Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Auburn, WA
Year/Make/Model: 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 LTD; 1996 Kawasaki ZX9R Ninja; 1993 Kawasaki ZR-1100 (now 1322 cc)
Displacement/CC's: 2000 cc; 900 cc; 1322 cc
I have chaps but have rarely worn them.
I do wear leather, almost always. I have mostly leather for jackets (I have several jackets), and have leather jean pants made by Vanson, and I have a custom made two piece leather suit that I have occasionally worn on my cruiser, although it is more suitable for my sport bike.
I wear leather with armor in the shoulders and elbows and back. Ventilation is a must. One jacket I own has fabric inserts on the insides of the sleeves and perforation in the front and exhaust at the rear. Another jacket has a zip down vent that goes top to bottom on right and left on the front and ventilation out the back (expansion joints going top to bottom on each side). I own a Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket to wear on real hot days, but if I am touring I only wear leather, usually the perforated jacket, and I take a rain coat to put over it if it gets cold or rainy.
For pants I usually wear jeans or work pants, but I do also wear leather pants on some trips. I consider leather the best protection, but there are good fabric options out there that have pretty decent abrasion resistance and armor, and they can provide better ventilation unless you buy a leather jacket that is perforated or that has a lot of built in ventilation zippers or fabric inserts (usually those are on inside panel of sleeves).