The first thing that touches the ground in a crash is your motorcycle clothing. It is your protective layer and must be able to withstand a lot in the worst case. High quality, tear and abrasion resistance are therefore the most important criteria when buying protective motorcycle clothing.
For many, leather still offers the best protection. However, more and more manufacturers are now using technical fibers in the production of textile motorcycle clothing. These make the fabrics as strong as leather and are sometimes even more resistant. At the same time, good style and a comfortable feel do not fall by the wayside.
But be careful, just because something looks safe, does not mean that it is safe. Cheap clothing in particular is portrayed better in advertising than it actually is. This makes it all the more important to know the differences between abrasion-resistant materials so that you can decide for yourself what level of protection you want.
The three most popular materials are Cordura, Kevlar and Dyneema. But Armalith is also frequently used.
Combines the advantages of synthetic and natural fibers – Cordura:
The starting material for the production of Cordurais a simple nylon fabric. Through a special treatment, the advantages of synthetic and natural fibers are combined and reinforced in the material. The result is a fabric that is much more robust, tear and abrasion resistant than the original material. In addition, Cordurais water-repellent and also dries quickly.
Cordura is one of the most versatile fabrics and is relatively lightweight compared to other synthetic fibers such as Kevlar. Texturing, or roughening the smooth surface of the nylon, also gives it a more comfortable feel.
But despite its many protective properties, Corduraalone is not enough to provide the necessary protection at high speeds. That’s why two other materials come into play here: Kevlarand Dyneema.
From the battlefield to the road – Kevlar:
Originally, Kevlarwas used primarily in military environments to protect soldiers from attacks with firearms or a knife. But it soon became clear that the synthetic para-aramid fiber could also protect people from injury in other areas.
Kevlaris an incredibly strong material because of its chemical structure. The fibers are spun so tightly that it is almost impossible to separate them, creating a strong protective barrier against cuts or punctures. Other protective features include high abrasion resistance, tear resistance and temperature resistance.
In motorcycle protective clothing, a layer of Kevlaris sewn under the outermost layer. Unfortunately, often and especially with cheaper models, only within protection zone 1. So with pants, for example, only at the knees and hips. In case of a fall, only these areas are protected. In higher quality garments, the entire garment is usually reinforced with Kevlar. This also includes the seams. These models cost a little more, but they are also of higher quality and offer considerably more protection.
One disadvantage of Kevlaris that it is not very breathable. This means that on hot summer days, you start to sweat pretty quickly. On cold days, however, the extra layer insulates and protects against wind.
Brings style and protection together – Dyneema:
Dyneemais 15x stronger than steel due to its special structure, making it the strongest fiber material in the world. It is used throughout the industrial landscape for a wide variety of things and thus also found its way into motorcycle clothing.
In terms of strength and durability, it far surpasses Kevlar. Despite its strength, however, it is incredibly lightweight and also breathable. This makes protective motorcycle clothing made of Dyneemavery comfortable to wear, especially in summer, compared to Kevlar.
Another advantage is that Dyneemacan be woven into other fabrics. This allows manufacturers to design lightweight and stylish motorcycle clothing that still provides sufficient protection. In addition, by weaving Dyneemafibers into the fabric, there is no need for a second layer, as is the case with Kevlar-reinforced motorcycle clothing.
Space technology for the road – Armalith
In the past, it was only used in space technology. Today, Armalithcan also be found in protective motorcycle clothing. It is manufactured by joining cotton fibers and UHMWPE fibers.
This exclusive technology produces comfortable fabrics with a core structure that gives them the mechanical properties of leather. Thus, Armalithis resistant to abrasion, snagging or tearing and provides exceptional comfort in any season.
Table of Materials Comparison: Pros and Cons
Among the technical fibers Dyneema is definitely our favorite. Not only that this material protects the body exceptionally well, but also because it can be processed great and thus the wearing comfort and style does not fall by the wayside. So the investment is definitely worth it!
But the other materials also have their advantages. Which one is best for you depends on you, your riding style and the weather conditions in which you move. It is best to try on the different variants once. That way, you’ll quickly notice what’s comfortable to wear and meets your needs.
In addition to a cut-, tear- and abrasion-resistant basic material of your motorcycle clothing, other points are also important for holistic protection. For example, the seams should also be tear-resistant. Because in the event of a fall, it can have fatal consequences if the protective clothing literally falls apart into its individual parts. Together with a helmet, gloves, kidney belt and suitable shoes, the motorcycle clothing then forms an all-round protection and you can safely start the next tour.