Originally Posted by Masterplan
Guys, whats your views on commuting wear i.e. Leather or textiles?
I presume most, if not all of you live in much sunnier climates than Scotland so this may be a pointless Q. I have my bike test in the coming weeks, and I'm looking to start buying my kit.
However, due to the weather over here I'm torn between buying textiles or a leather two piece.
Leathers look the part and are great protection, where textiles offer the weather protection and also good safety.
Any ideas/suggestions based on experience?
Congrats on your upcoming test and welcome to 2 wheels!
As for leather vs. textiles, I would say if you are starting out riding and it rains a lot, and you cannot buy leathers AND textiles, you should be fine with textiles to start with. I would get a leather suit for more spirited riding, however (which if you're just doing the test and you've not ridden before, is not really a concern at the moment).
I personally believe that in a hard crash at high speed where you slide a lot, leather will be a better protector. In any other "normal" circumstances textiles will hold up fine, though. Make sure whatever you buy has good hard (not soft) armor for knees, shoulders, and elbows - these are the areas that take the biggest beating in a crash.
So if you are going to be Valentino Rossi on the backroads over there, then I think leathers are a must. You can get collapsible rain jacket and pants which you can put over your leathers, and keep in a tank bag when not in use. I do this in Florida as it can rain a lot, and tends to be random and erratic.
But if you're just starting out riding textiles will protect you very well as long as you have the good hard armor.
I started my riding career in California (also some good ole' summer weather) on a beater Suzuki GS500, and the gear I got to start riding with cost more than what I had paid for that bike.
Also brands make a difference. Cheap leathers might withstand a crash poorly, and rip, causing injury; at worst they are one-time-crash leathers. In contrast, my Dainese 2-piece leather suit, I probably crashed in it about 15 times when I was doing WSMC club racing, and it always held up insanely well (with the help of some eventual strategic patches, which you can see on left shoulder and elbow in attached pic
there was another patch there too but I was sitting on it in that picture
In California if I was going into the canyons, I always wore a 2-piece Dainese leather suit - always. Here in FL, there are not any canyons; I have only used my current 1-piece perforated leather suit at the track.
Otherwise the main problem with my gear selection is I wear normal jeans, which I have been meaning to get another pair of the special jeans which double as riding pants (look like jeans though). Like you said where it rains a lot, the textiles are great due to being waterproof.
I can't really recommend a brand of textiles because I have never owned any, so I'll let other chime in on that. But leathers when you eventually want to get them, spend the money on a good Dainese suit and gloves.
Let us know what you decide!