Nine classic driver’s suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

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Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits
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Nine classic driver’s suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

Product test: Classic leather two-piece suit
Nine classic driver’s suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

Leather is still the first choice when it comes to the best combination of protection and comfort for motorcyclists.

In the test: nine classic driver’s suits made of classic cowhide for brisk curve swing and smooth cruising.

Jorg Lohse

08/04/2011

You might think that motorcyclists who ride cruisers or classic naked bikes never fall. At least that is the critical inventory of the leather suits from this test with a focus on the safety equipment. Protectors are usually available, but are used extremely sparingly. There is consensus when it comes to protecting shoulders, elbows and knees: These are protected by well-fitting protectors from all manufacturers in the current test – even if some think they can use particularly small sizes in particularly stately men’s sizes. Protection of the hips seems to be a real red pencil topic. Incomprehensible, because an impact in the hip / pelvic area is not uncommon during take-off.

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Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

Product test: Classic leather two-piece suit
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Most providers rely on thin alibi protective cushions that would be hopelessly overwhelmed if hit on asphalt. Hip protectors are not a novelty in protective equipment. Almost everyone has retrofitted goods in their range and their trousers have been prepared in such a way that they can be replaced in a matter of minutes. The picture looks a little better in terms of back protection. After all, three of the nine suits in this test are equipped with decent back protectors. The rest of the field is prepared for the use of real protective measures. Pockets in the lining can easily accommodate a CE-standardized back protector. However, as with the hip protectors, the formulation is: only for an extra charge!

At this point, retailers like to talk themselves out of the fact that back protectors are already widespread and you can therefore easily save yourself this feature. It sounds as if motorcycle manufacturers can save themselves the first filling with engine oil. Most drivers still have a well-filled container from the last oil change under the workbench. Another critical point is the firm connection of jacket and trousers. All-round zippers are now standard in the class – even if they are not implemented properly.

If the zipper on all pants in the test is still properly sewn into the leather, the lining in the jackets usually has to serve. But in an emergency this will not be able to counteract the forces of a fall. Nice outside, but ugly inside? From the outside, the jackets and pants cut a good figure. There’s a lot going on below. Contemporary protection is also the order of the day for classic leather hides.


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Buse Nogaro.

Providers: Heino Buse, Tel. 0 24 71/1 26 90, www.buese.com
Prices: Jacket 389.95 euros, pants 309.95 euros, set 699.95 euros
Sizes: 48 to 64 and 26 to 30, trousers available in long sizes
Colour: black
Weight: 5.6 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture: Vietnam
Material: waterproof impregnated cowhide, removable Sympatex climate membrane

Fit and comfort: With its comparatively loose, casual cut, the Buse suit is particularly appealing to touring and cruiser fans. Due to its multi-layered structure (with climate insert) it sits a bit inelastic. Arm and leg lengths fit, the chest with four outer pockets has a few creases that are already pressing when sitting upright, as does the buckle on the waistband. Jacket and pants are tight in combination with functional underwear (windstopper). If you value comfort, you may have to buy one size larger.

Security: Protectors with decent shock absorption values ​​lie full and pressure-free on the shoulders, elbows and knees. The back and hips are only thinly padded and have to be equipped with real protectors for an extra charge. The all-round connection zipper is decent in the leather of the trousers, but only sewn into the lining of the jacket. The jacket is adorned with thin reflective piping with a moderate effect.

Equipment and processing: Rainproof equipment, plus large ventilation inlets for the summer – climatic fits. The workmanship and detailed work also shine with their high level of appearance.

Conclusion: Solid all-season combination with a casual look, which, however, pinches and pinches in several places. Functionally, the easy-to-grip zippers and easy-to-close press studs are appealing. In terms of security, there is potential for expansion.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Dainese Cage / Alien.

