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cheap leather jackets flooding the market - explained

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by asd-matt, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
  1. hello Netriders,
    Im doing some research and its seems the in thing at the moment is buying $85/$100 leather brando jackets. What im trying to work out what riders are buying/using these. eg: joe with with $30k harley, Bob just starting on his Learners etc.

    There are basically 3 different types of cowhide leather:
    1 - split leather ($99): no grain/skin, its the flesh side, rips very easily, soaks up water like a sponge, has a plastic shiny look & will be lucky to last 1 season. Suitable for fashion if that.
    Repetitive movements/wear areas will crinkle surface colour exposing raw hide breaking it down even faster, im sure it will stretch out too because the grain is not there to hold it together. Paint/pigment finish
    [​IMG] larger pic http://www.austsales.com/ebay/clothing/2012/split leather.jpg

    2 - Top grain leather ($198): (medium-high quality, has grain/skin sanded down lightly with a universal grain to give good looks will last a good 5+ years). High tear and abrasion resistance eg can handle a few stacks. Ages nicely with the natural grain appearing and shaping over time.

    3 – Full grain aniline ($299): (highest quality, natural grain showing, dyed so its not shine, ages beautifully, fits like a glove straight away), lasts a life time if treated with conditioners etc.

    2 & 3 is suitable for motorcycling & will pretty much last till you grow out of it, stack it or get over it.

    1 is suitable for?? - From day one testing this split sample we notice significant deterioration from wearing the jacket to leaving half of it in the rain for an hour. Its certainly not a jacket you would trust with your skin. Saying that it would be better than wearing a cotton jacket or nothing at all.

    So is there an actual market for this split grade leather or is it customers not knowing the difference?

    People possibly buying them?
    - learners / seeing if they like motorcycling (cheap ass bike w/ cheap gear)
    - older riders getting back into it and on budget
    - occasional rider eg once or twice a month weekend cruise
    - dress up parties / mardi gras
    - ??

    As you can tell im not a fan of split for so many reasons. It will be interesting to know if riders still want a $100 brando jacket after reading the facts above. would you?
  2. To be informed is to be empowered
  3. I've got a cut-off made from a cheapo leather jacket (bought from a jumble sale 20 years ago for five quid IIRC). It serves as something to attach my rally badges to but as for being primary protective clothing, forget it. It's not just the cheap and fragile leather, but the fact that the seams are incredibly weak, single stitched rubbish. It's not really a "cut-off" 'cos I didn't have to cut the sleeves off. Just pulled a bit and off they came.

    Even before I started riding I knew better than to rely on crap, market stall leathers. Many others may not.
  4. I have owned a Brando Style jacket (Mars), never again. It was fine until I wore it while riding, most uncomfortable jacket I've worn on the bike.
  5. I have a Biker Gear Brando style jacket, its 3 mm thick, It has slid down the road with me in it,
    I bought mine to slide down the road, Dropping a bike is a fact of life, Hahahahaha

    But then again, I usually only wear the Jacket when its cold,

    My previous LJ, I got when I was 16 and I only stopped using it when I got my Bird.
    Your Yuppie crowd would buy the cheap ones, As they wear it for fashion, not protection,

    Or Noobys, as they dont know any better, Which will come in time, as they get to know other bike riding people,
  6. I have crashed in a cheapo leather jacket before.

    When I lowsided my GN250 a few years ago, I was in between leather jackets, as the zips on my old one were fucked and the leather was getting a bit dodgy on the ends of these sleeves (It was fairly ancient, I had bought it secondhand about ten years previously). At the time I crashed was wearing a paperthin split leather jacket that I had bought from an op-shop for $5, primarily to keep me warm and cut out a bit of the wind (I didn't actually expect it to offer any protection). When I slid along the ground the leather (not the seams) actually ripped. The funny thing was, despite this, it did a pretty good job of protecting me from road rash although I suspect it would have been worthless if I had been going much faster.
  7. I would buy one but only for people I didn't like to pillion in :)

