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Leather v Fabric


UKTN

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In the Winter, I ride with a leather jacket, heavy pants and boots. In the Summer, I ride in a mesh jacket, heavy pants and boots. At the track, I ride with full leathers, regardless of the season. I could give a damn about being "more BMW."

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I was wondering how many people ride in leather jackets,pants etc, or is it more BMW to ride in the man made fabric gear?

 

 

UKTN, where I come from it is more Harley to worry about WHAT you wear,, it is more BMW to ride-the-wheels off the bike & not care what you wear..

 

Twisty

 

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To each his own.

 

I ride in fabric gear because there are more choices for color, mesh, liners, hi viz, venting, washability etc.. Fabric is also lighter. There is also the kevlar option that I have for pants that is more abrasion resistant than leather.

 

 

 

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I'm new to BMW-ing but I own a Joe Rocket Jacket I wear in winter, but I only wear it if I'm going to be riding for a while, because though its tough and waterproof, its impossible to fold, it takes up a ton of room, Its stiff, and feels like your're wearing a space suit. If you have to make stops its a real pain to deal with. So if Its a short ride or If I have to make stops I wear a leather jacket that I can just thrown down anywhere, even on the bike, its worthless nobody steals it. In the summer I have a mesh jacket that is fairly comfortable and easy to fold and deal with.

 

I come from the "cruiser" community and the modern fabric threads are getting much more popular there, I've been riding for a LONG time but the newer folks who stick around in the hobby tend to toss the leather for modern threads after a bit of experience.

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Whether valid or not, I have more confidence in the crashworthiness of my Vanson leathers but almost always wear fabric suits because of their comfort, convenience and versatility. I had never thought about it as being a BMW-thing or not. Whatever works for you.

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My mesh jacket is lighter and cooler than the perforated leathers I used to own. It's also half the price and much more versatile. It doesn't bleed dye when it gets wet.

 

The leather was a little more durable overall and I suspect will hold up much better to abrasion in a crash.

 

Insects seemed harder to clean off of leather for some reason.

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I'm a convert from leather to textile. While I enjoy the look, feel and smell of (fresh) leather, the stuff can get skunky with no easy way to freshen. I own 3 custom Bates Leathers jackets plus pants, some made as far back as 1980 (when the brand was tops in USA pro-racing reputation), plus a full Dainese suit purchased in Italy in 1981. Now I wear textile, which is at least as protective, breathes better in mesh styles and can be laundered then air dried for that smell-nice freshness (I use Woolite!).

 

Jeff

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I used to wear leather but most of the stuff was too dark for safety. I switched to textile with armor inserts and feel better protected and can be seen better in the colors available.

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I wear both. Textile jacket with leather pants when I'm touring and usually all leather when I'm on the Ducati locally.

I'd like to get a nice pair of textile pants for the summer along with a BMW type venting jacket. Maybe next year.

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Summers = Leather Perf pants, leather perf jacket.

Spring = Leather Perf pants, leather perf jacket.

Kinda Winter = Textile jacket, textile pants.

Road trips = Arborwear and a jacket based on time of year.

All year round Olympia Hi Viz vest.

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From a particular vendor, but I've not seen the data contradicted.

Tear and Abrasion Strength by the numbers

 

Product / Material

Pounds of force until fabric tears

Abrasion cycles until fabric fails

 

CottonJeans 4.5 pounds to tear 50 cycles to failure

 

70 Denier Standard Nylon 4.5 pounds to tear 165 cycles to failure

 

500 Denier Polyester 8 pounds to tear 180 cycles to failure

 

200 Denier Standard Nylon 7.5 pounds to tear 275 cycles to failure

 

500 Denier Cordura 22 pounds to tear 710 cycles to failure

 

620 Denier Cordura 35 pounds to tear 1200 cycles to failure

 

NEW Competition Grade Leather 80-110 pounds to tear 1200-1700 cycles to failure

 

1000 Denier Cordura 110 pounds to tear 1780 cycles to failure

 

Air Mesh Kevlar 1260 pounds to tear 1800 cycles to failure

 

Stretch Kevlar Blend 420lbs pounds to tear 1800 cycles to failure

 

http://www.wsidevelopment.com/motoport/Page.Asp?Id=19

 

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For the fall/winter in Michigan, nothing beats an old Hein-Gericke Paris Dakar leather. Thick as a corrupt Politician's skin and heavier than Rosie O'Donnell.

 

For the summer, mesh is the way to go. A Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket and BMW Summer pants are hard to beat.

 

It's not about fashion, it's about what works for you.

 

RPG

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I am not concerned about BMW style at all. I wear what I like, fabric in the summer and leather in the winter. I am old and grew up with leather and do not want to change. All my leather is brown, by the way. I guess I am a non conformist!! :grin:

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After two getoffs in the last 4 years and being left with a few abrasions on my knees, lower forearms, and foot your post is exactly why I went to a stretch Kevlar jacket and Cordura pants . This was while wearing a Hein Gericke leather jacket and jeans. When the Cordura pants wear out I will then buy Kevlar pants to match. Thanks for posting these numbers for everyone to see.

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+1

 

my reasons exactly!

 

Whether valid or not, I have more confidence in the crashworthiness of my Vanson leathers but almost always wear fabric suits because of their comfort, convenience and versatility. I had never thought about it as being a BMW-thing or not. Whatever works for you.

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Well, I ride in both!

I have a large 3/4 length Leather jacket (FirstGear Baron), two leather/textile combo jacket's (FG Speed and FG Leather MeshTex) and one full textile all weather jacket (FG Kilimanjaro).

I also have leather/textile pants (FG SpeedPants) and 2 all textile pants (BMW SummerPant and FG Mesh) and a set FirstGear Textile Overpants.

