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  1. #1 leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Given the excellent recent discussions in this forum about what riding gear -- clothing, helmets, etc -- are available in China, one question that keeps arising is that of quality. Can "fakes" be as good as the genuine product? Is a major western brand name a guarantee of quality, given that so many of their products are made here in China? Quality is on the tip of our tongues, but what actually is quality?

    I was turning these questions over in my head as I read an astonishing bit of first-hand reporting by a member of another forum that I read, North Bay Sport Riders, based in my home town of Santa Rosa, California. Isaac went down hard on his brand new Ducati Multistrada in the Sierra Nevada near Donner Lake. Though loaded up on painkillers, he wrote of his experience -- and of the quality he did (or didn't) find in his riding gear. I think the following link is public; have a look for yourself!

    Isaac's NBSR gear review

    For those of us living in China, having a discussion about the quality of riding gear is all the more important, given the near universal cluelessness among riders here about safety equipment; there's perhaps a tendency for us committed riders to "do as the Romans do" and cut corners on quality and safety. On the other hand, given the mind-boggling levels of danger and stupidity in which we ride every day, this question of "what gear" simply cannot be overstated.

    Ride, but ride safely!
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #2 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    grumpy old sod jape's Avatar
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    Wooo! Sobering report that. Still tells me what I have always believed, good heavy leather is still the best. I will stick to mine then. I was wavering in my conviction and in fact was going to get a textile jacket and trousers this week for the spring/summer rides coming up! Now I won't. I shall save it towards a perforated leather suit and silk undies for summer!

    Or perhaps, just perhaps, get the full cover, light kevlar undies for under the coolness of mesh gear: Draggin GREY KEVLAR LEGGINGS and Draggin grey kevlar shirt as they should save the body against road rash. Hmmmm. Decisions. The odds on sliding on just the armoured parts of textile designs without full kevlar linings are not good in such a crash when you roll and slide a good few meters. Might be better in the bush when you are just bouncing off trees and scrub! Helmet is far and away the most important item, I notice he lost a tooth. My full face helmet seems very close to the mouth as well, I will try on some different brands and see if they differ there.

    Somewhere a couple of years ago I saw a 'Choice magazine' type report on textile and leather gear in crashes, done for EEC I think that mentioned brands and who did best, came out on the side of leather. Many of the expensive, well known 'quality' brands came up very short in design; problems with stitching, seams and kevlar coverage. Will try and find it again. I think the best performer was 4mm leather, then thinner, perforated leather race suits with built in armour, then tight-weave kevlar lined jeans etc with padding (best were Hoods). Apparantly kevlar comes in different weights too and some makers use the lighter weave which isn't good enough. Draggin' finally admitted to me that the 'undies' mentioned above are the light weight kevlar but that it is doubled in scrape/impact areas so probably the best compromise under airy but armoured summer mesh. I don't think we can have too many threads and discussions about this stuff.

    Thanks for the timely reminder Jeff. Did you get out and about with BD amd MK this weekend last?
    Last edited by jape; 08-02-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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  3. #3 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    Take a look at this 70MPH slide wearing Motoport Mesh before drawing conclusions on textiles.

    I'm probably going to get a Motoport suit after I win the lottery

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
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  4. #4 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Duct tape savant felix's Avatar
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    Wow, that's quite some disparity between those two. Thank you for both.

    It makes me think twice about my 350 RMB trousers i bought on taobao, which in turn reminds me that i've been riding the sidecar to work in shorts and tshirt everyday for the last month. It's 35 and 8 million % humidity out here and the meer act of drinking cause to perspire liquid at a faster rate than i can take it in. I tell myself tomorrow i'll wear the body armor, but in the morning i get to the garage and a small lake is already forming at my feet so i just leave it.

    I'm not sure what conclusion i'm drawing from this. Is it ok to ride unprotected for two months of the year? Apparently not. I don't think it'll never happen to me either, it probably will one day. But tomorrow morning i have to admit i'm probably going to be doing the same thing, although i never go without a helmet. I ain't THAT dumb.
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  5. #5 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Danger, Will Robinson! Lao Jia Hou's Avatar
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    My two cents in the great debate ...

    Helmets are a must, definitely, absolutely, always ... comfortable fit, high visibility and not restrictive of hearing. I always shudder when I see parents carrying their children on scooters with no helmets.

    Foot and ankle protection is also important, I think, because they frequently come into contact with the ground.

    Protective clothing is interesting, however. I'm a strong advocate of leather, simply because it does its job well - protecting that vital skin. But if I have to arrive at my destination drenched in sweat (and not too pleasant smelling), it defeats the purpose of getting enjoyment out of my bike. These past days it has been an oven in Beijing - wrapping myself in leather just ain't going to happen. I just make sure my t-shirt is a bright color.

    Textiles are possibly ok, but I'm an old dog that doesn't easily learn new tricks. If I take a spill (knock on wood - 40 years of riding and not one of my bikes has even fallen off the side stand), I couldn't care less what my clothes look like AFTER any spill ... I just want my Ivory Soap soft skin to retain its natural lustrous beauty.

