alpinestars stella motegi v1 1 piece race suit
A review and my experience breaking this in.
Unfortunately the V1 was discontinued earlier this year (2017). But I wanted to share my experience fitting it and wearing it on the track.
My numbers are as follows:
- 5'2" 130lbs
- Thighs: 20.5" (circumference around the largest part)
- Butt/hips: 37"
- Waist: 35"
- Bust: 35"
And I purchased a Euro 40. (See how weight may not indicate what size gear you may wear?)
First, let me give you an overview of the general fit of this suit. The cut on this particular 1 piece is a smaller waist/chest and a looser butt/thigh. So for most women who need a larger bottom fit than top fit, this suit is great. However, when you needed to size up to fit your bust, then the booty/hips/thighs might be too baggy. If you look at my measurements, you can tell that I have a very straight body type because there is only a 2 inch difference between my waist of 35" and hips of 37". I have a very buoyish body. In this suit, that means I have a great fit in the waist and chest but my butt and thighs have extra space to accommodate a few extra inches.
When I first tried this suit on, I could barely zip it shut. In fact, I couldn't zip it at all. This photo shows me about 5 minutes after I put it on and finally zipped it. And standing was definitely uncomfortable.
I couldn't even inhale to where my chest could expand completely. It was SO tight. I only had 1 week to prepare for my track day in August. So what did I do? I wore it at home everyday for about 20-30 minutes, unzipped at first and then zipped after it started to stretch a teeny bit.
What this did was allow the suit to stretch enough to zip comfortably. But with race suits, there are always some preliminary assumptions you have to accept when it comes to sizing a Track Suit like this:
- Suits are designed to be worn on the track, not the street so comfort is designed for crouching forward/down, riding in an aggressive position/posture (even on a standard/naked bike)
- Suits are also designed to streeeeeetch. So wear them at home BEFORE you get to the track, especially if it feels a little too tight
- Always wear a baselayer or 1-2 piece undersuit to be comfortable while sweating under all that leather. And getting the suit and off is certainly a LOT easier
- Snug fits are designed to allow you to move comfortably on the bike but not off. Remember that you'll NEVERwalk around with your suit zipped up and 99% of the time you will be on the bike, for your 20 minute session.
STRETCHING IT OUT
After the suit started to stretch out I could get into the suit all by myself, definitely impossible from the first time I tried it on. Getting out is still a little difficult but I can do that on my own too. It's still a bit hard to zip but that's also normal as well. It's stretched out more since I filmed this video (about 3 days before the trackday) too.
I also didn't use alcohol, or take a shower, or use any liquids/chemicals to make this happen. I simply wore it, at home, zipped and unzipped. Since it's tighter, my body is also forcing it to stretch out even more. Once I got on the track, it did even more.
COMPARING V1 AND V2
In general, this suit has a tight cut. I'm not going to lie. It's slimmer in the waist/arms and chest compared to the most recent version of the Motegi, the V2 which is what I tried to purchase initially (also size 40).
When I put it on, it was very comfortable and well, too comfortable. Standing up was easy, like I wasn't wearing a suit, there was substantial bagging around my knees and thighs and waist. It felt like wearing the V1 in 42.
And it hadn't stretched out yet. I knew that once it did, it would be so baggy. But wearing a looser suit is fine if that's what you prefer, and that's what works for you.
But for me, I need my leathers snug borderline tight. I never had a chance to try the 38 so I decided to purchase the V1 40 instead. It was quicker to get and since it had a slimmer fit I figured that it would fit me better anyhow since it's so different.
Clearly Alpinestars has 'let out' the V2 versions of the suit to fit larger women, which I think is a great thing. Even though it isn't fitting me very well, I think it will fit far more women who have curves and need space! Especially in the bust, waist, hips and thighs. The waist space in the V2 was a good 2-3 inches too big for me (before wearing a back protector). But a back protector wouldn't take up enough space for me unless I purchased something ginormous like this Forcefield Sub 4. Even if I did that, the hips/butt/thighs would still be too loose. And after stretching it even more? It would simply feel too sloppy on the track.
I'd also like to add that if I had the opportunity to try on a 38 in the V2 I think it still would've been too loose for me, because this suit has such a generous fit profile. I really need to try on all the women's Dainese and Spidi 1 Piece suits also because they do have slimmer fitments overall and I just think I might prefer that better.
Overall I'm very happy with the fitment of the V1. The night before our track day I was definitely worried about whether it would be comfortable for me on the track. One thing that really freaked me out was when I bent over it felt like my stomach was being cut in half.
But I also had to remember that bending over standing up is totally different than bending over on my bike. Your riding position makes a huge difference with the fitment as well. So standing up and not considering your bike fit is going to change how it feels.
The good news is as soon as I got out on the track for the first session, it felt just fine and I couldn't even tell I was having the fit issues from the night before.
The inseam was also very short, so much so that the bottom of the pant leg was halfway up my calves. I do have a slightly longer inseam (28.5" than most 5'2" women) than normal so I wasn't surprised by this. It just felt weird inside my boots.
I did have to wear a very thin back protector, so I was able to borrow this D3O one that you can't actually buy here (but are on eBay). Luckily it fit perfectly since it's soft and squishy which made it feel like I wasn't wearing one at all.
Next season I will probably buy an Alpinestars Nucleon Back Protector like this one. Since it has no hard materials on the outside, I think it'll fit more comfortably with my suit and it provides tailbone coverage which the D3O does not.
Overall I'm happy with the way the suit fit and performed on my first track day wearing it. I wish that I could do a couple more days before the end of the year but that's not going to happen.
Until next Spring, my suit will have to wait.