This is the first of a couple of reviews to be published throughout the year about my new Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. The old suit worked 5,200 motorcycle funeral escorts through a dense city, unwillingly participated in 3 motorcycle crashes, worked many courier deliveries, and rode many, many miles for pleasure and commute. But, after 15 years of service, my black Aerostich Roadcrafter is officially retired, now that a new one arrived from Aerostich. I couldn't wait for the new suit to arrive. It's not that I don't have any gear, because I do. Anyone who knows me can testify that though I'm very much a minimalist, I do have a lot of motorcycle gear. Let's put it this way, in my apartment there is not one picture hanging and I have only two sets of eating utensils. That's all about to change, but that's another story. In my defense, I have sold off a lot of my gear over the years.
My old Aerostich Roadcrafter competed and usually won against: Six Vanson leather jackets and a set of Vanson pants, 5 Hein Gerick jackets, including one rare Yamaha Hein Gerick desert racing suit that I got in Germany in 1988, leather pants, and 2 identical Dakar leather jackets, 3 Belstaff jackets and one pair of original 1960s Belstaff pants, an awesome and over engineered textile Triumph all weather jacket, a Dainese jacket, a Fieldsheer leather suit that I used for racing, and about half a dozen more jackets and pants from less known or no longer available manufacturers. The Roadcrafter beats them all. My Roadcrafter even wins against other Aerostich gear I own, including 2 Darien jackets and pants, and a Police only issue Darien suit.
So with this huge selection of cool, hard to find and mostly high quality riding gear, why did I usually pick my Roadcrafter over everything else? Precisely for two BIG reasons 1) it's easy to use and 2) it offers top notch protection. The suit was invented in 1983 by Aerostich founder Andy Goldfine. It was designed to be as easy to put on and take off as a regular jacket. The 500 Denier Cordura fabric in the main sections of the suit and 1050 Denier Cordura and TF3-level armor in the shoulders, elbows and knees provides excellent abrasion and impact for the wearer. Optional back and hip pads are available. Aerostich stands behind their product so much that after a crash you can send the suit in to them to repair the damaged fabric. Riding year round for a living requires gear that can be used in different weather conditions. The GORE-TEX lining on the Aerostich Roadcrafter will keep you dry in moderate to heavy rains, depending on how long you're riding in it. If you are riding in a typhoon for an hour, your crotch is likely to get a little wet, but short of that the suit works excellent in the rain.
Can you find a cheaper suit? Sure, but not one that will last 15 years under extreme riding conditions, like mine did. Can you get better protection? Sure, if you want to wear body armor with your street clothes or Vanson full leathers every time you ride, how convenient is that? It's just not practical for everyday street use. Full leathers are hard to put on and take off. My street clothes certainly don't fit underneath it. When I wear my full race leathers I end up having to use a fanny pack because I have no comfortable place to carry my wallet, keys, phone. Trust me, with a Roadcrafter you will never be at a loss to find a place to put things. There are a lot of well thought out pockets of different sizes. There are velcro-on map pockets available as well and my new suit came with the Velcro necessary to attach puck sliders on my knees if I want to do the odd track day or two. I ride thousands of miles a year and I will confidently say that you'd be hard pressed to find a better all around, multi-weather riding suit that fully encloses your body and street clothes with the same ease and in almost the same amount of time it takes you to put on a motorcycle jacket. The suit design is genius. Extremely recommended.
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