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Custom-made by Bates, this set of motorcycle racing leathers was worn by 1994 AMA 600cc Supersport Champion Jamie James in print and television advertisements for Yamaha Motor Corporation during the mid-1990s. The Public Relations Department of Yamaha generously donated this item to be auctioned with all proceeds of the sale, minus the cost of the eBay services, going to benefit the Roadracing World Air Fence* Fund.
The suit is purple with orange and yellow patches that are meant to resemble flames. The color scheme of the leathers is a replica of the suit James wore while racing with the Vance & Hines Yamaha factory team in the AMA National road race series.
The American-made garment has James' last name across the upper back, his first name on the left breast and Yamaha on each forearm and the collar. The original soft armor is still in place in the shoulders, arms, hips, legs. Some perforation and stretch panels are strategically placed on the leathers, which retain its perforated liner and female Velcro knee slider patches. The one-piece suit is made from heavy-grade leather with heavy-duty zippers.
The suit has been crashed in by James during a photo session and has been lightly scuffed on both elbows, the left hip, the seat area and across the upper back. The integrity of the suit has not been compromised, and it could be used to ride in.
Although the suit was custom-made to fit James, it should fit someone in the area of 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds.
James also won the 1989 AMA Superbike and AMA 750cc Superstock Championship. James nearly own the 1994 AMA Superbike Championship but was beat out by Fast By Ferracci's Troy Corser in the last event at Road Atlanta.
To go directly to the auction on eBay, click here:http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1803857317
The Roadracing World Air Fence Fund was established in April 2001 to raise money to purchase and deploy Air Fence and Air Module soft barriers to protect crashed riders from hitting walls and other hard objects at racetracks. In less than one year, the Fund has raised over $167,000, with over $9000 coming from the auctions of donated racing memorabilia such as this suit. For more information about the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund, including a full accounting of the collections and disbursements and stories about racers being saved by soft barriers, go to www.roadracingworld.com.
*Air Fence is a trademark of Airfence Safety Systems of Australia