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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for you guys about gear.
What's your preference for riding gear, leather jackets and chaps, or the Ballistic nylon jackets and pants?
In my mind I see a use for both, leather more for highway, just because of the comfort and safety.
Nylon, probably in a hi-vis set up for city.
If you are like me, just starting out, I'm leaning towards the hi-vis set up. I see my rides as I learn more on roads outside the city, where there are fewer cars, but eventually, in a year or so commuting. Any thoughts one way or the other?
 

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Ace Tuner
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Leather, Leather or Leather.

A leather jacket WITH armor that was made for motorcycle riding.
Leather pants, or over-pants, WITH armor that were made for motorcycle riding.
Chaps? Leaves your butt unprotected. As the old saying goes... C.Y.A. :wink2:
Trust me, I have the scars to prove what I say.
 

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I have a full leather two piece suit and last year I got a new Dainese two piece suit that is a combo of leather and other materials. I like the combo better but the leather suit will provide more protection. Both of these suits have armor and back protectors. Don't forget a good pair of gloves, boots and a high quality helmet from a name manufacturer like Arai, Shoei, etc... I prefer Arai's.
 

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Leather is always best... but also hottest! There are plenty of good textile gear choices that you might prefer when the temps warm up...
 

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I'm a leather person myself, but whatever floats your boat.

Nylon/synthetic setups do have some great advantages in hot weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looked at some jackets yesterday, one store was biker jackets but made in Italy, so more designer I guess. The other was a biker store proper. The jackets were heavier leather, extra padding and pockets for armor. The new models had black reflective piping on the seams. Very cool. Like that feature a lot.

Sent from my SM-T377W using Tapatalk
 

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My almost 30 year old Harley Davidson heavy leather jacket looks as good today as it did when new. My HD leather chaps, vest and gloves still look good. My heavy HD engineer boots I gave away as I did the silly leather 'Captains hat,' that made me look a bit odd in a Bikers bar:grin:

Leather just doesn't let any air go through it, which is good for chilly weather. I have worn the stuff in 100+ degree weather and it was still okay---weird I guess:wink2:

Sam:nerd:
 

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If it was one jacket, and one pair of pants, it would not be leather. There are too many other options that are better IMO.
If you only ride on warm sunny days, leather is great.
It is 2 below in the Vancouver area at the moment. There is one inch of new snow on the patio. Tomorrow I will ride to my Island on the XS400. If I had the leather jacket and pants, I would also need rain covers. There would not be enough room inside the jacket for the extra clothes I need to stay warm.

Leather was and is used to combat road rash. There are other products that can do the same job, while keeping you warm and dry.

UK
 

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Over the past 50 years I've worn about everything there is to wear riding a motorcycle from a swimsuit and bare feet back when I was a lifeguard to run over to the B&C for a burger, to blue jeans and jean jackets, and nylon "moto style" gear and modern plastic gear with armor inserts and finally at about 60 years old I figured out if "those guys" who ride all the time are all wearing leather, there MIGHT be more than just style for a reason.

Yep, nothing but leather from now on for me. GOOD leathers. Only way to go.

Just a tip, if you are standing in front of a mirror in the store trying it on and it feels like it fits, it is too big. If standing there just wondering, trying to tell if "this feels kinda small..." it is just right. That is the one.
 

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If a leather jacket fits, it is obviously too small to use during the winter months. Unless of course you wear your extra clothing, plus a rain jacket, outside the leather jacket.

UK
 

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If a leather jacket fits, it is obviously too small to use during the winter months. Unless of course you wear your extra clothing, plus a rain jacket, outside the leather jacket.

UK
Absolutely!

My self, I only ride down to about 35 degrees. Ice on the roads or below freezing, I'm not riding. Anything above that a jacket, gloves, and chaps are all I need. Over 45 I don't bother with chaps, just blue jeans, t shirt, jacket and gloves. Same thing I'd wear at 70.
 

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I wear textiles about 75% of the time, a have jackets and pants that vary from mesh for the heat of summer to heavy and insulated for winter. Overall I find that textiles are much more versatile, waterproof, lighter and more flexible. They protect well, leather is probably a bit better for resisting abrasion from what I read but I trust my textile gear with armor in key areas to do it's job in a mishap.
I do have some leather too, to be honest the only reason I ever wear my leather jacket is because I like the way it looks, I have a Victory branded one made of white, black, and red buffalo leather and sometimes I just want to represent. I did recently try some leather chaps over my work pants for commuting in cold weather, saves me having to change when I get to work, they worked well and kept the wind off but won't keep me dry in the rain.
 

