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Discussion Starter #1
Im planning to get a set of leathers within the next couple weeks but there are so many styles, features, this and thats.... so I just wanted to see what i would get with the more expensive suits.

Other than looking sooooooooooo nice, what else do I get from the more expensive suits (Dainese, Kushitani's etc.....)

I ask this cuz I wonder if things such as the "hump" on the back is necessary for a new street rider like me. I love how it looks and would get it jsut for that but its an extra few hundred bux just for it. If it's purpose is protection then I wouldn't mind spending the extra bux, but if its for "aerodynamics" then I dont think I have any problem with the level of speed Im reaching for now.

I've heard that when it comes down to it, a joe Rocket or HJC suit will protect you just as much as a Dainese or Vanson set.

I'd like to keep it fairly simple.

So, if anyone has gone through a few sets of different types and styles of suits let me know if there are any significant differences. Also, let me let me know what the main factors are to choosing a suit in terms or quality/features.

:D :thumbup :rider :confused
 

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There are lots of factors to consider when buying leathers. Here's a short list:

1) price (What's your price range?)

2) hard armour (Some suits don't come with hard armour. Try bending the forearms and hitting the shoulders, check the back area to see if there's back protection, shins, knee pucks, collar bone protection etc)

3) leather quality (You can just feel it, the thickness/density etc)

4) breathability (Is the leather perferated or solid? Both are good but what would you prefer?)

5) one piece or two? (One pieces are usually slightly better fitting and offer better protection. Two pieces are a bit more convenient if you don't have a spare jacket to dink around in).

6) inside pockets! (This one bugs me a lot, I need at least one inside pocket :p)

7) Warranty? (Self explanatory)

8) Colour (Doesn't really matter, the really cool people wear leathers that don't match anything :p)

-Don't be taken in by name brands. (Spyke? Doesn't mean shit... etc)
-Try on as many as possible.
-Forget about the speed hump thing, your friends will just use that as a punching bag when you turn your back on them.


That's all I can think of at this hour. hth :)
 

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I think Dalton more or less covered the basics.

There is a difference between a $800 Highside Joe Rocket suit and a $2500 Dainese suit for certain. A huge difference? Not really.

Some brands have a better reputation for staying together and having higher quality overall - you do get what you pay for to a point. If you buy Italian leather (Dainese, Spyke, Alpinestars, etc..) then your paying big money no doubt about it.

Having just bought my suit recently (Spyke Droid 2pc) I'd recommend getting a 2pc if your using it mostly for street riding, as a 1pc has it's disadvantages (hard to get out of, hard to go to the bathroom, pain in the ass when you get somewhere and need to breath, and you can wear the jacket (although it's generally short) seperately if you like for the "non-hardcore" days.

I'm very pleased with my suit, and would recommend buying leathers period - regardless of brand/style/what have you. Anythings better than nothing. So do as Dalton said, set your budget, and buy whatever one fancy's you the most.

Most lower-end (and even mid-grade) suits don't have back protectors (may have some padding) .. you can always buy a backprotector seperately.
 

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ignorance + apathy
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Addition to Dalton's points ...

Fitting is more important than brand or color/pattern.

As Adam said, most medium to high price suit provide high quality of protection. Make sure you try out as many as you can to find the best fitting one, also sit on a bike in riding position
with the suit, put the helmet, glove, and boots on to see how they all fit together, move your head around to check if the helmet and collar fit OK, walk around, bend you knees, jump up and down ... :D (you got the idea)

I was planning to buy the Joe Rocket Highside but ended up the jacket was too lose for me. I tried every suit I can afford (medium price suits) in RMS, BK, Modern and different brand fits different even though they are all size 42.

Last Sat, after spending more than 2 hours in BK, I picked up a HJC 2pc which provide the best fit for me. Now, I have to wear the suit around the house to break it in :p

Good luck,
BIB
 

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Oh ya, and one other thing. Make sure it's snug and your armor stays in place. It should almost be to the point of uncomfortable (And it's always hard to stand up in a suit.. crotch constraints) when you first get it. It will break in.
 

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...that's right. A good fitting suit really should always try and put you into a rider position.

Not the kind that b|itz is used to, not that kind of rider position.

You should be slightly hunched over, elbows bent, knees bent a bit, when you're trying to stand straight up.

Loose fitting leathers will get you in the end when they're sliding all over the place (in the event of a crash) and you're getting liner/leather bits embedded in your skin.
 

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Jackie Chan's stuntdouble
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The back hump can offer some protection should you be sliding on your back. It raises your shoulders and head off the ground a bit.

Some suits are made of thicker leather but that doesn't give you much more protection as most of the strength of leather is in the outer layers. The quality of the leather is more important.

The quality of the stitching is also important. This is more of a concern with the less expensive brands.

Don't buy a suit that is uncomfortable when standing unless you are only going to use it for racing. For street use, it is better to trade off a small amount of protection for a big amount of comfort.
 

