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I've signed up for the October Mojave Mile and need to purchase a leather suit. Anyone know where I can go in Southern California to buy a suit were I can try them on? Any suggestions as to how it should fit? Thanks
 

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I can't suggest a store to visit because I live in England but what I did was to visit my local bike dealer, who's very big on clothing too, I tried on suits to find the right fit and size, then ordered the design I wanted.

It took a few weeks to arrive but was worth the wait.

As for suggestions: a suit for LSR isn't necessarily the same as a track suit. Obviously it's going to be a one-piece suit. On my old suit, made by Italian company Spidi, I sent it to a local specialist and had the hump removed. After studying some action shots of me on the bike I didn't think it improved the streamlining. That's the suit in my avatar. Also when in the paddock between runs it's sometimes quite cold here and I can put a jacket on over the leathers without looking deformed. I will possibly do this to my new suit too.

The other things that might help: take off the knee sliders as they only cause drag and zip the legs down over your boots for the same reason. If you can find a suit that has all the safety features you need for LSR but isn't a mile wide at the shoulders with bits of armour etc. then that will help the aerodynamics too. The suit should be roomy enough to allow a back protector to be worn. Most of the better suits have a pocket for a back protector. This is mandatory at our venues and brings up one last point, before you buy anything check for any particular requirements for race clothing with the organisers of the meeting. Recently our organisers have outlawed kevlar suits and two-piece suits are not liked either.
 

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I've signed up for the October Mojave Mile and need to purchase a leather suit. Anyone know where I can go in Southern California to buy a suit were I can try them on? Any suggestions as to how it should fit? Thanks
I strongly recommend Vanson's Leathers. They've been making LSR suits for many years and they know exactly what you need. There are several dealers in SoCal and you can find them on Vanson's Leathers website here. Contact Vanson Leathers

The last set I purchased from them was in 2005 and that set is still going strong after multiple years at Bonneville. I may have to have it altered this year though as I've put enough weight on to make it difficult to get the suit on and off. That won't be a problem however as Vanson's maintains a database of the measurements taken for the custom build of a new suit for their customers.

Vanson's is not an off the shelf suit. The dealer makes careful measurements prescribing to a detailed form the factory provides the dealer. Part of the measuring process has you crouch into your racing form as if you are on your bike. Makes the suit comfortable when you are on the bike, not so much when not. All protections; shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, and back are built in and far exceed available protection from suits hanging on the rack at the dealer.

As far as fit, the suit needs to be snug. If it isn't, protection is compromised because of armor being allowed to move away from areas where it needs to stay in a forced dismount situation.

See you at Mojave!:)
 

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I had custom leathers made because I don't fit off the rack leathers. I used Said Leathers and sent them about 20 measurements, but they still messed them up a bit. Z Custom also does custom land speed leathers, so you might contact them. Plan on spending $1000 to $1200 for custom leathers. Make sure you have a back protector, or room to fit one. I have lots of padding and protection in the knees, hip, and shoulder. The rules for Bonneville, where the SCTA runs Speed Week have just changed so you might want to get a copy of their rules if you would ever anticipate racing there. I think the general rule to have in mind with leathers for a bike like the H2 is "how comfortable would I be sliding at 200mph in those leathers?" If you don't think they are up to 200 yards of sliding, then you probably need more substantial leathers. Also, unlike in road racing where there is always a safety crew a few feet away, in land speed racing, you may be a mile or more from a safety crew. You really have to plan for the worst situation such as having a crash and gasoline pouring out, hot engine, injuries, etc. Needless to say, the above rules apply to your helmet, gloves, and boots too. I have never had an equipment inspection issue, but I do not believe that any of the organizations will give you a pass when you do not have safe equipment.
 
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Something I never thought about, what do you wear under the leathers? Jeans, no jeans?
If you can get a pair of jeans on under the leathers they are much too loose.

