Alpinestars Motegi Two-Piece Suit Motorcycle Apparel Test
When a motorcyclist is devoted to both safety and speed, a few necessities are a must, such as the constant study of safety principles and technique, and the minute-by-minute realization of knowing one’s limits.
But sometimes even the most devoted sportbike rider overlooks the most basic necessity – comfort. When something is ill fitting, it can quickly rob riders from the work each one puts into themselves to grow as safer, and faster, riders.
Anything that is too loose or tight can cause a distraction, which can quickly lead to failure. I’ve known three riders (me included) who have crashed while adjusting various ill-fitting garments. This is a painful lesson that doesn’t need to be learned.
Comfort can sometime get tricky for the aggressive sportbike rider, considering full gear is a must. And full gear means full gear, including full leathers, something I’d argue is as necessary as a full-face helmet or gauntlet gloves. Many street riders donning full suits complain of discomfort due to weather, but with today’s base layers that can either fend off extreme heat or frigid temperatures, comfort is available in any conditions.
The question is – one piece or two piece leathers? I only don a one-piece suit on the track, but a two-piece suit simply makes more sense on the street. And Alpinestars has released a new two-piece suit that not only caters to comfort while providing utmost safety,it also plays the value card.
This suit – the Alpinestars Motegi 2-Piece – has been my only canyon-carving setup for the past four months. Why? Alpinestars is already known for its ability to keep a rider safe, so my decision came down to pure comfort.
At just under six-feet tall and weighing around 175 lbs., I wear a 44 US (54 EURO), and the Motegi fits just a tad-bit looser than my Alpinestars GP Pro two-piece suit in the same size. The Motegi’s design is more relaxed and less of an all-out race cut, though it has many features of a top-quality race suit.
The pants and jacket – constructed out of 1.3mm full-grain leather with multi-stiched seams throughout- securely attach via a full-circumference zipper, providing the safe feeling of a one-piece suit. But unlike other two-piece suits that feature a shorter jacket that’s uncomfortable when detached from the pants, the Motegi’s jacket is longer. I don only the jacket for the non-aggressive sportbike or sport-touring rides, and it provides comfort just as a standard-issue jacket would. The jacket also features adjustable Velcro waist straps for precise fit, which helps when using layers.
With minimal perforation up front, the Motegi can get stuffy in hotter temperatures – say above 90 degrees. But with proper base layers that wick away moisture, such as Alpinestars Summer Tech series, the hotter temps are easily tackled.
The jacket gets optimal airflow from the Aramidic fiber stretch panels that run the full length of the arms to the armpit. Another genius design that provides ventilation is a mesh panel on the rear of the collar, a normal hot spot for sportbike riders. This allows full airflow around the neck, especially while tucked.
Further airflow arrives from a perforated Speed hump that has a removable plastic-insert. This insert has channels to flow the air into the back of the suit. The insert is removable, though I can’t see a reason for removing it, unless the hump digs into the back of the helmet.
Besides the Aramidic stretch panels that double as airflow locations, further flexibility arrives through leather flex panels on the back of the arms. Though the jacket is cut for comfort while in a sportbike riding position the flex panels allow for a wide range of movement, something needed when piloting say a more upright sport-touring motorcycle.
Protection arrives from CE-certified Armor in arm and elbow, and a light density chest armor and foam back pad. The chest armor is a bit bulky when compared to other jackets, but it doesn’t deplete any comfort levels. There are also plastic sliders in the shoulders, an addition found on most modern sportbike jackets to keep your body sliding during a crash, thus not tumbling and breaking bones.
Also, when things get stinky, the Motegi has a removable liner that can be washed. The jacket also features two hand-warmer pockets, a pocket in the liner and inside the jacket, and various reflective strips that enhance nighttime visibility.
The Motegi pants provide the same flexibility as the jacket, featuring flex panels above the knees and top of the pants, along with Aramidic stretch panels behind the legs and along the crotch. Also, there’s a double layer of leather in the seat area, providing for additional comfort and wear protection when hanging off the bike, and a tailbone protector.
The pants feature a zipper, clasp and snap enclosures, though further adjustable waist straps would be welcomed. The Motegi pants feel like very low-rise jeans, but once zipped to the jacket and on the bike, there is much comfort.
The pants feature removable knee sliders, CE certified armor in the knee, and a mesh panel on the bottom with a single zipper on each leg. An additional expansion zipper on the back of the calf area would be a nice addition, especially for those with larger muscle structure. The mesh, along with various perforation throughout the legs and the Aramidic stretch panels, provides for decent airflow during the hotter temps.
For those seeking flashy graphics, the Alpinestars Motegi is plain, and to me the logo appears somewhat vintage. I like plain looks of my white suit, which contrast beautifully with the red Ducati 1198, or the green Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.
As stated previously, I’ve donned nothing but the Motegi on the street for the past four months. Break in was quick, I’d say within 150 miles of aggressive sport riding. I used it for one session on the track, and had no complaints except for some stuffiness halfway through the session, which was held in temperatures around 93 degrees (F).
The Alpinestars Motegi two-piece suit is available in white and black with gray accents, white and black with red accents, black and white with gold accents, or black with white accents.
The two-piece Motegi runs $799, which is a value for the suit’s various applications, whether doing a track day, aggressive sport riding, or just donning the jacket for a quick jaunt downtown. And with the proper base layers, its a year-round jacket, though a full-sleeve liner would have been welcomed.
For additional information, log onto Alpinestars.com.