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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just got my first bike and have been doing a little bit of Interstate riding and was wondering if a dedicated motorcycle jacket such as an armrored Cordura or leather is superior to a heavyweight casual leather jacket I already own + motocross style upper body armor?

Dedicated jackets are pricy and the hardshell+foam padding of body armor (if it could fit under my leather, haven't tried) seems like it would be even more protective. Anyone have experience with this setup?

Thanks!

Hakan
 

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It's hard to answer if your non-motorcycle jacket is acceptable. Cycle jackets tend to be overbuilt to survive accidents. Things like heavy duty stitching, strategic panel placement, and such, so that they don't come apart in an accident. While your casual jacket may be made with heavy leather, it may still not survive sliding down pavement.
 

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The ATGATT folks say 'dress for the slide, not the ride'.:)
That said, in cooler temps, I wear leather, as leather has been proven to hold up to sliding on pavement than any fiber jacket. The only time I really had a slide was on a surprise freezing rain, and I was in a WWII head-to-toe leather flight suit, made for the high-altitude bombers; destroyed parts of it, but not a scratch on me.
In hot weather, I wear an armored, but vented, Joe Rocket jacket; elbow, shoulder, and spine pads, that can be removed for cleaning.
One other thing about MC jackets: the sleeves are made longer, so they reach your wrists in the riding position.
 

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A regular dress jacket will fit while you and standing. A bike jacket will fit better while you are on the bike, but may feel funny while standing. The bike jacket will have arms to fit a bit more snug and not flap in the breeze at higher speeds. The cuffs should also fit more snug, and the collar will not have the extra flap that whacks you helmet and makes loud sounds. Many bike jackets have removable interiors.

I suggest you find a good bike jacket for all weather riding. My Alpinestars does the job well. Even tho it does not leak, I wear a cheap rain coat over the top. I usually wear that jacket in the cooler months, as there is more room for other clothes inside. For the warmer months I wear a leather jacket.

After you have been riding for a few, or many years, you will have a collection of gear, from boots to helmets.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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Did a 40 MPH slide on a tar road, in a $110 textile jacket; my son, who was my passenger, was wearing an $80 textile jacket. My jacket was barely marked. My son's jacket ground halfway through his elbow pad -- would likely have lost his arm from above the elbow, without it!

Even a cheap, $80, textile jacket, with questionable armor, offers tremendous protection. Leather is the best for abrasion resistance, but something made specifically for biking is far better than something made for fashion. Cheers!
:coffee:
 
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