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  • March 01, 2023 4 min read

    Hello Fellow LAMkins hope you have all had the opportunity to get out on your bike, we were actually able to run a general meeting at the beginning of February. It was a bit touch and go as it wasn’t actually that warm, my car said it was 2degrees as I headed to Doggy-Day-Care to drop my charge off. A quick check of the weather forecast and fortunately it said it would be 5degrees by 10am, so I was much relieved. It was actually very nice biking weather, the sun was shining, the roads were dry and it was really good to get out and get some riding done, which was just as well as I think we had a record number of Newbies attend, we had 9!!! Fortunately, we also had a plethora of Observers, so thank you all.

    At this time of year (in fact all year round) we start to think about our bike gear and will it stand up to another year of monsoon weather? There is always the big debate, do I go for a laminate suit or a drop liner suit? A what you say? Yup, that was me, I had no idea what the nice lady in the shop was telling me but I now have an answer that I understand. The below is information I found online, it’s well worth a read.


    Laminate or drop liner?

    In recent years, lots of motorcyclists have convinced themselves that, when it comes to waterproof, textile suit, laminated is the way to go. And it has to be acknowledged that laminated membranes do bring some advantages to some riders in some circumstances. But there are also some clear disadvantages with laminated gear.

    In a laminated garment, the waterproof membrane is bonded to the inner side of the outer shell. Because of this, the rain cannot pass through the outer fabric. A laminated garment will never become soaking wet and waterlogged, even after many hours in heavy rain. It will never reach the state that we know as “wet out”.

    The more traditional construction for a waterproof jacket or trousers is known as drop-liner membrane. In a dop-liner garment, the membrane hangs independently inside the outer chassis. In both forms of waterproofing, the rider will not get wet. The membrane will keep the rider dry in both scenarios. The difference is that a drop liner garment will, in certain circumstances, specifically after many hours in the rain take on water. I must make it clear here that whether you wear a laminated garment or a drop liner one the rider will stay dry in the heaviest of downpours.

    There are only a couple of situations where you would really benefit from a laminated garment. If you find yourself facing a long, long journey in heavy rain, say, a five hour slog at speed on the motorway. On such a journey, a laminated jacket will not become waterlogged. At the end of the journey the jacket will be damp, but will dry out in an hour or so. A drop-liner jacket will soak up the rain and might still be wet the following morning.

    The second scenario where laminated garments have an advantage is commuting. I’m not talking about a 15 minute commute but if you have an hour or more commute into work in heavy rain, when it comes to going home some eight hours later, if you have a drop-liner outfit, it might well still be damp, with a laminated garment, it would be bone dry.

    Drop liner garments are warmer because the air gap between the membrane and the outer shell is an insulating pocket for trapping body heat. To get a drop liner to perform better than a laminated one would be to wear a waterproof over the top. There would rarely ever be a need to do this, but it would create the perfect solution and would out perform a laminated suit.

    The downside to a laminate suit is that the lamination of the membrane goes directly onto a fabric making it stiffer, so laminated garments are not as comfortable as a drop liner suit.

    So, you will need to decide what type of riding do you do and choose your suit according to the journeys you plan on carrying out.

    I need to go lay down in a dark room as my head now hurts!

    Turning back to advanced training I believe there are still spaces available on the training weekend to Norfolk a the end of April, so hop over to the shop and book your space now. It is definitely worth attending, you riding will come along in leaps and bounds, plus great riding roads and great company with your fellow LAMkins. Keep an eye on Tracker as there are always new ride outs being added that you might want to go on.

    Jane Harle

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