Dress For The Slide: Top 10 Motorcycle Race Suits!
We take a look at some of the best one and two-piece motorcycle racing suits available!
Updated August 23, 2018
So you want a leather race suit: but do you want a one-piece or a two-piece? What sort of budget do you have in mind? Is it for the road or for the track? Well, we’re going to take a look at some of the best motorcycle race suits on the market to give you a snapshot of what’s available. And even if you think that you don’t want one, it’s still worth educating yourself about what’s for sale out there, because you never know when you might need one. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a track day, you’re going to need one. If you realize that your ambition has outweighed your talent on the road one too many times, it’s worth investing in one. And let’s be honest, they make for great last minute costume party solutions. Power Ranger? Job done.
Race Suits And Track Days: The Important Info
Let’s set the scene: You’ve got a motorcycle and you want to take it to the track to really stretch its legs – so far so good. You book a session. You arrive. Your bike passes the safety inspection. Even the tires, which was a close call. Now it’s time for your safety equipment. Your helmet, gloves and boots are fine. But what are you wearing to cover the rest of you? If it’s not a one-piece leather race suit, that’s fine…as long as it’s a two-piece leather race suit that has a substantial zip that zips 360 degrees around the middle connecting your jacket and trousers. If your gear doesn’t satisfy the marshal, then that’s your own fault. You won’t be riding today. And you won’t be getting a refund either.
To make sure you don’t suffer the embarrassment of being benched for your session, do yourself a favor and buy yourself a new race suit. As we mentioned above, there are two types of race suits: one-piece and two-piece. The one-piece is exactly what it sounds like, a one-piece leather suit that you see all the professional racers wear. In terms of safety, they’re the best option. The two-piece race suit isn’t a bad investment though. They may not be as strong as a one-piece, but they’re not going to just fall apart when you’re sliding across the asphalt. They can take a great deal of punishment, and they’re more versatile for the day-to-day rider. You can take the jacket off when it’s hot and you need a rest. You can wear the jacket separately on days when you don’t feel like wearing the trousers. The benefits are obvious there.
Both styles are great. And both types can be bought for an affordable price…or incredibly expensive price. You’ll see race suits selling for as little as $300, and as a high as you like. The difference in quality isn’t actually as big as you’d think, and many people are paying for a brand name more often than not. However, a well-established, recognizable brand name only maintains that name by delivering quality products that stand the test of time and do their job. And while a cheap no-name $300 race suit will do the job, it’s always worth paying the extra for a brand that conforms to international standards, with approved armor and the like.
Brand names like Alpinestars, Dainese, Rev’It, Cortech, AGV, Spidi, RS Taichi are names to keep in mind. But if a no-name is the best you can afford, it’s the best you can afford and no one will hold it against you – as long as it keeps you safe and satisfies the marshal, you’re all good. But if you’re curious, here are our favorite race suits for a wide range of budgets…
Two-Piece Motorcycle Leather Race Suits
Alpinestars Challenger V2 Two-Piece: $899.95
Annoyingly, this great suit from Alpinestars is not available in the US. However, because of the price it’s well worth getting someone to buy one for you and ship it across…or in some cases flying to Europe and back just to get one. It’s a great entry-level suit that comes with all of the safety equipment you’d need to satisfy the European parliament – and for a fantastic price. If you need something that you could wear comfortably on the roads around town but still feel secure on a track day then this is the one for you. Made from 1.3mm leather on the outside with a removal interior lining to keep things ”fresh” and fitted with a ventilated hump for superior airflow, this is a worthy choice for someone looking for a versatile two-piece race suit for all seasons.
Dainese Laguna Seca D1 Two-Piece: $1249.95
This one is actually a double entry really. The Dainese Laguna Seca suit comes in both one-piece and two-piece combinations. The one-piece is a fine race suit and we highly recommend it, but for the purposes of the article, we like the two-piece version. It’s comfortable, safe, stylish, and offers that two-piece convenience with little in the way of compromise. It’s Dainese, so you know it’s going to be good, and it comes with high-quality armor and padding held together in an exterior shell made from Tutu cowhide, with a Nanofeel interior lining. The jacket half is nice and vented, so it’s nice to wear on its own too, and the trousers have tough zips on the calf for the perfect fit. It’s a definitely well worth the money.
AGV Sport Delta Two-Piece: $579.00
The AGV Sport Delta two-piece race suit is great value for money. It’s the cheapest on our list but don’t be fooled by the low price, because it’s actually a very comfortable, solid, and versatile choice. It comes with an outer shell made from 1.3mm leather, with thicker leather on the impact areas, rubber padding where necessary, vented panels that actually work, an antibacterial lining on the interior, and a very tough zip. It also comes with its own back protector, but if you’re serious about back protection you’re going to want to swap that out for something a little more…legit. You can’t go wrong for the price, and if you’re looking for something that keeps you protected, comes at an affordable price but still boasts a name we all recognize, then you really can’t beat it.
