Thursday, January 29, 2004

Yesterday I finally ordered my Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. I been saving my money for a while, really torn between the Aerostich and a leather 2 piece suit. Not really sure what to expect from Aerostich but I'm hoping for a higher quality textile suit that is easy to put on and keeps me warm. My current 2 piece suit is my Joe Rocket and it's pretty good but there are some problems. One item is the neck collar is too tight, so I end up keeping the top unbuttoned and wearing a fleece neck warmer. Also the pants are not breathable, very hot in the summer. I really don't have much to complain because the jacket was on sale for $150 from New Enough and the pants were $120. Not a bad price for a complete touring suit! I might return the Aerostich depending how the construction and differences between my current suit.

If I do return the Aerostich I'll look into either Alpinestar track pants to match my Alpinestar jacket or going with Helimot for their suits. I'm not really a big fan of my Alpinestar jacket, the sleeves are too short, and feels too tight on my back. With the leather gear fitment is more important since the fabric does not allow much movement.

If your shopping for your next set of riding gear and are deciding between leather or textile gear here are some points to consider.

  1. Riding to work/school?

    Wearing overpants and a jacket offer the ability to wear work clothes and change faster. With leathers you will need to bring additional clothes.

  2. Waterproof or rainsuit?

    The biggest advantage of textiles is the all weather ability over leathers. If your riding in the rain often you might want to consider textiles over leathers. Here in California rain season is very short and not much trouble to bring a light rain jacket with you.

  3. Protection?

    This is a hard topic to discuss since there are pro's and con's but I feel leather is the best protection against abrasions. In a recent Motorcycle Consumer News article, textiles had a higher resistance to tearing than leathers. Not really sure how this is compared to street riding but you don't see many motorcycle racers wearing textiles. If your going to do trackdays it's hands down leathers, maybe even a 1 piece.

  4. Fitment?

    Personally I like the fitment of leathers better, you don't feel so puffy and it's easier to move around on the bike. Also big advantage is you can grip the tank better with leather pants than textile pants.

  5. Venting/cooling?

    I wore my Alpinestar Stunt jacket all last summer and can say the jacket was very hot. The jacket has venting near the shoulders and helps a bit but still the nature of leather makes for a hot jacket. With textile jackets you have more options for venting. Another tip is not wear black leathers in the summer, choose a lighter color such as gray or yellow (my favorite color).

  6. How easy is it to wear?

    I know this sounds funny but when it came down to deciding which gear I based my choice on what would I wear more. Once item I really like about the Aerostich is it's very easy to zip up, which would make it easier to put on when riding to a friend's house. With my current gear they were harder to wear and I ended up not wearing the gear sometimes when taking short rides. You could have the best gear in the world but it won't help you sitting in the garage! Just keep in mind that if you don't like changing out of your street clothes you might not like wearing a leather suit.

As you can see it's a tough choice, many pro's and con's to both sides. My suggestion is to try on both and go from there. Just remember to wear the gear when you ride as with either textile or leather will greatly protect you better than nothing.


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