Types of Fabrics Used in Motorcycle Clothing

There was a time when motorcycle clothing was primarily made of fringed leather and expressive t-shirt designs. Today, the image of the average biker has changed along with the emphasis on motorcycle clothing from bad boy images to safer choices that protect the rider from various types of exposure.

Some examples of the fabrics used to make motorcycle clothing today include:

  • Kevlar
  • Abrasion Resistant Mesh
  • Waxed Cotton
  • Polyurethane
  • Ballistic Nylon
  • Aero-Tex
  • Cordura

These fabrics are made to provide abrasion resistance, breath ability, protection from the weather, and from the sharp parts or hot areas of the machine. Clothing that is made specifically for riding a motorcycle will provide a greater amount of protection than normal jeans or other clothing that is made for normal wear.

Breath ability might not seem like an important feature in the overall scheme of things, but it can make the difference in whether a biker becomes overheated while riding. In cold weather, the rider will lose a lot more body heat through perspiration than they will if they are wearing breathable clothing. Aero-Tex is a textile that is lightweight, waterproof, windproof, and breathable. These features make it ideal for motorcycle clothing.

Water resistance can be achieved through construction or through treatments to various types of fabrics. PVC may be added as a rubberized coating that repels water. Polyurethane can also be used to seal nylon fabric but this can result in a garment that doesn’t facilitate breathing if it has more than 20% polyurethane in the coating. Another treatment is seam sealing with materials that make it waterproof and more resistant to abrasion and wear.

For motorcycle clothing that offers superior abrasion resistance, those garments made with Cordura (from Dupont) have proven repeatedly to exceed the results of those made from other similar materials.

Kevlar is typically woven together with other types of fabrics to create garments that have all the desirable characteristics of motorcycle clothing. While leather is still considered the standard for motorcycle clothing by some bikers, many modern bikers find that new fabrics are more comfortable and offer a similar level of abrasion resistance.

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