Arlen Ness 9473 one-piece leather suit, £549.99
Tester: Tony Hoare
Time tested: Five club race weekends, one 100mph crash
What’s good? This suit is laid out like this because it was cut off me after I crashed in a race at Cadwell Park, landing myself in hospital with pretty serious chest and shoulder injuries. The suit did a pretty good job, the vast majority staying intact through my 50-metre or so tumble and slide along Cadwell’s Tarmac. Comfort and fit in most areas was superb when this rug was a suit, and hip armour is rare in off-the-peg suits and very welcome in this one. It’s CE-approved as well, which is just as rare. This is ‘only’ the minimum CE standard, but that’s one up from most off-the-peg leather suits, which have CE-approved armour but are not approved as a complete garment. In an earlier, more simple crash, the suit survived with only scuffed badges.
What’s not? The fit around the elbows was too loose and the suit ‘rolled’ around it on impact, which helped wear through the leather and expose my skin to the road. I’ll always have the scars on my left arm to remind me that I should have had the suit adjusted to fit better.
Quality rating: 3/5
Value rating: 3/5