    I saw somewhere online that you can now buy an Air Bag suit. Apparently, you attach it to the bike via a cord somehow and if you leave the bike (presumably from a fall) the suit inflates. Now, I am quite sure this suit would be very UNcomfortable to begin with ... and I am damn sure that at some point when I stop for gas, I would forget to deactivate the suit and I'd transform into the Michelin Man before the gas jockey's eyes.

    Motorcycling is inherently dangerous - it is one of the enjoyments this otherwise ultra-conservative banker/professor/suit gets out of life. Shorts & t-shirt for me on these baking days.

    OK, maybe that was three cents.
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  6. #6 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Senior C-Moto Guru bigdamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao Jia Hou View Post
    My two cents in the great debate ...

    Helmets are a must, definitely, absolutely, always ... comfortable fit, high visibility and not restrictive of hearing. I always shudder when I see parents carrying their children on scooters with no helmets.

    Foot and ankle protection is also important, I think, because they frequently come into contact with the ground.

    Protective clothing is interesting, however. I'm a strong advocate of leather, simply because it does its job well - protecting that vital skin. But if I have to arrive at my destination drenched in sweat (and not too pleasant smelling), it defeats the purpose of getting enjoyment out of my bike. These past days it has been an oven in Beijing - wrapping myself in leather just ain't going to happen. I just make sure my t-shirt is a bright color.

    Textiles are possibly ok, but I'm an old dog that doesn't easily learn new tricks. If I take a spill (knock on wood - 40 years of riding and not one of my bikes has even fallen off the side stand), I couldn't care less what my clothes look like AFTER any spill ... I just want my Ivory Soap soft skin to retain its natural lustrous beauty.

    I saw somewhere online that you can now buy an Air Bag suit. Apparently, you attach it to the bike via a cord somehow and if you leave the bike (presumably from a fall) the suit inflates. Now, I am quite sure this suit would be very UNcomfortable to begin with ... and I am damn sure that at some point when I stop for gas, I would forget to deactivate the suit and I'd transform into the Michelin Man before the gas jockey's eyes.

    Motorcycling is inherently dangerous - it is one of the enjoyments this otherwise ultra-conservative banker/professor/suit gets out of life. Shorts & t-shirt for me on these baking days.

    OK, maybe that was three cents.
    40 years riding and you haven't come off once you must be extremely lucky.
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  7. #7 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    Danger, Will Robinson! Lao Jia Hou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdamo View Post
    40 years riding and you haven't come off once you must be extremely lucky.
    Yeah, I probably shouldn't have said anything - I may have jinxed myself.
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  8. #8 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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  9. #9 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    C-Moto Guru fahni's Avatar
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    OK, I get it: best is full leather, next is heavy kevlar. But you all have to admit that it can be awfully hot and humid her in China and wearing full jacket/trousers set could heat-stroke you.
    I am currently looking around for gear and I was wondering what you guys think of these mesh armored jackets.
    Something like: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=9753787412& or
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=9747059974&

    They might offer good protection for the upper body and together with some knee protectors http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=10802002104&
    and good boots would I be fine?

    I guess the only part which is difficult to protect is hip and upper thigh.

    Of course, gloves and Helmet are a must!
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  10. #10 Re: leather, textile, mesh -- a sobering report 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahni View Post
    OK, I get it: best is full leather, next is heavy kevlar. But you all have to admit that it can be awfully hot and humid her in China and wearing full jacket/trousers set could heat-stroke you.
    I am currently looking around for gear and I was wondering what you guys think of these mesh armored jackets.
    Something like: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=9753787412& or
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=9747059974&

    They might offer good protection for the upper body and together with some knee protectors http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=10802002104&
    and good boots would I be fine?

    I guess the only part which is difficult to protect is hip and upper thigh.

    Of course, gloves and Helmet are a must!
    Got to agree, it gets hard really hard to ATGATT when this weather is so sticky, hot and humid and not in the best possible way I might add. I have a mesh jacket and mesh trousers, that are ok, but they are really quite heavy and feel somewhat bulkier than my textile gear. I was surprised at just how heavy the jacket feels compared to my other jackets. The mesh stuff works ok, but if its hot then one still gets hot - mesh or not. With this weather it doesn't matter if I use my textile gear or the mesh stuff, I still get hot when stationary and sweat faster than arctic ice shelf.

    I remember reading somewhere about a type of undergarment for motorcyclists for hot riding conditions. The garments are designed has lots of small cells which can be filled with water and then frozen - basically fill it through a small opening into a bladder which separates into many internalised small cells, after filling one simply places into a freezer where it freezes overnight. Because the fabric sections have all these hundreds of cells the garment can flex and from what I read can be worn against the skin to provide a cool refreshing temperature that lasts all day even high temperature conditions, and due to design and materials used doesn't leave any water on the skin surface so one doesn't get wet. I seemed to recall reading a handful of reviews at the time, that seemed on the whole to support the product. Though I don't recall where I read up on the products.
    Seriously there are days just recently I'd wish someone came out with some kind of small mobile pack incorporating a small heat exchanger that could be plugged into a motorcycle riding suit in a reverse of the heat vests that one can buy.
    Last edited by bikerdoc; 07-19-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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