After your motorcycle and your helmet, your biker leathers are the next most vital piece of kit. Riding a motorbike is a physically demanding activity, making use of every muscle group and your brain. One study has even suggested that it can be a physically demanding as an hour in the gym.
But all this strenuous activity will mean that your motorcycle leathers and riding gear will get damp and sweaty, and winter means there is excessive spray from the roads, salt, and all manner of grime and dirt. So how do you clean your motorcycle leathers?
Whether you have a one-piece leather race suit, or a two-piece jacket and trousers, the method is essentially the same. Keep in mind that just because your leathers are not noticeably stinky and sweaty doesn’t mean they don’t need cleaning. Try to remember to give them all a good, thorough clean at least twice a year.
1. Remove and wash the lining
Most leathers will have a detachable air-mesh lining that helps make getting in and out of them much easier. Take the dining out of the leathers, and pop them in the wash, taking care to heed the manufacturers washing instructions. Most linings are also anti-microbial, so if you leave them to air dry after washing, they won’t get stinky.
2. Grime and bugs
Insects, exhaust fumes, and debris from the road will inevitably end up on your leathers, potentially damaging the top layer, and removing the protection and waterproofing that keeps you safe and warm.
Using leather wipes, give the leathers a full wipe down to remove any grime and dirt. Worm your way around each panel of the leathers, methodically moving from one to the next. Don’t worry about any stubborn spots at this stage.
Once the initial clean is done, let the suit hang up for about 30-minutes and give it time to dry out.
Once dried, the next step is to thoroughly clean and condition your leathers with a dedicated leather cleaning agent, and leather food if you can find some.
Set aside an hour or so to get this done properly, and grab a microfibre cloth. Apply a grape-sized blob of the product you are using to the cloth and begin cleaning the leather moving your cloth in a circular motion.
Don’t exert too much pressure on your hand, instead, work an area for around five seconds before moving on to the next part of the panel.
Leather food or balsam is a great way of keeping your riding kit in the best condition. It’s applied after cleaning and when the suite has aired for a little while. It not only polishes the leather to look good, it nourishes it, helps to waterproof it and can restore the softness of the leather.
5. Let the leather dry out naturally
Once you’ve completed cleaning all of the leather kit, hang them up somewhere that has good ventilation, to allow air to circulate. Allow the leathers to dry and soak in the leather food.
If you’re looking for professional leather restoration, talk to us today.
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