Held Race-Evo one-piece leathers £1199.99
Time tested: 5500 miles/7 months
What’s good? Down we go: Onto the shoulder, forearm and heel of hand, followed by a 70mph slide and an involuntary roll onto back and arse, stand up too soon, fall over head first and face plant into the grass. Test complete.
I’m fairly sceptical about all the protective extras leather manufacturers stitch into the outside of leathers, like this suit’s stingray inserts on the forearms (large) and upper arm (small). Are they just stitching in brand-carrying weak points? – but in my fairly typical lowside crash these areas did the brunt of the work. Stingray leather has a bobbly, granular surface of raised scales so uniform and plasticky to touch that it has a manufactured feel. Its abrasion resistance is clearly very high, and it seems to slide more like low-friction crash bobbins or a plastic kneeslider than normal leather.
The scales are worn down in areas and the suit’s ceramic-coated shoulder protector and titanium arm sliders lightly damaged from impact and abrasion. The suit’s kangaroo hide and seams are also abraded and scuffed but structurally intact – I’d be happy to crash in these again, if you see what I mean. The day after this crash my neck was stiff but I was unbruised.
What’s bad? Based on this crash, there’s nothing bad about the protection performance of this suit.