Here in Britain we are blessed with an unpredictable weather system that on the odd occasion ends up being on the damp side……basically, it rains quite a lot here.
This means that no matter how much we pray to Zeus in the lead up to a track day, there is always a chance that we could be faced with a day that falls into the soggy category. Because of this, we have to be prepared for such eventualities and a good waterproof motorcycle suit will be part of that preparation.
If you’ve even been caught in the rain in your leathers to the point where they’re soaked through, you’ll know for one just how long it takes for them to dry, and two, that leather (generally cowhide) can be affected by moisture, i.e. it can crinkle up.
Waterproofs will obviously stop that happening, so here’s a look at my top 4 motorcycle waterproofs, ideal for track days.
The Motocross Enduro jacket comes in as the cheapest option here at around £20. It has been primarily designed for motocross riding, but it can also be used over leathers to good effect.
It features a basic PVC shell with small mesh side panels for ventilation. The collar is made from Neoprene for comfort, while the cuffs and waist are elasticated to help seal you in and keep the elements out. It has a full length zip on the front and is worn like a normal jacket.
Because it’s designed for motorcross it’s a fairly basic fitting shape, so when picking a size you will not only have to account for the size of your leathers, but also the shape of them too i.e. race humps.
Another thing to consider is that you’ll be going a darn site faster on a road circuit than you would on a motocross track, and if the wind catches it the wrong way you could find it ripping simply because it wasn’t designed to withstand 100mph+ winds. That’s not to say though that people don’t get on just fine with rain jackets like this.
Taking a jump up the price range we have the Eclipse Tech. This jacket has actually been designed with leathers in mind.
The outer shell is both windproof and water resistant, but is designed to stretch to ensure a close fitting to minimise flapping around in the wind.
As with the Motocross Enduro is has full zip at the front and is worn like a normal jacket. As you can see from the picture the back of the jacket has been made a little longer, this is to ensure that it covers all of your back when in your riding position.
As well as the bottom being elasticated, on the inside at the back there is a silicon band stitched in to prevent the back of the jacket from riding up.
A little unique point about this jacket is that it could just as easily be worn as a regular jacket around town without looking out of place.
A well-known name on the racing scene and one that boasts the use of its Clear Slick wetsuit at the highest level, such as MotoGP and World Superbikes.
The Clear Slick suit also consists of a PVC outer shell, except with the addition of stretch panels being fitted to the seams to stop any ripping when caught in the wind.
One of Respro’s selling points is that the 100% clear PVC allows for sponsor’s logos to still be on view during racing, but I would guess this isn’t really a concern for the vast majority of track day riders.
This suit has a full length zip at the front, but also has a gusset fitted to prevent any riding up and keep it well secured. The gusset is buttoned to the bottom of the suit so it can easily be attached or released for easy fitting.
Although you’ll look like you’re wearing a giant item of contraception, I would go as far to say that the Clear Slick wetsuit will be one of the best performing products here.
Last up we have motorcycle waterproofs from a company that’s not known for putting the most wallet friendly gear out there, but they are well known for the great quality that’s built into their products.
Like the Alpinestars Eclipse Tech, the Held Wet Race suit is made of a stretch material to aid fitting and is claimed as being fully waterproof as well as wind proof.
The crutch gusset is made from the same piece of material as the body section and fastens onto the underside of the frontal area.
To prevent any water seeping in around the zips, they have been placed up the left side of the body and under the left arm, and once unzipped it’s put on like a jumper before being zipped back up. This ensures there are minimal areas for water to creep in.
The suit can be paired with a matching set of trousers, which I think are pretty cool because they have holes cut out for knee sliders which you don’t see with a lot of waterproof trousers or full suits.
I have to say the cheaper option of the motocross style waterproofs seem appealing at first given that they are quite a bit cheaper than the other options, but I know people have had problems with them ripping in the past so would maybe think twice. Though, given that they are much cheaper you may be ok with taking the chance.
Personally it’s the Alpinestars Eclipse Tech that most takes my fancy. The stretchy material means it won’t rip, but it’ll also stay tight to your leathers for flap free riding. I also like the fact that it’ll do just as good a job protecting you from the wind and rain off the bike as it will on it, and you won’t look like a nut case wearing out and about. My money goes to the Eclipse Tech.