Motorcycle apparel is just another sector directly effected by rapid advancements in materials and technology.

The days of "a leather jacket & kevlar jeans" being the go-to option for every rider are now behind us. Don't take that the wrong way, we love a leather jacket just as much as the next rider, but it's not always the best option.

In fact, as a road rider it’s generally not the best option thanks to advances in the way textiles are woven, garments are constructed and armour is integrated new and old riders are faced with options that reduce fatigue and discomfort without sacrificing safety. You can read more about layering and comfort on the bike here.

So, step one is understanding how motorcycle garments are rated. In the case of all our products, they are tested under the European CE Certification. You can read more about how that works here.

So, this all sounds great but what are these mystery materials. Let’s start with the one we’ve all heard of.

Aramid

Aramid fibres are a light weight, strong and tough polymer fibre, the most popular of the Aramid fibres in motorcycle apparel to date is definitely Kevlar. This fibre was made popular by DuPont and is used in a range of industries from Military, Motorsports and even in construction.

Generally speaking, Aramids like Kevlar are used as a secondary liner inside a pair of jeans made from traditional denim. When built well, these jeans will also feature stronger and more foolproof stitching and construction as well as a reduction in catch points externally. In most cases this will be used solely in high impact zones as a complete liner can be too hot or restrictive.

Companies have now learnt to work around this by combining aramid fibres with other fibres to create hybrids that excel in warmer climates. I’ll talk more about that below.

Dyneema, Armalith & UHMWPE

The most hyped abrasive resistant material of the last few years is definitely Dyneema, and with good reason. So what is Dyneema, it is extruded UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) that is then woven with cotton fibres to make an incredibly abrasive resistant denim.In high quality garments, like the Pando Moto Men’s Steel 02 & Women’s Kissaki the ratio is approximately 25% UHMWPE.

Armalith shares a similar composition as Dyneema however the weave is quite different. Strands of UHMWPE are extruded and are spiral wound with cotton, this wound cotton is then woven into denim. This difference in spiral winding allows for a different garment feel and an integration of more Elastene for increased stretch.

This year has also seen UHMWPE find its way to market outside of Dyneema & Armalith through products like Pando Moto’s Shell Top and Skin Leggings a base layer of Lycra mixed directly with UHMWPE. In this case the ratio of UHMWPE is as high as 65% as the garment is much thinner and more flexible.


Cordura

An absolute staple of single layer riding garments, Cordura sees a fibre of cotton that is woven directly with Nylon strands in order to deliver a material with a very similar feel to traditional denim but with substantially increased abrasion resistance. Manufacturers like Pando Moto have taken it one step further in jeans like the Robby and have added Coolmax into their denim mix giving you a protective garment that has an incredible ability to draw moisture out and allow airflow into the garment.


XTM

The first of our “hybrid” materials, XTM is the modern take on the traditional “dual layer” kevlar jean. Utilised as a secondary layer inside garments like John Doe’s Jackets & Jeans it is made up of a 50/50 combination of Dupont Kevlar and Coolmax.

Due to its superior comfort vs traditional Kevlar, this liner is soft to the touch and doesn’t require the liner to be separated from the skin through a third mesh layer. Add to this that by separating it from the outer denim John Doe is able to use a denim with a much higher stretch level, this material leads to some of the most comfortable AA rated jeans on the market for men and women.


XTM Mono

New for 2021, John Doe has created its latest advancement in XTM Mono. Used in John Doe’s new AAA rated garments it is a combination of Cotton, Nylon & Aramid as well as some other goodies giving us a single layer denim that surpasses all expectations of comfort and protection! This is one you really need to see to believe.

Now that you know a bit more about these materials, take a look through the range of riding gear here at Rider Collective to find the garments that suit you best. If you’ve ever got any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to Nathan or Nico at contactus@ridercollective.com.au