Gear: Aerostich Roadcrafter

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Gear: Aerostich Roadcrafter

One encounter with the Real Motorcyclist is usually all it takes to permanently burn into a rider’s mind that to wear an Aerostich is decidedly uncool. But did you know that, if you were so inclined, you could order up a suit without the garish colors and reflective panels, and have the the fit altered to suit sportsbike ergonomics? Or that you can even get the suit with a back protector, chest protector and awesome leather knee pucks?!

Don’t believe me? Head over to their Roadcrafter alterations page and have a look for yourself. The first time I saw that options list, I couldn’t believe it. A waterproof one-piece riding suit that’s comfortable from 30 to 100º, has armor in all the right places, doesn’t stand out, goes on and off nearly as fast as a jacket and, best of all, will never keep me from confidently planting a knee. The only catch? Those options add $364 to the $887 sticker price.

Putting on race leathers makes most people feel like a superhero. Swaddled in leather and massive armor, you just feel invulnerable. You get that same feeling stepping into a Roadcrafter, but instead of taking five minutes, it’s actually Clark Kent quick. Assuming you already have boots on, step through the right leg hole and put your arms though the sleeves. Next, line up the main zip up by your neck and run it down to the bottom of your left leg. Zip the right leg closed and the suit is on. You don’t even have to sit down.

When you arrive at your destination, repeat the process in reverse and enjoy walking around in regular clothes. Stash the suit in a closet or on the bike. If you don’t have a top-case of panniers, just roll it up, run a cable lock through one of the arms and lock it to the bike. Forget about finding the perfect compromise between style and functionality; now you can wear whatever you want underneath full protection.

The fit of the suit initially seemed too baggy, but all the armor is in the right places and it goes right over street clothes. Velcro adjustment tabs at the wrists ankles and waist work like a charm and only need to be setup once. Get things the way you like them and then just use the zippers.

On hot days, zip open the wrists, armpits and back vent and leave the collar open. I was able to comfortably wear my full-gauntlet Kushitanis inside and air flowed right up the sleeves. It’s not quite as cool as a mesh jacket when it’s 100º and sunny, but it’s certainly not uncomfortable.

The knee pucks are easily the best feature though. If I had to pick out any one thing that shaped my riding skills into what they are today, I’d say it was dragging my knees five days a week for two years on my commute. It made the hassle of changing in and out of leathers twice a day worth it, but it was still a giant pain in the ass. Having pucks on an over-suit that goes on in a few seconds means I never miss an opportunity to have some fun because I’m just wearing jeans.

Owning a suit like this makes it easy to use a motorcycle as your day to day transportation. You just zip it on and go. You’ll be warm when it’s cold, dry when it’s wet and protected when it’s hot. You’ll be comfortable and no one will even have to know you’re a motorcyclist.

I just got this in the mail a couple days ago, but have already done GMR and the road up to Crystal Lake on it. Look for more complete coverage once I’ve got some real miles on it.

  • kidchampion

    Beard joke here.

  • HENRY

    Wow, I’m genuinely excited about a roadcrafer.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Sweet Triple. Nice outfit.

  • JT Nesbitt

    Uh, actually when I encounter someone wearing an Aerostich I automatically know that I am talking to a real motorcyclist, and the brighter the neon and more reflective panels they have, the more intelligent they are. I wear a Roadcrafter and it is definitely the finest motorcycling garment for street riding available. It is 100% made in USA, even the fabric is woven here. Is that uncool? — JT

    • kidchampion

      Not uncool. I like the look of the grizzled old guys at BMW rallys with their Roadcrafters that were once hi-viz red but are now sun-faded salmon color.

    • Sean Smith

      If I lived anywhere but sunny SoCal, I probably would have gotten the reflective panels.

      Riding through traffic in LA though, I move faster than just about everything on the road, so having a reflective panel across my back wouldn’t add a whole lot of useful visibility. When I need someone to see me, I just blip the throttle to point my HID in their mirror or use the nifty little pass button to flash two of the world’s brightest high-beams.

