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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have often stated that leather leaks. With an Einstein quote in mind " It is just theory, until proven in practice " I decided to test it.
I had previously done plenty of practical riding in the rain tests with leather jackets, and my set of Lewis road racing leathers. Lewis BTW was the leading producer back in the day. Agostini was there the day before me. He god black bottoms with a red top, that he used at the IOM in 1971. Mine were all black.

Anyway. Using a piece of leather from the bottom of my riding pants. A nice quality piece I might add. Let me also tell you I have been inside more than one tannery, I had the art of leather making, explained to me in great detail. A piece of leather we selected on one trip, was used to make a new gig seat, that is now on display at the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology.

I tied my piece of leather over the top of a cup, with a hollow in it. Filled the hollow with water and waited. One hour later there was water in the bottom of the cup, and my puddle in the hollow was mostly gone. The leather absorbed about two thirds of the water, while one third went to the bottom of the cup. Because leather jackets have linings, and the rain is hitting differently from my test; I suspect most of the water is being absorbed by the leather, while the lining hides the moisture. Weighing the jacket before and after, would be conclusive prove.

When it rained: I always covered my Lewis leathers at the track, and later started covering my boots after they turned in to wet noodles. Fine for the short while, useless for serious riding in the rain. But that is just my opinion. I might add. The guys that had covers over their leathers, and were therefor more comfortable, won the races. I can provide names if asked.
The girly guys that did not have decent rain gear, always wanted to go home.

UK
 

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American Legion Rider
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18,954 Posts
One thing absolutely soaked leathers do though, in a crash anyway, is let you slide like you are on one of those summertime slip and slide plastic/water things kids play with. I mean really really slide. Don't ask how I know this. :grin:
 

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Visionary
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2,983 Posts
Leather isn't the best choice for seat material for the same reason, my wife found out about the drawback of a leather seat on the first long trip she took on her Indian, which come with a very nice real leather seat.
It rained one night while the bikes were parked, I wiped off my vinyl seat in the morning and rode away, her's was wet for 2 days and it wasn't pleasant at all sitting on it. She bought a cover for just the seat that packs small enough for travel and uses it when parked but it's just one extra thing to worry about, I'll keep my nice waterproof vinyl seat.
 

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MODERATOR
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6,573 Posts
I run a custom Leather hobby business along side of my IT, ISP and Computer business and I have a few comments about 'Real Leather' and it's weather resistance:

To soften and water proof lots of my products, I use Mink oil, Neats foot oil, Aussie leather conditioner with Beeswax and Extra virgin olive oil:surprise:

Sam:nerd:
 
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