Even if you are very clear that the equipment on a motorcycle is basic to minimize the consequences of a fall or accident and do not go out on the road or practice off road without a helmet , Field Sheer Motorcycle Jacket , pants , gloves and motorcycle boots , you do not have to be a material expert. The most logical thing is that you trust the manufacturer's words about the qualities of the garment that you have decided to buy.
However, have you ever wondered what polyester brings to a motorcycle jacket, why Gore-Tex is also used to make motorcycle clothing or what is behind kevlar? We have prepared a brief guide for you to learn all (or at least the most important) of the most common materials in biker clothing.
It is a type of plastic resin that is obtained from petroleum . One of the best known responds to the name of PET or polyethylene (a synthesis of ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate).
If you take a look in your closet, you will surely find it in t-shirts, shirts, jackets, etc. since it is the most used fiber in the textile industry . In fact, its consumption is increasing at a rate of 5% per year.
Biker clothing is no exception and uses polyester in a large part of its garments in a pure way or -increasingly- mixed with other fibers to reinforce some properties.
For example, polyester is not a material that facilitates perspiration, but combining it with cotton does. Another example is its behavior against abrasion. Manufacturers choose to join polyester and nylon to make it more resistant.
Nylon is another of the most popular and used textile fibers . Surely you have heard more than once that his discovery revolutionized the women's hosiery market back in the 1930s.
It is a polymer that belongs to the group of polyamides (perhaps in product descriptions you have seen the initials PA countless times).
One of its most important benefits is its resistance to wear and its elasticity . Perhaps for this reason, many objects that surround us - apart from clothing - are made to a greater or lesser extent with nylon: fishing gear, parachutes, strings for instruments, tires and a long etcetera.
As a curiosity, in 1938 the first consumer product made of nylon was marketed. It was a toothbrush and they called it a 'miracle brush'.
It is a natural fabric that includes leather and tanned and finished skins of animals such as cows, goats and pigs, to name a few . It remains a classic, especially in motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves . It performs well against abrasion, but not so well against rain, and is generally heavier. In any case, and with minimal care, it is one of the materials that best stands the test of time .
The acquisition of leather garments is not one of the most economical investments and, perhaps for this reason, manufacturers try to lower the final price with leathers of a somewhat lower quality, although natural, or directly synthetic leathers. Among the first we can mention flower leather , chamois leather or split leather , for example.
Synthetic leathers imitate the aesthetics of natural leather, and among those available, we highlight clarino leather , a breathable, washable alternative, highly resistant to abrasion and lighter than natural leather.
Along with skin, sanity is one of the best-known materials in the manufacture of motorcycle clothing . However, and unlike this, it is not a natural fiber but an improved nylon fabric that is especially resistant to rubbing.
To be more correct, the truth is that sanity is not a fabric in itself, but the name of a registered trademark of Invista.
Alone or in combination with other materials, it makes garments resistant, breathable and waterproof . They are very suitable for intensive use of the motorcycle or on long routes .
A handy fact to keep an eye on is that sanity resistance is expressed in deniers . The higher the number, the larger it will be. It will also weigh a little more, the price will be higher, and you will notice that it is less flexible . In motorcycle garments, the most common is that they are made of 500D/600D . A lower number – 300D – will give you a clue that it is lighter and more flexible. If you have a sports motorcycle, and you are fond of circuits , it is best that you choose numbers higher than 600D since they have reinforcements.
Gore-Tex is a membrane that makes garments waterproof, breathable and windproof . Very present in technical garments for the practice of winter sports, it has carved an important niche in the world of two wheels due to its spectacular performance and extreme comfort. We associate Gore-Tex with cold, although it may surprise you that there are also Gore-Tex alternatives for mild or warm temperatures . One example is the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort used in boots like the TCX X-On Road.
Kevlar fiber is a polyamide that is used in a wide variety of garments (including bulletproof vests) and accessories, but if you are a biker it will sound more familiar to you because it is a common material in the manufacture of medium and high-end helmets . The main reason is its lightness, strength, impact tolerance and heat resistance . At equal weight, it is 5 times stronger than steel, making it one of the best options to protect your head. The main helmet brands such as HJC , LS2 , NZI , Givi , Shark , have a multitude of Kevlar models.
Polyester thread with a layer specially designed so that sweat expands and evaporates more quickly and efficiently . This material also cools the garment during the process, eliminating that unpleasant sticky feeling and providing the wearer with great comfort for safe riding.
It is a hollow fiber that protects from low temperatures, provides good thermal insulation without weighing it down . It keeps the body dry and a pleasant body temperature, so the garments that incorporate it are recommended for use at low temperatures .
Like nylon or polyester, lycra is often part of many garments in combination with other materials . Also known as elastane or spandex , it is a highly elastic and resistant synthetic fiber . It holds sweat well and fits perfectly to the body , which is why it is widely used in socks . Due to its ability to stretch, sometimes we tend to buy a size smaller than what corresponds to us, but we have to tell you that this is a mistake. It will probably fit you, but it will last less and it will be less comfortable.
You will see it present in many motorcycle clothing and protections and, if you have little ones, they will have asked you more than once to do some craft at school. EVA is the abbreviation for ethyl vinyl acetate , a much uglier and more complicated word to say. Other names are foamy, EVA rubber, foam or EVA foam . Its main property is that it is elastic, has very little weight and is foamy . In motorcycling equipment it is widely used as a shock absorber in the event of a fall or impact and to give the pilot a greater sensation of comfort and smoothness .