If you’ve spent any amount of time around motorcycle culture — or you own a bike yourself — you know that a high-quality motorcycle jacket should act as a foundational piece to any biker’s wardrobe.
If you’re new to motorcycles, you’re probably wondering to yourself: “What’s so important about adding a motorcycle jacket to my biking wardrobe?”
First off, a premium motorcycle jacket is long-lasting and durable, and gives motorcyclists the sort of all-weather protection they need if they plan on taking trips in windy or rainy weather. Besides offering top notch protection from the elements, the best motorcycle jackets also come equipped with an assortment of internal and external pockets, making it easy for bikers to safely store their valuables before hopping on their bike.
But there’s also the aesthetic component that a beautiful jacket lends to any motorcyclist’s kit. After all, is there anything more classic — anything more idyllic — than wearing a black motorcycle jacket as you sit atop your Harley-Davidson and cruise through the countryside on a beautiful autumn evening? Unlikely.
If you’re looking for an eye-catching premium motorcycle jacket that offers you the durability and safety you’ve come to expect from high-end motorcycle apparel, scan the list below to find the best motorcycle jacket for you.
Priced at $550, the Aether Rally is an exceptionally designed premium leather motorcycle jacket made for the bike enthusiast who appreciates lightweight durability and comfort.
One unique aspect of the Rally’s construction is that its fabric is coated in rubber, making the jacket completely waterproof. Indeed, we’ve worn the Aether Rally in extremely wet conditions ourselves, and are pleased to report that we remained completely dry for the duration of our ride.
For most people, black leather jackets represent motorcycle style at its most classic. For decades now, everyone from casual motorcyclists to the most die-hard biker gangs have worn black leather jackets when they’re out for a ride.
The Pagnol M1 has that timeless black leather look of the finest vintage motorcycle jackets, but also has well-placed perforation patches that will keep your body and underarms cool if you choose to take a cross-country trip during the summer.
Union Garage Robinson
For riders seeking out a khaki-colored jacket to wear for shorter, more casual motorcycle trips, the Robinson from Union Garage might be the perfect fit. The Robinson’s tan-colored fabric makes this a great crossover option if you plan on taking your date out for a spin on your bike.
As it turns out, you don’t need to own a motorcycle or even have a helmet to get your motorcycle license. It’s actually much safer if you learn from a professional how to ride one before you make the decision to buy one of your own. Though you might like the idea of riding a motorcycle right now, you may feel differently after you get on a bike for the first time and truly experiencing it.
If you do like the sensation of riding a motorcycle, that’s great! Motorcycles are a convenient way to get around town, take road trips, and explore a different mode of transportation. However, they require a different license than that of a car, so you will need to get one before you start riding a motorcycle on your own. That being said, the process for getting your license isn’t difficult at all, and you’ll be able to get out on the road in no time. Here’s how you can do it!
Take the BasicRider course with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
To get your motorcycle license, you will want to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s BasicRider course. This can end up costing anywhere from $25 – $300, and the course will go over all of the information you need to know about handling the vehicle and driving it safely.
What To Expect From the Course
You will be both in a classroom filling out worksheets, as well as out on a practice range where you will learn how to operate a motorcycle. There you will earn a road test waiver which you take to the DMV and exchange for your license, after completing the required number of training hours.
Finding a Course Near You
To find a course in your area, search for “Basic Rider Course” online. More than likely there will be multiple courses offered around where you live, and you can take the course that best suits your schedule.
Book in Advance
It’s highly unlikely that you will be able to drop in on a course any day you want. There are specific times allotted, and other people may want to take the same class that you do, so make sure to confirm your spot. Until the day of your class, practice riding a bike. This might sound silly, but it is a prerequisite for the course. And, the more comfortable you are on a regular bicycle, the more comfortable you will be on a motorcycle, which is essentially a traditional bicycle, but with a motor.
Consider Taking an Advanced Course
After obtaining your license, it’s not a bad idea to consider taking an advanced course to show you advanced maneuvers. Such courses can help you learn to more comfortably use your bike of choice and can teach life-saving maneuvers on the road.
When riding a motorcycle with a passenger, you need to be as careful as possible. Unlike previous rides, you are no longer the only one whose well-being you need to keep in mind.
The experience might be scary at first, if the passenger has never been on a motorcycle before, but within a short amount of time, it should become a fun way to spend an afternoon. To keep the passenger (and yourself) safe, make sure you follow these guidelines:
Ensure the motorcycle can handle the extra weight
Since not all motorcycles can carry extra weight, make sure ahead of time that yours can. It helps to research ahead of time before even offering to give someone a ride. Failure to do so can be quite risky to both the rider and the passenger. Weight added impacts acceleration, braking, and suspension, and could make the motorcycle uneven. Check that the brakes are fit to handle stopping is a good idea, too.
