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Cotton, Hemp, Silk, Kevlar... All of these things are running through my head as potential materials for riding jacket and pants. I make my own clothes and I am working on a pattern for raw selvedge biker jeans. I was thinking using canvase double layers on certain pieces like the knees and the cuffs. But I should be really considering what materials would hold up best in a potential wreck. The popular material is leather for obvious reasons, but I live in Texas, wearing a tshirt is mandatory to our survival. I see hundreds of shirtless bikers here. But I like my skin, and I like my tats. Whats some good materials to work with in making my own?
 

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Probably the best, would be 600 Denier Cordura. Went down at 40 MPH (rear inner tube blew), wearing an armored Cordura jacket, leather chaps, leather gloves, and a modular helmet. My son, who was my passenger, was wearing my old armored Cordura jacket. I had a small scratch on one knuckle of one hand; one sleeve of my jacket was a bit worn, and there are gray streaks in my chaps, where I slid on them for around 40 feet across the blacktop. My son burned through the elbow of his jacket sleeve, and halfway through the foam armor pad! He also suffered road rash on both of his thighs, and both cheeks, where his denim bluejeans burned through; he also had some road rash on his hands, which were bare during the accident. Neither of our helmets were even scratched as we slid on our backs. I never ride without my helmet, though.

The 600 Denier Cordura is pretty good. Don't know how good Kevlar is against abrasion. Leather is king, however. Cheers!
 

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When I was living in Germany, all of the guys were buying Fackelmann (sic) riding jackets and pants. Multiple layers of Kevlar, reinforced knees and elbows. The inventor did a stunt where he had a bike drag him around the Hochenheim Ring race track (the track for the German Grand Prix). I don't know if they are still available, but they are a very good alternative to leather.

Protective suit - Fackelmann, Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cordura is a great material for light activities. But without fail everything cordura I have owned wears out pretty quick. It isnt the most durable material on earth. Cordura 600 might be a whole different story though. Kevlar is what I was thinking of doing. My wife has kevlar ripstop pants and myself used to own some as well. You can snag it on your way down a base jump and make a 1/4 inch hole. I was very impressed. I am currently looking at some racing suits to see how they are constructed. That Fackelmann should be a good point of reference. I have also seen quite a few nylon racing suits with leather on the impact areas.
 

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I have the Vanson Vent Max jacket. It's hot here so maximum air flow is vital. It is made of Cordura with leather reinforcements.
 
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