What is the best material for motorcycle jackets?
Pigskin is very soft and thick to the touch. Many people think of an American football for comparison. There is nothing wrong with soft leather except that it has a tendency to tear, is not very durable, and is not considered riding grade leather. If you are looking for the biker look but do not ride, pigskin is the way to go! There are many styles in soft leather and it is the least expensive leather out there. If you are a beginner you should probably invest in a more protective material.
Buffalo Hide, a native of India and Pakistan, is made from the water buffalo. Many leather products come from this part of the world, and the Pakistanis are known for manufacturing many buffalo hide products. Buffalo hide is very thick (around 1.2mm) and can be tanned in both top grain and naked leather processes. It is not as common as cowhide, but it is very durable and great for a leather motorcycle jacket.
The most common type of leather jacket material. It is anywhere from 1-1.3mm thick, depending on the tanning process and will give superior protection against road rash. The premium in riding grade leather, cowhide is the choice of bikers everywhere.
Understanding the tanning process of leather is very important. It is material from animals and tanning strengthens the material and keeps it from decomposing. There are several stages including hair removal, skin removal, and stabilization. Oils and various salts are used to give a premium finish. High quality manufacturing will determine how long your jacket will last.
The middle or lower section of a hide that has been split into two or more thicknesses. A polymer coating is applied and embossed to mimic grain leather. Finished splits should only be used in low stress applications because they basically have no grain. If the polymer coating is left out it is often used to make suede. Not the best for motorcycle riding but good for a low budget.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is sanded to remove imperfections. It is one of the most common materials found in motorcycle jackets. It stands on the median price range and ranges from 1 to 1.2mm.
Naked leather is also referred to as full grain leather. The animal hair is removed but no sanding is done to remove imperfections. There is no break in period and the material is very soft to the touch. Thickness is typically around 1.3mm. The leather will actually improve over the years and is the best grade. Plan to invest more money into naked leather.
Split leather will be quite thin. Most motorcycle jacket leather is at least 1mm thick. Top grain leather has small bumps where the hair of the animal used to be. Top grain jackets require a break in period for they will be stiff when brand new. Full grain leather is has no bumps and is very soft. You will not have to break in full grain leather.
Most leather garments are made in Pakistan and China. American made jackets are the most expensive on the market, and the quality is not going to be very different. Many motorcycle leathers are designed in America and made in Pakistan. Pakistan exports both buffalo hide and cowhide garments. Leather garments manufactured in China are usually made from pigskin.
Most of the coats are made with several pockets both on the interior and outside sides of the jacket. You can easily conceal your weapon and ensure that nobody knows what you are carrying.
One of the greatest benefits of the motorcycle jackets is their ability to protect the rider in case of an accident. A person who is not wearing a motorcycle jacket has little protection from the pavement when they hit the ground. The road burn that a person would normally suffer is absorbed by the jacket and your skin is protected from the rocks and debris that is on the road.