Alpinestars’ entry-level leather suit is the SP-1 one-piece, a high-performance and exceptionally protective piece of riding gear. However, no one should assume that means that the Italian company has compromised in any way to meet a price point.
The SP-1 is derived directly from MotoGP experience and the protective technology developed for the very valuable riders employed there. However, keeping the cost low allows Alpinestars to provide a high-tech, race-bred suit for the masses that may not be able to afford a custom creation.
The Alpinestars SP-1 is made with 1.2 – 1.4m premium, full-grain cow hide which is sewn together using multiple-stitched seams for the ultimate in abrasion and tear resistance. For improved flexibility, innovative leather stretch panels are installed at the shoulders, elbows, waist and knees.
This compliments the ergonomic Schoeller stretch Kevlar sections installed close by. And, Alpinestars has included polyurethane sliders placed at each shoulder so that a rider will not catch one and start tumbling should he or she meet the tarmac at high speed. For airflow, large areas of the suit are perforated to flow cooling air to the rider while in motion.
Dual-density CE-approved armor backs up high-spec injection molded plastic shells for armoring the shoulders, elbows, knees and shins and is designed to take hard impacts and keep them away from your hard parts. At the knees are the usual fully adjustable and fully replaceable polyurethane GP knee sliders. On the back of the SP-1 is an integrated speed hump allowing for aerodynamic properties to cheat the air and encloses dual-density material meant to keep your head up above the pavement should you land there.
Inside of the suit is a multi-position snap system configured to accept an Alpinestars’ Bionic Race Back Protector and its CE Level 2 rated protection. Inside the front there are pockets strategically placed for the Bionic Chest Pads. Comfort is enhanced by using neoprene at the cuffs and collar, and by lining the SP-1 with an antibacterial, removable and washable mesh material. YKK Semi Auto Lock zippers secure the suit in place and keep the zippers from opening up while on the street or track.
Getting into the Alpinestars SP-1 leathers is much easier with the many stretch panels and the full-length zipper up the front. The anatomical shape will hold you in a very good semi-tuck position which is perfect for riding, especially at the track. Once the SP-1 is wrapped around your frame, you will notice that it is a little confining. With only a little use, though, it will ‘adjust’ to your shape and it quickly becomes as comfortable as you might expect from a more expensive suit.
True, when compared to that more expensive gear, the SP-1 lacks some of the more high-tech features, but you pay far less for something which will protect you just as well as any other. It looks great, feels good, and has exceptional ergonomics.
When all of what you have in front of you is taken in, it is very obvious that Alpinestars has designed and built a leather suit which will keep you safe no matter where you do your riding – the SP-1 is an excellent choice in a protective leather suit – and it’s a good deal, too.
Suggested retail: US$899.95