Are you looking for a Cafe Racer jacket to wear as a fashion statement or for something that not only looks cool but also protects you should you come off your motorcycle? Either way I have some personal picks below.
What is a Cafe Racer jacket? The modern interpretation of the Cafe racer jacket first came on the scene in the 70’s and was worn by both racing car drivers and motorcyclists. Today many Cafe Racer jackets are sold purely as fashion items and are not intended for motorcyclists.
The original British Cafe Racer Rockers of the 50’s and 60’s would generally wear the motorcycle leather jackets of the day as seen in the photo below. Offset zip, large collar with press studs and at least one breast pocket.
Think Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones.
Often the Ton Up Boys would decorate their leather jackets with studs and badges.
The Cafe Racer jacket style as we know it today started to appear in the 1970’s, long after the original Rockers had grown up, settled down and married.
The cafe racer jacket has become a staple in fashion and many people buy these jackets despite having no interest in riding a cafe racer or any other motorcycle. While this style of jacket was once exclusively associated with bikers, they have now become simply part of the world’s fashion.
A traditional cafe racer jacket is made out of leather and it has a banded collar. Often times, the collar is going to make use of snaps to close it. Sometimes a zipper might go all the way up to the top of the collar. This really just depends on the type of design that is being showcased.
Other common features of these jackets include a chest pocket and zipped cuffs. You will also see the chest pocket adorned with a decorative chain or some type of ring. This is to aid opening and closing while wearing gloves. These jackets are most often made out of cowhide but they can be made out of any type of leather.
DECRUM BROWN LEATHER CAFE RACER JACKET
This cafe racer jacket from Decrum is very nice overall. It is made out of 100% real lambskin leather so is too soft and thin to provide adequate protection for serious motorcycle use.
It has a hook and loop closure, while offering customers a US modern fit style. It also features a zipper cuff which is designed to prevent wind from blowing up your sleeve should you use it on a motorcycle.
For the most part, this is a jacket will appeal to people who just want a nice jacket. It is actually available in several different colors as well. It comes in standard brown but you can also buy it in black or with a different collar style. This is a popular jacket that will definitely appeal to those wanting a cafe racer jacket in looks only.
Not suitable for serious motorcycle riding
VINTAGE CAFE RACER JACKET
I purchased this jacket last Summer.
It looks great, it feels really nice on but it is definitely not made as a genuine motorcycle jacket. The leather is far too thin to offer any protection from a tarmac slide.
The jacket does have some extra padding at the elbows and shoulders but its not armour.
Having said all that, I do like it and have worn it a few times when I’ve had a destination to head to rather than just out for a Sunday ride. The jacket is nice and light so it’s a good choice if I’m heading out to meet someone for lunch etc. and don’t want to be carrying 20lbs of Buffalo hide around with me.
Ideal for those who want a cafe racer jacket as a fashion statement rather than as a practical motorcycle jacket.
Not suitable for serious motorcycling
MEN’S ARMORED LEATHER CAFE RACER JACKET
M-BOSS apparel has made a very nice leather cafe racer jacket. This one has been crafted using premium cowhide, and it has a very traditional look. It features a full-sleeve zip-out thermal liner as well.
It has been designed with the practicality of motorcycle riders in mind and has removable CE elbow and shoulder armor.
The jacket also has two interior pockets with a gun and ammo holster. There are even two chest pockets, two hand pockets, and two points of ventilation in the front and rear. This is a good budget option cafe racer jacket for anyone looking for a cafe racer jacket with armour.
Suitable for motorcycling
RICHA DAYTONA 60S LEATHER JACKET
We’re now getting to the serious cafe racer motorcycle jackets. The Richa Daytona is made from high quality Buffalo leather to ensure you get as much protection as possible should you take a slide.
It’s also equipped with D3O CE certified armour at the elbows, shoulders and back.
It has a thermal quilted liner that can be easily removed once the summer weather arrives. This makes the Richa Daytona a 9 months of the year jacket.
This is a great jacket for those that want that authentic cafe racer styling coupled with modern safety features.
Also available in obligatory black.
Designed for the motorcyclist
SEGURA STRIPE LEATHER JACKET
At first, second and third glance the Segura Stripe looks the real deal. Although the image doesn’t do it justice, on close inspection the Buffalo hide shows a cracked worn look at the elbows making it look like an old jacket that’s been lovingly cared for over several decades
It may look like your old Man’s jacket but the Segura Stripe is packed with modern features.
- Buffalo leather construction
- Removable thermal lining
- Shoulder and elbow protectors included (CE approved)
- Pocket for optional back protector
- Fixed mesh lining
- Hip adjustment side press studs
- Adjustable cuffs with stud and zip
- Padded elbows and shoulders
- Four outer pockets with arm pocket
- Two internal pockets
- Neoprene comfort collar
The Segura Stripe is a great looking cafe racer jacket.
Designed for the motorcyclist
MY TOP PICK – THE RICHA CAFE RACER LEATHER JACKET
Constructed from full grain cowhide leather it weighs a bit less than the Buffalo jackets above yet still offers plenty of protection for the wearer.
It has CE level 1 armour at the elbows, shoulders and back and all are removable. Like the armour, the thermal liner is also removable come summer.
My brother swears this is the warmest jacket he’s ever owned and wears it all year round.
It fits really well and has adjustable waist tabs that go a long way to ensuring it looks like it was made for you.
The Richa Cafe Racer jacket looks and feels like a £300+ jacket, at under £190 it’s a steal.
Designed for the motorcyclist