Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Leather Jacket: An Essential

I know... Im kinda going overboard thinking and wishing about exploring the backroads on two wheels...
I can research scooters and motorcycles all day long but the accessories are almost just as fun and I have loved researching a jacket. The jacket is the key apparel to a motorist and says so much about you and what you drive.
I first loved the simple synthetic jackets that I saw around the net but fell in love with the leather jackets. I don't know what is but I love good leather products. I feel like they can hold history and just have a timeless look.
Saddleback Leather Company Briefcase
There is a company in Texas called The Saddleback Leather company and they make some incredible products. Katie, my wife, gave me a wallet from Saddleback last year and I have loved it! I have been wanting one of their briefcases for several years now. They are quite expensive but they just scream quality and a lifetime beyond my own.

MMCC Leather Crazy Horse Jacket - Front
MMCC Leather Crazy Horse Jacket - Back

I love Milwaukee Leather Apparel's Crazy Horse Jacket. Its just a classic looking motorcycle jacket with great lines and simple. Everything looks very high in quality but the only thing that concerns me is the lack of any sort of armor, and since I am very new the whole motorcycle/scootering game I think I want as much armor as I can get.

This brings me to Icon's Motorhead jacket. A great looking jacket, especially the all black version. I love the lines... not a big fan of the big ICON logo in the middle of the chest but I think the all black downplays this some. It reminds me of a crotch-rocket jacket but also seems like a classic cruiser jacket. It also has tons of armor in the elbows, shoulders and back. Has a removable liner and removable armor, which I love because I would want to wear this all the time if I could.
Icon Motorhead Leather Jacket
Icon Motorhead Jacket Armor Example

What do you think? Is there a jacket that I haven't seen that I definitely should consider? Are there any small companies out there similar to Saddleback Leather producing a great product?


  1. Matt, I would disagree with the idea of a leather jacket being essential—an armored jacket, yes, but leather is heavy, hard to take care of and nowhere nearly as well ventilated as equivalent textile jackets. And they come in colors besides black.

    On a different note, if you're dying to learn to ride, the Motocycle Safety Foundation has all the information you need to find a Basic Rider Course near you. The best part is, once you successfully complete the course you get a card that you can take to your driver licensing authority and exchange for a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license. Which you are going to need for your epic road trip...

    Scootin' Old Skool

  2. Orin,
    Thanks for the advice. I imagine leather would get very hot and as my wife and I are planning to move back to the skillet that is Texas... I probably should look into a more comfortable material.

  3. Matt,

    Thanks first, for visiting Behind Bars. I appreciate your readership. Second, take this as a response to what you've posted on your blog so far.

    You've got quite an ambitious plan in the works, I can understand your trepidation about telling your wife, it's a sudden change from 'pipe dream' to 'real dream.' I would love to see you pull it off, and would watch with great interest as you went on the road.

    I agree with Orin, a leather jacket is not essential, in fact, most people on long distance tours do not use leather. Nylon, whether insulated or mesh, is more popular. If you're going to be out that long, expect to spend good money on a set of gear, possibly $1,000 or more, depending on what you want in a jacket/pants. Boots, helmet, gloves, sunglasses (bluetooth comm system, music player...) are all additional above that. You can get entry level gear for ~100-200, but if you want to head out for that long, I'd recommend finding the closest shop(s) to you, and trying on about a thousand pieces of gear.

    Also, I can tell you're extremely excited to get started with your planning. I rode 12,000 miles this summer and understand your excitement. My bike started in Virginia in the spring, hit Washington State and California, and wound up in Minnesota. Planning is fun, particularly the interesting pieces. I want to, again, second Orin's suggestion - take an MSF course and get your license.

    If you've only got a year to departure, you need to find a machine and get some saddle time. I don't know what your thoughts on distance per day, overall days on the road, and overall length traveled are, but that will help you pick your bike. You sound like you want to sit on the back roads, all these things are important in choosing a machine, but I think you need to choose a machine and start riding. Purportedly, most accidents happen in the first five months. Get a machine and drive where you're comfortable for those first few miles.

    I feel like I've got about a million things to say and a lot of questions - where do you plan to sleep every night, how are you planning to eat? Who is going, etc. I would be happy to help you with ideas and troubleshooting as you get started. My email is on my blog at: feel free to contact me with any questions you have, I'd be interested to learn more and share ideas.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life