Leather Trousers

Not the mid life crisis type, I’m only 35. The protective motorbike type.

I’ve only ridden in Kevlar jeans or textiles before but I’m kind of thinking it’s about time I should go for proper leathers (maybe it is a mid life crisis after all). I tend to find I’m too hot most of the time - not sure I even put the thermal liner in my jacket last winter - so I was considering some with mesh panels to stop me melting.

I’m unlikely to use them for my current commute of 6 miles stop-start traffic but they’ll be used when travelling further afield and may get used for commuting when I move out of town later in the year (Leatherhead/Ashtead area).

So, a few questions:

  • How hot are leathers in use? I imagine they get pretty unpleasant in slow moving traffic on a sunny day

  • Are the mesh panelled ones significantly cooler and will I regret it when it gets a bot cooler?

  • Any tips for budget leather trousers? I was thinking of something like these, mesh or not mesh yet to be decided



cheers guys

So much more choice for men :ermm:

In my experience, and I am usually cold in general, leather gets hotter than kevlar jeans and can become very uncomfortable if you are in slow moving/stationary traffic in temps above 20…since thats doesn’t happen too often in the UK then its not too much of an issue.

Once you’re going at any speed above 30mph its ok.

Anything perforated will help airflow and cool you down, my summer gloves are well perforated and I’ve yet to encounter sweaty palms - my leathers aren’t perforated, however I have just bought a new leather jacket with shoulder vents, I need to give it a test.

Those pants you’ve linked look fine to me, just remember to get them tight! See if they have any extra padding/guards in the hips and coxic area and if not, if you can add some. As far as I’m aware, a lot of manufacturers don’t use the best armor in their gear to keep the costs down, so its always a good idea to swap out anything you don’t think looks very good/protective.

Just look for protection and ratings, the most expensive stuff isnt always the best - my city leathers were pricey (Alpinestars Vika set) but they are more for posing, admittedly, I certainly wouldn’t wear them long distance or to a track! They still have good armor and protection, just not so confident in the leather thats thinner than the other ones I’ve got.

My boots (Daytona Ladystars) are about mid-range, I’ve seen more expensive ones, but they are waterproof (add height) and VERY protective, as proven when some w*nk stain drove over my foot!

So don’t always use price as a gauge, look for armor/padding, thickness of leather and reviews - some leathers are poorly put together so risk tearing apart on any impact.

If your not worried about getting Brand New, Essex Biker Centre do some great deals on 2nd Hand leathers (Also stock new) you can get some great Deals on RST stuff which is fantastic. I’ve had loads of top of the range stuff in the past including a Dainese 1 piece that cost over £1,000 and my £400 RST 1 piece is easily as good as that, I also have RST Textiles and they are fantastic, fully breathable and waterproof (to an extent) The RST Gloves are a little bit low end of the market but still OK.

If it’s just Commuter stuff and not for “Best” then i would look on ebay for some good used stuff that is in your price range but better quality than what you would get for your price

Also, i wouldn’t worry about heat as your safety is far more paramount, Also once on the move you don’t feel it, you only get “Uncomfortable” when at lights for a couple of Mins and when you get home and need to get them off!!

Make sure they’re tight and don’t worry about the heat - it’s good job I don’t want any more kids :smiley:

Harpers in leigh on sea. Made to fit Wolf leathers. Seriously good value for the product you end up with. He’ll even retro fit zips so you can join them to an existing jacket.

Well, I just brought leathers this year! Two piece…only used leather jacket and normal jeans, before.
Yes you get very hot…I’m sweaty yep I have to turn the air conditioning on to get them off.
I have the mesh panels in legs, it does help a little to keeping cool. Like the others have said above 30 and it’s fine.

But they took a week or so to bed in, I could not move as they were quite stiff.

But they are the best thing I brought…

Don’t think any of this makes sense as it been a long day already.

Hmmm, some of their stuff is reasonable, but make sure you do your research in those quite moments sat in front of the work’s PC as you can often find the same brand and style being sold new at the same price or even cheaper, especially the older stuff.

It may be counter intuitive when you’re worried about keeping cool, but make sure you wear longjohns. They stop all that struggling out of hot, damp, sticky leathers at the end of a ride, they wick away your man sweat and they’re good for a laugh.

When the newness has worn off you’ll find them much more comfortable than what you wear now. +1 with Janey for undergarments - especially if it’s really hot, she’s right . Cotton ones from M&S work wonders.

+1 for the base layer.

My leather trousers are the most comfortable thing I own. You won’t go back :smiley:

I have the Dianese aliens http://biker-land.de/Leatherpants/Dainese-Alien-leather-trousers-black.html

To answer your questions:

  • I’ve never been uncomfortable riding in them in UK weather, though I wouldn’t want to be walking around for any prolonged period off-bike in the summer. I do believe I grumbled a bit last week at an unusually humid Borough Market.
  • the aliens do have fabric in places but I think that’s for fit more than ventilation. They are warmer than my layered textiles for around an hour in UK winter, though once they become cold they will stay cold.
  • budget… use your common sense. Check that the stitching, thickness, and armour will put up with at least one off.

Honest order of why I bought leathers first foremost:

  1. Vanity
  2. I wanted new gear and didn’t want to own a fourth set of textiles
  3. I wanted to have the potential to do a track day (mine zip together fully)
  4. Now I have a litre bike I could see myself having bigger accidents at higher speeds

When do I decide what to wear?
Leathers for ‘blasts’ in the countryside (offs)
Leathers for about town if the weather is temperate (when a suit jacket + work shirt would be not too hot or too cold)
Textiles for multi-day touring (practical)
Textiles for either very hot or very cold weather (easier to layer)
Textiles for offroad (grips the tank better, dries out faster, can be cleaned easily)

A lot of it will depend on your build as well…

As a slightly larger person, I find myself sweating like mad in full leathers in the full summer heat. Last year when I was taking my girlfriend to work in London (from Epsom - so similar commute) in my leathers before going out on a rideout, I would sweat like mad… and this was a saturday with not a lot of traffic. I would never wear leathers for my normal commute into London. +1 though for baselayers.

The roads you have to use are quite busy so I would prefer textiles with mesh or kevlar jeans. Just don’t get the kevlar jeans that have the lining all the way down cause they are very hot…

On a side note, I do get hot quite easily… :slight_smile:

I’m a reasonably small build (5’11", 11stone) but I’m very much a shorts in winter type of person.

Might head to J&S in New Malden at the weekend to try some on and see how I feel - suspect I’ll want some kind of ventilation though.