Motorcycle Jackets to Suit Your Ride

True to Form: proper riding jackets to match your bike.

There’s something holistically satisfying in the pursuit of variations on a theme. Here’s what I mean: If you’re eating Cuban food, listening to Buena Vista Social Club is an ideal musical accompaniment—to be followed by an after-dinner cigar, naturally. Or if you’re re-watching your favorite Isle of Man TT review for the hundredth time, it’s aesthetically fitting to enjoy a nice session ale or porter as a shepherd’s pie bubbles away in the oven. And so it goes with donning a motorcycle jacket. You’ll be wanting one that goes with your bike. Here are some of our favorite choices.

Rev’It Sand 3
Technical, functional, and ready for whatever you encounter.Rev'it

To Match Your ADV Bike: Rev'It Sand 3

For any adventure, encountering the unknown is a given. At least you can be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you with the full-featured Rev'It Sand 3 jacket. The outer shell is made of Rev'It's version of Cordura as well as several other fabrics. Inside are a removable thermal liner and removable waterproof liner. Copious zippered vents keep the air flowing. CE Level 2 armor is included. ($499, revitsport.com)

Kay Michaels
English craftsmanship, American style.Boda Skins

To Match Your Cruiser: Boda Skins Kay Michaels (with protection)

I first noticed this on-point jacket when Cycle World’s own Sean MacDonald started rocking it. Boda Skins is an English brand that makes beautiful leather jackets with a next-gen rock ’n roll edge. Boda is not a bike-only brand, but it has done bikers a solid by including armor with this version of the Kay Michaels, a modern interpretation of a chopper jacket. Complete with Perfecto-style asymmetrical zip and understated gun-metal hardware (good for avoiding Village People references), the jacket goes great with modern power cruisers and bobbers. ($559, bodaskins.com)

Dainese Mugello
The upper half of race leathers.Dainese

To Match Your Sportbike: Dainese Mugello

As far as jackets go, this is pretty much the last word in protection, and it shows. The Mugello is a highly technical jacket designed to complement a high-tech ride. With a full suite of interior and exterior armor, including aluminum and titanium panels, in addition to full-grain leather construction, the Mugello can go from street to track (just add matching pants) with the same aplomb as your sportbike. ($999.95 standard edition, $1,099.95 anniversary edition, dainese.com)

Alpinestars Airflow
Stealth mode.Alpinestars

To Match Your Street Fighter/Standard: Alpinestars SP-1 Airflow

Alpinestar's SP-1 line has been part of the company's lineup for years, and the current jacket hits a sweet spot of performance and laid-back looks in the same way as today's modern nakeds. The 1.3mm leather construction and compartments for back and chest protectors announce that this jacket is the real deal. It also includes thoughtful details such as a waterproof interior pocket for your phone. This is having your cake and eating it too. ($439.95, alpinestars.com)

Union Garage Robinson
Typical Vanson quality mated with a design by people who live in Brooklyn (so you know it’s hip).Union Garage

To Match Your British Retro: Union Garage Robinson

Brooklyn gear emporium Union Garage collaborated with Vanson Leathers for this classic take on a waxed-cotton Belstaff Trialmaster. Waxed cotton isn’t as abrasion resistant as Kevlar or Cordura, for instance, so the elbows and shoulders have been bolstered with leather underneath. Naturally, there are pockets for elbow and back protectors. As timeless as a Bonneville. ($699.95, uniongaragenyc.com)

Aero Café Racer Jacket
Proof that they do, in fact, make ’em like they used to.Aero

To Match Your Café Racer: Aero Café Racer Jacket

If you’re looking for an authentic reproduction of an iconic design, check out the Scottish brand Aero. Its jackets are each handmade by the same person (no assembly line here) from horsehide or steerhide. Each garment is custom-made to order. The quality is premium, but there’s no modern tech or armor here, so pair with an armored shirt to up the protection game. A true heirloom piece to hand down with your future classic bike. ($792 including worldwide postage, aeroleatherclothing.com)