Spidi Track Touring Suit Two-Piece: $1399.90
This one from Spidi has been on the market for a while now, and it still manages to impress enough to make it onto lists like this. Developed with help from MotoGP riders like Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and World Superbike’s Marco Melandri, you know this one is going to be good. It’s not strictly developed for the track either, as you might have guessed from the title. It’s a versatile suit that is suited to booth track day racing and touring too. It’s the touring version of Spidi’s acclaimed Track Wind Pro race suit. Made from 1.2mm cowhide leather and assembled with a special cut, it offers superior protection and amazing flexibility. The Spidi race suit works in tandem with Biomechanic protectors and armor which have over 15 years of experience in keeping motorcyclists safe – and it’s primarily for that reason that we love this suit so much. And it’s full customizable too.
Dainese Veloster Two-Piece : $995.95
Dainese make their second appearance on the list…but on a list about involving the best motorcycle race suits, you probably expected them to make more than one appearance, right? Well, next up we have their fantastic Veloster two-piece race suit. Again, it’s Dainese, so it’s packed with premium features that make it a professional level suit. It’s made from a combination of Tutu cowhide and elastic S1 fabrics, complete with Pro-Shape composite protectors and a flashy asymmetrical design. The protectors aren’t just padded bits and foam inserts, they’re made from composite materials in some places, and aluminum in others to protect your most at-risk and vulnerable areas in a crash situation. Like the Laguna Seca model, it’s a great choice for those who want versatility but also take their track day racing semi-seriously.
One-Piece Motorcycle Leather Race Suits
Rev’It! Akira One-Piece: $1299.99
The Rev’It! Akira one-piece race suit always receives fantastic reviews, and for good reason. It’s made with a blend of great materials that include Agustini and Monaco cowhide leathers, and comes with a removable 3D mesh lining that helps to wick moisture and maximize airflow. It’s comfortable to wear and flexible on the joints, whilst offering superb protection in your vulnerable points. The only downside that some riders have noted is that it can feel a little heavy – but we’ve worn it, and it might just be down to the sizing…and people not buying the right one. If you’re looking for something that keeps you safe on the track and on the road that comes with top-of-the-range removable armor and adjustable rubber panels, then you will benefit from the Rev’It! Akira race suit. And it looks cool too.
Alpinestars Motegi V2 One-Piece: $999.95
Like the Dainese Laguna Seca, you know a race suit has got to be good if it’s named after a world class racing venue. The Alpinestarts Motegi suit was so good that after the first version was discontinued they had to whip up a “version two” for the masses. The Motegi boasts a 1.3 mm full grain cowhide leather exterior shell with European standard armor implanted into all of your sharp angles like your shoulders, elbows and knees. The armor it comes with is good, but if you want our advice, you would do well to invest in a few upgrades like the Nucleon chest and back protectors. Thanks to the amazing fit and feel of the Motegi, you’ll already be feeling confident on the track but by throwing a few upgrades into the mix, you’ll be a whole new rider. It feels great, it looks great, and the price is amazing for the quality of the product.
Rev’It! Spitfire One-Piece: $1399.99
Rev’It! have recently released their new Spitfire suit, and to call it advanced is a bit of an understatement. Most people will notice the new embossed leather patterns and panels that adorn the suit, and while that’s cool, we’re more interested in the awesome protection it offers instead. The outer shell is a nice mixture of Monaco performance cowhide, with Kevlar, neoprene and Lorica. The PWR Kevlar panels were built with MotorGP riders in mind, so you can trust the quality here – and since premier class racers were involved in the design of this suit, mobility was also a prime concern, so there’s no shortage of flexibility here. In the interests of keeping things brief, the Spitfire also comes with Aero Cool 3D mesh sections for maximum breathability, perforations in all the right places, and strong and sturdy zips to keep you in place.
Spidi Replica Piloti Wind Pro One-Piece: $1199.99
This is a great suit from Spidi, and it’s a proper race-ready outfit with all the accoutrements you’d expect for a top-of-the-range product. It boasts the usual Italian cowhide exterior shell that you’ll be bored of reading about by now, with stretch panels and neoprene features, but what we really like about it is the practicality of it. The classic racing “hump” at the back has been fitted with a special pocket to accommodate a camel-style hydro pack to keep your thirst quenched while you’re hitting the apex. The neoprene inserts have been designed to cushion you as you ride to keep you comfortable while you’re upright. And of course, there are plenty of inserts for upgraded armor and protection to keep you as comfortable as possible while you’re not upright, too. We’ve heard that some people aren’t quite satisfied with the quality of the interior liner…but it is removable, so you could just change it. Apart from that complaint, we’re big fans of the Spidi Piloti Wind Pro race suit.
Dainese Mugello D-air One-Piece: $2499.95
If you’re in the market for ultimate protection and you’ve got deep pockets, then you should really consider the Dainese Mugello D-air race suit. Thanks to a shed load of research and development work done by everyone’s favorite racer, Valentino Rossi, we have air-bag equipped leathers for the first time track dayer to the local circuit hero, and even further up the ladder. Naturally, for this price you get the very best that Dainese offer in terms of suit construction, from advanced leather blends and top quality stitching, with sturdy protection and effortless suit ergonomics…but you’ve also got an advance airbag system on top of all that too. Thanks to the use of high-tech wizardry, GPS information and on-board telemetry, the airbag system has been designed to inflate within a fraction of a second, and promises to protect the rider from serious impacts in all of the danger zones. It’s a very advanced suit, so naturally it commands a steep price tag – but if you take your racing seriously and want to keep your body as protected as possible, it’s a very attractive option.