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Motorcycle Racing Jackets

Aug 31, 2008
As the popularity of Extreme Sports continues its rise, the concept of Motorcycle Racing has taken on new meaning. From road racing to Grand Prix, to motocross, supercross, and freestyle competition, one thing is for sure: if you race, you are going to fall off your bike on one or more occasions.

That being said, todays motorcycle racing jackets and apparel are designed taking this into consideration, and they compensate by giving you the best possible protection in the most likely places prone to injury. The basic principal is to design garments that will pad the most vulnerable body parts, and allow for a clean slide on asphalt or dirt without bunching up or tearing to shreds.

Racing jackets will and should come with some kind of body armor either fixed inside the jacket, or removable. Armor comes in different forms, from thick foams, to plastic covered compounds, to hard, shock absorbing rubbers.

When considering the purchase of a racing jacket and/or suit, make sure the armor is CE approved. Certifique Europe is a European standard of certification that grades armor on three levels, level 1 being the least protective, level 3 the most.

At the very least, a racing jacket should have protective armor at the shoulders and elbows, and pants should have extra protection at the knee and hip. In the case of a two piece racing suit, the bottom will often be zipped to the jacket, to allow the garment to act as one piece during a slide.

Back protectors are not often found in racing jackets, but there is in some jackets a place to insert one. Since most spinal injuries are caused by blows to the extremities as opposed to direct impact to the back, the back protector is better suited for protection from flying projectiles, and thus is often made from hard plastics.

Another major consideration for a racing jacket is the comfort factor.

Motorcycle jackets are usually made from a combination of materials, the basis of which is leather. Kevlar stitching can be used to insure the strength of the seams, and patches of Kevlar or other high stress synthetic materials are used on particularly vulnerable areas like the shoulders, elbows and knees. Stretch panels of various materials are often employed at strategic locations such as under the arms and at the knee to promote ease of movement in extreme conditions.

Because black leather has a natural tendency to be hot, racing jackets tend to be more colorful than your typical black leather jacket, using combinations of colors, obviously to attract attention to a particular racer, but also in part to reflect the heat of the suns rays. Some racing jackets employ perforated leather to allow the air to penetrate the jacket, and air vents are often used to provide circulation.

With modern synthetics gaining in popularity, many racers are choosing these tough and durable materials over leather because of their coolness, light weight, and waterproof characteristics. It is not uncommon to find legitimate racing gear that forego the use of leather altogether.

Whereas todays modern day motorcycle racing apparel employ all the technological know how to keep the racer safe and comfortable, racing jackets are also popular within the traditional biker community. A little bit of extra armor never hurts, and because many jackets use removable armor, you don't have to look so robotic at your local biker bar.

Additionally, you don't have to be stick with basic black, the colorful styles often found in the racing jacket genre add another layer of coolness for the biker to choose from!
About the Author
Michael Talbert is the creator, owner, and operator of Biker Leather Ltd., an online retailer of fine leather and textile motorcycle jackets, leather chaps, vests and biker accessories. Visit the website at www.NakedLeatherBiker.com.
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