Armoured motorcycle shirts offer a level of freedom that other motorcycle jackets can’t.
They are lightweight, easy to wear, provide a stylish casual look and make for a great alternative for riding clothing.
That isn’t the case anymore, with progression in technical fabrics, quality construction and protective armour; a good armoured motorcycle shirt is more than up for the job to keep you safe on the road.
Let’s get into it.
Here are our top armoured motorcycle shirts.
Armoured Motorcycle Shirts Reviewed
Resurgence Pekev Ultra Riding Shirt
This option is quite easily my favourite on the list for both protection and traditional style.
Admittedly it is also the most pricey; on that note, I ask you, how important is quality protection to you?
Pekev is a material made from the world’s toughest polymer.
It is thin, light and strong, making it incredibly stable, durable and highly resistant to heat and abrasion, more so than carbon steel.
It is 200 times stronger than Kevlar, one of the staple materials used in motorcycle clothing.
The riding shirt has been rated with the highest AAA CE grade, which applies to the whole garment, not just the armour.
Equipped with CE Level 1 D30 armour at the shoulders and elbows and also a Level 2 D30 back protector, the Resurgence shirt is the most well equipped protectively on our list.
It is a simple button-down shirt using rubber press-studs and has two interior and exterior pockets.
- Constructed out of Pekev material
- D30 armour
- CE AAA rated
- Lack of extra features like belt loops or vents
Richa Lumber Shirt
The Richa Lumber Shirt is a great option for those looking for a shirt for Summer riding at a great price.
Its outer shell is constructed of Aramid fibres mixed with durable cotton for increased abrasion resistance.
The shirt comes with CE Level 1 D30 armour at the shoulders, elbows and back.
You also get a soft mesh lining to allow for comfort and increased airflow and two external and one internal pocket.
An elasticated waist belt ensures you can fit the shirt appropriately and holds it all in place when riding to prevent it from riding up.
It is a looser fit than some of the other options; however, the armour does remain seated where it needs to be.
You get no water resistance with this shirt, and it won’t be any good in cooler weather to keep you warm.
- Great urban riding
- Exceptional value
- D30 armour equipped at shoulders, elbows and back
- Small sizing
- Small internal pocket
John Doe Motoshirt Textile Jacket
The John Doe Motoshirt is the best of both worlds, combining typical motorcycle jacket features into a more casual shirt style package.
You get a cotton twill outer construction with an Aramid fibre lining for that all-important abrasion protection.
An internal CoolMax lining helps to regulate your temperature and keep you cool.
There are four pockets and adjustable cuffs for tucking into your gloves or wearing on the outside.
The rear length of the shirt is also extended to ensure your lower back is covered.
Where the shirt lets itself down is on the armour front.
It has pockets for shoulder, elbow and back protection but is not supplied with any.
On one hand, this is a good thing because it ensures you can fit out your shirt with high-quality armour to suit yourself.
However, on the other hand, it is quite an expensive shirt not to include any armour compared to other options in this list.
- Jacket style features such as CoolMax lining.
- No armour
Scorpion Unisex-Adult Covert Waxed Riding Shirt
Scorpion EXO is known mainly in the UK for their motorcycle helmets; however, that is not all they produce.
The US company offers a range of motorcycle clothing, including a Covert collection which includes products like utility vests, jeans and this riding shirt.
Constructed from 12 oz Denim and backed by an inner liner made of DuPont Kevlar, abrasion resistance protection is high on this shirt’s priority list.
The waxed element of this shirt offers rain and wind protection, be sure to keep the shirt treated with a wax spray/cream, so it continues to protect you.
Once again, it is a shirt that doesn’t come with armour but has pockets for it.
In this case, the shirt is not as pricey as the John Doe, so it isn’t quite as irritating, but I would still prefer some shoulder and elbow protection, at least included with all motorcycle jackets.
- Good value
- DOT approved (US version of ECE)
- Kevlar lining
- Water/wind resistant
- No armour supplied
Knox Mens\Ladies Urbane Pro MKII Shirt
Knox is known for creating fantastic protective motorcycle equipment.
The Urbane Pro Shirt is no exception and has been given a Class AA CE rating, which means that as a standalone shirt, it is suitable for various riding environments and conditions.
You get low-profile Knox Micro-lock shoulder and elbow protectors (CE Level 1) and a Micro-lock Level 2 back protector.
