One piece motorcycle suits are a main stay for racing, but are quickly gaining popularity for adventure touring and street riders. The suits are constructed with safety features, such as abrasion resistant materials and protective guards. These three tips will assist a rider in selecting the perfect motorcycle suit.
- Leather or Textile: Racing suits are generally constructed of Cordura, Gore-Tex, Kevlar or leather. Protective leather differs from the leather pants worn by trendy runway models. The leather in motorcycle suits is both durable and flexible. Many riders prefer kangaroo hide because the leather is supple and lightweight. Man-made textiles offer protection from the elements and are abrasion resistant. Textile suits generally include pockets for convenience and a venting system. When selecting a textile suit look for a waterproof membrane laminated to the fabric for rain protection.
- One or Two Pieces: A quality suit is worth the investment. Motorcycle suits look cool. However, the main concern in purchasing a motorcycle suit is safety. The idea of the suit is to protect against broken bones, road rash and more in an accident. The advantages of a two-piece suit are the ability to remove the jacket when stopping and the versatility. Two-piece suits offer a better fit for most riders. The major disadvantage of a two-piece suit is the danger of skin exposure in an accident due to the jacket riding up on the rider. Try the suit on in the store to test for stretch and fit. Stretch is necessary for easy movement. Even leather suits should be constructed with stretch panels.
- Protective Guards and Padding: Energy absorbing guards and padding are placed in the regions of the back, elbows, hips, knees and shoulders. High density foam panels are the most common form of protective guards. Memory foam armor carries a high impact absorption rate. Hard armor is designed with a foam lined impact resistant plastic. Some suits contain airbag systems for protection in a crash similar to automobile airbags. Check for the safety rating on the label of the suit.
Photo is courtesy of Matthias Weinberger at Flickr’s Creative Commons.