Prices look real good! But, I bought a leather diamond plate "buffalo" jacket for a reasonable price (at least I thought) but it's coming apart. I guess if I get another season out if it (next year), I'll have gotten my $40 out of it. At least I found what all others have been knowing for years, leather "does" make the difference when riding in cold weather. I borrowed a friends leather chaps, along with my expensive jacket, for the Sedalia ride earlier this season & "MAN", was that the Cat's Meow!
I have 2 complete sets of Brooks Leathers from umpteen years ago. I have the Marlon Brando jackets and the chaps. I never wear the chaps however, I always wear the jacket. Why, I don't know. The chaps are nice but I think I'd prefer leather riding jeans.
In retrospect, I can still get in the jacket. It zips a little tight and same for the chaps. Brooks and Langlitz were the premier leather ware makers years ago. I heard Brooks leathers were really chic.
Get some chaps, but don't cheap out. Good top grained drum dyed leather is expensive. India buffalo hide isn't, but won't last.
The cheapest place I found chaps is at www.bransonwholesale.com. I have a pair and they seem to be good quality for the price. Also checkout the Boneyard helmet at the site, my wife bought me one for christmas. Dave 06 R3 R&W
They do a very good job at keeping cold wind from chilling your bones ... like all such products the prices and quality vary a good bit ... I like to wear them for the extra skid protection, but living on the Gulf coast it is only a small part of the year that it is cool enough to wear them ... so some cheaper buffalo leather ones have served me well ...
I prefer to buy things like chaps and jackets at a rally where there is a reasonable choice to compare and put your hands on ... I have had good luck though with ording a couple of jackets from Jamin' Leather.
I thought about chaps but got the western jeans from Triumph instead. I am very happy with them. They are very warm, have padding and are water and wind proof. They look like normal pants and they zip to my jacket.
Bought the Triumph Rocket III leather jacket (that's the one with a LARGE Rocket III 2300cc badge on the back) and matching zip-on leather pants a couple of months ago. Premium price (although the dealer knocked 10% off Triumph's list price) Good quality, thick (and heavy!) leather. They are padded and have removable linings that do keep me warm. Only wish the jacket had a couple more pockets. Best. Jamie
If cash is talking loudest, forget the leather and go VINYL. It's waterproof, will last a long time provided it don't get too cold and crack, it comes in various colors so you can get a designer color coordinated outfit and besides being waterproof it don't breathe so it will keep you warm and comfortable in the cold and contain all your perspiration (ie: sweat).
VINYL has an added but obscure benefit. If you get some snow and can't go biking, VINYL makes a really fast toboggan. It's more slippery than cat poop on a linoleum floor when descending a snow covered hill.
Wonder if you could skin a few dozen chickens and make a feathery set of duds??