It’s 7:00AM, the sun has barely risen and already you can feel the heat radiating from the white layer of salt that you’re to call home for the next seven days. It’s relentless and has been witness to the fastest men on the planet, it shows no mercy and now you’re here to make your mark. You’re here to “Chase the marquee of speed” as they say.
You’re gonna need all the help you can get, Ace. Fortunately, you’ve employed the use of REV’IT’s CR 1 Piece Race Suit and with a little luck, some true grit and a slight breeze; maybe you’ll survive the week…
How’s that for drama? I can tell you it doesn’t even compare to what it actually feels like being there, in the presence of insanity and speed, waiting your turn to twist the throttle on the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week. Fortunately, the guys at REV’IT we’re more than kind enough to provide me with a vintage styled CR 1 piece race suit, a pair of their top shelf Jerez Gauntlet gloves and a Gravity CE Level 2 back protector to test out for the week. (Special thanks to Mike Woulfe from Rocker Jackets for getting all my patches in place and in time!)
First off, I can tell you that simply standing around at Bonneville with nothing more than shorts and a t-shirt on is almost unbearable. Waiting the four hours it took to go through tech inspection and registration were almost unbearable. Sweat ran out of my every pour as if it thought it itself would reach some sort of respite by permeating through my skin. Not a chance in hell.
But Hallelujah, the folks at speed week managed to be quick enough in their own right and helped both fulfill a reminiscent childhood memory while also helping us keep cool. That’s right, snow cones! Granted, they were $5 a whack, but when you’re thwarting post-Nuclear war temperatures no price is too high for comfort. Combine the cool taste of Tigers Blood and a REV’IT suit and you’re almost back in heaven.
Let me backup though, to truly appreciate the levity of the situation you need to first learn about the qualities that make REV’IT gear not only able to help you survive in hot situations, but look the part.
REV’IT selects only the finest materials when crafting all their products. Be it the top-shelf, soft yet durable select, 1.2-1.4 mil Italian cow-hide used for the leather portions, CE approved protection inserts, Keprotec “Kevlar” stretch panels, double backed and reinforced YKK zippers and everything else in between.
The reason for this is a simple one, but it does have two parts. One is obviously to offer the best quality products on the market that inspire confidence in racers allowing them to push their machines that tiny bit further towards the edge beating out the competition. The other however, isn’t so obvious.
Unlike some companies who simply produce “race gear” because it’s a profitable sector of the market and put it on the best riders they can find offering up a healthy payment for representing their brands, REV’IT was built by racers, for racers. That’s right, a product born out of necessity that’s used every day by several of REV’IT’s staff members as they themselves push their AMA, AHRMA, WERA, CCS sanctioned machines around tracks like Barber, Mid-Ohio, and NJMP. How’s that for walking the walk and talking the talk?
First, let’s take a closer look at the vintage styled CR 1 piece race suit starting with the inside. All of REV’IT’s interior protection pieces are formed with the latest molding processes with extremely tight quality control standards.
Not only do they form perfectly to your knees, elbows and other critical areas, they can be removed and reinstalled with ease from the completely removable and washable interior liner that the suits design so intelligently includes.
Further, the removable and durable liner also seamlessly slides in and out of the suit attaching with strong yet supple Velcro affording you less hassle while trying to wiggle your way in and out of it while under scrutiny and the heat the track (or salt) so kindly provides. And since it’s washable, you’ll have a better shot at the ladies post-race since you won’t smell like a Viking who’s been on a ship for 6 months wearing the same leathers day after day.
And for those of you who love a post-race smoke, you can stash a pack in the seamless and ingeniously designed interior soft pocket for safe keeping during your track laps. It’s perfect for documents or anything small that helps relax you during or after your race. Maybe even a call to your mother telling her you survived yet another!
Moving along to the exterior of the suit it’s instantly obvious that REV’IT spares no expense when it comes to the methods used to stitch these fine works of flesh saving love together. Invisible double “safety stitched” seams, backing flaps wherever needed to provide that extra little bit of comfort, integrated mesh ventilation holes at critical points, ingenious Keprotec “kevlar” flex sections at your knees, elbows and waist, heavy duty YKK zippers with large pulls the goes on and on all the while looking vintage and authentic. Dig it.
