Greetings, I have finally decided to get around to reviewing the spartan leathers SL-1 custom suit which I purchased several months ago. When I was in the market for a custom suit originally, I was not able to find many reviews with pictures for reference of the SL-1 suit, so hopefully this review will help some people.
1. Ordering process: The ordering process is fairly straight forward. You pick the suit model which you would like, then do a color layout (which you can do on the site via a flash too). If you are adventurous, you can download and create a fully custom suit in Photoshop with logo's and lettering (this was the option I took).
I also asked for several additional options, such as a neoprene lining on the collar and a dual color stretch panel in the back. I also asked for a pocket on the inside to hold my phone/wallet when i'm in canyons and a vented back hump. Dave from spartan was very quick with responses and easy to communicate with.
2. Measuring: I was in the market for a custom suit because I am 6'5 and weigh in around 200 lb's. As such, no stock suits come even close to fitting me. I have been making due with a dainese new dal mar jacket, coupled with dainese delta pro pants... but I had to get both too large in order to get the length I needed.
----I had my fiance' measure me 3 times for the suit. Measurements are in inches. You need to take I think 29 measurements if you are male. I had my fiance' use small pieces of painters tape to mark the landmarks we were measuring from to ensure accuracy.----
3. Delivery Time: My suit took around 10 weeks from time of ordering until i received the suit. Marginally more then I expected, but not too bad compared to say a dainese.
4. Initial thoughts: Suit was VERY snug. Leather was significantly stiffer then the dainese leathers I had, and it was also thicker. Fit was very snug, so much so that the first time I took it off I had to have my fiance' help me get out of it. 2 negative things were that they are unable to do a vented back hump at this time which was something I had wanted, and also that they appeared to have forgotten to add a pocket (to be fair though, I had emailed several days after the initial order regarding the pocket request, so I assume it was lost in the shuffle). I will say, once I was in the suit, it fit like a glove... I was surprised with the fit, because I was sure we would have screwed up the measurements, but I think we got them right. Quality of stitching and zippers appears equal to that of my dainese gear. They were able to do the neoprene lining on the collar which is nice, the logo and font for the name is perfect, and the suit comes with a liner which is removable. They also were able to do the dual colored back stretch panel which is sweet.
The thermal part of the liner which zips out easilly
Close up of the back stretch panel
Final Thoughts: So, I have used the suit probably 10 times for vigorous riding, and here are my thoughts now. The fit of the suit has improved significantly, as this is my first 1 piece i'm not sure if that is normal or not, but it is much more comfortable and flexible then when I first got it. It is still not as soft as the dainese, and i'm thinking of putting some leather product on the suit to soften it up even more, but the fit is way better (it is custom after all). I have since had a tailor add a pocket on the inside so that is no longer an issue. I still wish I could have gotten a vented back hump. The suit breaths very well, in fact I have taken to wearing the thermal liner more often then not. I had them use the forcefield armor which I have used before, and it breaths well and is flexiable. I have not crashed at all in it yet, so I can't attest to its crash worthiness, but I have no reservations about going out and pushing myself and I feel completely safe in my gear. When I crash I will update this review.
If I had to rate this suit, I would rate it probably 8.5/10. Its a very nice suit at a good bargain compared to big name alternatives with similar features. it is a simple ordering process, and the all inclusive pricing is nice. I think it is made in pakistan, but considering my dainese gear was made in the ukraine, I don't really care where my gear comes from if it is good quality. The few areas of improvement would be softer leather out of the box, a vented back hump, and if I had had the pocket added when I got it rather than having to do it after. Its a good suit, and I would buy it again and recommend it, particularly to tall guys like me who struggle with finding anything to fit them.
And now, a couple glamour shots with the SV out at Palomar to ice the cake! thanks for reading.