I switched from a supersport last year to a big twin cruiser this year. I definitely feel that armoured cruiser style motorcycle gear is hard to find. I know that I can get textile jackets and over pants that have armour, but finding classic styled cruiser gear that has protection is hard to find. I've found a couple classic motorcycle gun jackets that have armour in them, but finding armoured leather chaps and armoured cruiser boots that don't look like space boots seems impossible. I've got room in my chaps now that I've stretched them out/broken them in so I'm thinking of having them modified to hold knee protection and hip protection. But boots are a tough call. Wearing a pair of cowboy boots that are comfortable to ride in, but there's no real impact protection, just abrasion protection.
Yeah yeah, I know, it should be about comfort and functionality rather than style and fashion, but there's not much of a reason why you can't have both.
Best jacket I ever owned was one made by Star (Yamaha.) Massive amount of protection. Rubber pads all over the place, good elbow, back, kidney protection, etc. I’m a leather guy myself, as I still believe that fabric is one use only (put it down and there is a chance you can’t use the stuff again) and, talking from experience, I find when it’s cold, the fabric lets me freeze, and when it is warm, I cook to death. I have found insulated leather, well, insulates better. Currently, I have a Joe Rocket touring jacket, Triumph leather pants, but took the knee pads out because they were just way too uncomfortable (still lots of thick leather in the knees. I’m sacrificing a bit, but I think there is still a lot of protection there), SWAT boots, but I’ll be changing those to a dedicated motorcycle boot. My wife totally loves hers, so I’m going to give them a try. You can find some decent deals on the net. The biggest problem I have found is finding good insulated touring leather gloves. Mine are about worn out, and I’ll be damned if I can find them anywhere in town or on the net. I know from experience how important good gear is, and in my humble opinion, leather is still the way to go.