Leather Motorcycle Jacket Weight - What Does it Mean?

By: Ron Winsor

Have you ever wondered why a motorcyclist chooses one jacket over another? Was it for the LOOK? Was it for PROTECTION? Was it for the LOOK and PROTECTION? What does it mean when you say Leather Weight? There are several answers to these questions. My purpose in writing this article is to hopefully answer these questions and to give some insight into why one Leather Jacket is preferred over another.

Measurements:

In order to understand what we are talking about when we say weight of a jacket you need to know some terminology. Leather weight is determined by the thickness of the leather. What I am getting to is 1/64 inch of leather thickness weighs 1 ounce which is equal to 0.4 mm. This measurement in theory is assuming that one square foot of leather will weigh X number of ounces at a predetermined thickness. What this means is an one foot square piece of leather in theory would weigh 3 ounces, which then could be called a 3-ounce leather.

Weights:

Weights are most generally referred to as thickness of a particular leather. Leather is generally measured on a millimeter (mm) scale or is determined by ounces. As a guideline for millimeter weight each 0.1 millimeter is equivalent to one sheet of copy paper. What this means is a leather jacket made with 1.2 mm leather is the same thickness that 12 sheets of standard copy paper would be. I have put together some guidelines for leather weight for you that might benefit you when determining a jacket, chaps or other leather garments you are looking for.

0.5mm - 0.8mm = lightweight leather (shirts)
0.9mm - 1.1mm = midweight leather (trousers - jackets)
1.2mm - 1.6mm = heavyweight leather (Jackets)
1.7mm - 2.0mm = super heavyweight leather (chaps - jackets)

Jackets:

If you are looking for the COOL LOOK there are plenty of leather jackets out there that will fit your needs. Most of these jackets are made of a lightweight leather such as goatskin. This type of jacket can offer you a good look and also some protection from the elements. There are also a lot of leather jackets available in the midweight range too, that have the LOOK!

If you are looking for a leather jacket that offers you the LOOK as well as PROTECTION, there is an abundance of them also. To find these jackets you need to get into the heavyweights and super heavyweights range. You can find these jackets by looking for a cowhide leather jacket or buffalo leather jacket.

There are also an abundance of leather jackets available that offer Protection that don't give you the LOOK, but they are designed for that purpose. The type of leather jacket I am refering to is most generally used for racing. This type of jacket has armor at the shoulders, elbows, chest and on the back. This offers the motorcyclists as much protection as a racing jacket can give. There are also leather jackets available that just have extra padding in these same areas. This type of jacket will be in the heavyweight to super heavyweight range.

There are also jackets available that are multi-season jackets. This type of leather jacket usually has a zip out lining which makes it cooler in the summer time. This type of leather jacket can have the LOOK and PROTECTION and can be found in the midweight and heavyweight range.

Summary:

All in all there are several different weights of leather jackets that are available to you that offer you the LOOK as well as the PROTECTION. When looking to invest in a quality leather jacket you first need to determine what it is you expect the jacket to do for you.

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