Thank you Alpinestars

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So I had a little crash on Sunday. Lowsided at about 40mph and slid down the road, chasing a tumbling bike. You know what? It was actually kind of fun. That’s because it didn’t hurt. Not a bit. That’s because I was wearing head to toe Alpinestars safety gear.

I don’t want to say which bike as the we haven’t sorted out the details with the manufacturer but, suffice it to say, that a slight ground clearance issue was to blame. Despite getting way off the side, I still manage to dig the sidestand mount into the pavement on a relatively easy, banked, 2nd gear corner in the mountains. That took the weight off the front tire, washing it out. I slid behind the bike for a good 10 yards as it tumbled, the whole time thinking, “what the hell just happened?!” No big deal, had the bike up and off the side of the road by the time my two Seans caught up.

The getup I wear anytime I’m going to be riding fast was able to brush the crash off with only a few minor scuffs. It’s all still perfectly serviceable. No busted seams, no worn stitches, no holes, no nothing. More importantly, I could barely feel the crash at all. No bruises, no sore joints, no friction burns. Luckily, I didn’t touch my AGV AX-8 Dual down, so I don’t need a new one of those. Let’s detail the gear that did such a good job.

Alpinestars MX-1 Suit
I’ve had this suit for five years now and it’s never failed to be comfy and flexible in all weather conditions, on the road and on the track. But, this is its first crash. As you can see in the pics, I slid on my left arm and on my ass. The left arm hit first and took most of my weight, so it’s got the most damage. The double layer leather ass panel is barely even scuffed.

My left arm is my gimpy arm from that big crash a few years back, so it’d be bad news bears if I fucked it up again. Can you straighten titanium plates? Luckily the MX-1 has some seriously beefy plastic/foam armor that did a great job absorbing shock and covering the entirety of my left forearm. That arm is especially sensitive to shocks now, but seriously, I couldn’t feel a thing when I hit the road with it.

Alpinestars Supertech R Boots
These are the second most damaged item. I think my foot was caught under the bike for a second as we slid. But, as you’d expect from Astars’ flagship racing boot, a 40mph crash was no big deal for them. There’s some scuffing, but they protected my feet from the dual impact of road, then bike falling on foot. Again, they worked so well that I felt absolutely nothing.

These boots are seriously amazing even when you’re not crashing. They’re incredibly light and flexible considering they offer so much protection. An inner bootie protects your ankle from impact, hyperflexion and hyperextension while the outer shell provides abrasion protection and is equipped with impact guards in the sole, heel, toe, shin and calf. Feel is excellent, as is grip. I can’t imagine riding a sportsbike in anything else, these have become like a favorite old pair of sneakers to me.

Alpinestars GP Pro Gloves
Looks like my hands also took some impact and sliding, which is to be instinctually expected in any get off. I say looks like, because I barely noticed I was crashing at the time, it just didn’t hurt. The plastic sliders on the palms did their job, scooting along the pavement without grabbing.

These gloves work great with leathers due to those big, plastic cuffs that rotate freely around the arm of the leathers. Those add impact protection too, something my wrist needs after it exploded in that last big crash.

Alpinestars Track Protection Vest
If it feels like I’m waxing lyrical, it’s because I am. I’m seriously a huge fan of all this gear. This vest is the perfect example of a versatile, comfortable way to wear a ridiculous degree of protection. It combines a CE Level 2 back protector and CE chest protecters with all-over thick foam padding for the ribs, kidneys, collar bone and whatever else is underneath my manly physique. It does that in a stretchy, breathable vest that zips on securely and is slim enough even to wear under suits and jackets that haven’t been designed to accommodate back and chest armor. As the name suggests, it’s designed for track suits, but I use it while touring and just riding around on the road too. The vest is so much easier to use than the traditional velcro waist band and shoulder straps that I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It’s a perforated material, so it doesn’t add warmth.

Alpinestars Comp Pro Shorts
These are designed for dirt riding, but I wear them under my leathers to add extra protection against impacts to my hips and coccyx. As another indication of Astars quality, I’ve had these for four years and they still look and wear like new. Not something you’d expect from a glorified pair of bicycle shorts. They’re very breathable, thin and light, so they work really well under my leathers.

