Wow, it’s going to be a hot day here In Orlando, Fl. today! How’s everyone doing? Today I thought I’d take a stab at leather motorcycle chaps. Now the basic question is, why would you want to get a pair, and what do they do? Well, leather motorcycle chaps are mainly used for a protective covering for your legs.
When your cruising down the road on a motorcycle you get all kinds of bugs, road dirt and other crap smashing into your legs. Leather chaps take the force of all that and keep it off your pants your wearing under them. Also, if you ever take a tumble the leather chaps can stop you from peeling off a lot of your skin while you slide down that pavement!
There also are cowboy chaps. Those are leather or other fabric chaps that cowboys use when riding a horse or in a rodeo riding a bull. The reason is basically the same, to protect your pants and your skin. Western chaps can have a lot of fancy decorations on them. Brown leather chaps are most common for western leather chaps.
This is a ladies leather chaps with some beads and bone pattern on it. Like most leather wear the ladies leather chaps often come in more colors and designs than mens. Most men just want a good quality leather motorcycle chaps that can protect them. So just what should you look for when buying leather chaps?
Well lets start with the leather. Since they are worn for protection, you want the same type of quality leather you look for in a leather motorcycle jacket. Top full grain naked leather is the best. Click HERE for all about leather grades.
At the least you should try to get top grain leather for leather motorcycle chaps. Split grain leather is ok, but it’s not going to stand up to a lot of hard use. If you don’t ride that often then it should be fine. As for what type of animal hide it should come from, again use the same standards as in a leather jacket.
Cowhide, buffalo and pigskin are the best. Goat and sheep are too weak for quality leather motorcycle chaps. Now, if your wearing them just for looks, then you can use much more types of leather. Split grain, suede, goat and sheep hides are all fine if they are worn for looks, like this white womans leather chaps.
Leather chaps are cut so that the crotch and butt area are open. That’s so they don’t bind you up. Remember, the main purpose of them is to protect your legs from crap that fly into you while you cruise down the road on your motorcycle.
Some are cut full like a pair of pants, like in the second picture in this post. Leather chaps are held up by a built in belt top. Some of them just have loops that snap around your own belt to keep them up. Most have a zipper on the side that runs part ways or full length of the chaps to make it easy to get them off and on. Good ones have a leather flap that snaps shut to protect the zipper.
Leather motorcycle chaps can have a zip out lining to keep you warm. A thinsulate zip out liner is popular for keeping warm. Most have just some kind of mesh lining, some have thick padding. Leather chaps can also have up to 3 pockets, or none at all.
Leather motorcycle chaps can have leather braid patterns, fringes, beads, conchos, bones and other decorations, depending if it’s for just looks or a real working pair of chaps. As always you want good quality hardware made of brass, stainless steel, nickel plated or copper.
For cleaning, waterproofing and treating your leather motorcycle chaps, use the methods just like I’ve told about in keeping your leather jacket maintained. Keep them hung up over a wooden hanger, out of sunlight and away from heat. Don’t store them in plastic. Put conditioner on them several times a year or when they look dry to avoid them cracking.
A good quality pair of leather motorcycle chaps will last for years and fit your body well. They can really save your hide if you ever fall off your bike, and they keep those big bees from feeling like a rock when they hit your legs!!