Textile motorcycle garments have become very popular in recent years with an ever increasing range available. These are usually made from high tenacity nylons, Cordura® being one branded example. Rarely will one of these garments give you protection anything like that of leather suits: at the time of writing there are just three garments deemed sufficient to meet with CE Approval. Most are the equivalent of a tough waterproof with CE armour fitted and no more. If you are serious about protection look very closely and demand to know what performance level is on offer – if any.
BKS have been developing a police jacket in textile for some selected UK forces and our aim is to equal that of our leather jacket (i.e Level 3 / High Performance). Any less than this would not meet the standards of protection we believe the professional rider needs.
In developing this textile jacket, we have noticed that the garment is not any lighter in weight, cooler to wear, or easier to move around in. With so many layers and the inflexibility of nylon fabrics, the combination required to give you this protection has not achieved any advantage over leather. If textile garments have a place in your motorcycling wardrobe, it will be for the advantage for climate protection and not accident protection.
See Polartec fleece.
6mm-thick PVC Nitrile foams, similar to those in our back protectors, are sewn into strategically placed areas in some designs of suit. Usually found on the torso and in particular the chest and collarbone area, they have a useful presence in the side back and shoulder blade. They also feature on the front of the thigh, the lower bicep and the coccyx. They are held in place with a leather backing which will contribute to these areas having an extremely high level of abrasion resistance too.
Jeans, or riding trousers as we prefer to call them, are covered in detail under the section Jeans. If an actual jeans style trouser (i.e Levis) is what you are after, BKS can make these by special request. We will copy the fit of your favourite pair of jeans and make them in any of our leathers, along with the normal inner layer reinforcement if required, as well as armour.
BKS recognise the continual development of technical fabrics used for garments designed to wear inside your leathers. We are big fans of the EDZ range and we can provide the Windstopper top or the All Season Undersuit, which comes as a one piece or in separates. See our Accessories section.
A brand name for touch-and-close fastening tape, used in many areas throughout the BKS suit. We use Velcro in 50mm width for securing our body armour in place.
Velcro is used to secure the linings at the cuff and ankle, and we also have a very high grip type which is used to secure knee sliders in place.
Perforated leather can be used to create ventilated sections within the suit, and feature as a free of charge option in the insert areas. This offers an alternative to the Keprotec stretch inserts.
Leather is perforated by conveying whole skins through a special machine, giving a mesh effect of holes approximately 1.5mm in diameter and 4mm apart. Suit panels are then cut from these skins. Additional ventilation incurs an extra cost based on how much is needed.
More ventilation can be added to any area of the suit by using the punch hole method. These are individually hand-punched holes available in two sizes: 2.5mm and 4mm. They work best in rows of two or three, depending to the size of the area. 2.5mm holes are spaced 10mm apart and the 4mm holes are spaced 25mm apart. Punch hole work incurs a charge.
Airscoops are also available at the top of the shoulders to help direct air onto the upper back.
The jacket waistband is usually plain at the front and on SPR designs this continues around the back. However there is an upgrade available, where the rear section dips to form a tail, which contains a PVC Nitrile pad just like the trousers. Another styling upgrade for the front of the jacket is a front belt. This is merely for styling but will contribute a little to taking some strain away from the mechanism at the bottom of the front jacket zip. Years of use have shown this to be prone to weakening. Both of these waistband upgrade features carry a small charge if selected.
All SPS and SPL designs have a similar feature in the back of the jacket waistband as standard.
The trouser waistband has been designed to meet a variety of needs including comfort, adjustment and protection. It is low cut at the front (60mm) and fastened with two strong action press studs. It rises to 130mm at the back and contains PVC Nitrile foam padding (10mm thick) to give some back protection. Kevlar stretch inserts with an adjustment strap help control your comfort, especially if you put on a few pounds during the life of the suit!
All BKS suits are made to the highest standards possible and will give you many years of use. They are hand-made and checked continually throughout production. They are also checked thoroughly afterwards to ensure they remain consistently fault free. This includes: construction; the mechanics of the components such as zips, studs and velcro, and random measurements to verify that garments meet with the measurements intended.
Although BKS suits will provide you with undoubtedly the maximum protection during an accident, this can never be truly guaranteed. However, as such high standards are incorporated into BKS suits, we offer a warranty that covers the following aspects of construction:
1. Zips and studs are components made for us, and although we select the best available we can only offer a 12 month warranty to repair or replace free of charge.
2. Surface stitching or seam topstitching (other than lap seams covered below), is guaranteed for 6 months as this is open to abrasion abuse and exposed to a variety of contamination. This stitching does not play any part in the seam’s burst performance, other than to finish it off cosmetically.
3. Internal seam stitching is guaranteed for 5 years, subject to inspection by BKS, and repaired free of charge, (this includes all lap seams, such as calf and groin inserts).
4. The general quality of materials (i.e. cloth and leather) is guaranteed for 12 months. However, being a natural material, reasonable signs of wear will show once you begin to use your suit. Leather is prone to colour rub in some contact areas, such as the front zip area rubbing the petrol tank, and this type of wear carries no guarantee and is subject to your own means of care. BKS can offer touch-up colours for this and other incidents of abrasion damage.
5. Any garment returned for repair under warranty immediately enters our work programme. We will always attempt to carry out repairs within a 28 day period for garments under guarantee, but ask for some flexibility during busy periods. This also applies to size alterations, although any genuine errors will be corrected immediately.
BKS only use YKK and Optilon zips: two of the most respected brands. Certain areas of the suit are more at risk during an accident and so the gauge (size) of zip is chosen accordingly. The sizes of zips are usually given numbers and are equal to the width of the teeth or spiral element in millimeters. Types of zip range from metal tooth, nylon tooth and nylon coil or spiral. We prefer to use the latter throughout all BKS suits as they tend to last longest and do not suffer from individual tooth loss.
Some zips have longer heads to help you to hold them when wearing gloves. We also add leather tabs to main fastenings to help. Cuffs and ankles are low risk and so a No.6 is used with a small slider.
The trouser fly also uses a No. 6 but with a longer slider. All pockets use a No.6 with a long slider. The front of jackets and one piece suits use a No.8 with a long slider.
The main connection zip in the waist between jackets and trousers is a No.10. Zip in linings use a No.4.