Joe Rocket Speedmaster 6.0 Review: Motorcycle Leathers
From 2004 until his retirement in 2009, seven-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin donned apparel that became synonymous with him in the motorcycle-racing world – Joe Rocket.Always an admirer of the Australian, I tried various Joe Rocket leathers back in day, such as the (now outdated) GPX series, but could never find comfort as Mladin obviously did.
But all that changed this summer; after seeing the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 6.0 one-piece leather suit in person, and noticing the obvious differences from the GPX series, such as less bulk, my attraction to the Joe Rocket brand resurfaced.Now I can’t seem to get on the track or sport ride with any other suit. Two major reasons for this are the flexibility in the areas that are of most importance regarding on-bike comfort (think groin area), and what the Speedmaster 6.0 one-piece suit is ultimately designed for – protection.I realized the latter when I actually crashed in the suit, so let’s start with protection. I know firsthand that the 1.2 to 1.4 mm-top grain cowhide leather does its job. While at the Yamaha Champions Riding School in New Jersey, I took a spill at Turn 3 ont he Lighting Course, sliding across the circuit and into the dirt.The suit sustained some scruffs, but nothing penetrated or tore. And unlike the complaints you’ll hear about older-model Joe Rocket leathers, not a stitch came loose. Sure, the crash wasn’t anything extremely fast, but sliding about 30 feet was enough for me to place faith in the composition of the suit.And when I slid on my back, the speed hump did double duty, keeping me from hitting my helmet on the concrete. Also adding to my safety while crashing were the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 6.0’s Titanium-reinforced shoulders, and C.E. rated protectors in shoulders, knees and elbows.Unlike the old, bulky-style GPX suit, with the protection in the 6.0 Speedmaster arrives much comfort, which is one thing any track rider/racer needs to remain 100-percent focused on efficient riding.Comfort was endless, especially in an area that always annoys me, the crotch. The Speedmaster 6.0 suit features Kevlar reinforced inner crotch stretch panels.This is of extreme importance to me when hanging off a bike. And there were track days in my past where certain suits placed so much pressure on the groin area I had to stop mid-way through the day due to stomach cramps.But with the large-area of stretch panels, the suit allows much flexibility, not placing much pressure on the groin area.These Kevlar-reinforced areas are also featured on the knee and elbow areas, but I’d prefer a bit more flexibility in the arms.The suit also features adequate cooling, although I’d prefer more perforation in the lower legs/side areas. I’ve worn this suit in 90-plus temperatures, and the Speedmaster 6.0 suit’s perforation worked well in the mid-section. And for additional airflow, the Speedmaster 6.0 suit features injected molded shoulder vents that suck in air, helping to cool the upper body..Regarding fit and break-in period, I usually wear a size 42 on the track for a snugger fit, and a 44 on street for layering, etc. The 42 fits true to size, and like any suit it was initially tight.But after two spirited sport rides in some hot weather, the suit broke in. And it should be mentioned that every time I donned the 6.0 Speedmaster suit I wore base layers, such as the Knox Dry Inside system.As for wear/tear, I have about 2K on the street in the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 6.0 suit, and six full track days. So far, none of the zippers have broken (unlike my old GPX), and the knee sliders have remained intact.As you can see, I had my doubts in Joe Rocket after my experience with the old-style GPX suit, but the Massachusetts’ company more than redeemed itself with the Speedmaster 6.0 one-piece leather suit. And the best part…it’s under $700 and has subtle styling, both of which are of much importance to me.The UltimateMotorCycling.com JR Speedmaster 6.0 verdict:If you’re searching for a comfortable, non-crotch strangling one-piece leather suit that will perform its duty with adequate cooling and a sub-$700 price point, the Speedmaster 6.0 is the optimal choice.But…If you’re looking for something with a bit more flexibility on top and additional cooling, look elsewhere, but expect to pay over $1000.Joe Rocket Speedmaster 6.0 One-Piece Suit Colors/Sizes:
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.