Alpinestars suits are worn by some of the best and brightest road racing stars across the globe, but much of the time it can be confusing to know which suit to pick and why.
That’s the reason A’Stars took a few journo’s up to Buttonwillow to try out their range of suits for 2020, and we sat down with head honcho Heath Cofran to get the lowdown on what’s revised for next year in the GP Tech V3, GP Pro V2, Missile Ignition and Stella Women’s suits.
The full range will be launched on August 26 in the U.S. and we’ll hyperlink each suit when they’re live. It’s also important to note that any Tech-Air compatible suit does not come standard with the airbag. Should you want the Tech-Air system, it will set you back $1149.95, regardless of the suit.
Alpinestars 2020 Track Suit Line Up: GP Tech V3
Alpinestars premium consumer track day and race suit, designed around the Tech-Air airbag system. This is what club racers and some MotoAmerica races across the country are decked in. Here’s what’s changed.
“The GP Tech gets more pre-curving, which enables the rider to be more comfortable in a racing position. And the suit is now 30 percent kangaroo leather, with the remainder made up from 1.3 mm premium bovine leather,” says Cofran. “There’s also new perforation zones, more flexibility and the abrasion resistance zones have changed.
“We have also increased the Velcro area for the knee slider, giving you more area to place the slider and wear it evenly. The whole knee cup has been lightened and redesigned so there are more areas of protection around the knee. It’s a DFS slider (Dynamic Friction Shield), which is designed to offer a low friction area to help the shoulders, knees, and elbows glance off the pavement and/or slide more easily, rather than grip/dig in and slow the rider.
There’s also reinforcement on the inside of the knees, the elbows, the shoulders, and the butt, and there’s an extra bit of aramid material to lessen heat transfer to the body.
“The liner has also been revised and is pre-curved just like the suit itself, and the calves are now utilizing the stretch material rather than the leather accordion stretch panels, which lightens suit significantly.”
Rider analysis—Rennie Scaysbrook (Cycle News Road Test Editor): “I’ve had two previous GP Tech suits and this is the first one that was genuinely different. The fit is much more relaxed than the suit I had in 2017, a fact I like as it gives me more room to move than being crunched into place on the bike.
“I especially like the rubber lining on the inside of the knees. This helps you lock your outside leg into the tank during cornering. And the fact Alpinestars has finally increased the Velcro area around the knee so you have more area to place the slider is excellent. On almost every suit I’ve had, Alpinestars or not, I wear the top edge of the slider out because I can’t put it high enough on the Velcro. This particular GP Tech also feels lighter than my previous suits and flows more air, especially around the sides of my torso—which is nice for when you sit up for brake!”
Alpinestars 2020 Track Suit Line Up: GP Pro V2
The 1.3mm bovine leather GP Pro V2 is the premium club racing suit. Tech Air-equipped, it’s come in for a few careful mods over the 2019 edition.
This suit is one step below the GP Tech V3,” says Cofran. “One of the great benefits of the GP Pro V2 is the fact it adapts to lots of different body shapes via the extensive use of the stretch material,” says Cofran.
“The biggest thing with the GP Pro V2 is the extended mapping perforation, so there’s more perforation on the new GP Pro than the previous rendition,” says Cofran.
“There’s the new shoulder and elbow DFS—the same protection as in the GP Tech V3— and the arrow hump has been moved down for better aerodynamics with different helmets. Plus, it has the same aramid lining in the shoulders, elbows, butt, and knees as the GP Tech V3.
“One of the biggest changes is the stretch material around the neck, the collar, and the back, and also the color offerings, which is now up to four.”
Rider analysis—Aaron Colton (Red Bull stunt rider): “To be honest, I am very spoiled when it comes to suit fitment. I have been wearing a custom-fitted Alpinestars suit for years and love them like a second set of skin. It’s been a while since I’ve worn an off-the-rack sized suit prior to the latest launch.