That I’m talking so lightly about what was a fairly significant crash (more on bike damage soon) shouldn’t be taken as an indication of usual results. 40mph might not sound that fast, but I think I was probably only going around 25 to 30 when I destroyed my left arm. 40mph is enough to cripple or kill you if you’re unlucky or unprepared. The road is hard. Protect yourself.

  • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

    glad you re ok there

  • Coreyvwc

    Ha, I have a nearly identical compliment of safety gear and had a nearly identical crash a few months back. I was amazed how utterly painLESS and smooth it was and actually got back up laughing my ass off. That is, until I remembered how pricey replacement European motorcycle parts can be. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

  • RocketSled

    You guys seem to test out your safety gear…a LOT.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      That’s why we wear it.

    • Sean Smith

      We can tell you how awesome everything is when it’s new and shiney, but the only way to really know how well gear works is to actually use it. If we lied to you and hushed up our crashes, you’d never get to hear this stuff.

      • RocketSled

        Oh, no doubt, it’s just that us ‘sane’ people do everything we can to avoid testing our gear. I have NO idea how my mid-grade Joe Rocket Jacket would hold up. All of my gear is probably cheaper than any single piece you’re testing…which makes me a little nervous as to how it’d hold up.

        • Tucker

          Even when doing everything you can to avoid testing your gear, you never know when something out of your control will put you down. Expensive gear is cheap insurance for body parts.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Price an ER visit lately? Tucker is right.

          It’s worth spending up to nice gear, even at the expense of a cheaper motorcycle. A friend is shopping for her first bike and I suggested a one used SV because it was $500 cheaper than another used SV, that $500 will help her get into nicer safety gear.

          • Sean Smith

            When I was riding my $600 EX250, which was my second bike, I was wearing probably $1800 worth of gear.

            Yes, it’s THAT important.

            • Joel

              Yep, My first bike was an $800 Honda, but I spent $780 on getting a fitted Vanson jacket and the jacket has lasted a bike totaling, and 6 years at an average of 200 days a year of wear.

          • Barry

            About 12 years ago, I wrecked my CBR600F2 really badly, and bought a new jacket, helmet, and gloves, and was riding around with mismatched plastics and some questionable turn signals.

            When a motorcycle cop stopped me because he didn’t like my plate mount, he asked why I hadn’t fixed my signals and running lights correctly, and I told him I thought the $500 jacket, $300 helmet, and $100 gloves were more important than a proper turn signal lens. He didn’t really have a lot to say about that other than to show me the big scar going down his arm and tell me to have a nice day. At least in Texas, wearing gear tends to get me out of more tickets than you would think reasonable.

        • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

          I’ve crashed in both a Joe Rocket mesh jacket (Phoenix) and touring/ADV jacket (Ballistic). Both held up great! No damage to the Ballistic and minor scuffling on the leather parts of the mesh.

          • Plotts

            That Joe Rocket Mesh on the insides of my Supermoto jacket arms failed miserably in my crash. My arm is now scarred for life with road rash that was otherwise avoidable. I will never ride in that crap again. If it isn’t leather I wouldn’t expect a whole lot out of it. You’ve been warned.

            • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

              Mine is leather on the top of the arms and the back.

              • Plotts

                Ha Ha so was mine, which doesn’t help as your sliding on your stomach with a bike on top of your arm and nothing between your inner arm and the road but some mesh!

  • Brook

    No wonder the manufacturers won’t loan out their bikes for HFL to test. Glad you’re OK.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You think we’re the only ones that crash bikes? Anytime you end up riding a lot of different bikes (and I do mean ride them, can’t evaluate them otherwise), you become more vulnerable to being caught out by something surprising. Like the freakin’ frame grabbing the pavement with 1cm of tire left to go.

      • T Diver

        Got pics of the bike?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Yep.

    • Dumptruckfoxtrot

      Wes is right, if you ride bikes hard, which every person looking to write a review about that bike should do, you will probably wreck a few as you alternate between a whole array of machines.

  • Kirill

    Good gear saves lives holds true yet again. Glad you came out unscathed.

  • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ cynic

    It’s nice you didn’t ruin your helmet. I always seem to ruin my lids, even in what in almost all other ways is a minor crash, but sliding a helmet along the ground at all generally means replacing.

