|Posted by epswahn on September 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM|
Alpinestars SP-1 One Piece Leather Suit Review
To call this suit an “entry level” product would be a disgrace. The Alpinestars SP-1 Leather Race Suit is an amazing product. While this isn't as glamorous as the full race replica suit, it's also not a slouch. This is by far the best suit Alpinestars makes for under $1,000. A few years ago I decided to make the jump to track days and I wanted a suit that would offer me a great amount of protection, without costing too much. I bought this as my first race suit and this is my review.
The biggest selling point for me was the protection vs cost ratio. The main features of this suit are as follows. 1.3mm premium full-grain leather for excellent abrasion resistance. YKK main zippers and Semi-auto lock zippers on the wrists ensure secure closure at all times. Removable/adjustable CE certified GP elbow and shoulder protectors with injection molded shell and dual density foam padding Perforated leather panels enhance airflow within the suit. Multiple stitched main seam construction for maximum tear resistance. Dual density back hump for improved aerodynamic and cooling performance. Accordion stretch panels on the elbows, lower back and knees improve flexibility and riding comfort. Lastly, anatomical race fit with ergonomically placed Aramidic stretch panels for optimal flexibility.
The SP-1 comes in black or white and sizes range from 46 Euro /36 US to 62/52. Offering a wide range of sizes, this suit allows just about anyone to find a size that works for them. I am 6' 155lbs and I fit into a 48/38. I prefer my suits to fit very tight at first so that once they stretch from use, they feel perfect. It's true that the first few times wearing a new suit can be uncomfortable, but just like a new hockey skate, baseball glove, or girlfriend, everything has a “break in” period.
As a consumer and a salesman, I really don't have anything negative to say about this suit. This suit took me through street riding, track days, Novice and Expert racing. It took the abuse of both highsides and lowsides many over the100MPH mark. Over a period of three seasons the suit withstood 8 crashes before tearing on the inside right knee. The durability of this product is phenomenal; even with the high speed crashes, no major repairs were needed. When the outer leather finally gave way, I was still protected by several layers of material. As long as you don't crash as much as I do, this suit could easily last ten years if not longer.
What's the downside? The downsides are just a result of this price point, and purchasing a more expensive suit comes with better features. The internal liner is not removable, but having a fan pull air through the suit works just as well. The impact areas, elbows, knees and shoulders could have better external abrasion protection although it still lasted 8 real crashes. Lastly is color choice, I chose the all black route. Boots, gloves, helmet, suit, you name it, everything black. While the idea was good on paper, dark colors soak up more heat. In the future, I would stay away from all black unless you're racing somewhere very cold.
Overall the SP-1 really lives up to the Alpinestars brand and is a great suit at an unbeatable price. I personally got a lot of enjoyment out of this suit and it protected me every time I needed it. I would recommend this suit for the street, track days and club racing.
Owner / Racer