Date reviewed: October 2017 | Tested by: Steve Stewardson | Price: Approximately £1900 | www.kushitani-uk.co.uk
Kushitani is one of the motorcycle world’s premium manufacturers – along with its off-the peg jackets and other garments, it’s famous for its made-to-measure leathers, which are individually hand-crafted in Japan.
The suits take 16 weeks to make, after 19 measurements have been taken. “Safety begins with a perfect fit,” says Kushitani UK boss Jonny King. “There’s no point having armour if it rolls out of the way, and the bum for instance must be tight fitting so it can’t ruck up and potentially tear.”
“Safety begins with a perfect fit”: Kushitani UK boss Jonny King
Kushitani suits are designed to be a perfect fit on the bike – the ‘CYX’ design is more suited to an upright stance, while the ‘Nexu’s is a no-comrpomises race cut. “We don’t make special suits for racers,” Jonny tells us. “If Rossi came to us asking for one, he’d have to wait 16 weeks like everyone else.”
Currently, there’s a choice of two armour types – CE-approved, or a softer, thinner armour that’s approved by the Motorcycle Federation of Japan.
Steve Stewardson, from the West Midlands, bought a Kushitani Elevation suit – converted to two-piece – at the end of 2014, which he’s worn on his Triumph Daytona 675R and Ducati Supersport S. He mainly rides at the Isle of Man as he doesn’t really enjoy riding in England anymore; “Too many speed restrictions and traffic” he told us…
Why did you choose it?
I’d been wearing made-to-measure BKS leathers since around 1998 – various one-piece then two-piece suits – but when the name was sold to Frank Thomas I wanted something a bit more exclusive, and remembered Joey Dunlop wearing Kushitani at the TT, so fancied a set.
How long did the entire process take, from order to delivery?
Around five months from the first fitting and design details. About halfway through I was sent a linen suit to my measurements, to check the sizes were correct, and to alter if necessary, which I did slightly
Steve specified exactly what he wanted from his suit
What’s the fit like – can you walk, ride, bend over and squat easily?
The fit is good and very comfortable for riding and general walking around. It’s easy to move around in, though I think being a two-piece probably helps. The lining is very good quality, and I can take it out if it requires washing. I’ve got Kushitani’s own armour in, including a back protector.
Stretch panels are perfectly placed to suit Steve’s measurements
What’s the best thing about the suit?
The quality is very good, including the detailed stitching and design. Plus I really like the exclusivity.
What do you dislike?
Nothing really, probably just the time scale from design to delivery, but that’s what you should really expect for a suit that’s hand made in Japan. There’s nothing I’d change, as I was able to make all my choices at the design stage.
Steve appreciates the fine details of his Kushitani suit
How long do you expect it to last?
Probably about 10 years, though I only ride for pleasure during the summer months now.
Would you recommend it?
Yes, but I would stress to anyone thinking of buying one that it takes time to get your suit. But if you can wait, you get the best and it’s exclusive to you…