How To Waterproof Motorcycle Leathers?

25 Jan, 2024   
How To Waterproof Motorcycle Leathers?

You can find a real sense of freedom and excitement through an adventurous ride on a motorcycle, as there is hardly anything as thrilling as riding a motorcycle. When riders get a new motorcycle, they feel like they have the entire world in their hands. However, it’s also essential to take proper care of your bike and ensure that it’s clean, free of dust, and all its parts properly function so that you can seamlessly enjoy riding your motorcycle. 

Leather craftsmanship is an inseparable part of any bike, which adds to its retro look.  Leather, renowned for its resilience and timeless appeal, is significant in motorcycles. So, motorcycle leathers are more than just a fashion statement; they also have a purpose, like keeping riders safe from impacts and abrasions during crashes or accidents

However, despite its durability, leather is not impervious to moisture. That’s why it’s essential to waterproof your motorcycle leathers, especially when riding through inclement weather conditions. We will tell you how you can do so in this article.

The Role of Leather in Motorcycle Gear

Durability

Leather’s inherent toughness protects riders against abrasions and minor impacts, offering an extra layer of defense in case of accidents.

Protection

Aside from its toughness, leather functions as a weather barrier, sheltering motorcyclists from wind, debris, and the hardness of the road, promoting a safer riding experience.

Style

Its classic and enduring look is more than just a fashion statement; it reflects the biker community’s deep-rooted culture and tradition, demonstrating a connection to the road and the motorcycles they ride.

Importance of Waterproofing

Motorcycles and motorcycle protective gear frequently feature leatherwork. As a result, it’s not only used in motorcycles but in many aspects of motorcycle apparel, including riding jackets, pants, boots, and more. Consequently, motorcycle leathers are left exposed to the weather, and it’s clear that they require a waterproofing treatment to withstand rain, snow, and foggy conditions.

Despite its exceptional qualities, leather is vulnerable to moisture. It absorbs water when exposed to rain, resulting in a loss of flexibility, stiffness, and an extended drying period, whether used on the bike or in the rider’s clothing. Moreover, prolonged exposure can cause leather to weaken, reducing its durability and overall performance.

It also causes them to get wet, cold, and uncomfortable for the riders. Furthermore, damp leather can grow heavier, resulting in fatigue, potential diversions, and compromising riding safety. That’s why it’s paramount that you waterproof the leather associated with your bike. 

Comprehensive Waterproofing Methods

The most efficient method is to apply specialized waterproofing solutions to make leather waterproof and ensure its stability for a long time. You must first choose the right products for the task before you can start waterproofing particular leather objects. You may find a variety of leather waterproofing products on the market. They all have their unique qualities. So, learn about the advantages and how they stack up against your needs and demands.

Here are some waterproofing methods that you can go for 

Beeswax and Lanolin Mixture

This homemade blend serves as a cost-effective waterproofing solution. When applied and heated gently, it penetrates the leather fibers, enhancing its resistance to moisture.

Wax-Based Repellents

One of the most prevalent types of waterproofing products on the market is wax-based repellant. Wax products readily form a barrier on the leather, repelling water while being breathable. They work wonders to keep the leather’s sheen, texture, and original appearance.

Silicone-based Sprays

While not as potent as dedicated leather waterproofing products, silicone sprays provide a quick fix for waterproofing leather. Silicone sprays are also a popular solution for waterproofing motorcycle leathers, as it can be applied without any hassle. They effectively create a protective layer on the leather that prevents water from penetrating the material.

Waterproofing Creams

Another widespread method for protecting motorcycle leathers from water damage is waterproofing creams and oils. Besides protecting the leather from water, waterproofing oils and creams help maintain it. They work wonders for extending the life and pliability of leather goods.

Leather Sealants

Regarding waterproofing motorcycle leathers, leather sealants are a comparatively modern addition. Leather sealant products are the way to go if you want a robust waterproofing method for your motorcycle leather. They provide a strong barrier that keeps water out of leather surfaces. Hardcore bikers or long-distance riders frequently encountering severe weather conditions will find these the most suitable products. 

Considerations When Using Waterproofing Agents on Leathers

You must be careful before adding waterproofing agents to the leather if you want them to work effectively. Therefore, ensure the leather is immaculate and devoid of dust, filth, or other debris. After gently cleaning the leather with a sponge or soft cloth dampened with a gentle leather cleanser or wax, allow the surfaces to air dry completely. Do not use harsh chemicals to preserve the leather’s inherent qualities.

Before applying the waterproofing product to the entire leather gear, ensure it is compatible by testing it on a small, hidden area. This will help avoid any discoloration or damage. Today, the market offers a wide variety of waterproofing materials. Therefore, evaluate the features of many products to find the one that best suits your demands and tastes.

After cleaning the leather, apply the waterproofing agent according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Use a clean sponge or cloth to apply the waterproofing chemicals, being sure to concentrate on any gaps or zippers that could allow water to sneak in. After that, give the leather plenty of time to dry. Keep them away from heat sources and direct sunlight, and hang them in a well-ventilated place.

Conclusion

Waterproofing motorcycle leathers isn’t just a precautionary measure against rain; it’s an investment in essential riding gear’s comfort, safety, and longevity. Understanding the significance of leather in motorcycle attire and employing appropriate waterproofing techniques empowers riders to navigate diverse weather conditions confidently. To waterproof your motorcycle leather, you can choose any of the products above, so choose one that suits your needs the best. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is leather commonly used in motorcycle gear?

Leather is favored for its durability, providing abrasion resistance in accidents, protection against the elements, and a timeless style that reflects the motorcycle culture.

How does rain affect untreated leather gear?

Rain can make untreated leather stiff and less flexible and increase drying time. Prolonged exposure can also degrade the leather’s quality over time.

What are some DIY methods for waterproofing leather gear?

Beeswax and lanolin mixtures and silicone-based sprays are DIY options. Beeswax mixtures enhance resistance, while silicone sprays provide a quick fix.

How often should I inspect and reapply waterproofing to my leather gear?

Regular inspections are recommended to detect wear or loss of waterproofing. Reapply products as needed, especially before rainy seasons or extended rides.

Can I use general waterproofing products for leather, or should I opt for specialized motorcycle leather products?

It’s advisable to use specialized motorcycle leather waterproofing products, as they are designed to protect the leather without compromising its breathability or other essential qualities.

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