The Safest Motorcycle Jackets to Keep Your Skin Attached to Your Body

Whether you’re on a 50cc scooter or a 1300cc turbocharged ‘Busa, an essential piece of riding kit is a solidly-made, safe motorcycle jacket.

I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I see someone cruising along the freeway – whether on a superbike, dirt bike, or a cruiser – wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Along with a helmet and gloves, a riding jacket – the safest motorcycle jacket you can afford – should be an item of riding gear you never get on your bike without. A riding jacket should be a priority.

Safest Motorcycle Jackets Quick Review

Top Choice: Pilot Trans.Urban V2 Motorcycle Jacket

A great, solidly-built mid-range multi-purpose jacket suitable for a number of riding styles. It won’t break the bank and should last for many years.

First Checkpoint
1. Pilot Trans.Urban V2 Motorcycle JacketAdventure riding and touring★★★★★
2. Alpinestars GP Plus R v3 Air Motorcycle JacketHigh performance riding★★★★★
3. Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Men’s Textile JacketCasual street riding★★★★★
4. Klim Induction Textile Mesh JacketHot weather riding★★★★
5. Joe Rocket Classic ’92 Leather Motorcycle JacketCruising and posturing★★★★

A Smorgasbord of Choices – Which Jacket is Right for Me?

As it is with most products these days, whether we’re talking cellphones, motorcycles themselves or, hell, even trendy hipster craft beers, we’re living in an era in which we’re spoilt for choice. Long gone are the days when the one’s options regarding the safest motorcycle jackets available consisted of “anything you want – as long as it’s black and made of leather”.

We now have jackets tailor-made for every sort of riding one can imagine, from your basic cruiser-type jackets (black leather is as enduring and timeless as blue denim in some spheres, it seems) to jackets for adventure riders wanting to brave a trans-African trip, or jackets tailor-made for superbike-riding speed demons.

They all come in lots of bright colors too, with or without armor, and are made of many space-age synthetic materials, which offer just as much abrasion resistance as leather, without the weight, smell, and heat-trapping properties of that substance.

All of these come in a huge range of price segments too, so whatever your budget is, if you can afford to purchase something with two wheels and a motor, from the cheapest, nastiest Chinese scooter to the most exotic Italian racing machine, you can afford (and should budget for) a safe motorcycle jacket. It really is an important piece of equipment to keep you safe (source), in summer, winter, rain or shine.

So how does one go about choosing a jacket when confronted with such a spectrum of choice, such a vast range of items which all, in the most basic sense of the word, perform essentially the same function?

Choosing the Safest Motorcycle Jacket

Once you’ve narrowed down your options by figuring out what style suits your riding, how do you then select a good safe jacket out of what’s available in your section of jackets? Well, to help you out there, we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular and safest jackets for protection while riding.

Best for Casual Street Riding

Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Textile Jacket

The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Textile Jacket is a great option for motorcycle riders who prioritize safety and performance without breaking the bank. This mid-range multi-purpose jacket is suitable for a variety of riding styles and is built to last for many years.

As an experienced motorcyclist, I can say that the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket is a prime example of a quality textile jacket built with both safety and price in mind. The jacket features a Hitena and Rock Tex shell that provides excellent abrasion resistance, and the CE approved armor in the elbows and shoulders provides superior impact protection. Additionally, the jacket has a removable and upgradeable back protector to provide even more protection.

In terms of practicality, this jacket is fully waterproof, which is a crucial feature for riders who want to stay dry during rainy weather. The jacket also has great ventilation, making it suitable for both hot and cold weather conditions. The jacket’s somewhat understated style lends itself to crossing categories, making it look as stylish on the pilot of a sporty, naked machine as on a cruiser rider.

This jacket is a safe and practical option for moderate to decent speeds. While it’s not suitable for extreme, high-speed riding, it offers excellent protection for everyday riders who prioritize safety and performance.

  • Good mid-range price
  • Understated, universal style
  • Safe for moderate to decent speeds
  • Waterproof
  • Not really suitable for extreme, high speed riding
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Best for Adventure Riding and Touring

Pilot Trans.Urban Jacket V2

The Pilot Trans. Urban V2 Motorcycle Jacket is a fantastic, purpose-designed jacket aimed specifically at the adventure touring market, and is an excellent choice for riders who prioritize both protection and performance. This jacket is attractively-designed, built to last, and offers great value for its price.

As an experienced adventure rider, I can attest that this jacket provides top quality weather protection, which is crucial for riders who face all sorts of climatic extremes. The jacket’s high-visibility options also make it a solid choice for riders who want to stay visible on dusty roads or in countries with poor driving manners and safety standards. The jacket’s armor in the elbows and shoulders provides good protection in the event of a crash, although it could be sturdier.

This jacket is packed with features that adventure riders will appreciate, including a variety of pockets and compartments for storing all sorts of touring goodies. It is also built to withstand the wear and tear of long-distance riding, with high-quality materials and construction.

  • Excellent weather protection
  • Hi-vis options
  • Good protection in the event of a crash
  • Good value for money
  • Could have sturdier armour
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Best for High Performance Riding

Alpinestars GP Plus R V3 Leather Jacket

A slickly-styled, superbly constructed racing-style jacket aimed at people who enjoy track-oriented, high speed riding.

