If you’re a lanky rider, sporting an athletic build, or just plain big, you’ve probably faced this dilemma: Finding the perfect motorcycle jacket can feel like an epic quest. You either nail the arm and shoulder length, but end up wearing something that looks like a tent, or you get the midsection right and the sleeves make it look like you swiped it off your girlfriend. Trust me, I feel your pain. As a 6’4″, 200lb rider, I’ve been there.
To save you from the frustration, I’ve scoured the deepest depths of the web, called several of my oddly shaped friends, and tried on or owned countless jackets that cater to our sky-high needs.
But even I ran into a problem researching for this article: most of what big and tall riders are wearing today, or mention on Reddit, are discontinued products.
So, I took matters into my own hands and collected real sizing data on all the brands I’ve heard mentioned as fitting for big and/or tall riders.
In this article, I’ll go through what I found as the best jackets and brands for tall and lanky (long arms and torso), athletic build (broad shoulders, small waist), and big and burly (barrel chest and stomach).
One last thing: If you’ve found a good jacket before, comment on this post with the name of your jacket plus your weight, chest, waist and arm length. I’ll add you into future versions of this post so others can learn from your experience!
- Revzilla is Your Friend
- Motorcycle Jackets for Tall and Lanky Riders
- Motorcycle Jackets for Athletic Build
- Motorcycle Jackets for Big and Burly
- Drop Your Sizes Below
Revzilla is Your Friend
Before I get into it, I have to plug Revzilla. They have size charts for everything on your site, and a responsive customer service team that can help you fit any jacket. Plus their generous return policy gives you 90 days (yes NINETY days, AKA three months, AKA a LONGGGG TIME) to return an item that doesn’t fit right.
PRO TIP: Call, chat, or email Revzilla’s Gear Geeks here to help with your fit.
Motorcycle Jackets for Tall and Lanky Riders
Okay Jack the Beanstalk, let’s find you a jacket. Thankfully many manufacturers these days offer Tall sizing options for everything from Medium sometimes up to 2XL or 3XL, so us tall people have decent choices.
The common brands I hear mentioned are European and Italian brands like Dainese, Alpinestars, and Spidi. I’ve also heard many talk of adventure brands like Tourmaster. Some also talk about Rev’it, though I discount that one because I hear Rev’it mentioned for big, tall, athletic, round, and upside down.
I ran the numbers on sleeve length for iconic jackets from these brands and more, and here’s what I got. Keep in mind I held a 46 inch chest constant for all of them, and used Tall size variants when available. Usually tall sizes add 2” to the sleeves and 2” – 3” to the torso length, so I factored that in as well.
I had heard Firstgear mentioned, but not as often as some others – so I was surprised to see many of their options ranking at the top.
I was equally surprised to see Alpinestars and Dainese down at the bottom, but this may be due to the shorter sleeve cuts on sport jackets. Grab a pair of long gauntlet gloves!
Best for Tall Riders: Firstgear Rogue XC Pro Jacket
While most riders think of brands like Tourmaster and Klim when they’re looking for adventure gear, Firstgear does not disappoint – especially when it comes to fit and adjustability.
This exceptional jacket offers infinitely adjustable arms and waist with Velcro adjusters, adjustable vents for airflow control, adjustable armor pockets so armor always sits right, and an adjustable collar.
I think that’s more adjustment than you get on the Klim Badlands Pro, which costs over TWICE as much. Not too shabby.
On top of that you get CE Level 2 armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back. I can’t overstate how incredible this is – usually you’re spending another $150 on top of a jacket to insert CE Level 2 armor yourself.
And finally, there’s amazing attention to detail on this jacket: the gussets at the back of the shoulders and stretch fabric on the upper arms ensure flexibility when reaching for the handlebars, accommodating tall frames with ease.
With 39 inch arms on a 46 inch chest with the XL Tall size, the Firstgear Rogue XC Pro is ready for lanky riders.
Fly Racing Street Terra Trek Jacket
Dropping down the price range significantly we have the Fly Racing Street Terra Trek Jacket, which comes in Tall sizes ranging from Medium all the way up to 3XL. With a 46 inch chest you’d fit in an XL Tall, which offers an impressive 37 inches of sleeve length.
What else stands out about this jacket? Infinitely adjustable arms with velcro straps, and several colorways (including high viz) keep your beanstalk body visible.
