Here's your chance to rave about the leathers you're wearing and why I should go and try a set on... I'm coming off Joe Rocket Blaster leathers that are a few years old and well worn, and not against going back to JR. Pics would be nice too. I'm looking for positive experiences and negative, so let's have 'em...
Thanks in advance. So far I've looked at Spyke, Spidi, Teknic and JR, and I wanna go 2-piece again.
DJ, local shop here has Spyke leathers (2 piece)in a few colours, I remember seeing red there.
Its a 1300 suit, on for 600 right now (left overs).
Boy Racer got a set, he likes it a lot.
Another buddy got a set, he likes his a lot too. He was on the Rhyno suit I use, says he likes the spyke a lot better. (and I like my rhyno, so the spyke must be damn nice)
Yeah CDN, Zdeno in Kitchener has 2-piece Spyke's on for 699 regular listing at 1599. Great deal, but they are the very European fit which just plain doesn't work for me. Tight in the chest, tight in the pits, short, and dumpy in the middle.
Today was a SERIOUS shopping day for me, went into Toronto to several dealers and I think I've narrowed it down to Spyke Dodger, Spidi Hook (last year's stock at good deal), and JR Speedmaster. They all fit great, and have their advantages. The Spyke gear is built very well, and the quality shows. It's a heavier gear though, and I'm concerned about those real humid days, but the look is fantastic. The Spidi gear is just a great deal - less than half retail, and it's a pretty pricey suit to begin with. They only have 1 size bigger than I ideally want though, so the pants seem a little long. The Speedmaster jacket and pants (separate deal) are the only JR I'm considering - it's their best, and it's also surprisingly good quality from what I can tell, has shoulder-mounted vents, and feels great - very light in the arms, and fits the way I think it should. However, the pants aren't as good as the other two, and they're straight black. Also the jacket isn't perforated which kinda bugs me.
Any more suggestions? I'm moving on this one on Friday if I don't see something else to change my mind... leaning towards Spyke right now.
As for AGV, can't find a dealer in the area - except the real local one, and he only is carrying 1-piece right now.
I tried on a set of 2-piece Dainese in solid black. Hot damn comfortable, but double the money of the Spyke, and can't convince myself I'd notice enough of a difference to justify the price. I'm also not sold on straight black, and they didn't have anything red in my size.
I'm a huge fan of Dainese too. If you're willing to shop around you can get some good deals on it too (Europe). I have yet to come across a better quality product. I used to have a Spidi. Definatly nice. But IMO not quite up to Dainese standards. But clearly ahead of JR and others. I don't like teknic except for their top of the line stuff. Alpinestars is good too. JR, I agree with you DJ, only get their top of the line stuff. Spyke seems good.
The spidi sounds like you'll get the best bang for your buck. The good thing about all black is you keep the suit no matter what bike you have down the road. It's hardest to make light colors (don't ask me why)so another good quality test is to look at the quality of the dye in those areas. The better ones won't crack, etc.
I snapped a few pics...
Jacket, got this cheap from Europe
Pants...SOOOO much better than my old JR ones. Also one of the very few to have belt loops - bonus!
& finally the gloves...like these too, but they have a white palm that tends to get dirty.
CDN I don't want you to go out of your way, so no big deal if you don't know, but is the Spyke gear there the European model or the 2003 North American stuff? There's a HUGE difference in the fit of the new gear from the previous sizing I think. I tried on size 58 (European) in the older Spyke gear and I couldn't even zip the jacket to the pants, and holy crap was it tight in the upper chest / lat area and in the pits. Then I tried on the new gear in size 56 and it didn't feel bad, and the 58 was perfect. I can't figure it out... but those definitely seem like good prices on the Target stuff (the other gear doesn't look too good to me...)
Yeah... the suit is European. The size tag shows a 52, and I'm a 42. I can't say enough about the suit though... mind you, it's the first one I've ever owned! It's quite comfy though. Fits me just right.
I'm pretty much sold on Spyke, but kewl to hear you're happy with it BR... I think I'm gonna pick up the Dodger jacket and Raptor pants from Cycle World in T.O. on Friday morning unless I find something else that grabs my attention between now and then. I got a pretty sweet deal on the go there... the jacket retails at $850 and the pants at $700, and I'm getting them BOTH for just under $900 - or just over a grand with taxes. Mind you, I understand nobody sells at retail nowdays, but still that's a great deal. Really sweet gear, especially at that price. This pic doesn't begin to do the jacket justice, you gotta check out the inside, and the attention to detail. Perforated leather, logo'd stitching inside, removable nice liner, hard armor, back armor, cool colours...
I gotta get to a trackday soon though, 'cuz I don't wanna be wearing non-scuffed pucks again for long, and it'd be a sin to throw my Joe Rocket pucks on there!!! [:M69]
If off-the-rack, relatively inexpensive products like Joe Rocket, Spidi, Teknic, etc. both fit and appeal to your sense of aesthetics, by all means go for it. Plenty of guys have great luck with such stuff for street riding and the occasional track day. I owned an inexpensive suit that worked great for street riding, back in 1994. This forum’s filled with such riders and that’s as good a reason as any to try them.
If you’re outside the norm in terms of height and/or weight, you may end up with a custom suit. They’re nice, fit very well, but tend to be expensive. There are ways to do these on the cheap as well, however. Do a little research in other forums catering to a slightly different demographic, see what you find.
If however you’re a thoughtful consumer, concerned about placing your hide in jeopardy on a race track, ask yourself this: what do riders who are NOT paid big sponsorship bucks ride on the track? The answer may be found in the pit area of just about any roadracing club in the U.S. (and elsewhere, presumably).
Looking around a little, you’ll find a lot of scuffed leathers with names like Syed, Vanson, and Z Custom. There’ll be a few Kushitani, Tiger Angel, and custom Dainese suits, too. Yah, some of the others might also be there, but ask how they crash and consider the answers. If you don’t like the answers, investigate further and look for consistency.
Almost all leathers work great in a crash once. My inexpensive suit worked just fine in a 70 mph Sears Point Turn 5 get-off in 1996. All crashes are different, naturally, but take a look at the seams, zippers, leather abrasion, etc: some crash better than others. Maybe you won’t mind throwing out or selling your leathers after one big crash; I sold mine to some kid for $150. Again, it depends on your mindset and how you intend to use the products.
I’d not hesitate to buy most common brands of leathers for street riding, and in fact own some Joe Rocket and similar gear. On the track, however, why take the chance? Your choice; know thyself.
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