott jacket seared a specific image of cool into the zeitgeist.

From that moment on up through the punk movement of the late 1970s and into today, the motorcycle jacket has endured as a symbol of freedom and a means of personal expression in a world increasingly weary of individuality. It's an important starting point, but as Dennis Hopper says, "It takes more than going down to the video store and renting Easy Rider to be a rebel."

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Last updated on February 03, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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