How to Properly Fit a Leather Motorcycle Jacket?

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A properly fitting leather motorcycle jacket is as crucial as a well-fitting helmet, as it also contributes to your safety. When a jacket is either too tight or too loose, it can increase the risk of accidents. If it’s too tight, it may restrict your movements while riding your motorcycle.

Sudden, involuntary movements resulting from external factors, such as what you’re wearing, can lead to a loss of control. One of the best ways to ensure a well-fitted jacket is to try one on in person; never purchase one without trying it out. In this article, I will guide you on how to properly fit and wear a leather motorcycle jacket. But first, here is how to take care of your leather jacket:

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What Should You Do Before Buying a Motorcycle Jacket?


A size chart for the garment is handy when you are buying the jacket. You don’t have to guess what size you are when it comes down to measurements. You will need to measure your chest circumference and waist circumference. Sizing charts also ask for sleeve measurements.

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Sleeve measurements are usually taken from the edge of your shoulder to the end of your wrist. Longer sleeve measurements are usually recommended for motorcycle jackets.

There are sizes specific for body types as well. European jacket measurements are usually 10 inches to the normal American sizes. For example, if your chest measures 40 inches in diameter (In American sizing), then you would have 50 inches in a Euro-size jacket.

You don’t always have to follow this sizing. Checking specific sizes available is always excellent rather than following the ideal sizing rules.

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The motorcycle leather jackets I recommend provide a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider.

How Does a Motorcycle Jacket Properly Fit?


Motorcycle Jackets usually come in shorter fits for comfort and safety. The length of the jacket ensures that you are comfortable when you are riding on the bike. Excess jacket fabric must not hinder any movements when you are riding.

Excess leather to your waist can cause discomfort and can compromise safety when riding. The ideal placement of the length of the jacket is that the bottom of the jacket rests nicely on your thighs when riding. The jacket should sit at your belt line when standing up. This factor is true for tight-fitting motorcycle jackets as well.

Short-length jackets add efficiency as well. It prevents any fabric from flailing when you are out riding. You can get better fuel efficiency as the jacket causes no wind lift. This type of jacket length also does good for your safety. It will not catch on anything that protrudes from the bike.

Should You Pick a Tight-Fitting Leather Motorcycle Jacket?

A snug fit is great when you want to prevent airflow as you ride your motorcycle. Too tight-fitting jackets are not advised as they can restrict your movements.

These are some tips to keep in mind so that you can have a correct-fitting jacket:

  • A proper fitting jacket won’t pull up over your head.
  • If the collar is too loose, there might be air drag, and bugs might collect in that area.
  • Protective armor should be well-placed on critical areas of your body, such as your elbows and shoulders.
  • A snug fit is desirable but too tight, and you restrict movements. It can result in discomfort as tight measurements often have poor ventilation.
  • If you’re using the jacket for cold weather, you might have extra clothing underneath it. Take note of this when you take measurements.
  • Keep in mind the constrictions on your shoulders. Your shoulders are important when maneuvering, and movements from this area should not be limited. It can compromise safety as you cannot adequately take quick turns or actions when there is a hazard on the road. You also won’t enjoy feeling cramped when riding your motorcycle. You are going to wear this regularly, so a proper fit is a must.
  • Test the jacket when you’re riding your motorcycle. The sleeves should end at your wrists when you are in a riding position. The jacket’s sleeve must end at the middle of your palm when you are standing.
  • Choose a jacket that has a zipper that nicely reaches the base of your throat. It can help the jacket to remain tight and secure, especially at high speed.
  • Adjustable waist, sleeves, cuffs, and collar are great features when choosing a leather motorcycle jacket. It provides you with customizability and precise fit.

Steps To Properly Fit a Leather Motorcycle Jacket

  • Choose from different types of fit, such as European, Race, or American.
  • Ask help from your friend to find your jacket size.
  • Order the jacket and carefully check if the fit is good for you.
  • If the fit is right, then you have found yourself a new motorcycle jacket.
  • What fit to choose? European, Race, or American?

There are usually three main types of jackets that are commonly available when looking for a motorcycle jacket. European fittings often have a close fit with a tapered profile. Often, this fit is called a “sport cut”. The American fitting is the most common and is called the “Touring” or “Regular”.

If you want a sportier look, the European fit might be for you. It is also great for riders who don’t want loose fitting. The Race type of fitting is mainly used for sport motorcycle riding. The race motorcycle jacket fit is snug and has pre-curved arms so that you don’t have to feel restricted. This race-inspired fitting offers flexibility and comfort when riding in a full-tuck riding position.

4 Steps to Find Your Ideal Jacket Size

When selecting a motorcycle jacket, ensuring the perfect fit is crucial for comfort and safety. Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding the right size:

1. Measure Your Chest

Enlist a friend’s help to measure your chest. Use a soft tape measure and wrap it around your chest area, ensuring it runs evenly across your back. The measurement should be the widest part of your chest. Avoid deep breaths for accuracy.

Note: No extra inches need to be added, especially if you plan to use a back protector.

2. Check the Product Page

Review the product page of the leather jacket you wish to order. Pay attention to the size chart and arm measurements provided. Sleeve lengths typically range from 20 to 30 inches. The 20-inch measurement runs from the shoulder’s top to the wrist, while the 30-inch measurement extends from the spine’s center to the base of the neck (where the jacket collar sits).

Consider these measurements, especially if you’re opting for a Race fit, which might feature shorter sleeves to accommodate gauntlet gloves.

