6 Top Rated Protective Shirts for Motorcycle Riding

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We have often talked about how fun and exciting riding a motorcycle is. However, while fun is always welcome, safety is still the number one thing you should focus on.

For this reason, you should consider specifically made gear and appeal that’s designed to protect you while riding. One of the most important pieces that people often overlook is a motorcycle riding shirt.

Stay tuned as we explain what motorcycle shirts are and why they’re important. We reviewed a few of the best models on the market and included a little buyer’s guide to help you choose one.

6 Highest Rated Motorcycle Riding Shirt Reviews

PRODUCTFEATURES 
Milwaukee Leather

small product image of Milwaukee Performance
Milwaukee Leather
Features: Electronic media pocket, reinforced shoulders and elbows
Material: Cotton denim
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Scorpion

small product image of Scorpion shirt
Scorpion
Features: Exo-Stitch safety seams, unisex design
Material: 12-ounce denim and a paraffin waxed coating
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Viking Cycle

small product image of Viking Flannel Shirt
Viking Cycle
Features: Zip-Up closure, suitable, for all weather conditions
Material: Cotton
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Bohn

small product image of Bohn Shirt
Bohn
Features: Removable armor, eight colors to choose from
Material: Soft and stretchy Lycra
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Hot Leathers

small product image of Hot Leathers
Hot Leathers
Features: Unique design, comfortable cotton material
Material: 100% heavyweight cotton
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Highway 21

small product image of Highway 21
Highway 21
Features: Comfortable and breathable, it has several armors
Material: Flannel
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Milwaukee Leather – Durable

Milwaukee Leather is a well-known brand when it comes to riding appeal. It makes plenty of different gear pieces, including some of the best riding shirts.

The first thing we should mention is the durability of this long-sleeve shirt. It features a durable 14.5-ounce cotton denim outer shell. As such, it’s unlikely to fade, tear, or show any signs of wear as quickly.

Its shoulders and elbows are reinforced with 100% Kevlar fiber lining. It’s meant to add a bit to the overall durability, which is especially important if you’re going to wear it frequently.

Plus, the shoulders and elbows feature removable CE pads for some added protection.

Another thing worth noting is its snap-close front that’s easy to work with even while wearing gloves. It also has a hidden zipper at the front.

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Scorpion – Unisex

This riding shirt is meant for both men and women as it features a unisex design that’s easy to match with the rest of your riding equipment.

It’s made of 12-ounce denim and a paraffin waxed coating for some added strength and durability. It’s quite resistant and can handle rough use before ever showing signs of wear and tear.

The 165 gsm DuPont Kevlar lining adds even more to the strength and resistance. It provides a good barrier between your skin and the road in case you fall off the bike.

Another thing worth noting is the polyester mesh lining that helps with breathability and allows you to use the shirt in variable weather.

Plus, it has mesh pockets on shoulders and elbows. The back has an optional Sas-Tec armor, protecting your back from the wind and impact.

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Viking Cycle – Multi-pocket

This Viking Cycle multi-pocket shirt is among the best choices if you’re looking for convenience and versatility. It comes in several sizes and colors for you to choose from.

It’s made of cotton, and it’s pretty lightweight and comfortable. It’s meant to keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

One of the best things about it is that you can carry all your everyday items in the pockets. All the easy-access pockets have a snap-button system.

Plus, this one has several hidden inner pockets for your documents and other stuff you want to keep safe. The front button closure is easy to use as it allows quick access even if you wear gloves.

Keep in mind that this one is made of 90% cotton and 10% Kevlar for heat-resistance and durability.

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Bohn – High Visibility

Bohn is a good choice if you’re looking for high visibility in low-light conditions. It features armored protection in a lightweight fabric shell that provides comfort and some added safety.

It’s important to note that this one has CE-Level 1 armor on elbows, arms, and shoulders. It hugs all the corners of your upper body, protecting them in case of an impact.

