A pretty penny was probably invested in your leather motorcycle jacket. The jacket takes on 80-mile an hour winds, steady sun, and a cross section of all seasons every time you hit the road. The good news is, a well-worn biker-jacket is probably the coolest piece of gear you could wear with almost any outfit. The bad news is, the more worn it becomes, the less effective it will be against the elements.
Look after your gear, and it’ll look after you. Here’s a list of four-steps you can take to look after your leather motorcycle jacket.
Wash It & Air It Out
If you are lucky enough to have a liner in your jacket, too-easy, just unzip it and send it through with your next load of white linens. If not, you can take and turn it inside out, then Febreze the inside and let it air out for a couple of days in a cool, dry area.
If you find that you have sweat stains building up, mix a solution of two parts water to one part vinegar and gently work out the sweat with a cloth or soft bristle toothbrush. Afterward, give it a good rinse with regular water in the same fashion. Then let it dry, maybe hitting it with some Febreze, to give it a fresh scent.
Maybe your jacket is a bit dirtier than the average piece of Sunday riding gear. If that’s the case take and wipe off any visible dirt build-up or splattered bug guts. Once the spot-cleaning areas dry, get your hands on a quality leather cleaner. There might be a tag in the jacket with some specifications, or have a look on the manufactures site if they specify some specific product or another. If not, do some label-reading before you make the purchase to see if it notes that it might cause colors to run.
With the cloth the cleaner came with, a soft towel or even an old sock, do a small test section someplace not obvious to see that it won’t ruin your gear. Once you’re confident, apply a small amount to your cloth of choice (not the jacket), then slowly work it over the whole jacket and reveal that new shine. Start small, it’s always easier to add, then to take it away.
Just like you do with your golden Fabio locks of hair, once the jacket is clean, give it a nice conditioner. There are just as many conditioner choices on the market as there are cleaners, so do the same research as above. Before you get to work on this step, you’ll want your jacket dry so the conditioner can also penetrate the leather, rather than just sliding around on top of the cleaner you used. Use the conditioner the same, applying enough that the leather will absorb it. Again you are going to want to let this dry for a day in the shade so it can be fully absorbed.
Care & Attention
Like a vintage bike, the more overall care you give it, the more you are going to be able to rely on it in the long run. Keep some baby wipes around for those days when it seems like every bug on the road is on a suicide mission with your visor and jacket. Clean off any dirt build up and visible grime as it appears, and you’ll need to do the full service clean a lot less often.
A leather jacket will likely outlast the length of time you own anyone bike and is the number one things willing to lay itself on the line in the event you happen to end up visiting the pavement on a lay-down. A little care once or twice a year will go along way for the success of its longevity.
Header Image: @Blackbirdmotorcyclewear