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Offline Wal

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #20 on: Aug 05, 2019, 04:01 PM »
*Originally Posted by Dilbert [+]
I hit a car almost head on at ~65mph, problem was he was doing the same coming the other way, I bounced off the car into the cab of a truck I'd been overtaking and then slid up the road with my bike on top of me.

I was wearing Bering CE marked textile jacket and trousers, full calf height boots, strong gloves (Kevlar knuckles) and a good Shoei helmet.

I suffered an open compound fracture to the Tibia and Fibula, with a secondary necrotising wound, long story short it's taken three years, seven operations, more opiates than Iggy Pop and a f***ton of antibiotics, but I still have my right leg, I can walk faster than most, without a limp and I lived to walk my daughter up the aisle and see my granddaughter (now 2 yr old).

I was walking round the house, on crutches (after coming out of hospital the first time) in my pants (like you do) and my wife could not believe that after a crash like that I had no other injuries, cuts, bruises, gravel rash, or any other marks of any kind anywhere on my body.

So, yes Wal, you can still get broken bones wearing good gear, but not to put too fine a point on it, bones heal, removing swathes of skin and grinding bones away is more tricky, that is if you don't die of shock first.

Everyone makes their own decisions in life, but you need to own those decisions and take responsibility for them, everything else is just excuses  :028:


all of this has been done to death many times....however, ill say again, i'm not trying to polarize the argument into armour or not, just trying to view armour across the board in all scenario's...and my view of why I wear what I do, I very rarely go out without textile jacket, Kevlar jeans, gloves helmet and boots, that's what I call a sensible minimum.....but after that there are many further levels people may want to go to...
my view is over  50 years of riding
riding in those years ive seen many, many, bike accidents, some of them horrific that leave you trembling at the roadside just having seen them, (inc 2 fatalities, present at both of them) so I don't take my choices lightly, I view them on overall balance and try to be realistic, yes, bones heal, but not usually neck, back, chest etc, so despite 1 semi serious case of road rash in an accident myself, (before the days of textiles and armour) I still view impacts much more seriously than sliding types of accident....and , as I said, i'm not promoting no protection, but I choose in my final analysis a sensible minimum rather than full on stormtrooper level......as your wife pointed out with your injuries, chance plays a huge part, and in excess of 30mph.....who knows, as speeds increase so does chance.

again i'll state my original point, many riders I talk too assume because they have knee/shoulder etc armour that in an accident they will be fine, no doubt in a low speed lowside it will help, but otherwise i'm not sure....they seem to assume every crash will be a lowside or involve them sliding freely without hitting anything....I worry the other way, what if I hit something, in general low speed gravel rash isn't life threatening even if unpleasant, at higher speeds its somewhat in the lap of the gods

in the case of your accident, (pretty horrific) anything could have happened, luck played its hand for you, at combined impact speed you sate there is just no calculating what will happen except it will be fairly serious....you could have been broken into bits....and i'd say I worry more about those type of accidents than lowsides…..(rightly or wrongly)


I had a chance for a reality check last year,  caught in a snowstorm in Germany I dropped my Tracer at about 25mph, I slid about 20 yds belly down, I had decent textiles suit, good boots/gloves but no armour in the suit,....no gravel rash, winded, aching chest,  and a big swollen knee which was impact as I went down with the weight of the bike  on the side of my knee where there would be no armour anyway, at 67 years old, i'm happy with that, I felt fairly happy with my risk assessments..it was my 1st serious off in 35 years (not counting off road, where ive had my share of gravel rash :015:). it was a big reality check, but, given the huge scope of possible outcomes in any accident, i'll stick with my choices

on the funny side, no matter how sober you see yourself about risk/riding, there is a huge sense of disbelief when you fall off, the agonising over decisions and uncertainty is unpleasant, but helpful in the end, as soon as I could I went out riding in the snow to reassure myself it was a one off, (although that's all it takes  :008:) but you can try to insure you keep it to a one off, that's the best odds you can get or wrap yourself in a steel suit or not ride......
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2019, 04:25 PM by Wal »

