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Leather Versus Nylon Motorcycle Jackets - Which is the Best?

Well, you have your bike picked out-yeah it's looking pretty cool, and sounds even better. You've considered getting a helmet or not (I recommend a helmet). You've practiced your cool riding face, and the way you're going to wave to all other bikers on the road. Now, let's talk about another important piece of equipment-the jacket.

But, which one is best for you? A leather traditional jacket or one of the cool nylon jackets with the cool elbow reinforcements, the sturdy spine-guard, the cool logo, and the hot colors? There are advantageous to both.

Leather, if it's a real riding jacket should be of heavy duty material, not the lightweight leather that people buy in bargain basements of pieced leather pieces (not to say those jackets aren't cool). Remember, the jacket should be a barrier between you and the road.

Nylon or Synthetic jackets are the alternative to leather and have been around for several years. Manufacturers such as Alpine Stars, Icon, and Joe Rocket have been on the forefront of the synthetic jacket market as well as the biggest advertisers thus far. Normally, we think of the synthetic jacket as a Sportbike jacket, but that's not necessarily the case. A good jacket does not limit the type of ride you are on.

But, when you are choosing a jacket you have taken into consideration:

- Durability: Leather is a pretty tough material it can withstand bugs flying into you or even, heaven forbid, you lay your bike down at a low speed it will stand up to the low-speed scraping of the asphalt. Synthetic jackets may be lightweight, but have additions such as reinforced elbows, spine protector, and plastic reinforcements to add to their toughness.

- Look: Leather jackets come in all styles and colors. The look of a leather jacket is that traditional rugged look that most people expect from a biker. Synthetic jackets are a great look and come in the variety of colors and styles as leather. The best part is there are so many different styles to choose from that all tastes can be met with either type of jacket - no excuses for not having one!

- Price: Is the jacket affordable? With so many different styles, quality, and availability of leather or synthetic jackets there is bound to be a jacket that meets your budget. The important part to remember is that there is no reason not to have the appropriate jacket for safety reasons primarily.

I have owned both types of jackets. They have been great. The only real difference is that the synthetic jackets tend to breathe a lot better and on a warm or hot ride that make a difference to you personally. The elbow, and spine protectors came in handy during a lay-down a year ago, and I don't think the leather jacket I would have worn would have helped in that situation. But, I was glad to have a jacket period at the time.

Other materials such as Denim or cloth are good, but unless they have reinforcements sewn into the material are limited in their protection value.

So, easy-riders go forth and conquer the roads, but make sure you have the appropriate safety gear, and equipment.