Comparison test leather suits

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Comparison test leather suits


Station wagons, jackets & pants

Comparison test leather suits

Comparison test leather suits
What’s the point of kangaroo leather?

Kangaroo leather suits are on their way to everyday motorcycle life. Once reserved for top athletes as an expensive high-end material, the feather-light combinations are now available for less than 1000 euros. MOTORRAD has tested seven one-piece suits in practice and on the test bench.

Jorg Lohse


Can you really take it that easy? “Kangaroo meat is an economic factor,” emphasizes leather technician Marcus Breulmann in the MOTORRAD interview on page 73, similar to beef, the skin is only “recycled”. In any case, the trained master tanner, who developed new tanning processes at the Swiss chemical company TFL, has long been waiting for the motorcycle scene to jump on the kangaroo: »Kangaroo leather naturally has fantastic tear resistance due to the fiber structure of the skin and is therefore very abrasion and scuff resistant. An extremely important aspect when the motorcyclist falls and then slides over the asphalt for a long time. “

On the other hand, animal welfare organizations emphasize that kangaroo leather is obtained in a cruel way, since hunters were particularly brutal when killing and often also killed protected species. Your allegations do not seem unfounded: at the end of July, the sporting goods manufacturer Adidas was legally prohibited from selling football boots made of kangaroo leather in the US state of California. Whether you can now use the kangaroo suit with a clear conscience can only be clarified by asking critical questions during the sales pitch – in the age of today’s factory farming, the same applies to a cowhide suit. In any case, motorcycle clothing has not yet been targeted by animal rights activists, which may also have something to do with the small number of items:

The percentage of kangaroo leather in station wagons sold annually is in the single-digit range, larger sales figures only reach gloves. That can change in the future. With the commitment of the brands Arlen Ness and Berik Price dumping began a few years ago: for the first time, kangaroo suits were offered for less than 1000 euros – but only in a mixed form: the cowhide share was around 30 percent in these low-priced offers. The Dusseldorf shop chain Polo has now started to haggle over prices: For the current season, a one-piece made entirely of kangaroo leather is being offered for 999.95 euros, the two-piece with cowhide is 100 euros cheaper.

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Weighed and measured

Comparison test leather suits


MOTORRAD took a close look at the leather goods.

In any case, the advantage is clear on the scales: The display levels off below four kilograms, a good value for a size 52 suit that is fully equipped with protectors. A comparable suit made of cowhide weighs around one kilogram more on average. But can you actually feel the smooth advantage of the FLM station wagon from Polo that kangaroo leather is said to be? MOTORRAD has researched and invited all known manufacturers of kangaroo combinations to take part in a comparison test. All in all, it can be seen that the range is manageable. Seven models are ultimately to be tested, and two more would have been included if the manufacturers (Spyke and Suomy) had been able to deliver. The prices span a wide range: starting with suits from Berik for 899 euros to full-blooded racing goods from Axo for 2310 euros. In a mix of laboratory and practical tests, MOTORRAD determined what the bottom line is that the one-piece sets offer for their money. To this end, together with racing suit expert Stefan Rottger (, we examined the cut and fit of the individual test candidates in a detailed try-on.

All data, measurement results and test impressions are listed in the respective model boxes and tables. Leather suits are first and foremost protective suits that if not prevent serious injuries, at least should reduce them. A 900 euro station wagon must fulfill this function just like the high-end suit at two and a half times the price, which is why we examined the protectors used in the suits based on the European standard for joint and back protectors (see box on page 71). However, the values, such as the impact test with which the cushioning behavior of the protectors is examined, say little about the actual accident. An example: The graphic shows the damping behavior of a protector that is so elastic that the falling body oscillates in a wave-like manner. No question about it, the limit values ​​are adhered to. Nevertheless, the behavior of this protector in an actual fall would be completely different, since the road that the drop body is supposed to simulate on the test stand cannot oscillate elastically.

The body lying under the protector has to absorb the forces. For this reason, market insiders have long been calling for the now ten-year-old standard to be revised. There is a lot of smoke in the respective national committees of the EU member states, but a Europe-wide consensus is still far from in sight. According to the protector manufacturers, completely different protective mechanisms can be implemented from today’s technical standard. And these would have to be assessed by means of a newly formulated norm that is closer to reality. The current one, as it is often said among manufacturers, is at most suitable to prove “that an Ikea shelf also meets the limit values”. A difficult legacy that the producers of feather-light kangaroo suits have to grapple with.

Put to the test

Comparison test leather suits


Here two of 25 protectors reached their limits.

The cut is impressive: out of 25 protectors tested, only two fail at the limit value. Based on the European standard EN 1621-1 (joint protectors) and EN 1621-2 (back protectors), MOTORRAD has determined the residual force values ​​of the protectors used in the suits on a drop test stand *. In this drop test, a five-kilo falling body hits the protector from a height of one meter. A measuring head records the residual forces, which on average must not exceed 35 kilonewtons (kN) for joint protectors and 18 kN (class 1) or 9 kN (class 2) for back protectors. The majority of joint protectors are well below the permitted values ​​with values ​​between 15 and 25 kN. However, in practice these values ​​have to be put into perspective. Adhering to the limit values ​​is one thing, the actual damping curve during a fall is quite another. In order to protect the human body particularly well, the curve of the force curve has to make a soft hump and should never be too pointed (see graphic). The so-called jerk area, in which the flat curve suddenly rises steeply, is dangerous. Here, the human body is maltreated by extreme forces in a real fall, which put a particularly strong strain on the elasticity of a bone and cause it to break.

Interview with Marcus Breulmann (TFL)

Comparison test leather suits


Marcus Breulmann is a master tanner and leather technician at TFL.

Up until now, kangaroo station wagons were expensive exclusive goods. Now there are models at affordable costs under 1000 euros. How did this drop in prices come about? Leather manufacturers and processors are constantly looking for something better. More and more manufacturers are offering suits made from kangaroo leather. Of course, this depresses prices and, more importantly, margins. Hopefully not the quality! Just as a side note: around 3.5 million kangaroo skins are processed into leather every year. Kangaroo meat is an economic factor in Australia. However, because of its skin, no kangaroo is turned around the corner.

What are the special advantages of kangaroo leather? Tanners appreciate kangaroo skins if they want to produce leather with the best tear and abrasion properties. Why is that? The main reason is that the kangaroo skin’s fiber bundles are balanced and parallel to the surface. The cattle, on the other hand, have a complex interwoven skin fiber structure. Many skin fibers are at a 90-degree angle to the surface. When the leather thickness is mechanically adjusted in the production process, these are cut through, at the expense of tear and abrasion resistance. Assuming good tanner knowledge and the use of high-quality products, the kangaroo skin should therefore be the tanner’s first choice of raw materials for leather items that require the best abrasion and tear resistance.

Which disadvantages have to be mentioned, where is the cowhide suit better, for example? Tanning processes tailored to motorcycle clothing achieve similarly good values ​​on a “cattle basis” as carelessly processed kangaroo leather. The thickness of the cowhide has to be thicker. This then again requires a higher specific weight. When buying, can the customer tell whether the kangaroo leather used is of high quality? No. Look, feel and design have nothing to do with the actual quality. The quality of a station wagon is not only determined by the leather used. My buying tip: Choose the combination manufacturer you trust and ask for their references.


Four out of seven combinations jump up onto the podium – the result is impressive. But the inexpensive Arlen Ness combination also shines with a good final grade, while the structurally identical Berik falls slightly in terms of features / workmanship and wearing comfort and ultimately does not go beyond “satisfactory”. The FLM-Kombi shines with extensive protector equipment, but the bad fit negates this advantage. After all, what use is a protector if it twisted dangerously if it was cut too wide in the event of a fall?

Arlen Ness Mugello

Provider: Held, phone 08321/66460,
Price: 999 euros
Materials: kangaroo and cowhide mix,
Thickness 1.3 millimeters (beef), 1.0 millimeters (kangaroo); removable mesh lining
Sizes: men 48 to 58
Color: red / black
Weight: 4.76 kilograms
Special features: proportion of cowhide in the stretch inserts, on the forearms, shins and in the hump

PLUS to be put on securely and without twisting; very neatly made; very good contact with the motorcycle; Cut clearly tailored to racing needs; great value for money; practical titanium caps that minimize fall damage

MINUS Kombi sits stiffly on the body, wants to be registered for a long time; cuffs that are not sewn around chafe the wrist; Ventilation only moderate; narrow protectors that are oppressive when exercising; Knees and elbows cut too wide; Combination composed of small individual pieces

CONCLUSION Attractively priced combination made from a mix of kangaroo and cowhide with a respectable quality of workmanship. In terms of protector equipment, however, expandable.

MOTORRAD verdict: good

FLM Kangaroo Race

Provider: Polo express delivery, phone 0180/5225785,
Price: 999.95 euros
Materials: kangaroo leather, thickness 0.6 to 0.8 millimeters; removable inner lining with a cooling effect
Sizes: 50 to 56
Colors: black / white / red
Weight: 3.96 kg
Special features: also available as a two-piece (899.90 euros)
PLUS equipped with back protector as standard; soft lining
MINUS Very thin leather, composed of many set pieces in small pieces; Seams partly sloppy; slightly protruding shoulder cap made of plastic, can get caught on the asphalt if you fall; antiquated hard foam protectors, fit like a board; poor cut with too narrow hips and too wide sleeves and legs; Protectors can twist dangerously in the event of a fall; Ventilation barely noticeable despite perforation
CONCLUSION The low budget offer for the kangaroo suits is not very enjoyable. In terms of fit and comfort, the FLM-Kombi is not convincing. The hard foam protectors work acceptable on the test bench, but can slip quickly in practice and hardly develop any real effect.

MOTORRAD verdict: Sufficient

Attention: Polo reacted to the test and retrofitted all station wagons on the market with high-quality protectors (15.10.07).

Axo Bullet Kangaroo

Provider: Axo Sport,
Telephone 00390/422/832300,
Price: 2310 euros
Materials: kangaroo leather, thickness 1.0 to 1.1 millimeters; removable mesh lining with antibacterial finish
Sizes: men 46 to 60
Colors: blue, red, black
Weight: 3.84 kilograms
Special features: individual design and lettering for an extra charge

PLUS Perfect, exact cut, fits very smoothly, literally a second skin; extremely high potential for movement, enables extremely sporty postures as well as an upright touring position; great leather, very extensive; highly effective ventilation; Comfortable and pressure-free cuffs in combination with gloves
MINUS seat a bit too slippery; Back hump presses selectively; Collar is a little too tight at the front, should be cut more round; few protectors with only average values
CONCLUSION The Rolls-Royce of leather suits. Insane price, but in return there is a first-class racing suit that sits smoothly on the body like a “touch of nothing”. Economical protector package that is well positioned.


Berik Capirex

Provider: Held, phone 08321/66460,
Price: 899 euros
Materials: kangaroo and cowhide mix, thickness 1.3 millimeters (cattle), 1.0 millimeters (kangaroo); removable mesh lining
Sizes: men 48 to 58
Red color
Weight: 4.66 kilograms
Special features: With the exception of the titanium grinder, identical to the Arlen Ness Mugello; Cowhide in the stretch, on the forearms, shins and in the hump

PLUS Grippy leather, lies very supple; very good contact with the motorcycle; very good air supply to the upper body
MINUS inside partly unclean; difficult to put on, feet get caught in the lining; Despite the well-tailored knees with the joint effect, protectors press even when the posture is slightly stooped, and they become increasingly pronounced in a racing position; Upper body cut extremely tight, slightly oppressive feeling; cuffs that are not sewn around chafe the wrists
CONCLUSION Sports suit in Racer-C version ?? It can hardly be tighter and more bent. No suit to master everyday life on GSX-R and Co. But probably an inexpensive offer for hard-to-calculate times on the racetrack. Is (unfortunately?) Only available as a Capirossi replica.

