BBG Race Leathers – Review

For track junkies there is no better protection than some smart looking race leathers but when you are in a country like India, they don’t come cheap. A set of the cheapest Alpinestars Race Leathers will set you back about Rs.75000/- or more. Most of us either end up importing our suits & leathers or end up using the cheaper options that come from across the border in Pakistan.

The Pakistani suits come in at a fraction of the cost of the branded leathers, sometimes as low as Rs.18,000/-, take a fair amount of beating and are customisable to an extent. For those who didn’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with customs, several folks in India took it upon themselves to start importing the suits from Pakistan and rebranding it with their own branding to make it more accessible to those who wanted a hassle free transaction.

I like pushing my limits on the track and when you keep pushing the envelope, you will crash. I wanted to be as safe as I could possibly be and picked up a BERiK, which was a little over a $1,300 investment. The joy though was short lived as my suit ended up being stolen. I was broke, didn’t have the time to order a custom from Pakistan and wasn’t willing to pay the premium the importers/’rebranders’ in India were asking for. This is when I came across Biking Brotherhood Gears or BBG for short, their claim was that they are the only gear manufacturer in India. The claim seemed questionable in the start but since I was in Chennai for the weekend, I decided to meet up with the owner of BBG.

While his entry level textile pants and jackets were run of the mill copies, his leathers caught my attention. For starters, it was actually leather, second- the turnaround time of two weeks was way shorter than all my other options. What actually got me excited was the fact that I would be allowed to be part of the production every single step of the way. I did a bit of research and asked my old track buddies and a majority of them had good things to say about BBG, so I decided to take the plunge and ordered myself a pair of 2 piece race leathers.

1

I decided to keep it simple, nothing fancy, all black perforated full grain cowhide. I waited two weeks and I was informed the leathers were shipped. They took 3 days to arrive and at first glance they seemed to be of top quality. I decided to leave my opinion for a later time, preferably once I had a few big crashes in them. The leathers surprisingly didn’t take long to break-in, about a week of continuous wear and they felt like my second skin. The fit was perfect

The specifications were as per what I had ordered.

  • Full grain 1.3-1.4mm full grain perforated cowhide with extra protection/reinforcement at impact areas
  • YKK zippers
  • Nylon Triple stitching with 3 stitches per cm
  • CE certified padding and armour (CE Certified EN 1621-1:97)
  • Moisture wicking mesh liner
  • Zipper attachment for pants and jacket
  • Removable knee pucks/sliders
  • Larger accordion panel
  • Stretchable fabric at elbow, crotch, calf area for better fit and comfort

The first real word test didn’t happen at the track but rather after a very uneventful track session, on the way home. A SUV decided that I was a rag doll after jumping a red light and dragged me for about 10ft before we came to a stop. The leathers seemed unaffected by the entire ordeal except for some minor scuffing. I was pretty impressed that the suit held up as well as it did, considering the motorcycle looked like it had just been through a trash compactor.

After that major spill, I have had several slides/crashes on the track and the pants and jacket held up through each of them, the stitches never opened up, the dye never stained and the zippers never broke off. The pants finally decided to give up about 2 track days ago when I got pinned under the motorcycle during some over enthusiastic cornering that led to a low slide. About a 2”x1” patch wore through to the armour but thanks to the hard GP style armour there was no penetration. I survived unscathed again. I contacted BBG and they offered to repair it at a minimal cost, so that’s another reason why you should file them under “people you can trust”.

Do I recommend BBG Race suits and leathers? The answer is an enthusiastic yes. The suits retail for about Rs.36,000/- and are fully customisable. Some of their MotoGP race replicas are drool worthy. Most of the Motovation crew as well as some of the regulars swear by the BBG leathers, so maybe they aren’t so bad.

Before you go ahead and plonk all your money. Here is what you should know.

PROS:

  • Made in India
  • Superb After Sales Service
  • Customisable for colour & fit
  • Premium grade drum dyed Full Grain Cowhide
  • YKK zippers
  • High quality Velcro
  • 2 weeks delivery

CONS

  • CE rated protectors are not very comfortable
  • Hump is too large (My jacket doesn’t have a hump but this is feedback I have received from multiple people)
  • Collars need some fine tuning, they tend to dig in at full crouch
  • Large tab for wrist enclosure gets caught on full gauntlet gloves
  • No adjustable Velcro enclosures for armour to adjust for fit
  • Armour pockets do not follow any particular brand
  • The quality of knee pucks isn’t very good, they give good feel but tend to wear too quickly.

What would have made it perfect?

  • Neoprene flat collars
  • Neoprene/Elastic wrist enclosures
  • Velcro/adjustable armour pockets
  • SASTec or Knox armour
  • 360 zippers for 2 piece

Please note, I upgraded to GP Style full SASTec armour for the pants including hip, shin and knee inserts. For the Jacket I use the same GP style SASTec inserts for elbow and shoulder armour and a Joe Rocket L2 back protector.

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