Bike Leathers Care Guide

By: Dave MotorCycle Direct Posted: March 16th, 2016

As many bike enthusiasts know keeping your bike cleaned and maintained is number one. However many bikers forget to take good care of their leathers. It is important to treat your leathers regularly, so we have put together some useful tips on how to get that supple leather shine.

Firstly you're going to want to get rid of the smell. If you have been riding in hot weather it's particularly important to turn your leathers inside out and hang them out, preferably outside, to air properly.

Once aired, the next step is to give them a good clean. How often you choose to clean your leathers depends on how often you ride. If your leathers are wet, clean them before they start to dry and crack. Rainwater can dry out your leathers and also washes away any natural oils that are locked in them. Although it may be tempting to chuck your leathers into the washing machine, this will strip away all the natural oils causing the leather to dry out much quicker than normal. Clean your leathers using a leather cleaner formula and a soft cotton cloth. A useful tip is to use an old cotton t-shirt, much more cost effective, avoiding wasting money on expensive cloths. Whichever cleaning product you choose to use on your leathers, be sure to follow the instructions to ensure you are using the right amount and applying it correctly.

After cleaning and once your leathers are completely dry, the next step is to condition them to keep them supple. Leathers are from animal skin after all so they need to be treated regularly to keep healthy and fresh. Using a soft cloth again, rub the conditioner onto the leathers in small circles ensuring the leather absorbs it all over. When the leathers feel supple and look healthy you know they are done. Condition as often as possible as this will extend the life of your leathers, particularly after being exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Once finished, be sure to hang your suit back up to let it dry and absorb the conditioner thoroughly. Whether this is back outside or in a well ventilated area inside, ensure you do this before putting your leathers away or before you even wear them.

If you want to protect them further, then once your conditioner has dried you can also apply a water proofer to allow extra protection. Rub this in using the same method as the conditioner in small circles and again allow to dry. Water proofing formula can often take longer to absorb and dry thoroughly so allow your leathers to dry overnight before storing away or wearing.

Overview of Top Tips for Leathers Care:

  • Do not use waxes or silicone formulas or other leather dressings that may not allow the leather to breathe. Your products should protect the leather and not clog it up.
  • If your leathers get wet ensure they completely dry out before you condition them as you don't want to lock in any water that may wash away natural oils.
  • Ensure that you keep your leathers in a cool dry place. If they were to get damp in storage, over time this would mean that they would deteriorate in condition.
  • Even if your leathers are brand new treat them as soon as you get them, this will keep them supple and healthy. It goes without saying that the more you treat your leathers the longer they will last.
  • Unprotected leather is more likely to spot and stain from things such as water drops and other liquids that may come off your bike. Treating them regularly will ensure their lifetime is extended.