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Motorcycle Leathers: Know Your Fit

Know what to look for when fitting your motorcycle leathers.

When you’re on your motorcycle, it’s very important to wear protective gear. This includes a helmet, leather jacket, leather vest, motorcycle boots and possibly chaps. Not only do you need to wear these things, but you also need to have the right fit. Finding the right fit for your motorcycle leathers will keep you safe and comfortable. Just like any other clothing, you should try on different styles of motorcycle leathers for your best fit. Loose-fitting leather can shift while you’re riding. It’s uncomfortable, and can move protective armor out of place.

Motorcycle Jacket

Motorcycle Leathers Know Your Fit
Fitting motorcycle leathers can be tricky. With help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can find the right fit for all your motorcycle leathers.

The size and fit of a motorcycle jacket can differ between manufacturers. Some brands will be sized by small, medium, large, etc. Other brands will use more specified sizing by measurements. It’s best to know your measurements before buying a motorcycle jacket. Measure your chest right underneath the arms. Measure your stomach right above the navel. For a women’s motorcycle jacket, also measure the bust. You may need a second person to help you make the measurements.

When you’re going to try on motorcycle leathers, wear what you think you’ll wear while riding. If you plan on riding in the summer, wear a t-shirt. If you’re going to be riding in colder weather, wear a sweatshirt or even a heated vest. You need to make sure your clothes will fit under the jacket.

When you’re trying on a jacket, there a few things to look for. You want the shoulders to have plenty of room, because your riding posture is going to be different than when you’re just standing. The arms should be long enough to meet your riding gloves. This will help reduce exposed skin and exposure to wind. The neck should be snug when the jacket is zipped up. You will also want a snug fit around your hips. Also look for a jacket with protective armor. The armor is usually found around the elbows and spine, giving you further protection if you go into a skid.

Motorcycle Chaps

If you decide to wear leather chaps or pants, make sure they are long enough. If you’re wearing chaps, you want your boots to be able to tuck up inside the chaps. If you wear leather pants, tuck them into your boots. Chaps are meant to protect your legs from road rash and wind. Some chaps have tassels or fringe. It’s fine for riding, but make sure they won’t rub against your skin. They can cause skin irritation or chaffing.

When you’re fitting motorcycle chaps, remember you’ll be wearing them over pants. You need to allow ample room for the pants. The waist on chaps is adjustable and length can be altered easily. You need to measure the thickest part of your thigh to get the right fit. You want them to be loose enough that you can move, but not loose enough that they’re baggy. Chap inseams generally run two inches shorter than pants inseams. It’s best to try them on while actually sitting on a motorcycle. This way, you can test out the thighs. You can also make sure the chaps reach your boot heel.

Read through our motorcycle clothing safety guide for more information on staying safe on the road.

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