Also, it has a soft and lightweight reinforcement along the spine, further protecting this sensitive area. Another thing worth mentioning is the mesh ventilation that provides sufficient airflow to keep you cool.

This one is made of soft and stretchy Lycra that’s ideal for all body shapes as it adapts to your body with ease. Plus, it comes in several sizes to choose from.

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Hot Leathers – Cotton

This Hot Leathers riding shirt is slightly different than the most you’ll find in the market. It doesn’t have the front-access system that these shirts often have.

Still, it’s made of 100% heavyweight cotton, which makes it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. Because it’s so comfortable and breathable, it’s ideal if you need a shirt to wear frequently and for a long time.

It comes in several sizes but only one design that features skulls on the front, back and the sleeves. Nonetheless, it looks sleek and fierce, adding even more to your overall riding look.

One of the best things about it is that you can wash it in a washing machine. Make sure to use cold washing only to preserve the color and artwork.

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Highway 21 – Flannel

Highway 21 is another flannel option that’s quite popular among bikers. It’s made of soft 8-ounce cotton flannel that’s ideal for variable weather, providing comfort and some protection.

The best thing about it is its removable perforated back PE armor. It acts as a barrier, protecting this area in case you fall from the bake.

It also has CE elbow and shoulder armors, both of which are removable. They’re easy to remove and re-install at any time.

It’s comfortable and fashionable, but also very convenient and versatile. You can use it over your T-shirt or without anything else.

Plus, it has two upper chest snap pockets for some of your items like keys and other similar stuff. It comes in red and grey, and you can also choose between several sizes.

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What to Consider in Buying a Motorcycle Riding Shirt

Fabric

The first thing you’ll have to do is choose between various fabric options. It’s always better to go for natural fabrics that are more breathable but also warm.

You want the shirt to protect you against the wind but also allow your body to breathe. In most cases, cotton is the best choice because it’s 100% natural and allows proper ventilation.

Cotton also has great absorption, which means it’s an ideal choice for hot summer days.

image of handsome man in gray shirt

Thickness

Thickness is another thing you should take into account. Thin shirts are better if you usually ride in the summer, but you might want to go for something thicker if it’s cold outside.

Think about the weather and time of day that you usually ride in. If you ride during nighttime, you probably want to go for something thicker than what you’d use during the day.

Plus, go for a thin material if you want to wear a shirt under a great jacket.

Type

Another thing you’ll have to think about is the type of shirt that would work the best for your needs. The choices include sleeveless, long-sleeve, and short-sleeve models.

In most cases, it’s a matter of personal preference since not one type is better than the rest. Still, having long sleeves is always better if you want maximum protection.

Consider the weather as well because you might be too warm in a long-sleeve riding shirt.

Comfort

Comfort is among the most critical factors you should consider when choosing one of these models. It’s usually determined by the material and thickness since some fabrics are softer and more breathable than others. 

Still, it depends on the circumstances as well. For this reason, look for a shirt that fits your needs and preferences in terms of softness, thickness, and breathability, keeping in mind the weather you usually ride in.

Style and Design

Both style and design you’ll choose depend on your preferences and needs. It’s a matter of choosing a style and design that fit you the best.

Look for a shirt that matches well with the rest of your clothes and equipment. Some are plain while others have prints and are more colorful, so there are many options to choose from.

Finding the one that fits you the best can make all the difference in how you look.

Size and Fitting

As you probably noticed, many of these shirts come in various sizes. This makes it easy to find the best fit, although we suggest you always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart.

In some cases, the sizes might run too big or small. For this reason, you should always check customer reviews because people usually mention this type of information.

Also, make sure to allow some space for the shirt to shrink a bit after the first wash.

Visibility

Visibility is another big factor you’ll have to consider if you usually ride during nighttime. Some shirts have reflective points or are made of reflective materials.

These are ideal if you’re looking for an easy way to enhance your visibility without adding too many accessories to your bike.

Some models have reflective points that you can remove as needed. Still, it’s again a matter of your preference since some shirts aren’t reflective at all.

