Mesh and Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Every summer, motorcyclists are faced with the choice of balancing safety with comfort. The traditional protection of a leather motorcycle jacket can become a sauna in the hot sun. Instead of suffering a sweaty ride, some bikers shed their protective skin and ride in a T-shirt, courting disaster even in a low speed get-off.
Riding in a T-shirt may seem like a great idea, but even beyond the lack of crash protection, another hidden danger lurks, and that’s heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. On a hot day, your body sweats in order to cool itself through evaporation. When you ride in the sun and wind, evaporation happens more quickly, so your body sweats more, attempting to cool you even more. This rapid sweating and evaporation can bring on dehydration, and before you know it, you’re suffering from the effect of heat exhaustion. The first symptoms are insidious – you become a little light-headed and judgement suffers. That’s a recipe for disaster when you’re riding a motorcycle. Continue riding in this condition, and you may progress to heat stroke, which can result in loss of consciousness, heart arrhythmia, and worse – all things you want to avoid, right?
Luckily, there is another way – a safer, more comfortable alternative: mesh motorcycle jackets.
Mesh motorcycle jackets aren’t fully mesh. They combine solid materials (leather or textile) in impact areas with mesh panels for a balance of protection and air flow. The best mesh jackets, like the wide selection available from Harley-Davidson, also come with body armor pockets for adding additional crash protection. Many include zip-in liners for rides where the temperature may change during the day. Start out in the morning with the liner in place, and the jacket keeps you warm and cozy. As the sun heats up, you can stop and remove the liner for a free flow of air across your torso. You still need to be aware of hydration, but your sweat won’t evaporate as rapidly as it would in the open air. You’ll also be protected from sun and wind burn, which will make your time off of the bike much more pleasant. Mesh gear also has the benefit of reduced weight, which makes it easier to pack, carry and store.
Don’t ditch the T-shirt. Just cover it up with a good quality mesh motorcycle riding jacket, and conquer the heat this summer.
About the author
Jason Fogelson is a freelance writer and creative director. A full member of the Motor Press Guild of America, he has covered cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles for a variety of print, web and broadcast media, including About.com, AOL Autos, CNN.com, the Los Angeles Times, Mazdasport Magazine and Fine Living Network. Jason also writes music, theater and film criticism, in addition to the occasional screenplay. Before working as a writer, Jason was an agent at the William Morris Agency in New York, representing writers and directors for film, television and theater. Prior to that, he was the Director of Play Development for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is based in North Hollywood, California, where he lives with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and his motorcycle, a 1993 Harley-Davidson Sportster Deluxe named "Manny." See all posts from Jason Fogelson | Read Jason 's Full bio Here