    FWIW I still have in the wardrobe a 20 year old Brando style jacket which is made of very thick and very heavy leather and it's basically as good as the day I won it in a raffle (it never fit me so it's always been a pillion jacket). I can't see the modern cheap copies lasting as long as that and still looking new(ish).
  8. quote " 2 & 3 is suitable for motorcycling & will pretty much last till you grow out of it, stack it or get over it." unquote

    really ?
    how have you determimed that ?
    would need a lot more information about the jacket than you have supplied us with.
    - CE standards, or EU standards, to ensure they've actually been tested for road use. cuts, tears, seams bursting, abrasion, whatever they test for
    - how many rows of stitching in the seams. any external seams in exposed areas
    - how thick is the leather
    - do the zips lock or are there additional fasteners
    - shoulder, elbow protection, armour or additional leather

    in some countries it would be illegal to sell them as motorcycle apparel
  9. Fuck Deaddy, can you spell newbies the right way, I spotted the Nooby's thing and thought you were talking about me... p.s. I can't find a Brando jacket that doesn't make me look like a wannabe member of The Village People
  10. anyway, no i would'nt buy one.
    not because of the above, but because they're pretty much good for nothing.
    useless in winter because not weatherproof
    useless in summer because zero ventilation
    useless on the bike with no stretch or accordian pannels
    too much gay metalware to scratch up my tank
    for around the same dollars i could just as easilly purchase a real jacket from any of the US retail giants
  11. Hahahahahaha, Just for you. NEWBIES.

    I tried on 7 different medium sized jackets before I got one to fit me perfecto.
  12. From needing to buy a one piece suit recently, I have done some research into different brands, materials, tech features, benefits and construction of garments ie multi stitch, hidden seams as MT has said above. If only riders knew what they were looking for, not just looking at...consumer purchases would differ. Who knowingly looks at a jacket, pants, gloves etc and considers;

    -protection and at what standard
    -material used ie type of leather, thickness
    -seams and construction

    On the other hand, some riders, and I think we have all been there before, especially in the beginning face a battle of the budget and what the $$ will allow us to purchase.
  13. There's a subtle difference between newb and noob.
  14. good response, Can the three people who voted yes please pm me so I can ask a couple
    of questions to help work out the mind set and get a better understanding with your choice. (chicken78 is onto something i think)

    Perhaps the $99 customers want the very basic/cheapest option and with a full understanding that the jacket will only last them a season or so with little to no protection.
    My worry is i dont think half of them realise just how bad split leather is and they are buying the jacket expecting it to protect them if the worse is to happen.

    mt1 - Thank you for looking closely into it, im refering to the raw leather life & how split, topgrain & full grain compare price wise.

    The purpose of this was to find a few experiences with this jacket and what they are wearing now, eg is it a stepping stone to a $400/$600 jacket?.
  15. I believe that most noobs will be taking a few things into consideration. probably the biggest governing factor would be, 'will I actualy like riding?', This makes it very difficult to justify a $400 spend on a jacket versus a $99 spend.

    In fact I did the same, started back on a dirt bike with cheapish branded gear, it did it's job and I anticipated more riding in the dirt so would upgrade as it fell apart. Lucky I did wait as I no longer ride in the dirt due to time constraints. And I did it all again when I started road riding.

    My theory was, something is better than nothing. If I get into it, I'll spend the money on good gear.
  16. "as a stepping stone to a $400/$600 jacket?."

    i don't believe it would be for most new riders i've known. the leather jacket is an important purchase to them. leather jacket plays a big part in the whole first motorbike appeal. and they tend to budget for it, or just get a textile one till they can afford the jacket they want.
    for not so new riders, a major purchase because you know you are buying your artificial first skin
    but you might be onto something for new riders who opt for the cruiser scene. more about the look and anything else is secondary. and that is a big market.
    harleys sell more than any other brand. but new riders can't have a harley on probationary licences. so any money they spend is only out of neccessity to make do. the bike and the gear they buy first during the probationary period will get very little use,
    it's just till they can buy a grown ups bike.
  17. I've got the RST Razor Leather Jacket, is that good enough?
  18. We'll that's pretty much the same things, isn't it? Buy a textile/cheap leather at maybe $99-$200 until they can or want to afford a $400+ jacket.
  19. I voted yes because my current Brando style jacket appears to be split leather...

    It's about 4 years old, ridden in all weathers, still going strong! Lost a bit of colour here & there, but I have a proper 2 piece suit for going hard.

    Would I buy it again? At $100, sure, but not at the $270 odd I paid 4 years ago :facepalm: