Veloce Leathers Primus Racing Suit

Those of us with waists bigger than Dani Pedrosa view high-end European riding gear the same way we do supermodels: cool to look at, but not a good fit. Enter the generously proportioned and finely crafted Primus Racing suit from Veloce Leathers, offered in European sizes 46 to 58 with even bigger options available by special order. Roughly translated as "speed," the Italian suit is worthy of its name as it feels sleek, form-fitting and bereft of the excess fabric often designed into big men's leathers.

Working on a principal of safety, performance, quality and refinement, the Primus suit covers all those bases with hard-but-not-uncomfortable armor in the elbows, knees, shoulders and other places that dislike abrupt impacts. An aerodynamic back hump comes at no extra cost on the Primus, which also boasts abdominal padding for protection of an oft-neglected body part, as well as a CE Level-1 spine pad beneath the 1.2-1.4mm leather outer shell.

One session on the racetrack revealed how much input Veloce received from the racers who helped develop the suit, as the usual tight spots-knees, waist, crotch and collar-bent naturally around the body. Like all one-piece leathers the suit did require some time to break-in, but proved supple enough to walk around in after a few hours.

The Primus has perforations along the thighs and abdomen for excellent airflow, and breathable neoprene lining the cuffs and collar, which helped keep wrists and neck dry during a humid afternoon's ride. Overall the suit has a subtly handsome design that, in gunmetal and red, makes one look like a paddock refugee without venturing into neon-blinder territory. Unlike some other suits, the back hump didn't bump into my helmet in full tuck, and the perforated inner liner didn't get all locker-room funky after a few heated sessions. I did find the metal snap closures on the cuffs to be a tad obtrusive, causing slight discomfort with gauntlet gloves.

We haven't yet tested the robustness of the stitching by hitting the deck, but several AMA Pros are now wearing Veloce suits so we should know how they fare before long. For what it's worth, the company's U.S. rep swears these leathers are the toughest things to hit Italian racetracks since Pier-Francesco Chili. And they're just as good-looking.

Veloce Leathers Primus Racing Suit
Price: $1199

Veloce Leathers
10200 Mason Ave. #213
Chatsworth, CA 91311
4.5 stars out of 5

An Italian racing suit that fits
American-sized riders.