Looking for advice on track day leathers - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 3:08 pm Thread Starter
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Looking for advice on track day leathers

Well I guess my experience at California Superbike School has given me the track bug. Iím planning to take the next level of CSS (hopefully in August) and now I need to invest in some track gear, which is where I would appreciate some advice from you experienced track riders. To begin with I have a pair of track worthy boots (Sidi Vertigos) andÖthatís it. The rest of my gear is street oriented.

First up Iím trying to decide on leathers. I donít think Iím going to do more than the occasional track day (Iím not considering racing at all). I was originally thinking Iíd go with a quality jacket and pant combo with a 360 zipper (hoping to justify some of the expense by getting street use as well). However my local shop is heavily recommending a one piece such as the Alpinestars MX-1, Charger, or Trigger.

What do you think? Is a one piece worth the added expense, knowing it probably wonít see a lot of use?

And any brand or model preferences you have would be appreciated as well. Considering the mind-numbing number of choices any help is welcome.

Ride Safe

"I am a Cafe Racer myself on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions." Hunter S. Thompson
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 5:11 pm
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Some organizations won't allow the 2 piece suits outside of the beginner or "C" class so that may have some influence on your choice. I would stay away from entry level 1 piece suits that may be more street oriented. I did the entry level suit thing (Joe Rocket GPX-R) and it was a waist of money because it's a throw-away suit. The suit didn't hold up well at all in a slow speed crash but luckily I wasn't injured. Now I'm looking into getting a real track suit and will most likely go custom as it isn't much more than a good off the rack suit which doesn't work well with my size anyway.

If you really want to know what a good suit to buy is, take a look at what the racers at your local track are wearing. I know that you're not looking into racing but the asphalt doesn't really care whether you're racing or just doing a track day when you're sliding down it.

If you don't want to spend the money or can't afford a good suit, consider buying a good used suit over a new cheap suit.

James

í06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

í02 WR250F Stock

í99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

í98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 6:05 pm
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From what I've read and researched, the main difference between low cost suits and upper end suits is how long they last and how many crashes they're worth. low cost suits will hold up for about one crash, at street speeds. In other words, if you're going to a track days pretty often, I'd stay away from the replica low-cost street suits.

You have many brands that aren't main-line that you can consider. One of my favorites in terms of design and options is RS Taichi. I just like their designs... heh.

Also, cyclegear is having a sale on their leather suits right now... nothing too high quality, but suitable.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 8:32 pm
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As a professed track day junkie on hiatus due to the Obozo economy.. here are some thoughts on the subject......

1 Not sure where you plan on doing track days or with what organization, but most places rent leathers for around $75 a day. I know www.sportbiketracktime.com does. I suggest you rent a suit for a weekend or two .. This will help you determine what you want or don't want as to sizing, features ie.. one or two piece, and maybe brand. Each brand suit feels and fits different.

2. As you don't know for sure how often you'll be doing track days, do NOT spend the big bucks on a $1500 suit.. at least not yet. If you don't want to rent.. go on ebay and buy a used/scuffed up suit.. There are tons of them for sale for dirt cheap. Lots of riders gain weight and sell their old suits at a fraction of the cost of a new suit. Sure.. you won't look like a high paid MotoGP rider.. but.. your aren't so check your ego and don't sweat it.

3. With the money you've saved by taking my advice and renting or buying a used suit... buy yourself the following which in my opinion is every bit as important as the leathers..

a. Tire warmers
b. the best back protector you can afford..Knox is my favorite
c. and undersuit like these.. http://stores.sportbiketrackgear.com/Detail.bok?no=21
d. the best track tires you can afford.

Hope this helps..
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 10:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate

3. With the money you've saved by taking my advice and renting or buying a used suit... buy yourself the following which in my opinion is every bit as important as the leathers..

a. Tire warmers
b. the best back protector you can afford..Knox is my favorite
c. and undersuit like these.. http://stores.sportbiketrackgear.com/Detail.bok?no=21
d. the best track tires you can afford.
Good advice except I would disagree with the Tire warmers and "the best track tires you can afford". Any hypersport (Pilot Power, DCIII, BT-016, etc) tire will be fine for a new track rider and you don't need warmers for them. Also, depending on the track you go to you may need a generator to power the warmers. If you got to the point where you were finding the limits of the hypersport tires, you could still step up to better tires without warmers.

I think a better place to spend additional money after safety gear would be on the suspension. If you're running a K bike on the track you will be amazed at what a set of suspension plates will do for the handling of the bike. Then we can get into aftermarket shocks ... it gets expensive fast doesn't it.

James

í06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

í02 WR250F Stock

í99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

í98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2010, 2:08 pm
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On second thought.. I kinda agree with sharkbait about the tire warmers.. those could wait until you decide if you're gonna be a regular track day junkie.

However.. I stick to my guns about the tires.. riding a track is as much a mental challenge as tecnical.. I need to know my tires are better than I am. I don't want to second guess how much lean angle or grip I have... street tires simply won't cut it.. Of course.. you ask a dozen people what's the track tire of choice and you'll get a dozen answers so I'll leave that as another topic altogether.. ..
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2010, 2:58 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. I definitely donít want buy something that isnít going to protect or is not going to provide me with the option to move up in levels. I have been keeping my eye out on ebay and craigslist but apparently the larger guys either arenít selling their suits or they arenít doing a lot of tract riding. Iím 6 feet tall, 225 and have a 50 in chest so Iím not exactly built like a MotoGP rider.

My closest track is Virginia International Raceway and NESBA does track days there so Iíll look into what they offer in the way of rentals and what racing organizations are affiliated Ė maybe I can meet a few of them and see what they are wearing.

Iím also interested in the suspension plates, I have seen their praises sung in other threads but Iím afraid I donít know what they are. Iíll have to spend some search time on it tonight.

BTWÖPirate, Iíve ordered a few things from you and been very happy with the transactions. Just wanted to say thanks.

Carey

"I am a Cafe Racer myself on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions." Hunter S. Thompson
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 2010, 6:55 am Thread Starter
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I found this last night in an older thread and thought I would post it in case I wasn't the only one fuzzy about suspension plates.

http://jocke.selincite.com/bikes/sandbar-dogbones

Thanks Joker! And thanks again for your input guys.

Now where did I put my helmet...

"I am a Cafe Racer myself on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions." Hunter S. Thompson
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 2010, 12:03 pm
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The WERA forum is another good place to hunt for used race gear.
http://forums.13x.com/

James

í06 K1200R Corbin w/ smuggler, Wilbers shocks, PCIII, Factory Pro Dyno tuned, CC Suspension plates, Vario levers, Dual Evo filters, Leo Vince SBK, V1, Zumo 550

í02 WR250F Stock

í99 SV650 GSX-R front end, Aftershocks suspension, Penske shock, 41mm FCR flat slides, Bridgestone slicks, M4 exhaust, Vortex clipons, Woodcraft rearsets, Hot Bodies race bodywork, Factory Pro clutch cover, Total Loss ignition, BRG relocated battery, APE Adjustable Cam sprockets, JE 13:1 pistons, mild porting, balanced crank, Sunoco 110 race fuel

í98 KLX331 Race Tech suspension, 331 Stroker big bore kit, 33mm pumper, Tag bars, Stroker exhaust, IMS desert tank, tall seat foam w/ Stroker cover, Open air box, KX clutch
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 2010, 8:23 am Thread Starter
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Great site! Thanks for the tip sir.

"I am a Cafe Racer myself on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions." Hunter S. Thompson
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