Our editors carefully select every product we recommend. We may earn a commission from these links. Learn more

The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets To Wear On & Off the Bike

Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets 00 Hero

Motorcycle jacket design is driven by many factors – how the garment feels when on the bike, the look of the coat off the bike, but most importantly, the trusty tunic must provide protection in the event of having a close encounter of the pavement variety. Though many different materials perform well against abrasion and can stand up to hard impact, the true champion of the industry for riders all over the world continues to be jackets made from nature’s own miracle material, leather.

Often thought of as the go to choice for bad ass bikers and tough guys everywhere, the leather motorcycle jacket speaks loudly for personal style, both on and off the bike. Though this has been a staple of the look for decades, progressions in material technologies have made leather riding jackets lighter, more ventilated, and better protectors during a crash, ensuring your chances of walking away from that unexpected brush with disaster are greater than ever before. Just like any type of motorcycle specific garment, leather motorcycle jackets are available with a wide range of features, styles, and colors that will be sure to fit perfectly with any aesthetic you are attempting to groom. Take a look at our following list of the best leather motorcycle jackets and find one that is the perfect fit for you.

The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets

Stellar Second Skins

What Type Of Leather Is Best For Motorcycle Jackets?

Leather motorcycle jackets come in a variety of different leather constructions, though the most commonly-utilized type is undoubtedly cowhide leather — and by a significant margin. Widely available and relatively affordable — at least compared to other more exotic leathers — cowhide leather boasts a thickness that’s beefy enough to provide ample slide protection and abrasion resistance, and do so while being soft and comfortable to wear. It’s also not uncommon to see a motorcycle-specific leather jacket’s cowhide construction supplemented via sections or overlays comprised of buffalo, goatskin, or kangaroo leather — all of which possess their own unique properties, strengths, and weaknesses. And, while grain and tanning are admittedly of importance, the primary area you want to focus on when reviewing a jacket’s leather construction is its thickness (with anything in the ballpark of 1mm or more being thick enough to afford solid protection). 

Leather Riding Layers 101

The Main Factors To Consider When Buying A Leather Moto Jacket

If you’ve only ever shopped for a leather motorcycle jacket as a fashion accessory, it can be difficult to know what to look for when in the market for a leather moto jacket that’s actually made for riding. Knowing this from firsthand experience, we’ve pieced together this guide on what to look for and consider when shopping around for a leather motorcycle riding jacket. 

Style: When talking about leather motorcycle jackets, most of us tend to envision the classic asymmetrical biker jacket, like the one worn by Marlon Brando in 1953’s The Wild One (which is actually a Schott Perfecto jacket). The reality is, however, that leather motorcade jackets exist in a variety of different types, from cafe-style jackets, to leather bombers, to leather mechanics jackets, to race jackets, to old school leather trials jackets. Selecting a style of leather riding jacket is primarily based on the type of bike you plan on riding, your personal riding style, and of course your aesthetic taste and sense of style. 

Fitment & Cut: Whether its cafe jackets or classic asymmetrical biker jackets, most types of jackets tend to sport a similar cut and fit. This area will determine how the jacket fits, where it hugs the body and arms, and how it’s been preshaped — with sport and cafe jackets almost always boasting pre-curved sleeves that are intended for aggressive riding in a full tuck, while trial and cruise jackets tend to feature a more relaxed fit that lends itself to an upright riding position. 

Versatility: Leather motorcycle jackets admittedly aren’t cheap — at least not the good ones that we’d trust our skin with in a slide. However, with a leather moto jacket being something of a men’s style essential, it becomes a lot easier to justify investing in a high-end riding jacket when that garment can also be worn off of the bike, serving as a regular jacket. As such, we recommend selecting a leather riding jacket that’s stylish enough to be utilized as a style item instead of just a piece of riding gear. 

Materials: The materials used to construct a leather motorcycle jacket — namely the leather — will play a massive role in the garment’s overall quality, as well as the level of protection that it offers. When reviewing this area you’ll want to explore the type of leather being used, its thickness, and how it was tanned or treated. 

