A quick guide to choosing the right motorcycle riding jacket in India..
Why wear a Motorcycle Riding Jacket?
1. Because in case of a fall the jacket will provide a crucial few seconds of protection from getting one’s skin scraped off.
2. Motorcycle riding jackets have protective armor built in to them which protects the arm and shoulder joints from getting battered.
3. Additional Chest and Back protectors can be inserted in some jackets
Shoulder & Arm armor on Riding Jacket
Motorcycle riding jackets could be categorized depending on
 The kind of riding activity. i.e Track racing, Touring or just commuting around town
 The kind of weather the jacket will be used i.e in Summer, Winter or during Rainy season
 Kind of material used to construct the jacket i.e Leather, Synthetic, Synthetic Mesh or Water proof material
Since most of us would be either riding around town or in some cases might tour on our bikes, let me categorize the jackets based on the material of construction used and would also accordingly comment on the kind of weather/climate they would be comfortable/suitable to ride in.
Types of Motorcycle Jackets (based on the material used for construction)
1. Genuine Leather:
Leather provides the best protection from burns on the skin due to abrasion in case of a spill. But the negative with leather is that it is costly (around Rs. 20,000 and upwards), one also has to be careful of not riding it in rain. Plus getting rid of odors from a leather jacket is a bit difficult. Moreover in a hot country like India leather is not the most comfortable material.
Mesh riding jackets are constructed out of synthetic material with a “net” like construction which allows for free flow of air inside the jacket. Personally I am a great fan of mesh riding gear. In India where for better part of the year the climate is hot and humid, a mesh jacket is the most comfortable choice for a biker.
The limitation of mesh jackets is that during rains and in cold weathers the mesh construction does not keep the rain and cold out. Although there are mesh jackets which have a removable inner liner which is supposed to keep the rain and insulate you from the cold, it is not very effective in a heavy downpour or in very cold temperatures. But nothing beats mesh jackets in hot/humid weather.
3. Synthetic Textile:
Synthetic material like "cordura" is used in construction of riding jackets which at first glance seem like they are "all weather jackets". They seem that they are water proof and in some cases have zippers which can be opened for letting air while riding.
But these jackets are not as effective as mesh jackets in hot weather riding moreover in slightly heavy rains they are not effective in keeping the rain from entering the jacket mainly through the zippers. Only if one intends to ride in a relatively cool climate like on a hill stations would these jackets be comfortable as while riding gear
4. 100 % Waterproof:
There are some specialized jackets which are constructed to be 100% waterproof. These jackets are also excellent during cold winters. The expensive ones have a waterproof yet breathable inner liner which will keep the rider warm and dry yet let the perspiration of the rider out during heavy physical activity.
Links from where some popular brand of Jackets can be bought in India:
1. PlanetDSG: DSG, AXO & Alpinestars
2. Cramster: Cramster
3. BachooMotors: RJays
4. Performance Racing Store: AGV Sport & Joe Rocket
Personally I would like to have in my collection a mesh jacket to be used for most part of the year and a 100% waterproof jacket as winter and rain wear. Most guys that I know of would find it hard to spend on a single riding jacket. And the ones that are serious enough to get one mostly end up getting a synthetic cordura jacket as “it seems” to be the most versatile.
Currently I own 2 mesh jackets and planning to get a 100% waterproof one next. By the way after selling off my Pulsar 220, I still have yet to get a motorcycle..!!
Call me a nutcase if you wish.
- Buying Guide: Motorcycle Helmet in India [Aug 2011]
- Buying Guide: Motorcycle Riding Gloves in India [Sep 2011]
- Review: My DSG Maze "Mesh" Jacket [Sep 2010]
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.