Yes, you look good and all with your standard riding gear. If you’re planning to take the crotch rocket out in the summer, though, you’ll probably want to get something a little cooler, as that scorching heat won’t play so nicely with a thick moto jacket, regardless of whether it’s leather or waxed canvas.
Sure, you can take your bike out in a tee shirt to get some of that wind to cool you down, but that’s a surefire way to get into bad scrapes if you ever get into even a minor fall, not to mention the injury it can inflict if you ever run into a bad accident. What you need is a jacket that will shield your skin from the road, all while allowing enough airflow to cool you down while you ride under clear, sunny skies.
These motorcycle jackets will make great riding options for the summer.
Alpinestars T-Faster Air Jacket
Equipped with thick and protective mesh panels on the back, chest, and sleeves, this jacket will allow air to pass through freely from the front, back, and sides, ensuring you’re cooled down from every angle. It has large stretch panels at strategic sections to ensure freedom of movement on the road, while pre-curved sleeves should reduce fatigue for long hours of riding. For protection, it gets CE Level 1 armor on the elbows and shoulders, with option for adding chest and back protectors, although both those additions would compromise some amount of cooling. Other elements include microfiber material on the low-profile collar’s edges for comfortable wear, hook-and-loop waist adjustment, and reflective details.
Belstaff Temple Jacket
Love riding your café racer with a vintage-style moto jacket that makes you look like you’re riding out of a 1960s magazine? You’ll love this summer riding jacket from Belstaff, which boasts a textured heavy nylon build to mimic the look and feel of leather jackets, while mesh panels at the sleeves and full mesh lining provide the breathability you need to stay cool on the road. It has removable armor at the shoulders and elbows to protect you from falls, along with a pocket in the back for additional armor. Let’s be clear, though: you’re buying if you want that retro moto aesthetic while staying reasonably cool in the summer heat.
Joe Rocket Phoenix 6
The newest version of the outfit’s summer riding jacket, this iteration gets a more stylish cut with less of the loose mesh panels found in the previous generation. The result is a more pleasant-looking garment that’s equally as effective at cooling you down. It’s made with arguably the most generous amount of mesh panels we’ve seen, making it a great choice for folks who’ve had trouble with other summer jackets that still leave them sweating, while reinforcement at various sections ensure it protects from abrasion from minor brushes. For more serious falls, it gets CE armor at the shoulders and elbows, as well as a removable armor along the spine, so you get adequate protection from the hazards of the road. Other elements include a six-point fit adjustment, high-density padding at the ribs, and an extended back with sewn-in lower back pad.
Dainese Bardo Perforated Jacket
It looks like a standard modern moto jacket. You know, the kind you’ll be wearing the rest of the year when you want to look like a sporty dude that’s ready to race on a whim. That’s because the darn thing is made from full-grain cowhide leather, so it’s just as road-ready as any motorcycle jacket in your closet. Except, this thing comes with very tiny perforations across nearly the entire front and back sides of the garment, along with the same thing under the sleeves, so you get a whole lot of areas to circulate air freely. Yes, they added those perforations while making it look like any leather jacket, making this one of the best options if you want to retain your everyday riding aesthetics even in the middle of the summer. Other features include a TechFrame internal liner, CE Level 2 composite armors in the shoulders and elbows, and a pocket in the back for extra armor if you need it.
Aether Draft Mesh
Want to dress up in a motorcycle jacket that doesn’t look like one? This garment from Aether makes the best case for that very specific need. Equipped with the outfit’s minimalist design aesthetics, the garment gets that understated everyday aesthetic, which it pairs with an abrasion-resistant mesh material that allows air to freely travel in and out to keep you cool in the middle of sweltering heat, while boasting a three-layer stretch nylon construction. For protection, it uses D30 pads in the back, elbows, and shoulders, all of which can be removed if you want to style it like it an everyday garment. And just in case it suddenly rains on an erstwhile sunny day, it comes with a water- and wind-resistant shell that’s stored in a zippered pouch in the back. Just pull it out and wear it on top to shrug all that downpour away.