The Micro-lock armour is some of the most technically advanced on the market. It is soft to the touch and moulds to your joints but then locks on impact to protect you.
There is also a pocket on the front to fit a chest protector if you wish.
The shirt is constructed from high tenacity stretch nylon and tough, breathable Arrow Mesh, which was chosen for its cut/tear and abrasion resistance properties.
There is a specific ladies version of the shirt available which is cut to a ladies body shape, so it is good for lady riders who want something tailored.
The MKII Urbane shirt is an upgraded version of the original model, also available in men’s and women’s versions.
Certified at grade CE-AA, the MKII shirt has been rated higher than the previous model, which was rated CE-A.
This means that during testing, the new garment has proven itself to be more protective in a wider range of environments and is now more suited for riding in a range of environments that the everyday rider may face.
- CE approved armour included
- CE-AA rating
- Styling – modern, not a traditional looking shirt
Alpinestars Newman Overshirt Jacket
The Newman Overshirt has been rated with a CE A grade of certification for road use; as a guideline, it is most suited to city riding.
It is equipped with Alpinestars Nucleon Plus shoulder and elbow armour which is CE Level 1 approved.
There are pockets for the addition of a chest and back protector.
You get two external pockets and one internal waterproof pocket which is handy.
The outer construction is a heavy-duty premium twill material.
What I don’t like about this jacket is that it is only reinforced with Aramid fibres in areas that Alpinestars has deemed most likely to need protection from abrasion.
- CE A graded
- CE approved armour at shoulder and elbow
- Small sizing
- No back protector included
- Not fully reinforced with aramid fibres.
The absolute key thing to note when it comes to armoured motorcycle shirts is that not all of them are meant to be worn as a standalone jacket.
Some armoured shirts are essentially compression shirts with heavy armour but possess no abrasion resistance qualities and so must be paired with another motorcycle jacket.
In our list, we have only included armoured motorcycle shirts that can be worn on their own with no other protective layers required.
Other than this, there are just a few other things to consider when it comes to armoured shirts, so let’s take a look to ensure you pick the right one for you.
Here are my top tips for buying an armoured motorcycle shirt:
CE Approval Rating
You should first check for the CE approval rating of the garment, as this will give you an indication of the level of protection it offers.
Check for the following codes on the inside label of the shirt or product description:
CE – A, AA, AAA.
- CE-A is lowest grade and is most suited for urban riding
- CE-AA is tested to a higher standard and a shirt rated as such is great for every-day riding
- CE-AAA is given to gear targeting sports riding at much higher speeds.
Some shirts will not have a CE rating; however, that does not render them totally useless.
As long as they are equipped with pockets for CE approved armour and are also constructed of high-quality material with an aramid/Kevlar lining to offer abrasion resistance, they will offer some protection.
You’ll want protection at the key impact zones: shoulders, elbows, back.
Some will offer pockets for a chest protector as an additional bonus.
You will want to ensure that the armour is CE approved to at least Level 1.
The most common issue found in all types of motorcycle jackets is a lack of a CE approved back protector and, in its place, a piece of memory foam.
Be sure to remove this and replace it with an actual certified back protector.
The biggest concern for some may be the idea that there is a lack of abrasion resistance compared to regular motorcycle jackets.
You need to look for a shirt made of high-quality cotton/polyester mixed with aramid fibres to bolster the abrasion resistance.
Some shirts have a Kevlar lining so that the cotton outer construction may tear on impact, but the inner lining is there to protect you.
Other options are made of a high-quality textile aramid material for the outer construction, such as the Resurgence shirt.
What sort of riding do you do?
This is always an important question to ask yourself when buying new motorcycle clothing.
Here is what an armoured motorcycle shirt is good for:
- Comfort and Freedom of Movement
- Lightweight, Easy to Wear
- Summer Riding
- Urban Riding
- Convenience – casual look when off the bike
- Backup Option – easy to stash on the bike if on a long tour through all weathers and environments
Here are few things that they aren’t the best for as a standalone garment:
- Cold Weather
- Wet Weather
- Sports/Fast Riding
- Use as a Touring Jacket
There you have it a list of the best armoured motorcycle shirts on the market.
If you are like me and are aiming to balance a level of style with maximum protection, then the Resurgence Ultra Riding Shirt is the best choice.
For a Summer riding protective shirt at a great price point, you can’t go wrong with the Richa Lumber Shirt.