I took the plunge just before the new year and joined a bunch of folks on The Aprilia Factory facebook group and ordered a fully custom (measurements and colors) race suit from Plus Racing out of Hungary. It was a bit of a gamble but they have a handful of riders in MotoAmerica and other regional professional series in Europe. Online reviews seemed legit and were nearly all complimentary. The price was outstanding.
The Process: Fantastic. It started with a few messages and e-mails with Hozzane Schudery, the VP of Sales. Hozzi seems to never sleep, despite being 6 hours ahead of me he was always available for questions, to review options, etc. and make thoughtful suggestions along the way. After submitting my design (he provides the templates) and measurements he would follow-up with any questions and makes sure to confirm the final design and measurements before the suit goes into production. He keeps you updated along the way with pictures and notes, even though he’s clearly working on dozens if not hundreds of orders at the same time. I’d have to say it was as a personalized sales experience as I’ve ever had even though it was 100% online.
Obviously it takes a few weeks to make a custom suit. I waited and waited as other members of the facebook group got theirs and posted pictures and reviews. Everyone had the same things to say. 100% satisfied, in fact often surprised at the quality and construction. On par if not better than anything they currently had. That’s saying something since anyone that can afford to own and ride an Aprilia, can afford top brand gear too.
My suit arrived via FedEx in about 10 weeks from the date I ordered and made my deposit. It sailed through customs despite recent issues with the pandemic, which was something I was worried about. Not that this was within the control of PLUS, but it does show that they didn’t try and save a few bucks by going with a cheaper/riskier delivery option, even though shipping was included in the price.
So that is the review on the process. Couldn’t have been better. Now the important part, the suit itself.
The Fit: Perfect. This is my fourth set of full leathers, and it fits the best. Partly this is due to my being an American no doubt, but also because I’m 5′ 10″ but only have a 30″ inseam. Every suit to date has been too long in the legs and too short in the torso. Since this was made to measure, no such issues. The arm length too is spot on. It’s tight like a race suit should be, and a bit uncomfortable walking around, like a race cut suit is bound to be. In riding position though, that tightness disappears and it becomes snug, but not loose. Again, perfect fit.
The Construction: Solid. Seams are all good, stitching has no visible weak spots. YKK plastic zippers throughout. Use of stretch panels, neoprene, and keprotec are all on par with top of the line suits I’ve owned. I didn’t go with any upgrades like kangaroo leather or stingray inserts which would no doubt have put this suit at a level above many much more expensive (2x or more) off the rack options. A full zip-out liner completes the construction nicely, and perforations are adequate but you can also chose to not have them if you prefer that.
Protection: Above average. I choose the airbag compatible suit with extra expansion panels. It is designed to work with IXON (Klim) airbags but I would imagine would work fine with the latest Alpinestars and Dainese stand alone offerings too. (note: those do not have an algorithm for the track.) Besides the airbag, the internal protection on knees/shoulders/elbows/hips/back is SAS-TEC that is CE approved (you can upgrade to full Level 2 but some of mine were of the level 2 variety upon closer inspection, thanks Hozzi!). External protection on shoulders, elbows, and knees adds safety as well. Replaceable elbow sliders and knee pucks are included.
Style: Very good. Obviously with a fully custom suit, style is ultimately up to you. But the quality of the colors, the screen-printed graphics, and logos are all good. My only minor complaint is that some of the logos (esp. on high wear areas) could have been done in leather and stitched on. There are downsides to that approach though as it can substantially weaken the leather and is heavier, so it’s a give and take proposition. Still I like the look/feel of stitched on letters/logos. Otherwise the colors that Hozzi steered me towards are a great match for my new helmet that we used as the basis for the design. Seeing others’ designs and looking at examples on the website and that Hozzi can send you, makes it clear that they can do almost anything you wish. Pink cammo, no problem. Want to look like Iron Man, go for it. The Design team really is good.
Overall: 9/10 – Excellent. Given the price, I doubt you can find anything better, to be honest. The options for custom suits are growing but so far nothing I’ve seen can compare.
So, that sums it up for now. Obviously one of the most important factors is how well it protects you and holds up in a crash. Hoping that day doesn’t come, but if it does I’ll make sure to do that review as well. Others that have crashed have reported that the suit holds up great, and I didn’t see any reports of failures or injury from people who have tested it out completely.