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Cheap ebay leathers: one man's journey...

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by logularjason, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    Sharing my experiences after taking a calculated risk to purchase some cheap leathers off ebay. Hoping this post will help others to assess pitfalls, pros & cons. I'll write it in instalments as there is a bit to say...

    If you don't want to read the whole saga, summary is that the leathers are absolutely great, but they were made to order in Pakistan with many hiccups regarding sizing.

    Background is that I wanted a set of leathers for track days, with a 2-piece so that I can wear the jacket on the street too. I still really like the Dianese racing jacket, but it retails for around $700 in Melbourne. When I saw the ebay advertisements for full suits at ~AU$300, I did a little research and decided to risk it. Idea was that I could just re-sell them at around same price if they did not work out.

    First discovery was that although some of the ads on ebay say "Item location: New South Wales", they are actually made to order in Pakistan with somebody [local?] mediating with a team somewhere near Lahore.

    Of course, the photos in the advertisements do not show the garments as produced, but instead are just images taken off internet - in my particular case, you can find the same image on the BMW accessories sites:


    When you get the leathers, they are slightly different because they are knock-offs. The set delivered to me has slightly different styling - for example, no pocket and no press-studs to fasten.

    I also chose a jacket that looks a little like the Dianese, and asked the vendor to make it in black, not red:

  2. Will write some more later tonight, incl photos of the suit that actually arrived...
  3. Don't forget to bail off your bike at 150 and let us know how they held up
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Trying to be informative for the community about the process so that others can learn from my experiences. There is another thread that invites the old "you get what you pay for" lectures, etc., here:

    [VIC] - ebay $275 leathers: good enough for track days? | Netrider - Australia's Best Motorcycle Community

    As I said, this was a calculated risk, and having experience now, I am satisfied that the leather, stitching, etc., is similar to mainstream commercial gear. In fact, I think some of the origins are similar.
  5. See below for what actually arrived. It looks crap in the photos because it is way too big. Despite a lot of measurements and dialogue, they shipped a something that was about 10cm too wide in the chest, hips, etc.

    I have no doubt it was custom made for me, because I requested alterations to colours, etc.

    The leather itself, tanning, colour fix, stitching is really good. It is not top-grade leather (2.5mm), but is still heavy and thick. I am told that current Dianese consumer-grade garments are also no longer top-grade either. (I'd be interested to know different).

    Note how some of the features differ from the advertisement photos. For example, the external shoulder armour is not as nice in my jacket.

    Overall though, it's really good quality and workmanship.

    The time between paypal payment and arriving on my doorstep was around 2 weeks - I paid approx $300 for the jacket+pants, plus around $70 postage. The jacket has a removable internal liner at my request,



  6. I decided not to play hardball with the vendor and insist on money back, because he was very responsive and OK to make remedy. Because I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the goods, I opted to sell off the old suit, and buy another one at reduced price and with a "gift".

    There was much exchange about sizing to ensure there was no second mistake. I was very clear with tabulations of my measurements and adjustments required. Here is what came back:


    The pants on the left are the new ones (they have a pocket). Despite all the talk about reducing the size, the new set arrived slightly larger than the old ones!?! The vendor has subsequently agreed to send another pair of pants at his own cost.

    The new jacket is absolutely perfect - pics to follow. The "gift" was a nice set of leather gloves.
  7. The second jacket is just how I wanted it for size. Comfortable and feels good on the bike. However, the process took lots of emails, measurements, and photos, with total duration around 12 weeks so far (and still waiting on 3rd set of pants).

    Also, selling the first suit took a while - only just sold on ebay tonight for $200. I lost over $100 on that transaction, but the suit is still good value even considering the screw-up.

  8. So, would I recommend this approach for others? It depends - I think there are pros/cons.

    Quality: I do acknowledge that brands like Dianese have exceptional quality control and are backed by research, whereas these guys are just making copies. However, whoever made my gear knows what they are doing - for example, the workmanship and stitching is brilliant, and the leather is great.

