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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 326 > THE EVOLUTION OF LEATHERS


How has the one-piece leather suit evolved in 13 years? Fast Bikes put Karl Harris’ 2003 HM Plant Honda suit next to Alex Lowes’ 2016 Pata Yamaha suit to spot the differences.
Leathers have got a whole lot safer, lighter and smarter over the past 13 years.

SHAPE: The cut of the suit has changed dramatically over the years due to the shape and physical needs of the new breed of riders. Due to the increases in power, tyre grip and therefore lean angle, riders have to be a lot more active on a modern superbike or MotoGP bike, which has seen them become more athletic, not only in their physical structure but also the way they move about the bike.

Riders hang off a lot more and that means they need greater freedom in their suit and this has led to a more ergonomic suit that fits them snugger and has more flexibility built in. The suit can’t restrict the rider’s movement on the bike and that means more stretch panels and a different curvature of the arms and legs.

CURVATURE: The angle of the elbow and knee is more aggressive on the 2016 suit than the 2003 one, effectively putting it already in a racing tuck position so it doesn’t bunch up and possibly create arm-pump.

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