Unlike a Motorcyclist staffer, I don't have a seemingly unlimited stash of fresh leathers. So when I performed an impromptu abrasion test on a set of Catterson's hand-me-down Spidis at the Streets of Willow last year, I had no choice but to get them fixed. That's when I dialed up Alexa Krueger at Spyder Leatherworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Spyder offers everything from basic repairs to full restorations, matching each repair to the customer's budget without sacrificing safety or style.
First Krueger assesses the damaged areas of the suit, taking care to inspect all zippers, stitching and panels to decide which pieces can be salvaged and which need to be replaced. She only uses top-quality replacement materials, crafting patches from 1.3-1.6mm cowhide and stitching the suit back together with #69 bonded nylon thread-an industry standard that actually has a higher tensile strength than Kevlar thread. Keprotec Kevlar stretch material is used to replace non-leather sections. If a seam has been ground away, she disassembles the suit beyond the damage, adds a patch to one or both seam panels, and then reassembles the suit complete with topstitching to the manufacturer's original specifications. Zippers are matched with robust YKK products, unless the customer has another preference.
Nothing leaves Spyder Leatherworks unless it's safe enough to race in. My reconstructed suit came back as safe and strong as new, and the repaired areas blended so well that I was able to wear the suit for photos again at this year's "Class of 2010" sportbike shootout.
Fortunately, I haven't had to test the repairs the hard way.
Price: $180 (price varies)
Contact: Spyder Leatherworks
Verdict 4.5 out of 5 stars
A much cheaper alternative to replacing a damaged suit.