Providers: Dainese, Tel. 0 89/35 82 72 70, www.dainese.de
Prices: Jacket EUR 349, trousers EUR 329, set EUR 678
Sizes: Jacket 44 to 62, pants 44 to 60 plus short and long sizes
To dye: Black, black / white, black / blue, black / red
Weight: 4.4 kg
Country of Manufacture: Ukraine
Material: Cowhide, firmly sewn polyester lining

Fit and comfort: Slip in and feel good. In the Dainese set, a tourist-comfortable cut and a sporty, crisp fit are ideally paired. The only drawback: the collar protrudes a bit too far, and the neck is always slightly drafty, even with a good scarf. The jacket with a long back and the trousers with a wide waistband that is comfortably pulled up at the back overlap without pulling or pressure, even when bent over in a sporty manner.

security: The Dainese-typical hard shell protectors are worked into the shoulders, elbows and knees of the jacket and trousers precisely and without pressure points. The damping values ​​are good, the protective surfaces (shoulder) are sometimes too small. The hips are only padded, the back and chest have to be equipped with protectors at an additional cost. The connection zipper is sewn into the leather of the trousers, while the jacket is only sewn into the lining. The reflector performance is good.

Equipment and processing: Supple leather with a firm grip, easy-to-grip zippers, snaps that fit snugly, practical details. That fits.

Conclusion: The beautifully made touring suit with a sporty, tight seat shines with a wide range and feels just as comfortable on fat power cruisers as it does on sporty naked bikes. The workmanship is very good.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

IXS Tahoma / Ruben Pro.

Providers: Hostettler, Tel. 0 76 31/1 80 40, www.ixs.de
Prices:
Jacket 389.90 euros, pants 249.90 euros, set 639.80 euros
Sizes:
Jacket 48 to 58, pants 44 to 66 plus women’s and intermediate sizes
Colour:
black
Weight:
4.7 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture:
China
Material:
Cowhide, sewn lining made of polyester, removable thermal vest made of polyester / polyamide

Fit and comfort: With its very soft, supple leather, jacket and trousers fit like the famous second skin and in no way constrict. Arm and leg lengths are sufficient. The collar is annoying when closed with a noticeable pull, and the seat is a bit too slippery. The pocket volume is very tight, even smaller objects are a lot of pressure.

Security: The standard package, which is common in this class, is offered with shoulder, elbow and (noticeably) uncomfortable knee protectors, which still achieve acceptable shock absorption values, but are reinforced with metal caps on the outside. The hips and back are only
padded, a real protector can only be retrofitted in the back. A striking reflective insert adorns the back. The connection zipper is only sewn into the leather of the trousers, it sits in the lining of the jacket.

Equipment and processing: Thermal vest and variety of pockets liked, less the stiff closures.

Conclusion: The slightly shiny jacket-pants combination, heavily styled in the 80s retro look, makes you go on tour in terms of equipment, but fits like a crisp sports suit. Minor deficits in dressing and wearing comfort.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Hein Gericke trip master.

Providers: Hein Gericke, Tel. 01 80/5 22 95 22, www.hein-gericke.de
Prices: Jacket 279.95 euros, pants 229.95 euros, set 509.90 euros
Sizes: Jacket 50 to 60, pants 48 to 58 and 25 to 27
Colour: black
Weight: 4.5 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture: Pakistan
Material: Cowhide, removable polyester lining

Fit and comfort: Traveling or racing? When it comes to the tripmaster, the testers disagree. While the trousers with straight leg ends are designed for comfortable touring, the jacket with the sporty sleeves is more appealing with a dynamic stooped position. Mixing may be required when trying on. The trousers are very large, the compactly arranged jacket may have to be one size larger than usual.

Security: No red pencil in the protection package – shoulders, elbows, knees and back are protected by well-cushioned CE protectors, the hips can be retrofitted for a small surcharge (12.95 euros). However, the joint protectors press in almost every posture. The reflector pads are small but effective. The connection zipper of the pants is firmly in the leather, but the one in the jacket is only sewn into the lining.

