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Motorcycle Jackets: Leather or Textile?

Posted on 07 Aug 2013 in Powersports | 0 comments

Finding the right motorcycle jacket can be a daunting task.  There are just  so many different options available.  For the most part, motorcycle jackets can be divided in to two categories.  Leather and Textile.  Each has their own benefits and downsides.  The goal of this post will be to lay out the pros and cons of these two different styles to aid you in your decision.

Leather Motorcycle Jackets

When most people think of motorcycle jackets, they instantly think of one’s made out of leather.  Leather is the old stand for motorcyclists and for good reason too.  It’s tough and will last a long time.  If you lay your bike down, a good leather motorcycle jacket will hold together as you slide along the pavement.  Road rash is no joke and leather is your best option to be protected against it.  Some models have body armor for added protection.  On those cold rides, a leather jacket will generally keep you quite warm as the cowhide is able to block most of the cold air from coming in.


Leather, however, does not breathe very well.  On those hot summer days, wearing a heavy leather motorcycle jacket can be like sitting in a sauna making you’re ride uncomfortable.  The temptation to take the jacket off raises with the temperature and the jacket isn’t doing any good when it is not being worn. When you get caught in a rain storm with your leathers on, the jacket can soak up the water and end up keeping you cold.

Textile Motorcycle Jackets

One of the factors that points to the overall popularity of the Textile or Mesh style is the fact that they breathe far better than leather jackets do.  A rider can stay much cooler in the hot summer when wearing a mesh motorcycle jacket.  The air is able to travel through the material and venting systems easily to remove body moisture.  Also, if caught in the rain while wearing a textile, the material will dry out faster and there are even some waterproof models are available.  Body armor is also added to many of the textile jackets to protect the rider on impact.iconjacket

A great criticism with textile motorcycle jackets is that the mesh material can melt and tear away while sliding on the pavement.  The actual act of melting to the skin seems to be a very rare occurrence, but it still remains a possibility.  The likelihood of the textile material abrading and tearing away is still more likely than that of high grade leather.

What I’ve listed are just a few pros and cons for these two different styles of jackets.  Ultimately, it is up to you and your personal preferences to find the motorcycle jacket that will work best for you.  Check out Dennis Kirk’s enormous selection of motorcycle jackets to find the right one for you!


Ryan is one of the lucky ones who gets to combine their passion with work.He has enjoyed powersports his whole life and now gets to write about it.Ryan has been around the industry since starting to work at Dennis Kirk in High School and continues to enjoy learning and sharing aboutpowersports with others in his role in DK content.

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