Wear A Motorcycle Jacket All The Time?

Wear A Motorcycle Jacket All The Time? - My Alpha Motorcycle Riding Jacket.

Well, I’ve become more comfortable riding my motorcycle. Jumping on my two bikes(TaoTao TBR7 and Boom Vader Gen 2) is sometimes too much fun to do the right thing.

Yes, you guessed it, I sometimes get so comfortable with riding that I ask myself should I wear a motorcycle jacket all the time?  

If you ask this of yourself, too, please take a moment to listen to my reasoning and comment if you have something to add to my thinking process.

Riding Without A Motorcycle Jacket Background.

So, I will be working in my garage and wondering when was the last time I changed the engine oil in one of my bikes. A sign your motorcycle needs an oil change is when you can’t remember the last time you changed the oil ( How Often Do You Need to Change Your Motorcycle’s Oil? ).

So to warm the bike up and try to get any oil impurities back into oil circulation, I will run the motorcycle. As you know, bikes warm up faster under load and riding my weight around the block a couple of times puts a lot of load on the bike.

Well, I thought to myself, just going around the block, do I need to get dressed up fully just to warm up the bike?

Note that I live in Pennsylvania, and there are exceptions to the requirement to wear helmets while riding motorcycles.    

Pennsylvania Law requires that any person who operates or rides a motorcycle must wear protective headgear unless he or she is over 21 years of age or older and has either two years of riding experience or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.


So there isn’t much encouragement to wear staple motorcycle protective gear like a helmet, so there is no rule about having to wear a motorcycle jacket to ride as well.

So, back to what I was saying, I grabbed my Fuel Motorcycle Helmet and tossed it on with my everyday motorcycle riding gloves, and was off. My simple ride around the block turned into an hour-long ride. 

Wear A Motorcycle Helmet All The Time? - My Fuel Full Face Motorcycle Helmet.
Wear A Motorcycle Gloves All The Time? - My Street & Steel Leather Motorcycle Gloves.

Like many motorcycle riders, my simple trip turned into a mini excursion.

When I got back, I did the oil change and managed to burn my hand on the exhaust. If I had taken the time to wear mechanic gloves, I could have avoided the stinging burn. It was a boo-boo, and I spent more time thinking about preventing it than preventing injuries going down a slide on the bike.

I felt baffled why I thought a tiny burn would be so severe that I should have put on gloves, but for the warm-up ride, I didn’t take the time to toss on a simple motorcycle jacket.

So if gloves are necessary for a tiny burn, a motorcycle jacket should be essential to protect my skin from a slide while riding my motorcycle.

So, Do Motorcycle Jackets Protect You?

I haven’t fallen and slid yet on my motorcycle, and I have fallen from standing on my bike, which involves impact force. I will talk later about this fall, but for now just going to think about skin injuries from abrasions.

I have fallen and slid while riding my mountain bike.

Road Differences and Skin Abrasion.

Some differences between the riding surfaces for my motorcycle and my mountain bike.

On my mountain bike, I ride trails, often soft dirt, rock, or gravel.

I tend to stick more with the dirt and gravel. Like how my mountain bike’s back wheel breaks free when turning or braking hard. Also nice to get a good ride in and see how dirty you can get.

Well, with my motorcycle, even with a Chinese dual-sport motorcycle like my TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle, I ride almost all on the paved roads. And with my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle, that is 100% on the streets now.

Soft dirt, or even pointy gravely roads, allow for some sliding action of the material. The loose material will move with you as you slide on it, reducing the abrasion. Reducing the amount of damage you received during the slide.

With paved roads, even concrete, the road surface stays intact, and the only part that seems to be sliding with you is the amount of skin being skinned off.

This means the amount of skin damage you receive from paved roads will be higher than from dirt roads. And due to my riding style, if I fell on a paved road off my motorcycle, I would suffer a more severe injury than when I fell off my mountain bike.

Higher Speed, More Skin Abrasion

The top speed I remember on my mountain bike speedometer, on a level surface, was about 25 mph. This speed run was on a rail-trail area by my house, so I wasn’t tired and held that speed for a while.

Now riding around town on my motorcycle, the speed limit is 25 mph.

The back roads I ride a motorcycle typically have 50-55mph speeds.

The amount of energy needed to move faster is exponential to the factor you are increasing your speed from and to. It takes more energy to increase speed as speed increases.

This means more energy is imparted into the object (You are increasing in speed), which leads to more energy exerted during a crash(going back to zero speed).

Found this to help explain:

Double the speed; you need almost four times the energy: https://socratic.org/questions/if-you-double-the-speed-of-a-vehicle-how-much-does-the-force-in-a-crash-increase#438332

So while riding my motorcycle in the city, the speed equals my fastest mountain bike speed. So I am traveling on my motorcycle at the same speed as my mountain bike or more than twice the speed.  

Considering how slow I am on my mountain bike, we can say I always travel faster on my motorcycle than on my mountain bike.