Equipment and processing: The matt black leather look looks good, and the heat-reflecting cool features go with it. Tiny zippers, hooked zippers and the sloppy, coarse design on the inside are less appealing.

Conclusion: The tough, stubborn leather needs to be worn in properly. Even then, it reluctantly follows fluid movements on the bike. More the solid cruiser than agile tour packaging, plus a slight comfort weakness.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Revit Apollo / Aurora.

Providers: Revit, Tel. 00 31/4 12/69 67 40, www.revit.eu
Prices: Jacket EUR 369.99, trousers EUR 259.99, set EUR 629.98
Sizes: Jacket 46 to 58, trousers 46 to 60 plus women’s and intermediate sizes
To dye: Black / white, black / red, black / blue
Weight: 4.4 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture: China
Material: Cowhide, firmly sewn lining made of polyester / polyamide

Fit and comfort: The supple leather with a pleasantly firm grip sits snugly and firmly on the body and convinces with high mobility on the level of real sports suits. Sleeves and legs are long enough, jacket
and pants also overlap very well at the back. A real plus in comfort is the excellent ventilation on warm days, a wind stopper set is indispensable for cooler trips. The leg ends with a soft poster finish are particularly great.

Security: Shoulders, elbows and knees are protected by protectors, which on the test bench, however, show poor damping values ​​close to the limit. The padding on the back and hips can be exchanged for real protectors at an additional cost. The connection zipper of the jacket and pants is only sewn into the lining or the textile stretch, there are no reflectors.

Equipment and processing: Large pockets, soft collar, handy zippers. The whole thing in good workmanship – overall a good value for the money.

Conclusion: The sporty touring suit from Revit sits comfortably with the generous but non-adjustable ventilation even on hot days. Despite good leather, there is, however, significant potential for expansion in the safety equipment.

MOTORRAD verdict: satisfying


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Polo Drive Ultimate.

Providers: Polo express delivery, Tel. 01 80/5 22 57 85, www.polo-motorrad.de
Prices:
Jacket 399.95 euros, pants 299.95 euros, set 699.90 euros
Sizes:
Jacket M to 5XL, trousers M to XXL
Colour:
black
Weight:
5.0 kg (size L)
Country of Manufacture:
Indonesia
Material:
Hydrophobic cowhide leather, Polo-Tex climate membrane, sewn-in polyester lining, removable polyester thermal vest

Fit and comfort: Trousers in classic jeans style, jacket in blouson cut. It sits well and comfortably when strolling, but it quickly becomes borderline on many bikes. Especially when jackets and pants are on cruisers or naked bikes (e.g. Kawasaki
Z 1000) on the back and plenty of drafts flow into the interior. In addition, the generously dimensioned jacket inflates a lot at a brisk pace (from 100 km / h). On the other hand, we really like the high, draft-free neck finish (can be used either as a turn-up collar or a stand-up collar).

Security: Except for the hip (which can be retrofitted at an additional cost), shoulders, elbows, knees and back are protected with acceptable to good cushioning protectors, which are positioned too far inside on the knee. Jacket and trousers can only be connected with a short zipper sewn into the lining of the jacket. There are no reflectors.

Equipment and processing: Waterproof leather, climate membrane, thermal lining – this is a great package for cold, wet days. There are no air inlets for hot days. The design is very successful.

Conclusion: Classic cut plus great features: you don’t see at first glance that the discreet polo suit hides a waterproof leather suit. A detailed fitting on your own bike is mandatory.

MOTORRAD verdict: satisfying


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Swabian leather Classic Pro Sport.