3. Determine Your Waist Size

Measure your waist by wrapping the tape around your torso, approximately an inch above your belly button. Remember, this measurement may not align with your pant sizes. Most motorcycle jackets offer waist adjustments, so exact sizing here is less critical. It’s essential to refer to the product’s specific size chart as manufacturers often vary in their sizing conventions.

4. Understand Alpha and Numerical Sizing

Motorcycle jackets come in Alpha (Small, Medium, Large) and Numerical sizes (51, 52, 53, etc.). These sizes can differ between manufacturers. Always follow the product’s unique size chart for accurate sizing, as individual sizing specifications may apply.

Checking for Proper Jacker Fit


  • Once you have your leather motorcycle jacket delivered, you would want to check if it nicely fits. It would help if you first tried it around your house and not outside riding on your motorcycle. Manufacturers usually don’t accept returns once the jacket is used for a motorcycle ride.
  • Once you ride it outside, it means that you own it. Sit on your motorcycle and try the jacket. Make your usual movements when riding so that you know if there are any restrictions or discomfort. Your movements should not restrict you from leaning, turning, or reaching the handle grips.
  • These factors are crucial when riding, as when these are compromised, they can cause accidents. You don’t want to be restricted when riding your bike. A snug fit while not being too loose is a good sign that you have a properly fitting leather motorcycle jacket.
  • Loose-fitting motorcycle jackets can be hazardous as the protective features of the jacket are compromised. A properly fitting jacket feels snug on the waist, arms, and chest.
  • Assume a riding position with your motorcycle and try it out with your other gear as well. Wear the jacket with your helmet, pants, gloves, and even with your backpack. It is essential that the motorcycle jacket interfaces with your other gear as well.
  • Riders that like a sport fit should look for a nice and tight fit. Tight jackets keep the protective armor in the right places. It also prevents friction heat.
  • Leather jackets have a break-in period of about 5%. A tight fit might be uncomfortable at the first few tries, but it will get better as you wear it over time.
  • You have to make sure that the protective armor nicely sits on your shoulders and elbows. If the protective armor does not fit nicely, sometimes these can be adjusted. A motorcycle jacket is not useful if it cannot protect you.

If The Fit is Right, You Have Found a New Motorcycle Jacket For Your Rides

Once you’re confident that the jacket fits perfectly and fulfills all your requirements, it’s time to hit the road. Leather motorcycle jackets offer a seamless blend of style and protection, becoming your reliable companion for miles of riding. They not only shield you from the elements but also elevate your overall appearance. Motorcycle jackets are essential additions to any rider’s wardrobe, offering both safety and style.

These jackets aren’t just garments; they are your partners in safety and fashion. For added safety measures, consider enhancements like a back protector. Ride with confidence, knowing you’re both secure and stylish in your new motorcycle jacket. Enjoy the journey!

Choosing the Right Fit for Your Leather Motorcycle Jacket

Selecting a leather motorcycle jacket involves careful consideration of its fit to ensure both comfort and safety. Here are key fit issues to bear in mind for an optimal riding experience:

  • Firm Fit, No Flapping: Your jacket should fit snugly, without flapping around when you ride. Loose jackets can cause protective armor to shift in the event of a crash, compromising safety. Look for a secure, firm fit that ensures the armor stays in place.
  • Avoid Overly Tight Fits: While a snug fit is essential, overly tight jackets can restrict movement, hindering functionality and potentially compromising safety. Seek jackets with strategically placed stretch panels to allow flexibility without sacrificing fit.
  • Consider Adjustability: Opt for jackets with adjustable features. Non-adjustable jackets lack the flexibility to tailor the fit to your body. Additionally, leather can shrink when exposed to heat, potentially altering the jacket’s fit over time. Adjustable elements accommodate these changes, ensuring a consistent fit.
  • Sleeve Length Matters: Jacket sleeves might seem perfect, but they often fall short when reaching for handlebars. Choose a jacket with slightly longer sleeves to ensure adequate coverage, especially in riding positions. However, be cautious of race-fitting jackets with short sleeves, designed for use with long gauntlet gloves to prevent clumping.
  • Mind the Collar: High collars, while seemingly protective, can create air drag, reducing riding efficiency. Opt for jackets with moderate collar heights to maintain aerodynamic performance without compromising safety.

Unlocking the Comfort: The Advantages of Leather Motorcycle Jackets

Leather motorcycle jackets are renowned for their unparalleled comfort and unique fit, making them a staple choice for riders worldwide. Understanding their advantages can help enthusiasts make an informed decision:

  • Customized Fit: Leather jackets have the remarkable ability to mold to your body shape over time. While they might feel snug initially, this is a part of the natural process. During a 5% break-in period, the jacket adapts to your physique, ensuring a customized and comfortable fit.
  • Faster Adaptation: For faster stretching, wear the leather jacket around your house for a few hours. Using a leather conditioner can also aid in the stretching process. Spraying the jacket with water and allowing it to dry can help as well.
  • Preventing Hardening: Regular manual stretching, a few times a week, can prevent the leather from hardening over time. This proactive approach ensures the jacket retains its flexibility, enhancing long-term wear comfort.
  • Professional Solutions: In cases where DIY methods prove insufficient, consulting a skilled leather crafter offers tailored solutions. These experts can provide personalized adjustments, ensuring your jacket fits perfectly and comfortably.

Investing in a leather motorcycle jacket isn’t just a fashion choice; it’s a commitment to enduring comfort. With the right techniques and care, your leather jacket will not only fit like a second skin but also provide unmatched riding pleasure for years to come.

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I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:


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About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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