A t-shirt and shorts would be about all there's room for, or a specialist under-suit as mentioned. These are race leathers, you aren't going touring. ;)
 

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Alpinestars Summer Tech Race Undersuit - RevZilla

If you don't wear this you'll need a half dozen people to tear your sweaty ass out of the leathers lol
Got a good laugh out of this one as it brought to mind my first experience on the salt all those years ago. I sat on the entry steps of the motorhome and two of the crew helped pull the suit off me. The next year I used Under Armor. That did make it a bit easier to get the suit off but still had to pry it off my legs. Went to a full under suit after that. No difficulty in getting the suit off due to the moisture wicking capabilities of the open mesh fabric, it kept me cooler as well.:)
 

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Got a good laugh out of this one as it brought to mind my first experience on the salt all those years ago. I sat on the entry steps of the motorhome and two of the crew helped pull the suit off me. The next year I used Under Armor. That did make it a bit easier to get the suit off but still had to pry it off my legs. Went to a full under suit after that. No difficulty in getting the suit off due to the moisture wicking capabilities of the open mesh fabric, it kept me cooler as well.:)
Yes, sweaty tight-fitting race suits are great aren't they.

I was running at an LSR meeting at Woodbridge once when the temperatures were mid-eighties and above. (over 30 deg C). I took two suits and changed during the lunch break. My Spidi suit has perforated panels and kevlar sections on the insides of the leg, that helps a lot with the heat.
 

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I put my leathers on 1 time without under suit and never again. The moisture wicking plus it helping you to slide on and out is worth it's weight in gold
 

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Yes, sweaty tight-fitting race suits are great aren't they.

I was running at an LSR meeting at Woodbridge once when the temperatures were mid-eighties and above. (over 30 deg C). I took two suits and changed during the lunch break. My Spidi suit has perforated panels and kevlar sections on the insides of the leg, that helps a lot with the heat.
Two suits? Well, have to admit I've never thought of that. I think I'd rather tough through the stinky then purchase another. Rather spend the money elsewhere.:)Things dry out pretty well between runs also.

Can't wear perf suits at Bonneville under SCTA rules. I've not checked the rule book for this year so maybe things have changed but I doubt it. My suit has a total of eight ventilation holes. Four 1/4" grommets in each arm pit. That's it!

It's not uncommon at the beginning of the week(before everyone starts breaking) to wait in line upwards of four hours between runs. So I don't get suited up until I'm about number four or five from the start line. I think the most time I've ever spent in the suit is a tick over an hour. I usually sit in the chase truck with the air conditioning going full blast so actual time in the suit outside might be 15 to 20 minutes. That amount of time is sufficient to warm things up considerably however!

I was immediately behind the Vesco liner in the line up one year and noted how they combated the heat for the driver. They used a portable pump/air conditioner(?) that had two lines running from it to the driver's suit. It was an interest to me but not enough to find out more about it.
 

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Thats a cool vest, EG Cool Flow® Vest System - Active Cooling - Polar Products Inc.
not a bad idea , we had one guy faint at the start line from heat on a 46c day , a red head that kept his suit on most of the day to avoid the sun , lucky it was there and not a min or 2 later
SCTA relaxed there suit regs this yr , do you have the rule book yet ?

i still have my older Dianese pre perforated era, good solid 2 piece suit that i can remove and replace the top easily in the heat with lots of well designed internal padding , but i have to think about replacing soon, how many yrs will stitching stand sweat and salt ???
 

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Thats a cool vest, EG Cool Flow® Vest System - Active Cooling - Polar Products Inc.
not a bad idea , we had one guy faint at the start line from heat on a 46c day , a red head that kept his suit on most of the day to avoid the sun , lucky it was there and not a min or 2 later
SCTA relaxed there suit regs this yr , do you have the rule book yet ?

i still have my older Dianese pre perforated era, good solid 2 piece suit that i can remove and replace the top easily in the heat with lots of well designed internal padding , but i have to think about replacing soon, how many yrs will stitching stand sweat and salt ???
Wow Oz! :eek: I'm assuming he questioned himself after that ordeal multiple times!

Nope, haven't got the rule book yet. I sent away a few days ago for it so should have it early next week. I won't purchase another suit for Bonneville regardless if the SCTA has relaxed suit rules as this is my last year for Bonneville. I'll still continue LSR though. I have an RST set I'll use at Mojave. At least that suit has ventilation.

My Vansons, purchased back in '05 have lasted with zero issues. No evidence whatsoever of stitching failure anywhere. I expect they will do well for years to come. Might be a different story if I'd worn the suit at any other venue where it would have been worn for longer periods of time.

