The Aerostich Roadcrafter Changed My Life
Aerostich R3 Suit Review
July 8, 2017
I openly admit that I am an Aerostich fanboy. Before even trying on one of their suits I knew this was the gear of serious riders. John Ryan, Ron Ayres, all the heroes of the Iron Butt Association wore Roadcrafters. It was also the uniform of the hardcore daily rider or as I like to put it the "true believer", those who can't be bothered with four wheels.
I'm now on my third Roadcrafter. My first was bought used off eBay and was too big but I put many commuting miles on it plus a trip and an LD rally. It saw me through many miles from 30 degree temps in the rain to 105 degrees in the Utah desert. It was sold to another rider to help fund it's replacement and I suspect it's still going strong.
My second Roadcrafter was purchased new after being measured at one of Aerostich's "Pop-Up" events that they hold around the country. This one ended up being two sizes smaller than the used one I had before and the fit was perfect. After three years of daily use I needed to send it in to get some worn out velcro replaced but it has many years left in it and still sees regular use.
My latest Roadcrafter purchase is an "R-3" one-piece suit. This suit was also ordered at an Aerostich Pop-Up event and made to spec. It was a six-weeks before I received it after placing the order but was well worth the wait. Made for me and fits like a glove.
I don't do cars so my bikes are my year-round, everyday, running errands and traveling tools besides having fun and hitting the twisties on weekends.
Purchasing my first Roadcrafter was a life changing experience for me. It made motorcycling easier and far more practical than it had been. It is designed to go on over your normal clothing and takes less than a minute to get into or remove. No more spending 15 minutes changing and getting geared up to go for a ride or debating if it's worth taking the motorcycle after all that hassle. With a Roadcrafter if you need to be somewhere you just zip it on and hop on the bike, no fuss.
Once you get where you are going take it off and you look normal underneath. In fact if I leave my gear with the bike you can't tell I rode. I can take the bike to client meetings, leave the helmet, gloves, and suit on the bike and still look professional.
The Aerostich Roadcrafter changed my life by solving the one problem I had with going carless and becoming a full-time rider, the inconvenience of dealing with gear. Now I don't even think about it, I can be ride-ready in just a couple minutes and that includes rolling the bike out of the garage.
In fact Aerostich is so confident their suits will get you riding more that they guarantee it.
The R-3 is the latest iteration of the Roadcrafter suit. They have added waterproof zippers along with a port for your heated jacket cord and with the GORE-TEX and seam sealing it is truly a four-season riding suit.
The R-3 has no lining, which may seem like a downgrade at first compared to the older lined version, now sold as the "Roadcrafter Classic", but this means the suit is lighter and much cooler on hot days with improved airflow. I have only ridden in it in temps up to 90 so far but it is significantly cooler than my older Roadcrafter.
Mine is the regular version made with 500d Cordura backed with GORE-TEX but they also make an R-3 Light version with "cordura-like" HT Nylon bonded to 60D Tricot for waterproofing.
If you can't decide between the various models Aerostich offers I would recommend the R-3. All of their suits are great but the R-3 does it all and the warm weather advantages it has over the other suits make it my top choice for commuting as well as the best option for year-round travel.
Unlike most other gear manufacturers Aerostich will do custom alterations. Both of my current suits have had adjustments made to them at a later date after purchase. My two-piece had 1/2-inch gussets installed in the jacket for winter commuting as it was a bit tight when used with my heated liner. My R-3 has had a back ellipse added for sport riding as it was a good fit when sitting upright but I discovered it wasn't quite right when in a forward lean. In both cases it was an extra expense but it means that my suits fit me perfectly and both are incredibly comfortable on the bike. I do not regret a single penny spent on my suits or alterations.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the safety aspect as I feel most of the top brands these days do this equally well but the Roadcrafter is made of heavy abrasion resistant Cordura and uses their own in-house viseolastic "TF" armor. Although I have not crashed in one myself I have no doubts it will protect me and there are many stories from riders who have crashed in an Aerostich suit to confirm this. The Roadcrafter comes standard with Aerostich's TF-3 armor in the knees and elbows. Hip and back protection are optional add-ons and they also offer different grades of armor seperately.
The only con I have found, and it's really minor, is that when I am off the bike fitting a Roadcrafter into a pannier on my R1200R is a very tight squeeze. I'd also like to see Aerostich make a two-piece suit with all the upgrades the R-3 has. Currently they only offer a two-piece in the Classic (both light and regular versions) and the new "Cousin Jeremy" which is a wax-cotton Roadcrafter-esque two-piece suit, very classy.
Even though it's the best and most convenient option for everyday riders you don't have to be a daily rider to benefit from owning Roadcrafter. All the features that make it great for commuting also translate to traveling and recreational riding. Just the fact that you don't have to deal with changing or a separate rain-suit when the weather unexpectedly turns nasty makes it an essential piece of kit to have in your gear collection.