“Historically, I had struggled with fitment in off the rack sizing being a taller athletic build (6’1”/170 lb) but the new GP Pro V3 in size 52 had me feeling right at home. Offering more stretch paneling comfort and ventilation than I’ve felt before, the fit had just a small bit of extra room in the mid-section and an almost perfect fit everywhere else. The GP Pro is a massive step forward in consumer availability of Tech-Air and GP Technology at a great price point.”
Alpinestars 2020 Track Suit Line Up: Missile Ignition
Missile Ignition is Alpinestars’ track day suit. It’s Tech-Air compatible, and a little more relaxed fit compared to the race-inspired GP Tech and GP Pro.
“This is an entry-level Tech-Air suit that has the appearance of a high-end suit, with updated race-inspired graphics,” said Cofran. “You have a different DFS slider on the elbows and a different one on the knees. It’s not as high-end as the GP Pro or the GP Tech, but you have a lot of other elements that make this suit a very nice and comfortable high-end suit without the high-end price, without sacrificing protection. The perforations will also be a little bit different, as will some of the materials. The fit will be slightly revised, with ergonomic profiling from other higher-end suits.
“This is for the canyon guy that wants to look like a track guy. This is a guy that wants to spend about a thousand bucks on his suit, one that’s Tech-Air compatible. They can get the Tech-Air vest for an extra $1100.
Rider analysis—Nic De Sena (Ultimate Motorcycling): “The Alpinestars Missile Ignition Tech-Air is one of the best bang-for-your-buck air bag-compatible suits currently on the market.
“As someone that spent a whole lot of time in the original Missile suit, the biggest difference between that and the Missile Ignition is the racier cut, which allows for much better range of motion when in an aggressive posture on a sportbike; that’s a huge plus in my book. Between the perforation and stretch paneling, you’ll also have a respectable flow of fresh air, too. It might be the entry-level Tech-Air suit, but it’s far from being an entry-level suit.”
Alpinestars 2020 Track Suit Line Up: Stella
One of the biggest changes in the 2020 A’Stars line-up is the fact the Stella Women’s race suit is now Tech-Air compatible.
“This is our first women’s Tech-Air compatible race suit,” Cofran stated proudly. “It has a lot of the stretch paneling that all the other suits (GP Pro, etc) have, but the Stella is properly contoured towards a woman’s body—the hips come out, the legs are designed a little differently. It’s ergonomically fitted for a woman’s shape.
“With Tech-Air you’re going to areas to allow the airbag to expand when it’s activated. When the suit deploys, you need that extra bit of stretch, that extra bit of material. There’s more accordion stretch paneling in the shoulders and back, so it allows the suit to expand. And now it comes in three colors.”
Rider analysis—Shelina Moreda (MotoAmerica Stock 1000 racer): “It was cool getting to see how the Tech-Air system works in the new Alpinestars Stella suit. Thankfully, I didn’t test the deployment out, but I did test the suit with and without the Tech-Air vest in it.
“I was impressed that I didn’t look like I was wearing a life jacket when I had the Tech-Air vest in the Stella, and the suit has some nice lines to add to it being a good looking (you’ve got to have some style).
“Another of my worries was without the airbag vest inside, this suit would be baggy. Quite the contrary—when I took the airbag out, it barely changed the fit of the Stella. I also liked how the back-protector portion felt, and how that stayed in place.
“There are two things I’d like to see with the Stella. The first would be a way for the top of the suit to hang off my hips like a regular suit does when you’re just walking around (that’s the same with the guy’s suit and just part of the technology).
“The second would be for Alpinestars to work with more women—track and road riders—to continue the R&D on the Tech-Air Stella suit. I’ve seen a couple of companies develop suits for women but leave us girls out in the department of style with safety (I feel like we tend to get stuck with one style or the other).
“This is a big step and I’d love to see Alpinestars progress and be the leader for female rider protection like they are for the guys. Props to Alpinestars for taking females seriously!”