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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone!

I’d like to get the opinions of some other riders on this topic, both sport bike riders and cruiser lovers alike!

I started my riding journey on sport bikes in which I was a massive Safety Sally during my early years, going AGATT and gradually wearing less as I became more comfortable and experienced.

Then I entered the world of cruiser motorcycles, Harleys to be exact and noticed that I was kinda expected to change my wardrobe a little bit.

I went from wearing textile jackets with plastic armor and proper vents, kevlar jeans and riding gloves with knuckle protectors, etc. to just basic leather gear like chaps, jackets, gloves and pants. Most of which is made by HD.

After seeing a few slides I’m starting to have some reservations about the choice of clothing in some cruiser circles, especially the stuff stamped “Harley Davidson”, namely all of their leather items.

I have plenty of HD leather jackets, pants, a few pairs of chaps and even a pair of gloves. All of which keep me plenty warm, but I’m not quite sure after witnessing some road rash just how well these would hold up against asphalt in a slide.

All my HD leathers have just basic polyester or satin for lining (which is bad for sweat compared to mesh lining), no vents for air flow and nor armor or pockets to add it. Same can be said for my leather pants, in addition to metal accessories sticking out all over which I was told by some sport bike buddies may stick me in the event of a crash.

There’s nothing to distinguish these leather items from any other fashion (non-motorcycle) leather clothing that you would buy elsewhere, other than the fact they have “HD” or “Motorclothes” stamped into them.

All this has me thinking that Harley Davidson is more concerned about marketing and selling the whole biker “lifestyle” image than actual safety.

What do you guys think?

Am I good to go in these or would it be wiser to revert back to my old textile armored and kevlar gear for riding and save these leathers for a rock concert or casual dealership function?
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2009 BMW R1200RT-Patrol
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I suppose it breaks down into two distinct camps: Looking good before the slide or looking good after it.

Personally, I place very little value in what people think of my appearance.

Darn good thing, considering what I see in the mirror.
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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The truth is that you don't really need a lot of safety gear when your riding consists of going at 25 mph for a mile to the local HD tavern gathering, letting the bike sit parked at the tavarn for much of the day, and then riding a mile home at 25 mph. I think HD clothing is made for that kind of riding, or for no riding at all. I had a neighbor who for years talked to me about getting a motorcycle. I rode a Honda, then a Kawasaki during those years, but he kept hesitating to get a bike or to learn how to ride. Then he went and bought a new HD crusier with all the belts and whistles and a TON of HD clothing and accessories for himself and his wife. He hardly ever actually rode, saying he just couldn't stand the thought of getting his bike dirty, but both he and his wife wore NOTHING other than HD clothing from that moment on, 24/7. The bike developed an electrical problem and sat at the HD dealership for several months while they tried to fix it, and my neighbor was not in the least bit upset that he could not be out riding. He still had his HD clothes, which was the really important thing for him. I am sure that he was/is a more typical HD owner than you might think, and HD knows to make clothes just for this segment of the market. All that said, I must admit that the best pair of fingerless gloves that I have ever owned (and still use often) were bought at a HD dealership.
 

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I don't know, I'm kind of liking the fashion I'm seeing here......oh, it's about safety! So, go with what the others have already said. On the other hand, please keep wearing those Harley leather things, and keep posing for those photos, and for sure keep posting them. I'm liking this thread, a lot!
 

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Anything 50 cc up to 450 cc dirt , Streeters from 150 cc scooter up to Honda Shadow . In stock ..
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Steel toe boots are the worst decision ever ... Many riders lose toes , and feet parts with them .. ,.,,.. They don't give , and break bones , just behind where they don't bend ....
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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Boots serve two main purposes. A good sole to avoid slippage when you put your foot down at a stop, and ankle coverage to protect the joint when you are sliding/rolling/grinding across the pavement. I used to wear mostly "shortie" or shoe-type boots as long as they had decent ankle protection. But when I switched to 3 wheels, to a Can Am Spyder, I found myself wearing boots of any kind less and less of the time. The type of sole of whatever I am wearing is immaterial as I do not put a foot down when stopping. I also do not need a reinforced leather top for the shift lever (because there is no such lever on a Spyder) and while I could still end up on the road it seems much less likely than when riding a 2 wheeler. So most of the time I just wear whatever I had on when I decided to go out for a ride, like New Balance sneakers.
 
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