How to Choose a Motorcycle Jacket | Timber Town Harley-Davidson

How to Choose a Motorcycle Jacket

First-time bike buyer? Once you’ve gotten your license and insurance out of the way, you can move on to choosing a bike and buying gear! More than a style statement, a quality motorcycle jacket will protect you from the elements in Portland so that you can ride longer—and have more fun doing it.

Before you rush out and purchase one of those leather motorcycle jackets you’ve been dreaming about, it’s important to consider what you freally need from a jacket. In fact, you may even need to get more than one depending on where you live, and whether you’re a three-season or a year-round rider.

Below, we’ve outlined the various types of men’s and women’s motorcycle jackets, ranging from lightweight mesh jackets to heavy-duty waterproof jackets—and of course, timeless classic leather motorcycle jackets.

Leather Motorcycle Jackets: Pros and Cons

Leather motorcycle jackets speak to Harley history like nothing else, but they’re not ideal for certain weather conditions. That’s why we don’t suggest a leather jacket as the first and only jacket for most riders. However, as the jacket of choice for crisp fall days and mild, dryer weather, they’re a great addition to any collection. We’ve broken down the key pros and cons of leather motorcycle jackets, below:


  • Highly abrasion-resistant
  • Classic style
  • Perfect for cooler spring and fall weather


  • Can trap sweat if you’re layered up for the cold
  • Won’t protect from rain and moisture
  • Not adequate for midwinter temperatures

Lightweight, Waterproof, & Heavy-Duty Motorcycle Jackets

A wide variety of men’s and women’s motorcycle jackets are now available, and many are made from lightweight, high-tech materials developed during the past ten years. Here’s what you’ll find when you start shopping for gear:

Motorcycle Jackets for Hot Weather

  • Mesh Jackets – The best choice for Albany’s hottest days, these ultra-lightweight jackets will keep you cool but aren’t as protective as heavier types.
  • Jackets Without Membranes – For slightly more warmth than a mesh jacket, try a motorcycle jacket without a membrane. Some have a removable membrane for hotter days.

Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets

  • Drop-Liner Jacket – This type of jacket has a stitched-in waterproof or windproof membrane and taped seams for water resistance.
  • Motorcycle Jackets with a Removable Waterproof Membrane – If you want a jacket that can switch between waterproof and lightweight, this is a great choice.
  • Wax Cotton Jacket – Waxed cotton is water-resistant, so it’s often chosen for riding in the rain. Many of these motorcycle jackets also have a waterproof membrane.
  • Laminated Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets – For deep winter riding, choose this heat-sealed, waterproof jacket type.

Shop Men’s & Women’s Motorcycle Jackets at Timber Town Harley-Davidson!

If you’d like to try on some leather motorcycle jackets or explore your options in detail, stop by our Salem dealership! Our team is ready to assist you in choosing the perfect gear, no matter what kind of riding you love to do in Lebanon.

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