Among the protective gear investments a rider may make in their life, a one-piece leather suit is one of the more costly. As such, it behooves the buyer to do their homework since it’s important to ensure that the materials used, the construction and the fit are all on-point considering that occasions when the suit is used generally carry a greater potential for serious injury. Not a decision to be taken lightly. Choosing a manufacturer with a reputation for quality is a good way to start the search, and for me IXS and its Thruxton one-piece suit fit the bill.
IXS is new to the US market, entering with its subsidiary IXS USA a little over a year ago. But the Swiss company has been in the business of producing motorcycle apparel since the late ‘70s and has been popular in other parts of the world for decades. Currently the company has a roster of athletes in the Moto2 and Moto3 ranks, riders such as Dominique Aegerter, Alexis Masbou, Randy Krummenacher and a handful of others. IXS has gear for every motorcycling discipline and prides itself on creating product with “high functionality and first-class quality.”
I was impressed after my first encounter with IXS and its products during the 2014 AIMExpo, the materials, stitching, design and fit rivaling anything I’d seen in the booths of brands more established in the States. I felt confident in the quality of the Thruxton suit and decided to take the plunge, acquiring one prior to a summer and autumn of track schools and mini bike racing.
In terms of construction, the Thruxton’s exterior leather panels are 100% Bovine Nappa Leather. The panels in the interior of the arms and behind the legs are a Cordura stretch material while the groin features Aramide stretch material. The interior lining is 100% polyester. There’s perforated leather areas on the chest, sleeves, legs and back area for air flow in addition to the ventilation openings in the speed hump, and neoprene inserts at the cuffs and leg hems to optimize comfort. Protective elements include impact armor in the shoulder and elbows and height-adjustable knee protectors, all rated to EN1621-1 standards. The elbow armor extends from the bend in the arm down the forearm, nearly to the wrist while the knee protectors extend down the shin as well. There’s double leather reinforcement in the seat, coccyx padding, TecnoFoam hip padding and an anchorage for a back protector. YKK zippers comprise the closures at the ankles, wrists and up the front torso.
For fit, I measure six-feet tall, have a 42 inch chest and 32 inch waist. I chose to go with a size 44 suit, which according to the IXS size chart accommodates riders with 42-43 inch chests, and up to 38 inch waists. I’ve tried on a variety of other manufacturer’s one-piece suits and generally the 44 is a slightly looser, more comfortable for track day fit while a 42 would be more appropriate for out-and-out racing. When it arrived, the Thruxton suit in size 44 fit exactly as 44s had from more widely known brands, primarily the one which starts with the letter A.
Despite it being a bit more of a casual fit, there’s been no problems whatsoever with excess material. The legs and arms are snug without being restrictive, as is the chest, and the protective padding is well-placed and has never once shifted from its intended location while in use. Pockets for the shoulder pads are sewn into the antiseptic, removable net liner and the elbow and knee pads are attached directly to the inside of the external chassis. The liner also has the added benefit of a single interior pocket, should the need for such an amenity arise. The collar has stretch panel material at the back and a soft leather cuff around the rest of the neck, providing for a comfortable and precise fit.
Standing up straight wreaks some havoc in the groin area, but you don’t need to be as hunched as with the tighter, more race-ready fit. I’ve been comfortable leaving the Thruxton fully zipped in the downtime between sessions at track days. I’ve even done a few sprints in the suit, pushing teammates to the start line in the 24-Hour M1GP Mini-Bike Endurance Race without issue.
Adding to the comfort of the fit is the supple Nappa Leather, which immediately yields to the contours of the body from the first wear.
On the bike, the Thruxton moves like a second skin. Like most any one-piece suit, it’s happiest in the riding position. The accordion panel at the back lays flat on the lower back when behind the bubble and the Cordura behind the knees keeps any material from bunching when on the pegs. I’ve never felt restricted shifting side-to-side on the bike. Even after an hour turning laps on the Willow Springs Kart Track on a little XR100, there were no issues with fit. As such, you’re able to focus completely on the task at hand – riding a motorcycle as fast as you can around the track.
Another positive point is the substantial airflow provided by the perforations throughout, which kept me feeling cool and collected even in the 90-plus degree weather at Thunderhill back in the summer.
It’s hard to find much to dislike about the Thruxton. The white, red, black colorway I received looked sharp out of the box but a light season’s use has left the white in need of cleaning. I also wonder how well the double-stitched seams will hold up after a slide across the tarmac. I hope to never find out, but if the day comes I’ll be sure to report back with a crash performance evaluation.
All in all the Thruxton is exactly what I was looking for in terms of a comfortable yet protective track day suit. At $1019 it’s also upper mid-pack in terms of price, considering some suits from other manufacturers can run more than $2000. That’s still a fair chunk of change, but worth it for the quality and protection provided.
Fit is precise and comfortable
Quality materials used in construction
Airflow is generous
Exterior requires cleaning after a few uses
Not sure how seams will hold up in a crash