Alpinestars’ leather-suit range for men, women and kids spans a massive 22 different variants.
Starting at the Mack Daddy $2599.95 Racing Absolute one-piece (made from good ol’ Aussie kangaroo skin) down to the men’s base of the $999.95 Motegi V2 one piece, this Missile Ignition suit sits at about the halfway point in terms of spec and price, coming in at $1095.95.
For that you get a one-piece garment made of 1.3mm bovine leather, with accordion stretch paneling gussets in the shoulder, lower back and knees. These are offset by the stretch panel fabric inserts on the underside of the arms, and from the crotch all the way down the backs of the legs.
As for protection, there’s Level 1 CE-certified protectors on the shoulders, elbows and knees and CE-certified hip protectors. You can also fit a snap-in Level 2 CE-certified Alpinestars back protector, but then you’d be voiding one of the great features of the Missile Ignition in that you can fit the Alpinestars Tech-Air system that comes with a back protector as standard.
The Tech-Air race airbag system adds another $1149.95 to the purchase price of the Missile Ignition, so you’re paying more than twice the price of the suit for the airbag. However, if you’ve ever crashed in an airbag suit (I have), you’ll know the extra protection afforded by the airbag is worth every penny.
Alpinestars Missile Ignition Suit Lowdown
Standout Feature: Great quality for just over $1000
Price: $1095.95 (+$1149.95 for Tech-Air Race Airbag system)
||Solid arm, shoulder and hip protection
||Doesn’t flow as much air as I’d liked
||Knee sliders go too quickly
Alpinestars Missile Ignition Suit Rider Analysis
The last couple of years, I’ve been extremely lucky to wear custom kangaroo leather suits while testing and racing, which is like driving a Ferrari. The last time I wore a cowhide suit was three years ago, so it was a nice chance to see how the suit had improved in that time.
The Missile Ignition is aimed at canyon/track day riders, but I figured I’d race in it for a few rounds of CVMA to put it under the acid test.
Given that it costs less than half of what the Racing Absolute costs, you’d think the Missile Ignition would be the poor relation, but not so. At a size 54, the fit was near perfect aside from it being slightly long in the arms. The stretch paneling was a big improvement over my last cow suit, which allowed me to tuck in tighter down the straight without it pinching the backs of my shoulders/pulling my shoulder down.
The stretch paneling at the crotch is another big improvement and it allows for the rider to hang off in a more controlled fashion without the suit feeling like it’s trying to pull you back onto the bike.
Overall, the fit with the airbag was far better than I remember with my previous cow suit from a few years back. Alpinestars has done a great job of molding the overall shape of the suit to fit not just the rider but the airbag itself, so much so that the only time you think of the airbag is when you’re velcroing it up.
Although it’s perforated at the torso, the airflow on the Missile isn’t as nice as I’d hoped. As I was racing in winter, this wasn’t an issue, but summer racing may prove a little hot in the Ignition.
Another gripe I had is the knee sliders were good for a day at best on the track. I try my best not to grind my knee into the tarmac—it’s merely a guide to let me know where I am in terms of lean, not a stabilizer—but the knee pucks went through real quick. A simple fix is just go for the harder pucks at purchase and ditch the Missile’s standard units.
For just over a grand for the base suit, the Missile is an extremely well designed and appointed suit. Yes, the airbag costs a lot more, but if you include it, you’re still paying less than the base Racing Absolute that doesn’t come fitted with the bag.
And although the Missile Ignition is aimed at riders, racers are more than an applicable demographic for this suit.
For more information, visit www.alpinestars.com