Alpinestars Gear: Elevating Motorcycle Safety and Style

A return to serious riding meant AVL needed to update his two-wheel wardrobe with Alpinestars Gear.

Alpinestars Gear
Ensuring you have the right safety gear is vital for moto riders

I've always felt most comfortable with at least three wheels underneath me.

It seems fate had already decided my path when my very first motorized toy as a child turned out to be a 70cc Honda trike. Ah, yes, one of those notorious death machines. But fear not, I managed to survive the wild rides, and surprisingly, I still possess that little Honda till this very moment. As went on, I eventually upgraded to larger quad bikes, bidding farewell to the dusty trails, only to find myself immersed in the exhilarating world of .

I eventually hopped on the two-wheel bandwagon, although I never fully committed to it. I've had a few moderately sporty road bikes, but I never pushed myself to ride them to their limits. Nowadays, I have two bikes in my possession. Well, technically one bike—a vintage 350cc BSA from the 1960s—and a zippy 50cc scooter for zipping around Fremantle.

I eventually hopped on the two-wheel bandwagon, although I never fully committed to it. I've had a few moderately sporty road bikes, but I never pushed myself to ride them to their limits. Nowadays, I have two bikes in my possession. Well, technically one bike—a vintage 350cc BSA from the 1960s—and a zippy 50cc scooter for zipping around Fremantle.

Let's not even begin to discuss the attire chosen for a ride on the scooter during a scorching day in Western Australia…

When KTM asked me to join them in Spain for the 30th anniversary of the Duke, I soon discovered that my current riding gear just wouldn't do. It was definitely time for a wardrobe refresh.

I was connected with Alpinestars through my buddies over at KTM, and let me tell you, it was a game-changer!

My trusty old gear had served me well, but it was clear that technology was advancing rapidly. This became evident the moment I started donning my new motorcycle attire. Since I was embarking on an intense motorcycling adventure, I sought out -notch leather gear that would be perfect for both the open road and the racetrack.

Alpinestars Gear
Alpinestars Gear.
Alpinestars Gear
Alpinestars Gear.
Alpinestars Gear
Alpinestars Gear.
Alpinestars Gear
Alpinestars Gear.

I decided to go with the Atem V4 jacket after receiving a strong recommendation from Strett Cull, who is known for selling Alpinestars gear at his reputable Cully's Yamaha dealer in Perth. He assured me that this jacket was the perfect choice for my upcoming adventures. It offers exceptional protection while still providing the comfort needed for extended rides, especially for someone like me who is not accustomed to spending long hours on a bike.

The Atem V4 has been a beloved choice in the Alpinestars collection since 2020, and Strett's depiction was spot-on. I've experimented with various leather jackets at more affordable prices, but they always proved to be a challenge to wear comfortably. That's why I consistently returned to the reliable textile option. However, I am thrilled to announce that I will be sticking with the Atem V4 from now on. Even the , with its sleek grey and black scheme, strikes the perfect balance of aggression for the racetrack (especially when transformed into a two-piece ) without being too flashy for a casual ride on an older or less aggressive motorcycle.

Naturally, if you need to amp up the aggression, you can always pair the Atem V4 with a set of Alpinestars leather pants. Personally, I opted for the Missile V3 pants. I was a bit hesitant about switching to leather pants. In the past, I stuck to kevlar jeans for protection. The of leather made me nervous about a) looking more skilled at riding than I actually am, and b) feeling extremely uncomfortable.

However, KTM insisted on full leather gear for track work, so I ended up choosing the Missile V3. It actually worked out pretty well in the end!

To begin with, let me assure you that these pants are incredibly comfortable. Alpinestars clearly prioritized stretch when designing the third version of the Missile, and as a relative beginner with a few extra pounds, I definitely appreciated it. It's quite interesting how a press launch for a motorcycle involves getting dressed and then sitting through a media briefing for about thirty minutes. Even during that time, the pants remained comfortable. This is good to know if you plan on making a coffee stop during your ride. The only disappointing aspect of the pants was the condition of the knee sliders after a lot of track work. I mean, they were flawless. Not a single scratch on them. Of course, this had nothing to do with the pants themselves, but it did hurt my track reputation a bit…

AVL in his new gear

Version 1: When it came to choosing my boots, I prioritized staying reasonably upright. That's why I opted for the gore-tex version of the SMX-6 V2. Comfort and my expectations of the riding experience played a significant role in my decision. If I anticipated being in knee and toe scraping situations, I would have gone for the ‘standard' SMX-6 V2 with replaceable toe sliders. However, since I planned on taking a more relaxed and conservative approach, even during track work, I happily embraced the comfort and weather protection offered by the gore-tex boots. These two factors are crucial to me, and I know I'll get plenty of use out of them. These boots are absolutely perfect for my leisurely Sunday cruises on the old Beezer. Plus, the SMX-6 V2 design ensures I have ample protection for my Spanish adventure.

Weather protection turned out to be quite crucial as well. While exploring the mountainous roads with the 990 Duke, we encountered a stretch where we had to ride through snow and . I must admit, it was a true test for my exceptional Alpinestars SP-8 gloves, but unfortunately, they didn't quite make the cut. My fingers were left freezing. However, it wasn't solely the gloves' fault, as everyone else in the group who didn't have specialized winter gloves faced the same challenge. On the bright side, my toes remained warm and dry throughout the ride. They stayed that way even when we were tearing up the wet Almeria circuit with the 1390 Super Duke R later that day.

Version 1: The journey to Spain and my rediscovery of the importance of wearing appropriate riding gear really got me thinking. While I may not be ready to gear up as if I'm about to conquer the Isle of Mann just to run errands on my scooter, I've definitely realized the need to be more conscientious about my weekend adventures from now on.

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