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“Dress for the slide, not the ride” is a phrase that’s been uttered by motorcyclists for decades. But I’d argue no one says it more than motorcycle instructors, the people whose job it is to keep riders like you and me safe. It’s no coincidence that these are also the people I’ve seen wearing some of the most protective jackets on the market. The right motorcycle jacket inspires the confidence to hunt apex after apex, throw a leg over when dark clouds loom, or hit the road when the sun is beating down. Get the best jacket for the occasion, and give yourself the confidence to tackle any adventure.
Dainese Super Rider D-Dry
- Removable thermal D-Dry liner
- Mugello fabric
- Sporty three-season jacket
- Pocket for double chest protector
- No CE Level 2 armor
- Back and chest protectors sold separately
Scorpion EXO Optima Jacket
- Fully seam-sealed waterproof
- Direct Core Ventilation
- Exo-Tec CE rated armor
- Zipper hits your neck
- Slender arms
Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket
- Poly-fabric stretch insert
- Extended mesh panels
- 3D mesh collar
- Small zipper that’s hard to work in gloves
- European sizing
I used the construction material, features, and rider’s reported experiences to narrow down the list to the best motorcycle jackets. That way, I stayed true to The Drive’s methodology of finding the best products for motorcycle enthusiasts.
My broad personal experience with various types of motorcycle jackets helped me to analyze each jacket option for its best qualities. When choosing this list of the best motorcycle jackets, I considered more than just the basics of size. I wanted to create a comprehensive list that addressed beginners and experienced riders, warm and cold weather riders, and riders on a variety of bike styles.
Best Motorcycle Jackets: Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on the Best Motorcycle Jackets
I've chosen the Dainese Super Rider D-Dry as the best overall motorcycle jacket. Its removable thermal liner makes it a great three-season option, and while it looks sporty, it's plenty durable and stretchy. For a more affordable option, the Scorpion EXO Optima Jacket has an impressive amount of waterproofing and armor.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: Do you really need a motorcycle jacket?
A: Do you enjoy your skin? Are you averse to skin grafts and multi-hundred-thousand-dollar doctor bills? Yes, you need a motorcycle jacket. Not only does it protect you in the event of a crash, but it also protects you while you’re riding. Your jacket protects you from the elements and airborne road debris. Plus it gives you pockets, which are convenient for carrying your stuff.
Q: Why are motorcycle jackets so expensive?
A: They are expensive because you aren’t buying a fashion piece; you’re buying a piece of safety gear. You’re paying for the research and development that went into the production of that jacket. You’re also paying for all of the innovative materials and extra bits that go into the jacket. Think of it this way — that $500 for the jacket is way cheaper than a hospital bill or funeral service.
Q: What is CE armor?
A: CE refers to the armor being CE-certified, which stands for Conformité Européene. The only time you’re required to wear CE-rated gear is when you’re on a track. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear it when casually riding. There’s Level 1 and 2 armor, with Level 2 offering you better impact protection.
Q: How do I know what size motorcycle jacket to buy?
A: If there’s a local motorcycle gear shop that stocks the jacket you’re interested in, go and try it on. Otherwise, read through the reviews and see if buyers say it fits true to size, is too tight, or is too loose.
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more