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#1000528 - 11/08/17 06:06 PM Roadracing Suits  
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JohnnyJ Offline
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JohnnyJ  Offline
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California - Central Coast
I want to participate in track days, but that involves investing in a good roadracing suit. I've never owned one, so I have a few questions.
At this point I am leaning towards a special order through Syed Leathers. They are custom made using approx. 25 measurements.

http://www.syedleathers.com/roadracing.html

I am definitely open to other options.

My primary question is: one piece, or two? What are the pros and cons of each?
Other questions: Snaps or Velcro? Ventilation or not? Beaded or Mandarin collar?
I intend to go with the full protection package, but there are additional options that I am unsure about: Back protector, Neck Protector / Hump, Knee Sliders?

Anybodies input or opinion would be greatly appreciated!

Johnny J

#1000531 - 11/08/17 06:46 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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eddd Offline
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Leathers can be a significant investment. How sure are you that you are going to continue to participate? You might want to go slow with purchases at the beginning to be sure you will continue over time. Track fees, travel, the motorcycle itself, special equipment, etc, can add up pretty quickly. I started with, and still use a one piece suit I bought used. Ebay is usually a good source, and many track organizers seem like they have some used units available. They might have some scuffs from get-offs, but it isn't supposed to be a fashion show.

One piece offers the best protection, which is why you're wearing leathers in the first place. If you are considering a two piece, they need to zip together basically 360 degrees. The eight inch zippers at your back will not offer enough protection and are not allowed by track day organizers for the most part.

Zippers and Velcro offer the best protection. Almost all leathers will be perforated, and you wouldn't want any that weren't. Back/hump protectors are pretty much standard, but lots of riders wear addition back protection under the leathers for lower back protection. Track/racing leathers will have Velcro in the knee area that sliders attach to. That is pretty much standard. It would be silly not to have the pucks attached even if you never intend to drag a knee.

Last edited by eddd; 11/08/17 06:48 PM.

12 Kawasaki EX650
13 Yamaha XT250
16 KTM RC 390
96 R1100RT - forced retirement at 175,000

#1000532 - 11/08/17 07:06 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: eddd]  
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JohnnyJ Offline
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JohnnyJ  Offline
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California - Central Coast
Great information. Exactly what I was seeking.
Thanks !!

Johnny J

#1000534 - 11/08/17 11:07 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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BrianM Offline
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Waterford,WI
Hi, I road raced for 18 years.

Get one piece leathers. Wearing shirts and leggings such as Under Armor make taking them on and off (especially when sweaty) much easier.

Get perforated, unless racing, you will probably not go to the track when it is cold.

All the one piece I have owned had zippers at sleeves and ankles. Most have velcro at the neck at the top of the zipper. Some suits have an additional velcro (easier to use) or snap tab at the end of the sleeve zipper, some suits do not bother, it is under your glove.

I never liked a back hump. They were introduced for aerodynamics, not safety. If they are not correctly placed, your helmet can push against them while tucked in.

Not a big fan of the collar that is a leather bead around the neck.

All race suits today will have knee pucks.

Many trackway organizations require some sort of back protector. A chest protector is not a bad idea either.

Get good gloves and boots.

My last suit was a Vanson custom suit. Tested it out at over 100 mph, not a scratch. Not cheap. This was the one I had - http://www.vansonleathers.com/vanson-race-suits/volante_custom-V093.html.


Brian M
2011 R1200RT
1997 R1100RT (sold)
1993-96 TZ250
1997 TZ125
#1000536 - 11/08/17 11:37 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: BrianM]  
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JohnnyJ Offline
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Thanks Brian!

I will check out Vanson. They have stores that are fairly close to me.

Johnny J

#1000538 - 11/09/17 01:05 AM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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randy Offline
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Check out sport bike track time gear
They rent leathers for track days
if you’re in their area I would rent a few weekends and see what you like
different manufacturers fit differently


Atlanta, Ga
2007 Tuono Factory (red) For Sale
2009 BMW 450x Dual sport
2006 SV1000 Randy's track bike
2006 KLX 250x (For sell)
#1000551 - 11/09/17 06:40 AM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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Tri750 Offline
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You are fortunate to live fairly close to Zooni Leathers near San Jose.
http://www.zoonileathers.com
The owner has been making leathers for decades.
He worked for Helimot for a number of years helping to put the brand on the map then went out on his own.
He made my suit in 1999 and it's still going .
You will have options such as over the boot or tucked in, high collar or low like the racers use, and even dual zippers in the front for easy on/ off.
I chose over the boot for an old school look, high collar to protect against bees, perforated, and a few years later added the dual zippers.
Yes, the under armor stuff works great for on/ off and keeps you from baring an old ugly body in public.

If you choose Zooni, take your boots, gloves helmet for fitting ob each visit. There should be two. The initial measure then when the suit is together, less lining and zippers.

I use a slip in back protector . For me, easier.
Knee pucks only to protect in a crash truthfully as my vintage bikes don't lean like a modern bike.
My first set of bargain leathers was 2 pc and was heavy. You'll never wear the jacket alone and old guys can't contort around to mess with the zippers.
Avoid trendy colors and trim that look silly after a few years, remember neon and the "chrome leather " panels and trim ? Simple colors are easier to live with.

Last edited by Tri750; 11/09/17 06:44 AM.

Classic Cycle Connection
Current:
1971 R75/5 roadracer
1973 Kawasaki Z1 roadracer
1976 BMW R75/6
1999 BMW R1100RT
2007 Kymco People 200S

#1000561 - 11/09/17 02:01 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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Antimatter Offline
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Maple Grove, MN
I've been using a Barnacle Bill suit for quite a while now. As others have said, a one-piece gives better protection. A two-piece has more utility on the street where you can take the jacket off during stops, but for track use a one-piece is the way to go. I'd also suggest leaving room for both a back and a chest protector, and even adding an airbag vest (worn outside the suit) if your budget will allow it. I'm also not a big fan of speed humps, mostly because the track I ride at is short and aerodynamics aren't an issue. Fit is key to getting good protection out of a suit. You should be able to move on the bike, but the suit itself should fit your arms, legs and torso tight enough that it won't move excessively during a off.

Other than that, have fun! You'll learn what works for you and what doesn't over time. Be warned though, once you get a taste of track riding the appeal of going fast on the street goes way down.

#1000565 - 11/09/17 02:35 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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JohnnyJ Offline
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JohnnyJ  Offline
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California - Central Coast
Wow!! These are some great responses, Thank-you all!

I have a lot to think about. The original plan and option choices will definitely be modified. I like the idea of going to San Jose and checking out Zooni Leathers.

I live less than 100 miles to Buttonwillow Raceway Park, and about 150 miles to Laguna Seca Raceway. I recently retired and have the time to devote to this, but will take it slow and methodical. I'm frugal but not cheap; I want to get this one right.

Thanks again to all that responded.

Johnny J

#1000642 - 11/10/17 04:34 PM Re: Roadracing Suits [Re: JohnnyJ]  
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Tri750 Offline
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Tri750  Offline
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B/W is my home track. I'm in Fresno area . What bike do you use ?


Classic Cycle Connection
Current:
1971 R75/5 roadracer
1973 Kawasaki Z1 roadracer
1976 BMW R75/6
1999 BMW R1100RT
2007 Kymco People 200S

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