Motorcycle culture largely revolves around leather — the durable material not only makes for seats that last a long time, but it's also the base for jackets, gloves, and other accessories used to block off the wind (all while, let's face it, looking totally badass). But these days, not all motorcycle companies rely on the animal-derived material. In fact, there are a handful of vegan motorcycle companies that provide plant-based riders with bikes and accessories, sans the animal abuse.
Leather-free motorcycles are better.
Although finding a completely vegan motorcycle sounds like a difficult task, it's actually quite easy. According to PETA Asia, parts of a motorcycle that aren't always vegan include the seat and any saddle bags, which are often made from genuine leather as opposed to synthetic materials. And even though a motorcycle without leather isn't considered "traditional," a vegan motorcycle is actually better for several reasons — the first being environmental.
In addition to hurting animals, leather production has an extremely high environmental impact. Raising cows for leather requires quite a bit of land, water, and food. These cows emit large amounts of methane through their gas, and their waste pollutes the air and waterways. The tanning agents used to treat the leather are also considered to be human carcinogens, which ultimately prevent the material from ever biodegrading.
Additionally, non-leather motorcycles are better for the rider, because vinyl seats are more durable than chemically-treated leather, and they can hold their shape more easily according to PETA. Vinyl is also better against snow and rain, which means it will ultimately last you longer. PETA recommends simply doing your research when you're looking to buy a bike, because most motorcycle companies these days offer vinyl seat and saddle options.
Animal-free jackets block off the wind just as well as leather.
Not only do animal-free leather jackets tend to be less expensive than the real thing, but as previously mentioned, they can better stand against the elements . There are so many brands that offer animal-free leather jackets — some of our favorites include the Viking Cycle Ironborn. It was named "Best Value" in Get Vegan's 6 Best Vegan Motorcycle Jackets in 2021 Guide, providing sturdy armor for extra protection, padding, and advanced liner technology to keep you warm.
Andrometamodo is another vegan company that caters to motorcyclists by offering animal-free leather jackets, suits, and gloves for both men and women. The brand's Neowise Jacket is the first of its kind, and made from an abrasion-resistant polyethylene and an insulating lining. It's also waterproof and windproof, super durable, comes with full-body protection, and its futuristic style will keep you riding in style.
Stay warm with vegan gloves, and other vegan leather accessories.
Vegan Foundry considers Amazon's Joe Rocket Resistor Motorcycle Gloves to be one of the 10 best vegan motorcycle gloves on the market. Made with two layers of synthetic leather across the palms, and stretchy nylon on the back, they're lightweight, breathable, and most importantly, comfortable. They're also durable, they'll serve you for thousands of miles, they're super sleek, and above all else, quite affordable.
Vegan Motorcycle Gear also offers everything you could possibly want for riding your motorcycle, and of course, it's all plant-based. Peruse vegan-friendly jackets, jeans, leggings, gloves, boots, and helmets — it's all there.
Do electric motorcycles exist?
A completely animal-free motorcycling experience is certainly lower-impact than the alternative, but if you want to take your sustainability to the next level, you should consider getting an electric motorcycle. According to Luxe Digital, e-motorcycles are economical, efficient, and safe. They're much lower impact than the average motorcycle, and they're still getting lighter, faster, safer, and smarter.