Online TowerMan

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #21 on: Aug 05, 2019, 04:33 PM »
Have a look at the following article. Makes for interesting reading.  :028:
Can be found HERE

Martin Fitzpatrick's Guide to Motorcycle Leathers
Original artical posted to Ixion by :       mfitzpatrick@scot.bbc.co.uk        Martin Fitzpatrick at BBC Scotland
Artical reposted to Ixion by:       etlgyas@etlxd20.ericsson.se        Geoff Adams

How do you tell good leathers from bad ? This is a question that has been bothering me a lot of late, and I've been taking a look into the whole thing. I've taken a bit of time and trouble to dig up the information, and I thought someone out there might benefit from it; especially since one thing has become clear to me - you do not always get what you pay for.

The waters are very muddied, claims and counter claims abound, and it's all pretty difficult to make sense of. I've spent time reading magazine articles, reading sales brochures, talking to experts and talking to assholes. The result is an IMPRESSION of what to look for in good leathers - feel free to agree or disagree, but do me one favour - don't confuse the issue too much with your postings. I'll be glad to get mail about anything you want to discuss, but please only post stuff that you think will contribute to the thread. Thanks.

Also, I see a lot of "I know better than you / No you don't / Yes I do" crap out there. In posting this stuff I'm not trying to prove that I'm the god of leathers or some sh#t. I admit openly that I know diddly-squat about the subject - I'm only posting this because if some poor sucker out there knows less about it than me (and I fell into that category a few weeks ago), then they might appreciate this information (I know I would have). Don't flame me for being a smartass - I'll just get angry and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Also, please don't turn this into a discussion about whether leathers are a good thing/necessity/waste of time - I have plenty of views on that subject myself, but this is neither the time nor the place.

Okay, so I walk into a shop and they've got rows and rows of leathers. Where do I start ? Well, there are a lot that you can just walk right by, but you probably knew that already. Anything that looks more like a bondage jacket than a motorcycle jacket probably is what it looks like. Little straps on the shoulders, tassels (pleeeease !), studs (you-gotta-be-fuckin-kidding), distressed leather (you would be too), zip-off sleeves (no, really I have seen it, honest), ultra-soft leather, baggy jackets - even if you like these things, it should be obvious that these were made not to save your skin but to make a fashion statement. Fashion statements loose some of their impact when delivered from a hospital bed. If you really are worried about fashion and "pulling the chics" and so on, think on this - would you French-kiss someone with a skin-graft?

Right, we've got past the Ugly, only the Good and the Bad left. How do we tell them apart ? Have you ever seen a suit of racing leathers ? Well, here's the bad news - they're boring (apart from the colour schemes). None of the Mad Max shoulder pads or any of that sh#t - just plain old leather, and lots of it. They have almost no straps anywhere, no pockets, very few fastenings. They also have as few seams as possible, by being constructed of only a few, large, pieces of leather. This reduces the number of seams - seams being the weak points of a suit. Racing leathers are also skin tight.

No, I'm not suggesting that we all run out and buy one piece racing suits. My point is that if the leathers you're looking at look not at all like race leathers, then this probably tells you something about their quality. Not definitely, but probably. Anything extra is probably making things worse - eg. straps, zippers, studs, etc - they weaken the leather and in a crash will either dig into your flesh, or rip off, leaving your flesh rubbing along the road. Use your common sense - if it looks silly, it probably is. Don't buy leathers with "I'm a dork" spelled out in metal studs on the back just cos the salesman says they're great.

Okay, so I've settled on something that looks the part. Is it as good as it looks ? Close inspection time. The easiest thing to check is just the shape of the jacket. If someone tried to physically pull it off you, would it come off easily ? If so, it will definitely come off in a crash. The arms should get narrower towards the wrist, to stop them sliding up your arms. The body should be shaped to stop it riding up your torso.