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ignorance + apathy
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Also ... don't expect to find one suit that can fit every part of your body. The JR I wanted, the pants fit perpect, but the jacket is too big. The Teknic, jacket fits but pants too tight (I got big thighs because of soccer ;) ).

The HJC I brought, jacket fits well with the pants a bit loose around the waist and hip, but it fits me good overall if I am in riding position.

Bomax's advice (I listen to him since he has owned, worn, and crashed :laughing many leather suits during his racing career) ... the pants can be a bit (not too much) loose, but make sure the jacket should be snug so that the armor would stay in the right place as Dalton said.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys,

One concern, I guess I jsut havnet looked at enough suits but Im not a midget nor am I a giant but the knee pads always seem to be a little too low when Im standing, I guess it all matters if it stays in the right place once in riding position.

Back to the shops for more hours in the fitting room....... :D

Thanks again.
 

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moving pylon
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yup, quality of the stiching is where it's at. the seams and how the suit is sewn together tells you how it'll hold up in the event of a crash. you don't want your suit falling apart while sliding.....


ps. dalton's GAY !!:D
 

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That knee pad thing is prety normal unless they are more like shin guards. All my leathers have droopy knee pads until I sit on the bike. Just pull the pads up after you put your boots on and they'll hold them up a bit.

I found for the most part that the extra money really doesn't get you much more except for questionable styling..... unless you buy Vanson in which case the leather is WAY heavier than the rest. Very very nice suits.

For racing I got an HJC that fits well if a little tight.

Oh, if it's the knee PUCKS that you're talking about yeah they do fit a little low. Seems to be normal too.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
The biggest difference between different $$$ suits and usually what you pay more for is the construction. By that I mean how are the leather panels put together. Is there a base leather pattern with color/reinforcing panels on top or are there pieces of leather just sewn together all over the place to create patterns? Other questions, did they use quality thread, did they double stitch, did they glue the seams. On almost all suits the leather will last for more than one crash, but that is no good if the suit is badly weakend.

This being said everything the others said is very important (fit, leather type, leather thickness, armour, breathability/ventilation and looks).
 

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Kelsey.....
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You guys are awesome!!
such thorough responses and points of view.
Lots of sites just have a bunch of yahoosssssss~!!!!
 

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ROAR!!!!!!
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Hmmm I really like the Alpinestars TLD suit, but no one has it in stock. I can get the suit over the net, but I won't have the chance to try it on... what should I do?
 

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smooth
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Mini said:
Hmmm I really like the Alpinestars TLD suit, but no one has it in stock. I can get the suit over the net, but I won't have the chance to try it on... what should I do?
Go talk to Rob at RMS..........tell him I send u.............he has some there and he'll give u 15% off or more........! What was ur number again.....? PM me......!
 

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California dreamin'
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CBR600F2:

Check out the July 2002 issue of Cycle Canada magazine. (The new Yamaha FJR1300 is on the cover.) It includes an article that explains exactly what to look for when buying leathers and the differences between less expensive and more expensive suits. I think the article starts on p. 56.

This particular magazine is hard to find because not very many stores carry it. Your best bet is Chapters. It's the only place I've found that consistently has this particular magazine in stock.
 

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G'd Up From the Feet Up
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If you can, save the money for Vanson or Helimot leather.

Top quality but top dollar as well.

IMHO the bottom line is that you get what you pay for with "new" leathers.

Personally I would not buy Alpinestars. My GP tech boots are fucking junk. The soles fell off amongst other problems. My friends AP gloves fell appart after one season.

http://www.vansonleathers.com

http://www.helimot.com

Check this site out for some reviews on gear.

http://www.motorcyclegearreview.com/

My two cents.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Contrary to others advice, I WOULD consider the thickness of the leather. My first suit was a Dainese suit, (thick leather, plastic armour), that I bought used from John at Bomax 3 years ago. I highsided in that suit once and it held up really, really well. My current suit is a Joe Rocket (Highside model? with thick leather and soft armour). After 2 spills it's held up really well also. Nothing's chaffed through and it's still solid. However, my cousin has a Spyke suit that was about $1500. He went down once in the most pathetic little spill, (he wasn't hurt at all), and the leather on the shoulder pad wore right through into the next layer. Both of my suits were very heavy, it was a struggle picking them up, but my cousin's Spyke suit is really light, seemingly half the weight. The leather in his spyke suit is also obviously a lighter grade/thickness. Anyway, I think that thickness of the leather is something to consider.
 

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PorscheNut said:
My current suit is a Joe Rocket (Highside model? with thick leather and soft armour). After 2 spills it's held up really well also. Nothing's chaffed through and it's still solid.

Having recently purchased a JR Highside suit I'm very happy to hear how well it's held up for you. I'm not looking forward to the day when I might have to do some "empirical research" of my own ... ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Break-in

How long did it take you guys/girls to break-in your leathers. I just purchased JR highside 2 piece and it is still in the squeak squeak stages. Is there a lotion that you could put on them? Or do you just wear them around the house for a while?
 
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