I’m not the right shape for most motorbike clothing, and I’m thinking about getting a set of made-to-measure leathers (probably a two piece).
I’ve done some digging on this forum (and others), and the usual suspects seem to be BKS, Carrera, Hideout and MJK. Crowtree and MW were both popular choices, but have closed in the last year.
Have I missed anyone?
BKS seem to be more expensive than the competition. Is the premium justified?
Do Carrera do made to measure? They rather inconveniently don’t have a website, though I do like their limited edition JPS race suit.
Currently I’m leaning towards a BKS jacket and trouser combo, as I like the styling. The pricetag on the other had… MJK are tempting, as I’m currently working close to them in the Netherlands. (So not a London biker then… ;))
I’ve got BKS and I’ve had them for 4 years now. I’ve come off twice (on the same day! lol!) at Silverstone and they stood up really well. They are considerably more expensive than the competition which is their only downfall but I wouldn’t have a problem in recommending them.
My husband is having to get leathers made because nobody caters for tall and slim, so we’ve been looking into which ones to get.
We’ve been to Harpers, they were really helpful and reasonably priced. BKS obviously are the rolls royce of ‘made to measure’. They justify charging so much (and rightly so) beacuse it is basically the safest and best you can get. Unfortunately, we just couldnt afford the type of suit he wanted from them… maybe next time!
But we were told about Scott Leathers afew weeks ago and I think he’s decided to go with them. I dont know if anybody has had a suit from them and can comment but they seemed the the best for what we could push our budget too.
Thanks.I dropped in on MJK today, and I’ve also swapped a couple of emails with both BKS and Hideout.
MJK’s suits look nice, and I really liked their Retro II jacket. They said they could make a two piece with that as the top, so I could end up with a Seventiestastic suit.
The leather felt pretty supple - not being familiar with bike leathers, I expected something a bit heavier. (I am a fan of Aero Leather’s jackets, which weigh a lot.) Similarly, I expected a bigger, chunkier zip than was fitted.
They also have a leather in a bright, day-glo pink. That’ll get you spotted…
The lining was a nylon mesh, again I’m guessing that’s standard. I don’t know if it’ll zip out.
The armour was made by an Italian company, BETAC, who I’ve never heard of before. They offer a foam back protector, but suggested that I get a separate Knox one instead.
Generally things seemed to be more solid than a lot of off-the-shelf suits.
I’m planning on taking a look at BKS and Hideout too over the next month or two, and then I’ll make up my mind.
There’s also 9 Lives in Farnborough 01252 523232. I’ve never had a pair of their made to measure leathers (used Crowtrees till they retired), but know someone who has, and they stood up well in the racing environment. I’ve had alterations and repairs done to leathers by 9 Lives, and they were good and reasonably priced.
I’ve just had a chat to Alec at Crowtree, and they’re still going. He’s scaled back production, but seems to be in a state of semi-retirement, rather than full retirement.
Right now it’s probably between BKS and Crowtree, with Hideout and MJK being options to consider.
I like the look of BKS’s Lancer style two piece, though it’s possibly a bit Village People, and the ability to zip in a complete thermal lining. (I might be in Switzerland over the winter.) But the price is pretty high.
In contrast, Crowtree are cheaper, sound like they’re tougher than old boats, and there’s the political “not owned by Frank Thomas” line.
Was in Infinity on Sunday and the BKS off the peg leathers felt very strong, not like Frank Thomas at all. The leather was very thick and lots of overlap, double stitched etc Felt better than a lot of cheaper suits.
That’s good news - I strongly recommend Crowtrees, crashed in them enough to know they survive pretty much everything except the Tuff Cuts! Is he still taking orders for new manufacture then? On the same old number?
Alec at Crowtree is on 01507 602099 (appointments only). Based in Louth; it’s a great ride up there and the roads in Lincolnshire are awesome (especially the Boston to Louth bit). Louth is 3 miles from the Cadwell Park circuit.