Next, the zips. These should NOT be metal - they should be nylon, but good chunky ones all the same. How do you tell what they're made of? Simple, the metal ones look like metal ! If they don't look like metal, they probably aren't, because most makers leave the metal bare because paint would just chip off. Any coloured zips will probably be nylon (even if the colour is black). Another good clue is that cuff (ie. wrist) zips should be on the inside of the arm, not the outside. If they haven't got that right, they've probably made some other mistakes as well.

Next, the stitching. Just take a good look at it. You should expect to see double stitching (ie. two rows of stitching side by side) on all the major seams - front, shoulders, etc. Is the stitching regular (ie. the gaps between the stitches are the same size) ? Are there any dropped stitches (ie. the thread just goes straight for a bit where'd you'd expect a stitch to be) ? Learn to recognise an inch - for me this is the distance from the tip of my index finger to the first knuckle. Find a similar handy (no pun intended) measure. Count the number of stitches in an inch - there should be more than 7 and less than 12 (usually 7-8 or 10). Too few and the stitching is too weak - too many and the leather will be weakened by the stitching.

Now the actual construction of the leather. Easiest to check are the areas where there should be double thickness leather. These are your "impact points" - the knees, hips/arse, elbows and shoulders (UK arse = US ass). How do you tell if they're double thickness ? In some cases, it looks really obvious, because an extra piece of leather is stitched onto the outside - however, you still have to check that the it has been layed on top of the original leather, and not just sew in (which would be very bad news). Get one hand inside and one outside. If it's double-layered, you should be able to separate the layers a little by working at it with both hands. Also of great importance is a quick look at how the garment has been designed. Has it been put together with the minimum number of "panels" (the separate pieces of leather which make up the garment) - remember : the more panels, the more seams; the more seams, the weaker the leathers. How do you tighten/loosen them ? Are there buckles or stretch panels ? Buckles should be far enough away from the impact points to avoid them digging into you when you meet the tarmac. Stretch panels are generally made of a thinner leather, so they also should not be too near to the impact points. The most important thing is actually the most difficult to work out - the thickness of the leather. For this you'll just have to check the labels, or ask the staff. The leather should be at LEAST 1mm thick - anything thinner is complete crap : most decent suits will have at least 1.3mm and maybe up to 1.5mm if your lucky.

Right, now we come to the area that had me REALLY digging. Padding/Body armour. Everybody talks about it. If you listen to the advertising, Joe Bloggs' leathers are better than everyone else's because they've got Protectoshite body armour. The beauty of it all is that is that almost all of it is actually complete crap!

Looking about, I could see all these claims and counter-claims, and I knew they couldn't ALL be true, so I did some research. Eventually I got back to what seems to me to the proverbial horse's mouth. The guy's name is Dr Rod Woods, and he works in Cambridge, England, UK. He has a materials testing lab where he's working on a new EC Personal Protective Equipment Directive (EC = European Community). He seems to know what he's talking about, and he doesn't mind talking about it - even to the likes of me. I won't tell you how to contact him because the guy has a job to do and he won't be too pleased with me if I set the whole internet to phoning him all the time. If you're any good at research and you WANT to, you'll be able to find him as well.

What this guy told me was that there's only one sort of padding that's worth having, and almost nobody uses it ! It's made of a compound call Polynorbonene (it should be 8mm thick), and it sells (in Europe) under two trade names, Norsorex and Noene. It's a SOFT padding. The Doc says HARD padding in a complete no-no. In the first place it doesn't absorb impact - it passes it straight on to your body. In the second place, the rigid shape of the pad is likely to rip straight out of the leathers, leaving your skin to get acquainted with the ground. "But", I said to the good doctor "Surely hard pads help if the hit something sharp." "Well, it might," says he, "but statistically speaking, that doesn't happen !" This is when we got into an involved discussion about statistics.

Now, the following piece is based on the Good Doctor's knowledge of the statistics. Me, personally, I don't want to argue with the guy. It seems to me that he's been in contact with most of the major hospitals in the UK. I can't compete with that personally.

