BKS made to measure suits: The Fit
The manufacture of leather motorcycle suits is something of a challenge: how to make them work in the riding position, yet still be comfortable enough off the bike?
The fit will be different for different areas of the body: we rely on over 28 years of experience and feedback from thousands of previous customers (police and civilian). External factors such as underwear, personal preference and riding position are taken into account when deciding how tight or loose the suit should be. However, safety must dictate the fit in the most important areas. Measures need to be taken over underwear only, to ensure the body shape can be clearly seen.
The measurements are detailed and extensive - there are no further fittings until the suit is completed. BKS offer a free of charge alteration service if something is wrong, not to your preference, or simply if you feel the suit hasn't broken-in with reasonable use (4 weeks, or approx. 50 hours). This service is free* for up to 12 months after the completion date.
* Your weight is recorded at the time of measurements, and if this changes significantly, alterations may incur a charge.
- The suit has pre-formed arms that are lifted up and forward so that the cuffs remain to length on the handlebars. The side effect is some slight bagginess behind the shoulder blades when off the bike.
- For the same reason, the chest is cut (between 3” – 6”) looser than your body measurement according to it being a one or two piece suit. More room is given to the back of the jacket / suit, and hence the upper body feels tighter across the front when off the bike.
- The suit needs extra length down the back and is aided by a large stretch panel in the back waist of the trouser. The side effect is a dropped look to the backside.
- The suit has pre-bent knees for sitting, especially as the lower leg is very fitted and contains impact protectors. The bent leg shape is aided by above-knee stretch panels. The side effect is pronounced, or 'baggy', knees when off the bike.
- The cuffs and ankles are designed to fit over thin sleeves and thin socks respectively. For comfort reasons they need to be tailored to fit neatly under a glove and inside a boot without bulk. CE Approval dictates they must be tight enough to stay in place and not ride up. However, there can be some flexibility here, and this must be expressed under personal preferences at the point of order.
- Watches are not normally catered for, as this would mean falsifying one wrist size unsafely. Most motorbikes have a clock for this reason.
- Your suit comes with Velcro fitted body armour, and this plays a vital role. Unlike a helmet, hard shell materials do not work best. BKS armour is made from lightweight Polyethylene foam and exceeds the European Standards comfortably.
- Leather is a natural material, and like all clothing will go a little baggy with wear (typically the knees and seat). This is not a sign of poor quality, or indeed poor fit. If you are really unhappy with the shape of the leathers as they wear in, we can perform alterations to restore your suit to it's original state. Bear in mind though, it will soon stretch again as they only become the shape you are when sitting.
BKS made to measure suits: The Design
Leather riding suits fit and touch in several important places and require a tailored shape that deals with the sitting position and allows for comfortable walking activity, with the former being the more important. (See our sheet on Fit for further explanation)
Knee stretch panels
• The legs have pre-shaped knees for sitting on the bike. This bent leg design is aided by creating curved panels above and below the knee coupled with knee stretch panels at the bottom of the thigh. This helps more so on sportier styles of bike although assist all riders equally well so far as knee comfort and range of movement.
- BKS choose the weight of the zip depending on the location in the suit and how chunky this makes the zip head. For this reason the cuff and ankle zips are small. These are a No.5 and come with a self-locking head to keep them closed until use.
- The fly zip (No.8) is fitted with a long head for easier use.
- The front suit / jacket zip (No. 9) is quite large as the usage is much heavier.
- The main waist zip (No. 10) is the largest and throughout over 20 years of supplying Police has proven to be long lasting. To extend longevity, BKS has designed an elasticated ‘wedge’ to take the strain at the beginning and end where the load is at its greatest.
- BKS offer a 12-month warranty on zips – even though our suppliers offer none!
- The trouser pocket design is a jetted zip pocket (using a No. 8 coil) which has a restricted depth to discourage contents away from the top of the inner thigh, where main arteries are situated. This is for obvious safety reasons and remains in line with our CE Approval. The head of the zip sits near to the centre front of the trouser when closed, to keep it away from the hip, an obvious main impact area
- The jacket pocket location are subject to preference but best placed to give maximum contents room and easy to access so long as you use the opposite hand. A close fitting jacket design does not give much internal room for angled pockets.
- Inside pockets are preferable and fitted immediately inside the jacket fronts and act as ‘Nelson’ style for entry. All zip pocket bags are made from thin yet durable Cordura for longevity.
Cuffs and ankles (see fit)
- Tailored to fit neatly under a glove and inside a boot without bulk. Lined with a soft facing for comfort.
- Watches are not normally catered for as this would mean falsifying one wrist size unsafely so.
- The trouser has an elasticated side section with control straps fitted to allow a range of movement in both directions. This eliminates the need to wear a trouser belt and provides better adjustment. The shape is cut low at the front so that sitting forward is more comfortable. However, the rear is cut high and supported by a foam pad insert to give added protection.
Body armour (impact protectors)
- BKS offers a variety of impact protectors all exceeding the European Standards and meet with CE Approval. As part of the basic cost, Knox protectors are fitted. Upgrades at extra cost are available in the form of High Performance ‘BKS’ own brand protectors which offer higher levels of performance and cover extended areas of the body.