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Thread: Leather vs Fabric Mesh Protective Gear

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZridered View Post
    Quality protective leather gear, heavyweight with a hard, smooth, finish, not soft, lightweight, fashion leather, slides exceptionally well. Better actually than textiles, which can snag on rough surfaces.
    That makes sense. I wonder if this person was commenting on soft, lightweight fashion leather.

  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    I suppose this could also be a reason to wear clothing that fits snugly and avoid baggy cloths.

  3. #13
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Tight fitting race suits can also tumble. Most lowsides involve a slide, but if you highside or slide into a gravel trap you will tumble. But that's where the impact armor (and airbags in MotoGP level suits) come into play. Most track riders know how to tuck and roll or lay down and slide but whether you slide or tumble depends on which kind of crash you're in.
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  4. #14
    RiderCoach 1000 Posts! lionlady's Avatar
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    Buy what you will wear.

    It seems improbable that someone who lives in Tampa is going to wear the full leather jacket/pants on a typical summer day, whereas having good textile gear with mesh panels would be quite comfortable - actually can be cooler than bare skin.

    I actually don't own any leather gear other than gloves and boots. All the rest is various textile configurations, from my Olympia mesh one piece suit to the BMW mesh short jacket and armored pants, BMW "City Jeans," to my new KLiM jacket with zipper vents and Worse for Wear Armalith jeans. I've crashed twice in BMW textile gear. The same jacket (AirFlow II) in fact, though a replacement.
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  5. #15
    What lionlady says. I own a few high quality leather jackets and a spendy Roadcrafter 1-piece suit that hang in the closet most of the time. Great protection but too damn hot. I waited until a few crash reports came in when mesh was first introduced .. and the reports were generally favorable. Now I wear hi-vis mesh just about 7 months of the year here in coastal North Carolina.
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  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline Joseph Hanna's Avatar
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    I’m kinda on the opposite end here. I wear leather and where it has been problematic on rare occasions I wouldn’t have it any other way. My biggest obstacle would be the typical Los Angeles traffic jam on a hot September day where it’s 104 degrees and 5 lanes of traffic dead, dead stopped for 20 miles (or more). Sometimes you can wait, dead in your spot, for 20 minutes or more before you can continue to creep along. It gets staggeringly hot. I have resorted to pulling over to the side of the expressway and turning off the bike several times as I knew I was getting close to real trouble heat-wise.

    That said I have this wonderful custom jackets and suits company here in Los Angeles (Huntington Beach) by the name of Z Custom Leathers which is run by one of the nicest guys I know. Since I’m at best “odd shaped” Adolph has made me quite a few articles which from a fit perspective would have been virtually impossible otherwise. I’m REALLY comfortable in my leathers for the more aggressive rides (not that I’m aggressive) and definitely for the very few times I’ve been out without the leathers I feel completely out of place and vulnerable.

    Probably riding styles would dictate most of the choices here but as I said, for me, leather.

  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Do tracks allow you to ride in mesh? Or do the require leather? I assume race leather is required, but I never asked.

    Is there such a thing as race quality mesh? My Dianese gear is pretty heavily armored.

    I keep thinking of going up to Jennings and taking some track lessons. It would be pretty brutal in leather in Florida in the summer. I would not want to go spend a pile of dough on a race suit for just a day or two. And I would guess their rental suits are probably pretty nasty.

  8. #18
    Some tracks/organizers will allow you to ride in something like the Aerostich Roadcrafter textile suit. I have two sets of leathers, one heavily "perfed" with tiny perforations for airflow. I also have a Vanson jacket that is perfed.

    I do not believe you can beat leather when you are sliding down the asphalt at speed. As long as it's a lowside and you're wearing good leather it is most always pretty low key. You slide ... My first "crash" was something like "hey I've got my knee down - cool ... wow my elbow too - way cool ... wow my shoulder too .. mebbe I can save it" .. front end severe wobble .. "Nope time to let it go" ...

    So the bike slid .. and I slid .. The only pain was when I looked at the bike afterward. I had sheered off the shift lever .. and didn't have a spare. My thought riding in on the crash truck was "Man that hurts way way less than a bad tumble snowboarding" ..

    One last point. Cheap leathers are false economy. My son went down in a cheapie set and burned thru the elbow on his first fall ...

    Other son rented a set for his first two trackdays. Good heavy leather and not rancid at all. Of course this was in temperate NC, only about 92 and humidity 87% ...
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