August 2012

Choosing a Motorcycle Jacket: Why Motorcycle Leather is Different from Fashion Leather

Leather jackets are instantly associated with motorcycle riding, and it's not hard to figure out why. Not only do they keep your skin from scraping against the pavement when you have an accident, but they also have the ability to make almost anyone instantly cooler. Check out this kid, if you don't believe me.

Cool Kid in Motorcycle Jacket

But not all leather jackets are created equal. A true motorcycle jacket is a purpose-built piece of equipment, so for those new to riding or for those who what to see if their current jacket is tough enough for the job, read on for an overview of optimum jacket design. (Important note: they don't necessarily have to be made of leather.)

 Don't Wear This

The wrong jacket for a motorcycle

 It may be tempting to grab any leather jacket from your closet, but a fashion leather jacket simply wasn't built for the road. The leather on a regular jacket is thinner and won't hold up properly against abrasion in an accident. It is also likely to be open at the neck, sleeves and waist, allowing wind to rush in and make for a chilly ride, not to mention the puffed up appearance you're likely to have. 

Keeping Out the Wind 

Does Commuting on a Motorcycle Save Money?

As gas prices creep up around the $4 or even $5 mark, the impressive MPG numbers of your motorcycle begin to look better and better. Commuting on a motorcycle sounds like smart way to save money, but before we make a decision let’s take a look at the numbers.

Gas Pump in Indiana

Total Motorcycle has a great tool to find the fuel economy of motorcycles and scooters from modern bikes to those dating all the way back to the ‘30s.

Motorcycle Fuel Economy Guide

Modern cruisers have a wide range in fuel economy, but your typical Harley-Davidson cruiser will get around 42 mpg and a sport bike can get fuel economy as good as 50 or 60 mpg depending on engine size.

Now compare that to your average modern sedan which will get a combined fuel economy of around 29 mpg or your average small truck with a combined fuel economy around 19 mpg, and the motorcycle begins to look like a bargin. 

For more exact calculations of your particular car, fuel economy numbers on almost any modern vehicle are available at fueleconomy.gov.  

At this point it might seem like commuting on a motorcycle is a no-brainer for saving money, but there are several more things to consider before you hop on a motorcycle and head to the office.