  • http://seansullivan.me Sean

    It is unfortunate that you were able to review the gear, but its a cool view into how this gear really works. You may have sold me on some new Astars gear for this summer.

    And you already posted on twitter which bike it was, hope they are luddites.

    Excellent review!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Shhhh.

    • dux

      What, that Tweetface thing? How does it work?

  • http://www.xenophya.com Xenophya

    Scott leathers (of barnard castle England) every day of the week for me. It’s the gear John McGuinness wears (and he chooses to wear it rather than gets paid to wear it) and unlike the stuff from Dianese, Spidi, Alpinestars etc the stuff Jimmy Aired at Scott sells you as an off the street punter is the same as he sells mr McGuinness and friends. It was also what Joey Dunlop wore and many other tt riders.

  • HammSammich

    “Can you straighten titanium plates?”

    Sure, isn’t titanium a memory alloy? We’d just have to heat your arm up with a blow torch. ;)

    But seriously, glad you’re okay, and a big bonus that you don’t need a bunch of new gear.

  • spins

    I think I’m sold on the compression shorts. I’m having flash backs of my only crash, a lowside from which my hip took the brunt of the impact. Six years ago and still haunts my fucking riding dreams.

    Glad you’re alright Wes.

  • Austin

    I recently, 4 weeks ago, had a crash at around 70 mph lowside and my Alpinestars stunt leather jacket and polar gloves saved everything they covered. My bottom half wasn’t so lucky. Large patch of ass road rash, all healed now, and ended up with a fractured wrist but I would have been ripped to shreds without the jacket and gloves. The left arm of the jacket actually had a small hole burned through it but I was unmarked.

    Thank you Alpinestars.

  • T Diver

    I am glad you are ok resident HFL test monkey. Way to give Sean a break from sliding down the road while taking notes on the gear) Someone mentioned that Alpinestars has a “shop” in Torrance (or some other so cal city) where they repair gear after crashes. You probably already know about it but if not, check it out.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Adeysworld adeysworld

    I just passed on my 4 year old MX-1 suit to a friend. It looked like new even tho I went down twice on the track with it.

    Gotta get me a pair of those A* compression shorts too. (*cough Tim)

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Cough, we need to cover your two pairs of boots first…

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/Adeysworld adeysworld

        :P

  • ak

    Thank heaven for leather.

    • Toby

      I see what you did there

  • Pete

    What ever happened to that everyday riding jacket project? Did you guys give an in-depth description on how to add some protection to an otherwise unprotected jacket? I wear a full set of Vanson when I take Sunday fast rides as well, but I am always worried about coming off when bouncing around town.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      http://hellforleathermagazine.com/tagged/vanson-ar2/

      Grant made one too, hasn’t written it up yet though. You definitely want impact protection in addition to abrasion.

      • Pete

        Thanks! Weekend project time…

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        Well, maybe if I could actually get my hands on a fucking press bike here on what the OEMs refer to as the (L)East (important) Coast…

        Alright, that’s it. Book me a spot on the couch for 2 weeks in July. And I want a WR250R or a proper GS in the garage when I get there.

        • Sean Smith

          If long beach drives you crazy, you can crash at our place.

      • HammSammich

        Inspired by your project, I just added CE elbow and shoulder protectors, along with a back protector to an old leather biker jacket…I stiched in mesh pockets with velcro flaps so its all removable. Not as safe as a full Alpinestars monkey suit, and definitely not as stylish as your Vanson, but better than nothin…

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Just bear in mind that the way the stitching is constructed, the thickness of the leather and stuff like that is a major factor. You can’t expect just any jacket to work in a crash.

          • HammSammich

            I completely agree. This is just a stop gap measure until I can afford a better armored jacket (I really wish Langlitz did armor). This jacket has overlapped double stitched seams, so that’s probably okay, and the leather is thick (probably 1.4mm). It does have a big scar on the front of the jacket from my high-side last year, which was relatively slow, so that does make me question the abrasion resistance.

  • CG

    I do like my Alpinestars, although high-siding when your center stand whacks the pavement throwing you straight up does leave a few bruises… I was bemoaning my scarred up fairings one day when a guy just looked at me and said: “If you ain’t crashing, you ain’t trying”. Frankly, I think I am just incompetent, but the gear saves me every time.

