Looking at buying a new suit? Here’s our top 10 tips to picking the best one for you…
Some riders like their suit to match their bike, others prefer a more subtle style. If you do opt for a nice lurid Kawasaki green, just remember it may look a bit silly on a yellow Ducati…
The best leather comes from a cow’s flank while cheaper suits use belly leather as it is less costly. Inspect the leather and check its grain is minimal and that there isn’t much damage to the hide as this hints at a cheaper cut.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE
When trying on a leather suit, always wear a thin base layer and a back protector. Some suits may have a back protector included, but if you want to wear a different one then try the suit on with it in to ensure there is room and it doesn’t restrict your movement.
SIZE IT UP
A leather suit should be snug, but not tight. Leather will bed in and get softer, but it won’t increase in size. Generally, like a helmet, you want the tightest suit that is still comfortable. If you are struggling to do the zip up then it’s too tight, but a race suit is designed to be ridden in and therefore won’t be the comfiest when you’re walking around.
TRY IT OUT
Sit on a bike while wearing the suit and see if it is still comfy and check it doesn’t restrict your movement. Some shops have a dummy bike, if not then ask to sit on a bike in the showroom.
ROAD OR RACE?
There are several types of suit that vary from track to road targeting in their cut. Be honest with how you intend to use it and if you are looking at touring, go for a more relaxed cut that will be easier to walk around in than an aggressively cut race-focused suit.
ONE- OR TWO-PIECE
Two-piece leathers are useful, but often the jacket is cut quite short to allow the jeans to zip to it. If you fancy the idea, it is often worth looking at getting a standard jacket and a matching pair of leather trousers from the same manufacturer that will zip to it rather than a dedicated two-piece suit. Also, if you go touring, you can buy a slightly larger jacket to fit jumpers etc. underneath for when it gets cold.
There is nothing more irritating than a one-piece suit that lacks an inner pocket. Check the suit you are looking at has an inner pocket to take a phone or wallet.
Remove the inner suit and check the quality of the stitching. You want all double or triple-stitching, so inspect the inside of the suit for the quality of the stitching. It’s your skin you are protecting, so spend the extra for a quality suit that is properly constructed and avoid any single-stitched suits.
WEAR ALL YOUR KIT
Finally, test the suit while wearing all your riding kit to see if the suit interferes with your lid, gloves or boots. Some suits are designed to work specifically with the manufacturer’s kit, in which case you may need to buy a new set of boots or gloves.
When it comes to buying new leathers, knowledge is power.