We panned a leather jacket we received from Pakistan in August 2016 and warned riders against buying cheap motorcycle goods over the internet.
However, another Pakistan motorcycle leather goods company then got in touch with us and pleaded to give the country’s goods a second chance.
They also said they would soon be starting a line of chrome-free “green” leather goods made without using toxic chromium in the tanning process.
Meanwhile, they pressed us for sizes to send samples of their goods.
I tried to explain that it would not be a fair review if they knew they were sending gear to a journalist for review as they would make an extra-special high-quality product.
Your average punter may not get the same treatment.
But here’s the thing; even considering they knew the goods would be reviewed by a professional “moto noter”, it’s simply not up to standard.
The company sent boots ($US56), gloves ($US18) and a two-piece leather race suit ($US98 jacket and $US93 pants). All prices are delivered to Australia.
Even before I opened the small cardboard box I realised it was not great quality from the size and weight of the package.
There is no getting around the fact that genuine leathers are weighty and bulky.
When I opened the box, the next hint was the distinct smell of rubber rather than leather. It just did not smell right.
Next was the fit. Despite giving my measurements, they just don’t fit right.
For example, the pants are too tight, yet the jacket is too loose around the same waist measurement!
The jacket is also baggy everywhere, but at least the sleeves are long enough, unlike the previous Pakistan leather jacket.
They promised that all their armour is “CE approved as per international safety standard”, yet I could not find any CE labels.
I pressed them for certification and they emailed two testing documents that were too small to read. I asked for bigger copies, but they never complied.
Even if there was a label, there is nothing stopping them from simply counterfeiting them.
However, the foam back, shoulder and elbow protectors are skimpy and far too thin to be CE approved.
The only labels we could find were brand labels and a sticker that says “genuine leather”, but it doesn’t say what sort of leather. It feels very soft and thin.
They told us everything was “full-grain cow leather” except the gloves which were “drum dyed aniline cow leather”.
We believe it is more likely goat leather. We gave it a tear test with our hands and it seemed to hold, but stretched quite a bit.
But here is the most ridiculous thing about the leathers; the knee sliders are right around the side of the shins. They look ridiculous and, unless you have a radical style, totally ineffective.
Besides, the protectors are pieces of brittle plastic that would just melt on contact with the road.
The boots have no support and collapse at the ankle and in the middle of the foot.
They are so ill-fitting they are loose everywhere, except across the toes where they dig into my little toes. I don’t have super-wide feet, either. They are just badly designed.
The inner sole is like a piece of paper and are only stuck in with a small piece of glue on the heel, so they came out first time I removed my feet.
Also, the ankle protector and toe sliders are anchored with screws pointing directly at your foot. Ouch!
Best of a bad lot is the gloves which seem reasonably well made and are styled like race gloves with a velcro wrist fastener and had plastic “protectors” on the knuckles.
We’re not sure how long the protectors they would last in slide down the road, but we gave them a wood and metal file test and they held up well.
Behind the back of the knuckles there is some soft foam, so they feel soft and comfortable.
Many motorcycle manufacturers have products made in Pakistan and other Asian countries.
In fact, even Indian-owned Royal Enfield in “enemy territory” has their gear made in Pakistan, much to the chagrin of many Indian riders!
However, these known manufacturers have strict quality control and usually abide by European approval standards.
A lot of Asian companies make knock-off products that look identical to the brand-name goods, but they simply don’t stand up to the test.
We haven’t mentioned the company name, but once again, we do not recommend buying directly from any Asian manufacturers.