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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading about Lorica a while back lately and remember being pretty impressed and then it slipped my mind. But I've been giving it some research again recently and I can't help being extremely impressed/interested by the fabric.

"A small town in Pennsylvania. Actually, Lorica is a synthetic material used on all of our race boots, which is similar to leather. It has better abrasion protection than leather, thus the reason we use it on the majority of race boots. It also stretches a bit less over the long run. The cost is a bit lower than leather as well, allowing us to use it on our economy priced boots, and still make a quality product. "

"Lorica is a composite microfiber material created from a strands that are so fine, each one is less than one thousandth the thickness of silk. When injected with special resins, these fibers act like natural leather skin, but with the addition of better strength, softer texture, lighter weight and better moisture protection. Lorica is also highly resistant to abrasion--yet it still breathes, with more than three million pores per square centimeter. Easy to maintain, Lorica doesn't stain and can't be scratched."
Does anyone see any drawbacks at all here? Now, why the heck aren't there any good motorcycle products(bits of gloves and boots notwithstanding) made out of this stuff? I'm talking...a lorica jacket, or a full lorica race suit. Seems too good to be true almost.
 

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not worth the investment.
You have leather for meat-eaters and kevlar for vegan babies. Why the hell invest money in a very small specific part of an already fringe market?
 

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Not sure if I'd want a jacket of it, but like someone else said we'll probably see it sooner or later.... I've been using products made with Lorica for a while now--my cycling shoes since the early '90's I think, and it was far better than leather (that shrank and stretched with water/sweat/heat/etc) for that application. I know Sidi is a big user of Lorica for both its cycling shoes as well as their racing boots.
 

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My boots are made of lorica. Let me think...

Better abrasion than leather? I guess so. They are are right when they say that the material doesn't scratch, very though.
Softer texture? Only in their marketing dreams. We are talking about thick vinyl here. It may be flexible, but it's not "soft"
Lighter? Who cares at this point? A 5% difference in weight is not factor for me to buy a new pair of boots
Better moisture protection? Yeah, but on the other hand, I don't think Lorica breathes as well as leather does. 

I imagine a Lorica jacket would be a stiff, sweaty garment.

EDIT: Oh, and it's hard to clean the boots' crevices and wrinkles, dirt is baked into the plastic (did I say plastic?, I meant Lorica® )
The boots are totally lined in leather as well. Leather's feel is the best!
 

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I think the main issues are to do with manufacture, but the read I get from it is that it is less beathable and less flexible in the neccessary thicknesses for abrasion and tear strength match. Still seems like a great product and alternative to leather. There are a number of differnt materials out there ,but the mc community seems reluctant to change with the little knowledge we have on the subject. As soon as somebody pays a reputed figurehead to wear some ,that may change as most seem happily led by their sponsored heroes more than anything. Some Kevlar-based materials have been startign to cvercome those obstacles, but even with the recognized name and it's connotations of being impevious to bullets, it's been a hard road to gain accpetance, and of course there's still a lot of grey area between marketing hype and real final product value for use in motocycling acitivities. It's as much an issue with marketing hype as it is with an uninformed market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just think there's more promising materials out there then simple leather.


For example, some blended kevlar fabrics are more puncture/tear/and abrasion resistant than leather. Additionally, leather is a maintenance headache if you wish to keep it at peak strength to offer the most protection.

I've never seen lorica before but it seems like it could be a great complimentary if not the primary material for jackets/pants/suits at primary abrasion points. I'd personally like to see more keprotec and advanced kevlar blends.
 

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I've seen street clothes made of it. It just doesn't look quite as good and has the stigma of being known as a fake leather.
 

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Ben Jammin' said:
http://www.motoport.com/saveyourhid...=1-760-233-7561&Merchant_Phone=1-800-777-6499

Here's a great little .PDF showing different materials and their crashability. Note how soundly stretch kevlar blends surpass leather in terms of tear resistance and is at least on par in terms of abrasion cycles.
While that "test" looks promising in it's numbers, it's bothersome that it is not cited, and all other similar examples don't point to it being superior in most protective concerns. The CE standard for motorcyclist suits still requires it to be double-layered and limits it's coverage area when used in the low-risk, comfort zones, though some approved suits do use it as a secondary layer underneath high-risk impact/abrasion zones. Tear strength is great, but it's not clear that it is up to the task of proper abrasion protection for use as an outer layer. Seams are another issue that you rarely see in any discussion about any textile products, and what type of stitch is appropriate to keep the same burst values.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
license2ill said:
While that "test" looks promising in it's numbers, it's bothersome that it is not cited, and all other similar examples don't point to it being superior in most protective concerns. The CE standard for motorcyclist suits still requires it to be double-layered and limits it's coverage area when used in the low-risk, comfort zones, though some approved suits do use it as a secondary layer underneath high-risk impact/abrasion zones. Tear strength is great, but it's not clear that it is up to the task of proper abrasion protection for use as an outer layer. Seams are another issue that you rarely see in any discussion about any textile products, and what type of stitch is appropriate to keep the same burst values.
Good point about seams..because it doesn't matter how great the fabric is if the seams are easily compromised.

I should check my sources a little more. Consider that I found this .PDF from a site call "The Vegan Motorcyclist". Ha, not like the extremist type though- the guy still uses a leather jacket, but is slowly changing his gear choices.

I have no moral dilemmas regarding the use of leather, but I'm surprised with all our advancements in materials that we still use dried animal skins to protect us in a crash!

