The world of leather motorcycle jackets has really opened up; gone are the days of just plain black jackets lacking style.
There is something out there for all riders, from sports leathers with racing hump inserts to retro Marlon Brando inspired jackets.
There is nothing quite like getting suited and booted in full leather and heading out for a ride; it is almost like preparing for battle, except the battle is hours of incredible riding fun.
Let’s delve in.
Best Leather Motorcycle Jacket – Quick Picks
Furygan Vince V3 Leather Jacket: Best Overall
Alpinestars Missile V2 Leather Jacket: Best Premium
DXR Blacksmith CE Leather Jacket: Best Value
RST Tractech EVO 4 CE Leather Jacket: Best Sports
Richa Daytona 2 Leather Jacket: Best Retro
Leather Motorcycle Jacket Reviews
The Furygan Vince V3 jacket is a classically styled leather jacket that has received subtle upgrades for its latest version.
In terms of construction, the leather is soft from the onset. You’ll need to do very little ‘breaking in’ of this leather jacket. Just suit up and off you go.
The thermal liner under the breathable liner is removable, which is great for warmer weather. Plus, the connecting zip for matching trousers will help protect your lower back in an accident. There are also dedicated zips for the optional Fury Airbag system.
The jacket is equipped with D30 armour at the shoulders and elbows, with a back protector pocket to boot. With a CE A rating, this jacket is rated to protect against impact and abrasion.
D30 is my favourite armour because it is so supple and soft that it’s easy to forget it’s there. On impact, you’ll find it hardens to absorb the impact and protect your body.
- CE A certified
- Classically styled
- Removable thermal liner
- D30 armour at shoulders and elbows
- Six pockets
- Connecting zip
- Ready for the Fury Airbag system
- Back protector not included
The Alpinestars Missile V2 is our best premium pick. It oozes quality and boasts impressive protective properties.
The Missile V2 is CE AAA rated, which is the highest rating you can get. It is equipped with CE-certified Nucleon Flex Pro armour with a pocket for the back protector available as an extra.
A big highlight of the jacket is the compatibility with the Tech-Air 5 airbag system, which adds another level of protection to this premium sports jacket.
Constructed from bovine leather with double layers in impact zones, the abrasion resistance levels are high with this jacket. Alpinestars have used Polyamide stretch inserts for flexibility without sacrificing protection in those areas.
In true sports fashion, there are DFS shoulder and elbow sliders on the exterior of the jacket. The sleeves are pre-curved for maximum rider comfort, and there are three internal and two external pockets, enough for carrying the essentials.
Alpinestars are known for their quality leather. It may take a bit of time to truly break it in, but the jacket is soft from day one.
- CE AAA certified
- Tech-Air 5 compatible
- CE Nucleon Flex Pro shoulder and elbow protection included
- Shoulder and elbow sliders
If you’re looking for a really cool vintage-styled jacket, then you should look no further than the DXR Blacksmith jacket, our best value pick. DXR is a relatively new brand but is getting a warm reception in the industry.
The Blacksmith is a retro jacket with diamond quilted shoulder sections, and the leather pattern is unique to each jacket.
It features a removable thermal liner, a fixed mesh liner for maximum breathability and airflow, along with eight pockets in total, plus a waterproof internal pocket.
CE rated shoulder and elbow pads are included along with a back protector pocket. The jacket also has a CE AA rating, making it suitable for everyday riding from around town to the motorway.
You will struggle to find a better jacket with such great features at such a good price point.
- CE AA rated
- Shoulder and elbow protection
- Excellent value
- Plenty of pockets
- Retro styling
- Back protector not included
RST is synonymous with motorcycle racing, so it makes sense that the Tractech EVO 4 is our current favourite sports leather jacket.
It is AAA CE certified and equipped with elbow and shoulder protection along with a back protector. The jacket also has TPU shoulder sliders and a race hump on the back for increased aerodynamics. It also features a connecting zip so you’re fully protected when riding.
Perforated sections increase airflow through to the breathable mesh comfort liner. The jacket also features four-way stretch panels that increase flexibility and overall rider comfort.
The one thing to be aware of is that RST jackets tend to come up a bit small and the sleeves are often too short or too long. So make sure you try a few sizes to get the perfect fit. Once you do, the jacket wears in quickly and the leather becomes soft and supple.
- CE AAA rated
- Shoulder sliders and race hump
- Reinforced leather construction and seams
- Stretch panels and comfort collar and cuffs
- Perforated for good ventilation
- Shoulder, elbow and back protection included
- Sizing is a bit small
Richa offers some of the best motorcycle clothing on the market and is well equipped with the knowledge to produce quality kit.