Build Quality: The materials used to make a jacket are of extreme importance, though so too is how exactly said materials were pieced together. An area that separates cheap fast-fashion leather jackets from the leather jackets made to afford a lifetime of use, the overall construction quality of a jacket is another major area to focus on. This is also an area that accounts for a significant amount of a jacket’s price, as the more premium constructions require far more time and far greater attention to detail. 

Protection: Leather motorcycle riding jackets have always afforded their wearer solid slide protection, though in more recent years, riding gear manufacturers have increasingly begun bestowing street-focused leather jackets with underlying race-style elbow, shoulder, and spine armor, in a bid to offer just as much fortification from impacts as the jackets already did abrasions. As such, we urge opting for a jacket with built-in armor — or at least armor pockets. Removable armor can also make a stylish moto jacket even more conducive to being worn out of the saddle. While discussing modern protection, we should also mention that there are even leather motorcycle jackets on the market that come with built-in airbag systems

Hardware: Another area that separates high-end leather moto jackets from their much cheaper counterparts is the type of hardware that’s utilized on the jacket. This includes areas such as zippers and buckles, and it will have a major impact on the overall user experience as well. 

Trim: Alongside a jacket’s hardware, you’ll also want to consider the term elements that the item has been decorated in. This includes any additional material overlays, stitch patterns, and logo patches, and while it may not sound like all that crucial of an area to consider, the reality is that this is another area that separates the most premium jackets on the market from the cheap budget imitators. 

Liner: The vast majority of our favorite leather riding jackets come equipped with some type of liner — or liners. Often removable and washable and sometimes even antimicrobial, these liners are able to bolster warmth and/or comfort — and can often add a few subtle style points, as well. 

Water Resistance: A leather motorcycle jacket is something of an investment, so it’s important to know that, should you get caught wearing it when it starts raining, that your investment won’t get flushed down the drain. For this reason, we urge anyone shopping for leather motorcycle jackets to look into the level of water resistance or waterproofing offered by any model you’re considering. 

Price: Making a quality leather jacket is far from cheap. Between the cost of the leather and materials, the trim. And hardware, and the actual assembly and manufacturing process, the cost of producing these pieces of riding gear adds up very quickly. As such, as weird as it sounds, you don’t want a leather motorcycle jacket that’s cheap, as any quality jacket will be priced at several hundred dollars or more (unless significantly marked down). It’s also worth pointing out that high-end leather moto jackets are legitimately made to last a lifetime, making it much easier to justify investing in one — as does the fact these jackets can literally save your skin in the event of a crash. 

Warm Weather Usage

Which Leather Moto Jackets Are Best For Use During The Summer?

While wearing a leather motorcycle jacket during the summer may sound like a recipe for heatstroke, the reality is that there are plenty of stellar leather riding jackets made specifically for warm weather use. Many leather riding jackets are produced in regular versions, and in what is called a perforated version — i.e. the same jacket only outfitted with a slew of tiny holes and openings to allow for markedly better airflow, cooling, and comfort in the summer months. We would also recommend checking out a textile jacket if you’re shopping for a warm weather-specific riding jacket. 

The Best

The Latest & Greatest Leather Moto Jackets On The Market

Pando Moto Twin Leather Jacket

Pando Moto Twin Leather Jacket
Photo: Pando Moto
  • Modern AA-rated take on asymmetrical biker jacket
  • Cut from 1.2mm Buffalo leather
  • Features fully-blacked-out hardware & trim
  • Has jacket-pants connection loop & bi-swing panels
  • Equipped w/ included D30 Ghost shoulder & elbow armor
  • Protected by Pando Moto’s Crash Warranty
  • Warranty limited to only 2 years
  • Spine armor sold separately

Best Modern Biker Jacket: Taking inspiration from 1950s era riding garments, Pando Moto’s Twin Leather Jacket is a modern take on an asymmetrical biker-style jacket that combines this classic and thoroughly iconic cut from modern protection and a fully-blacked-out finish. The jacket is comprised of a AA-rated abrasion-resistant 1.2mm buffalo leather with a detachable thermal-insulated quilted padding, a polyester and viscose lining, D30 Ghost shoulder and elbow armor, diamond quilted shoulder panels, and optional QUATROFLEX spine armor. Other highlights include a snap-down collar and lapels, bi-swing panels, airflow-bolstering perforated armpits, PANDO-branded zippered sleeve cuffs, a trio of exterior zippered pockets, a single interior chest pocket, and all-black hardware including YKK zippers and adjustable side straps with metal buckles.

