what maximum hide thickness on motorcyle style jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by navetsea, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    the olive green leather sample I picked yesterday turned out to be bad, so I picked again today, and found this matte smooth grey 2.2mm (5oz?) cow with dark grey flesh that I like, I'm aware it would be armor like... but the last time I did 1.6mm (4oz) cow and it was easy to tame and perfectly soft just in 1.5year, so I guess it is time to level up :eek:
    I hope it was not an insanity... because the other option is wimpy 1.1-1.2mm (3oz) and won't fit the design I have in mind

    So I brought this question up, what is the maximum thickness you're willing or have experience to wear as a jacket ?
     
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I've owned around 50 plus jackets over 30 years. 2.2 to 2.5 oz medium thick hide is as thick as I need or can wear down here. If I lived in cooler climes I'd probably settle on 3 oz. the last 3oz I owned was very nice and soft but I only wore it a few times over 2 years.
     
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  3. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie Call Me a Cab

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    I currently wear 3.5 oz bison and it feels to thin for me to ride in it without further protection gear. As much as I love Vansons comp weight leather, also 3.5 oz, I always think it feels thin compared to my bison jacket, wouldn't enjoy hitting the road in it, either.

    I read somewhere that old german biking jackets were up to 3mm thick in leather (7.5 oz) and I talked to an old leather specialist who trimmed the sleeves of a jacket of mine and he basicly said he wouldnt want to ride in my 3.5 oz jacket and his jacket back in the day was much thicker.

    So, I think you can go for 2.2mm, it will take long to break in but won't be completly off the charts of the reasonable. Some guys here own 5 oz bison jackets from Johnson, maybe they chime in..
     
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  4. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    great to hear there were such 3mm jacket probably also in cow/ bovine hide. :)
     
  5. Monitor

    Monitor

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    There is none.

    Jacketjunkie is right - And I have said this a few times myself whenever some manufacturer bragged about their 4 oz jacket but yes, German motorrad jackets of the 60's and especially the 70's were regularly over 3mm in thickness. I mean, belt grade stuff. Granted, these were true sport rider jackets for the most part, the stuff you would see on the circuit during the 70's but the best part was that these jackets were so much more softer and comfy than most of that 2.5 - 3 oz stuff we buy here. They were fantastic jackets made from beautiful hide... I wanted to do a collection of them but they're hard to come by nowadays...

    But anyway, these jacket had me realize that in theory at least there is no maximum thickness to motorcycle leather jacket, which is what some manufacturers like to claim and as long as the jacket is comfortable and nonrestrictive, like these German jackets, the weight and thickness of the leather will not represent an issue thus the hide can and should be as heavy as possible. Especially if you don't wear armour. Leathers got lighter once armour appeared. Hell, armour is the only reason people wear textile jackets on a motorcycle in the first place.
     
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  6. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I just realized you might have meant leather for actual riding. I wouldn't ride in leather - I'd want modern high tech cordura stuff. But then I have never even seen a bike up close before so it isn't an issue for me. My response was purely for walk around comfort.
     
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  7. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    It's actually much safer to ride in leather than high tech cordura stuff!
    Look at any moto GP rider, do you see much cordura on them?
    Most riding suits are 1.4 to 1.6mm thick, with double layers on the high friction areas, like hips elbows and knees, and vent panels in the low risk areas, like the inside of the thighs, arms, etc.

    I would feel much safer in a 1.4mm leather jacket with some armour than i would in a 3mm jacket without any armour. My riding suit is 1.4mm all around, with armour everywhere and i feel safe in it.
    Most quality leather that is at least 1.4mm will easily resist abrasion, but impact will ruin your day...

    When it comes to walk around comfort, i would say that the Aero FQHH is probably as thick as i would want. I don't see any improvement in looks for going heavier, i don't think heavier would be safer on a bike.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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  8. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    must be nice to feel a protective blanket like armor inside that thick classic bike jacket jacketjunkie & monitor mentioned.

    Maybe it is a compromise between pure safety and style, but since I don't have a dedicated bike jacket this would be worn just as much off the bike, having armor plates would obviously add protection to critical areas as I agree leather won't help much against impact, but it also make the jacket look too structured for anything else. Since all I do is low speed commuting within city area, I hope it would be enough.

    I saw it myself it is 2.2mm thick on micrometer, I only had it in my hand probably a size of credit card, so I don't know how supple or not a larger piece would feel.
    it is cow and non waxed, so it probably softer than denser hide like horse in comparable thickness, not even sure it could stand on it's own.
    So perhaps it would crease differently than a stiff waxed horse hide would, and since I live in constant warm climate it would stay soft all year round

    I just hope it won't squeak and creak... there is impossible to know beforehand :(
     
  9. willyto

    willyto One Too Many

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    To be honest when you're involved in a motorbike accident the only thing that could save your life is a good helmet that also covers your face. At some speeds it won't matter if you're wearing armour or not because your bones will broke anyway after the impact but a good jacket will prevent some kinds of injuries that otherwise wouldn't happen.

    Riding a bike is a very dangerous and risky way of traveling and all who do should know it and either accept it or stop riding. When I turn on my motorbike I know that I have to be extra careful and have all my attention focused in the road.
     
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  10. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Leather protects your skin from abrasion. Armor and padding protects your bones and internal organs. Ideally you want both. You don't need super thick leather to get adequate abrasion protection. 1.5mm is generally adequate. However, if you study how a body falls and comes to a stop in a crash, you can see there are parts where you'll want more protection, and parts where you don't need it. Smart design puts the thickness where you need it, and eliminates it where you don't.
     
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  11. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    meeeh, i still think armour is probably the most important... Leather will only protect you against road rash, not impact.

