Why the Cut (or Fit) Matters
The material isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing your ideal motorcycle jacket. There’s also the question of its fit or cut, which includes Race, American, and European.
- Race jackets are designed for racing, with pre-curved sleeves, and is designed to be most comfortable in a tucked, forward-leaning position. This cut is supposed to fit snugly around the body. This reduces wind resistance around the track, and the potential for friction burns during a crash. Think V-Taper for this type. A V-Taper is wider at the shoulders and significantly narrower towards the waist.
- American (also known as the Touring or Traditional fit) is the polar opposite to Race jackets. There’s plenty of room around the arm, shoulder, and waist area, making it ideal for cruisers. When you think of the iconic leather motorcycle jacket, you’ll probably picture it in the American fit. Think about a square box, it is about as wide at the shoulders as at the waist.
- European might be seen as the middle ground between Race and American cuts. European-style jackets are often called the sport or slim cut, with a tapered profile. Even though sometimes called the sport cut, it really isn’t as suitable for sport and racing as the more accurately named Race cut. Think about a rectangle. This type is as wide at the shoulders as the waist or with a slight taper, but the torso is slightly longer than the width.
Choosing a Jacket to Fit Your Riding Style
Your choice of jacket primarily depends on how you’ll use it. The main considerations include your preferred riding speed, the distance you intend to travel, type of motorcycle, and whether you’re a casual, heavy-duty, or racing rider.
The general rule is the faster you go, the more protection you’ll need. So, if you love to scream down a highway, a textile riding shirt isn’t a wise choice. You’ll want a jacket with plenty of protection, which likely means a reinforced full textile or leather model.
On the other hand, if you tend to keep your rides slower, a mesh variant will provide plenty of protection.
When travelling long distances, you’ll want a jacket that’s versatile and can provide all-round weather protection. After all, the weather conditions can change dramatically between where you start and a few thousand miles down the road. Depending on the season, you could go with a textile variant in warmer weather or a leather jacket when it’s colder. (In cold weather, you’ll want to make sure your leather jacket has the proper weatherproofing layers.)
Now this doesn’t mean a textile jacket can’t perform well during the winter, or a leather jacket’s unfit for summer. But when you need to cover hundreds of miles wearing the same gear, you’ll want it to be optimized for specific conditions.
Your type of motorcycle will play a crucial role as well if you want a comfortable ride. Choose the American or European cut for lean-back or upright motorcycle models. If you own a sport model, a European or Racing cut are usually better options.
If you’re a casual rider, you could get by with the riding shirt or the regular-fit motorcycle jacket. This choice will let you stay in the same attire on and off your motorcycle. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time on the road - hours or even days on end – you’ll probably need to take some spare clothes with you anyhow.
If you’re a racer, you’ll want an appropriate jacket. Note that only leather jackets are accepted in racing events (currently), so your choice there is easy. Also, you’ll want to go with a model which meets the requirements of any track you will be using it on.
The most important thing to remember is that your motorcycle jacket needs to be quality-made according to the latest specifications. This means you need to get your jacket from a reputable retailer who has a broad selection of the best possible gear on the market. If you want to ensure the quality of your gear and get plenty of options to choose from, you should visit Eagle Leather. Browse the extensive catalog and you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect motorcycle jacket to fit all your needs.