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Some questions about leather jackets...

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by LineNoise, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. I've got a friend who's pretty handy with a sewing machine and she has offered to do me some leather motorcycle gear for 1/2 the cost of materials as she is looking at expanding her business in that direction in the future.

    Now at the moment I'm going to get her to make me up a sort of double breasted waistcoat thing with sheepskin lining (I'm VERY prone to the old cold kidneys) and probably some sort of jacket in a fairly non-conventional (for a bike) style and it's the jacket I need some information on.

    Firstly, apart from the grade of the leather, armour and heavy duty stitching, zips, buckles, press studs etc. can someone point me at any other differences in the construction over your standard leather jackets.

    Secondly, in the event of sliding down the road how much grip does leather actually have?

    For example I presume a row of press studs aren't going to hold in a lot of cases and it would be the zip that kept the jacket closed?

    Also if a section of the jacket came loose (imagine a double breasted front with a zip as the inside fastener as an extreme case) would the road grab it and tear the jacket open or would it more tend to just chew up the leather?

    Finally, would ~3/5 length coat (coming to around two or three inches above the knees when standing) cause problems? I'm imagining it would catch a bit of mud/water/grime/wind but as far as I can see it wouldn't interfere with anything moving (because getting a coat in a chain wouldn't be fun). My real question I guess would be whether it would catch the coat and pull it up your back in a stack (also not fun I'd imagine).

    Obviously the last few questions are a bit hypothetical but I'm trying to determine if the design I've got in my head is practical and whether the whole exercise when it comes to the jacket is practical for that matter.

  2. what does 'half the cost of materials' equate to?
  3. That's yet to be determined.
  4. It's not just stitching, it's the construction of the join.

    Lapped and turned, with minimum exposed thread etc.

    Also you need to consider different rider positions. So you need more material in certain areas.

    If your freind is serious she should be looking at buying a few different jackets of a similar style she wants to make and pulling them apart. That way she can get a reasoanble idea about the best way to build one.

    Also more then arse length would be a pain in the arse on a bike.
  5. Leathers per se fit tightly like a second skin so they CAN'T be torn away from the body, so they protect you. A 3/4 length coat might look good, but I can't see it offering the same protection as normal leathers.
    agree with ibast about getting some, pulling them apart and seeing how they are made, you'll learn a lot that way
  6. Not expecting the same protection as leathers, more on par with the armoured brando jackets and the like.

    The body of the jacket would be pretty form fitting as well.

    As for pulling a few apart, guess what we're doing on the weekend. :p As well as maybe some research down at the bike expo. :-$ :wink:
  7. enjoy, tell us what you find out!
  8. Will do. Still curious to hear from anyone, particularly about my second set of questions.

    I'm not particularly feeling like doing the product testing in this case if I can avoid it. :LOL:

    Just not sure how much grab the leather would have on the road.
  9. Quin Leathers used to do a double breasted thing (as well as other styles and pants). I don't think they are around anymore.

    They were made from some heavy duty leather and were apparently made really well.

    They wern't very fashionable though.

    But they looked like serious road riding gear.
  10. Seem to still be around.

    Quin Leathers. 989 Bells Line Of Road. Kurrajong NSW 2758. Australia. ph: 02 45677384.
  11. Thats them. Haven't seen an add in so long I assumed . . .
  12. So long as the leather doesn't bunch up (ie, if it's loose) it will tend to slide, which is preferable to grabbing and turning you over. Studs, buckles etc. can all dig into the road surface and get you tumbling, so they are not ideal.
    Good bike leather is usually 1-2mm thick and generally cowhide, although some manufacturers say Kangaroo skin is both tougher and lighter. Avoid the more common sheep, goat and pig skin as it is nowhere near strong enough.
  13. I didn't think of roo skin. That stuff is SERIOUSLY tough if my uncles "home brew" leather he uses for various things (bags etc.) around his farm is anything to go by. Might be worth investigating.
  14. Yep, a number of European bike gear manufacturers are now importing 'roo hide for their premium products. Fiendishly expensive over there...
  15. I was of the understanding that leather has the least grip of all other fabrics, and that's why its used - I could be wrong though.

    Less grip = less abrasion to the fabric and therefore your skin :)
  16. Had a chat with my mate at lunch and got measured.

    Waistcoat is a definite goer and should be pretty easy to make as well as give us a good idea of whether the leather sowing machine she's got is up to cowhide.