  • Toby

    Sounds a lot like my first crash. Learned how far I could lean my ’72 CL350 on right handers, then naively assumed I could lean it just as far to the left… forgot about the huge-ass kickstand mount dangling from the frame. Also learned how little protection those kevlar jeans offer.

  • matt

    glad you’re ok. awesome to get up from a slide, and be back typing about it a few hours later, skipping a trip through the xray and not wrapped up in gauze.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    Glad you’re ok.
    I need to get me one of these suits…

  • Joel

    After looking at that Australian Ride Naked add a couple days ago, it’d be cool to get this kind of forensic report on gear that isn’t quite top of the line (jeans, Converses, tank tops, gardening gloves, etc…)

    • HammSammich

      Here’s a good example of what can happen when you don’t wear proper gear…

      http://wiki.sabmagfaq.org/Road%20Rash%20Queen

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

        HOLY SHIT

        That is all.

      • Joel

        Thanks for the link, that’s a powerful story.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    ATGATT!

  • Sooner

    First season riding, while “learing the limits”, I lowsided wearing boots, sturdy jeans, A* jacket and A* summer gloves. Only scratch was at the gap where my jacket sleeve and ungauntleted gloves exposed my right wrist to the asphalt. Rode away from it and this was one of my top 5 favorite moments in motorcycling. I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of proper safey equipment, and on 90 degree+ days with humidity in Michigan nearing 100%, I wear my pit-stains* proudly at the stops along my route.

    *Pit-stain = wet t-shirt contest.

  • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ gregorbean

    Nice write-up, glad you’re okay! I love all of my Alpinestars gear as well. Good stuff!

  • vic06

    Nice, I’m upgrading from a back protector to the SP vest. Thanks for testing it for me and I’m glad you’re OK.
    I don’t like that the contact surface on the GP Pro gloves. It’s a lot smaller than the one on the similarly priced Held Phanton.

  • Devin

    On a gear related note: Anyone know of any riding pants made to go over clothes (I commute to work in dress pants) that also have knee and hip protection? I’ve found some with knee protection but not hip.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Many textile riding pants do. I have some Olympia Airglide pants, for instance, that do.

      It’s a compromise. Overpants, by nature, don’t fit snug and tend to move around, so there’s always a chance of armor not being where you need it. Still way better than nothing, absolutely, but I don’t feel as secure in those for my work commute as I did in my old Roadcrafter suit.

      • Devin

        I understand it’s a compromise, but riding to work in full leathers and then changing into pants that I carried with me is a hassle.

        I just looked up the Airglide, I only see armour on the knee, nowhere else.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          “Removable EVA compression foam at hips.”

          It’s not CE quality or anything, but it’s as good as I’ve found outside of dedicated bits of gear or a suit. I’m not home or I’d check to verify if the foam is in a pocket, thus allowing you to buy replacement armor, or not.

          To that point – a textile suit like the Aerostich Roadcrafter and it’s many clones are easily the ideal commute-to-work gear. Fast to put on over your clothes and can do full armor in all spots (may have to pay for optional extras).

          I only sold my Roadcrafter because I bought it used and it was a size too small. It didn’t bother me during a commute, but it was a problem on more aggressive rides. I’m debating between ordering a custom fit one, finding a different used size, or going with one of the Teiz suits.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

            I just re-read the part about armor and yeah, I’m slow this morning. Removable would suggest the foam is in a pocket. The foam is that squishy “temperfoam” kinda material, which sounds the same as what the Alpinestars shorts from this article are using.

            • Devin

              Never thought they made a one piece riding suit to go over street clothes. I think I want something like this now.

              Have to buy one for the wife too, this gets expensive quickly.

              • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

                Yes, it’s certainly not free. That’s part of what has me looking at the Teiz option @ http://www.teizms.com/

                They get good reviews over at ADVRider and the owner is going to be in Dallas in a week or two, so I’ll get a chance to see one in person.

                • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

                  Wow, they’re stuff is sneaky-cheap. Looks nice, but hard to believe…

                • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

                  Agreed, Mark. That’s why I’m waiting until I can see the product in person for myself.