      • Alex

        The lap/pass button on the Triumphs is such a neat little feature. I miss my streetyR :(

        • Sean Smith

          Ha, I’m talking about on the GSX-R. The pass button is connected to to 55watt high-beam bulbs and the low beam is a 6000k HID.

        • 85gripen

          Unfortunately that feature didn’t make it to my 2010 Thruxton. I saw it on a Bonneville though. I think the controls on the 1″ bars dispensed with it. The Bonnie that had that switch on the controls I saw was equipped with 7/8″ bars.

          • jason McCrash

            They are standard on all kinds of Euro spec bikes and have been. The ZRX had one in certain markets along with a “city light” that was a small marker light on the fairing. Seems like a PITA to not just make all bikes the same for all markets, but I guess when you figure the cost of including non-mandated parts on all bikes it adds up. If you have a factory service manual you can see differences like that in the schematics and specs since all of the ones I own cover all markets.

  • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub the (unfortunate) roomate

    looks decent depending on what “initially seeming too baggy” means

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      When standing, there’s some excess material in the hips and upper legs, it’s cut to facilitate movement on the bike, not show off your chick legs.

      It’ also cut to fit over a pair of jeans or a suit, not super slim like my leathers.

      • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

        How is the suit by the way? Looked really nice…

        I always wondered, what are you supposed to wear under a suit? Just tighty whities and socks?

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

          Usually, it’s good to wear moisture-wicking materials. There are one-piece undersuits or you can pick up any of the many Underarmour (and knockoff) separates. They keep you more comfortable and make putting on and removing suits a snap.

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

            Should point out – my response is in reference to what to wear under a snug leather suit.

            • Sean Smith

              I REALLY like the alpinestars summer stuff. And not just because I got it for free; I paid retail for the top and bottom a few years back.

            • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

              That’s what i wanted to know, thanks.
              I guess it’s pretty obvious some garement will slide better on the leather than bare skin…

        • Ax

          You can wear whatever you want — that’s the whole idea. I normally wear whatever street clothes I want under my 2-pc Roadcrafter. When it’s hot and humid, it’s shorts and a t-shirt. When it’s cold, sweatshirts, flannel, thermal underwear, whatever. Aerostich used to recommend wearing something as a thermal barrier in case of a slide which might heat & melt the cordura nylon but apparently they’ve relaxed their stance on that since there have never been any reported cases of that happening.

          I’d wanted a Roadcrafter since they were first introduced back in the 80′s (back when I was still a teenager). When I finally decided to buy one, I was a bit apprehensive about the price — until I wore it. Worth every penny, IMO.

          • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

            My question actually refered to a snug leather suit, sorry for the confusion.

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

    I love mine. The Velcro for knee sliders was a must though, and sold me on the suit too.
    As for looks… I’m too old to be cool anyway, who cares what people think.
    Plus I’m on a motorcycle, 90% of the people out there don’t see me anyway.

  • David

    I love my Aerostich gear. I have the two-piece suit, but I think the one-piece would be even better. Three years old and still like new. I’m one of those BMW guys.

  • Devin

    I like the comment about locking the suit through the arm hole. A jacket isn’t too bad to lug around, but with a topcase filled with two helmets, there just isn’t room for a suit. At the office though, it easily hides in the closet. Torn between this or zip up pants and jacket for flexibility.

  • rohorn

    I would think the “Lilypad” experimenters would go nuts over integrating lots of EL wire on that suit….

  • Coreyvwc

    Being that I’m a city dwelling southern Californian and have the sensibilities to match, I would probably laugh at you. Off or on the bike, sorry…

    • Sean Smith

      It’s ok, I’d laugh to myself as I pass you on an on-ramp with my knee on the ground in complete comfort ;)

      • Coreyvwc

        Fair is fair.

        Although, I would be pretty impressed/jealous If I saw you wearing that while emerging from the woods on some kind of ADV bike. But if you were some old “bmw guy” cruising down the 5 on a spotless 1200GS, i’d still laugh.

