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SkH

Your thoughts on sparkling clean vs well-worn jackets.

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SkH

First of all, this is a disclaimer.  This topic will not appeal to everyone.  Maybe even most people.  It may be confusing.  Or neither here nor there.  For those of you who feel this way, I apologize.  To everyone else who at least has a dusting of neurosis, I'd like to here your thoughts on it.

 

Ok, so I own 6 jackets.  5 of them are spotless (one of them I use exclusively at night and also use in the rain so it is actually dirty looking).  I have a full white leather Dainese jacket that is 2 years old.  If you look at it you will think it is brand new- unused/unworn.  I have another leather jacket I just bought which is both black and white.  What I do with these two leather jackets is after every ride, I bust out leather cleaner and spot clean any little speck of bug guts or dirt.

 

Last spring when I rode out to 2WheelDynoworks, the office had a coat rack filled with motorcycle jackets (over a dozen) and I asked if I can hang my jacket.  This was a textile one but once again, it is basically spotless.  Every single jacket hanging on the rack was dirty/worn, the nice used, cracking patina on leather, speckled with black spots on white leather, etc.  I felt for some unknown reason embarrassed at my clean jacket. 

 

It got me thinking, should I stop cleaning my leathers, and just let all the dirt accumulate?  Give them the nice worn look?  Was I crazy for continuously cleaning my jackets after every ride?

 

What say you?

Edited by SkH

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DewMan

I'm replying only because you asked for opinions.

 

I understand what you're saying.. but I'd quit worrying about how you compare to everyone else and do what makes you happy. :) If keeping your equipment in pristine condition is what you prefer then keep doing what you're doing. Some people will say that all the "worn & dirty" jackets are not well cared for and see a worn jacket as a negative.

You can't please everyone so just please yourself. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. ✌️

Edited by DewMan
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norcal616

Im superstitious about cleaning my leather jacket...only time is gets a wash is if I ride in the rain...

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angus

 

   I once saw a very used jacket on Ebay. It was described as having "Street cred"   It was the style of jacket often associated with BMW motorcycles. The seller stated that BMW groups often ignore riders with less than 100,000 miles behind them or even on their odometer. This jacket looked like a 100,000 mile garment because it was. It was torn and no longer weather proof but it sold for a large sum. Somewhere a newbie was about to be accepted.

 

  One day I saw a brand new FZ-07 being ridden by a young man with a full set of brand new gear riding a few miles away from the dealership. His jacket told as much of a story as the old tattered one did.

 

 As for me, my jacket looks quite rough but I spot clean bugs and dirt off of my bike. I even dust the rims before a ride but my jacket might have a sand fly from last year on it.

 

 Just remember that all three of the jackets, my jacket, the old jacket, and the new jacket are being worn by smiling motorcyclists.

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i28

I've got a white leather jacket and after some weeks it does get a bit dirty looking. It definitely bothers me when it gets to that point so I clean it once in a while.

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Zephyr

I like the idea of pristine gear, but cannot always devote the time required to keeping it looking perfect.  If I had 6 jackets, then I'm sure that I would keep one or two in impeccable shape to be worn when going to places that may require my jacket to hang with other non-motorcycle jackets.  In my mind things well maintained last longer than things with "extra" character.  If I had a leather jacket, then I would clean and condition at least once a year, but probably each time the bike got a good washing if possible, so about every month or two.

 

I guess for me it comes from not always having much and always paying my own way, so I want the best I can afford and take as good care as possible, because I can't always get another if I wanted or needed to.  For example I only have one set of riding gear.  One pants, one jacket, one shoes, one helmet, one pair of gloves.  If I had to replace an item then I could out of necessity, but I cannot just go out and buy multiples without good reason.  So all of my gear is worn and washed and kept clean as often as possible.

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Beemer

I have a nice brown, reverse pig skin, leather jacket but it's not made for biking and it's almost like a suede leather, having a nap to it. This particular leather looks good when it gets worn and I mean worn, not dirty, there's a difference. As far as thick, smooth leather for bike jackets goes, I think they look ugly when they're overly worn or cracked looking but to each his own. I would definitely get the bugs off of it after every ride and keep it clean and one other thing, I can't say for sure but I suspect leather is stronger if it is conditioned vs. dry. I could be wrong.

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r1limited

More bugs means ....

1. You are lazy

2. Ya like dead bugs smeared all over da jacket

3. Your lazy and Ya like dead bugs smeared all over da jacket

4. Dont matter the really really fast guys self clean from air friction

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Redstang4

What R1 said,..

 

Im lazy and don't care if they're dirty.  They get cleaned when it rains, lol.  But that doesn't mean they're filthy, that would just be nasty.