    Risk: My experience worked out because dialogue with the vendor was cordial, and he had a good attitude. I do feel it could easily go wrong, and so there is a prospect of burning cash/time with an unsatisfactory result.

    Tailored results: This approach allows a suit to be made with custom measurements and features. For example, I dislike looking like an advertising billboard and so absence of logos was important. I also mixed the style of pants/jacket and changed colours, and got an internal liner.

    Price: No-brainer. The difference is astounding. Even local alterations on the first suit were prohibitive - a Melbourne leather guy would have charged the entire suit price to alter it.

    Safety: There is internal armour in elbows, back, hips, knees, etc. I don't think it's at the same level as mainstream commercial gear. To my layman's eye, the stitching is the same. The leather is nice and thick. On balance, I think the big-brands are probably safer and backed by research, but this suit does feel solid and safe to me. It feels significantly better than my textile gear which cost lots more.

    Delays and farting around: If anything goes wrong like in my case, the exercise takes time and effort. It always seemed like a bit of a gamble, but fortunately, I was not time-bound nor needed it to succeed - I was happy to risk a small loss. For some, the possibility of overheads and risk may represent a false economy.

    For me: Right now, I am really happy with the jacket, and if the pants arrive with a good fit, the overall result will exceed my expectations. It's not top-end professional gear, but I think it's incredible bang-for-buck, and don't feel that safety has been significantly compromised.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Sounds like a bit of stuff around with the measurements. I just brought a never worn joe rocket 2 piece suit off gumtree for $200.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. So what was the total cost of entire exercise, considering the fcuk ups etc?
  11. Hopefully, not everyone will have the same experience as me.

    First suit: ~A$320 purchase incl postage, sold for A$200 plus postage
    Second suit: A$320 including free gloves. Hope to sell pants for $100 or so.
    Third pants: free

    So, total cost is $320-$200+$320-$100-$50=$290.

    In terms of dollars, suit was a steal. Frankly, my time was the most costly item.
  12. That's pretty cheap provided the pants get sold and I'm not sure I understand where that last -$50 came from.
    I briefly entertained the idea of going down this path as I know a couple of people that have purchased similar and they are quite happy but I chose to buy a brand name (Rev'it) that cost me around $800 for jacket and pants, which I thought was pretty good.
    My only concern would be warranty for faults if they happen down the road.
  13. I have absolutely no complaints. I wear the suit mainly in summer, and it's bedded in nicely over a couple of years. The zips are still still fine, stitching is perfect, the colour hasn't faded or run despite a couple of wet trips, and the only real down side is as I noted, I asked for blue highlights and got red, and the white is increasingly hard to keep looking nice.
  14. Personally, after seeing the results of track crash tested top brand gear off the shelf. I wouldn't even consider knock off gear. I bought a Ricondi, custom, unworn suit for $700 as a comparison.
    You're really running a pretty high risk V reward. The stitching may look nice, but will it work, the padding may look about the same, but will it protect you?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. -$50 because they threw in a free pair of leather gauntlets that I can probably sell.
  16. Agree. Already acknowledged that the knock-offs are probably ignorant of the research in big-brand stuff. For example, ensuring that there are no protrusions in pockets, etc., that can catch hold of the ground, or maybe missing all the hidden triple-stitching stuff. Right now, with my particular purchase, I don't buy that it's a large order effect. However, I do understand the view that safety is priceless so it's better to buy a volvo or whatever. 8:])

  17. [QUOTE="logularjason, I do understand the view that safety is priceless so it's better to buy a volvo or whatever. 8:])[/QUOTE]

    But even Hyundai can achieve 4 star safety rating :)
  18. I've been contemplating getting a pair of leather pants to team up with my AStars jacket for mountain runs. The question really is, is wearing a pair of cheaper, ebay sourced leather pants zipped to a jacket better protection than a pair of Draggin jeans? I'm thinking yes. However, if I was to hit the track, I wouldn't take any chances and I'd go get a branded pair. Sure I'm paying for the name and look like a billboard but I'd rather have peace of mind knowing I'm definitely protected as I lean into corner.