It’s never too early for new riders to get a feel for the rich history of motorcycle culture and the important issues that enthusiasts weigh when considering new purchases. It’s also never too late to learn about the rivalries, beefs, and biases that make people unreasonable, and for some riders, those overlap. That’s the state of a lot of the textiles vs. leather conversations. Most of the opinions you hear are very partisan, but there are some facts to know before you purchase gear.
Leather and Road Rash Protection
Quality leather jackets are well-known for their protective qualities, and the use of leather in protective gear goes back to ancient times, when hide and leather armors were among the first protection for soldiers and hunters. It’s intuitive to trust it based on its history, and there’s no surprises in the idea that it has to be better than textile. In fact, for a long time that was true, and textile motorcycle jackets were not what leather jackets could be. Today, though, things are different. Today, the performance of leather versus textile depends on a lot of things:
- The exact kind of textile used and the exact kind of leather
- Thickness and padding added to both
- Design of the jacket and seam placement/reinforcement
- Nature of the spill during the accident
- Use of additional gear like helmets, knee pads, and so on
In theory, the best textile jackets will stand up to the same beating as the best leather motorcycle jackets, because manufacturers test products to make sure they are competitive with their offerings. This closes the gap over time, leading to the development of designs that use materials known to level the playing field. Read More: 6 Types Of Bikes And Their Features
Looking for the Best Motocross Mods and Gear?
Once you’ve settled on high quality protective gear, the next step is outfitting the bike so you can make the most of its power. Hopefully you won’t need to find out if the safety gear lives up to its reputation, but if you do you will be glad you took the time to research your choices. When it comes to getting ready for competition day, you are going to need a resource that provides you both the OEM motorcycle parts you need to replace worn components in systems where mods are tightly regulated and the aftermarket parts and accessories that let you get the most out of the systems you’re allowed to modify.
Textiles and leather jackets will always have their enthusiasts, and you might notice a real difference when it comes to comfort level, texture, or even the way its protection works with your riding style. When it comes to the numbers and the tests, though, top tier motocross equipment tends to stand up to roughly equal amounts of punishment across an entire price and performance tier, whether it’s textile or leather. With that in mind, choose the gear you will work best with, because uncomfortable safety gear can be its own distraction, reducing your overall safety instead of helping you enjoy your ride. Finding the stuff that works for you is always the best thing to do.