leather pants

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by picinisco, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. picinisco

    picinisco Scottish Transplant

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    Tell me about leather motorcycle pants.

    1. Are they waterproof.
    2. Are they comfortable.
    3. Are they stand alone (not overpants).
    4. Recommendations.

    Touring rider. No races.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Long timer

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    Aerostich Transit is waterproof and comfy but good Lord they were expensive.
    #2
  3. tundra61

    tundra61 I wish I had a title

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    I have BMW Atlantis. Also not cheap but good quality, fit and most importanty armor.

    BMW just keeps me coming back with their NP armor.
    #3
  4. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    1. Are they waterproof. GENERALLY NO BUT CAN TAKE SOME LIGHT RAIN OR SHORT SHOWER. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS LIKE THE ONES MENTIONED ABOVE.
    2. Are they comfortable. COMFY TO RIDE IN EXCEPT IF HOT, PERFORATED HELPS...BUT THEN INSTANTLY WET IF RAINS
    3. Are they stand alone (not overpants). YES
    4. Recommendations. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. SAFEST IF TIGHT FIT AND CONNECTED TO JACKET WITH ZIPPER. KNEE PROTECTORS A MUST,
    #4
  5. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

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    There is some GoreTex leather gear out there nowadays. But those are massively expensive. Some garments use leather as an outer shell then a waterproof/resistant sublayer. I don't like these as regular leather isn't waterproof (just minorly water resistant). When it gets wet, it usually needs to be air dried or it could get damaged. This does depend some on the finish and any conditioning the leather has had prior. You can treat leather with mink oil, silicone, or some other waterproofing to give it respectable water resistance. If you want better waterproofing, you'll need rain gear or go full bore GoreTex.

    Speaking of which, you'll have to clean and condition leather as well. Again, this varies on what kind of leather and any existing conditioning. My Fox Creek jacket I clean with some leather cleaner once in a while and condition it once every 6 months to a year. Pants are the same, but I use mink oil for a conditioner. Don't use food oils (olive, peanut, etc) as this will degrade the leather over time. Boots I wipe down and mink oil every 2 months as they see more use than my other leather gear.

    Comfort will vary from pant to pant and person to person. I have a set of Tourmaster leather pants in a neutral motorcycle cut that I, surprise, like for touring. They're comfortable enough, though the mesh inner liner sticks a bit during summer and I can't really put anything in the pockets.

    If your bike has full lower fairings, you might not notice any difference between preforated or solid pants, leather or otherwise. I haven't done much experimenting, but so far on my fully faired Ninja I'm hotter in the summer with my mesh pants than solid leather. I dont' get any air flow, and the mesh pants just let the engine heat through. And above 98F (give or take), you'll be cooler in solid pants if you get any air flow due to reverse wind chill.

    You can get both normal sized or overpants in leather. Finding a non-track/non-cruiser oriented leather pant is hard enough, but I've only seen two or three dedicated overpants. But you can sometimes oversize a normal pant to an overpant.

    Recommendations: whatever fits. In contrast to what pingvin said, I don't really go by the mantra "you get what you pay for." My Tourmaster leather pants were $150, CE armored, full and partial circumfrence zippers, and full length brass leg zippers. Race thickness leather with reinforced knees. Minimal seams. Outside of knee pucks, these beat most other pants that cost several hundred dollars more.

    But if it doesn't fit, it won't work :p So, whatever fits.
    #5
  6. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    Read that mink oil isn't ideal for leather, partly because closing pores in leather reducing the ability to breath (but probably increasing water resistance). I use a thin conditioner for leather furniture, easy to apply and not greasy. But one of those things everyone has an opinion on.

    But must admit gotten more lazy and must say that leather stays surprisingly well even without any treatment. Do wipe flies off with a damp cloth if looks bad. Buddy had leather suit for 10 years that he never cleaned in any way and he rides a lot (he hasn't got a car), looked like shit from flies and dirt but worked perfectly untill he crashed in 130kph (I was right behind him). Suit saved him and he got a new one from insurance company.

    Here's how a leather suit should look like (gloves could cover better though):

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Are you asking for us to answer these questions about our leather pants? Or are you asking in general? If in general, than:

    1. No. They will keep light rain off of you for a few minutes, but they soak up water quickly, get very heavy, and then you get wet.

    2. I love leathers. I like the thick heavy feel of them. Though this is highly variable, depending upon the person. Unless they're perforated, they're pretty hot in the summer.

    3. Can be... Depends upon the pants you get.

    4. I haven't worn enough pairs of leather pants to really give good recommendations. I have the Icon Automag leather overpants. I bought them because they were the only leather overpants with full length leg zippers and knee armor I could find when I was shopping around for pants. They're hot in the summer, but pretty warm in the winter. I took a spill on the highway going 65+ mph last winter. My legs and especially my right knee hit the road first. I slid and rolled to a stop, then got up and walked away from it unharmed. They did their job protecting me and after some fairly minor repairs are still usable. However there are some negatives. The snap buttons at the bottom of the legs have slowly crapped out on me, there are no pockets at all, and there are no belt loops. They're good pants... But for the riding I do (commuting and touring with a little bit of canyon carving) I won't be buying another pair of these when it comes time to replace them. I'll be opting for a more adventure/touring setup.
    #7
  8. Carl Spackler

    Carl Spackler Been here awhile

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    Langlitz Western Jeans.
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  9. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff Man of Mystery

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    I am a hard-to-fit size (tall, skinny) and bought a set of custom 2piece leathers 16 years ago and they are still going on strong (after some elastic panel, BMW NP armor, and pants-to-textile jacket zipper retrofits)!

    Waterproof? The pants are (somewhat) water repellent, but if they do get wet --they take forever to dry out...and are uncomfortable until dry again. I usually bring rain pants if expecting a downpour.

    Comfortable? I really like riding in these pants...but not a fan of wearing them when I am not riding. :wink: Depends on what type of touring you intend to do. Day-long sporty rides with little stopping and active riding (hanging off etc)? Great! Armor stays put, no flapping of fabric in the wind. Poking around with lots of breaks off the bike to eat ice cream, go shopping :lol3? not so much --then they are annoyingly tight, no pockets, the armor is in the wrong places (while standing/walking). When at a stop light, they get hot in the sun. Oh, I don't wear the kneepucks when touring --they tend to stiffen the knee area up a little and make the pants slightly less comfy on long days (but it isn't something I notice at track days).

    Stand alone? Oh yeah, I could not fit regular clothes underneath. I have added an additional zipper (in addition to the one that allows for attachment to the matching leather jacket) that allows me to zip the pants to my textile jacket for warmer/adv style riding.

    Recommendations? get ones with the elastic panels --they help with comfort, flexibility, and ventilation. I do feel like I got what I paid for when I ordered mine custom --the leather is thick, the seams are super beefy, and have stood up to lots of miles, and the fit is just right. If I had the $$ I would spring for a pair of Aerostich Transit pants though...
    #9
  10. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I've posted my answers after the OP's questions.
    #10