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Textiles or Leathers?

Discussion in 'Helmets, Leathers, Boots and Gloves' started by UncleBucket54, May 27, 2017.

  1. UncleBucket54

    UncleBucket54 New Member

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    I stopped at my BMW dealership yesterday. My order has gone to RED status, meaning that it will be built quite soon.

    I had thought about buying a new riding suit for when I get my RS. I've always worn leathers for riding, but I'm noticing now that about 90% of offerings are textile. Textiles are probably more comfortable, and waterproof, but do they offer as much protection as leather?
     
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  2. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Hopefully, home for the holidays. Congratulations.

    Well - protection from what?
    • Rain - textile
    • Overheating - textile (with zip-out liners and zip-open ventilation areas)
    • Dust and dirt around town - textile over work clothes
    • Protection of vital areas - neither - this is now the job of body armor and slide plates.
    • Abrasion - maybe good, close-fitting, thick leather in a one piece suit still has the edge at high speed.
    • Sliding around on the tank in hard deceleration and quick turn - leather
    I ride the same suit in the snow and heat, but it requires a slightly loose fit.

    If I get to go to the track, it's still one-piece leather.

    You might want to put a few miles in on the bike before you decide what you want. If I had a lot of money and an understanding wife, I'd have 3 different sets of leathers and a couple of textile suits to fit every day of every trip....
     
  3. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    You're probably not too far off.
    I don't think we will ever see one suit that covers all situations.

    I think I'm old school. We switched to textile last year, but it just doesn't feel as good as leather.
     
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  4. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a BMW textile Streetguard jacket for three years now - love it. I have 'mated' it with Halvarrsons Safir leather and textile trousers, and got the waist zips adjusted so the two pieces join. I feel like, at last, I may have my ideal combination. Leather always feels heavier and less manoeuvrable plus you need an overshot (in the UK).
    I think strong well cared for leather may still have the edge in straightforward abrasion type falls but everything in life is a compromise and I think the overall comfort of the set up counts for a lot.
     
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  5. Phinj

    Phinj Active Member

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    I prefer textiles. Leather is hot or cold, not a good in between, in my experience. I like Firstgear products.
     
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  6. wm.brooks

    wm.brooks Member

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    I am also mostly old school - perforated leather jacket, and textile pants. If I come off, I like the thought of leather between me and the pavement. And read somewhere that leather is more likely to slide than grab and roll. Everything is a trade-off, but perforated leather works well except on really hot days, and I have a mesh textile jacket for those days that are just too hot for leather.
    Bill
     
  7. James Bagley

    James Bagley Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0803.JPG Down here in the muggy South, it's textiles except in winter. Leather is too hot (even perforated) and difficult to clean. My Aerostich DarienLight suit works well, though a hard fall would probably render it unusable afterward. The armpit and back vents work really well to keep air moving through and the lighter tan color reflects the heat pretty well. The armor is robust and abundant. Gore Tex and Cordura are a great combo and don't let the "light" moniker fool you; it handled the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest with ease...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  8. Leon.P.

    Leon.P. Well-Known Member

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    For me its Textile unless I am doing a track day at Phillip Island. Cooler in our hot summers and warmer in winter,but each to his own.:)
     
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Active Member

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    I use both textile and leather gear, but mainly textile. I don't think there is a lot in them anymore for abrasion, but for knocks and bangs it depends on the armor in either of them. My Klim jackets have the D30 armor, so should be better.
    But the main issue with any high speed crashes is the heat generated as you slide a long. You can get some serious burns so you should be wearing one of the undersuits that protect you from that.
     
  10. Gregory Clark

    Gregory Clark Active Member Contributor

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    Both for me too. I'd be in my waterproof leathers year round (Transit Suit), but live in Texas and switch to textile (Badlands) when the temperature rises to 85F/ 29C and above. I do prefer leather and have been down in them once in the rain at 40 mph. I slid on my back with no injury to me and very little damage to the jacket.
     
