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Discussion Starter #1
Alright. Once I'm back from the Hoot, I'm going to sign up for the track school at MAM. 929Flyer continues to sing the praises of MAM to me and he's having a blast down there on his Motard. Bigkid just attended it and has done another track day since. He's hooked as are many of my non-ORG friends here in town... sl I think I'm going to finally take the plunge.

A few questions, however.

Should I purchase one or two-piece leathers? I'm inclined to purchase two-piece so I could wear the jacket with jeans every once in awhile. I know the track will allow two-piece leathers... so they make more sense, right?

How about brands and models to look over? Frankly, I'd like to do this for, oh, $500 or so. Maybe a little more. I really don't want to sink a grand in leathers, at least not just now. I could borrow or rent gear, but y'know how it is... a guy would like to have his own stuff.

A big problem for me is sizing. They just don't carry a large selection of leathers at the shops around here (unless you're an HD rider that is). Are there any tricks to getting the fit right the first time so as to avoid a return? (Probably not, but I'm asking anyway.)

Boots. I've tried on Sidi Champions and LOVED the look and fit, but they're pretty much a street boot, correct? Could a guy use them for both street and track and do okay or should I look for something else in Sidi's line? I don't imagine they're as protective as the company's race oriented boots.

Thanks in advance. I know less than nothing about this stuff, so any insight and direction will be well received.
 

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I don't think the Champion boots would be allowed for track use since they aren't a 'full height' boot. But, that would depend on the group you are riding with I suppose.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
If you can get your hands on a set of the Honda 1 pc suit, I think youll be pretty happy with it! The suit is made by Hein Gericke and is pretty nice for the price plus theyve been crash tested and proven to be very reliable. I would suggest a one peice because Ive heard stories of two peice suits seperating at the connection when sliding on the ground! I cant disagree about the conveniance of a 2 pc suit around town though.

As far as boots go, Ive been extremely happy with my Sidi Vert 2s. They are very comfortable and almost all the parts are replaceable incase of damage due to a crash. They also dont look out of place in jeans on the street ! For $239.00 I dont think they can be beat.

Good Luck,
SS
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Chain, just my opinion, but if I were you I'd get one-piece. I finally did, and I'll never look back - the suit is so comfortable. It all boils down to personal preference, obviously, but I realllllly like my one-piece. I know the deal about being able to remove the jacket for comfort, but you can still unzip the top and let it hang around your midsection at stops (so what if you look like a chimp?). See if the Honda leathers are still available ($699 retail, $325 shipped through Byrd's Cycle Works).
 

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I have a one piece and I will say this. If you rarely go to the track and mostly ride the street, get a two piece. Its easier to go poo at stops with a two piece. Not to mention the lack of weird looks from people that don't understand... Its easier when you ride in a group and everyone is wearing full leather...

I have a one piece and love it. Bacchus is right, its more comfortable and definitly safer, you take the zipper out of the equation. But, if you go 2 piece, try to get a full circle zip. Not just one in the back. Should be stronger that way.

As for boots, if you are worried about them being flashy, I recommend a solid black full race boot. You don't wanna take chances with your feet/ankles. I like the SMX plus from A-Star. Its got a lace up and mini inner boot that makes it a custom fit each time you put it on. I started out with a solid black SMX boot and the velcro wore out, so they are pretty much worthless now. But I went black for stealth 'no these aren't race boots unless you look hard' mode. My second set are red though, screw it, hell yeah these are race boots! But the SMX plus has the buckle on it and a zipper, in addition to the inner boot, so its nice. The supertech is even nicer, but its more dough. Hondagaltoo had a pair at jennings and they were bada$$!

And wearing the top only of a 2 piece depends on the cut of the suit. Some suits will be too short for the top only, as they are made to be worn with the pants. Some will work just fine though.

Also, another plus for a 1 piece, if you get one, you'll never be tempted to wear just the jacket...

My $.02
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'd like to get a two piece but I can't find any that are perforated and can't afford a custom.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
SlvrSurfr : As far as boots go, Ive been  extremely happy with my Sidi Vert 2s. They are very comfortable and almost all the parts are replaceable incase of damage due to a crash. They also dont look out of place in jeans on the street ! For $239.00 I dont think they can be beat.
Ditto!  

I'm on the fence to purchase a Teknic 2-peice suit.  It's only $400 after 30% off, and it's damn near a perfect fit.  Unfortunately, I allready have pants and jacket, but they only zip together about 8 inches in the back.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Schnikes! My head is spinning.

Thanks alot though for the help thus far guys.

Okay, after reading and considering the pros and cons, I think the one-piece suit is the way to go. If I want to burble around town on a leisurely street ride, I can always wear jeans and either my TM or JR textile jackets.

Boots will be the Sidis - I love the way they fit. I'll likely do either the B One or the Vert 2 in basic black. The B One's cheaper and looks to be a bit less armored. I wonder if that's the main difference. Looks like it.

Back to leathers then.

Am I going to get a fraying, unraveling piece of shite in a $400 or $500 suit? Does a guy really have to spend a grand to get quality?

