Custom Fit Catastrophe

By David Rusk

on1wheel.dr@gmail.com

From a risky 1200 sq. foot beginning, CEO Jerry Ordanis has transitioned GP Bikes http://gpbikes.com/ into a gleaming 30,000 sq foot superstore that whispered promises of debauchery and demerit points as I hurried past my desires on the show floor and thankfully, found myself in the apparel section.

Funny thing about aging, our minds wander away from what is real. So, half naked, half covered in leather and fully stuck with my limbs bound in a bizarre bovine bondage rig I resigned to my 50-year-old reality. Teetering behind the change room curtain door I strained to reach a zipper and unlock the ridiculously small Dainese one piece before I fell into the showroom like a flabby, death white freak trying to escape his gimp suit before the police show up.

No screaming patrons bolting for the exit and no cops, so that was good but I left that day knowing I would feel naked below the waist and worried that the jacket I did purchase was compromised, being sized too big.

A week later and back at GP the conversation turned to proper sizing and how that determines a garments ability to protect when he asked “Have you heard of Gimoto?” I hadn’t.

“Can I propose a deal? “the sales rep. continued. I like deals, especially on motorcycle stuff so I let my smile answer and a few key strokes later and while eyeballing me over the top of his glass frames, Ken Dick kdick@gpbikes.com turned his monitor to display Gimoto’s website. www.gimoto.com/en.

My words in trade for a modest discount on a street suit was finalized and I began the design process while researching the company.

Established by the Mazzola family in 1890 the Lombardy region of Italy became the site of Gimoto and is still helmed today by brothers Andrea and Daniele. Originally makers of custom gloves for the likes of Giacomo Agostini, in 1978 they began hand stitching racing suits. Today, whether it’s a full-on race fit, a custom street suit or super motard, the configurator page will keep you second guessing yourself for hours with almost endless design possibilities and true to pedigree, Gimoto makes what could be the finest gloves available.

I was perhaps fifty designs in when a concerning tick developed and mumbling about colorways and perf schemes to our cats, because the humans were skittish and avoiding me, I realized it was time to commit. The bovine and kangaroo swatches in every available color helped me decide and Gimoto offers them to bolster what you see on your computer screen.

With my final proposal waiting, GP Bikes arranged the appointment at their then tailor and the catastrophe began. Gimoto supplies a document and instructional video on their website for the tailor and although casual and quick, I trusted in the woman’s abilities and excitedly returned the measurement set to Ken at GP Bikes.

I was discovering he is a perfectionist and we diligently checked every measure but missed what would be the undoing of everything. Such an aberrant number it should have glared at us from the page. We attributed trust to the tailor and neither of us expected mistakes, so Gimoto got the key to begin construction as I started drafting the first of two feature reviews.

Ahead of the promised delivery date, my suit arrived and like a kid at Christmas I eagerly pulled the curtain closed and started what should have been the struggle of entering a tight-fitting race suit. It wasn’t.

Something was horribly wrong and standing in front of the mirror my excitement deflated as I realized I was more prepared for a wing suit sky-dive jump then a track day. Somehow, the tailor had recorded my waist at 140.5 cm when in actuality 116 was the true read. I stood there in a hand-crafted pro level race suit that was designed by me and realized two of me would fit inside.

Note: The accompanying pictures are how the suit was returned after the first alteration by GiMoto, I have lost the pictures of the first build.

After correcting the waist measure the suit shipped back to Italy on GP Bikes tab and here is where things get somewhat complicated. As the suit was getting 24.5 cm (!) removed I faced the very reason why I had resorted to a made to measure suit. Bordering on obese and scared my finish line was years closer than it should be, I changed my lifestyle. When the corrected suit returned, I had lost 14 kg and 6 cm off my waist and performing the tailor duties in house now, Ken carved two hours out of a hectic day to make things right, again. Taped and recorded 3 times, I compared these with the originals and saw the pattern. Casual and quick related to the tailor’s precision not just the atmosphere in her store. All but one were long and the freakish waist number I can only attribute to a straight up mistake in recording.

Another alteration was needed and disagreements arose from our separate interpretation of the numbers but in hindsight, I realize Ken was simply trying to minimize the upcoming loss for GP Bikes. My argument being that had the first measurement been correct, GiMoto would have routinely did a first alteration to compensate for my weight loss. In the end, Gimoto decided for us and refused to make subsequent changes, citing suit integrity and leaving it dangerously ill fitting and unfixable.

