Feb 28, 2012

16 Buying Guide: Motorcycle Riding Jackets in India

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

[1] The kind of riding activity. i.e Track racing, Touring or just commuting around town

[2] The kind of weather the jacket will be used i.e in Summer, Winter or during Rainy season

[3] 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.




2. Mesh:

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.







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Disclaimer:

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.






16 Comments:

Prakash said...

wud hv been a great post if u hd compared the popular brands of jackets available in the market.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Prakash,

I have just owned 3 jackets from two brands (DSG and Alpinestars).. how can I compare the ones which I have never used.

How can I give "advice" on stuff which I have not used

Ricky said...

Bro, I'm buying one "Torso Armour" from Cramster for my tours. It's not a jacket though. It has only the protective armors. It has armors even at chest and lower back. Since my place (Kerala) is hot, humid and rainy I'll use a rain coat over it while raining. What do you think about this idea? regarding the usability and convenience?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Ricky, the armor that you have referred to is basically for off road/dirt riding activity.

Although I don't have experience if using this type of protective gear, I guess any protection is much better than no protection

Anonymous said...

Nut Case

Anonymous said...

I am about 5.5", If you where to suggest one jacket for summer that would be ...
Ajay

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Ajay, for Summers my favorite jacket is a "mesh" jacket for eg: the DSG Maze jacket.

Rather than height its your shirt size which determines the size of the jacket. Get Small size if you wear a small size shirt or XL if you wear a XL sized shirt

Rider Jacket said...

Such a nice jacket. Truly made for the bike riders.

Sameer Agarwal said...

Hi, Stumbled upon here while searching for an appropriate jacket during commute to work. I have to commute long distance in Mumbai and I want a jacket to protect my formal shirt from dirt. The jackets above are too bulky for that purpose, isnt it? I could have used a raincoat but that would look just plain stupid as monsoons are still far. I would be highly obliged if you can suggest something

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Sameer,

Motorcycle jackets are supposed to provide protection in a crash and therefore have armour in them in the impact areas.. also wearing one would ruin the iron on your formal shirt.. therefore forget using a riding jacket to keep dust off from your formal shirt.

Wear a riding jacket only if you are serious about safety.

Chitta_moran said...

Hi,

Will the DSG Maze Jacket will be good enough for tour of Leh or Bhutan. I am not sure if the warm liner will be sufficient for cold hilly areas.
Chitta_moran

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Chitta

The inner liner of the DSG Maze won't be sufficient for extreme cold. You'll have to wear additional layers along with the Maze

Chitta_moran said...

Thanks for the prompt reply. So would suggest a DSG Nero or DSG Triton above DSG maze for places for Bhutan or Leh tour?
Chitta_moran

Chitta_moran said...

S.P.
How is the Cramster Torso Armor (http://www.cramster.in/motorsport.php) in providing protection vis-a-vis armoured jacket? What if I put on the Torso Armor and put on a normal leather jacket over it. Will it provide the same level of protection as an armoured jacket. Any reviews on the torso armour will be helpful.

Thanks,
Chitta_moran

vidyutt langer said...

Stumbled across this blog from a forum. And am now hooked for good. Great work by you sir.
Well for the current discussion, I have a RJays Mesh type jacket, with a removable waterproof inner lining. I use it for my rides during rains and winter. During summer i simply remove the inner lining. The cost too is not high i had got it for INR 6500 in Mumbai

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thank you for this article... Came across this while searching for what to look out while buying bike jackets!
Cheers!

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