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oldtim 04-27-2005 07:46 AM

Re: Need Help with Leathers
I don't know about full sets but I have a Vanson vented jacket that fits great. I tried any number of leather jackets but the Vanson was the only one that fit my 55+ bod. Of course the down side is that it cost nearly $500!!!!!! I was rich back then, now I would have to get a fabric one.

woolf 04-27-2005 10:52 AM

Re: Need Help with Leathers
go to bates leathers at 562 4268668 1661 28th st signal hill ca 90755 i have leathers from them that are 30 yrs old plus new one that are5-6 yrs old

jms 04-27-2005 01:55 PM

Re: Need Help with Leathers
Over the years I have owned a few leathers. BMW,Alpinestar and 6 years ago I purchased feildshear.Maybe its my size 5'7"but the field sheers fit my profile very nicely and the price did not break the bank. I now own three jackets and two pants. I still have my 1973 bellstaff oiled canvis,but it seems to be shrinking.

jtherkel 04-27-2005 02:32 PM

Re: Need Help with Leathers
The key issue is whether you go custom or not. A custom suit will run you close to $1,000. For inexpensive, quality custom suits, the racers I know recommend:

Syed Leathers

Barnacle Bill's

I ignored my friends' advice :) and bought an off-the rack two-piece suit from New Enough( As someone mentioned, their web site has real-world descriptions of the size differences, and you can also call or e-mail to get personalized advice.

You should probably give them all your measurements and also e-mail a digital photo of yourself. I bought the Alpinestars GPU 2pc Race Suit for around $600. See

This is definitely *not* the same quality you would get from a $1K custom suit. The main differences are:

* Thinner leather (1.2-1.4 mm, compared to 3+ mm)

* Smaller patches of leather

If you have a serious crash in this suit, you cannot repair it and will have to buy a new suit. That's ok for me because I ride on the street and get to the track maybe two days a year, so hopefully, I won't be crashing a lot. I appreciate the two-piece design when I take the jacket off at restaurants, but I'm making a slight sacrifice in safety. More seams and smaller patches of leather are less safe.

Regarding kangaroo, I picked up my friend's Barnacle Bill suit with 3.5 mm cowhide, and it was *heavy*. It felt really secure, but boy, that was a lot of weight. Kangaroo is supposed to provide the same strength in half the weight, but I don't know where you can find it at a reasonable price.

One last piece of advice. If you get a back protector, you'll probably have to go up a size on the jacket.

Good luck,


'99 SV650 red

schneids 04-27-2005 03:55 PM

Re: Need Help with Leathers
Thanks for everyones input!

Much appreciated.

Gabe 04-27-2005 10:27 PM

Hey, look at this!
You could have found it by searching the MO archive; or just go here:

Yet another reason to subscribe to MO!

Personally, I've had two SYED suits. Fit was excellent, the price was a bargain, and it was put together nicely- it survived numerous crashes. The armor is primitive (but it works!), and the leather rots in a few years if you don't keep your suit cleaned and conditioned.

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