    I get thrown and taken down on a daily basis (Brazilian Jiu -Jitsu and Judo) and i have felt how much impacting the ground can hurt, even on a mat and with gravity doing most of the work.
    Now hitting concrete at 60Mph, has to be a lot worst, and trust me i want to be wearing armour the day it happens.

    High speed, low speed, it makes no difference, getting judo thrown on concrete will really REALLY mess you up, and that's less speed than you will ever have on a bike.

    In my opinion it is worth investing in a proper riding jacket (and pants), either get something with built in armour, or wear an armoured shirt underneath (knox, forcefield...)
    To risk your life just to look good isn't a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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  12. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie Call Me a Cab

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    Carlos, I partially agree.

    I agree, abrasion-wise and for what protection leather can offer in a crash, 1.5mm will do.

    For impact, your armor will be a drop of water on a hot stone, it won't save the day. If you have a frontal impact, your bones will shatter regardless. I dare you to have yourself thrown on the floor with an O-Goshi or O-Soto-Gari full force, no falling assistance if in doubt. I am fairly sure even that will break your rips (incase of the O-Soto-Gari, it'll most certainly crack open your skull if executioned with that intent). So.. I am inclined to agree with willyto. Biking is dangerous, the first and most important thing is to be extra careful and always be aware of the danger and drive accordingly. Armor will barely make the life-saving difference if you hit the road and should not fool you into a wrong feeling of safety. A helmet might because it offers superior protection for the most vulnerable part of your body.
     
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  13. Monitor

    Monitor

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    There is some pretty mean motorcycle armour out there. Mecha grade stuff but it's too expensive, cumbersome and... Well, that's it, actually. But I agree that those armour pads won't make that much of a difference in a serious crash. I have taken a spill a few times before and it was the jacket that saved my ass 'cause I just ended up sliding. I was lucky enough never to hit anything but if I did, armour would perhaps only save me from bruises but the hit would still shatter or dislocate my bones in the best case scenario.

    As for the helmets... Sure, they save your head. But sometimes that is not a good thing. Riding is very dangerous. Everybody knew someone who died in a motorcycle accident. I don't really ride anymore because the roads scare me. Cars became too fast and drivers are too reckless.
     
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  14. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    Cellphones. That's what killed 95% of my road time. It got to the point where it no longer was the way to relieve stress but the cause of it here in LA...
     
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  15. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    Honestly, i have a level 2 knox aegis back protector, it goes all the way from the top of my neck to the bottom of my spine.
    Wearing that you could hit me across the back with a baseball back and i would be fine, wearing their shoulder and elbow pads i can hit as hard as i can in the corner of a wall and feel nothing.
    Doing either without the protections would end very badly very fast.
    Now i agree with you that motorcycle riding is dangerous and that you should not count on your gear to save your life, but i sure helps!
     
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  16. Monitor

    Monitor

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    This! Every time, and I mean every single time I look at the driver doing stupid crap on the road, he or she is either holding a cell phone on their ear, in front of their mouth (that's some new thing) or it's bouncing all over the car interior 'cause they had to brake not to kill someone.
     
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  17. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    I've been shopping again and the wife is really 50/50 on it all. She wants me to get a new bike; she doesn't want me to ride.The reasons are twofold: One, my safety (I've got great insurance - told her to really think twice about this) and the other is my son. He had the bug as I used to take him everywhere on the back of my bikes. Now that he's grown up, I really don't want him riding. Total hypocrite, I know, but that's the way it is.
    He goes dirt riding and I am cool with that, so I try to keep him focused on the car instead.
    As for riding jackets, I mostly wear leather - heavy leather - but I have also owned and used Cortex as well. Rain, heat, etc. can be brutal here and riding safe sometimes being not baked in hot leather.
    To remedy that somewhat, I've owned perforated leather - Hein Gerrick and Vansons. But it's still hot as hell here.
    Having said that, I've "tested" the leather in the unfortunate position of sliding on hot blacktop in the summer and it's well worth the discomfort when you do.
    I broke my forearm, but the only thing that was a loss was some of the gear - jeans and lid.

    That said, if I do go back to riding on the streets, I'll be wearing a purpose-built Moto jacket in heavy leather. And gloves, and helmet and anything else I can to help.

    That new Triumph Thrux is the thing that's killing me. I can't stop going to look at it...
     
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  18. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    is there any invisible spine protector that wont show when permanently installed under the leather, as for shoulder and elbow, I will have extra layer of leather there 4.4mm of leather, at least they would crease naturally, as I would use the jacket as part of my clothes not just riding gear,

    I'm not an avid biker, I do ride sometime to go nearby places to buy things or visit family, not really for the sake of riding, so probably 5-10 minutes on the road and the next 5 hours in door, so I will park the bike soon, but have the jacket on, and don't want to look robotic in it, I also use it when I drive our car, and I don't want to step off the car looking like a biker.:D

    To me riding motorbike here in our local traffic condition is not scary at all, riding bicycle next or in between motorized vehicles that is scary... especially when I stop at traffic light waiting the light to go green and then got swarmed left and right by various much faster going objects from behind.
     
  19. adiadi

    adiadi Familiar Face

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    My two Lostworld jackets are 4.5 Oz (1.6mm), it's as tough as jacket leather can get.
     
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  20. Bern1

    Bern1 One of the Regulars

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    There are so many things that can happen on the road with a bike. I have been on the scene when a rider was injured and cut under his arm by a guardrail. Armor would not have helped in that instance but leather did.

    I am not against armor and have used it. I'd use it again if I got a sport bike again. Nowadays I ride a vintage BMW and am comfortable with a thick horse jacket.

    I agree with the comments to the effect of you have to have 100% concentration to ride on the road. Everybody and everything is trying to kill you. Seriously, I live in the Bay Area and the number of deer I see around here keeps my bike mostly in the garage these days.
     
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