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The Motorcycle Jersey Guide

>> Ashley Benson

So we sat down and started to look over the tons of different motorcycle jersey options and asked ourselves "what makes a good motorcycle jersey?" The answer was so simple that we almost missed it. We looked at the different styles, fabrics and manufacturers and couldn't seem to find the answer. Then it hit us, motorcycle jerseys are all so closely alike, that what makes one jersey better than another is the looks. This may be a bit superficial, but we all want to look cool while we ride and we assume that you do too. However, every person has a different style so what you may like your jersey to look like, your riding buddy may not. Jerseys may be an essential part of riding, but use them to personalize your riding look as well as do the simple job they were made for.

The Basics

So then what are jerseys made for besides to make you look rad while riding? There isn't a wide variety of differences in how jerseys perform based on their attributes and most will cover the basic necessities. Mainly used for off-road riding, these bits of apparel are meant to give you protection from the elements and crashes.

Because of the physical nature of the sport, off-road riders tend to work a little harder at riding than their street riding counterparts. So, jerseys are made with thin materials that promise to have moisture wicking abilities to keep the rider cool and dry. Moisture wicking happens when a material soaks up the moisture that your body gives off and pulls it to the outer most part of the fabric so that it can evaporate faster in order to keep you dry and cool.

Another way that jerseys help to keep a rider cool is with their lightweight material and vents. You probably wont find any jean jerseys and for good reason. Off-road riders want a jersey made of a breathable material such as mesh that will allow the heat to escape as they ride. Many jerseys will also have vents in order to allow the most amount of breathability as possible.

Jerseys are typically made from lycra or mesh that is thin but fairly abrasion resistant. Off-road riders tend to crash slightly more often than street riders depending on how hard they're pushing to learn new tricks or show off. This means that they need a layer that can protect them from leaving any bits of their body behind. While crashing off-road can be a bit less intense than a full fledge asphalt meet and greet, it can still rub off a few layers of skin. Jerseys are great for giving you an extra layer between your cells and the dirt. Some jerseys even come with a slight bit of built in armor to help pad impact prone parts.

Mesh jerseys like this awesome MSR Max Air Motorcycle Jersey are in a category all of their own and are made to give you the most breathability in warm conditions. While less abrasion resistant, these jerseys will keep you the coolest. They will let your body breath but will offer less protection than other textile jerseys.

While the wind whipping up your back and in your sleeves may be a great form of air conditioning, it tends to also be very annoying. Because of this, motorcycle jerseys are great for shielding the rider's torso from the wind and all the dirt and dust that it carries with it. Most jerseys, like this Thor Core Livewire Motorcycle Jersey, are long enough to tuck into riding pants and have collars and sleeves that are built to keep out air and dust.

What to Buy
When shopping for a new jersey, most riders will base their purchase off of what fits in their budget and sticks to their style. We encourage snagging a jersey that shows off your sense of style. However, riders who are planning to do a bit more extreme riding and know they'll be hitting the ground and sweating more than the average rider should pay a little more attention to the quality of the material it's made of and what kind of extra protection it offers.

More expensive jerseys will often have "sublimated graphics." This term indicates that the graphics are made in such a way that the dye is printed into the fabric. Unlike graphics that are ironed on or just screen printed, sublimated graphics won't peel off or fade with time or washing. But while the graphics on these jerseys will last longer, they are more expensive. Many riders who are just starting out want to just snag a jersey that has been screen printed or would like to iron on their own graphics for the sake of saving money.

You'll also want to keep an eye on how thick the fabric is depending on the kind of conditions you'll be riding in. If you intent to ride in some pretty toasty weather, be sure to avoid thicker materials and get a super light jersey.

The Fit

Just as with all the rest of your motorcycle apparel, you'll want to make sure that your jersey fits you perfectly. Wearing the wrong size jersey can not only be annoying but can cause you mobility problems. A jersey that is too small will constrict your body and restrict your mobility. On the other hand, a jersey that is too big will bunch and have extra fabric that will only get in your way. Like any motorcycle gear, you want your jersey to help rather than hinder you.

There are also various types of cuts for jerseys which will give you different attributes. One common example is the raglan cut like this Klim Mojave Motorcycle Jersey has. This type of cut uses a little more fabric in order to be slightly looser to promote air flow. Othe jerseys might have a tighter cut in order to have a more close fitting for racing. Depending on the type of riding you'll be doing, find a cut that suites you best.

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