I am getting to my point…

Again, I never slid on my motorcycle, but I have on my mountain bike.

Here are the mountain bike injuries, and I can say I wasn’t going very fast.

Right forearm abrasion, Fall injury from my mountain bike.
Proudly showing my reward for falling off my mountain bike.

Looks bad? I was better looking after cleaning up, but showers hurt for a little while. I had to take care of the injuries and time spent to prevent infection and reopen injuries.

Now, what if I fell from my motorcycle and slid while traveling at much faster speeds? I could have destroyed the skin and worn away ligaments, tendons, and bones.  

The immediate injury would have been more severe, and the wound care afterward could have required surgery. An infection on the bone could even result in amputation. :/

Motorcycle Injuries I’ve Seen.

In the ER, we have protocols to streamline the medical triage process to speed up care and get treatment to those in dire need.

Motorcycle accidents usually go to the top of the list of patients we want to see immediately. Even a low-speed motorcycle accident can result in severe injuries. Riders in cars have a metal shell around them, protecting them from road injuries.

Broken bones are expected for fall injuries, but motorcycle accidents add something additional to a fall injury, speed.

If a bone breaks and the skin stays intact, it’s a break. Suppose the skin is broken and exposing the bone in the environment. In that case, it’s the potential for severe infection and losing a limb.  

Motorcycle accidents break the skin, and this additional injury puts the body at significant risk of losing the protective barrier we call skin.  

So how can we protect our skin? By putting a barrier between our skin and the abrasion points, in this case, the road. A RATED motorcycle jacket can do this.

Should You Wear A Motorcycle Jacket All The Time?


Wearing a motorcycle jacket protects your skin from road abrasion at the obvious points of contact during a motorcycle accident. By safeguarding these points, your skin stays intact and reduces immediate injuries like bleeding and long-term injuries like infection and scarring.

Should You Always Wear A Motorcycle Jacket, Even In Summer?

Again YES!

Today’s textile mesh motorcycle jackets flow so much air while riding that it’s almost like not riding with a jacket. With a lighter jacket, some Sunlight is reflected and helps keep you cool while riding in the Sun.

A drawback is when air isn’t flowing at stop lights or slow urban traffic. Body heat will still escape through the mesh holes, but you will notice something against your skin. Although it might be a little warm, understand what is against your skin is protecting your skin, and keep the motorcycle jacket on. 

Try to pre-plan your routes to keep moving and prevent you and your motorcycle from overheating( Air-Cooled Engine Overheating Symptoms ) .

I’m A Good Rider; I Don’t Need A Motorcycle Jacket.

I’ve heard this often.

Even better…

Don’t Need A Motorcycle Jacket; I Don’t Plan To Have An Accident.

This excuse, too, I’ve heard.

First, if you plan on having an accident or something is wrong with you, please seek medical help.

Like myself, I didn’t plan to have a motorcycle accident when I fell onto the ground or the more serious crashes I did on my mountain bike.

It’s an accident; it’s not planned.

Also, like the motorcycle accident patients I’ve taken care of in the ER, they didn’t plan on having an accident. It happens; make plans to protect yourself.

I Don’t Ride In Traffic, So there is No Need For A Motorcycle Jacket.

Also, from my observations and research, most motorcycle accidents are single vehicles. This means there was no other vehicle, so the motorcycle involved in the crash was the lone vehicle.  

Put simply, you don’t need the traffic to get into a traffic accident. Protect yourself 100% of the time.

A little Preachy About Motorcycle Jackets?

Well yes.

I’ve had patients that were motorcycle riders who went down. The injuries were often to their egos, but too often, it was to their skin.

Skin that was gone, and I had to apply protective ointments and bandages too while administering antibiotics and tetanus vaccine to keep the patient from getting worse. 

A cheap motorcycle jacket could have turned an ER visit into a nonissue. The rider could have assessed their injuries and still received care, but it would have been less of an Emergency.

Even with these experiences of treating these patients, knowing their pain and forever injuries like scars, I found myself just riding around without a motorcycle jacket.  

Putting on a motorcycle jacket could be cheap insurance against injury, death, and deformity. Yet I didn’t wear it. 

So Preachy? Yes! I made a mistake, and I hope you will learn from my mistakes and not make them if you are reading this.

Your Riding Experience Insight?

If you have a comment or feedback, please leave it. I’ve taken care of motorcycle accident patients longer than I’ve been riding motorcycles, so 

I might have a biased point of view, but ATGATT!

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

5 thoughts on “Wear A Motorcycle Jacket All The Time?”

  1. I’ve been off my bike 3 times, all 3 times my gear saved me pain & suffering or death. Do what you like it after all is a free country, but someone is waiting for you to come home.

  2. If you’re going to ride a motorcycle anytime, anywhere, always wear protective gear. No matter what the law, wear a good helmet, a leather jacket with armor, riding pants with padding, leather gloves and boots. Once you fall unprotected, you’ll never be the same. Breaking bones last a long time. Be smart!


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