Motorcyclists: Leather or Synthetic Jacket?

I’m torn! I think leather, overall, looks better, but I’m worried about how hot it may make me while riding (I like near San Francisco).

What do you guys where, and what might you suggest for the moderate temps I experience here? I’d like something that’s ideal all year round.

No doubt about it, leather looks much better, however, once it gets wet its a bitch to dry out.

Leather takes time to break in, the higher quality of leather, the longer it takes.

You can go for leather and wear an oversuit in wet weather but you still end up wet from condensation.

You need leathers and synthetic clothes, go fot the synthetic first, get the leathers later.

I guess it does depend upon your climate, leathers do not keep you warm, in fact you tend to end up cold, well at least in the UK you do.

Leather jeans can be something of a pain, they offer good protection but they are not really something you can put on conveniently.

If you need to do quick changes from bike clothes to work clothing, then Aerostich suits are probably the best thing out there.

When I ride any thing except to and from work I wear an aerostitch riding suit. I’ve had it for seven years or so. Most everyone I know that has one loves it. They can be a bit pricey though.

For everyday riding I wear a leather riding jacket. We get hot and muggy here in DC, it’s been in the 90s. I’m also behind a large windscreen and fairing so I don’t get a lot of wind. It’s not that bad, and while I do sweat, I’m not totally soaked when I come home. Mine is made for summer, but for sport bikes so it is cooler, but it’s still thick.

I don’t know how much it rains there, we get thunderstorms here but I tend to be home before them, and I do get more protection. If you get rain that you might get caught in then a synthetic jacket might be better. Make sure you get one that will stand up to a get off, better to be sweating and/or wet then road rash, trust me on this one.

Just based on my personal observation, you’ll need a garment loose-fitting enough so it won’t restrict your ability to write the run-on sentences that are an essential for serious riders.

I’ve worn a one-piece leather suit in the Mojave Desert at 108ºF without too much discomfort. You sweat, and the vents cool you off a little. But now I wear a synthetic mesh jacket with hard armour in the elbows and shoulders. (Yes, I know I should wear a full suit.) It’s lighter and more comfortable. If it’s going to be wet, or if I want to block the wind, there’s a removable waterproof liner I can put in. Leather is extremely heavy when it gets soaked, and takes a long time to dry out.

I’m a fan of perforated leather. I find that as long as I keep moving, I’m comfortable in hot weather and by layering underneath, I stay warm in cold weather.

Given your temperature today? I could ride in leather year- round. Did in Vancouver.

Up here in Montreal, where the temp will be in the 30s Celsius all week, I wear a mesh jacket with armored bits any time it’s over 25 degrees.