The Good Doctor tells me that, statistically speaking, you want to protect yourself from the feet up. He tells me about this idea of a rating of the frequency with which an injury occurs (over, say the UK in a year) and the dehabilitation caused by the injury. Turn the statistics into betting odds, and we're talking about your chances of not being able to walk after a crash. Now, the Good Doctor says that this rating DECREASES as you go up the body, ie.fewer people are dehabilitated from chest injuries or back injuries than from foot injuries. Yes, I found it hard to believe too, but he's got the st atistics ! That means, protect your feet first, then your legs, then your body. He admits that there's a peak at the head, ie. the head causes more dehabilitation than the body, but from there down, this rule holds.

I openly admit that this all came as news to me. I told him all sorts of scenarios - chest injuries from upper body impact : ruptured kidneys from back impact : broken back from back impact - he told me that statistically speaking, they just don't happen. Back injuries seldom happen to bikers - and those that do would not be prevented by back protectors. "How so ?", I ask him. Well, statistically speaking, all back injuries in bikers (and they're few and far between) involve bending or twisting of the back - like when you r shoulder or chin hits the ground hard, with resultant detrimental effects on your back. Back protector won't help there, pal. He tells me that broken ankles are the most common injury you can imagine. Compare them to broken backs and you're talking mountains and molehills. Surprising stuff. Time to revise my ideas on protection.

Okay, so what can we draw from all this. Polynorbonene is the only padding to have. I don't know of anyone in the US supplying the stuff, and only three in the UK. Please e-mail me for details, if you want. On the other hand, I'm sure you're going to turn round and tell me that the stuff has been in the US for years, and how come we haven't heard of it?

The next point is very interesting - you need more protection to your feet and legs than to any other part of the body (apart from the head). How many salespeople have you heard saying that ? "None" is my answer. So don't believe the salespeople.

So to sum up, my advice to anyone thinking about leathers would be as follows :-

   1. Before you do anything else, go out and buy yourself a decent pair of boots, with built-in ankle protection. By that, I don't mean armour in the boot, what's more important is that the boot grips the ankle so that any twisting or bending action is prevented. Take a look at a good quality pair of mountaineering boots for an example of this. They're built specifically to protect against this, since it's easy to break an ankle on uneven ground and it's then a big problem getting home.
   2. Then buy yourself a good pair of leather jeans, double-layered in the right places, and padded (in the same places) with Polynorbonene (if you can find it).
   3. Lastly, buy a jacket with the same double-layering and padding rules.

Right, as soon as I post this, I'm sure half the net is going to flame me, but what the hell. I wrote it in the hope that it would be of some help to someone, and I stand by that.

Good luck with your leathers!!
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2019, 04:34 PM by TowerMan »
Richard    :001: 
         

Offline Dilbert

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #22 on: Aug 06, 2019, 12:58 PM »
Nice one Towerman, after many years of trying to decide what to wear for the best I've gone for :
A) Everyday commuting and weekend runs:
A good (and hopefully properly waterproof) Frank Thomas laminated jacket (thermal liner removed and binned, just wear a jumper ffs), back protector, elbow protection, shoulder protection, covering long down the back with 50% flouro and reflective strips.
Good full calf length boots as described in your article (TCX), specially wide Velcro adjustment at the top to go over lumpy leg.
Frank Thomas plain leather jeans also as described in your article, not skin tight racing leathers, but not baggy either and with a high(ish) waistband.
Good pair of all year leather gloves with knuckle and finger protection (if it rains, or gets cold I put the heated grips on).
My decision was swayed heavily here by advice from Ted99UK and Police/ Fire Brigade.
(if I'd had leather jeans on for my big crash I would have stood a better chance of my tibia break not poking out through the skin).

B) Occasional wear
A pair of Kevlar and padded jeans and short paddock style boots to wear on those half dozen occasions that it's sunny for more than an hour, or so and so I can do a half day in the office on dress down Friday without having to change out of my bike gear.

It's horses for courses, most accidents happen in traffic, commuting, when everyone's in a hurry to get somewhere or resent those "stupid, nasty bikers getting one over on them", or just texting the missus to find out what's for tea.

