How many crashes is acceptable for a leather suit? How about five? I think that's a reasonable amount, don't you? How about if after those five crashes it still looked good for another five?
Well that's where I'm at with my Alpinestars GP Pro one-piece suit which I'm wearing for my second season. It's been through a lowside at Cadwell, highside at Silverstone, lowside at Brands, highside at Oulton and a lowside at Assen.
The only worrying thing about that trend is that my next crash is going to be a highside at Misano. Oh dear..
The GP Pro is a ventilated leather suit aimed at track and sport riders. I chose it because the 1.3mm leather appeared thick without feeling too heavy with it. It features CE-approved armour in the elbows, shoulders, knees and shins but it's also got external armour on the shoulders, elbows and knees that - in my case - have taken a battering.
It's got a removable lining which I've taken out and washed once. It's not that it's particularly hard to get back in place but as with all these things, they never seem to fit back in as well as when you first got them. Put it down to user error.
You can slot an Alpinestars chest protector in the pouch in the front, but I just shove a small back protector I liberated from a textile jacket years ago and that appears to do the job.
I wear it for 1-hour blasts over the racing weekend but, like my other Alpinestars suit, it feels all-day comfortable. It's easy to get on and off, and the zips take a decent amount of abuse, especially the front zip which, if I'm walking around with the top half of my leathers off, stands up to a decent amount of strain.
Overall it feels very well made, I have no gripes with it, it's kept me in good nick after five crashes, it's supple and doesn't feel restrictive and it feels like it's built to go the distance. I'd just rather not be testing it out again any time soon. Especially not at Misano..
Colours: Black/Red/White, Black, Black/Blue/White, Black/White