        • Sean Smith

          How about if I was leaned over 55º at 120 with my elbow an inch from the ground? ;)

          • Archer

            …just as you hit a patch of spilled diesel… Wow, what genius. Truly inspiring.

            • Sean Smith

              Related: I plan on doing a few winter track days in this suit.

              • Archer

                Please don’t crash test it.

              • HammSammich

                I was actually curious about that. Do most tracks consider this to be acceptable gear, in place of track leathers?

        • NitroPye

          Meh I use the same riding suit for commuting that I use for touring on my GS ;) Laugh all you want but it works for me for both.

  • BenP

    Great post, but all I can see is that ugly-ass reflector on the front fork of an otherwise great looking S3.

    I get that it’s for safety, but wow…

    • Sean Smith

      I hear they use double stick tape to hold those on. If it were my bike, I’d have popped all those off the second I got it home from the dealer. Triumph doesn’t like us messing with their press fleet though.

      • Gene

        And I think Kawasaki or maybe Suzuki recently had to do a recall of a lot of bikes because the damn fork reflector was 1/4″ too small in diameter. It was in MCN or the usually content-free AMA rag. F*cking Feds… I rip all the reflectors & stupid warning stickers off too.

        • aristurtle

          I replaced my reflectors with actual running lights. Like, what the fuck good is a reflector?

      • scott

        They do, at least on some of them. My Tiger 1050 lost two on it’s own in the first thousand miles due to tape failure.

  • ursus

    Roadcrafter is great stuff, especially in black.
    Since I ride in the rain and cold alot, I am interested in using a waterproof shell to go over protective gear that fits in well in an urban environment. At destination, the wet shell comes off to drip somewhere else, dry gear is underneath and doesn’t have to be specially dried every night. The idea is to use a shell that sheds at the first layer instead of letting water soak in until it hits a membrane. I have been looking at Icon raingear over something like the Revit Ignition.
    If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them or see a review.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Also look at gear made use Gore-Tex ProShell laminate. It laminates the membrane to the inside of the outside layer of leather or cordura, so sheds rather than soaks up water. You don’t need the external shell then.

      • ursus

        Will do. Thank you.

    • Gene

      The most useful I’ve found is the Tyvek Frogg Toggs. The Tyvek doesn’t seem to “wet” and you can shake the water off. It also doesn’t have the swishswishswish noise properties of regular plastic rain gear, and it doesn’t stink if you leave it in a hardbag for a couple days.

      The bad part is they make these stupid slashes in the pants for pocket access. You can apply duct tape on the inside (actually I found some waterproof iron-on stuff) to fix that. My “can you make pants w/o pockets?” got answered with a polite fuck-off from Frogg Toggs. :-(

      I wear it over my armored Tourmaster or British Motorcycle Gear stuff.

  • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

    I went through the configurator a couple years ago and put together something similar. I balked at the price. I have since bought two jackets and over pants that are rarely worn. As a commuter, the easy in/out one piece makes a LOT of sense.

  • Barry

    Hot Roadcrafter tip from Texas: Fill the thigh pockets with ice at every stop and let it melt out. Being waterproof, it’ll help keep you cool when it’s over 100.

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Nice tip.

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

      I haven’t heard that one before, great tip!

  • ike6116

    I see what you did there, more in-line links, not all just links to tag-clouds, I dig it.

    My squeaky wheel receiving some oil or a mistake?

    • Sean Smith

      It just depends. Tag pages are good for SEO, but sometimes there’s a more relevant link.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      We routinely and often, in virtually every story in fact, link externally. Occasionally, we need to build SEO around a search term or future proof an article on a topic we plan future coverage around so link to a tag page with only a single article on it. I think you’re massively exaggerating the prevalence of those links though.

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

    Most people are sold on the Roadcrafter once they try it. I’ve used mine for touring, commuting, rain, even during muddy dirt bike days. I was sold the first time I tried one on and took a ride.

    All gear is a compromise and the Roadcrafter is too. But it’s the most versatile outfit I’ve used. Good for both hot and cold with the right clothing underneath.