Wal
I wasn't singling you out, just using one of your comments as an example, when I was in the major trauma ward there were people coming in by air ambulance all the time, pretty much 50/50 bike, or horse riders (I've known three who've broken their backs horse riding, horse rears up, rider falls off flat on their back, vertebrae compression and shattering injuries, as the story above, doesn't happen the same to bikers, but you often end up sliding on your back), with a few sports injuries.

Yes, I'm unapologetically evangelical about riding gear, every year we get these posts and every year some choose to ignore what's said and do their own thing, when the mask slips I struggle with these conversations, it's been emotional.
Just passin' through

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #23 on: Aug 06, 2019, 02:30 PM »
Wow, interesting reading.

When I was out for a ride earlier in the year I stopped off at a large motorcycle clothing retailer (they carried a large range, not that they catered exclusively for fat bastards), and on the sale rack they had a pale cream coloured textile jacket in my size. I bought it on the basis that it should be a little cooler than my black jacket, which it has proved to be on sunny days.

Oh, and obviously I look cool AF when  wearing it  :2:

Online whiskydave

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #24 on: Aug 06, 2019, 02:55 PM »
*Originally Posted by Zipperhead [+]


Oh, and obviously I look cool AF when  wearing it  :2:
Just looking at your profile picture I wouldn't have thought there was any reason to doubt it.  :008: :008: :008:

Offline Clunkyboy

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #25 on: Aug 06, 2019, 03:45 PM »
99% of the time its textiles or leathers, good boots, good gloves, back protector. Hot day Kevlar jeans. but I reserve the option to wear shorts and trainers to pop to the shops.
See I wouldn't go out on my pedal cycle wearing all the gear, on average i cycle at around 15MPH and can hit 40MPh round here on the down hills. I wera some sort of helmet Gyro summat, pair of thin gloves  and lycra. No one thinks thats anything unusual. I actually do but to several posters its and acceptable risk.
So when I decide on a hot day to pop to the shops, I like the choices i have. Mind you,, these days to go to the shops you need a wallet, phone, glasses , nothing ever simple and end up bunging a jacket and jeabns on nearly always.

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Offline Wal

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #26 on: Aug 07, 2019, 01:40 PM »
Wal
I wasn't singling you out, just using one of your comments as an example, when I was in the major trauma ward there were people coming in by air ambulance all the time, pretty much 50/50 bike, or horse riders (I've known three who've broken their backs horse riding, horse rears up, rider falls off flat on their back, vertebrae compression and shattering injuries, as the story above, doesn't happen the same to bikers, but you often end up sliding on your back), with a few sports injuries.

Yes, I'm unapologetically evangelical about riding gear, every year we get these posts and every year some choose to ignore what's said and do their own thing, when the mask slips I struggle with these conversations, it's been emotional.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


you are taking my honesty/open thinking as a chink in an argument i'm not even promoting. :187:..dissapointing…or taking a liberty, or a Pavlovian response to certain trigger words... i'll give you the benefit of the doubt....…....when all ive said in a nutshell is that i'm more worried about serious injury than minor injury, your evangelical attitude reduces everything else to excuses (although it is excuses for some people in some cases).....sorry, but i'm brighter/wiser than that......ive been riding 50 years, (got a high level of self preservation)........

 
, if you read my posts you'd see that my level of protection is not far from yours, I leave out the knee/elbow protection because i don't like the weight and ive not had a textile suit where the armour stays where it should be anyway, and i dont like the clumpiness/weight of it all, ....thats my choice, ive thought about the consequences/effectiveness and take a calculated risk.... not being ignorant, why doesnt that sink in.... we all know that doing 90mph can be risky....but we do it..based on experience and calculated risk, we could also go to the lowest common denominator and wear a full titanium suit....but would we?

and my original point was only that armour will be questionable in a heavy impact, which is not unreasonable..


you don't have to be in a trauma ward to see these things, ive seen broken necks, serious chest injuries (both fatal) ruptured spleens, broken pelvis, numerous broken limbs/shoulders, head injuries, fingers chopped/ground off....all just at the side of the road over 50 years of riding, its emotional seeing a friend killed too, i also drove ambulance for the Red Cross for a while which wasnt always pleasant...

