Leather is Better

Besides the space suit, motorcycle safety gear might be the most advanced apparel invented. It keeps you warm when it’s cold, cool when it’s hot, dry in all weather and alive in a crash. It’s like a super suit for those who prefer to live life on two wheels.

As impressive as it is, gear can be expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper than the tens of thousands of dollars you will rack up in medical bills when you crash without it. Protection from broken bones, bruised organs and skin infections from road rash is truly priceless. Cue leather riding gear.


Feeling the wind on your skin does not outweigh the benefits of good leather riding gear. Leather gear is built to be comfortable, while still providing as much protection as possible. Quality pieces will keep your joints safe and skin intact.

Look at the purchase of leather gear as an investment; you get what you pay for. Lower quality leathers may provide some protection in a crash, but high quality leathers are most likely to save your hide.


  • When choosing leathers, think about quality, stitching, thickness and waterproof properties. All of these factors will play a big role in your comfort, your ability to operate the motorcycle and your safety.
  • Be sure to buy leather pieces true to size. Don’t size up because you’re worried about having enough space to layer; space should be built into the items already.
  • Look for leathers with CE-certified armor that covers as much of your body as possible. At the least, buy gear with armor in the shoulders, elbows and knees to protect these important joints. If your leathers don’t include sufficient back, hip and coccyx protectors, you can always wear separate padded layers.
  • South Dakota weather is as unpredictable as the roads you ride on. Look for high-end leather clothing with vents that zip open to keep you cool and close to keep water out, making it convenient to wear in virtually all weather conditions. Gear with good ventilation will actually keep you cooler in hot temperatures than going without, and when it’s raining from all directions, you’ll be thankful for it.


While riders can likely get away with the same helmet, boots and gloves for most riding conditions, protection for everything in between is more situation-based. It’s important to choose the right leather pieces that suit your riding style.

Leather Jacket

A leather jacket and leather pants are probably the most common and versatile option when it comes to leather body gear. If your budget prevents you from buying a high-quality jacket and pants at the same time, buy the top half of a two-piece suit. This way, you can upgrade to full protection when your budget allows. Though expensive, you can wear the pieces together or separately and layered in different ways, making them the perfect option in a variety of situations.

One-piece suits are arguably the safest thing you could zip yourself into and should be so comfortable it feels like you’re wearing pajamas. But they’re also one of the most expensive pieces of gear you can buy and not the most convenient thing to wear when not on your bike. If you don’t plan on spending a lot of days on the track or riding difficult routes often, you might be better off spending your budget on more applicable items.

Full Suit Leathers

Leather Gloves

Leather gloves and boots are the perfect accessories to complete your riding super suit. Your hands are both extremely fragile and necessary. A proper pair of leather motorcycle gloves will protect your hands from both impact and abrasion. Find gloves that fit properly with a retention strap that fastens tightly and securely. Gloves with armor for the top of your hand, knuckles and palm will offer the best protection.

Your riding boots have to support hundreds of pounds when coming to stops and be able to withstand the hazards of the road. This is no small task. You need boots with adequate ankle support and traction to grip the road and keep feet secure. Heavy-duty boots made from thick leather with a steel toe and reinforced heel will do the trick.


Motorcycle Safety: Boots

Before purchasing your gear, do your research on manufacturers and materials. Different materials have different benefits to be aware of. Think about the kind of riding you’ll be doing, where you’ll be doing it and what the weather will be like. Find what fits your riding style best.


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