For the best protection on road and track, a set of motorcycle leathers should be on every rider’s kit shopping list.
A one or two-piece motorcycle leather suit will give you optimum abrasion resistance in the event of a crash or slide and if you’re thinking about taking your bike on track, you’ll need a set of one-piece leathers, or two-piece suit that zips together at the waist.
Most motorcycle leather suits will be made from cowhide or even Kangaroo leather and will feature stretchy inner sections that are made contain Kevlar fibre, so those areas aren’t compromised when it comes to abrasion resistance.
Any suit worth its salt will have internal armour in at least three places – the shoulders, elbows/forearms and knees/shins. Some motorcycle leather suits will have pockets to add additional armour for the back, hips and legs. More expensive leather suits may feature external armour, likely made out of hardened plastic or even titanium, which will be likely found in the same locations as the internal armour, adding additional impact protection and allowing the suit to slide smoothly across the tarmac. All the leather suits in this list have some level of basic ventilation thanks to perforations in the leather and the more expensive suits have removable mesh linings, which can be washed to keep them fresh.
Fit and feel can vary between brands and styles of suit, but a leather suit aimed at racing and track use is probably going to be more figure hugging than a suit that aims to cover more bases like touring – so to ensure you get a set of leathers that fit how you want, it’s worth knowing what kind of riding you’re likely to be doing.
1. The Held 5612 Full-Speed One-Piece motorcycle Leather Suits
The Full-Speed is Held’s race-spec one-piece motorcycle leather suit and it shows. It’s constructed entirely of Kangaroo hide to make it light and safe and features SAS-Tec armour at the shoulders, elbows, back , coccyx and knees. All the stretch panels are made from a Kevlar fibre and as you’d expect, the suit is perforated to help keep you cool on hot days. The shoulders and knees feature additional plastic exterior protection and the knees are further reinforced with titanium sliders at the knees, just above the knee sliders, which are wooden.
2. The Alpinestars Motegi One-Piece motorcycle Leather Suits
Named after the Japanese circuit, the Alpinestars Motegi is made of 1.3mm full grain cowhide and features CE armour at the shoulders, elbows and knees, plus external armour at the shoulders. There’s a removable mesh lining and the front is perforated to keep things cool. The hump at the rear is also ventilated to allow for great airflow throughout the suit and the sporty, comfortable fit is backed up by styling that looks at home at the track. The high-quality YKK zips lock securely in place and the reflective strips on the upper arms afford additional visibility on the road.
3. The Held 5614 Spire Two-Piece motorcycle Leather Suits
Held’s rather understated Spire two-piece suit is designed for sport touring and features CE armour at the shoulders, knees and elbows and includes pockets for additional hip armour. It’s designed to be super comfortable on long journeys and features perforations to keep you cool, plus stretch panels at the joints and comfort cuffs. There’s a mesh liner too, and the suit is available in three lengths to suit different sized people.
4. The Dainese Laguna Seca D1 Two-Piece motorcycle Leather Suits
If the one-piece Laguna Seca is appealing, but you want a bit more convenience when you’re off the bike, or stopped mid-ride, without compromising on safety and style, then the two-piece Laguna Seca could be the one for you. Protection is handled by external shoulder armour and CE-certified internal armour in all the places you’d expect to find it – shoulders, arms and knees/shins. The exterior is made from Tutu cowhide and inside there’s a Nanofeel liner, and the jacket is vented. Comfort is taken care of by the suit to boot fastening system and the legs feature double calf zips for a precise and comfortable fit.
5. The RST R-16 Leather One-Piece motorcycle leather Suits
Now here’s a bargain – a perfect choice for anyone on a budget or riders buying their first set of leathers. It’s got all the core safety features you’d expect, including CE armour at the shoulder, knees and elbows, plus pockets that’ll accept hip and back armour. Some of the front panels are perforated although unlike more expensive suits, the mesh lining is fixed, so can’t be removed when you want to clean it.
6. The Rev It! Replica one-piece motorcycle Leather Suits
The Replica gets its name because it’s been inspired by MotoGP, and created using Rev’It’s experience of building suits that get raced in at the highest level. It stands to reason then that the Replica boasts all the safety features you’d expect from a high-end suit. It certainly doesn’t disappoint; the CE armour at the shoulders, hips and knees are joined by collapsible honeycomb TPR sliders at the elbows, shoulders and knees, plus aluminium inserts to ensure the suit can slide in the event of an accident. The race hump can accept a drinks system and there’s also a space for a back protector. Like the Akira suit, there are also grippers on the inside of the knee. The lining is removable and the front is perforated to allow cool air to get in.
7. The Held 5012 Slade One-Piece motorcycle Leather Suits
The one-piece suit from Held boasts protective titanium inserts at the shoulders, elbows and knees, along with integrated two-piece SAS-Tec back protection. The exterior is made from 40% Kangaroo leather and 60% cowhide, to create a suit that’s lighter than the sum of its parts. The front panel is vented and inside, there’s a comfort lining.
8. The Dainese Laguna Seca D1 Leather One-Piece motorcycle Suits
If you’re after a stylish, black one-piece suit, then you’ve just found it. The Laguna Seca is a set of one-piece leathers from Dainese – ideal for summer road and track day riding. It’s packed with track-ready protection too, the most obvious of which are the external aluminium sliders at the shoulders and elbows. Internally, there’s CE approved armour at the shoulders and elbows, plus internal padding at the hips. Temperature control comes from perforated front. There’s also a removable, washable lining, so you can keep the suit smelling fresh. Comfort comes via a double calf zip opening for easy entry and a better fit, while stretch panels allow the suit to easily move with you. The Laguna Seca also comes with an over suit and a cleaning kit, just some of the signs of the quality Dainese provides.
9. The Alpinestars Challenger Two-Piece motorcycle leather suits
The Challenger is an entry level two-piece suit from Alpinestars and is packed with CE approved armour at the shoulder, elbows and knees. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for every day comfort and protection because, compared to many more expensive suits, the Challenger offers more stretch and flexibility. The outer is made of 1.3mm leather, while inside there’s a removable lining to keep the suit feeling fresh and the hump is ventilated to help air move into the suit, keeping you cooler on those hot summer rides
10. The Rev It! Akira Leather One-Piece Suits
The Akira one-piece suit is made of Monaco cowhide and features a removable aero cool 3D mesh lining to aid airflow and moisture wicking on hot days. It’s got all the protection you’d expect from a top quality set of one-piece leathers too – the leather is very resistant to abrasion and the stretch panels are made of a PWR Kevlar material. There’s also adjustable shoulder armour, the seat of the suit is reinforced with additional leather and the suit is ready to accept Seesoft CE level 2 back armour. External knee armour adds additional protection to the front of the knee, while adjustable rubber panels at the inside of the knees aid with gripping the bike.