Purchasing a leather jacket can be one of the smartest investments you make. A good jacket provides countless years of enjoyment while supplying style and safety on the bike. But, if you’re going to invest in a good leather jacket, you’ll need to know how to care for it. Like all jackets, leather jackets require some routine cleaning and maintenance to preserve their appearance and functionality. With that said, leather differs from many synthetic materials, meaning you’ll need to take a different approach to cleaning and caring for it.
How often you need to condition leather is dependent on many variables, including; hide thickness, hide species, age, break in, usage and climate. A safe rule of thumb is to lightly condition your leathers once or twice per year. You want to be proactive enough that your leathers stay supple while still aging properly and giving you a beautiful patina.
To apply, simply take a very light coat, on a soft cloth, and gently rub into the leather. Make sure to apply a uniform coat to all surfaces, seams and edges. After 5 minutes go back over the leather with a clean, dry, lint free cloth and remove any excess conditioner. The key to this method is to condition lightly and regularly starting with a new high quality jacket. If the jacket has become stiff and cracked you will need to take more drastic measures and recondition the jacket which I will post about in the future.
Note: When choosing a conditioner look for water based conditioners without silicon, wax or oil for best results. I have used Corbin Saddle Cream and Vanson Leathers Conditioning Balm in the past. I am not currently affiliated with Corbin or Vanson but I have went ahead and hyperlinked their images if you would like more information on either product.