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Discussion Starter #1
I am starting to look for new leathers. The ones I have don't have a lot of armour, and since I starting to get into track days I am looking for a little more protection. I think that a two piece suit would be best - I would like to be able to remove the jacket when off the bike. I will definitely need a custom made set - or at least significant alterations to a 'stock' suit. Any suggestions as to suppliers, manufacturers?

Thanks in advance,
 

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RickD said:
they have a buy back program too. And they make them for kids aswell.
 

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zooom said:
Heliomot!
I pit with a guy who won't wear anything else. The works...leathers, back protector, chest pad, gloves, t-shirts around the paddock...everything but boots and lid.

of course...he is from Cali...;)

If you are east coast, I'd say Vanson for sure [I like dainese...but we are talking custom]
 

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I have a Zcustom and Syed suit, both are well made. The edge for better finish and customer service goes to Zcustom. Using their measurement sheet and talking with them over the phone resulted in suits that fit great. Both have been crashed tested (too many times), and survived pretty much in tack, only minor repairs even with 100 mph high side (Syed), and 70 mph low side (Zcustom). More importantly I didn't suffer any road rash from the leather coming apart or secordary burns from poor fit.

If moneys no object, Helimot also makes a great suit. A friend raced with one, and it held up like a champ, in numerous crashes.
 

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A friend of mine is a very big guy that has a hard time buying leathers.
He found a great leather person that modifies his suits, jackets and pants when he buys off the shelf. He says there are some designs that he likes that are only available off the shelf (like Ducati Performance and Dianese)
Plus he says when his weight flucuates, he just gets his suits taken in or let out.
 

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moto said:
A friend of mine is a very big guy that has a hard time buying leathers.
He found a great leather person that modifies his suits, jackets and pants when he buys off the shelf. He says there are some designs that he likes that are only available off the shelf (like Ducati Performance and Dianese)
Plus he says when his weight flucuates, he just gets his suits taken in or let out.
Does he ride a 999R?
 

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Helimot in San Jose. For christmas I had my gf fitted by Helmut for some leathers. Two hours/ 28 measurements and a month for manufacture later, the result is sublime ! No measurement was in vain and she says they are the finest leathers she's ever had.

I'll go back for a pair for myself this year.


RobertVP said:
I am starting to look for new leathers. The ones I have don't have a lot of armour, and since I starting to get into track days I am looking for a little more protection. I think that a two piece suit would be best - I would like to be able to remove the jacket when off the bike. I will definitely need a custom made set - or at least significant alterations to a 'stock' suit. Any suggestions as to suppliers, manufacturers?

Thanks in advance,
 

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An alternative...

If you don't mind or are going to spend $1200 - $1500 then I say go with what the others have been suggesting. If you want to save a little and still own a quality suit you may consider this:

http://www.newenough.com/spidi_viper_touring_2pc_suit_page.htm

Buy the closest fit and have it altered where necessary. You may end up spending substantially less. Some of the custom leather companies will alter suits of any brand.

I bought the NRG racing suit from this site for $1000 and it fits me great. But, I'm pretty much the standard size, 5' 10" 165lbs, for motorcycle gear.
 

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thewall67 said:
If you don't mind or are going to spend $1200 - $1500 then I say go with what the others have been suggesting. If you want to save a little and still own a quality suit you may consider this:

http://www.newenough.com/spidi_viper_touring_2pc_suit_page.htm

Buy the closest fit and have it altered where necessary. You may end up spending substantially less. Some of the custom leather companies will alter suits of any brand.

I bought the NRG racing suit from this site for $1000 and it fits me great. But, I'm pretty much the standard size, 5' 10" 165lbs, for motorcycle gear.
The above sounds like a good plan....if you don't know what goes into pattern-making and altering clothing.

"Just take the waist in a little" entails modifications to upper body panels, and lower body panels. That can also affect changes in fit on other parts of the suit. The upper arm being too big means that you, not only, have to modify the upper arm, but also the arm hole size - that can be made up of 3 - 6 different pieces.

It's not as easy as it sounds. And what you're left with is an ill-fitting bargain suit. Why not just buy a Hoda Hawk and strap a Jato bottle on it if you want to go faster? Same idea. Neither the wearer, nor the suit-refitter, will be happy with the results.

I have a Helimot custom suit. It fits like a second skin and is comfortable enough for wearing at multiple trackdays in a row all day.