 

 

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I would like to see a study done - perhaps I should suggest it to MCN or some other such magazine. I'd like to see leather vs. textile, and then specifically compare fabrics at different price points. We all know you could be covered head to toe in Firstgear for less than the price of a Roadcrafter or BMW jacket alone. I wonder if these is a real objective difference in crash worthiness. I don't want to volunteer for the job though!

 

-MKL

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I was wondering how many people ride in leather jackets,pants etc, or is it more BMW to ride in the man made fabric gear?

 

Sometimes it's leather and sometimes it's fabric. I generally dress in whatever makes me feel prettiest.

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I'm real old fashioned and go with mostly leather. My favorite now is my set of Harley Davidson (yes!) FXRG series leathers. It's leather does not absorb a lot of water. The pants have a removable Goretex liner. The jacket has a fixed Goretex liner and a removable very warm quilted liner. Jacket has a built in kidney belt which I use all the time. This outfit is good to down to 20 with a heated jacket and up to about 80. For hot I have a fully perforated Vanson leather jacket. Only exception is a lighter weight BMW coat, the Commuter 3. It is my long distance summer travel jacket, it can cover the widest temperature range. For cold with the Goretex liner and electrics down to about 30. For heat no liner, front zipper mostly open, vents open, Underarmour heatgear shirt, as good as anything to 100.

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We all know you could be covered head to toe in Firstgear for less than the price of a Roadcrafter or BMW jacket alone. I wonder if these is a real objective difference in crash worthiness. I don't want to volunteer for the job though!

I have crash tested First Gear Kilimanjaro suit. At about 35MPH I wound up landing on my Arai face shield and the shoulder of my Jacket. The Cordura on the jacket held up very well, but the nylon base material of the jacket did poorly on this rather mild get-off.

This incident is what convinced me to switch to what I consider decent riding gear. I first tried Vanson perforated leather with a rain oversuit for windblock as well as rain protection. The leather was not very temperature versatile, and it was heavy.

 

I currently own a Motoport UltraII Kevlar suit as well as the BMW Rally 2 Pro Suit. Both use internal removable liners for waterproofing and windproofing.

 

I like the fit of the BMW suit, but the material is so light that I question the suitability for road riding crashing. Also, the suit is not as temperature versatile as the Motoport suit.

 

The Motoport Ultra II Kevlar suit is the most versatile suit I have worn. Good armor coverage. Great temperature versatility, and great abrasion resistance.

 

I have had the good fortune of not crash testing either the BMW or Motoport suits.

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Leather is for pleasure. Textile is for commuting.

 

Michael.

 

I opted NOT to attach a photo that would go well with that statement. Thank me. :Cool:

 

 

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I would like to see a study done - perhaps I should suggest it to MCN or some other such magazine. I'd like to see leather vs. textile, and then specifically compare fabrics at different price points. We all know you could be covered head to toe in Firstgear for less than the price of a Roadcrafter or BMW jacket alone. I wonder if these is a real objective difference in crash worthiness. I don't want to volunteer for the job though!

 

-MKL

 

Testing is done.

Don't remember which (I think Rider) that did a drag the item w/weight (sandbag?) to compare abrasion resistance.

 

Here is one link.

http://www.best-motorcycle-information.com/textiles-vs-leathers.html

 

I've seen a brand new Darien jacket wear through in a 45 mph lowside (upper rear shoulder area) but protect the skin.

The jacket would cost almost as much to repair as a new one.

I've seen a Joe Rocket mesh do the same thing in the same area in a 70+ accident.

The jacket was used up.

Fitment is paramount so they design can do its job.

Most gear now has good/excellent armor.

Leather may work in multiple getoffs.

Textile might, but not always.

 

So you have abrasion resistance, and impact protection, plus weather protection and visibility to consider.

The BMI site has other factors, such as cost.

 

One of the things I enjoy most about working part time in the dealership is having the opportunity to discuss these factors w/new/returning riders, and sometimes and "old dog" who is capable of learning new tricks.

Best wishes.

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I ride all year round and it's the same no matter what the weather. Hein Gericke textile jacket/leather jeans Sidi boots.

 

Even when I went to South of France last year on the Sp'moto 105 degs heat. I've found the sticky smellyness of sweat washes off, but scars don't.

 

I skined my elbow when I was a yoot falling from my BMX, I've only just stopped crying. I'd hate to think how long it would take me to stop whining if I got serious gravel rash. :cry:

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Two of us bought the Motoport Kevlar Mesh two years ago. I would agree that it is very versatile. I haven't crash tested it but he has.

 

He hit a large deer at 75mph and went through the windshield and over the deer. New GS totalled, deer splattered, helmet badly ground down, boots ground down, Motoport needed $9 repair to reflective strip.

 

That jacket has more armor in more places than any jacket I have seen.That is probably the reason he has two cracked ribs instead of more serious damage. He went back to work immediately.

The mesh catches alot of air. Great on a bike with wind protection but I can see why someone would prefer leather on a sport bike and perhaps a naked bike.

 

Don't forget that leather deteriorate with age and that Kevlar does not. Racers get new leather constantly so they aren't crashing in old leather.

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Dave in Doodah

Surely a personal thing... I hope to never part with my old Hein Gericke leather jacket - vented/zippered and with snap-in quilted liner. It gets a yearly massage with leather conditioner and is holding up very well. Good for 40-80 degrees F. I am shopping for some textile/armored pants that will ZIPS into the jacket and I'll be all set.

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Leather is for pleasure. Textile is for commuting.

 

Michael.

 

I opted NOT to attach a photo that would go well with that statement. Thank me. :Cool:

 

I don't know... Now I'm sort of curious about what you would have come up with. Maybe something from last weekend?

 

*nudge nudge wink wink*

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