A New Suit of Armor
I'm a little late with this one, but I decided to delay my review until I had my new suit from Comet Racing Leathers out on the track a couple of times. I've now done a track day at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) South Course with Team Pro-Motion, and repeated California Superbike School Level One at VIR North Course. I did Level One with CSS in 2002. I thought it was best to repeat after 12 years, and I'm glad I did. On to the suit!
|Crossing the finish line at VIR South|
From the time I paid for my order and submitted my measurements, delivery time was about 5 weeks. This was a little longer than Comet estimates on their website, but I did take advantage of their customization capabilities. Custom logos, colors, and printed leather cost extra from most custom shops.
My suit is the Apex Pro model in kangaroo leather.
Here's why I like it:
- Fit: I can't stress this one enough! It's PERFECT! It's a bit of a chore to get over my extra-thick Forcefield back protector, but once on, it's literally spot-on everywhere. No tight or saggy areas. What a difference!
- Comfort: Between the custom fit, good armor placement, and the kangaroo leather, this suit is much more comfortable than my old one.
- Build Quality: The stitching on the suit and all of the materials use are top-notch. It compares well to other suits in its price range.
- Protection: The armor is very well-placed, of good quality, and good coverage. My initial impression is that the suit will protect me well if called upon to do so.
- Looks: Comet did a great job, the suit looks exactly as I requested in my design submission.
- Value: This was far from inexpensive, but what I got compared with what I spent is very impressive.
Here's what I don't like as much:
- The Liner: The liner doesn't zip out. This isn't a huge deal, but a zip-out liner would be an improvement, making the suit easier to clean.
- Logos: The Comet logos are fine, but it would be really cool if some of them were embroidered or embossed like they are on some other premium leathers. This would be a good upgrade to further differentiate the more expensive kangaroo suits.
- One Blemish: After two days on the track, the suit mostly looks brand new still, but one spot on the stretch panel above my left knee didn't stand up well to my StompGrips. The leather isn't compromised, but the colored layer peeled a bit.
|Some of the custom work, one of the two SQL Sentry logos to give a little extra visibility to the company that has indirectly made this adventure much easier! This also shows some of the precision stitching.|
I've spent a lot of time riding in one-piece racing leathers, and it's amazing how much less fatigued I am after a day on the track in leathers that fit perfectly than I was after a day on the road in leathers that didn't. I'm still tired, but I'm not near as sore and stiff afterward. It's also easier to move around on the bike, and maintain proper body position.
The suit also drew a fair amount of attention at both events, with people asking where I got it and how long I've had it. One couple at Superbike School, both in custom suits from another maker, commented on just how well it fit. They were very surprised when I told them it was only my second day riding in it. They commented on how comfortable it looked and how much mobility I had.
If you're serious about riding, either on the street or the track, consider a set of custom leathers. I can't recommend it enough. I'm very happy with the work Comet did for me, and would definitely go back to Karl for another suit. I expect that Comet's cowhide and two-piece models will be of similar quality.