    The materials are first rate. Yes the colors will fade, but that comes along with using Cordura. Black tends to be least noticeable when faded. You’ll even find some riders who consider a faded ‘stich as a badge of honor.

    My latest one has survived over 6 years and 200k of riding. I’ve had to replace some velcro and zippers, but the construction is as solid as you’ll find anywhere.

    Here’s my findings over the last 10 years of riding in one:
    - If it’s a torrential downpour, sometimes you’ll find a leak near the crotch. Water pools in the area. You can lessen the leak by sealing the seams.

    - If you soak a t-shirt underneath and open the vents, you can cross the Nevada desert in August.

    - In a pinch you can use one in lieu of a sleeping bag + tent (learned the hard way).

    - I prefer the 2-piece suits. They still go on/off just as fast, but you can wear the pants/jacket independently and there are more options for running wires in/out (ipod, heated gear). I have one of the zip-in expansion panels which also make it easier to switch between touring and sport bikes (it gives you more room when in a sportbike seating position).

    - It’s ideal for touring. You can zip it off easily, walk around in your street clothes, and since they’re not terribly sexy, you can leave it locked to your bike with a cable and not worry if someone’s going to steal it.

    - And the best part: You can crash in one, then send it back to Duluth and they’ll repair it. Much more convenient than dealing with a European manufacturer.

    - That said, you’re not going to pick up any chicks wearing one and you’ll look 20 lbs heavier :)

    Sean, it looks nice with the reflective patches omitted and single color!

    • jonoabq

      +1 excellent for long sport touring weekends, commutes, and cross country stuff. Not perfect for everything, but very good kit. mine is seven years old and just starting to look used.

  • jason McCrash

    I have looked at the suits and the thing I don’t like is the lack of storage compared to my 2 Firstgear jackets. The Cargo Storage System (think that’s what it’s called) front pockets on them have been perfect for me on long distance travels. (I have an older Kenya and a newer one with sealed seams and more vents). If they could incorperate that kind of on suit storage I’d buy one, but I can’t seem to pull myself away from the Kenyas. TONS of well placed storage for a: wallet, keys on lanyard, hat, flashlight, phones, blah, blah, blah. Firstgear shrunk the sizes when they redid it so my fat ass is usually in my old Power Ranger blue/black one instead of the newer all black on that only fits without the liner. That they came in tall was the biggest plus since I wear a 38″ sleeve.
    Good write up and I’ll be looking for future comments on the suit.

  • Gene

    Seriously though, I want to give a enormous THANK YOU for the first decent serious review of the ‘stich I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve wanted one for 15 years now. Sigh.

    • Sean Smith

      Buy one and never look back. You’ll save money with all the jackets and pants you’re not buying.

      • Gene

        Yeah, the problem is Michigan is kind of far from Florida, and I don’t fly[1], nor do I buy $1000+ garments w/o trying them on.

        [1] actually I will, I just refuse to go through airport security.

        • Sean Smith

          If the fit sucks, you just send it back and they’ll either give you a different size of alter it to fit your non-conforming shape.

          For example: I’ve got somewhat of a short torso and long frog-like thighs. When I get hang off the bike, the knee armor pulls a little and puts the pucks in kind of a funny place. I sent one email describing the problem and the next day (this morning) I got an email back explaining the fix (adding 2″ above the knee), where to send the suit and how long it would take.

        • Corey

          You’d be extra-screwed if you tried to visit them in Michigan. We’re in the other ice box M state, Minnesota.

          Worth the shipping, worth the wait, worth all the other gear you won’t use again after you get the stitch.

          I’ve got a Schott horsehide with custom EC pads sewn in and only wear it to the bar….

        • Ax

          When I bought mine, I sent them my measurements and they recommended an “off the rack” size they thought would fit best. When it arrived I tried it on, noted which “alterations” I wanted (ie, 2″ shorter forearms, 2″ shorter calves, 2″ more in the waist), mailed it back to them, and they sent me a suit made with those measurements. Not quite custom-made but pretty damn good for mail-order. And Aerostich’s service is top-notch.