MOTORRAD verdict: Satisfactory

Spidi R2 Kangaroo

Providers: Spidi Sport, phone 00390/444/436411,
Price: 1299.90 euros
Materials: kangaroo leather, thickness, 1.1 to 1.2 millimeters; sewn mesh lining
Sizes: men 46 to 58
Colors: blue, red, silver
Weight: 4.30 kg
Special features: slide-in compartment for retrofittable back protector; adjustable ventilation inlets on the back

PLUS Very nicely finished; great cut with a very good fit and perfect length proportions; practical hip and buttock protection; Collar, cuffs and leg ends are soft and comfortably padded; effective ventilation with highly effective perforation and adjustable inlets in the shoulder area; The seat provides a very good hold on the motorcycle
MINUS Nestling entry due to shifting lining; cut a little too wide on the forearm; Knee stretch set too deep, pinpoint pressures at very tight knee angles
CONCLUSION A racing suit according to the best Italian tailoring. Very comfortable to wear, adapts to a touring posture as well as a stooped racing position.
In terms of price-performance ratio, it is a clear purchase tip.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

IXS Torro

Provider: Hostettler,
Telephone 07631/18040,
Price: 1999 euros
Materials: kangaroo leather, thickness 1.0 to 1.1 millimeters; removable mesh lining with antiseptic features
Sizes: men 46 to 58, 98 to 106, made to measure on request
Colors: blue / black / white, red / black / white, silver / black / white
Weight: 4.18 kilograms
Special features: individual design available from specialist dealers on request

PLUS First class, supple leather; very good, comfortable cut, can be carried extremely comfortably; very broad area of ​​application, ranges from country roads to racetracks; highly effective ventilation that effectively and always pleasantly cools the upper body, including the back and arms; provides a wonderful contact with the motorcycle; first class seams; Knees perfectly modeled; very comfortable inner lining with additional stretch inserts
MINUS zippers on the lining sewn carelessly; cut a trace too wide at the elbow; Collar presses minimally at top speed, requires a slightly rounder cut
CONCLUSION A wonderful leather suit. However, the price is also in a fantastic range. For this, the one-piece is almost perfectly tailored and can handle just about anything, from relaxed country road swing to wild racetrack chasing.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

Alne Toxic

Providers: Alne Leather clothing,
Telephone 06028/8402,
Price: from 1319 euros including customization,
Price test combination 1625 euros
Materials: kangaroo leather, thickness 1.0 to 1.2 millimeters; antibacterial and cooling lining, optionally removable
Sizes: women 34 to 48, men 42 to 62; plus intermediate sizes
Colors: free color design
Weight: 4.56 kilograms
Special features: Made-to-measure production at no extra charge, available in one and two parts, further upgrade options (material, equipment, design) available for an extra charge

PLUS Great to put on, very quickly, casually and slipped over without major contortions; extremely comfortable seat with pressure-free positioned protectors; very cleanly processed; supple, grippy leather; complete protector equipment including hips and back
MINUS Perforated front for better ventilation of the one-piece only for an extra charge; Forearms and knees cut too wide, protectors can shift in the event of an impact; Back tense, collar pinches in racing posture; Seat a bit too slippery, no optimal connection to the motorcycle
CONCLUSION Perfectly crafted one-piece in the classic, touring-sport cut. The price-performance ratio, including the customization offered (included in the basic price), is top.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

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