From Roger De Coster and Kenny Roberts to Jorge Lorenzo and Jonathan Rea; Alpinestars continues to be the face of world-class motorcycle clothing.
These days the Alpinestars brand is just as likely to be recognised for their production of Nomex race suits and gloves worn by the likes of Top Gears Stig, F1 stars such as Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez as they are for providing highly technical air-bag suits to Moto GP stars such as Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Maverick Vinales. Whatever you associate the name with - it’s certainly a long way from where they started in 1963 producing hiking and ski boots. Back then, Motocross was emerging as a worldwide sport, and with it, came the emergence of the innovators we know today - the manufacturers of professional racing garments, airbag protection and technical footwear suitable for the world-class racers and riders, to the everyday commuter and touring biker.
(Incidentally, if it helps settle any arguments, we can tell you that the company takes its name from the English translation of the Italian mountain flower "Stella Alpina" which grows high in the mountains around the area where the company was founded.)
From Humble Beginnings...
Company founder Santé Mazzarolo, back then a leather craftsman in a small Italian town of Asolo, produced his first pair of motorcycle boots in 1965 after he was asked by an enduro rider if he could produce a special boot for off-road riding. What got produced was a then unique motorcycle boot which revolutionised motocross, featuring several innovations including the first steel shin protector and a buckle closure system instead of laces.
Making boots for off-road riders became the core business for many years after the establishment of Alpinestars in its Maser headquarters, located in North Italy. Eventually, Mazzarolo's boot had resulted in world-class acclaim after being worn by such notables as 5-time world champion Roger De Coster and 4 times world champion Heikki Mikkola. Their focus on using racing to rapidly develop and advertise their products was the real benefit from such associations and Alpinestars quickly became world renown for its high-quality boots and professional image. The design and style of the boots have been emulated many times over the years, but none rivalled Sante Mazzarolo's original pieces.
After establishing its off-road boots, Alpinestars moved into the motorcycle road racing market in the late 70s. Once again, technical advances which we now take for granted such as toe sliders and other new levels of protection gained the attention of the best riders, and most notably it was 3-time GP 500 champion Kenny Roberts who showcased Alpinestars' new boots at racetracks around the world.
Development & Testing
Developing the best products for the best racers has always been a priority at Alpinestars, and current company president and Sante's son, Gabriele Mazzarolo continues to follow this successful philosophy. Legendary road racing riders Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Jonathon Rea and Marc Marquez are just some of the famous names to be recently associated with this legendary name.
Alpinestars' product department features an in-house laboratory to test products and material resistance in a variety of circumstances. This enables Alpinestars to ensure the highest quality and consistency for all of its products. A pattern and materials development team work with 10 cad-cam stations connected to electronic cutting tables. This development team has a dedicated production line for prototypes, fitting samples and new products. Basically, nothing is left to chance in the consistent production of innovative products.
Whilst Alpinestars made its name in the motorcycling industry, the company also has a history in auto racing which began in 1990 and the car racing community has been very receptive to its products. Many drivers recognize the brand from motorcycle racing and they appreciate the company's innovative approach to development and willingness to employ their ideas. Alpinestars' dedication to excellence has gained the respect of top drivers in F1, CART, and Rallying.
Alpinestars feels that the best design and research is achieved under extreme conditions. Their constant research and development in new technologies has gained them recognition from a worldwide audience and promoted them to the highly respected brand they are today.
Of course, the upside of this work with top motorbike racers is that the technology filters rapidly down to regular road riders, who may not put their garments to the ultimate test on a regular basis, but who still want the assurance that their gear will do the job if asked to.
These days, Alpinestars offer a huge range of bike boots available, from the basic waterproof Origin model which is a great every-day boot to the very high specification Supertech R which is often worn by track racers and of course road riders who want some of the best protection available.
The company also produces a huge range of gloves, and again the lessons they’ve learned from racetracks and the best riders in the world have found their way into their everyday road range.
At Infinity, we stock a wide range of their gloves for both men and women from the very basic summer models such as the Spartan and the Shore right up to the ultimate in protection the stunning GP Pro R2.
The latest Goretex Xtrafit technology can be found in models such as the Celer and the WRV which are both designed to be windproof whilst keeping your hands dry and cosy with maximum breathability which also gives you the most amount of feel. These are especially good with heated grips.
This quality is not just reserved for men’s gloves as we keep a good range of the Alpinestars Stella ladies’ summer and winter gloves in stock as well.
In terms of textile jackets, we stock Alpinestar's unique Drystar laminate jackets, including the Yokohama as well as the high-quality Vence, Mirage, T-Jaws. Their own brand Drystar liner is also used in other models such as the Andes V2, Gunner, T-Core, TGP Plus R V2, T-SP-1, and Fastback.
At all Infinity stores we keep a good range of Alpinestars ladies clothing including the very popular Stella Andes V2 jacket and trousers which go up to a 2XL in a feminine cut. This model is also available in men’s sizes right up to 6XL and there are several colour options to choose from in both styles.
For the ladies, there are Stella models available in; Valparaiso, T-Jaws, Hyper, TGP Plus R V2, and Gunner.
All of these are available in a full selection of sizes and colours, will match with any of the Alpinestars textile trousers range and of course all are guaranteed to keep you protected from the elements as well as any knocks and bumps.
Their famous leather suits are made using the best quality materials and this year the range consists of the Motegi V2, the GP plus V2 and the top of the range Atem V3. All of these suits come in a wide range of sizes and colours and for the lady rider who wants a high-quality female shaped one-piece leather suit, we can offer the Stella Kira in a good variety of sizes. All of these are fully approved for competition purposes at ACU events
For those who want the best compromise between protection and comfort on the road Alpinestars have several 2 piece leather models in their model line up, most of which feature a full length connecting zip that matches the jacket and trousers throughout the range, whether they be textile or leather.
For the sports and track oriented among you, we have the Atem V3, the SP-X, the GP Plus V2, the Jaws and the Celer V2. In a similar range for the lady rider, we have the Stella Jaws and the Stella GP plus R V2. All of these are available in an often interesting selection of colours.
If you’re after something a little more casual in a jacket that still offers a really high level of protection then look no further than the Brera, the Dyno V2, or the Warhorse, which also comes in stylish tobacco colour.
Whatever it is you’re after by buying Alpinestars you’re getting a product of high quality that’s been well developed and consequently will serve you well.
This article was written by Keith Roissetter, Infinity Watford Store Manager, and edited by Jonah Son, Website & Content Executive at Infinity Motorcycles.