My curiosity was at first piqued on the Honda suit, but it's a bit too flashy for me.

That Teknic Lightning that Conq linked to from Kneedraggers for $495... anyone with first hand experience in that suit?

How about the Joe Rocket High Side 1-pc suit for $470 from Parts 411? Input?

If I wanted to spend a little more, I could get the very beautiful black/gray Alpinestars GPU suit... $611 from Kneedraggers. Man, this is pretty doggone cool!

Monochrome GPU Suit

Anything else I ought to be looking at gang? C'mon, you racers and trackday aficionados?
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I already have a 2pc street setup....but started to feel funny about it on the track. Ended up with a 1pc...wish I had done it years ago....so much better, comfort and function.

If you already have good street gear, get yourself a midrange 1pc suit and dont look back. As others have mentioned...the Honda suit is good for occasional track days...and there are plenty of others.

New Enough.com has some decent deals on new stuff and their customer service policy is the best in the biz.
They ship quick, you try on, don't like, ship it back, they send you another until you are happy...costs you less than $20 round trip. It costs me more in gas to drive to a shop that actually has gear to try on.

Kneedraggers appears to have some decent deals as well...

YMMV.....
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Baketech : New Enough.com has some decent deals on new stuff and their customer service policy is the best in the biz.
Wow. They have the 2003 model JR Highside on closeout for $419.00
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Don't know much about the Highside,....the Honda suit may be a better deal.....Bueller, anyone?
 

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I believe conqsoft had the lightning suit and it seemed well made to me. Not heavy like my vanson, but still good... The stitches looked tough anyway...
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Baketech : Don't know much about the Highside,....the Honda suit may be a better deal.....Bueller, anyone?
The JR suit is a little more flexible than the Honda if you change bikes down the road. That's a lot of suit for $419.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Chain, you sound like me in that you plan to do the occaisional track day w/mostly street riding.  I would recommend getting a 2 pc suit just for the conveinence factor.  One pc's are prolly better, but IMO even if I went down I wouldn't be going fast enough to have them separate.  But, anything's possible I guess.  

I got my Teknic's from newenough.com.  I highly recommond them.  I had no idea of sizing, so they sent me 3 sets to try on.  That's pretty good customer service I think.  Plus, I only paid $400 for a $700 suit.  Not too bad I guess.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Chain, here is the advice from someone who just crashed a few days ago and got a free ride in the ambulance to the hostpital. Buy the best gear you can possibly afford.

For boots I would go with the Sidi Vert 2's that you mentioned over the more street oriented ones. The armor will come into play at the track or the street if you go down and your ankles will thank you for them later. If you haven't totally ruled out full-on racing boots then go with something with more ankle support (after the head the ankle is the 2nd most prone area on a motorcyclist for severe injury). The Alpinestars SMX that others have mentioned is good. So are the Sidi Race Verts (that is what I have).

As for suits, my personal opinion is that most of the suits made today by the major manufacturers are going to be pretty good regarding stitching. Get something that is double and triple stitched at the impact points (knees, elbows, shoulders, hips, etc). Also, make sure it either comes with hard armor or that it has the pouches in the liner so you can add it yourself. My suit wore through in the elbow (1 hole) and the right shoulder (2 holes) but I didn't get any road rash because the holes happened right where the hard armor was sitting. I am also fairly sure my elbow is not broken because the hard armor took the brunt of the impact and distributed it over a wider area.

Get a back protector as well. I know a lot of people who don't wear these, but if you go down then it, again, will help distribute the impact along you back should you hit somethign and might mean the difference between walking home and wheeling home. I have a Knox full length back protector and I can't even tell it is on underneath my leathers.

As for a 1-piece vs 2-piece. Obviously a 1-piece is going to hold up a littel better in a big getoff, but if the 2-piece zips all the way around then it should suffice.

After my crash I am very happy that I went the extra mile (and $$$'s) for the better gear. The doctors were pretty surprised that I wasn't really hurt after my crash. Heck, the guys at the track were absolutely sure I would have a broken collarbone but I didn't even get that. Just remember you are buying this stuff to protect you if you go down. If you skimp on the protection then it is your body that will make up the difference between what you should have had and what you did have.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Guys, thanks alot for all the input and direction. LGF, thanks for that informative post took. It's all appreciated.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
I just bought an AGV Apache suit from Kneedraggers a few weeks ago. The quality was great and the price very reasonable.

For sizing, I was able to get into a Spyke suit that fit me well, and I just ordered the AGV in the same size. Worked great!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
If you do get the Sidi Verts with all those little screws, just be aware that they will fall out. And, don't locktite them, the locktite will eat the plastic. I didn't find this out the hard way, as I have the Alpinestar Supertechs, but I have friends at the track that this has happened to. I'd go with the A-Star Supertechs or SMX like ccwilli has, but it sounds like your mind's made up.
I agree about getting the one piece, since you already have a street jacket. Track days are like potato chips, you're not gonna do just one!! Get a separate back protector, too, as they do a better job than the ones that come in the suit. Don't forget about good gloves. My favs are the Held Galaxy or Held Akira.
 
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