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92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Be safe, be seen!

For those new to motorcycling you will soon come to the monumentally mind-numbing decisoin of what the **** should I buy, clothing wise...

Your friends will tell you one thing, forums and articles may tell you another. Even people on here may have their own views.

The first indisputable point is that proper motorcycle clothing saves lives. It absolutely saves you skin, muscles, and tendons. It will definitely mean that any nasty crash will leave you with less problems an less recovery time.

You see riders out in shorts and tshorts with Nike trainers - Ok, they wear a helmet (which is still the most important safety item of all) but the slightest slide along the road will effectively de-skin them at the contact points. I know people who have crashed and skidded in protective clothing which has then melted due to the heat built up by friction. Add in small stones, debris, sand and dirt and one can imagine the mess it would make of bare skin.
Normal jeans/jackets will shred away in about 1/5th of a second. It will do bugger all. Same with any normal clothing. You'd have to see it to believe it.

The following list covers both jackets and pants/trousers.

1. Leather is best for abrasion resistance. Safety usually comes down to thickness. You can get away with 1.2 to 1.3 mm but 1.4 is better.

2. High quality textile is next best. Look out for words such as Cordura, goretex, ballistic nylon, polyamide and triple stitched.

3. Normal textile is next best. Cheaper prices will skimp out on thickness or armour.


Some jackets and pants will have this as standard. You should be looking out for a protection certification called CE. This means that the armour has reached a certain level of protection.
Armour will almost certainly be in the knees on trousers, and in the elbows and shoulders on jackets.

However, this is another area where paying more may make a huge difference on potential injuries.
Get a jacket with CE armour in the elbows, shoulders AND back.
Get pants with CE armour in the knees AND hips.

Some iteams will have extra external padding in these areas.

Ideally, you should have Level 2 CE armour, budget permitting.
Level 1 is standard and fine.

Lastly, jackets and pants that have adjustment capability everywhere are better as yiou can influence the position of armour and also how well the garments fit you and dont move in the event of an accident.

Ok, lastly now... :)
You will also find other safety clothing such as under-armour which looks like a Terminator from the movies, or padded underpants.

Anything is better than nothing. Do your research and try the stuff on first, even if you end up buying it later, second hand on Ebay, etc.
This is especially true of pants.. I had a bloody nightmare trying to get the armour in the right places. I went in the store thinking I had normal length legs, normal sized thighs and perfect knees. I walked out depressed, not having found any pants and believing I actually had shorter legs than average, skinny legs and kneecaps that point outwards! :laugh:

Alrright, this is definitely the last point...
Bright yellow/orange or flourescent clothing....
Personally, I just cannot wear it as it grates on me when I see my reflection BUT is definitely helps drivers and other riders see you and that is the main thing.
Certainly, have reflective striping/patches here and there on your garments. Black stuff always seems to look the best. That is cool, just make sure that you have some reflective stuff somewhere.

· Registered
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
That was about safety.. Practicality is an unfortunate factor in this.
Leather is crap in the rain and crap in the winter/cold.
Also, it is very important to be COMFORTABLE. If you are fidgeting then you are not focussing.It is also likely better to be dry in textiles than wet and cold in leathers!

I have top quality textile jacket and pants made by Furygan but cometh the R3 then for the summer I will be investing in full leather with extra armour.. 100%.

The textile stuff is still reasonably protective and is lovely and snuggly warm and dry in the inclement weather.
If you ONLY get leather then you can get one of those waterproof oversuits.

· Registered
2015 R3 racebike
67 Posts
Other than the occasional jot to work or for a local hangout, do I wear pants like jeans or Dickies. I do own a pair or padded jeans for the non-work occasions. I always wear a leather jacket, gloves and riding boots and of course helmet. When I do any extended rides to go places with popular curvy roads, it's full leathers. I watch too many videos where people crash in shorts, no jacket or whatever and it makes me cringe. You can never be too careful with your own life. I have crashed on dirt with a mountain bike or BMX numerous times, I could not imagine if it was asphalt.

No matter how good or careful you are, remember there is usually a dumb cager on their cell or whatever close by. Protect yourself and live to tell about it later.

I don't usually ride in the rain, so it is not a huge concern. Now that it is stupid cold already, so I will only worry about the track till next spring

· Registered
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like riding in the rain! Maybe I am just weird! haha.
I certainly take it easier and am fully kitted up.

I have looked at Kevlar Jeans... I think if they still have unobtrusive armour in the knee and hip then they should just do enough on a non-speedy trip.
We all know what we should be wearing - but human nature always throws a spanner in the works and it is far too tempting to pop out in the less protective stuff.

Have you ever timed yourself getting fully kitted:

Pants > Jacket > Boots > Helmet > Gloves

That's usually the order I do it as my boots are near the door.
Must take 5+ minutes and by the time I sit on the bike I am already sweating! :)

Still, better to be safe than sorry - as my Nan keeps telling me..
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