Cassons Australia have sent Zane some new one-piece leathers for his track testing and racing. Check out what he thought of the IXON Vortex 2 leathers on the track and initial break-in...

Trying to pry me out of my old leathers has proved a tough task with how comfortable they’ve been and how many times they’ve saved me from injury. The IXON Vortex 2 leathers have done an awesome job at replacing such an important piece of my kit.

We only got about 10-20 minutes of dry track time, but it was more than enough time to have the 450SR cranked over...

The IXON Vortex 2 leathers have done an awesome job at replacing such an important piece of my kit.

There’s no denying that leathers are an extremely personal piece of riding gear, I dare say they’re almost more personal than a helmet or a pair of gloves. Having this one piece of leather that separates you from cheese-grating all your skin off on the road means you become one with the kit and having uncomfortable/ill-fitting leathers means you can’t form that all-important comfortable bond with your riding gear.



As I wrote in my part one, it’s been five years since I updated my leather from the IXON Starburst suit. Not only have I grown a fair bit since I was 18, but I’ve also crashed in them more times than I can count, and I’ve worn through the Velcro on the knees from “using my knee sliders as brakes” as my Dad says.



As the fit is all important, I’m 183cm and weigh 80kg. I wouldn’t say I’m lanky but I have a relatively slender build with most of my muscle in my legs and arms, this does make finding comfortable leathers a tough job. I took a leap of faith moving from an XL in my Starburst to a L in my Vortex 2 due to the Starburst being ill-fitting on my back but comfortable in my arms and a good length.

"Keeping my weight at the front of the bike sees some dive under heavy braking which tends to upset the bike while trail braking and letting the front brakes off mid corner."

I took a leap of faith moving from an XL in my Starburst to a L in my Vortex 2 due to the Starburst being ill-fitting on my back but comfortable in my arms and a good length.

Starting right at the bottom of the leathers is where I find an improvement over my previous leathers. The zippers situated in the ankle/calf area always cause discomfort for me, having larger calf muscles means it would press into my skin with my boots on unless I ran them unzipped or the boots looser. The IXON Vortex 2 are another story, the smaller zipper means less surface area to press on my leg while clamping my boot shut and the leg area moulds a whole lot better than others I’ve worn.



Moving up to the knees and the sliders slot in a lot better than most others, this is thanks to moving down a size but it also cups the knee a lot better than the Starburst do. The moulds around the knees mean you can move around a bike with resets without fatigue on the leg fold. Overall comfort and fit is heavily improved by the stretch panels on the calf area.

"Yes, the CST's are China made but the grip levels from them are actually quite good! They get up to temperature extremely quick and retain a lot of it."

The moulds around the knees mean you can move around a bike with resets without fatigue on the leg fold. Overall comfort and fit is heavily improved by the stretch panels on the calf area.

The crotch area features more stretch than older leathers, giving the family jewels a much more comfortable experience over older leathers. The stretch panels are reinforced with aramid fibres which are a fire-resistant material, again saving your manhood and inner thighs from any burns if your bike so happens to catch on fire. The way the stretch panels mould to your inner thighs and crotch area means you get a tailored fit without getting a custom set of leathers.



Again, I’m slender in my stomach area so I can’t give my opinion on how the chest and stomach fit if you have more of a stomach or larger chest muscles, but I do feel like the Vortex 2 allows for plenty of room around that area. I don’t have any issues zipping up the front with a back protector in and I certainly have no issues wiggling the shoulders off when it comes time to remove the suit.

"Again, I’m slender in my stomach area so I can’t give my opinion on how the chest and stomach fit if you have more of a stomach or larger chest muscles, but I do feel like the Vortex 2 allows for plenty of room around that area."

“Again, I’m slender in my stomach area so I can’t give my opinion on how the chest and stomach fit if you have more of a stomach or larger chest muscles, but I do feel like the Vortex 2 allows for plenty of room around that area.”

Out of everywhere, the arms are where I feel like I’ll need to break them in better. The suit is still what I’d consider “new”, I’d say it’d take three or so track days to break the leather in fully. The arms fit tightly, especially in the forearm area, you need to be careful with a fit like this as it can cause arm pump when you’re really pushing it. After the CFMOTO 450SR launch, I felt the arms starting to loosen up more so I wouldn’t be overly worried if you try the suit on and it’s tight around the arms, just allow for a longer break-in period.



The zippers on the wrist area do still cause some pressure on your arms especially if you have tight-fitting glove cuffs. I will admit that they’re an improvement over the previous generation of IXON suits, they flow well and the Velcro strap provides some added comfort and protection from the zipper.
The neck area also needs to be broken in, it is a little tight around the shoulders which causes the strap at the top to compress on you. Once this was broken in I had full movement of my neck and head to look through to the corner exit.

"Overall, I’m happy with the IXON Vortex 2. The way it allows me to move around on the bike and the minimal amount of break-in needed to reach 100 per cent movement is certainly a plus in my books."

“Overall, I’m happy with the IXON Vortex 2. The way it allows me to move around on the bike and the minimal amount of break-in needed to reach 100 per cent movement is certainly a plus in my books.”

The last thing to mention about the suit itself are the shoulder and elbow sliders. Most previous generations of IXON leathers do have inbuilt impact protection in these areas but the leather still causes resistance while you’re sliding along the road. Having these sliders here reduces the stress put on the leather and allows you to have a controlled slide along the ground, keeping in mind that when you start to flail around when you come off is when you start to break bones. It’s my goal to use the elbow sliders (without coming off the bike) this year.



Overall, I’m happy with the IXON Vortex 2. The way it allows me to move around on the bike and the minimal amount of break-in needed to reach 100 per cent movement is certainly a plus in my books. The price is mid-range for an off-the-shelf set of leathers at an RRP of $1449.95 but it’s worth it…


Tech Talk
This race suit is designed for maximum thrills and track performance with total safety. The Vortex 2 is the IXON Racing collection’s best seller and has been tested and approved by thousands of motorcyclists worldwide. The Vortex 2 race suit is CE-certified. It has shoulder, elbow, hip and knee protectors. So you can race around the track with total peace of mind… Retail price is $1449.95.


Check out the IXON Australian catalogue here…


IXON Vortex 2 Leathers Key Features

  • CE model
  • Elbow-shoulder CE protectors Level 1
  • Knee-hip CE protectors. Level 1
  • Resistant cow leather
  • Stretch reinforced with aramid fibres
  • Secured stitching
  • Racing collar with neoprene back and high neckroll
  • Very sportive preformed and fitted cut
  • Micro-perforated leather
  • Stretch reinforced with aramid fibers
  • Secured stitching
  • Flex leather on back of armholes, bottom back and over the knee
  • External integrated sleek shells on shoulders sliders on elbows
  • Aerodynamic hump, empty and perforated with space and passage for a water bag
  • Zipped cuffs with strap
  • Zipped calves

Editor’s Note: If you are reading this article on any website other than BikeReview.com.au, please report it to BikeReview via our contact page, as it has been stolen or re-published without authority.


Share this:Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter