I don't feel as if you've "lectured" us, Dan, nor that you've contradicted yourself. I appreciate the reminder and the specific, accurate information about the comparative toughness of different materials we can use to try to protect ourselves. Thanks!
I also wear perforated leathers whenever possible during warm weather, but sometimes it simply gets too freakin' hot and humid to even contemplate slipping into cowhide! Like you, I then begin to make decisions that I know will move me in a less than ideal-and-safe direction.
First, I decide to ride despite the temp and humidity both pushing into the high 90s. The wiser decision, of course, would be to stay inside and do my "riding" on a PlayStation II with a glass of ice tea next to me! However, I'm usually going to opt for riding in the real world, unless I find that I simply can't concentrate and function adequately because of the heat.
Second, I decide to opt for a two-layer oufit: Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket and pants (both with upgraded armor, but still minimal protection in most areas); and a long-sleeve Kevlar undershirt, with a weave that's loose enough to allow perspiration out and air in, from the folks at Draggin' Jeans. I always wear Sidi Vertigo boots, race-quality gloves and a DOT/SNELL full-face helmet.
If I go down at speed on the pavement, am I probably going to burn quickly through layers and start leaving a skin (and, probably, muscle) trail? Yes. But am I better protected than the yahoos I pass, time after time during the summer, who wear shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops and sunglasses? Yes. Am I willing to take the risks associated with my choice of vehicle and clothing? Yes, yes, yes!
I yearn for a climate change that would allow me to ride year 'round in my leathers in clear, dry, 75 degree (F) comfort. And I also yearn for MV Augusta to name me as their Chief Consumer Test Rider, which would entitle me, free of charge, to one each of their new bikes every year to ride and keep indefinitely.
Ah, it never hurts to dream.....
But it does hurt - sometimes very, very badly - to fall, slide, and peel. That's one of the risks each of us takes, each time she or he rides and regardless of how carefully. Wearing protective clothing can help mitigate that risk to some extent, but the level of protection will always have to be balanced against the degree of swaddling that the body can tolerate for any given combination of temperature, wind and humidity.
Thanks again, Dan, for sharing the comparison of various textiles-in-action. It will help us all make more fully informed choices.