What Is The Best Way to Protect Your Leather Motorcycle Jacket?

How to Protect Your Leather Jacket: Keep It Cool For Years

One of the best things about a leather jacket is its timeless quality. A leather jacket can last you a lifetime and sometimes even become a vintage piece of clothing. It is also one of the pieces of clothing with the most durability and versatility.

But it needs some looking after to keep it at its best, so you can look at your best.  So how do you protect your leather jacket?

In this piece, we will give you a few tips and tricks to keep your leather jacket looking great for years. If you protect it from all the things that can damage it, it will protect you from looking bad on your bike.

Without the care, it needs your leather jacket can become stiff and brittle and won’t give you the style and comfort you expect from it. The most important thing, of course, is to keep it functioning at its best if you ever need it to save your skin during a crash.


Just as with your bike, maintaining your leathers is a key step in protecting it (and you) from the elements. A basic and easy thing to do is to get a few baby wipes (unscented unless you like smelling like a clean baby) and give your jacket a good wipe after a ride.

If you treat your leather like the skin it is, by cleaning and moisturizing, it will stay as happy as you while you ride. This is an easy way to get rid of the day-to-day dirt that you get after a ride.

Take the Weather with you

The first step to consider is the weather. You will be out on the road in various conditions and you’ll want to make sure your jacket will be fine with it. So weatherproofing is important.

There is weather protecting spray and other products on the market that you can take a look at, but read the label carefully and compare it to the care label of your specific jacket. Some wax based products can change the color of the jacket.

The important thing here is that your jacket should be oiled. An oiled jacket prevents the water from penetrating through the pores of the leather, and you will stay dry.

Carefully choose a product that will do this. Again, leather goods shops can be a real help.  Leather does not like huge amounts of water, so the best thing is to keep it oiled and away from too much water.

It should go without saying but never immerse it in water.

So salty

As any experienced rider knows is much better to sweat a little in your jacket than have a nurse scrub pieces of asphalt from your skin. Unfortunately, when you gear up in warm weather and sweat in your jacket, it can cause salt stains. Not cool.

Luckily you can remove salt deposits with a damp cloth. Then find a good de-Salter, there are several products available and a shop that knows its leather will be able to help you.

You can also wipe down the lining and if you can remove the lining, clean it separately.

Conditioner is not just for hair

How to Protect Your Leather Jacket

If you have been wiping your leathers down after every ride, and you have cleaned off the worst of the salt, you are off to a good start. The next thing to do is give your jacket a good clean.

The best thing to use now is a Leather shampoo or leather cleaner. Apply the cleaner with a sponge or a soft cloth; treat the leather as you would treat your own skin.

A good rule of thumb is less is more when it comes to leather shampoo and cleaners. Rub it in carefully so there is no residue on the jacket.  If you follow the product info carefully you will not have any problems.

But you are not done yet; you need to shampoo and condition. Once you have cleaned your jacket, gently rub the conditioner into the jacket using a cloth.

This moisturizes the leather and will keep it nice and soft. Follow the product instructions if you are unsure, but usually, you don’t need a huge amount for it t be effective.

You shouldn’t have to clean your jacket this thoroughly too often. Depending on how much you use it, a good spot clean every now and then should be fine.

Then you can clean the entire jacket once or twice a year. If you ride often you can consider doing it every four months.

Conditioning, on the other hand, should happen after you clean your jacket, but also after it gets wet. Whether you spilled something, did a long ride in the rain or hit a puddle, doesn’t really matter.

Just be sure to condition after every encounter with water. This helps keep the jacket supple and avoid cracks.

Air dry

Getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm or even snow (if you ride in winter) should not matter much to your jacket. The water is not really the thing that will do damage to your gear.

It is what you do afterward that is important. When the leather does become wet, let your jacket air-dry slowly. The water extracts the good oils from the leather and can cause it to crack.

So once it is dried, go back to the previous step and give tic some conditioner. This will re-introduce the good oils that keep it supple and weatherproof. So next time you ride in the torrential rain you will still be dry.

Last words

Just remember that your jacket is just like your bike, it needs a little love and attention to perform at its best. Like your bike, each jacket is also a little different, so check its label (or owner’s manual) to see what the manufacturer recommends.

Perhaps you can even line up your maintenance plans, when you change the oil or clean your bike, also give your leather jacket a little protection.

In the end, understanding how to protect your leather jacket will benefit you in a multitude of ways, such as saving money and keeping your jacket as safe as possible. Are you in love with leather, and want to learn more about why many riders think it is the holy grail of motorcycle jacket materials, then click here.

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