Ultimate MotorCycling was a sponsor of the Ducati Owners Club Track Day at Chuckwalla Raceway (yes, Miguel DuHamel was there!) on March 4, but I found myself without a Ducati to ride. Fortunately, there’s a long-term test Suzuki GSX-R750 in the UMC garage, and it was drafted into service so that I could have some fun for the day. The mid-size Suzuki Gixxer is one of the best loved motorcycles of all time, and deservedly so. It’s as light and nimble as a 600 with friendly yet precision handling that makes it incredibly easy to ride fast. Yet it also has considerably more power than the 600—sure, it isn’t the GSX-R1000, but nevertheless it goes very well, and with its excellent mid-range power it does not need to scream the way the smaller bike does to get the best from it.
Cortech Latigo 2.0 RR Suit Review
Riding gear is of paramount importance at the track. Of course safety is top of the list; if you’re going to end up sliding on your ass across the asphalt and into the rock-strewn scenery, then you need serious (leather) protection from the considerable abrasion, and body armor to protect your extremities and joints from the enormous bumps and bangs.For my day at Chuckwalla with the Ducati Owners Club, I chose to wear the Cortech Latigo 2.0 RR one-piece suit, Alpinestars Nucleon KR-R back protector, Cortech Latigo Air Road Race boots, Cortech Adrenaline II gloves, and Arai’s gorgeous new Corsair-X helmet.Despite being made from the typical 1.2mm-1.4mm top grain, drum-dyed (whatever that means, but I assume is a plus) leather, the Latigo suit feels relatively lightweight and comfortable. Utilizing top-quality YKK zippers, the suit is also perforated for good airflow—and that’s not to be underestimated.Cortech claims the cut is a more generous “American” fit, and I guess that means I’m typical. I found that the suit fit me perfectly—something that’s not always the case. It is very well cut indeed; it is snug in the right places, but not overly tight at the shoulders, the arms or around the crotch.Despite the modest pricing at $599.99, the Latigo suit exudes quality with double- and even triple-bonded nylon stitching at the important seams—again vital if you’re going to be sliding down the track. Once on, the Latigo RR felt completely natural. The sleeves are pre-rotated and the legs pre-curved, and with the accordion style expansion panels at the shoulders, knees and back, once I was on the bike I wasn’t fighting the suit to stay comfortable. The Cortech Latigo RR suit also felt comfortable and natural while walking around the paddock between sessions; I wore it all day long with no problems.The Suzuki’s adjustable footpegs are relatively comfortable, and I had them in the lower setting of the two possible. Other suits while riding the GSX-R750 with the footpegs in this position crunch behind the knees, and can quickly become literally unbearable after some time. Again the Cortech Latigo RR suit came through with flying colors; there was zero bunching behind my knees, and moving around on the bike and flexing my knees for corners was easy and without distraction or pain.The Latigo RR suit has full CE approved body armor at the typical contact points including shoulders, elbows, knees, and shins, and those are supplemented by EVA foam padding at the collarbone area. A back-protector is built into the suit, but it’s relatively small and low-tech, so I dispensed with that and used my trusty Alpinestars Nucleon KR-R Protector, which is lightweight, pre-curved, and breathable for comfort.
Cortech Latigo Air Road Race Boots Review
Footwear was taken care of by the Cortech Latigo Air Road Race Boots. At $179.99 they’re a little cheaper than the Impulse model at $199.99, however the Latigos are more than protective and without a complicated inner boot, they’re simpler to put on and take off.Using an inside zipper with Velcro flap, the Latigo boot is a good fit for me and flexible enough that I had that very necessary feel while moving around the bike, shifting gears and using the rear brake.Made with a vented and perforated Mycro tech upper with leather stretch panels and a TPU shin guard and shift pad, the pre-formed orthopedic vibration-absorbing foot bed ensured they were comfortable all day.
Cortech Adrenaline II Glove Review
I’ve always had a happy relationship with Cortech gloves—for some reason they always fit me particularly well, and I’m very fussy when it comes to feeling in my hands on the motorcycle controls. As with all of this gear, comfort is just as paramount as safety: even though I expect this all to protect me if the worst happens, I need it to be comfortable and unrestrictive when I’m actually using it.At $199.99, Adrenaline II gloves are Cortech’s top-of-the-line item; they were developed with input from several of their sponsored AMA racers—and it shows. Made from Superfabric, Kangaroo leather, Kevlar and Knox SPS Protectors, the Adrenalin II gloves don’t bind at the fingers or wrist area, and the pre-curved fingers don’t push under my fingernails on the inside.They are supple enough that I have plenty of feel at the throttle and brake lever, but they feel substantial enough that I’m confident of their protective ability too.For additional information on all of these products, visit:Cortech Latigo 2.0 RR Race Suit: $599.99Cortech Latigo Air Road Race Boots: $179.99Cortech Adrenaline II Gloves: $199.99
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!