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

            I’d be nice if they could specify more measurements to get those alterations nailed on the front end, rather than the back and forth.

            • Sean Smith

              You can. It’s just hard to guess right from the start.

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

                I get that, but shouldn’t there be a way to measure that would eliminate the guesswork? Like measure complete inseam and distance to knee, etc.

                • Sean Smith

                  Probably. Then again, it depends on your riding style, where you sit and what shape your tank is too.

  • John

    I love my one-piece Roadcrafter. I wear it on my Monster, my RC51, and my V-Strom.

    Epic piece o’ kit.

    Invest in a Pac-Safe helmet bag and an extra loop of wire and you just lock your helmet in the bag and your Roadcrafter to the bike when you stop and walk around in normal clothes.

    • randry

      mmmmmm RC 51 sweet +1 !

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    I’m planning to do my own review of the Roadcrafter when I’ve had it for a year (coming up soonish).

    The most trying part of owning one is sizing–you can’t just walk into a store and see how they fit. First one I got fit great everywhere but was too short between the shoulders and crotch. Returning it and getting a new one was an easy process.

    Ended up getting a size bigger, which solved the crotch-pulling problem. But it did make for a big baggier fit in the shoulders.

    I’m not a big fan of the pocket access–can’t get into any of the pockets while sitting with gloves on. This ends the complaints portion of this HFL comment.

    The quickness of gearing up and gearing down is so nice, and not having to worry about bringing a waterproof overcoat is life changing. I live in San Francisco and there’s no telling in the morning what winter weather will be like in the evening.

    Love, love, love the suit. And love the idea of locking it to the bike with a cable strung through the arm hole. Definitely want to get a cable lock for myself now–thanks!

  • Erok

    Is that a knife pocket down by the cuff of the leg?

    • Sean Smith

      No, but now I want to make it into one. It’s an adjustment tab and usually, it’s got reflective material on it.

  • Austin Milbarge

    Sean,
    Street triple R or Speed Triple. Which one do you like better?

    • Sean Smith

      I haven’t ridden the Street Triple R yet, but I’d guess that the Speed Triple is better.

      It’s a naked hooligan bike and as such, it should wheelie everywhere, make cool noises, and feel powerful. The 1050 motor does that. Not as well as say, a Dorso 1200, but it still does a damn good job. I’m curious to see how much better it is with good tires, some tuning and a pipe. The single-sided swingarm counts for a lot too. Tire changes are easy and it looks bad-ass. In this class, that counts for something.

      If I was going to buy one, I’d seek out a 2010 model speed triple with the proper headlights. Sure, it’s heavier and possibly a little slower, but it’s not that kinda bike. It’s meant to be fun while also being fast and the old round eye’d one did that just fine.

      • jonoabq

        S3…just sayin’.

        • Sean Smith

          Lol, they’re both S3s.

          • jonoabq

            one is an S3, the other an s3. I’ve ridden the smaller one, and live with the bigger one. I like them both but much prefer the 1050. Not sure the Metzlers were the best choice for rubber on the 2011 though. They are crazy sticky, good for ~2k miles (at best) and have great feel, however I’ve marginal confidence that they will be of much use in the winter months as I’m not sure that they will warm up enough on short rides/commutes to offer up much grip.

            • Sean Smith

              I’m not at all a fan of those tires. They feel numb and I’m hesitant to push very hard without some feel. The profile feels like a Dunlop too, which isn’t a good thing.

              • jonoabq

                Burn them up running in the motor and then swap them out is the way to go. If you log as many commuter miles as I do they will square off so fast as to be almost useless unless you get a decent amount of canyon time on them. At factory psi settings they are not all that great. Lose 2 psi in the front and 4 in the rear and they start to behave a little better, when they start to break loose it’s predictable and controllable…trust them, they will stick, just don’t trail brake too deep or muck about with the throttle mid-corner. If the pressures get lower, in the track day range, they get goofy and start to wander on less than pristine roads. I actually like the tires but do one long weekender in Colorado and they are done. Have not ridden them in the rain, and not sure I want to.

