Eight-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez graced the cover of the February issue of the Spanish edition of GQ, where Mark poses a little awkwardly in his race suit. This is the reality of elite motorcycle racers: the protection weighing 5 kg is designed in such a way that walking and even just standing in it is not very comfortable.
Therefore, all riders have funny gaits.
Their overalls are initially sewn curved – especially for such a pose:
And they are usually made from a mixture of calfskin, kangaroo leather and other fibers that provide mobility, lightness and ventilation.
Who came up with the idea to ride bikes in leather overalls?
Motorcycle racing appeared almost immediately after the invention of motorcycles in the 1800s and even then leather suits were used as equipment. And clothes, and shoes, and even a balaclava – everything was made of leather
Racer Jeff Duke was the first to turn individual elements into a one-piece suit. It all started with experiments with aerodynamics: Jeff sealed the holes of his racing kit with tape and noticed that thanks to this he became several km / h faster. In the 1950s, Jeff Duke and tailor Frank Barker developed the first ever leather motorcycle suit.
It was not only the increased aerodynamics that made it special, but also the special attention to detail. Jeff said that his tailor made the overalls a little thicker in some places – those that, according to Frank, could be the first to wear out due to accidents.
Later, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the thickenings in the overalls would be replaced with composite protective inserts.
And modern compacted protection is made of thermoplastic or reinforced composite fiber – yes, literally from the same material as the plates for bulletproof vests.
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