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Turning a regular leather jacket into a riding jacket?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by solunatic, May 26, 2012.

  1. So I bought this nice leather jacket awhile back, intending to wear it mostly off the bike and ride with it on only occasionally. But since I'm ALWAYS riding, it just sits in my closet. My armor saved me from even more wound-age in my last accident, and now it bothers me to ride in a jacket lacking some sort of armor.

    Can it be turned into an armored riding jacket? I was thinking someone who works with leather could sew pockets for armor in it. If that's not possible due to size issues or is too expensive i was thinking I could at least throw an extra layer of leather into the elbows and shoulders on the inside. I know nothing about leather working so i don't know how much work this would be. Obviously i don't expect it to offer the protection a real riding jacket would provide and I'm (probably) not going to push it to the limit in it, I'm just looking for something a little better than it is right now so i can actually use this thing.

    So I've got a few different questions:
    Think this is feasible/worth it?
    Know of any quality low profile armor or have a jacket with low profile armor?
    Would this be prohibitively expensive?
    Where would I go to get this kind of work done?
  2. Any jacket is better then none, but not by much. Motorcycle jackets are tailored to fit your body in the riding position and are reinforced to protect in a crash.

    In short, get a riding jacket.

  3. In short, this is the response I expected :mrgreen:

    To clarify, I have a riding jacket. It isn't very pretty but I refuse to ride without it. But I like this jacket and want to use it for casual rides to dates/etc. where looks are slightly more important or where my bulky riding jacket would be inconvenient.
  4. You could probably get pockets sewn into the liner cheap enough. Or buy a compression-suit type underjacket to take care of the armor portion. The thing is, most non-MC jackets use a lighter weight leather, so it's not going to be as resistant to abrasion and tearing as a real purpose-built jacket. Also, the stitching on MC jackets is usually with heavy duty thread and double stitched where it's holding two pieces together. Probably not the case in fashion leather. So even if you armor up your existing jacket, it's liable to split a seam in a tough crash and leave you with huge gaps in your abrasion protection and have your impact armor in the wrong place to protect you.

    As Jeffy pointed out, even as it hangs in your closet it'll be better than a long-sleeve shirt (let alone a wife-beater). But unless you *really* like it, you're probably better off putting it on ebay and finding a real MC jacket that looks good off-bike.
  5. dizzle

    dizzle WHO is DANE?

    If you need to look pretty for something (dates/etc), take your car. It aso helps prevent helmet hair.
  6. It's also a lot easier to take advantage of a drunk passed out girl in the back of your car rather than on a bike.

    I'm just kidding...... :stir:

    Tank bag with your other coat in it?
  7. Dragon Rider

    Dragon Rider Post Whore (In Training)

  8. Quality riding jackets are going to be 1.2/1.4 mm thick at least, with triple and quadruple stitched seams. Nothing you buy that isn't designed for hitting pavement at speed is going to come close to that kind of built in durability. You hit the ground in a dress leather jacket, it's going to come apart like it's not even there.

    If you look around, you'l find really great deals on leather jackets in the $150 range or less. If money is an issue, look at Power Trip jackets. Made by the same people that make Joe Rocket (IIRC), and they're built like a tank. I wore one for about 2 years, then passed it on to a buddy when I bought something nicer. That jacket probably has 100,000 miles on it by now, and
    it's still going strong. My Dainese spine guard slipped right in the pocket, btw. I never liked the giant "Power Trip" ogo on the front and back, so I used a razor blade to nick the stitching on the logo and puled it off. Looked great..
  9. Texasl

    Texasl Totally Charming Retired Moderator Staff Member

    Obviously you have made the decision to compromise level of protection for looks. Well and good, with no judgements from this quarter.

    In view of this decision, my advice would be to supplant crash protection measures with crash prevention methods, dialing back the level of "spiritedness" in your riding style and upping the predictive scanning and defensive riding. That way you can arrive in style and retain your GQ looks. :roll:
  10. I would imagine road rash and skin grafts would be slightly more inconvenient.
    infidel likes this.
  11. I have the distinct impression OP is a chick.
  12. THIS...




    ...under a jacket will really count.
  13. I have a cordura mesh jacket with armor in it that I always wear. I bought it fairly form fitting. When it's too cold up here for mesh (damn near always). I throw a leather jacket I bought at Macy's over it. No illusions that the jacket is just for warmth and will shred in a get off that's why I have the second, real, protection underneath.

  14. Friction Addiction

    Friction Addiction Power Tripping Moderator Deluxe Staff Member

    Joo know....Fernando had it right....


    It's better to look good than to feel good, dahling. And joo look mahvelous. :thumbup:
  15. Don't sew anything into that jacket. It might as well be made of tissue paper, so anything that is sewn into it won't be where you need it for very long when you hit the pavement.
  16. So showing up in your MC Jacket with your helmet doesn't get you laid? You're doing it wrong.
  17. Still applies.
    But you might be right. All the clues are there. Guess maybe I didn't look close enough?:scratchea

    Besides, chicks look hot is a nice sport (bike) type jacket.:evil4:
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