Club, Endurance and Isle of Man racer, been riding bikes since 1970 something, got the bug sitting on the back of my dad’s 400 Four. First ride was an Italjet followed by RM80 and YZ125 dirt bikes, current bikes range from agricultural to exotic. Writing about bikes for four years.
REV’IT Spitfire an unashamed race suit that looks like a living organism!
This is the spring 2017 top-of-the-range one-piece leather suit from Rev'it, which the firms says is the product of its experience in MotoGP with Alvaro Bautista, Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins.
I have been testing the new suit and recently wore it testing in the South of France on a Dunlop tyre launch where the ambient temperature was around 18 degrees so it was pleasant and I was thankful for the ventilation the suit provided when on track.
The perforated foam inside the leather speed hump is designed to let air flow through the garment, spreading over the rider’s back for comfortable ventilation. It lets in so much air that I definitely recommend a warm base layer in cooler temperatures. While the perforations on the front of the suit keep more cool air reaching your body. You might think that perforations would made the suit weak at the seams but the clever folk at Rev'It have thought about this and, to keep the integrity and strength, they have located them away from the edge of the seams.
The Spitfire replaces the Replica suit and is comes in a similar colour the defining new look comes from the embossed technique on the leather panels which gives the Spitfire a look and feel like no other.
The embossed performance Monaco cowhide panels and mat finish give the Spitfire a distinctive look with the new honeycomb effect looking almost animal skin-like.
While the outer shell is made from Monaco 'Performance' cowhide - a top-grain leather that has had its surfaces sanded to correct any imperfections before being reinforced. In high risk areas like the seat and elbows the leather is doubled up.
The Spitfire has a new low profile neoprene lined neck and the back allows you to move more freely when your helmet touches the suit while the front cuts away neatly on the neck line and it is really comfortable.
Protection is still the most important thing here with CE Level 2 (the highest) armour in the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. The inside of the armour is well padded with foam, which makes it comfortable against the body an the armour attaches to the inside of the suit with Velcro so you can adjust at the shoulders and knees buy moving the protectors on the Velcro. This gives you the best fit and can be adjusted for all body shapes.
The result is much more comfort while on the bike.
There are MotoGP-developed dual-compound sliders on the shoulders, elbows and knees. The protectors (sliders) consist of a 3D honeycomb structure topped by an aluminium high-impact shield and while the softer layer takes the force from an impact so the hard outer layer allows you to slide rather than dig in on impact. The design is much lighter than previous heavy plastic protectors, though the plastic versions don't tend to spark when scraping along the tarmac!
The suit has good hip protection, something I have come to expect in a high end race suit. There is a built-in foam tailbone protector which sounds uncomfortable and something I'd never thought about while riding but I'm a fan of this level of detail in a race suit.
You can add a built-in back protector as an option. I wear a separate heavy-duty back protector, which fitted under the suit no problem.
Usually a new suit takes a little while to break in, like a pair of boots, but the Spitfire is comfortable off the peg. REV’IT asked racers how they could improve the comfort of the suit and worked with their feedback to get the most from the positioning and the type of fabric used in the stretch panels. The have used a Kevlar stretch material which has aramide and nylon fibres for extra strength.
Kevlar stretch panels provide unrestricted movement in all the right places and the neoprene cuff and neck lining give great comfort and fit. The low profile of the cuff makes it easy for gloves to slide over. Elasticated panels on the backs of the shoulders, above the elbows and knees also make it easy to move in the suit.
The elasticated panel across the lower back has been extended around to the front of the hips giving more stretch and makes the suit more comfortable in a tuck.
There's a removable washable lining and if you sweat a lot, like me, that means no more excuses.
Sadly the Spitfire does not come with the rubber grip pads on the insides of the knees or lets you fit a hydraback in the race hump like the Replica does. I love the rubber grip pads as they really help me grip the tank. They also reduced the wear on the suit using abrasive stomp grip on the tank. I have a hydraback and seldom use it so I can live without that. If you are looking for these features take a look at the Replica.
The suit comes with dual-compound race ready knee sliders. They work well but like most sliders they wear out far too quickly when you are having fun.
The Spitfire looks great with its distinctive look, it has high level technical protective features and airflow in the right places and it both fits, and looks, like a second skin.