THEY say you never forget your first knee down. For me, it was only two weeks ago, at the Silverstone launch of the Suzuki GSX-R125 – also my first time on track.
Egged on by the bigger boys, I ignored my inner voice of reason to hang from the side of the small-capacity sportsbike.
Further and further I leant, until like an aircraft in strong winds I touched down, bounced back up with a wobble before making contact with the asphalt once more. It was sketchy to say the least, yet entirely addictive.
By the end of the day, ‘Furygan’ had been nearly scrubbed from my left knee slider, and slightly scratched on the right (Stowe circuit has a lot of left-handers…).
Thankfully, the sliders were the only part of my Furygan Dark Apex suit to meet the ground that day, but I was comfortable in the knowledge that I was well protected should I have come off.
One-piece track leathers have many requirements to fulfil. They need to look good, fit well and most importantly, offer a high level of protection.
For me, Furygan’s Dark Apex Suit ticks two out of three of these boxes – falling short only on fit. The styling is spot-on: understated, with subtle white and red accents and the brand’s logo dotted more than a dozen times across the suit. For riders looking for something more colourful, the French manufacturer also offers the similar spec, £50 more expensive, Full Apex suit in a variety of colour options.
While the fit may not be right for me, the Dark Apex is a nonetheless comfortable suit, thanks to the fixed cotton lining, various stretch panels and neoprone inserts on places prone to chafing (wrist and neck).
Sitting in the middle of the market price wise, the £599 suit is CE approved as personal protection equipment. It is made from full grained 1.4mm leather, with perforated panels developed
from crashed GP riders’ leathers, in order to maximise air flow while retaining the leather’s strength and durability.
Unobtrusive D30-rated protection features in the elbow, shoulder and knee regions, while external
shells sit on the elbows and shoulders – not forgetting the aforementioned knee sliders.
There’s aramid fibre reinforcement in the hips and seat, which claims to improve the leather’s resistance and delay heat transmission caused by abrasion. The back hump is also removeable.
We don’t like:
The only downside to this suit is that it’s made solely for men. Unlikely to bother 90 per cent of the riding population, this would be a dissuading factor for many female riders.
Such is the fit of the suit, that in a 36/XS I found it to be too wide on the shoulders, arms, waist and calves and too tight across the chest and collarbone.
However, credit to Furygan for not just adopting the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach that some manufacturers take on when producing gear for women – making smaller sizes and adding feminine accents without changing the fitment.
Male colleagues who have the same suit assure me that Furygan has got the sizing spot on.
This is a cracking suit. While you won’t stand out on track due to its understated nature, you will be both comfortable and protected.
But, before I hail it as my go-to track suit, I may look around for female-friendlier options.
For more information or to purchase the suit, visit www.nevis.co.uk.