Providers: Schwabenleder, Tel. 0 71 81/96 70 10, www.schwabenleder.de
Price: Station wagon from 1298 euros
Sizes: 46 to 60 and 98 to 110, made to measure for a surcharge
Colour: black
Weight: 5.2 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture: Germany
Material: Cowhide, firmly sewn polyester lining

Fit and comfort: A first-class tailor’s work from local production. Lengths and girths fit “a perfect match”, and should it pinch when trying it on, it is possible to make it to measure. The Swabian leather suit fits perfectly and precisely – without constricting. A perfect balance of comfort and a securely fitting seat. Ventilation options are not available, the leather is available in a cool version for an extra charge (reduces heating).

security: A look under the 1.5 millimeter thick leather skin shows the most extensive protection package in this test. Joints, back, hips, shins and ribs are protected by protectors and protective pads, some of which have sensational damping values. Extra felt covers should protect against penetration. The clean running, very well interlocked connection zippers made of nickel silver, which are firmly sewn into the leather in the jacket and trousers. Only the thin reflective piping in the jacket is poor.

Equipment and processing: Highly functional and well thought out. In addition, top-quality workmanship with first-class materials and can be expanded as required in the extra list (leather, colors, knee sliders).

Conclusion: A classically styled leather suit can be so sporty and functional.
the Swabian leather is not thrown over nimble, but the throw over for nimble journeys. Expensive, but the bottom line is a purchase for life.

MOTORRAD verdict: very good


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


MPS studio

Spidi Targa / New Naked.

Providers: Shark Helme Germany, Tel. 0 41 08/45 80 00 00 www.spidi.com
Prices: Jacket 429.90 euros, pants 299.90 euros, set 729.80 euros
Sizes: Jacket S to 3XL, trousers 46 to 60
To dye: Black / red, black / blue, black / beige
Weight: 3.5 kg (size XL / 54)
Country of Manufacture: Ukraine
Material: Cowhide, firmly sewn polyester lining

Fit and comfort: A two-part matter. The trousers made of grippy leather sit tight, full and comfortable in all positions. In the jacket, the wearer feels a little misplaced on the motorcycle. The leather is soft and supple, but does not offer the firm, precise, tight fit that you would expect from a motorcycle jacket. While driving, the jacket pushes up, flaps quickly and pulls on the back.

Security: Shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are protected by protectors with good shock absorption values, but sometimes too small protective surfaces (shoulder area). The back must be equipped with a suitable protector at an additional cost. The pants are equipped with a connection zipper that is firmly sewn into the leather. The jacket can only be connected to a certain type of pants with a thin snap-fastener loop sewn into the lining – but not with the pants from this test.

Equipment and processing: The trousers are made solid, the jacket just trimmed to be chic. An unbalanced mix.

Conclusion: Robust leather box meets designer jackets. In the combination package, jacket and pants make from Spidi an unhappy figure. Whereby the design is okay when viewed individually. But only the pants have real motorcycle quality.

MOTORRAD verdict: satisfying


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits


mps photo studio

Vanucci Competizione III.

Providers: Detlev Louis, Tel. 0 40/73 41 93 60, www.louis.de
Prices: Jacket from 329.95 euros, pants from 269.95 euros, set from 599.90 euros
Sizes: 46 to 58 plus women’s and intermediate sizes
Colour: black
Weight: 5.0 kg (size 54)
Country of Manufacture: not specified
Material: Cowhide, firmly sewn polyester lining

Fit and comfort: The jacket and trousers are made of sturdy, non-slip leather that is comfortable and easy to wear, even when changing from an upright touring position to a sporty pace. Arm and leg lengths are sufficient, and well-functioning air inlets are provided on the sleeves and back for hot days. A heat-reflecting leather minimizes the heating of the surfaces in summer.

Security: An economical but effective package is used for the protectors. Shoulders, elbows and knees are protected with protectors that are neatly positioned, sit well and achieve first-class damping values ​​well below the limit on the test bench. More protection on the back and hips is only possible at an additional cost. The connection zipper is firmly sewn into the leather in the trousers, only in the lining of the jacket. Exemplary are the all-round reflective piping with extremely good efficiency.