The passenger should always wait until you, the rider, tells them that the motorcycle is ready for boarding. Instruct the passenger to board the motorcycle from the left side, and demonstrate if needed.
It is also important to ensure that the motorcycle is totally upright and the rider’s legs support it firmly to enhance stability for the passenger to board. Although the motorcycle may seem to be stable while on its kickstand, straightening it will be more difficult once the extra weight is on board. Avoid the problem altogether by straightening the bike before the passenger boards. This is another reason your passenger is better off waiting for you to say you’re ready for them to get on.
Instruct the passenger to hold onto you tightly
If your passenger has a loose grip, they will be more likely to slam into you when stopping, and that’s not only uncomfortable, but dangerous. It will also feel like they are going to fall off during acceleration, but by holding tightly and warning them ahead of time, hopefully you can alleviate that
Ensuring the passenger is holding on tightly helps you, too, because you can concentrate instead of worry that your passenger could fall off anytime.
Inexperienced passengers tend to lean in the opposite direction due to fear of falling off during turning, which will cause the motorcycle to tip precariously. Therefore, before departure, remind them to stay straight and look over your shoulder to the side you are turning towards.
Even the slightest movements by the passenger impact how the rider’s bike feels during turning, so moving with the bike in the right direction is crucial to turning safely. Do your best to communicate this with your passenger before starting out on your drive.
Make sure to instruct your passenger to stay in position before stopping the motorcycle. Putting their foot down by the passenger can make the motorcycle lose balance and cause you to lose balance.
On arriving at the designated place, ask them to wait until ready. Thereafter, they can dismount towards the left, the same way they came on, and you both can be safely on your way.
About Graham Zahoruiko
As Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation, Graham Zahoruiko is leading greater corporate shareholder wealth, public benefit, and social responsibility. Graham gets to exercise a level of independence that is rare in the business world. He needs to rely on himself to deliver on what he has been hired to do. There are no shortcuts, only hard work, and self-reliance. These are qualities intrinsic to Graham Zahoruiko, so it is no wonder that they permeate through his personal life as well. Graham is a motorcycle enthusiast. His most peaceful moments are when he is astride his Harley-Davidson and on the open road. Again, independence is the key. The iconic images of the lone rider tearing across the pavement are certainly romantic, but there is an undeniable beauty to it as well. It is a part of American culture – the independent traveler forging across the country à la the pioneers during westward expansion. The public’s understanding of motorcycle culture is also influenced by popular films – Easy Rider, the Wild Ones, Mad Max. Biker gangs are often a popular trope in these films, echoed by real-world incidences. For instance, the Hell’s Angels at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969 and the violence that ensued.
Graham Zahoruiko was introduced to motorcycle riding as a child when his uncle would give him rides in the front yard. In those days, helmets were optional and Graham and his uncle found themselves on the ground from unsuccessful wheelies. These early experiences manifested themselves into a lifestyle on the bike. Riding has always been a thrill that Graham has enjoyed as it compliments his spontaneous personality. Graham Zahoruiko averages about 5,000 to 7,500 miles during the riding season — April through October — on his black 2013 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softtail Classic.
For Graham and motorcycle riders alike, the open ride provides an immense sense of freedom in the open air. Sometimes with no destination in mind, the motorcycle is the ultimate escape. The open road and the motorcycle community provides the opportunity to meet some of the kindest and most patriotic people. Whether it is a motorcycle rally, event or ride, you always have the chance to meet and learn from interesting people all over the country.
Motorcycle enthusiasts like Graham Zahoruiko have to fight against those negative connotations. To that end, Graham has been able to combine is the love of riding with another one of his passions – philanthropy. Graham regularly participates in fundraising events focusing on motorcycle riding. For example, the 9/11 Ride. The event is organized by America’s 911 Foundation, Inc., and is purposed to remember the heroes, volunteers and victims of September 11th, 2001. Preserving the memories of all those who answered the call on that horrible day is the charge of the ride, and for the best 13 years, they have been very successful. The Ride is an annual event where 100s of riders travel together en mass. For a thousand miles, the caravan rides in formation, visiting each of the three major 9/11 crash sites. The event has grown tremendously, where now major highway interstates are shut down entirely and thousands of spectators line the streets to cheer on the bikers and honor the fallen.