KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 26

Max interior liner, plus channels in which to integrate your hydration system (and even a communications system) makes for optimal rider comfort. Oh, and they’ve even given the humble strap a thought or two, at 26mm wide (an inch in old money) it’s that little bit wider than most, for more comfort. Crash test dummy So, that’s the tech. What about the wearing? As an enduro and rally rider I have to say Milestone is not my bag and with the prospect of Ryan Villopoto and Broc Tickle for (fast) company it was no place for an old tree-dodger to plod about. Fortunately Alpinestars listened to my pleas and instead I enjoyed a brilliant four-hour trail ride in the Mojave high desert (like 4000ft high) near Lake Arrowhead, San Bernadino. My guide was Ricardo Barbosa, boss of 3 Brothers Racing (USA’s top distributor of KTMs) and this is kind of his backyard, a place he’s come to for decades. And given the quality of trails, I’d love it as my backyard too. And boy was it hot up there, about 100ºF (38ºC), and with the altitude and possibly a little jet lag, it was a little uncomfortable for a Five minutes with Gabriele Mazzarolo Owner and President of Alpinestars Q A At last Alpinestars have a motorcycle helmet. A significant moment in time? It’s a new start, but one we started many years ago. As a company we have started many new projects over the years, with motocross boots in 1965, jumping into auto racing in 2002, and other categories now, but each with dedicated product development centres. So with five years in development I’m used to seeing and being a part of this product for a long time, so it feels like a normal product for us to have. Q A Was the helmet part of a desire to go head-to-toe in motocross apparel? No, we only make products where we feel we can bring advancement to that category, and on that basis the helmet was a natural development for us. And that product is only ready after putting together a team and all the assets we needed to bring to the user 26 KIWI RIDER a product that we feel is an advancement, not just another product. Q A So you’d say you’re not led by the need to create specific product lines? That’s right, at Alpinestars we always want to make something that really works. Our designs come out of true performance, working with racers. For instance in the development of our motocross clothing we’ve been experimenting with more stretchable materials for a long time, but we had to get to a point where the performance would satisfy riders like Jeffrey Herlings. Q The new textiles you’re using there are a significant breakthrough from the usual nylon pants for instance. This has come from your cycling involvement? A Our experience in other sports (such as cycling) has helped, but product development is really a dedicated process.