      • Austin Milbarge

        Thanks, you going to do a write up on this bike?

        • Sean Smith

          Yup :) Expect to see it in the next few weeks.

      • rubber_side_up

        Agreed!!! Bought a 2010 speedy and it is the best bike I’ve bought in the last 15 years of riding! It puts a smile on my face everytime I walk up to it.

      • Dan

        I had a chance to test drive all 3 of these bikes (street trip r, ’10 speed, new speed – and a Daytona) last weekend and couldn’t agree more. I went in basically with my mind made up that I was going to like the street better, but there’s something intoxicating about the big triple. Liked the old speed best of the 3.

        Add in the Daytona (and the tiger – which i hear is great but haven’t ridden) and I think triumph might have the strongest range of any company right now.

      • Alex

        The street triple R is a lot more balanced and really isn’t too far off the peak power of the speed, especially when cans and chips come into play (torque is a different story). The streety R is a daytona 675 with wide bars, the speed is a daytona 955 with a bored out motor and no fairings. The headlights grow on you.

        As of right now, Triumph has the most motoboner worthy lineup.

        Daytona R. droooooool.

    • Denzel

      When I ride, look at, or think of my ’08 Speed, I don’t want any other bike…I’m totally satisfied… that is the magic power of the Speed Triple…

  • Charles

    Why would you go for black? Nobody will see you and it’ll get hot. Bright yellow with green or red accents would be much cooler and more readily visible.

    • Gene

      Because black has ALWAYS gone well on a bike (or walking into a restaurant) and looks a hell of a lot better than the usual Aerostich power ranger colors.

      Nobody will see you anyways. Don’t you know that by now?

      A friend of mine drives an 8ft wide, 10ft tall fire engine, flashing red and blue lights, with 105db siren and people STILL pull out on her.

    • Sean Smith

      What if I’ve spent a few years developing a riding style that assumes I’m not going to be seen unless I use lights to make myself conspicuous?

      Reality is that 99% of the time, I’m the fastest moving thing on the road, at least in my immediate vicinity. I’m always lane splitting and the only real risk of getting rear ended comes from other motorcyclists.

      If you don’t ride like I do and you feel that bright colors and reflective panels would be a safety benefit, by all means, go for it.

      As for the heat, it’s just not an issue. Constant airflow takes care of that.

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

        Sean – I asked this in a previous thread (the Nexx review), but attention had moved on already. You don’t have a heat issue with all black helmets for the same reason? I ask because a friend down here in Texas belly aches about his all the time.

        That said, I had the dark gray model of the Roadcrafter and agree that heat wasn’t an issue. Besides, once the temps go over 99, eliminating airflow is the way to go.

        • Sean Smith

          I’ve had my head mildly cooked in the sun at Willow Springs before, but I’d accidently left my helmet on the bike and it was pre-heated. Once you’re moving, it’s just not a big deal. There is slightly more heat than say, a white helmet, but not enough to keep me from wearing black.

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

            Cool. Thanks for the response, Sean.

    • Ax

      Black doesn’t show road grime nearly as bad as lighter colors. My Roadcrafter is all-black (with reflective panels) and it’s actually not bad in the humid midwest so long as I’m moving and get some airflow through the suit. But, yeah, red lights can kinda suck in August. On the upside, I got my photo on the front page of the local rag for being the only rider in town stupid — er, safety-conscious — enough to gear up despite the oppressive heat.

    • aristurtle

      “If you’ve put yourself in a position where someone has to see you in order for you to be safe — to see you, and to give a fuck — you’ve already blown it.” — Neal Stephenson

  • Noah

    Dragging your knees five days a week for two years? Shit you just made my day, thanks.

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

    Thanks for making me miss my Roadcrafter.

  • sidecar_freak

    I love by one piece roadcrafter, it is just perfect for daily commuting. I got the Hi-Viz because I am old and don’t care what I look like. But since I never laundre it, it is now Very Grimy-Viz. I think I would consider getting a black one next time, though I would probably keep the reflective panels. And I don’t know about other Hi-Viz wearers, but I get asked if I am firefighter constantly.