                  I guess it isn’t TOO wild considering the Olympia Phantom suit runs $400 and the Stealth is $300.

                • Devin

                  Wow, that commute suit is silly cheap. US made vs Pakistan is that big a difference? They also don’t use a “name brand” textile like cordura that is the norm.

                  They don’t make a ladies version though :(

                  Is there a way you can let us know what you think of it once you see it in person?

                • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

                  Definitely will, Devin. I’ve been watching them for a few months, so my hopes are pretty high. There are some nice features I’m interested in, such as stretch panels and full armor.

                  I’m fortunate to have a good gear shop so I can try out a lot of things. That’s part of why I’m skeptical. After riding in the Roadcrafter, both of the Olympia suits which are at the shop didn’t impress me.

                  Teiz is coming out with a suit that will be all name-brand materials and, with both the optional waterproof and thermal liners, it will still be less than the Roadcrafter.

                  Either way – the Roadcrafter is a fantastic suit once you add a few bits of optional armor to it. Even more so if you get one built to order to your specifications. If I didn’t have a ton of other gear to fall back on while I wait to check out other options, I’d order a new one in a heartbeat.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      I’ve found that most textile pants are tailored with an, uhh, “American” cut. I’ve got a closeout pair of vented Fieldsheer Titanium pants that fit great over work pants/jeans, but are snug enough if I use the adjustments when I’m not wearing pants under.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        I love that “American” is the proper way to describe something that’s fat and sloppy. USA! USA!

  • debra

    very happy to hear you are fine,Wes. keep wearing that protection gear..

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I am glad that you are alright, and more glad that the Dual didn’t take a beating. I finally received mine, and love it.

    Also, “My Two Seans” made me giggle.

  • Thom

    PROOF POSITIVE

    If you’re going to do the ride . Do it with the right gear in regardless of looks etc.

    I hate to even think what the cost would of been , both dollars and pain , not to mention days away from work etc had you not had the right gear on .

    PO’s me even more that the local PD M/C cops , that I pay the taxes to fund their salary , medical insurance and medical costs , still ride around in essentially street cloths with a half shell . Stupid !

    PS; Can’t wait to see what the poor M/C looks like , never mind the reactions from the OEM in question .

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Call me whatever name you want, but I refuse to ride regardless of looks. If scientists discover a dayglo pink unitard with toutou is the safest thing for a motorcyclist to wear, I don’t care. I’m still not wearing that stupid crap.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        That’s only because you prefer a more traditional pastel pink, Grant.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

          Damn right. A man has to have standards, you know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    Wes – on the Track Vest, is the chest protection actually CE? I took a look at Alpinestars site, as well as a few retailers, and all of them say it’s a CE2 back protector with bio foam protection on the front. There’s no differentiation between chest protection and rib/etc, nor suggestion that any of it is CE.

    Just curious, since it looks like a solid product.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Well now I’m not sure. It’s chunky, serious protection, not just thin crappy foam.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        Yeah, that’s clear from the vest pics and I don’t think it should stop anyone from a purchase. I looked around at competing products and nothing I found compares with the coverage.

        Unrelated to the vest but potentially great deal: Klim Tactical Shorts with Poron XRD armor on the hips, thighs, and tailbone for $90. Looks like serious protection for $30-$60 less than comparable options from Knox and Forcefield.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

    I thought you guys didn’t accept advertising dollars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Free gear or not, this is a lot better than what many mags have pass as reviews. I.e., articles that amount to, “It’s comfortable and we sure think it would be protective in a crash!”

      I’m much more interested in gear that I’ve seen survive a crash than any other type of coverage/advertising/etc.

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

        Yeah I’m just givin’ ‘em a hard time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          Your point still stands. They’re a bunch of A* shills. My bet is that there was no crash. Instead, the Seans were handed some belt sanders and told to go at it.

          • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

            Damn, you’ve discovered our dastardly plot!

            If you see Astars love it’s because they genuinely do make nice stuff at a good price. Squid Sean was head to toe Astars before he started working here.

            And yeah, they’re also a good company to work with and we have friends over there. We like what they do, they like what we do, coverage results.

            • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

              I have an irrational aversion to the brand, but I can’t say anything bad. When my Puma Desmo boots both had zipper failures after 13 months, Cycle Gear swapped them straight up for the A* SMX-5s. That was three years ago and I wear them daily.

  • Yuri

    If you ain’t slidin’, you ain’t ridin’, as my brother tells me.

  • Roman

    There is something about riding in the streets in full leathers. The knowledge that you can probably walk away from most reasonable crashes is great for your confidence and let’s you really ride your bike. Yeah it’s probably overkill in most cases, especially since most of us don’t live 20 minutes away from the canyons, but it’s worth it.

  • johnb

    Let me guess! was it a SPORTSTER?! Hey man, I tried to warn you last year in my formulaic, toadying review of that thing.

    • Sean Smith

      Nah, less yank and more union jack. I wonder if Harley would even give us bikes…

      • HammSammich

        Ruh, roh…hope it wasn’t a new Bonnie/Thruxton, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve ground the peg-savers down to nubs on mine, and I’ve heard with a center stand fitted, it’ll catch before the pegs do…

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    I’m thinking about the Cortech one piece suit. Looks nice, seems well made, just doesn’t have a removable liner. Seems like a deal at about $500. What do the peeps here think?

    • Roman

      I was very close to getting one. Reasonable price and a good looking suit. I’ve got the Cortech Latigo Gloves and I’m very happy with them. E-mail these dudes and you can get it for well under $500, shipped forum@ridersdiscount.com

      • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

        @Roman
        Cool, thanks for the link.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Here’s STGs review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZYi7OxFht0

      I planned to get a $500-$600 one piece suit. Ended up trying on 15 suits and went home with one that cost $1000. People can talk about the material and craftsmanship difference as price ramps up, and that’s certainly noticeable, but the biggest thing to me was fit. None of the off-the-rack suits in the lower price range fit very well.

      If you’re not able to try something locally, I’d encourage you to find an online retailer with as good as possible of an exchange service, or ordering with a place that makes a suit to your measurements.

    • Sean Smith

      I have an astars two-piece, and in the context of this story I can see how one might think I’m incredibly biased, but hear me out.

      First, there’s nothing wrong with cortech or that suit. I’ve bought cortech products in the past and probably will again in the future. They’re sportsbike bag system is awesome and costs less than anything out there.

      That said, I can’t say I’m a fan of their actual riding gear. All my friends that wear the stuff describe it the same way: Cheap.

      Things don’t really fall apart, but the finish quality is not so hot and the branding is just hideous. They may very well have the ugliest logo in the motorcycle gear industry (sorry guys, you desperately need a redesign).

      Here’s the punchline: You can have a minimally branded two-piece, 100% waterproof astars suit for under $500. They don’t really try to sell you on this, so I’m gonna help them out.

      They no longer make the ST-5 pants that I logged 15,000 miles in (and have yet to show wear), but the Edge drystar pants cost less ($170 vs $200), still zip to your jacket, keep your knees and hips covered and have even less branding than the ST-5 pants did.

      I’ve personally crash tested the Kinetic jacket at 50 mph and shockingly, it lived to tell the tale. For a $300 textile jacket, this is unbelievable. It’s also 100% waterproof, warm with the liner and cool-ish without it. It sports that awesome bio-armor in the shoulders and elbows and that $30 you saved by not buying the ST-5 pants can be put toward a $70 bionic air back protector.

      Not including the cost of the back protector (most riders already own at least one), your well fitting , well styled and minimally branded all-weather commuter suit comes in at $470 before tax.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        Agreed on Cortech quality. I can’t comment on functionality, but the craftsmanship difference is obvious up close. But you’re still incredibly biased.

        Comparing with a one-piece oversuit versus suit separates for commuting is interesting. Where I didn’t mind wearing the one-piece at all, I often skip the overpants. It’s a completely irrational perceived hassle.

        • Sean Smith

          That’s actually a really good way to put that.

          It’s a perceived hassle, what with the extra zipper and all. But the total time you spend getting geared up isn’t that different. I also just really really don’t like cortech’s logo, the overuse of it, the fit and the finish quality.

