Motorcycle clothing: Leather or textile?
We often get the question: ‘What is better, leather motorcycle clothing or textile motorcycle clothing?'. When it comes to wearing motorcycle clothing, it depends on a lot of different factors – that’s why it’s hard to answer this question in a quick and short manner. There is quite a difference between racing on the circuit, and getting on your BMW in the morning to ride through traffic dry, warm and visible – to then sit at your desk in your casual work outfit. That’s why we’re going to discuss a couple of different subjects regarding the pros and cons of leather and textile clothing, we’ll pick a winner per subject too.
Protection: leather motorcycle suit
When it comes to protection, I think we all know which of the two wins: a leather motorcycle suit. A tight-fitting suit should feel like a second (buffalo) skin wrapped around your body. As it barely moves during a fall, the chance of tearing becomes relatively small. And despite a leather suit not being specially designed for impacting hard obstacles, it still offers the best protection.
Comfort: textile motorcycle suit
Textile is much more supple than leather. Textile motorcycle clothing is also often much more spacious than leather, giving you a little bit more breathing space. This breathing space is a literal thing when it comes to a motorcycle suit. A leather suit can start to feel like a sauna within an hour, most textile clothing is waterproof, breathing and equipped with ventilation zippers.
Price: textile motorcycle clothing
In most cases, textile motorcycle suits will be cheaper than leather. There are exceptions however, such as the quality technical gear by Rukka, or the sharply priced leather motorcycle suits by Macna. But generally the ‘starting from’ prices are much lower for textile than for leather. Keeping in mind that you do sacrifice some quality when you go for the very cheapest price category. So before you start looking, try and figure out what your demands are in regard to water resistance, protection and durability.
Maintenance: textile motorcycle clothing
Have you ever given your shoes a shine? It’s quite a big job. A leather suits minimally requires the same treatment. You have to get your hands dirty to clean your leather suit and to rub it with maintenance products. Textile – on the other hand – goes straight in the washing machine. Well, more or less.. Check out the washing instructions in any case.
You will need to figure out where and how you’re going to ride your motorcycle, and also what kind of suit you want. Super-sport races in the summer really screams a leather motorcycle suit with a nice replica helmet, or if you choose safety above all – go leather. For a weekend in the mountains or an off-road ride, you should really get a textile touring motorcycle suit in which you can remove both the thermo-lining, and the waterproof lining. If you have a bigger budget, then get yourself a good waterproof jacket for the winter and a vented jacket for the summer.
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