Helimot has provided suits for Jason Pridmore, Kenny Roberts Sr, Jamie Hacking, all the Hayden brothers, Jamie James....the list goes on. Once these guys can get paid big bucks to wear a suit, they take the money and compromise their safety.

The STAR school used to wear exclusively Helimot suits. Jason used to wear exclusively STAR suits. Once he became sponsored by Joe Rubbish, the instructors were fitted for custom Joe Rubbish suits, gloves and boots, and Jason was also. After one instructor crashed and the palm of his Joe Rubbish gloves peeled back, and the instructors found their new custom suits uncomfortable for all-day wear, many of the instructors started wearing their Helimot suits once again.

If you're going to continue to ride, get a custom suit. You're worth it. Whether it's SYED, Z, Barnacle Bill, or Bates, is up to you. Just make sure you're happy with it when it's done. A custom suit is a whole 'nother level better than an off-the-rack suit.

There's a race school out at Hallett in Oklahoma who now wears Helimot leathers. A test rider at Harley has just placed his order. The Zoom-Zoom track day organization in the SF Bay area used to be sponsored by Zooni. They got their suits free of charge. They have now abandoned the FREE suits by Zooni and are now PAYING for Helimot suits for their instructors. That kinda tells you the story.

See if you can find out similar information about the suits you're interested in. Look at what the top local racers wear. Go for a ride with the owner of the company - if he/she rides. I'd prefer to buy my suit from a rider who knows what riders need. Buy from someone involved in the local riding community. Talk to local riders who have custom suits and get their feedback.

Takeaway message: A custom suit is far better than an off-the-rack suit. And do your homework on custom suits - these are not small investments and you'll be wearing it for years.

5 years so far on my Helimot suit - and one crash - and it looks great. I had the crash damage repaired, and some liner wear repaired, for less than $200 and you can't tell that it's been crashed until you look real close and know what to look for. Damn good investment.

Helimot is at www.helimot.com or (408)298-9608.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thank you all for the time you have put into your replies! I think it will be a Helimot 2 piece. They aren't exactly just around the corner, but at least they are in the same time zone. This tread is a good example of why this forum is so great. I hadn't even heard of several of the manufacturers mentioned.

Making alterations to a suit isn't going to work. In my case because of many years spent in smelly, dank gyms, not too much time at the dessert table. Well, OK, a little too much of that this past eating season!!

Now, what colour(s)? Oh, the choices...

So let's see. In the past 3 months that totals a new ST4S, DP carbon exhaust for the ST4S, Termignoni titanium exhaust for the 999, and new racing leathers... Honey what are you doing with that suitcase? Uh, where are you going?
 

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Buckelew said:
The above sounds like a good plan....if you don't know what goes into pattern-making and altering clothing.

"Just take the waist in a little" entails modifications to upper body panels, and lower body panels. That can also affect changes in fit on other parts of the suit. The upper arm being too big means that you, not only, have to modify the upper arm, but also the arm hole size - that can be made up of 3 - 6 different pieces.

It's not as easy as it sounds. And what you're left with is an ill-fitting bargain suit. Why not just buy a Hoda Hawk and strap a Jato bottle on it if you want to go faster? Same idea. Neither the wearer, nor the suit-refitter, will be happy with the results.
I wasn't quite suggesting take it to your corner dry cleaner, fit it with belt loops, and synch it up.

Some of the custom leather suit manufactures will take an off the rack suit, measure you like they would measure you for a custom suit, and then alter it accordingly with the knowledge and skill they use on a custom. This won't be possible for every type of alteration and easier if the suit needs to be tightened up as opposed to expanded. It is pretty much certain it won't fit as well or offer the best safety money can buy as a custom but an altered top quality Dainese, Spidi, Alpinestar won't quite be an ill fitting Teknic either.

I realize the fit of the suit- armor staying where it's supposed too, tight fitting leather slides better and doesn't grab, bunch up, or rip like loose fitting leather- is a major part of it's safety. A custom suit from a quality manufacture can’t be beat for safety and comfort. But if a custom suit is just not an option then a high quality off the rack suit- altered if necessary by a company that knows what they are doing- is a good option.
 

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RobertVP said:
Thank you all for the time you have put into your replies! I think it will be a Helimot 2 piece. They aren't exactly just around the corner, but at least they are in the same time zone. This tread is a good example of why this forum is so great. I hadn't even heard of several of the manufacturers mentioned.
As long as you are looking in that area, check out:

http://www.johnsonleather.com/

Great custom suits that incorporate some of the top armor made.

Tony
 
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