Best sporty textile motorcycle jackets

Shorter and styled more like racers, sporty jackets are cool if you’re looking for a more spirited ride.

Riding a Honda CBR650R on the road

by Jim Blackstock |

When it comes to jackets, it’s all about fit; not only to your measurements but also to the way you sit on your bike. For example, touring jackets are suited to touring bikes where you typically sit fairly upright and the longer length helps keep you warm and dry when in that riding position.

A touring jacket on a sportsbike, however, won’t work quite so well. If you’re leant forward, bent at the waist and with your knees up due to high footpegs, the additional length in the jacket will bunch and potentially feel constrictive and uncomfortable. That’s why sporty jackets are shorter – to give you that room to move and get the right riding position.

Sporty jackets by their nature may well be inspired by racing and as a result, you will find this kind of garment available in both leather and textile construction.

While leather can offer the highest levels of protection rating (we’ll look at these another time), textiles can come close and add functionality such as breathability alongside waterproofing (generally mutually exclusive on leathers) and a range of other options that you would find on more touring-orientated jackets.

Related: Oxford Dakar Dry2Dry Air 1.0 Textile Jacket review

As with all motorcycle jackets, protection is crucial, so look for an overall CE rating as high as possible (B, A, AA and AAA in increasing protectiveness) and for CE-rated armour at the shoulders, elbows and in the back. As a sporty jacket, you may also find provision for chest armour and this is also rated Level-1 or Level-2 like the rest of the garment’s protection.

You may also find some jackets offering either built-in airbag technology or the option to add it, providing in addition to the shoulders and elbows, protection for the neck, thorax and back.

Richa Gotham 2 Jacket

Richa Gotham 2 Jacket
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This sporty jacket from Richa combines a slim fit with pre-curved arms for comfort when adopting the sporty riding position. It is waterproof and comes with a removable thermal liner to keep you warm on chillier rides though there are also four vents to allow cooling air in when the temperature starts to climb. It is CE A-rated and comes with D3O armour in the shoulders and elbows. CE Rating: A, Armour rating: Unknown

Furygan Narval Jacket

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Furygan Narval Jacket

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The Narval is one of French manufacturer Furyganu2019s range of textile jackets and is made from material simply described as u2018Textileu2019 and features a waterproof and breathable membrane as well as a removable thermal liner. It features plenty of pockets and adjustment and has vents in the front to admit additional cooling air when the ride starts to warm up. It is CE A rated and comes with Level-1 D3O armour for comfort and protection and can be fitted with an optional back protector or Furyganu2019s Fury Air airbag insert. CE rating: A, Armour rating: L1

Alpinestars T-Fuse Jacket

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Alpinestars T-Fuse Jacket

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This offering from Alpinestars uses a soft-shell outer that incorporates a waterproof fabric exterior and a short, sporty jacket. It includes a removable thermal lining vest and has two zip-open vents located in the sides for additional airflow for cooling. Hook-and-loop fastenings at the hem and cuff with poppers on the upper arm ensure a good fit and it comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows, with pockets for a back protector and chest armour. It is CE A-rated and has external TPU sliders on the shoulders. CE rating: A, Armour rating: L1

RST Sabre Jacket

RST Sabre Jacket

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The Sabre jacket from RST can rightly be described as having options; it is available as this textile version with (£349.99) or without (£149.99) an integral airbag and also in leather with the airbag insert (£399.99) or, like the textile, without (£249.99). Looking at the non-airbag textile version, itu2019s formed in HTC fabric with RSTu2019s SinAqua breathable and waterproof membrane with a removable thermal liner. This textile version is CE-rated AA while all others are AAA and all come with Level-1 armour. The non-airbag variants come with a back protector pocket and all feature external TPU cups on the shoulders for additional abrasion and impact resistance. CE rating: AA, Armour rating: L1

Held Antaris Jacket

Held Antaris Jacket
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The Antaris from Held is a fairly standard short, sporty jacket but it includes a host of adjusters to get a perfect fit, either with the removable thermal liner fitted for cooler rides or removed for warmer ones. Itu2019s formed in 500D polyester with a breathable and waterproof membrane as well as zipped vents at the front to allow additional cooling air to enter. It comes with Level-1 CE armour at the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket for an optional Level-2 back protector. CE rating: unknown, Armour rating: L1

Spada Plaza WP

Spada Plaza WP

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This sporty jacket from Spada is of amazing value, offering performance and protection well beneath £100. Its outer is formed in ballistic Maxdura and is CE AA-rated and it comes with Spadau2019s Tektoform Level-2 armour in the shoulders and the elbows with a pocket for an optional back protector. It has a removable thermal liner and a fixed breathable and waterproof membrane to keep the weather out. It has adjusters at the waist and cuff and a soft lining to the collar for comfort and comes in a range of colours. CE rating: AA, Armour rating: L2

Spidi Freerider Jacket

Spidi Freerider Jacket
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The Freerider from Spidi combines the design and cut of a sports jacket with the technology typically found in touring garments. Its outer is made in polyester to achieve a CE A rating and it uses Spidiu2019s H2Out waterproof and breathable membrane to keep the weather out. There appears to be no thermal liner so youu2019ll need layers underneath for chilly rides but for warmer ones, there are four vents for effective airflow while a mesh liner helps promote ventilation inside. It comes with Spidiu2019s Warrior Lite CE Level-2 armour at the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket for an optional back protector. CE Rating: A, Armour rating: L2

Revu2019It Vertex H2O Jacket

Revu2019It Vertex H2O Jacket

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This sports jacket from Revu2019It is available in a range of options, including this waterproof version, one with mesh panels (Vertex Air) and a leather variant (Vertex GT). This one uses Revu2019itu2019s hydratex waterproof and breathable membrane bonded to the inside of the 600D polyester outer to keep the weather out. There is a removable thermal liner for cold conditions and there are zipped vents on the lower arms to admit cooling air. Overall, the jacket is CE A-rated and it comes with Level-1 rated Seesmart armour at the shoulder and elbows, with TPU panels on the shoulders. CE rating: A, Armour rating: L1

Duchinni Legend Jacket

Duchinni Legend Jacket
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Master of value Duchinni offer this sporty jacket in three colours (grey, blue and red). Itu2019s made in 600D polyester for a CE rating of AA and comes with a removable thermal liner for chilly rides as well as a removable waterproof, windproof and breathable liner, allowing the maximum comfort for warm, dry rides. It also has front, rear and arm vents for airflow and it comes with what we assume is Level-1 armour at the shoulders and elbows, though it is only specified as CE approved. There is also a pocket for a back protector and there are adjusters to prevent the arms billowing when the liner are removed. CE rating: AA, Armour rating: unknown

Oxford Delta Jacket

Oxford Delta Jacket

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While Oxford may be more familiar for its technical and touring clothing, this sporty jacket from the kit giant is waterproof, has a removable thermal liner and comes in at less than £100 u2013 great value. Itu2019s CE A-rated and comes with Level-1 armour at the shoulders and elbows and has a pocket for an optional back protector. It also has air vents at the front on the shoulders to allow cooling air in and one on the back to let warm air out and there are stretch panels at the elbows for a comfortable fit. CE rating: A, Armour rating: L1

What to read next:

Best adventure motorbike jackets

Best casual textile motorbike jackets

Best summer motorbike gear

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