’Stich. Spacesuit. Moto onesie. Aerostich’s R-3 suit, known for years as the Roadcrafter, goes by many names, but one thing is for sure: it has become an icon of motorcycle apparel. Introduced in 1983 by Andy Goldfine, the founder of Aerostich and the non-profit organization that promotes the annual Ride to Work Day, the Roadcrafter was designed for motorcycle commuting and can be worn over street clothes. Thanks to its two main zippers–one from the neck down to the inside of the left ankle and another down the inside of the right leg–a Roadcrafter, with practice, can be put on and zipped closed in a matter of seconds, and removing it is even easier.
Over the years, as word spread about the Roadcrafter’s convenience, versatility and practicality, it became the suit of choice not just for commuters but also for many touring riders. Based on regular feedback from customers and motojournalists, evaluations of suits damaged in crashes and a personal obsession with details, Goldfine has steadily refined the Roadcrafter over the past 36 years. It may not be particularly stylish, but it works remarkably well.
Soon after I joined the Rider staff in 2008 I tested a Roadcrafter, and I wore it for years and over many thousands of miles, on my daily commute, on short- and long-distance tours, on press launches and road test photo shoots, in all kinds of weather. Though faded and stained, that suit is still going strong and holds a place of honor in my gear closet. Over the past four years I’ve been wearing the R-3, the third-generation Roadcrafter, which is better for California’s hot, dry climate because it is unlined and, thanks to seam-sealed zippers in addition to its full Gore-Tex membrane, is waterproof. (The Roadcrafter Classic is still available.)
Made of 500D Cordura with 1000D abrasion-resistant ballistic panels at the shoulder, elbow and knee that are backed by tough, pliable TF armor (a back protector is sold separately), the R-3 is stiff at first and requires some breaking in, but soon feels like a tailored, flexible exoskeleton. It has a full collar that can be folded down, nine pockets that hold a ridiculous amount of stuff, flap-covered zippers at the hips that provide easy access to your pants pockets, various adjustment tabs and Scotchlite reflective panels. With ventilation limited to two underarm vents and a horizontal back vent, the R-3 can get swampy on hot/humid days, but that’s it in terms of shortcomings.
Aerostich’s R-3 One-Piece Suit sells for $1,197 and is available in sizes 34-54 in Short, Regular and Long in multiple suit and ballistic panel colors. A women’s version, a lighter-weight Tactical version, custom sizing and a wide range of add-on accessories are available. Suits can also be sent back to Aerostich for cleaning, alterations and repairs. Like any well-made, tailored garment, you’ll wear it for years.
For more information, call (800) 222-1994 or visit aerostich.com.