Pricing

As you noticed, some of these pieces are rather pricey. Although we tried to find the most affordable models, some of the best shirts are somewhat more expensive.

Price is definitely something you should think about, keeping in mind the budget you’ve pre-set for yourself. However, don’t forget to consider comfort, quality of material, fit, and other important factors we discussed.

If you can, focus on other things before the price, not letting it influence your decision as much.

image of denim shirt for woman

Benefits of Wearing a Protective Shirt

Great as Uniform

Does your profession require riding a motorcycle daily? If so, we suggest you consider using a riding shirt as a uniform if possible.

A customized shirt can be a great way of combining your personal style and passion for motorcycles. Customize it by adding the motto, colors, or logo of the company to make it look like a uniform.

Comfortable

Regular shirts are usually too thin to ride in. The fabric would tear instantly in case you fall from the bike, or you’d be too cold riding against the wind.

This is unlikely to happen with a shirt that’s specifically made for the purpose of biking. These are typically very comfortable, breathable, and provide just enough warmth.

Stylish

A riding shirt can help you stand out and show your personal style. As we mentioned, there are many designs and colors to choose from to express your style.

Some models feature images and art that would make you stand out even more. Plus, there are companies that let you customize your shirt by adding your own picture, text, or design.

Affordable

Riding shirts are usually affordable, although some pretty expensive models do exist. In most cases, it depends on the brand, quality of material, as well as the type of armor the shirt has.

Nonetheless, most pieces are fairly priced but still very comfortable, quality-made, protective, and breathable.

As we said, think about your budget, but always consider other factors before the price.

Types and Styles

V-Neck

V-neck shirts have a neckline in the shape of a “V”. These are typically worn under overshirts or jackets because they’re meant to be hidden.

The V-neck allows you to open the first buttons of your overshirt without showing the shirt that’s under. It’s a great choice for people with round faces and broad shoulders.

Round Neck

Round neck shirts are quite popular. Many of the best models have this type of neckline because it’s comfortable and makes it easy to use the garment.

These shirts are typically easy to put on and take off at any time. The round neckline isn’t too tight around the neck, so some models aren’t visible under the overshirt.

Y-Neck

Y-neck is a combination of round-neck and V-neck types. These have a buttoning placket right below the round neckline and are considered a collarless version of polo shirts.

You could wear one for casual riding or in a more formal situation if you were to combine it with khakis, cargo pants, or denim.

Wear it buttoned or unbuttoned depending on the situation and your own preferences.

Long Sleeves

Long-sleeve shirts are usually better for cold days than summertime. Still, this largely depends on the material and how windy the weather is.

Having sleeves can sometimes be very helpful in protecting against road rash, the sun, and possibly even mosquitos. Plus, most models that have sleeves also have armor in the shoulders and elbows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best brand for women?

It’s rather difficult to call a single brand the best for both women. For this reason, we suggest you check a few brands that are rated as the best by customers.

The reason for this is because everyone’s needs are different, and someone’s best brand might not be good enough for you and vice versa.

Additional Reading:

Is it better than jackets for summer?

Riding shirts aren’t meant to replace jackets. Jackets are typically made of more durable and resistant materials, which makes them more protective than shirts.

Still, you can use a lightweight shirt under your jacket to absorb sweat and add a bit more to your safety.

See more summer jackets here.

Are motorcycle armored shirts recommended?

Armored shirts are somewhat more protective than regular models. These have armor reinforcements in shoulders, elbows, and along the spine.

As such, they’re a good choice if you’re looking for some added protection when going on a long-distance trip, for example.

Conclusion

At this point, you probably understand why motorcycle riding shirts are as popular among bikers. These garments are easy to use and can add quite a bit to your style as well as safety.

Still, you should always try to find the best model when it comes to size, fitment, style, design, comfort, and thickness. For this reason, consider the buying factors we discussed before choosing any particular model.

Choose between the many types, keeping your preferences and needs in mind. This way, you can easily pick one of the models we reviewed to enhance your style and protection.

Additional Resources:

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

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