.....ii'll leave it at that..carry on being evangelical if you must....I certainly won't be whinging to anyone if the worst happens :028:

« Last Edit: Aug 07, 2019, 01:44 PM by Wal »

Offline Dilbert

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #27 on: Aug 08, 2019, 01:23 PM »
Wal
You're pushing against an open door, all I was saying was that we make our own choices and if you don't own up to that as your motivation, then you're (not specifically you) making excuses, I heard it all in the 70's like you when crash helmets and car seatbelts were introduced, people who didn't wear them died, simple as that  :028:

I've "only" been riding 45 years (and two weeks) and it's "only" 40 years since my brother fell off his moped, slid under a van and broke both legs, crushed his spleen and spent 3 months in hospital, or my cousin crashed his sports car, fractured his skull and perforated his lungs along with his passenger (both died), because seatbelts weren't fitted.

You pays your money and makes your choice, those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it  :028:

Stay safe and enjoy  :016:

Zipperhead
If you're too hot, you ain't going fast enough  :008:
I just unzip the top few inches of my jacket and let my sleeves loosen up a bit, works better than any jacket zip vents  :001:
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Offline Gustavo

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #28 on: Aug 08, 2019, 04:34 PM »
*Originally Posted by Dilbert [+]
If you're too hot, you ain't going fast enough  :008:
I just unzip the top few inches of my jacket and let my sleeves loosen up a bit, works better than any jacket zip vents  :001:


That's funny, in a naive, I haven't ridden in the desert, kind of funny...   :whistle:

Over here, it's like riding into a convection oven - if you ride faster, you just get roasted faster...    :33:

Seriously, though, I agree that opening the collar and loosening the sleeves makes for good airflow, but that also exposes more skin to the sun that runs that convection oven.  My wrists had painful sun burns after that last day of riding into Las Vegas after last year's IVM.  I wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis.  You don't need a lot of vents, just some strategically places to allow that same airflow w/o exposing your skin.  I would say that not all jacket manufacturers really understand that, no matter how highly they think of themselves (and price accordingly).   :211:

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Offline Dilbert

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Re: Protective Clothing or the lack of it?
« Reply #29 on: Aug 12, 2019, 01:21 PM »
*Originally Posted by Gustavo [+]

That's funny, in a naive, I haven't ridden in the desert, kind of funny...   :whistle:

Over here, it's like riding into a convection oven - if you ride faster, you just get roasted faster...    :33:

Seriously, though, I agree that opening the collar and loosening the sleeves makes for good airflow, but that also exposes more skin to the sun that runs that convection oven.  My wrists had painful sun burns after that last day of riding into Las Vegas after last year's IVM.  I wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis.  You don't need a lot of vents, just some strategically places to allow that same airflow w/o exposing your skin.  I would say that not all jacket manufacturers really understand that, no matter how highly they think of themselves (and price accordingly).   :211:

Gustavo

 :008: :008: :008:

Didn't get to ride (not even a camel) in Egypt and while the UK isn't like any kind of desert (except the silica sand quarries), I get the gist (and the jest).

I've got a laminated jacket and while it doesn't get so wet (runs off the outside better) it doesn't breath particularly well, the sleeve cuffs are too big and I have to fold them over double normally, so when it's hot I can loosen them off, I still get an overlap between jacket cuff and glove cuff though, so no exposed skin, neck tube and T-shirt means no bare skin there either.

I find it worse when riding slow with the sun on the back of a black jacket, I've had lightweight summer jackets, but in the UK, especially recently a jacket has to be lightweight and vented and waterproof for the liquid sunshine of North Wales, etc.

If it was warm and dry all the time, I guess I'd get an armoured mesh jacket, though I have to admit some of them look a bit "Mad Max".

The baggy Kevlar jeans I got work well, but they're a bit too big and I just like riding in leather jeans, kinky I know, but hey  :007:
Just passin' through