There are about three zillion different manufacturers of leather motorcycle goods nowadays. How should one chose one manufacturer's products over another? Cost? Quality? Fit? Customer Service? I recently bought a set of leathers that beat the competition in all these areas. My new leathers are manufactured in Italy by BiGi. I bought them the night before a recent track day at Willow Springs. My previous set of track leathers were a ragged pair of Daineses on which I've had the leg zippers fixed a few times. The night before the track day, I was graced with the use of the BiGi's.
On the track, the leathers worked great! They took about a minute to get on and off between sessions (105 degree days at Willow Springs do not lend themselves to standing around in full leathers between sessions, don'tcha know). A sturdy hook and loop fastener system connects the jacket to the pants all the way around the waist and back and allows for a great deal of adjustability between the top and bottom leathers. This is a feature that I've never seen before, and I think it works well. There is plastic armor in the knees and elbows, and soft armor in the hips and back. All of this armor feels like it is an extension of my body, and doesn't restrict my range of motion at all. The armor underneath the knee pucks is just enough to provide some cushioning when in contact with the ground, but not enough to interfere with feedback from the bike and ground. I wish that I would've had that under-puck armor when I whacked a track irregularity at 80 MPH with my knee puck while wearing my Dianese suit.
I wear full leathers on the street as well, as I prefer the time tested safety and comfort of leather to Cordura or other engineered fabrics. Actually, I'm just too cheap to buy a separate suit for street and track. While the BiGi leathers don't have as many pockets as an AeroStich, I find room for my wallet, change, cell phone, keys, and other necessities.
Luckily, I haven't had the opportunity to see how the leathers work while skidding down the asphalt. From all indications, they should work quite well.
I should mention that ventilation in the leathers is minimal. I was told that the Italians don't understand what Death Valley is like in the summertime. The few times when I got hot in them, I merely unzipped the jacket 1/4 of the way, which provided some wind exposure.
List price for the BiGi Leathers jacket and pants combo is $1190. MGNOC members are eligible for a 10% discount from the importer, Galaxy International, when they provide their membership number with their order.
Best of all, the leathers come in Guzzi Red! [Ed Note: Yummy! -FW]
Information is available at: Galaxy International/Voyager Gloves, 1116 8th Street, Manhattan Beach, California 90266. 310-263-1187 or at http://www.voyagergloves.com.