Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Best Motorcycle Jackets

motorcycle jackets
Me and my trusty jacket at Lyons Valley Trading Post
Anytime I hear about new gear, something in me wants to check it out, just to see if there's something I really like. And if the prices are low enough, it starts the wheels moving in my head.

The fact is that I don't really need a new motorcycle jacket, I like the one I have. And I tend to be someone who prefers to hold on to something for years and years, letting it wear down and taking on the look as if it's been to Hell and back. I mean, I've had my boots now for 4 years. I had my summer gloves for 6 years until one of them ripped apart on Road Pickle. My winter gloves are 4 years old. Even my helmet is 4 years old.

My jacket, however, is barely a year old.

The new line of VikingCycle Jackets are priced quite low as far as motorcycle jackets go, and they all look really good, and all come with the functionality you'd expect. So, I get these wheels spinning in my head that says, "I could just buy one and it wouldn't be much out of my pocket", and "You never know, I might end up liking it more than the jacket I have now."

For someone who's learned to live with fewer and fewer things, I still struggle with the temptation to buy more.  Even if it's free stuff, I still have this other conscience that asks, "Am I arrogant to want more?"

But as it turns out, it's not the price, and not even the look or functionality that I consider.

The best motorcycle jackets, my experience tells me, are the one's that you've been wearing the past year or more. They've already stretched and softened to your body's unique shape. Your hands are already trained to go right where the pockets happen to be. You already know how to fold it the right way to use as a camping pillow. And better yet, they save you money from having to buy another.

For that matter, a brand new jacket has to be tighter than comfortable, just to stretch and reshape itself to match your unique shape and still prevent from inflating like a balloon down the road. I'm the kind of guy who'd rather not break-in a new jacket.

Even helmets are like that. When you buy one brand new, it's gotta be tight enough to give you a headache, just so that it compresses and reforms to the shape of your head and does it's job effectively when needed.  And why go through all that when the helmet you have is already perfect?

Otherwise, my jacket, helmet, boots, and gloves have been with me through the rain, hail, cold, heat, and bugs.  I like to think they've soaked up some of my spirit and soul from the tens of thousands of miles over the years, and that makes them a part of me.  I'd hate to keep them in a dark closet where they feel left behind while I ride my motorcycle with some other strange new set of gear.  I guess that's just something quirky about me.

But when you dedicate yourself to living with fewer things, you really do get attached to the few things you have.


  1. I picked up a really nice leather jacker off the HotLeathers website almost a year ago. Looks sharp and ran me only 1/3rd of what it would have cost in the actual store.

  2. Some times it is enough to go look at all the shiny new things and it makes you appreciate the comfortable ones you are wearing or have at home.

  3. I agree, unless a company is willing to send me a jacket for free that I can then sell on eBay. I'm pretty happy with the jacket I've had for the last year, but my goal is to get the money together to get an Aero Leather jacket that I then plan on wearing for the rest of my days. Those jackets cost £625 ($1,040), though. So it may be a while until I get one...

  4. Steve, I agree. I like a jacket that's been broken-in...they just feel better. Like Trobairtz, I do like going to the Harley dealership and checking out the new gear as the seasons's always nice to have a wish list, even if you don't buy anything.

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

  5. If you have old gear- boots, jacket, gloves- it means that stuff works for you and gets the job done. I like to keep a high shine on my boots, but the jacket shows the miles.

  6. I like a to keep a shine on my boots while the jacket shows the miles

  7. I guess I'm a cheap scape. my wife and son had to buy me a new Jacket, but now that I've used it a couple years I like it. It's water proof, has armor, plenty O-pockets, bright color and the plus side is I ride easier with the protection it gives. My old black leather jacket spends almost all it's hours in the closet. Like you on the helmets, I can't see changing. Boots though, I'm always looking for something different But my Rockys have served me well through the years and are water proof, comfortable and grip well on all terrains.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)