 

As to the "Street Cred" I guess I can see people feeling and being like that.  That's not how I look at them though, to me its easy to spot a newbie by how they ride.  The riders not comfortable and still adjusting to 2 wheels are like a giant flashing sign that says I AM ONE BIG HAZARD.

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Mr.Puss
8 hours ago, Zephyr said:

I like the idea of pristine gear, but cannot always devote the time required to keeping it looking perfect.  If I had 6 jackets, then I'm sure that I would keep one or two in impeccable shape to be worn when going to places that may require my jacket to hang with other non-motorcycle jackets.  In my mind things well maintained last longer than things with "extra" character.  If I had a leather jacket, then I would clean and condition at least once a year, but probably each time the bike got a good washing if possible, so about every month or two.

 

I guess for me it comes from not always having much and always paying my own way, so I want the best I can afford and take as good care as possible, because I can't always get another if I wanted or needed to.  For example I only have one set of riding gear.  One pants, one jacket, one shoes, one helmet, one pair of gloves.  If I had to replace an item then I could out of necessity, but I cannot just go out and buy multiples without good reason.  So all of my gear is worn and washed and kept clean as often as possible.

Word! Clean and cared for is where its at.

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guylee

It's funny this topic comes up among AR-15 owners as well. Some people want their rifles to be in pristine condition at all times, and others see a clean rifle as a rifle that's never used. My opinion is the same for both-I don't care what you do, but if everything you own is in perfect condition, I'm going to assume you either A) never use it or B) you're OCD. I don't really care how things look as long as they work (other than my bike...but that's different).

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motomeek

It's all good! Just do you. 

 

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r1limited
1 hour ago, guylee said:

It's funny this topic comes up among AR-15 owners as well. Some people want their rifles to be in pristine condition at all times, and others see a clean rifle as a rifle that's never used. My opinion is the same for both-I don't care what you do, but if everything you own is in perfect condition, I'm going to assume you either A) never use it or B) you're OCD. I don't really care how things look as long as they work (other than my bike...but that's different).

A clean gun is a happy gun :)

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Nekkid07

One way to look at it is that theyre all just tools, some means to another end.  Your gear, bike, all of it.  I dont wipe down my allen wrenches every time i put them away.  I will say though, it always feels great during that first month u have new fresh shoes, so i can understand both sides.  After i wore out a couple pairs of gloves, i started to realize that gear is a wearable item (🙃see what i did there).  You end up going through it when u ride a lot.  also, time cleaning your gear could be spent riding the bike.  opportunity cost lol.

 

I think some bikes and cars can be in a different category though.  They transcend the utility, and somehow become more than parts bolted together.  In that case, its almost doing a disservice to let it look like crap.  Tire shine makes such a big difference, its crazy.

 

imho of course

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r1limited

^^ All part of winterization.

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Beemer
22 hours ago, guylee said:

It's funny this topic comes up among AR-15 owners as well. Some people want their rifles to be in pristine condition at all times, and others see a clean rifle as a rifle that's never used. My opinion is the same for both-I don't care what you do, but if everything you own is in perfect condition, I'm going to assume you either A) never use it or B) you're OCD. I don't really care how things look as long as they work (other than my bike...but that's different).

The people that see a clean rifle as never used are ignorant. Being an Army vet I can say that many of those AR-15 owners are likely to be veterans and the reason they probably like a clean rifle is because they were trained to take care of their equipment. We shot our rifles a lot but they were always very clean because that's the first thing we did after coming off the range.

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gregjet

A jacket and pants without scrapes on the PADS!

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faffi

It's about what you want to spend your life doing. If it gives you pleasure to keep your stuff, whatever it is, spotless, do it. Many enjoy detailing. I used to wash my bikes quite often, and also our home very thoroughly every week for a couple of decades. Then I realized that for me, it isn't worth it. We still clean the house every week, but we are not anal about some dust in the corners. Dirt is cleaned when it appears, but some dust doesn't hurt. Nor does it matter if a couple of magazines are spattered about. And my bikes usually gets washed twice a year. I'd rather ride that clean. My leathers usually gets cleaned and cared for every year or two to keep them supple and reasonably free from insects. The hours saved is spent with my family or doing stuff that interest me. 

 

So in my book, there is nothing wrong with keeping things as new, nor is there anything wrong with wearing things to the ground (as long as they are safe in the case of stuff that can hurt others). Or anything in between. Just as long as it is what you want.

 

As to the original question - I enjoy watching an old bloke (my age or older) riding around still in his leathers that he bought 40 years ago. They will be well worn from all the years and miles, colours faded, leather scuffed. Maybe scrapes from a low speed spill on a knee and elbow. True signs of real use.

 

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jeffkisthename

I'm lazy. All my gear is dirty...

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