RS Taichi GP Max R070 Leathers And GP Max Gloves, Alpinestars Supertech R Boots, Shoei X-11 Helmet
At A Recent Sr Track Test Held At California's Buttonwillow Raceway, SR's El Jefe was getting in some warm-up laps on a frigid December morning when the rear tire of the R6 he was riding let go completely without warning in the 90-mph, left-hand kink before the Lost Hills section. The bike instantly went totally sideways with no chance of saving it, so he was forced to hit the eject button just before the Yamaha high-sided itself into oblivion, putting him on the deck at high speed. His riding gear consisted of RS Taichi's GP MAX R070 leathers and GP MAX gloves, Alpinestars' new Supertech R boots and Shoei's X-11 helmet.
The GP MAX leathers represent RS Taichi's latest innovations in rider protection and comfort, featuring the company's high-quality 1.5mm Japanese leather that is very pliable for comfort yet exceptionally abrasion- and tear-resistant. A new 3-D pattern was developed for the suit, with perforated leather flex panels in the elbows, knees, shoulders and waist, plus elastic Schoeller Keprotec Kevlar fabric on the underarms, sleeves and legs, and a Y-shaped section in the crotch area ensuring ease of movement. CE-approved armor protection is utilized in the shoulder (15mm thickness) and elbows/knees (20mm thickness) while impact-absorbing 10mm-thick T-foam padding covers the ribs, collarbone, shoulder blades, tailbone and hips. Ventilation is provided by perforated leather panels in the front portion of the upper torso, arms and legs, along with ergonomically designed polyurethane plastic shoulder caps that not only furnish additional impact protection but also feature the company's T-AIR intake scoop for extra ventilation. The aerodynamic hump on the back of the leathers also has internal air passages that channel airflow to the rider's back while offering added protection. Wide neoprene fabric on the collar and wrist cuffs prevents chafing in those areas, a nice touch for even more comfort.
RS Taichi's leathers have always been one of El Jefe's favorites, offering unrivaled comfort and fit while providing excellent protection (one set he wore during his racing years endured three 80-plus-mph crashes in one season without needing repair). Yet despite its superb protective qualities, the GP MAX suit provides exceptional flexibility and mobility for the rider while also remaining fairly lightweight, unlike some other suits that may not only supply the protection of a medieval suit of armor but feel like one, too. The RS Taichi suit's ventilation qualities are also first-rate.
The GP MAX glove utilizes Pittards ARMOR-TAN leather, which increases basic glove leather's abrasion resistance by chemically bonding a type of ceramic "armor plating" around the tiny fibril bundles that make up leather's basic microscopic structure. The fingers and palm are anatomically cut in a precurved fashion for comfort, with the company's "Split Armor System" using Schoeller Keprotec to provide impact protection for the knuckles without loss of mobility due to its innovative multilayered structure that prevents binding. EVA foam is used underneath the armor, as well as the heel of the palm for additional impact protection, and injection-molded rubber cuffs shield the wrist area. A hook-and-loop wrist strap and cuff flap handle retention duties. The same fit and comfort qualities of the RS Taichi GP MAX leathers apply to the GP MAX gloves as well. They are easily among the most comfortable and best-fitting gloves we've worn, plus they offer outstanding control feel.
Alpinestars' Supertech R boot is the Italian company's latest top-of-the-line roadracing footwear, replacing the previous Supertech model. Using synthetic leather for the majority of its outer construction, the Supertech R features the same style of inner-boot structure as the old model but with numerous changes aimed at improved mobility and protection. The inner-boot structure has a redesigned double-hinged ankle brace and specially developed foot and leg plates (all made with a fiberglass-infused polyamide plastic) that offer greater impact protection while progressively absorbing flex and rotational stress, thus reducing pressure and hyperextension injuries to the lower leg joints. Closed-cell foam is used internally throughout the inner boot for comfort, and a speed-lace closure system in front ensures snug and precise fit.