How long will my leathers last?

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Q. We all know that manufacturers put a life expectancy on helmets of roughly five years but is there a life expectancy on leathers?

I know we should replace any kit if it has been involved in a high impact spill or accident, but what if not?

I have had my leathers now for what must be going on 10-12 years and they still fit OK, are plenty supple enough and have only (fortunately) been involved in very minor spills at very low speeds.

The lining stitching is coming away in various places but the outer cowhide seems fine.

Do leathers also require replacing regularly or as long as they are kept in good condition should they last forever? Does the stitching eventually give up the ghost.
Tony Bradden, email
A. A good quality set of leathers should give you 15-20 years service and if you’re like me you’re more likely to change shape and struggle to fit into them before they lose their functionality! You mention the lining stitching and it is the seams that are the weak point on leathers.

Seams are held together by cotton or nylon-bonded thread and should be checked regularly for fraying or pulled threads. I’d also make a point of cleaning my leathers with water-based products just in case a solvent-based product reacted with the thread.

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