Leather: 1.2mm Buffalo leather
Liner: Viscose-Poly Blend
Armor: Shoulder, Elbow, & Optional Spine

Roland Sands Clash CE Leather Jacket

Roland Sands Clash CE Leather Jacket
Photo: Revzilla
  • Cut from premium 1.2mm GT Racer full-grain cowhide leather
  • Fitted w/ premium hardware & trim
  • 2nd-gen design now CE-certified
  • Features aggressive fit w/ rotated, pre-curved sleeves
  • Fitted w/ satin poly lining w/ custom RSD heat-embossed branding
  • Spine protector sold separately

Best Café Jacket: Offered in black, oxblood (red), or brown color options, the Roland Sands Clash CE Leather Jacket is a high-end piece of vintage-inspired riding gear that sports a unique appearance with an asymmetrical main zipper, and quilt-stitched overlays on the shoulders and lower back. Now a second-generation cafe racer-style jacket that benefits from CE certification, the Clash CE jacket is made from a top grain 1.1mm cowhide leather that’s been washed, oiled, waxed, and finished by entirely hand, before being fitted with RSD armor at the shoulders and elbows — the latter of which is decorated in low-profile external metal studs, adding equal parts style and protection. 

Leather: Oiled & Waxed 1.1mm Cowhide
Liner: Satin Poly
Armor: Shoulder, Elbow, & Optional Spine

Schott 613 ‘One Star’

Schott 613 One Star
Photo: Schott
  • Authentic reissue of the original asymmetrical leather biker jacket
  • Made in America
  • Shell crafted from hand-cut heavyweight steerhide panels
  • Equipped w/ custom zippers & hardware
  • Has bi-swing back panels
  • Devoid of armor
  • Non-removable lining
  • Difficult to wash

Best Classic Biker Jacket: If there is a hands down king when evaluating leather motorcycle jackets the crown undoubtedly belongs to the Schott 613 ‘One Star,’ otherwise known as the jacket that started it all. First produced in the late 40’s and made hugely popular by Marlon Brando from his starring role in The Wild One, the 613 was the first jacket ever produced specifically for motorcycle riders. Still made in the USA to this day, the Perfecto’s signature waist belt, asymmetrical front closure, and star crowned epaulets define the look so many attempt to emulate.

Leather: 3 – 3.5 oz. Steerhide
Liner: 5.5oz Insulated Nylon Poly Quilt
Armor: None

Dainese Super Speed 4 Jacket

Dainese Super Speed 4 Jacket
Photo: Dainese
  • Latest & greatest sport jacket from world-leading moto race gear brand
  • Made from Dainese’s proprietary 2nd-gen D-Skin leather
  • Outfitted w/ breathable & antimicrobial Nanofeel liner
  • Has alloy & composite shoulder & elbow sliders over Pro-Armor
  • Features stellar build quality & fit & finish
  • Equipped w/ aerodynamic spoiler/hump
  • Very aggressive cut & fit
  • Has track-focused features superfluous for street use

Best Sport/Track Jacket: Dainese unequivocally produces some of the very finest motorcycle racing gear on the planet, with the Italian outfit’s garments worn by a slew of the world’s best MotoGP and WSBK riders. The firm’s newest flasgship sport jacket, the Dainese Super Speed 4 Jacket is essentially the upper-half of a top-of-the-line MotoGP race suit. Cut from Dainese’s proprietary D-Skin 2.0 leather, the jacket features S1 bielastic, 3D-Bubble, elasticated Bi-axial, and Microelastic 2.0 inserts, as well as Pro-Armor that sits beneath composite and aluminum shoulder and elbow sliders, thermoformed base shoulders, an aerodynamic spoiler, and a breathable Nanofeel liner with Silver ion treatment.