I first met Garcia back in '07 and he had an old raggedy-ass Dianese suit (Hope Mike doesn't see this!) that he's still wearing today and he has done a lot more racing than I. I think he mentioned at one time he might replace it. Not because of failure though.

I checked out the Polar Products site. No pun intended but they have some very cool products. I had a laugh over their boobie cooler option! :)
 

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LOL i never looked that closely at the site , it was just the first that came up as i was looking for an example

I think Mikes black and white set and mine are same vintage , good old leathers just fit right, hard to make the choice to change untill you have to
my last set i wore the stitching off the ass after coolant from my own bike ended up on the rear tire on a relatively slow speed corner , that was also the last time i used cheaper import leathers
these actually opened up and i ended up with minor roadrash and they were only 2 yrs old at the time
 

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........ but i have to think about replacing soon, how many yrs will stitching stand sweat and salt ???
Wise words. I have old suits hanging on a rail in the loft but I wouldn't trust the integrity of the seams even though the hide still looks ok.

I've just replaced the suit I wore for the last ten years which is still a great suit but how would it stand up to sliding along the runway at an LSR meeting if the worse were to happen?

It's a good thing that the scrutineers always check riding gear. Some even look at the manufacture date on the label in helmets. It's too easy to overlook the fact that a favourite suit is past its best.
 

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It's a good thing that the scrutineers always check riding gear. Some even look at the manufacture date on the label in helmets.
In 2012 I got stuck with this very thing. I hadn't a clue my Arai helmet was outdated to SCTA specifications and I failed tech inspection. Had to drive 100 miles to Salt Lake City to purchase another. That and some other unrelated complications, cost me a whole day of racing.:(
 

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Wise words. I have old suits hanging on a rail in the loft but I wouldn't trust the integrity of the seams even though the hide still looks ok.

I've just replaced the suit I wore for the last ten years which is still a great suit but how would it stand up to sliding along the runway at an LSR meeting if the worse were to happen?
Hi Bob,

I thought about what you said and Oz' experiences and called Vanson Leathers. Had a lengthy conversation about the integrity of my suit.
The gentleman I spoke with had lots of questions to how it was worn, where, how often, how it's stored, how it's dried, and its age.

He told me he they have customers with street jackets purchased in the 70's :)eek:) sent in for repair and refurbishment. Vanson's use synthetic threads and they don't see seam separation problems at all. He asked me to hold for a bit and came back after speaking to his boss. He had asked his boss specifically about my suit and Bonneville. They've never had issues with separations at all. They have had suits sent back for repair for severe scuffing as in sliding on the salt. No seam separations though. Reading between the lines in speaking with him, I came to the conclusion if seams had separated, its cause was a traumatic experience that nothing worn would have survived.

He did offer me their clean/inspection/vat-dip & dry process. That cost is $150. and takes about two weeks total from arrival of the suit at the factory to shipping back to me.

I'm going to box my suit up and send it to them in a couple days as I've plenty of time to get it back in hand for WOS in September.

Love this site with the ability to bounce stuff like this off fellow enthusiasts! I don't think I would have considered this at all without yours and Oz' input.

Thanks to you both!:)
 

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Can't wear perf suits at Bonneville under SCTA rules
My RST racing leathers have perforation in the front chest area. You saying these wouldn’t pass tech? Hard to believe.. I am interested in these runs but would want to be able to use my roadracing gear.



 

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LOL i never looked that closely at the site , it was just the first that came up as i was looking for an example

I think Mikes black and white set and mine are same vintage , good old leathers just fit right, hard to make the choice to change untill you have to
my last set i wore the stitching off the ass after coolant from my own bike ended up on the rear tire on a relatively slow speed corner , that was also the last time i used cheaper import leathers
these actually opened up and i ended up with minor roadrash and they were only 2 yrs old at the time
Hi Oz,

When I spoke of Mike's raggedy-ass suit, I was referring to his red and white one. I've only seen his all black suit. The black and white suit you refer to sounds suspiciously like the suit Erin wears so very, very well! Sure that wasn't where you head was!?:laugh:
 
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