  • chaz

    Now review the Aerostich Transit jacket. You can get that in any color you want as long as its bad ass black. I have one, and love it. Actually waterproof. And all leather!

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

    I remember meeting a BMW Roadcraftser near Glacier National Park on a solo road trip. I was wearing vintage one piece Dainese leathers and we were talking about how we had each slept in our outfits while camping before. He said, “maybe someday you’ll upgrade to the Aerostitch hotel.” I laughed and thought he was just drinking the Aerostitch kool-aid, feeling I’d never spring for one of those goofy suits. A few years later and I have to say if I was in the market I’d be considering something similar to what you’ve got there Sean. I look forward to more stories about how you continue to like it.

  • Nik

    My brother and I just rode 5,500 to Canada and back. He has a two piece Roadcrafter and I was super jealous of the quickness and ease of the suit. As for the heat, you’re on a motorcycle, if it’s 100 degrees you’re gonna sweat your ass off no matter what you wear. Stoked to learn that you can get them without the huge reflective strips.

  • Brad

    Any thoughts on whether the lightweight suits might be a better “fit” for commuting in sunny SoCal?

    • Sean Smith

      Maybe or probably. I haven’t worn one.

      It’s got some awesome features though. First and most obvious is the fact that it’s a little lighter and a little cooler. The snaps and magnets on the collar are undoubtedly useful. The optional integrated rain covers for your boots are pretty cool too.

      There’s also the price difference: With all the armor (shoulders, elbows knees, a pretty serious back protector that stays velcro’d to the suit and a substantial chest protector), and those nifty boot covers, the final bill is $1,019 before tax and shipping. That’s $100 bucks less than a regular Roadcrafter.

      I didn’t go with the lightweight because I wanted the customized fit, knee pucks, colors and reflective delete that aren’t available on the lightweight.

      • Brad

        I think I’d rather pay $100 for a customized fit, knee pucks, etc. Just got off the phone with someone there, and the only thing that kept me from ordering a suit was not having a tape to measure my chest.

        The black with gray ballistics looks good to me.

        The big selling point for me is the ability to wear street clothes underneath. Conceivably, I could leave a pair of dress shoes in my desk, and commute wearing slacks and a button down shirt under my suit. Very cool.

        • Sean Smith

          Bingo.

          There are cheaper ways to do it, but the Roadcrafter is purpose-built for that kind of riding.

  • Brad W.

    I think the darker colors on the Stich make it look cool. I just not sure they flow enough air for me when its hot.

  • J

    I opted for a cobalt blue/hi-viz yellow Roadcrafter that has spawned more than its fair share of jokes, I’m okay with looking like the bastard offspring of Bib the Michelin man and an Ikea employee. That said, I occasionally pine for a more muted colour scheme.

    • Sean Smith

      If it ever gets really old, you could always just dye it black.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    It’s not as comfy as mesh in 100 degree heat, but better if you’re trying to avoid dehydration. I hate that it’s waterproof, because I hate riding in the rain and don’t need an excuse to do so. Also, that waterproofing makes it a sauna if you try the wet t-shirt trick that works so good under perf leather.

    I really really want to make a sexier girl-shaped version using Schoeller textiles instead of that Koch-bros owned Crapura. But I own a Roadcrafter, so I wear it. Usually over a beaded evening gown, with my girl shoes in the Givi top case.

  • http://kanai.net/weblog/ gkanai

    My first Roadcrafter I bought in college and used for 10 years. I think I paid about $600 for it and sold it for $200 so it ended up being about $40/year, which is insanely cheap. Naturally I’ve purchased another one and use it daily for commuting when weather allows.

  • Fresh Mint

    Drag your knee on the street?

    Is it not ironic to promote good gear without promoting safe riding habbits on the street? DIdn’t you guys have an article saying not to ride too hard/fast on the street because then you don’t have enough time/traction to alter your circumstance in the event of an emergency?

    I’m all for carving up a canyon on weekends and have fun on your way to work, but if you wanna drop a knee down, take it to the track dude.