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Leather needs more chat.
Leather is tradition. I know I have been quoted as saying " You want to know about tradition, watch Fiddler on the Roof "
Leather is tradition for the pilots. Leather jackets, and silk scarves, so they can turn their heads. I nearly always wear a scarf, even if I look like a fruity French guy, according to my SIL. Leather jackets with pictures and words painted on, is tradition. My brother painted tiger heads on the back, for the triumph Tiger guys. No one answered that question when i posted it earlier. Maybe few follow tradition. Maybe a Google search is all they know.

BUT, tradition aside some things need and can be improved.
Who wants these traditional features? Side valve engines, single leading shoe front brakes, riveted belt drive chains, rock solid tyres, no rear suspension, kick starters, 2, 3, and 4 speed gear boxes, head lights measured in negative candle power, exposed valve gear, and much more.

Let me know how traditional you want to be. Or are you ready to move on? Oiled cotton has been around since the 1890s, from both Barbour and Bellstaff.
Some modern fabric jackets such as Viking brand, are advertised as 100% waterproof. But read the fine print. Waterproof for how long?
Generally the waterproof clothing for outdoor workers, is purchased by indoor workers, who are never in the rain for more than about 30 seconds.
I have the same skepticism, for riders in the rain wearing leather, without a rain coat on covering it. In fact, I encounter very few riders in the rain.

UK
 

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I had been thinking about a leather jacket for the last few weeks. Some great deals on Dainese stuff right now. Perforated for summer, or solid for winter. I like the closer fit, superior abrasion resistance, and wind stopping capabilities of leather. No flapping or banging around. Very nice to ride in.

Until it rains. Which it did on the way home from the dealer, yesterday. Then I forgot all about leather jackets, on sale or not!
 

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I've never had any trouble with any of my leather jackets in rain. And I've ridden in some frog chokers.
 

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You can get leather jackets that are waterproof, I have one.
Maybe I should say it was waterproof about 15 years ago when I rode 90 miles in a heavy downpour.
The reason I say it was waterproof is because my waterproof boots have lost their waterproofing over time, the jacket may have done the same.
Have not given the jacket a good waterproof test in well, about 15 years so... :confused:
 

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Mink oil will restore Leather to its original beauty and 'waterproof' in most instances. When I get a new pair of work, riding or cowboy boots, I always rub them down a few times before I wear them.

Neats foot oil is famous too for waterproofing and their are lots of other conditioners on the market that I use in my Leather business, even extra virgin olive oil:wink2:

Sam:nerd:
 

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I agree with the two posts above, with a couple of notes, that are easy to research.
These are quotes from leather makers.
As a natural product leather is porous. If left over time the spill ( as on a couch ) will eventually seep through. Keep in mind leather is incredibly porous.
Torino leather claims to be waterproof, with only 2% absorption. End of quotes.

Short version. It leaks, but if treated correctly, the leak can be slowed enough to make the stuff usable. And that is how I use my leather riding gear. Which for you guys way down South or thereabouts, who do not ride in steady rain, a leather jacket is the way to go. BUT: If you ride in a much cooler climate during the winter months, with 3 times the amount of rain, then leather is not a good option IMO. I have already pointed out that if the jacket fits then there is no room for all the extra layers of clothing required.
An oversized textile or oiled cotton jacket, is far superior at 34 F and pissing rain. Or 28F and dry.

A short search will find waterproofing for leather. You can make your own. The horsey group like neatsfoot oil, while beeswax is popular. There is a beeswax recipe on line.

I used to ride in Hawaii. Would I have been a good source of info for riding in Wisconsin or Seattle. When it is 95 F and raining, who cares if we wear a hat or our clothes leak, or if we are wearing shoes. I did not.
That reminds me. It would be nice to have more folks post their location at left. Then you can do some research. What is the annual rainfall in Seattle, Vancouver, Gabriola, Kelowna or Tonasket etc.

UK
 

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Mink oil once a year or at the beginning of the riding season and at the end before hanging in storage. I carry rain gear if I am going any distance and there is a chance of rain.
 
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