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Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by gt25Royce, Aug 19, 2006.
whats the best jacket to buy? leather or the other ones?
what are the pros and cons of each?
Leather is generally regarded as the safest option.
Leather is usually more expensive, hotter in summer and heavier to wear. It's very durable and can often hold up to more than one spill.
If you come off your bike at some stage wearing full leather you'll probably be thankful you were.
so you would say leather over material? even though it is hotter?
Give thought to what sort of weather and how long you will be prepared to travel in it. Most leathers aren't waterproof (except for the Tigerangel Guardian or BMW Nubuck leathers).
I've seen a bloke fall off at 10km/h wearing draggin jeans and still take a decent grazing to his knee and put a hole in the jeans. You wouldn't have that happen wearing modern leather with knee armor.
It depends what you're going to use the bike for. Like Hond@ pointed out leather has disadvantages when it comes to practicality - synthetics like Cordura/Kevlar still offer good protection but are far more practical for daily commuting all year round (and cheaper).
Leather gear in hot weather only really becomes an issue when your not riding at high speeds (60km/h+). If you are constantly moving, a well designed leather jacket should have vents that go some way to keeping you cool. You also have to put some thought into what you wear under the jacket as well.
I wear my leather jacket constantly because I find it reassuring, comfortable and because I would much rather the small decrease in comfort that being too hot will cause than the potentially very large discomfort of extensive gravel rash and other injuries.
Not looking down on Codura or other similar protective materials here, leather is just what I have.
From a crash perspective, I've gone to leather.
I slid down the road and found the fabric jacket just a bit too flexible, the elbow protection was twisted away from the elbow, and I got cut/burnt wheil sliding down the road.
It did it's job, dont get me wrong, sacrificed itself and saved my hide. But a leather jacket retains its form and keeps the armoured bits where they're needed.
I look at it generally that a fabric garment is a "one off" use, leather can potentially take a number of spills.
The exception (from my experience) is Draggin Jeans, that same spill caused no more than a minor scrape on the draggins, the jacket was a write off (so was the bike )
Leather is my recommendation too. As the boys have said, it's more durable and offers better protection than the textile clothing. While it is hotter in summer and not exactly waterproof, unless it's 38+ degrees or below 5 degrees and pissing down, it's still tolerable.
I'm also with Iffracem on the Draggins. Mine have survived a couple of low speed bungles, with hardly a mark. I have no idea how the ones Hond@ saw wore through so easily. The kevlar is very resistant to abrasion - perhaps the jeans were pierced by something?
yeah, mine was an 80 kph+ slide, landing equally on hip and elbow/forearm
I'm wearing the same draggins now***, the skuff didn't need a stitch.
*** although I did need to wash them pretty quickly, and the jocks
Both have pros and cons, in the end they are equal.
Textile is better for touring and winter.
Leather does have better safety, but really the textiles are good enough so the leather sort of has safety you wont even use.
If you only have the jacket then theres no safety advantage anyway since your legs are still exposed.
Leather jackets can also be too short and ride up when not zipped to matching pants.
I wear the leather every day, the dryrider has been hanging up for over a year unused (should sell it).
Me, Id get the leather.
But weight up what you want. Its better to spend the money on what you know you really want, otherwise you will anyway in 6 months.
i went for a trip down the road in my leather jacket and you almost cant tell.
I have also ridden in rain i couldnt see through in the leather jacket.
I stayed completely dry. I did however spend an hour o two as soon as i got the jacket rubbing dubbin into it to hopefully stop any stitching rotting over time. May have helped, may not have i dont know.
Leather being more expensive is a crock of sh!t. Go to www.rmgear.com.au and see for yourself, i have one of the RM Leather jackets, quality is superb.
Heat in summer, dunno, i havent had the jacket through a summer yet. But my dririder was hot. In summer, everything is hot.
Safety you won't even use?? That's possible one of the most stupid things I've read here at Netrider.......................ever! At which point in ANY accident could you not use better safety? Plain, stupid statement.
"no safety advantage" to having better protection for your upper body just because you will still sustain injuries to your lower half? Plain, stupid statement.
And what you want should be the best protection for your money IMHO. My choice, which I had to make just a few months ago, get both. Rather than top of the range leather, opt for a bit down the range so you can afford the alternate set of gear.
Why dont u get a mixed jacket? Leather in the imortant parts such as elbows and shoulders and textile for the rest.
With these, u get high level protection from leather, that is lighter then full leather plus more waterproof.
One thing we've all forgot to mention is leather looks cooler. Well, assuming it's complimenting your figure, that is.
Leather does have more abrasion resistence than even the best synthetic gear, but in most cases good synthetic gear has plenty of abrasion resistence for the sorts of sliding that most road riders tend to suffer from.
So the advantages of leather (on the road) for most riders aren't something most people will end up needing or taking advantage of.
If you do track days or you hoon around on the road by all means go for good leathers but if you just cruise around or commute then synthetics are more comfortable, more convenient and more waterproof.
Am I biased against leather?
Nope... I have a custom made set of 2 piece sports leathers for when I am feeling like hooning or doing a track day and I have a synthetic jacket and draggin jeans for the rest of the time.
ZRX1200R (your username couldn't just be 'Bob' or something could it ) makes a good point. My one jacket is a leather one from RM Gear (RM Gear great product, and Craig is a great help) and that does me both for commuting and more serious runs.
Additionally I have a pair of Draggins for commuting, and as of Friday a nice, comfy pair of Laro leather track pants (Laro Leathers) with knee armour and sliders (don't quite need them yet though ) for the above mentioned more serious runs, they also handily zip onto my jacket. I also have a suit of full upper body armour that I wear under my jacket when I'm not commuting.
Can never have enough protection .
for me leather just feels good and I feel safer wearing it even though I know my fabric jacket is almost as good.
apart from RM, look at black rose http://www.blackroseleathers.com.au/welcome.htm
Love my leathers but as said for pooting around I just chuck on my textile jacket and draggins.
Textiles are more comfy but I always feel more protected with me dead cow on.
Haven't tested either luckily enough.
As for the temp thing. I actually find myself wearing my textile when its cooler because the leather has a few draughts which isnt what I want when its cold.
So in that sense it is a cooler jacket to wear in summer when on the move.
Sit in traffic with in on for a few minutes and ya sweat ya ring gear out.
If ya can afford it a kit of both is good. If not think about what you will use it for and make the call based on that.
Oh and if its raining or looking like it, textiles always. Nothing worse than getting caught in the rain, being soaked through and then spending the next week trying to get ya leather dried out.
I keep seeing everyone saying that leather gets all soaky and you have to dry it out.
The second day i rode in my leather jacket it spent an hour in an absolute downpour. (so bad i had to pull over cos i couldnt see the road anymore)
The jacket didnt really retain any of the water, and i stayed completely dry.
I had a pair of dri-rider overpants on, my oxtar race rep boots, netrider neckwarmer and a pair of joe rocket winter gloves. Not one drop of water made it through.
If you have a leather jacket and it gets soaked in the rain, try rubbing dubbin all over the jacket and sitting it in front of the heater overnight.
Dubbin is available from the supermarket and is designed to protect leather shoes.
It should make the jacket water resistant at least and more importantly it will stop your stitching from rotting if it does become wet.
My old man told me to do this as soon as i saidd i was getting a leather jacket. He has always done it to his jackets and after 30 years and 4 jackets all of them are still perfectly intact and could be worn confidently at any stage. they just look a bit........the opposite of cool.