Anyone who rides a motorcycle should be concerned about their safety. Just wearing boots and jeans isn’t enough to protect you from the asphalt if your bike drops. If you only wear a pair of jeans, the asphalt will rip through the jeans and tear the hide off your legs or any other part of your body that hits the pavement.
In order to protect yourself when riding a motorcycle you have three choices:
- Leather pants
- Over pants made from leather or synthetic, protective fabric
A quality grade leather jacket, motorcycle chaps, or leather pants will protect you from the elements. Furthermore, the leather acts as a second layer of skin that protects you from the road. Before buying any motorcycle leather it is important that you know what to look for. There are different qualities of leather, but not all quality of leather can protect you.
What are the most common materials used for motorcycle leather?
- Buffalo hide which comes from the water buffalo found in India or Pakistan
All leather must go through a tanning process to stop the leather from decomposing and to strengthen it. There are several stages involved in the tanning process:
- Removal of the hair, fatty parts of the flesh, and outer layer of skin.
- Stabilize the hide with alum, chrome salts, vegetable or animal oils.
Depending on the tanning process and how the leather is finished will determine the quality or grade of the leather.
The grain of the leather is important when you are buying a motorcycle riding jacket, chaps or pants. The grain of leather refers to the epidermis or outer layer of the animal’s skin. All leather in its natural state has the best fiber strength. Top quality leather maintains a natural breathability and adds comfort and protection to the wearer.
Quality of Leather
There are four qualities of finished leather:
- Finished split leather
- Top grain
- Full grain
- Naked leather or premium grain
How to Buy your Leather Jackets, Chaps, and Pants
When shopping for a new motorcycle jacket, chaps, or pants it is important to understand how the stores grade the quality of their leather. Check the tag on your jacket, chats, or pants before buying them. Look for:
- Economy Grade: This is patched leather that is only suitable for children or adults who don’t do a lot of riding. This is not a good quality of leather to protect you from the elements or an accident.
- Top Grain Leather: This is a strong cowhide leather that will protect you from the elements and an accident. This is a nice grade of leather that wears nicely and looks better as it ages.
- Premium or Naked Leather: This is the top quality of leather on the market and an excellent choice for all motorcycle jackets, chaps, and pants. The leather is extra thick and it is designed to protect you and wear longer. The price of quality leather is always three times more expensive than economy leather.
Anyone who rides a motorcycle needs to wear a leather riding jacket, chaps, or pants for protection. It is important to buy top quality leather products to protect yourself against the elements and an accident. Therefore, next time you shop for your leather riding gear be sure to read the tag. Look for premium or naked leather if you are looking for protection.