Cruiser jackets and motorcycle helmets are important safety gear that wear out over time. While leather jackets can last for years, even high-quality textile garments have a much shorter lifespan. Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing headgear every three to five years. If you keep up with the best starter motorcycles, you should also follow releases of riding gear.
Best Cruiser Jackets When It Comes to Safety
The most protective cruiser jackets are made of leather. Leather jackets are notorious for their slide resistance, but layers made of this material may prove uncomfortably warm during the summer. Cruiser jackets may feature perforated leather to allow for increased airflow. It is also possible to get some protection from full textile jackets, but leather cruiser jackets are worn for competitions.
For additional protection, you can put on a cruiser jacket over protective equipment such as back and chest protectors or body armor. Check to see whether your favorite cruiser jacket has armor at the elbows and shoulders and a pocket for a back protector. If a jacket comes with armor, make sure that it is not foam padding but high quality material for protection.
Best Cruiser Jackets When It Comes to Style
Leather cruiser jackets are also some of the most stylish riding jackets. Most cruiser jackets are black or brown in color. Some styles have perforated sections that add detail and increase airflow to allow for more comfortable wear while riding in warmer weather. Cruiser jackets may come with adjustable cuffs to accommodate short- or long-cuff gloves.
For reasons of performance and style, you may want to consider the differences between American and European style cruiser jackets. American-style cruiser jackets or touring jackets have a more generous fit while European jackets have a slim fit and tapered profile. Race fit jackets often have pre-curved arms and may be designed to wear with competition-grade riding gear.
Pairing a Helmet With a New Cruiser Jacket
Just as a cruiser jacket can be worn over armor, full face motorcycle helmets can be worn over goggles for additional protection. Go for a full face helmet, as open face or three-quarters helmet designs do not provide enough protection. Helmets for riding motorcycles are designed for riding on either street or dirt. Select a helmet intended for the way you ride and ensure that it provides a perfect fit.
The look of a helmet is less important than safety and comfort features. Helmets with durable shells and multiple vents can provide a comfortable fit, while helmets that have too much ventilation may fall short in terms of protection. If you also want to look stylish, select a helmet that matches or accents the color of your new cruiser jacket.
Most riders can plan on replacing three-season textile jackets within two years and helmets every three to five years. Light abrasion can give a leather cruiser jacket character, but after a certain point leather jackets also need to be replaced. Cruiser jackets and helmets are your first line of defense and should be of high quality and in good condition.
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