Who wants to test these $600 one-piece racing leathers? No hands went up; $600 is about half what most quality suits cost. Obviously, this was a case where the oldest and weakest member of the herd should volunteer to be sacrificed – also the one who does the least track riding lately.
I used to like to ride on the street in one-piece leathers back before they became quite so specialized and snug-fitting, but usually nowadays, I reach for the Aerostich instead just because it’s so much easier to get in and out of, and because I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be sliding down a public road at 120 mph.
Also, because it seems to be only a recent thing that one-piecers have zero pockets. Is it too much to ask for one interior breast pocket for my credit card and license? Everything built in the last decade forces me to dig out one of my old fanny packs for everybody to fashion-critique.
I’ve definitely owned some very nice one-piece leathers in the past, though, so I’m probably as qualified as anyone to pass judgment. I think my favorite was the suit Alpinestars sponsored me to in the mid ‘90s when they were breaking into the US market. It’s still hanging on the rack. Inside, there’s a big `RS Taichi’ label. Must’ve been an Italo-Japanese translation problem? Ixnay on the ag-tay…
Lately, I’ve been squeezing into a nice Dainese suit that’s probably ten years old and holding up well, and there’s also a newer Spidi Sport Warrior Pro race suit on the rack that’s a size bigger for fat days, which lately is all of them. The Dainese sold for around $1200 new, the Spidi currently retails for $1100.
This half-off Sedici suit, really, seems as nice and well-built as either of them, and even has a feature or two they don’t, including an interior breast pocket that zips closed, which is excellent for when you’re letting the top half of the suit hang down while you eat, drink, and regale people with how fast you used to be.
Another nice touch is a layer of Kevlar inside the outer sleeves to keep the heat at bay should you find yourself sliding along on an arm at speed. Also, the nylon mesh liner in the Corsa is removable and washable, a thing my Dainese suit does not allow. (Not that it ever occurred to me that perfed nylon liner would really need washing, but plenty of people are more fastidious than I, and it does get pretty sweaty in there.)
The cowhide used in the Corsa isn’t quite as supple and beautiful as the Dainese or Spidi suits, but maybe it will be in a few years; its 1.2-1.3mm thickness is right in the ballpark. That leather is double-layered in the seat, hips, thighs, and knees – and all seams are double- or triple-stitched to maintain structural integrity. Like all serious modern race suits, stretchy, spandex-infused panels in non-slide areas in the crotch, inside the arms and legs, etc., enforce a real race-crouch snug fit.
And big leather accordion panels across the back, atop the knees, and at the shoulders are all designed to keep the suit snug when your body hits the pavement. Snug is good, because the inside of your suit suddenly jerking against your skin can also cause nasty abrasions; ask us how we know.
Interior armor and padding seems completely up to snuff also: We’ve got level 2 soft armor at the elbows, shoulders, and knees certified to EN 1621-1:2012, along with harder plastic TPU armor at the elbows and shoulders. The armor in the elbows extends the length of the forearms, and the knee armor extends down below the knee sliders. Elbow dragger pucks included.
There’s a bit of extra room at my shoulders and knees compared to my size 52 Dainese, but not enough to complain about. Sedici’s sizing chart says the 52 fits waists up to 39 inches; mine fits me like a whalebone corset, as I have gained more than a few waist inches (wst-in) lately. In fact, I thought I asked for a 54, which I would have to move up to if I wanted room for a back protector or inflate-a-vest like all the kids are wearing now, or one more cheeseburger. News Flash: Off-the-rack race leathers aren’t really intended to be worn by middle-aged fat people. Lengthwise, though, the 52 Corsa is spot-on for my 5’8” body with 30-inch inseam.
Once zipped inside, the fit everywhere else is great, all the stretch and accordion panels allow excellent freedom of motion, and the race cut of the suit makes sense once you assume the position. Stretch neoprene at the back of the neck, cuffs, and ankle openings are nice and non-chafing on the skin. Plenteous perforations including on back, along with the stretchy panels, mean this suit flows plenty of air. On chilly days, I throw on an old Moose Racing vest (which also provides additional pockets). On hot ones, the blackness of the Sedici cranks up the heat when you’re stopped; I’d probably go with the white version for that reason. Once rolling again, experience the thrill of sweat convection. Unlike my Spidi suit, the Sedici hump is not plumbed for a drink bladder. But it is removable via an interior zipper, so maybe you could hollow it out for one?
Speaking of versions, Sedici also makes a less track-focused one-piece suit with a “relaxed American fit” called the Chicane, which is even a hundred bucks cheaper than the Corsa. That one would probably much more align with the needs of riders like myself who only do the occasional track ride, and if it’s as well put-together as the Corsa, it’s an even bigger bargain.
I’ve also sampled some pretty crappy leathers over the decades that I tried to make a point not to fall off in; the Corsa suit definitely does not fall into that camp. If it lacks the last 8 or 10% of stylish Italian suppleness and flair of my Dainese or Spidi leathers, I’d say the low price and features more than make up the deficit for anybody who cares about money. And again, a bit more sweaty break-in time, along with a few treatments of leather conditioner, would likely have it right there. Zippers are all easy-sliding nylon YKK units, the white stripes are reflective for a little more night-time safety, and no corners seem to have been cut anywhere I can find.
Among my fond hopes is never to crash test any of my gear, but we all know how that goes. But if I knew I was going to be taking one for the team, I’d be just as happy to be flung down the road in the Corsa as in any of my more expensive leathers. Quality gear doesn’t always have to cost a lot.
Is Sedici gear made in Italy?
It sounds like it is, but the brand is owned by America’s largest powersports aftermarket retailer COMOTO, which also owns RevZilla, Cycle Gear, and J&P Cycles. The tag in my Corsa suit says it’s made in Pakistan.
Is the Corsa compatible with an air vest system?
It should work fine with an independent system like the Alpinestars Tech Air 5 or Dainese Smart Jacket. Consult the sizing chart: If you’re at the upper limit of a size, you should probably bump up to the next one to make room. Alpinestars says there should be an additional 4 centimeters of space around the circumference of your entire body for its vest to inflate – about 1.6 inches.
Does the Corsa come with a back protector?
No, just a padded speed hump which is, strangely, removable from inside. There’s no pocket for a back protector either, so you’d need the strap-on kind if you want one.
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