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Denim jacket: better than nothing?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Bravus, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. I'm off for a flying visit to Melbourne overnight and tomorrow, and will be riding my bike to the airport. There are no lockers at the domestic terminal in Brisbane, so I'll have to carry my bike gear with me. Helmet will fit in my capacious backpack, but armoured summer mesh jacket will be awkward.

    So I'm thinking of wearing the armoured jacket in to the office today, then leaving it and switching to a more foldable denim jacket for the trip to the airport.

    I know it's less than ideal, but figure it will give *some* protection (and warmth for the evening trip back tomorrow night)...

    Talk me into taking the mesh jacket instead, if you can (and give a dang). ;)

  2. Can you take the armour out of the mesh jacket?
  3. Yeah, I can, but then it's arguably no tougher than the denim. Maybe a fraction... Worth thinking about, thanks.
  4. Well, you have to be practical Bravis.
    ...seems to me that the denim jacket will suffice. it's basic risk management....you are taking on a higher risk for the sake of practicality on the trip.

    OR, you could get an airport locker and shove your gear in there for when you return?
  5. Would probably be a hell of a lot stronger as the threads/stitching is intended to protect you in an accident whereas the denim jacket maker's never had that intention..
    Can't just wear or hold the jacket on the plane?
  6. Just squid it
  7. Yep, just squid & don't crash.

    Didn't we cover this already? ;)
  8. Of course, *fashion-wise*, my late 80s stonewash grey denim jacket is an accident waiting to happen. ;)
  9. IIRC,
    Leather lasts 7 seconds in a slide,
    Cordura 3 seconds
    Cotton (ie. denim) lasts 0.5 seconds.

    If your mesh jacket is cordura on the impact areas, take that (remove armour if you must).
  10. I rode for years when I started riding wearing a Belstaff jacket (waxed cotton) if it was wet and in denim if it was hot.

    Back then the only alternative was heavy non waterproof leather. Now there is a lot better gear but the likelihood of crashing is also a lot less (older, more experienced etc. etc.)

    I'd say wear the denim and just keep an eye out for the hundreds of moronic taxi drivers on the way.

    On the other hand

    Of course, *fashion-wise*, my late 80s stonewash grey denim jacket is an accident waiting to happen

    You may get picked up for crimes against humanity :)
  11.  Top
  12. Would definitely work, but it's a bit of a one-off: plenty of room in the office at work for gear.
  13. So denim is better than nothing.

    Out of interest, at what speed was the testing done to achieve those results.
  14. when i want to look a little less intimidating or can't be assed walking around in a moto jacket, i wear this:


    now if you know of the brand, you'll know it's quality stuff.
  15. Dunno. I think there is something on the MCC NSW site but the test were done in UK. Look up satra.co.uk but if you can wade through that you're a better man than me.
  16. When I get some time I'll have to have a look.

    I think it's important to put those figures in to some context. If the speed was 100kmh, then it may not mean much at 60km. However, if the tests were done at 40kmh, then it's certainly food for thought.

    Edit: found it, given it's the same test. http://www.satra.co.uk/spotlight/download.php?file=spot_0607_motorcycle_clothing.pdf

    Basically, a sample is dropped 50mm on to a 60 grit abrasive belt moving at 18mph, the test ends when the sample is holed.
  17. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it'd be born from the European certification standard for motorcycle armour abrasion resistance, the name/number of which evades my memory. They nominate testing methods for materials and burn-through times for different armour locations.
  18. I remember that test or, at least, an early incarnation of it from 20 years ago. I don't dispute the results in so far as they go. They're a valid and repeatable comparison between materials.

    However, personal experience and that of quite a number of accquaintances suggests that denim, when backed by human flesh and applied to real road surfaces, lasts rather longer than 0.5s. I've no doubt whatsoever that the other materials will last correspondingly better too.

    So no, denim isn't ideal protectively but, given the risk management approach alluded to by Raven, it's quite a bit better than nothing.

    It's worht remembering that most urban, lowish speed motorcycle crashes don't involve long slides. Impact is another matter, of course, but, without armour, not much will help with that. Prior to the late 1980s armour didn't exist for the road rider.
  19. Denim is better than bare skin. Cordura (motorcycle specific textile clothing) is better than denim. Leather (motorcycle specific leather clothing) is better than Cordura.

    Add armour and each is better again.

    But don't forget, it's skill and roadcraft that will stop you from crashing, not the gear you are wearing.
  20. I agree with Raven with respect to the risk management approach.

    The Numpty Airforce doesn't have bombers circling overhead with laser-guided 'smart' taxis ready to be dropped on top of motorcyclists with deadly precision within 3 minutes of that rider getting onto a bike without ATGATT. It'll be just like any other trip, with the same probability of being in a crash.

    In isolated 'emergencies' (like rare trips to the airport when there's not enough space to store your gear), wearing sub-optimal armour isn't the worst gamble I can think of to make. Exposure in a one-off 20 minute trip to the airport is low, most of the roads near there are <60kph...

    Just pinkie-swear to us that you won't be doing sick burnouts and wheelies and drifting around corners at 10/10ths. ;)