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New leather jacket tight around armpits, will it loosen up?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Grumply, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I just bought myself a Shift 'Primer' leather jacket. Tried a large one and it was a tad loose around the waist and chest, so the salesman suggested I go a size down to the medium. Tried the medium and although it's tight and the sleeves are a tad shorter than ideal with my arms extended, it's not excessively tight or small so I bought it.

    Now the main spiel I've been given whilst looking for leather jackets is to get one that's a tight fit, because the leather will stretch and loosen out. Which sounds fair enough, and I'm sure that once the jacket I've bought has been worn in, it'll fit and feel very comfortable.

    However since getting home and spending a bit more time wearing it, I've noticed that it does feel particularly tight just around the armpits. Everywhere else is comfortable enough but the seam around the armpit (where the sleeve meets the body of the jacket) does put some noticeable pressure into my armpit.

    I've just tried on my mesh jacket for comparison and discovered it also fits reasonably tightly around the armpit, but it's made of much more pliable material than the new leather so it's not something I've ever noticed before (though it does suggest that perhaps this is simply the way motorcycle jackets are cut).

    So I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had a similar issue with their new leather jacket, and whether the issue has gone away after the leather has been worn in?

    The seam isn't painful, but the pressure on my armpit is noticeable, and would probably get quite annoying if didn't soften up.

    Sorry for the essay, but if anyone can shed some light on the issue I'd much appreciate it. I'd rather return the jacket and get a larger size, than end up with an expensive leather jacket I never ride because it's uncomfortable.


  2. Should be OK Mark - give it some time and use and you'll get used to each other! You might even find that the pressure eases when you lift your arms - like reaching out to the handlebars.
  3. should be like leather shoes. its uncomfy at first but will be comfy after a while
  4. If you're in a hurry to stretch it out then soak it in water and then go for a long ride in it. This was the advice I got from Hi Side leathers and it worked for me.

    Mind you, I got my jacket in the summer - wouldn't fancy doing it right now.
  5. Thanks fellas, took it for a brief ride this afternoon and although stiff I didn't find the armpit issue particularly noticeable on the bike - so I think it's going to be fine.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. im glad someone else has this issue with shift jackets, i like the jackets but they all seem to be tight around the armpits, id like to say its my massive guns but unfortunately i dont think so
  7. :LOL:

    One of the sales guys I talked to about them highly recommended I get a Dainese jacket instead, the cut is longer and leaner (a European cut he said) as opposed to the cut of the Shift jackets which is shorter and fatter (an American cut he said :LOL: ).

    I tried out the Dainese jacket and had to agree with him. But at almost twice the price, it just wasn't going to happen (and to be honest I prefer the simpler styling of the Shift Primer (I'd feel a lot more comfortable wearing it out-and-about after riding somewhere, because it looks a lot more like a casual jacket). The armpit thing is still a bit annoying, but once the jacket's loosened up I think it'll be okay. I was going to order a custom jacket from the States, but in the end chickened out over not being able to check it for size.
  8. Ive got a shift jacket...I think its the SR1 model though

    Does it have stretch kevlar around the armpits? If its a more solid material I dont think it will get that much more comfortable.

    Id consider taking it back before time goes on too far, at least try another jacket that will zip into the leather pants, if you bought a complete set. Cant hurt to check whether you can swap it.
  9. This would have to be be the worst advice I have ever heard from a person selling leather jackets. :shock:
    Talk about shonky :?

    To help the leather stretch quicker, get some dubbin ($4 a can) or any leather conditioning treatment. Spread the treatment all over the jacket but work the armpits well. Leave it in the sun for a couple of hours and with a clean rag, remove the excess. The whole jacket will feel a lot better, it will assist in breaking it in quicker and also puts a layer of protection on the leather.
  10. "Don't worry. The sleeves will ride up with wear." Mr Humphries. :LOL:
  11. Thanks for the advice, I'll give that a shot.