Leather: D-Skin 2.0 Leather
Liner: Silver Ion-Treated Nanofeel
Armor: Shoulder, Elbows, & Spine

JANE Motorcycles The Bond Street Leather Jacket

Jane Motorcycles The Bond Street Leather Jacket
Photo: JANE Motorcycles
  • Doesn’t require any break-in period
  • Made in New York City
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Has pockets for elbow, shoulder, & spine armor
  • Looks fantastic on & off the bike
  • Is equipped w/ Japanese over-dyed camouflage twill liner
  • Armor sold separately
  • Expensive price

Best USA-Made Jacket: Produced by hand in small batches in New York City, the JANE Motorcycles The Bond Street Leather Jacket is a boutique-made, ultra-high-end piece of riding gear that’s crafted from American-sourced 1.1mm natural grain cowhide leather that, unlike the vast majority of leather jackets, doesn’t require any break-in period and is comfortable and flexible right off of the rack. Equipped with pockets that accept D30 shoulder, elbow, and spine armor, this 1.1mm cowhide shell has been paired with a Japanese over-dyed camouflage twill liner, ribbed collar armpit gussets made from a wool-nylon blend, and YKK Excella front and chest zippers. This classic cafe-style jacket is another fantastic choice for anyone looking for a riding jacket that can also get plenty of use as a regular garment when not in the saddle. 

Leather: 1.1m Cowhide
Liner: Japanese Twill
Armor: Optional Shoulder, Elbow, & Spine

The Rest

Runner-Up Leather Moto Jacket Selections Worth Considering

AETHER Laslo Motorcycle Jacket

AETHER Laslo Motorcycle Jacket

Described by its maker as a “crossover” item, the AETHER Laslo Motorcycle Jacket was engineered from the ground up to provide solid impact and slide protection while in the saddle, and to keep you looking your best when off of the bike. Fitted with D30 Ghost armor at the spine, shoulders, and elbows, this slim-fit cafe-style jacket features a special abrasion-resistant layer sandwiched between its leather shell and breathable cotton liner. 

Leather: N/A
Liner: Breathable Cotton
Armor: Shoulder, Elbow, & Spine

Fuel Motorcycles Bourbon Leather Jacket

Fuel Motorcycles Bourbon Leather Jacket
Photo: Fuel Motorcycles

Both CE and AAA-certified/rated, the Fuel Motorcycles Bourbon Leather Jacket is a vintage-inspired garment that’s made in small batches by a boutique brand using some of the finest materials available. Sporting an overall build quality and level of attention to detail that’s legitimately off the charts, the jacket boasts a naturally-tanned cowhide leather shell with side accordion baffles that afford an unrestricted range of movement, plus all YKK zippers with custom leather pulls, bespoke Fuel-branded hardware, custom heat-embossed Fuel Moto logo patches, a removable D30 Viper spine protector, and removable D30 Ghost armor at the elbows and shoulders. 

Leather: Cowhide
Liner: Polyester
Armor: Shoulder, Elbow, & Spine

Belstaff Trialmaster Pro Leather Jacket

Belstaff Trialmaster Pro Leather Jacket
Photo: Revzilla

Modeled after the vintage waxed cotton jackets worn by riders at the International Six Day Enduro — which included none other than Steve McQueen — the Belstaff Trialmaster Pro Leather Jacket is an ultra-premium piece of riding gear that’s made from top-shelf 1.1mm bovine leather that’s been waxed by hand. Sporting a classic four-pocket design with an adjustable neck strap and a built-in belt, the jacket features a corduroy-lined mandarin collar and cuffs, a cotton check liner, and under-arm metal vents. Though it maintains its classic appearance, this timeless scrambler-style garment has also been updated with removable CE-rated elbow and shoulder armor, plus optional spine armor. 

Leather: Hand-Waxed 1.1mm Cowhide
Liner: Cotton Check
Armor: Shoulder, Elbow, & Optional Spine

The Best Motorcycle Jackets For Everyday Protection

The Best Motorcycle Jackets To Wear 00 Hero
Photo: Fuel Motorcycles Bourbon Jacket

Want to check out a wider selection of Moto-specific second skins that aren’t limited to garments crafted from leather? Then be sure to cruise over to our guide to the best motorcycle riding jackets for a curated selection of models to suit any aesthetic taste or style of riding.