All throughout history there have been those that liked adventure and the adrenalin rush associated with the times. At the beginning of the twentieth century motorcycles became a means to experience this. Since then those that love riding, the freedom it gives, the rush and the adventure it provides have joined the ranks of motorcycle riders. Motorcycles have changed and evolved since those early years. It used to take a miracle to get them started and then the electric start was invented.
Motorcycle safety and riding gear have evolved over the years also. There have been leather motorcycle jackets almost as long as there have been motorcycles. In World War I the pilots wore leather jackets to stay warm while flying, seeing as their cockpits were not heated. This was the beginning of the style of jacket called the bomber jacket. These jackets have the higher band collars, with banded sleeve cuffs and banded waistband.
It was the 1920’s when the classic motorcycle jacket came into being. It was Irving Schott designs that came up with The Perfecto in 1928. It sold for $5.50 at the Harley Davidson store in New York. It is said that it was named after Irving Schott’s favorite cigar, The Perfecto. In 1953 the movie The Wild One starred Marlon Brando wearing a classic motorcycle jacket, which led to schools around the country banning their students from wearing motorcycle jackets to school. Just two years later James Dean was in a movie sporting the same type of jacket. The classic motorcycle jacket has a wide collar that snaps down, zippered cuffs, and a belt. This jacket has the rebel rider look.
Other styles came along such as the euro and pistol pete. Euro jackets have a sleek look to them. They have a high banded collar that usually snaps, motorcycle jackets and zippered pockets that lay flat adding to the sleek look. The pistol pete comes with a pocket that is the full length of the jacket, that zips open and contains multiple smaller pockets.
There have been women riders as long as there have been men riders. In the beginning there were only a few women that rode. Today one third of the riders are women. There are womens motorcycle jackets that come in the styles and fit for women. Women love riding, having their own motorcycles to ride instead of always riding behind someone. Womens jackets come in the traditional black biking leather, but they also come in brown and pink, as well as black with stripes in other colors. There are womens motorcycle jackets that come with fringe, which some may think is there just for looks. True it adds to the style, but it also has a function which is to wick the water away from the jacket when riding in the rain.
Kids motorcycle jackets are also popular now. These jackets keep kids safe while they are riding just as they do adults, while also allowing a kid to be just like their dad or mom or favorite adult that rides. The great thing about a motorcycle jacket for kids is they also keep them safe while they are riding a bike, skate boarding, or roller blading.
There are many styles of motorcycle jackets for a rider to choose from, as well as many grades of leather and features. Wearing a jacket out of cowhide or American buffalo and is at least 1.3 mm thick keeps a rider safe from rocks, flying debris, and road rash.