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A motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, or cycle) is
a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit
a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport
including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related
social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.
A jacket is a mid-stomach–length garment for the upper body. A jacket typically
has sleeves, and fastens in the front or slightly on the side. A jacket is generally
lighter, tighter-fitting, and less insulating than a coat, which is outerwear. Some
jackets are fashionable, while others serve as protective clothing.
A leather jacket is a jacket-length coat that is usually
worn on top of other apparel or item of clothing, and made from the tanned hide
of various animals. The leather material is typically dyed black, or various shades
of brown, but a wide range of colors is possible. Leather jackets can be designed
for many purposes, and specific styles have been associated with subcultures such
as greasers, motorcyclists, military aviators, police, and music subcultures (punks,
goths, metalheads, rivetheads), who have worn the garment for protective or fashionable
reasons, and occasionally to create a potentially intimidating appearance.
To improve motorcycle safety many countries mandate the wearing
of personal protective equipment such as protective clothing and helmets. Protective
clothing may include certain types of jackets, gloves, boots, and pants. Jackets
meant for motorcyclists are typically made of leather or specialized man-made fabrics
like cordura or Kevlar. These jackets typically include heavy padding on the elbow,
spine, and shoulder regions.
Originally, motorcycle leathers were adapted from tank
corps gear immediately following World War I. Duster coats, which tended to catch
in the wheels, were switched for short coats. Wide-pegged breeches were worn by
some motorcycle police and by dispatch riders in World War II. The classic American
Perfecto motorcycle jacket with epaulets and diagonal zipper, made famous by Marlon
Brando in The Wild One, (1954) was invented in 1928 by Irving Schott, of Schott
NYC in New York City. Leather chaps, adapted from cowboy gear, were used by American
bikers starting in the early 1960s. The one-piece racing leather suit, usually referred
to as 'racing leathers' was first used by world champion motorcycle racer Geoff
Duke in the 1950s. Duke had the suit made for the purposes of streamlining,
not safety, and like the majority of the leathers used at the time, was made from
Many modern leathers have armour on the inside at major
impact regions such as shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and back. The European Standards
for these protectors are EN 1621-1:2007 and EN 1621-2:2003. The energy absorbers
and load spreaders — constructed from high density foam, foam backed hard polymers,
carbon fiber, titanium, and other materials — are designed to prevent or reduce
injury by spreading and dampening impact and shear strains to the wearer. In Europe,
by law, armour has to have a CE mark. There are also motorcycle jackets that use
an airbag system, which deploys in the event of an accident, inflating to protect
the riders neck, torso, and lower back.
An outlaw motorcycle club is a motorcycle subculture that has its roots in the immediate
post-World War II era of American society. It is generally centered on the use of
cruiser motorcycles, particularly Harley-Davidsons and choppers, and a set of ideals
that celebrate freedom, nonconformity to mainstream culture and loyalty to the biker
group. In the United States, such motorcycle clubs are considered "outlaw" as they
are not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and do not adhere
to the AMA's rules. Instead the clubs have their own set of bylaws reflecting the
outlaw biker culture.
The primary visual identification of a member of an outlaw motorcycle club is the
vest adorned with a large club-specific patch or patches, predominantly located
in the middle of the back. The patch(es) will contain a club logo, the name of the
club, and the letters MC, and a possible state, province, or other chapter identification.
This garment and the patches themselves are referred to as the colours or cut (a
term taken from the early practice of cutting the collars and/or sleeves from a
denim or leather jacket). Many non-outlaw motorcycle riding clubs such as the Harley
Owners Group also wear patches on the back of their vests, with or without including
the letters MC.
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Motorcycle Jackets page to be helpful.
style of jacket you are wearing
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