In typical adventure jacket fashion you have all the practical bases covered: more pockets than a pool table, more vents than a McDonalds kitchen, and a fully waterproof liner (with waterproofed zippers)
Joe Rocket Turbulent Jacket
Looking for something more casual and less technical? Then Joe Rocket is the best bet for going all the way down your arms, offering a 37 inch sleeve length at the 46 inch chest mark in an XL Tall size.
But it’s not just those long sleeves that make the Joe Rocket perfect for lanky riders. You also get back expansion panels to keep the sleeves stretched out when you’re reaching for the bars.
Outside of the fit, this is a solid three season jacket with water resistant shell, CE Level 1 armor all around, large chest vents and a comfortable collar.
A great buy for any tall rider looking for a casual and affordable jacket.
Tips for Tall Riders
Look for jackets with stretch material or expansion gussets at the shoulders, which ensure sleeves stay in place at various riding positions. Cinches on arms are a plus especially if you need to size up for that sleeve length. If all else fails, gauntlet gloves can fill the gap for shorter sleeves.
You can also filter on Revzilla for Jackets with Tall sizes to see options.
Motorcycle Jackets for Athletic Build
So, you’re built like a Greek god, huh?
Well it’s not all fun, games, wine and turning heads at the local pool. Finding a motorcycle jacket is not a fun experience
I ran the numbers on several brands I saw recommended by gear shops, friends, and Redditors. I heard a lot of talk about Dainese, Alpinestars, Rev’it, Tourmasters, Klim, and some who resorted to custom leather work from Motoport and Vanson. People gravitated towards European brands that cut a more tapered silhouette with their jackets.
When I ran the numbers, I held a 46 inch chest constant and then looked for small waist sizes for that tapered fit.
I was shocked by the results…
Joe Rocket’s jackets actually had the most aggressive taper, despite their reputation for being roomy in the torso for big American bellies.
Tourmaster, Alpinestars, and Dainese taking top spots didn’t surprise me much.
Best for Athletic Build: Joe Rocket Turbulent Jacket
A double-ringer. What stands out to me about the Turbulent Jacket when it comes to athletic builds is its Full Flex articulated back expansion panels, which cater specifically to those with wide shoulders and a smaller waist. Combined with the 6-point Sure Fit custom adjustment system, this jacket provides an exceptional fit that complements an athletic body shape. The waist adjusters make it easy to take in the waist size for a snug and comfortable fit even if you have bowling ball shoulders and a Muscle Beach-ready waist.
This is a solid jacket all around: water-resistant Rock Tex shell, CE Level 1 armor all around, plenty of vents, and a comfortable neoprene cuff design.
This jacket stands out for its tapered fit – even more than the Alpinestars and Dainese options many athletic build riders naturally go for.
Tips for Athletic Build Riders
Look for sport jackets with an aggressive or “sport” fit – these will taper down from the shoulders to the waist. European brands naturally cut their jackets like this.
Motorcycle Jackets for Big and Burly
So you’re about as cut as a lumberjack.
You still deserve to keep your skin and bones in place, so let’s find you a jacket.
The problem with most jackets for you is the torso is too tight, so you end up sizing up. That leaves you with loose shoulders and sleeves so long you look like a kid wearing dad’s jacket.
What’s the solution?
Look for American cut and Relaxed cut jackets.
The best brands to look at are Rev’It, Joe Rocket, Icon (relaxed fit), and Street and Steel. If it’s in your budget, you might also take a look at Fox Creek Leather, Vanson Leather, and Motoport.
Unfortunately online sizing info doesn’t give me enough to work off of to recommend specific jackets, but that said a big friend of mine did mention to me that he loves First Manufacturing.
They call their cut a “Generous American cut” which is casual and straight down, unlike a lot of leathers that taper for the average MotoGP racer trying to save a couple milliseconds off their last lap time.
Check out the First Manufacturing Top Performer for instance – a classic leather with arm and chest vents, zippered sleeves, shoulder gussets, and 1.2mm cowhide all around. At the price point, it’s nicer than I expected.
Drop Your Sizes Below
Let me know what jackets you’ve found that work for you. Let us know the brand and jacket name as well as your dimensions: weight, height, chest, waist, and arm length (from shoulder bone to wrist).
You’re doing a great service to the motorcycling community!
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