A.Equipment and processing: Clean finish, well-running zippers, useful details. The station wagon turns on.

Conclusion: The sporty touring suit with a discreet appearance cuts a fine figure on many types of motorcycles and thanks to its versatility. Well made, comfortable to wear, cheap to buy. A real buyer’s tip.

MOTORRAD verdict: Good

Conclusion

Classic look plus contemporary safety equipment do not have to be mutually exclusive. A sophisticated and extensive protection package under the Swabian leather skin prevents this “worst case” when riding a motorcycle. Leather and workmanship are at an extremely high level. Just like the price. But shopping is easy even with a small budget. The Vanucci costs almost half. It can score points with many riders and on many bikes. However, there is potential for expansion in the protection equipment.

How to properly care for your leather suits

If you don’t do anything, you don’t do anything wrong? This truism can have fatal consequences for leather. 


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

Over 300 different types of leather are no reason to despair. With the care tips you can keep track of things.

MOTORCYCLE care tips for leather suits
There are over 300 types of leather. But that shouldn’t make you despair. Because in grooming there are a few principles that apply to all varieties. It is important to know the “Laundry slip” – Look closely at the label sewn into your jacket or trousers.

Leather is considered to be particularly tear-resistant and elastic at the same time – this combination makes it almost ideal for motorcyclists in need of protection. But: These properties can decrease in daily use, because the quality of leather is determined by the balance of water and fat content. If the fat content increases (e.g. due to wearing), the water content decreases. Other harmful influences: heat, moisture, UV radiation and dirt affect the leather and cause it to age further. The result: the leather becomes brittle and cracked.

Leather cannot be repaired: If the fiber structure of dry leather tears – this can happen if you simply fold your jacket or trousers – it cannot be reversed. It is precisely the elasticity of the fiber structures among each other that makes the leather soft and supple.


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

Washing and waxing are the basic principles of leather care.

Most motorcycle leather jackets and pants can be easily washed in the washing machine (at a maximum of 40 ° C). To do this, remove the protectors beforehand and use a special leather or functional detergent. Fabric softeners are taboo. Because these lie around the fibers and reduce the effectiveness of other important maintenance work (impregnation agent, wax agent).

Correct drying is crucial after washing: The greatest dangers are intense heat (dryer, heater) and direct sunlight. This would rapidly accelerate the aging process of the leather. Best: slow drying at room temperature – best hung on a hanger.

At the end of the drying phase, important care products can be applied sparingly (impregnation agent, leather grease). These are necessary to return essential nutrients to the leather and to protect it against moisture, fading and embrittlement.

Depending on the surface, the leather should be treated with suitable care substances. A matt care product should be used for matt surfaces to avoid unwanted shine.


Nine classic driver's suits made of cowhide in the test, plus care tips for your leather suits

The Rev’it protector is scratching the limit of the permissible residual force. In contrast, the great cushioning Vanucci protector is exemplary.

The future will be exciting again. According to the standard for joint protectors (EN 1621-1 from 1998), which is valid throughout Europe, but is now clearly outdated, a residual force of 35 kilonewtons (kN) is permissible. Much more stringent are the requirements placed on back protectors according to the more recent standard.

Depending on the level, a maximum of nine or 18 kN residual force applies, which may be registered on average after a five-kilo weight has fallen from a height of one meter from the measuring head. A tightening of the limit values ​​for joint protectors would therefore be appropriate.

In fact, there will only be the introduction of a second level. The test of the protectors made from leather suits on the Sas-Tec drop test bench (www.sas-tec.de) shows that joint protectors can certainly dampen at the level of back protectors. Four out of nine protectors from this test field impress with residual force values, some of which are well below 20 kN.

Another problem is the use of protectors in the right sizes. Dainese and Spidi sometimes use type A protectors in men’s suits of size 54 or L. This type is actually intended for children and small women. From men’s size M, size type B protectors (indicated on the protector) are the better choice.

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