This jacket is CE AA approved and, as such, is aimed at everyday riders that are likely to face mixed riding situations. The jacket’s protective abilities have been tested to account for this. You get D30 armour in the elbows, shoulders, and back.
The jacket comes with a short zip to connect to Richa trousers and a removable thermal liner, so you’re good to go in all weather.
It is also constructed of quality leather, as you would expect with Richa, and it is nice and soft off the shelf. You won’t have an extended period of breaking in stiff leather with this jacket.
My only issue with Richa’s leathers is that they tend to come up a little small and a little long in the arm. Their textile kit tends to be spot on with sizing, so it’s just the leathers that can be off.
Make sure you check out the size guide, which is helpful and accurate; compare against your measurements so you get the right size.
- Casual Look
- CE AA Approved
- D30 CE Armour at Elbows, Shoulders and Back
- Removable Thermal Liner
- Small Sizing
There are a few things to consider when buying a leather motorcycle jacket.
Once you have these things straight in your head, you can go ahead and purchase the right jacket for your needs.
Read our full motorcycle jacket buyers guide.
Here are my top tips for buying a leather motorcycle jacket:
The most important thing to consider when looking at motorcycle clothing is how protective it is.
What you need to look out for is the CE-approval certification on the label.
To make sure you are purchasing a protective leather jacket, check for the following codes:
CE – A, AA, AAA.
A- Jackets with A grade certification are most suitable for Urban riding; they are usually lighter and have less bulk.
AA- Jackets graded AA have been tested more extensively for wider typical riding encounters. CE AA graded jackets are for everyday riders who face all kinds of roads and conditions.
AAA- This is the highest grade; all the key impact areas must be covered by appropriate armour. Clothing with AAA certification leans heavily towards sports riding, where high-speed impacts are more likely.
Once you have checked how protective your jacket is from a certification standpoint, you need to look at the armour.
My biggest issue with manufacturers is that they will put CE-approved protective armour in the elbows and shoulders but think it is perfectly adequate to put a piece of foam in as a back protector.
Always check what armour is used in your jacket, and don’t be fooled into thinking that a piece of foam will do the job.
Fortunately, if your jacket has a pocket for a back protector, it is easy to upgrade to a quality protective certified back protector.
The same goes for elbow and shoulder armour. It should be easy to upgrade the armour to a higher standard of protection if the jacket is only equipped with very basic armour to pass the CE-approval tests.
Do you need them to be waterproof?
Generally, leather jackets are deemed as water-resistant. However, they are not going to keep you dry in a downpour. See our guide to the best waterproof motorcycle jackets if this is important to you.
Consider your riding style when buying a leather jacket.
Are you a sporty rider that likes to lean the bike into every country road bend you can find? Or are you quite happy chugging along on a Sunday to find the best cream cake in the county?
These factors will affect which kind of jacket you are looking for.
Arguably, you will look somewhat out of place on a big Harley bagger wearing an Alpinestars sports jacket with a hump.
However, this is superficial and provided you are happy with the jacket’s styling and the level of protection is up to your needs and standards, then it doesn’t matter too much what anyone else thinks.
External and internal pockets are always great features on a jacket.
Being able to stash some money, my phone and chapstick, then taking off with no bags, panniers, etc. is true freedom.
You may also want to look out for adjusters on the waist and wrists.
Making these small adjustments for the perfect fit goes a long way in making you comfortable.
Connection zips to motorcycle trousers are common on leather jackets and help keep your jacket riding up, so these are worth looking out for.
A relatively new feature for motorcycle gear is the development of airbag technology.
The airbag systems work by the airbag only deploying when the rider is involved in an impact. Some of these use independent sensor technology and others use a cable that attaches to the bike, if this is disengaged, the airbag deploys.
Jackets like the Furygan Vince V3 and Alpinestars Missile V2 are compatible with the relevant airbag systems. So these are the best options for those that want the ultimate in protection and technology.
Read more about the best airbag systems.
The Furygan Vince V3 is a fantastic all-round leather jacket that combines sports features in an understated stylish package. Combined with the Fury Airbag system compatibility, it really is an awesome protective jacket.
If you are looking for the ultimate sports leather jacket, then the RST Tractech EVO 4 is the way to go with its CE AAA rating.
However, if you want something more premium, more retro, or need to stick to a tighter budget, there is a leather jacket on our list for every rider.