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  11. UncleBucket54

    UncleBucket54 New Member

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    Very useful replies, thanks.

    What I'd like to try is a textile suit, either one piece or two piece, but with adequate armour. Where should I start?

    Leathers have protected me well so far. I had an off a couple of years ago when I connected with a diesel spill (got a bruised shoulder), and another one about 15 months ago when a truck pulled out from the side of the road into a right turn right across my path. I almost got around him, but the cab just clipped my top box. I lost control and crashed at 30-40mph, but happily my injuries were minimal. A bruised thigh, a slightly stiff neck and a slightly bruised knee was all. Somebody called an ambulance for me, and the crew were amazed how minor my injuries were.

    So I want something that offers at least as much protection as the leathers I have now.
     
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  12. Charles

    Charles Active Member

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    I wear textile. One suit is the Klim Latitude complete suit for 2.5 to 3 seasons. Then I wear a BMW Airflow suit for the summer. This winter I wore the Klim suit in 18 degree weather with a heated jacket and worked perfect plus multiple downpours and stayed dry.
     
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  13. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    Because BMWs are sometimes bought by the "All the gear no idea' crowd" (no-one on this forum obviously) try scanning Ebay. I bought my Streetguard 3 from there - worn about twice - for a third of the new price .
    Also, I recommend Motolegends in Guildford for their choice and customer service.
     
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  14. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Have fun reviewing all the body armor available. It doesn't usually matter what material you use as a carrier as long as it is abrasion-resistant and at least zips together.

    In the '90s, I had a Dianese one piece undergarment loaded with great armor for the time and separate back and chest protectors. (I still use the chest protector with my BMW Rallye suit 3 seasons, and a new-style Dianese perforated protector in summer.) The great thing with this approach is you can put it under any unarmored garment - in those days, a set of old, unarmored 2mm touring leathers most of the year, and for winter, a snowmobile suit.

    Modern versions are far more advanced in technology and protection, and the market seems to carry an unlimited number of approaches and price tags..., probably the reasons I have tried not to get financially caught up in all the possibilities and why I went through the exercise of limiting myself to one year-round suit (Ok, and a mesh, armored Dianese jacket for short summer trips around St. Louis.)

    Remember not to get bogged down by reading too many posts (like this one) and overthinking the whole thing. Charles probably has the easiest approach to weather in the states (and one of the shorter posts).
     
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  15. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    A friend of mine had a get off at 70 mph on the freeway wearing kevlar pants and a textile jacket. The gear was unusable, but did it's job.
    I wear textile year around. One thing I look for, is the fit of the armor. It doesn't matter how expensive the armor is, if it doesn't sit above the joint, it won't do much for you in a crash.
    The other criteria I have, is the gear must be comfortable to wear. It does no good stuffed in the top box, while you're riding down the road.

    Chris
     
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  16. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Textile. More practical. More vents. More pockets. More weatherproof. More washable. More visible. I still have leather jackets and pants. With ageing they fit more tightly. My aging, not the garments.
     
  17. Bill the Cat

    Bill the Cat Active Member

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    You can have your cake and eat it too. I wear a bunch of stuff from Rev'it that is part mesh, part leather. I have their Gear2 pants which have this combo, and they don't look like power ranger knee puck track pants. Very comfy on long tours. Jacket to match.
     
  18. wm.brooks

    wm.brooks Member

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    Carefully avoiding sartorial comment, all the leather I have cleans with a wipe. Textile and mesh seems popular in off-white, grey, etc. although of course it can be had in black. Can non-black textile be kept clean for those who would care to do so? I picture one long quick countryside ride in a light colour textile, and returning with a jacket covered in bug guts....
    Bill
     
  19. James Bagley

    James Bagley Well-Known Member

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  20. Daboo

    Daboo Active Member

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    Another option is to use a spray on product. I buy Thompson's Waterseal Sport Seal at Fred Meyer on the first Tuesday of the month when I get an old fogey discount.

    Chris
     

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