A black leather jacket is the first accessory many motorcycle riders acquire. In fact, many have the jacket before they get the motorcycle.
Motorcycle leather, however, is not just a fashion statement. It is functional. A good, leather, riding jacket provides comfort from the elements, pockets to store stuff and protection in the event of an unplanned get-off. Many motorcycle road racing and drag racing associations require leather racing-suits.
Leather motorcycle jackets are available in many styles. Jackets for serious motorcycle riding should be of heavy cowhide and have body armor. Heavier leather provides more protection. An optional liner provides greater warmth for cold weather riding and protects your jacket, too. If you sweat it out, you can remove it and throw it in the washing machine.
In warmer climates, a thin, naked-cowhide jacket may be more to your liking, and a thin, leather jacket is better than no jacket at all. The zippered and belted, naked-cowhide jacket is the oldest and most popular style, made famous by Marlon Brando and James Dean.
A good riding jacket with body armor has saved my hide at least twice. But I must confess, a heavy leather jacket with body armor takes a while to break in. It won't do you much good hanging in your closet because you don't want to wear it whereas the thinner, naked-cowhide jackets feel broken in immediately and are instantly comfortable. The important thing is to wear a jacket.
If naked-cowhide means the difference between frequently wearing a jacket and not wearing a jacket, then lightweight, naked-cowhide may be a better choice. It also provides you with a jacket suitable for casual wear and expands your wardrobe.
Other leather accessories include chaps, vests, shirts and saddlebags. I've never been able to get excited about leather chaps, myself. However, there was that one time at Bike Week in Daytona Beach when leather chaps was the only pants the person had on, but he wasn't my type. Whatever melts your butter.
A leather vest is a good compromise in warm weather. You look good and have a place to put your pins and patches. I enjoy looking at all the different club patches and stuff that I see on vests.
A pair of leather saddlebags tremendously increases the utility of a motorcycle. Whether you are into long-distance riding, commuting or a weekend ride, saddle bags allow you to keep your rain gear with you, pack a lunch or haul everything you need for a two-week trip.
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