That’s all fine and well you say, how does it perform though when the heat is on and you’re waiting on the line for the flag to drop. Just how “cool” does a REV’IT suit make you?
Steve McQueen cool, man. And that’s all there is too it.
If the king of cool was alive today I can almost guarantee he’d be out there racing with the REV’IT name blazing across his back. The CR 1 piece race suit is all at the same time stylish and representative of vintage motorcycle racing aesthetic melded together with modern technology to keep you safe at breakneck speeds.
Most importantly, it’s made by those who actually get out there and do it which means he’d respect it for what it is. The best race suit available in it’s class at a price point anyone can afford.
Moving along to the Jerez gauntlet gloves REV’IT’s commitment to excellence, innovation and shear “cool-ness” are abounding. With a fit similar to a medieval warriors gauntlet they offer the rider the ability to grip his controls with exacting precision while providing the ultimate comfort and flexibility needed in high-stress situations on the track.
Taking a closer look at the fingers you will see the integral nub protection points manufactured of a carbon/poly blend to help save you knuckles should you hit the ground. Me however, I think they’re perfect for brawling in the pits just like a big lucky ace or dice ring they’d easily damage the helmet and ego of a track punk trying to test your limits. But that’s just me.
When you move to the knuckle area, a critical impact due to your natural instincts to wrap yourself when hitting the ground, they’re reinforced with carbon fiber and polymer blends to ensure nothing is going to take the top layer of skin off no matter how fast you’re going. In addition to this area there are also several other spots that include these protective additions with slight of speed and dexterity in mind. They’ve covered all the bases folks.
It’s only when you unstrap the Velcro portions though and begin to open the gauntlet glove up that you realize the design and engineering that went into this little gem. They sport a quality cuff that has a double-back Velcro fastening system allowing you to set the tension on your wrists and suit just right. And to help avoid “glove-creep” they have an additional Velcro strap that covers your wrist area to help synch them into place eliminating the possibility of movement when you
need them the most.
Both the interior and exterior of the gloves are fashioned from the highest quality available durable soft and supply leather money can buy. They also have a unique quality in that the structural elements have been blended with Dupont Kevlar for the ultimate in protection and weight saving ability available.
When you put these gloves on you feel like a Gladiator, able to tame the track or any rider who should get into you way while chasing the flag. And for those of you who are aggressive street riders, they’re a perfect fit as well. They come off in a matter of seconds and offer comfort for hours and hours of riding.
And last but certainly not least, the REV’IT Gravity CE Level 2 back protector, a critical element in any racers cache of tools to beat out the competition. Now you’re probably saying how on earth can a back protector be that important when it comes to the needs a rider has to gain the edge on the track junkies ahead and behind him.
In short, a back protector helps you when you fall, but it also helps you while you’re riding by keeping your posture proper. Too stiff though, and you can’t flex when needed while dragging a knee and are in other tight situations that require accurate body movements. To soft though and when you hit the asphalt and you’re not doing anything to protect your spine.
Why does the REV’IT Gravity back protector aide you in winning a race? Because it’s both stiff and at the same time flexible inspiring confidence in you to push your machine to the maxim of it’s capability.
It sports a quality injection molded shell with flex points that match the location of natural movement while you’re tucked in and chasing the ton. It also has a double-over Velcro waist strap for guaranteed fitment and comfort no matter what your size.
The interior is form and laid with soft foam overlay raised up in critical areas and all the corners are rolled with fabric to ensure a comfortable fit while it’s sandwiched between your leathers and back. Which is key. If you’ve ever worn an uncomfortable back protector you know what I’m talking about.
It’s the final lap and you’re in second place and you’re heading into the last chicane one tire length behind your adversary. You open up the throttle and your posture changes, leaning over and digging deep your going for it on the inside. And then like your ex-girlfriends nails clawing your back, you feel the exposed corner of the subpar protector digging into you lower back. You wince and in a split second you lose your momentum and he takes the flag.
With a REV’IT Gravity back protector that simply won’t happen. And instead, your ex-girlfriend will be at the finish line begging you to take her back because you just won’t the race. How’s that sound?
To sum it up folks, REV’IT is the bee’s knees when it comes to racing gear and if you’re on the track or riding hard on the street there’s simply no other choice in my opinion.
Thanks for reading, stay plugged in to the DCC Diatribe for more independent product reviews from The Crew you can trust at Dime City Cycles!