Vanson is good stuff too but also overpriced on their over the counter leathers. It really depends on what you are using them for. If you plan on serious track riding and racing then go for something like Vanson.
I had a cheap pair of leathers I wore for quite some time and then used them when I first started the track thing. I went down at Talledega and did some nice sliding and tumbling. The leathers were destroyed but did their job. They were pretty much beyond repair. The point being, that cheap leathers will most likely do just fine in a crash. They may not be repairable but hopefully you won't find out. Now, if I were planning to continue racing and track riding alot then I would go for some more expensive custom leathers such as those made by Vanson, Barnacle Bills, etc. because I would want to be able to rapair them multiple times.
I've been around alot of leathers in my days working with AMA and WERA riders. Most all leathers out there even the cheap ones are going to give you adequate protection in most crashes. The issue is what they look like after that crash.
If you race or push the limits alot and figure you will crash alot then it's a math thing. Crash 3 times destroying 3 $600 sets of say Joe Rocket cheaper suits then you have spent $1800 for leathers that weren't repairable whereas you could have spent the same money for Vansons and probably had repairs done each time if necessary. My price estimates may be all messed up since I haven't paid retail on riding gear in awhile but you can do the math.
I'm in agreement with Gixxer on the Vansons though. Out of all of the leathers I've been around they have always seemed to hold up well.
The Spidi, Spykes, Alpinestars and Dainese are good but in my opinion don't hold up well enough to justify their cost. Joe Rockets are actually some of the best I've seen for the money in there cheaper range. AGVs are hit or miss. Kind of unpredictable. Kobe's seem to do fairly well. Usually repairable. Barnacle Bills custom suit hold up very well and aren't a bad price considering they are handmade customs suits and of course they hold up very well. One thing about Alpinestars though is they have made some great innovations on body armour.
None of them are a waist of money by any stretch. If you have the money get the ones you like and you will be protected.
Last edited by RCjohn; 06-20-2006 at 07:18 AM.