A Hazardous Sport
Quality motorcycle gear combines comfort, style, fit, durability, weather protection, and armor. The bottom line with equipment is, you WILL eventually fall, and when you do, you will most likely become very close friends with the pavement. So you need the “maximum impact and abrasion resistance” as possible.
Armor is extra padding sewn into the jacket or pants to cushion likely spots of impact. Road rash is the not so fun part about riding a motorcycle. It is painful and bloody, but impacts can cause serious and sometimes fatal internal damage. So shoulders, elbows, buttocks, and knees are spots that you want to be well protected, as they are the most common of impact points. In any serious crash it isn’t hard to get a bruise on all of these body locations. Other common regions of impact are the chest, back, and collar bone. So as you can see armor placement is crucial.
Material used for armor is another major concern. They are usually composites of plastic and foam. Simple plastic plates would slash through the material and expose you to injury, so they put hard plastic plates inside a thick layer of firm foam. Some garments also have built in spine protectors. If not, however, and you feel that you are not properly protected, jacket liners with armor pads are available for purchase, which are called “body guard jackets”.
For the most part, jackets off the rack consist of small, medium, large, and extra large. But there is more to a well fitting jacket than that. Your protection depends on how well your equipment fits. If you luck out and find a jacket that you like and fits well off the rack, you’re in business. But if you don’t you can order custom made leathers. There is 5 companies worldwide that can do your custom fit; Langlitz, Bates, Z Custom Leather, Vanson, and Aerostitch. But don’t expect to order up your jacket and have it in a week. Each company can only produce about 1600 custom jackets per year, so there is a waiting list as long as the dictionary. So make sure you place your order well before you need to ride, or you could be hooped.