No jacket lineup would be complete without at least one Alpinestars jacket in it, so here we have the Alpinestars GP v3 Motorcycle Jacket. Yes, it’s labelled a “street” jacket but it’s definitely aimed at the rider who pushes his or her machine to the limits of its performance and regularly attends track days. Cut from 600 Denier polyester which is coupled with an additional layer of protection in the form of a polyurethane coating.

It provides maximum abrasion resistance, and comes with top grade elbow, shoulder and back armor. It does all of this without comprising on breathability. The Alpinestars GP V3 jacket has tons of mesh panels and pockets offering maximum ventialtion and protection.

It weighs roughly 5 pounds pounds, and is cut for the rider who speeds most of their riding time in an aggressive, wrists-down-bum-up crouch. This jacket is definitely not aimed at the casual rider or tourer; although, it wouldn’t do you any harm to be wearing a jacket of this calibre. The style and cut of the GP V3 jacket screams “racer”. All of these features come at a decent price as well: Setting you back less than three hundred dollars.

  • As safe as you can get.
  • Extremely high quality construction.
  • Expensive
  • Only really suitable for high speed riding
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Best for Hot Weather Riding

Klim Induction Men’s MX Motorcycle Jacket

A surprisingly safe mesh jacket for the rider who commutes in hot weather, or enjoys cruising and casual riding when the sun is out.

What’s this? A mesh jacket in a lineup of (supposedly!) safe motorcycle jackets?! Get outta here! But wait! Before you go, I think you should know that the mesh on this jacket is made of Kevlar fibre. Yeah, the stuff they make bulletproof vests out of. Because of this, the Klim Induction jacket actually provides very good abrasion resistance while providing maximum air flow through the jacket, which is essential for those of us who live in hot climates. Let’s face it, getting heatstroke from sitting on your bike in traffic in a 30°+ days in a heavy leather jacket is no fun.

The Klim Induction Textile Mesh Jacket is a good option for riders who prioritize safety and comfort while riding in hot weather. Unlike other mesh jackets on the market, the Klim Induction jacket is made with Kevlar fiber mesh, which provides fantastic abrasion resistance and maximum airflow. The armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back adds extra protection in the event of an accident.

In addition to its safety features, the Klim Induction jacket also offers a lot of practicality, including numerous pockets and a high-visibility option for added safety on the road. The jacket’s design is suitable for casual and somewhat spirited street riding on hot days, making it a great choice for commuters and weekend riders alike.

While the price of the Klim Induction jacket may be higher than other mesh jackets on the market, it is well worth the investment for its combination of safety, comfort, and practicality.

  • Great abrasion and impact protection for a mesh jacket
  • Superb airflow
  • Lots of pockets
  • Hi-vis option available for even better street safety.
  • Pricey for a mesh jacket.
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Best for Cruising and Posturing

Joe Rocket Classic '92 Men's Leather Motorcycle Jacket

The call of the open road draws all bikers, and having the right protective gear makes the ride safer and more enjoyable. In this regard, a motorcycle jacket plays a pivotal role. The Joe Rocket Classic '92 Men's Leather Motorcycle Jacket has proven popular among many riders.

The Joe Rocket Classic '92 jacket, made from natural drum dyed cowhide, provides superior durability and abrasion resistance. It also features a Variable Flow™ ventilation system for efficient airflow and removable full-sleeve insulated liner for adaptability in different climates.

Joe Rocket has made considerable strides with the Classic '92. While it maintains the timeless look of traditional motorcycle jackets, the incorporation of modern features like the Variable Flow™ ventilation system and removable full-sleeve insulated liner demonstrate a thoughtful response to riders' evolving needs and preferences.

  • Quality Material
  • Variable Flow Ventilation
  • Removable Insulated Liner
  • Size Consistency
  • Weight
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Purpose and Style

safest leather motorcycle jacket

Well, as with many things when it comes to motorcycling, purpose and style are bound to be two of the main factors when it comes to choosing a motorcycle jacket. First, purpose: what kind of riding are you going to be doing? What sorts of speeds do you regularly do on the street? What sort of motorcycle do you ride? This last question ties into the question of style as well. A black leather jacket accessorized with chrome “flair” and bling, with shaggy sleeves flapping with tassels, is going to look a little incongruent on a person riding a sleek Japanese superbike, as would a garishly-colored, heavily-armored synthetic jacket on someone cruising around on a Harley.

Thankfully for us consumers, jacket manufacturers generally categorize their jackets into various styles, which are easy enough to pair with the type of motorcycle you ride: “sports” or “racing” style jackets are obviously aimed at superbike riders, “street” and “stunt” are usually for riders of naked, sporty machines, “adventure” or “enduro” is aimed at those who ride big adventure bikes on long, often off-road or semi-off-road trips, while “touring” jackets are similar, but usually aimed at more road-biased riding, and the eponymous “cruiser” style jackets are for, well, cruisers.

The Best Safe Motorcycle Jacket

safest motorcycle jacket

My personal pick of the bunch would be the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 as the safest motorcycle jacket. I don’t ride at insane speeds anymore, preferring instead a more relaxed riding style, but do enjoy an occasional spirited jaunt, and for these purposes the Atomic 5.0 is ideal. The decent mid-range price of this jacket is the cherry on top of a great, safe package.

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