Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Leather or Textile Ride Gear?

I know I need to upgrade my gear, I just don't know what type of stuff I should buy. Leather or textile?

If I go the leather route, I know what jacket I would want. And that's this one (also pictured below).

It is made by the folks at I tried one on at the International Motorcycle Show that was held in Washington, DC this past weekend. This is one great jacket. It fit like a dream. It's got plenty of pockets. Real pockets. By that I mean, deep enough and accessible enough that you can actually use them. It appeared to have vents in all the right places, too. And layers, so it's an all-weather jacket.

I can't remember if it has armor. Heck, I don't even know how important that is. I mean, it's not like I am a sport bike racer. The only problem for me was the price. It retails for $375. Inessa would have given me a $50 discount for the show purchase. But that's still $325. That's a lot of money to me. I'm not saying it isn't worth it. That's just a lot of money. I know good, quality gear is important. But still. That's just for the jacket. I did buy a cool t-shirt though, which I'll have to share some other time.

If I were to go the textile route, I might choose this one. I like the loud colors, so I'd go with the yellow/orange, which they call "toxic," or yellow/black style.

I wasn't going to post this picture because I look like a huge dork sitting on that little motorcycle, but then I figured what the hey.

Ignore the tiny, green bike, 'kay? I was sitting on it to gauge the feel of the jacket.
The jacket is me, isn't it?

At a retail price of $250, this one is more affordable. It does have armor. It would also make me WAY more visible. And we want to be visible when riding, right?

Hubby isn't crazy about the color combo. What do you all think?

As far as gear goes, do you prefer leather or textile?

Do I need armor or not?

Help a girl make a decision here...


Shybiker said...

One of the nice things about motorcycling is it's totally discretionary, so you can pick whatever appeals to you. Everyone's taste is different -- and, I've learned, even one's own taste changes over time.

When I started riding, I was exclusively into the cruiser look, with traditional black leather gear. Then I got interested in touring bikes and sportbikes and tried clothes suitable for both.

Choose whatever speaks to you. Although I do have to agree with your hubby about the colors of that textile-jacket... ouch!

ToadMama said...

LOL!!! I was trying to convince him again earlier that the yellow and orange is cool. He didn't bite. He'll be glad to know someone else agrees. And is trying to talk sense into me.

Fuzzygalore said...

I would strongly recommend you mosey on over to when you have some time and peruse her articles & advice.

I love leather. I have had the same Vanson jacket for over 10 years now and it looks as fab as it did the day I got it. although its a bit more snug :lol:

I believe leather is best for keeping the skin that you left the house with. That said, it does no good if your leather (Or textile) garments don't fit you properly, or shift/ride up when you hit the deck.

I ride most often in my REV'IT textiles. They too offer pretty good abrasion resistance and are fully armored. You want to look at the denier number for a textile. The higher, the more abrasion resistance.

I find the textiles to be much more "easy" and versatile in different riding situations.

IMO armor is a must. Those bony points REALLY F'N hurt when they hit the ground. Ask any rollerblader, skateboarder, bicyclist, etc...

I'm okay with hiviz. Considering the majority of the drivers around here have their heads up their own asses while their eyes are fixed on their texts & are yapping on the phone - Anything to be more noticeable is fine by me.

You can also opt for a mesh vest with hiviz striping to wear over whatever jacket you choose if your hubby vetos that jacket completely :)

ToadMama said...

Thanks for the advice, Fuzzy. It was actually THE Gear Chic herself that showed me the jacket. She was at the Women Ride boot at the IMS. I'm leaning toward textile for the ventilation factor. Black leather gets darn hot during our lovely Mid-Atlantic summers. A hiviz vest is definitely a good option. Hubby laughed out loud at the last sentence of your comment. :-)

Have fun at the IMS! If you run into Ralph, say hello for me.