I wasn't aware of just how difficult leather was to maintain or just how easily it's protection is compromised merely by exposure to the elements or being creased.
 

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Ben Jammin' said:
I'm surprised with all our advancements in materials that we still use dried animal skins to protect us in a crash!
i think this may be quite common-- many highly evolved substances produced in nature are superior to their man-made counterpart. here are some examples that i could think of

spider web : kevlar fiber
human brain : computer
human bone : carbon fiber or manesium alloy
cow skin : ???
 

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license2ill said:
While that "test" looks promising in it's numbers, it's bothersome that it is not cited, and all other similar examples don't point to it being superior in most protective concerns. The CE standard for motorcyclist suits still requires it to be double-layered and limits it's coverage area when used in the low-risk, comfort zones, though some approved suits do use it as a secondary layer underneath high-risk impact/abrasion zones. Tear strength is great, but it's not clear that it is up to the task of proper abrasion protection for use as an outer layer. Seams are another issue that you rarely see in any discussion about any textile products, and what type of stitch is appropriate to keep the same burst values.
I agree that it would be nice to have Motoport get their gear independently tested & certified.

A few comments on the Scholler Kryptec fabric ("kevlar") jacket and pants:

1) They are built far beyond any off the rack stuff I have seen in terms of how its sewn together.  The stiches are heavy and redundant with safety stiching throughout.  The zippers are excellent, and the fit and finish is well. 
2) It will fit like it was tailor made because it in fact is tailor made to your exact measurements.  I think this contributes to the safety factor because the jacket is less likely to shift, as are the pants.
3) There is TONS of soft armor which is nice.  Wayne claims that his armor is so good you don't need a back protector.  I took that with a major grain of salt and wear a back protector when I feel that it's warranted. 
4) The fabric itself breathes quite well, and is cool in relative terms on hot days.  It wicks off moisture very well.  Also it's very cold below 55, they sell a liner setup that is $$$, I use a windbreaker (a no-no in the event that abrasion heated the nylon windbreaker and cooked it onto my skin)
5) I found a lot of feedback from racers who repeatedly crashed their Motoport kevlar suits and all said they held up very well, even in high speed 90+ MPH get-offs

Lastly, I think that one reason you don't see other manufacturers making this stuff is that it is very niche and also very expensive to make.  To stich this stuff they have to be tooled appropriately I believe.

Call Wayne or Christie at Motoport they'll tell you whatever you want to hear.

One major drawback - people will mistake you for a motorcycle cop if you go with all black and a reflective stripe.  And on track days everyone will think you are wearing a skimobile suit.

I have yet to find another type of suit that I can wear on a motorcycle tour in almost any weather, use in a track day with confidence, and yet be able to walk in the front door of my office with the jacket and a pair of jeans without looking like a gaudy poster boy for NASCAR.


 

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ancosta said:
I agree that it would be nice to have Motoport get their gear independently tested & certified.
A few comments on the Scholler Kryptec fabric ("kevlar") jacket and pants:
1) They are built far beyond any off the rack stuff I have seen in terms of how its sewn together. The stiches are heavy and redundant with safety stiching throughout. The zippers are excellent, and the fit and finish is well.
2) It will fit like it was tailor made because it in fact is tailor made to your exact measurements. I think this contributes to the safety factor because the jacket is less likely to shift, as are the pants.
3) There is TONS of soft armor which is nice. Wayne claims that his armor is so good you don't need a back protector. I took that with a major grain of salt and wear a back protector when I feel that it's warranted.
4) The fabric itself breathes quite well, and is cool in relative terms on hot days. It wicks off moisture very well. Also it's very cold below 55, they sell a liner setup that is $$$, I use a windbreaker (a no-no in the event that abrasion heated the nylon windbreaker and cooked it onto my skin)
5) I found a lot of feedback from racers who repeatedly crashed their Motoport kevlar suits and all said they held up very well, even in high speed 90+ MPH get-offs
Lastly, I think that one reason you don't see other manufacturers making this stuff is that it is very niche and also very expensive to make. To stich this stuff they have to be tooled appropriately I believe.
Call Wayne or Christie at Motoport they'll tell you whatever you want to hear.
One major drawback - people will mistake you for a motorcycle cop if you go with all black and a reflective stripe. And on track days everyone will think you are wearing a skimobile suit.
I have yet to find another type of suit that I can wear on a motorcycle tour in almost any weather, use in a track day with confidence, and yet be able to walk in the front door
Yep, I agree with that, and have talked to him and compared the various fabrics. I walked away impressed with the materials in feel-based comparisons. I also took the armor comments with a HUGE grain of salt, which made me really question my own abilities to decipher the real appropriateness of any gear.

That's really the thing, in a comparison, the Motoport stuff blows away other texitles in feel, and it may even blow it away in lab testing or real world crash tests, but that doesn;t mean it is even in the ballpark of non-textile alternatives or even truly apporpriate for basic expectations of carsh outcomes on the street or track. We have little proof of that even with leather sources, and an exclamation point is added when you see the Ride magazine suit testing results periodically, In assumptive comparisons, no other textiles come close, but in terms of crash results, I'm not so sure those comparisons matter anymore.

Same thing for Lorica or Clarino, or any other synthetic materials. They can look the part all they want, but performance in the areas that matter are what counts, and without proof of it within a finished product, the assumptions and hopes are not worth much.
 
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