          • Roman

            I’m pretty sure he was talking about the Cortech entry into the track suit game, Latigo RR. I actually think it’s a pretty sharp looking suit, crappy logo notwithstanding. http://www.ridersdiscount.com/street-gear/suits-one-piece/103051.php

            • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

              Thanks for all the responses, great insight. I was particularly talking about the latigo leather suit and should have made that more clear.

              I don’t think their branding is good either, but it’s not hideous on the Latigo, and certainly no worse than Pilot, Scott, or Arlen Ness branding. (in my opinion).

              • Roman

                Glad to help, I did a fair amount of research on track suits in the last couple of months, looking for my entry into the gear. Ended up getting a very nice Ayden Lee Racing suit, but the Cortech stuff looked solid. Their track boots looks great too. Not quite as trick as Alpinestars, but it looks like a solid effort. Good luck!

      • Devin

        This post was very helpful. After thinking about this for about a month, I’ve decided to buy this or something very close.

        I was sold on a one piece, but after being in a restaurant or movie theatre, too many times it has come up that there is no good place to stash a one piece.

        With a zip up two piece, I can be head to toe covered on the way to work, but be able to have a good jacket to wear at times where pants would be a pain.

        The only two pieces I am missing are pants and a back protector, so I will be fully kitted out by the end of summer.

  • Denzel

    Glad you’re not hurt, and that it was “actually kind of fun”. Thanks also for waxing about the A* TP Vest. Good to know about.

  • http://themotolady.com MotoLady

    40MPH can hurt. I’m glad you were wearing proper gear and hit the pavement just right. ;)

  • Dan

    If you come into the market for a new pair of gloves, I can’t recommend the Knox Handroid enough.

    I know you guys did a piece on them when they first were announced, but I’m not sure if you ever did an actual street test. I wanted to write about them because they’re far and away the best piece of gear I own.

    Bad news first: they’re not the insane piece of future tech that the press release claimed, since the external finger bracing is essentially a flexible slider, not a way to prevent hyperextension. On the other hand, all that safety structure is external (not embedded like hard knuckles) to the glove, and the material (kangaroo) is incredibly soft. The result is worlds better than anything else I’ve seen in terms of touch, dexterity and unobtrusiveness (perceived weight). The material on the fingers is also perfect for sliding across the brake as you blip for downshifts.

    Anyway, these things are great. If they came in Rossi yellow, im sure they could tempt Adey away from his FMRs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      The Handroids are very nice, but holy shit are they the holy grail of Power Ranger gear or what? I’m talking purely appearance. I’ve asked Knox if they plan to do an all-black version to somewhat subdue the look and they plan to do that at some point.

      If it weren’t for their remarkable flamboyance, they’d be great. I love the lace system. As it stands, I’m torn between the Held Phantoms and RS Taichi GP-EVOs.

  • solidaridad

    please don’t let it be the tiger xc…it’ll be who knows how long until you finish that long term review:{ Btw, oh yeah, great that you’re ok…

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      It’s not. More on the XC soon.

  • Tony

    I crashed in a MX-1 two piece suit two years ago onborder of California and Oregon. Had to litterally bail off the back of the bike – being stupid, wheelie, road was turning, I was going fast, put it down, curve too tight, shot the bike into someone’s backyard, etc. On an 848 by the way. Bike trashed, but…

    The suit held up great. Cannot say enough about it. I didn’t get hurt at all. Just used it this weekend in Italy for two days in the Dolomites on a Streetfighter.

    Couple of points on armor protection as I have been doing a lot of research for track protection:

    1. There are no CE certifications yet for chest protection as they are for back protectors.
    2. Have a look a the Forcefield stuff. The back protectors are level 2 AND the material they are made of can withstand multiple hits. From what I understand the plastic type protectors protection can be compromised if they crack during a crash while receiving multiple bashings.

    TS

  • Tom

    ive had a few offs in alpinestars gear and i was fine too, they really do make good kit that will look after you when you need it most. Glad you are OK! keep up the good work

  • http://lightsoutknivesout.tumblr.com/ Scott Pargett

    MCN tests back protectors very scientifically.

    http://www.motorcyclenews.com/upload/Ride%20Magazine/Product%20test%20pdfs/6%20JUN08%20Back%20protector%20test.pdf

    (looks like I’ve broken the UI with that link too!)