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Aug 19, 2015

Atem Leathers, Supertech R Boots Highlight 2016 Alpinestars Apparel Lineup

Alpinestars Supertech R boots. Photo courtesy of Alpinestars.

A redesigned Atem racing, track and riding suit and an overhauled Supertech R race-oriented boot head Alpinestars' 2016 apparel lineup for the North American market.

At the annual unveiling of Alpinestars' new offerings at the company's Southern California headquarters, company representatives presented a series of new suits, jackets, gloves, pants and other riding gear aimed at a wide variety of riding experiences.

When it came to the performance-oriented gear, the themes were increased protection, more comfort and more durability for the racer and the sport rider. As Communications Manager Jeremy Appleton said, “Alpinestars is very much a racing company. It is a philosophy that runs throughout the entire company.”

The re-engineered Atem suit incorporates a series of new features that reflect the emphasis on protection and comfort. The $1,499.95 suit features additional leather in the shoulders, elbows, hips, lower back and knees for additional protection. Neoprene-edged cuffs and collar add to the comfort level, as do three-dimensional mesh inserts at the base of the back of the neck – the inserts add to the ability of the suit to flow air though an area that does not receive as much airflow as, say, chest or inner arms. The areo hump on the back of the suit also is ventilated. The suit is CE-compliant and features stretch panels made of a leather/aramid fabric.

The suit also is available in a two-piece version for $1,299.95, with a different construction incorporating poly-fabric stretch panels. Alpinestars also is offering an Atem jacket for $799.95, as well as a new Celer leather performance jacket for $649.95.

The Supertech R boot has received an even greater overhaul for the 2016 model year, with new features from the ground up. The rubber sole compound has been revised. The toe sliders are larger, aluminum, backed with a thermoplastic polyurethane backing plate designed to reduce the risk of a racer grinding through the toe sliders and into their mounting brackets. In addition, the mounting mechanism for the toe slider has been revised; the slider now is held in place with an Allen bolt mounted away from the area of the slider that contacts the ground.

The boot features a revised shin plate that wraps around the outer calf and incorporates a replaceable lateral slider. The inner calf area features a soft TPU stretch panel to ease entry and exit from the boot, and the front flex area has been redesigned to be made with TPU injected onto mesh for greater breathability and flexibility. Every point at which the boot flexes has been re-designed, and the TPU protectors now are made of 20% fiberglass to increase their strength. In addition, the inner external panel – the one that is closest to the motorcycle – was redesigned for less interference while moving around on the bike.

Company officials say the new Supertech R offers greater flexibility and feedback to the rider – even the shifter pad is designed to flex to allow greater feel while shifting – and at the same time offers increased foot-rotation protection and greater protection against ankle hyperextension.

Alpinestars' street/sport-touring gear is headlined by a set of textile jackets from the Black Shadow collection and a unique hybrid textile-leather jacket.

The Enforce DRYSTAR jacket features a full-length waterproof liner and zipper air intakes, while the Warden Air jacket features extensive use of mesh panels. Each is designed with an “aggressive sport” configuration for proper fit in a sport riding position and each comes with CE-standard armor in elbows and shoulders. The Pikes DRYSTAR jacket features a multi-material outer shell, with polyurethane-reinforced textile making up the main part of the jacket and leather panels on the lower sleeves providing additional abrasion resistance.

In addition, Appleton briefly touched on:

- Alpinestars Tech-Air inflatable protection system, which has not yet been introduced into the North American market. The company is putting into place the support network for the devices, which will require more after-sale support than a traditional protective suit or gear. “The intention is to bring it into the U.S., but we haven't quite gotten to (establishing) the date yet,” Appleton said.

- Alpinestars' commitment to women riders, with approximately 15% of the catalog made up of items specifically designed for female riders, Appleton said. “We don't just downsize a men's product,” he added.

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