Leather vs Synthetic Armor - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Leather vs Synthetic Armor

I never liked the motocross style armor for the street....IMO, when on the road, ya need full comfort so you can concentrate better....
Ive always worn leather....since the 70's...I still have my Perfecto by Schott jacket I had then (friends talked me into it)...its been down, bruised, blocked a knife, and saved my gut once....paid around $125 in '76 brandy new...I just checked, and used like this in great shape are selling for upwards of $500 !!!!
Id never sell mine....too many memories in it...but hey, quality leather appears to be an investment !....just a heads up to those considering all the new fangled stuff....





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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 07:36 PM
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I agree with you that you need to be comfortable to be safe. A clear mind is a focused mind. I actually wear a very similar jacket, and have been since I started riding. Mine didn't cost quite so much, but I'm sure it isn't of the same quality either.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:01 PM
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I too agree with being comfortable. That's why in Florida I can't imagine wearing leather. Textile mesh for me. I want protection but I don't want to be a puddle of sweat on my seat either.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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The Perfecto is horsehide, and is ultra thick...my cig pocket flap is gone....hanging on a Delta 88 in 1989...but it saved me....and roadrash is nuthin fer this thing, yet its comfortable as heck...
Im glad I dug it out today...shrunk a lil over the years, but I Neatsfoot oiled it and did some flexes....good as new....



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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:28 PM
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Leather has been used by bikers since day one and is hard to beat. Quality leather jackets of "motorcycle weight" (1.3-1.5mm thickness) provide the superior abrasion resistance.

Many places sell Buffalo or even Kangaroo leather, claiming they are better than cow leather. Maybe....a lot of poorer quality leather jackets are made from "split hide" leather, which in fact is inferior to "top grain" leather. Top grain leather can be twice as strong.

I have a jacket similar to Wolfs and one in a "cafe style". Both are thick, heavy, but pretty comfortable to wear while riding. But being old, they lack the armor you find in the jackets offered today.

Their main fault is that they are not so comfortable when it gets hot. Leather makes a good windbreak, but does not "breathe" like the modern textiles can. They require some care if they get wet and for the most part, only seem to come in black....another issue on a hot day.

In summer I wear a nylon mesh jacket. I know it's not as abrasion resistant as leather, but it's A LOT better than just a T shirt. It also has CE certified armor in the shoulders, elbows and back. It's a compromise, granted, but that with the mesh pants I have keep me pretty cool on a hot day considering I'm wearing a jacket and long pants.

Textiles can be had with bright colors, reflective striping, various armor packages, and can be waterproof.

As always, you do seem to get what you pay for. Top line Kevlar mesh jackets cost as much as quality leather does, sometimes more.

With all gear, it's up to the rider to pick his own level of safety.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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I did a lil more oiling to my Perfecto today....under my pits, lol...the leather under my arms was shrunk too much, couldnt raise my arms....seems to ber a lot better now though....
Thats an advantage of synthetic over leather...shrinkage...Im wondering what the resale value of synthetics is though....
A buddy of mine bought a WW2 bomber jacket for $400...it was in great shape....he said he "stole it"....wondering now if vintage leather is better than stocks or a 401k....lol



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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:31 PM
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Still have my Brooks Brother leather from the 80's. A bit tight. Paid $120 then now $200. Very comfortable also. Have the armor jacket for summer. Much cooler and you look like Swartzenagger in it.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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You cant do this with synthetic though.....





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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 10:42 PM
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^^ Thank goodness!

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Leave it to me to NOT be fond of something then end up banging it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 01:12 PM
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A lot of the early biker jackets are cut like "regular" jackets, meaning you could wear them comfortably when not riding. (Like Fonzies above)

Just about all my textile jackets are cut to "riding position", meaning they are really comfortable sitting on the bike with your arms out holding the bars, but are not comfortable to just wear as jackets when not on the bike. (Even if you remove the armor)

This is either a plus or a minus, depending on your viewpoint. To me it's a plus because the jacket was bought as motorcycle gear and doesn't do weird things like a "regular" cut jacket does when I get on the bike.

My bike leather jackets do work off the bike, but I don't wear them this way because they are kinda heavy and stiff. I dress for comfort not style nowadays

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