How Your Motorcycle Jacket Is Supposed to Fit


Something I’ve heard a lot is, “I’ve never had a motorcycle jacket before, how is it supposed to fit?”. Wearing a leather motorcycle jacket is different from your suit or leisure jacket.

The simple answer is this: you need to be comfortable.

Some people just prefer a snug fit, but if the jacket is too snug you lose insulation value and the ventilation system won’t work as it’s intended. When it comes time to wear your hoodie, you may not have room! Some people prefer a loose fit, but if the jacket is too loose, especially at the bottom, air will flow up as you ride making you uncomfortable in cooler weather.

You don’t want to be constricted through the shoulders and the jacket should be able to be easily worn over heaviest items you wear. Try it on over your hoodie or heated vest. You should be able to give yourself a hug.

Sit on your bike. The sleeve length should fall at your wrist when your arms are in the riding position. It will fall to about mid-palm when your arms are at your sides. A lot of people give us their shirt sleeve measurements. What you have to keep in mind is shirt sleeves are meant to fall at the wrist, not mid-palm. If you are over 6’1″, we recommend a long. We have the ability to customize a jacket for you to get the right sleeve length.

The body length should fall right at your belt line when you stand. When you are sitting the bottom of the jacket should rest on your thighs. Any longer and it will push up and give you the “Dolly Parton Effect” as I remember one of our customers calling it. If it’s barely pushing up it should be just fine once you wear the jacket and it relaxes a bit. When you are sitting on the bike, the kidney panel should cover your lower back. This is also something we can customize to get the right length.

As always, we’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-766-4165 if you have any questions.


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17 Responses to “How Your Motorcycle Jacket Is Supposed to Fit”

  1. Tim Says:

    Hey there, Fox Creek leather,

    I was considering getting a moto jacket. A friend of mine has one and when his arms are down by his side… his sleeves go right down to just a little bit past his palm area. You just see about 1/2 the length of his four fingers and 3/4 of his thumb. When he’s riding, the sleeve ends just around the wrist or a maybe an inch over. Is this about normal for motos? He seems to like it that way.

    I was just wondering if this is normal, because I’ve also seen moto jacket sleeves that only go a bit past the wrist when arms are down at side… Interesting article but any further insights on this would be valuable. Thanks!

    • Tim Says:

      Actually, just a correction: my friend’s sleeves go right down to just a little bit past his palm area. You just see about 1/2 the length of his four fingers and “maybe 1/3 of his thumb.”

      • chippywarren Says:

        Tim, There isn’t really a right or wrong here. As long as the sleeve length isn’t too short when the arms are in the riding position, I’d say that’s fine. That may vary per person.

      • Tim Says:

        Thanks you, that summed it up pretty well.

  2. leatherjacket51 Says:

    Thank you for a well written article. Very informative. Just a note: don’t forget to make sure you try your sleeve length with your winter gloves on. This will help prevent a situation where cold air can run up your arm,

  3. Marc Reimus Says:

    This is a Fantastic article and should be a link to each section displaying motorcycle jackets! I had no idea, mine just fits this way because I bought it to go over a sweatshirt or sweater

  4. Vincent Tedtaotao Says:

    Hey there, Fox Creek leather,

    I was wondering about how much bigger i should go on the size of the jacket if I am going to be layering up? I am about a 45-46 on my chest right now and a 33-34 on my waist. Any feed would be greatly appreciated, I am trying to figure out the actual size I need to get before I place my order. Also by any chance do do you guy’s offer any military discounts?

    • chippywarren Says:

      Hello! We suggest you take your measurements over your layers to get the right size when you plan on layering. You can email us those measurements at and we’ll be happy to suggest a size. We do offer a military discount, just request that when you place your order. Only one discount per order. Thank you!

  5. Pete Holbrook Says:

    Have to take in consideration for apehangers. I am 6 feet @ 210 pounds with 16″ apes. These bars are right about shoulder high while I’m sitting on bike. I ordered 4-5 other manufacturers jackets a few years ago, and all the sleeves were too short, except the Lg tall HD stock jacket. I ended up getting the Fox Creek Commander customized through them with 4 “longer sleeves. This was a good length that covered my wrist. Also error on the side of too large a jacket. Too small is useless, but a little to big can still be worn.

    Pete H
    Bemidji, Mn

  6. William Laffoon Says:

    Hi, You offer a military discount, does that include retired military? I spent 26 years in the Marine Corps and am hoping that is worth something. Thanks

    Bill L
    Yuma, AZ

    • chippywarren Says:

      We do offer a military discount for active and retired members. The discount is $25 on a jacket, $15 on a chap, and $10 on a vest. Discount codes can’t be applied to sale prices. Only one discount per order. No code needed, just mention it when you place your order!

  7. James William Tanner Says:

    I’m going to get jacket from y’all here soon ! Do y’all have a paper catalogue you can send me so I can show some friend’s of mine ! Some are old school no internet. My address is 7011 Fairdale ave. Dallas Tx. 75227 . Thank you James William Tanner.

    • terri4fcl Says:

      Hi, James. We do have a printed catalog – I will get a couple in the mail to you today. Ride Safe!

  8. Austin Says:

    A big thanks to all the veterans out there, we appreciate your service! Since folks are asking about discounts, do ya’ll offer any discounts for firefighters?

    • terri4fcl Says:

      Yes, Austin, firefighters get $10 off a vest, $15 off chaps and $25 off a jacket. Just put a note in your order that you would like the firefighter discount, and we will apply the discount to your order before charging your card.

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