High Performance Protection

The protective qualities of leather riding suits are obvious. However, with the numerous manufacturers that produce leathers, one can't help but wonder if there are any uniform standards with which they are made. In Europe, they have the European Union "CE" mark (similar to the DOT and Snell marks found on helmets sold in the United States). If you have been looking for European protective outerwear, you have probably seen claims of CE-approved body armor. Nevertheless, a claim that protective outerwear is "CE-approved" does not necessarily mean that the garment is truly CE-approved.

This suit follows the adage that form follows function and that a well-designed and well-made suit will look good.

BKS hopes to change this by being one of the first manufacturers to import full CE-approved leather riding suits into the States. This implies that the entire suit, from head to toe, all stitching, leather and armor is compliant with the standards set forth by European Community.

The first thing we noticed was the weight. The BKS GP100 suit is a hefty piece of hardware, feeling more like a precision piece of equipment instead of a slapped-together stylistic adventure. This suit follows the adage that form follows function and that a well-designed and well-made suit will look good. A simple glance at the suit proves this.

Equipped with ballistic armor throughout, the BKS GP100 promises to be one of the most complete pieces of motorcycle safety equipment available. Although our specific test unit incorporated BKS' standard "Performance" armor, all other versions will be equipped with BKS' upgraded "High Performance" armor. As if that weren't enough, the next iteration of the suit, the GP2000RX (due to be released in a few months) will employ the same High Performance armor and a few new cosmetic touches. Almost to mock the other manufacturers, BKS adds, as standard equipment, Kevlar inserts in the chest and back areas, a set of hip and thigh armor and a quality back protector.

Nevertheless, all this tech-speak is all fine and good for the marketing and advertising people, but MO wanted to know how well this suit would do in the real world. So, we decided to use it in a few of our exclusive photo shoots and track tests. What we found out won't be much of a surprise to those who wear high-dollar suits. The BKS GP100 is comfortable. The off-the-rack suit proved to have a near custom fit for our six-foot, 150-pound evaluator. Both on- and off-bike fit was excellent, with enough stretch panels built into the proper areas to allow our tester to stand up without losing circulation to vital body parts.

The complete set of protective armor was a welcome addition since the bottom line all-too often seems to be the driving factor behind leather suit design and implementation. The BKS GP100 suit was also very adaptable to a broad range of riding temperatures. From a 90°F (32.2°C) commute in rush-hour traffic to a 50°F (10°C) photo shoot with a nipping sea breeze, our tester felt comfortable, giving him a worry-free ride while allowing him to concentrate on riding rather than dealing with an ill-fitting and uncomfortable suit.

Although the price ($1999.00 USD) is above what most people would be willing to pay for a leather riding suit, for those needing unprecedented comfort, a near custom fit, phat good looks and the ultimate in protection, look no further than BKS to supply you with those needs.

Motorcycle Online Rating:****1/2


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