With the amount of time I’m about to spend racing, there’s a good chance that I’ll be experiencing the wonders of a lowside. Here’s the gear I’ll be entrusting to keep my time on the ground relatively pleasant and hopefully not painful. This is a primer – I’ll go into more depth on each item after I’ve had a chance to test them during the race.
Helmet: Arai Signet-X
This has been my go-to helmet for the last 6 months. The short story? I love it, but I’m also not one of these people that thinks you must spend $600 to get a good helmet. For me, it’s simple – I know I’ll be comfortable wearing this helmet for hours at a time and I trust it to protect my dome. The only issue I have with it is Arai’s new visor release mechanism. I’ve gotten used to it over the last few months but it still seems needlessly fussy.
Suit: Alpinestars Atem – available in Black/White, Black/White/Red, or Black/White/Yellow Fluorescent for $1,499.
I’m not a huge track day guy so I didn’t have a suit lying around to use. I asked my buddies at Alpinestars for something suitable and they loaned me an Atem. I’ll report back on how it does. For now, Nathan’s just glad that I won’t be wearing all black for once.
We recently went to a preview event for the 2018 lineup of Alpinestars gear where we learned that they’re about to replace this suit with the V3:
Gloves: Alpinestars GP Tech Gloves – available in Black, White/Black, White/Red/Black, or Black/Red/Yellow Fluorescent for $299.
Same thing here – my normal race-type gloves have holes in them so Alpinestars is loaning me a set of GP Techs. I’ve been wearing them for the last few days to make sure they fit well and they’ve been fine. The main chassis and palm is made from kangaroo leather, reinforcements are provided by breathable Pittards leather, and it’s got all the protection that you’d expect from expensive “MotoGP-derived” race gloves. I’m sure I’ll find something to complain about during the race, though.
Socks: MotoChic Performance Socks – available in Men’s 10-13 or Women’s 9-11 for $18.
This isn’t really a garment for protection, but for long days on the road my usual choice has been these compression socks from MotoChic. They’re tall, comfortable, and they’re very thin. Compression socks are often so strong that they restrict blood flow or so weak that they won’t stay up. These socks are like Goldilocks’ last bowl of porridge – just right. I’ve already used them for all day rides in the UK, and they’re an easy choice for riding in the 100+ degree heat we’re going to have to suffer through during the endurance race.
Boots: Sidi Mag-1 Air – available in White/Black or Red Fluorescent/Black for $495.
I got these a few weeks ago for this race, and I’m in love with them. They look great, they’re light (4.4 pounds each), and the “Air” variant (perforated outer layer for increased airflow) feels better than any other boot I’ve worn in warm weather. That’s a good thing, because they’re also more expensive than any other boot I’ve ever worn. There’s two standout features here – the airflow and the TECNO-3 magnetic closure system. The system isn’t as quick as the buckles you’ll find on competitors, but it’s incredibly adjustable so that you can get it tight in the foot and loose in the ankle if you want, or vice versa. Because of this, the boots fit great. I’ve already the “pleasure” of lowsiding in them and they held up well.
I’m a big fan of them so far, but let’s see how they do in the rigors of racing.
Nathan and I are waiting for the heat to die down, and then we’ll head out tonight so that we can get to the track first thing in the morning. I’ll check in with you then!
On to Drama!