Ken was adamant in trying to salvage the situation and other then the mistakes of a lax tailor this is the only fault I could even entertain throughout all of this. Wanting to dissect the numbers again, he failed to understand that our deal had fallen apart. When presented with this, Ken immediately offered a full refund and volunteered a cheque without trying to box me into store credit. This was not lost on me and prompted me to turn around and give my money back to GP Bikes. I still needed a suit.

The Alpinestar Atem suit fits great for off the rack but I regret the lost opportunity to brandish Gimoto’s distinctive snake head logo on my chest and the confidence of perfectly fitted gear.

This ordeal took place a few years ago and I still wear the Atem suit, which has held up beautifully but will never be as unique as that GiMoto would have been. GP Bikes and especially Ken Dick treated that whole debacle with candor and professionalism. Since I never actually rode in my custom suit, I have reached out to a hero of mine from back in the day to offer a few words on her more recent experience with GiMoto and GP Bikes.

“On my ‘fun comeback’ to road racing I wanted the best protection and I found it with a custom G-Moto race suit through Ken Dick at GP Bikes. Ken professionally walked me through all the options leading to my safe and comfy ACF50 suit that I have already crash tested! Happy to report that I received zero injury and raced again the same day. Now Ken is fitting me for one of the new G-Moto air bags.”

– Toni Sharpless, Pro racer, moto-journalist and

Canadian Motorcycle Hall of inductee

 

 

Custom Fit Catastrophe

By David Rusk

on1wheel.dr@gmail.com

From a risky 1200 sq. foot beginning, CEO Jerry Ordanis has transitioned GP Bikes http://gpbikes.com/ into a gleaming 30,000 sq foot superstore that whispered promises of debauchery and demerit points as I hurried past my desires on the show floor and thankfully, found myself in the apparel section.

Funny thing about aging, our minds wander away from what is real. So, half naked, half covered in leather and fully stuck with my limbs bound in a bizarre bovine bondage rig I resigned to my 50-year-old reality. Teetering behind the change room curtain door I strained to reach a zipper and unlock the ridiculously small Dainese one piece before I fell into the showroom like a flabby, death white freak trying to escape his gimp suit before the police show up.

No screaming patrons bolting for the exit and no cops, so that was good but I left that day knowing I would feel naked below the waist and worried that the jacket I did purchase was compromised, being sized too big.

A week later and back at GP the conversation turned to proper sizing and how that determines a garments ability to protect when he asked “Have you heard of Gimoto?” I hadn’t.

“Can I propose a deal? “the sales rep. continued. I like deals, especially on motorcycle stuff so I let my smile answer and a few key strokes later and while eyeballing me over the top of his glass frames, Ken Dick kdick@gpbikes.com turned his monitor to display Gimoto’s website. www.gimoto.com/en.

My words in trade for a modest discount on a street suit was finalized and I began the design process while researching the company.

Established by the Mazzola family in 1890 the Lombardy region of Italy became the site of Gimoto and is still helmed today by brothers Andrea and Daniele. Originally makers of custom gloves for the likes of Giacomo Agostini, in 1978 they began hand stitching racing suits. Today, whether it’s a full-on race fit, a custom street suit or super motard, the configurator page will keep you second guessing yourself for hours with almost endless design possibilities and true to pedigree, Gimoto makes what could be the finest gloves available.

I was perhaps fifty designs in when a concerning tick developed and mumbling about colorways and perf schemes to our cats, because the humans were skittish and avoiding me, I realized it was time to commit. The bovine and kangaroo swatches in every available color helped me decide and Gimoto offers them to bolster what you see on your computer screen.

With my final proposal waiting, GP Bikes arranged the appointment at their then tailor and the catastrophe began. Gimoto supplies a document and instructional video on their website for the tailor and although casual and quick, I trusted in the woman’s abilities and excitedly returned the measurement set to Ken at GP Bikes.

I was discovering he is a perfectionist and we diligently checked every measure but missed what would be the undoing of everything. Such an aberrant number it should have glared at us from the page. We attributed trust to the tailor and neither of us expected mistakes, so Gimoto got the key to begin construction as I started drafting the first of two feature reviews.

Ahead of the promised delivery date, my suit arrived and like a kid at Christmas I eagerly pulled the curtain closed and started what should have been the struggle of entering a tight-fitting race suit. It wasn’t.

Something was horribly wrong and standing in front of the mirror my excitement deflated as I realized I was more prepared for a wing suit sky-dive jump then a track day. Somehow, the tailor had recorded my waist at 140.5 cm when in actuality 116 was the true read. I stood there in a hand-crafted pro level race suit that was designed by me and realized two of me would fit inside.

Note: The accompanying pictures are how the suit was returned after the first alteration by GiMoto, I have lost the pictures of the first build.

After correcting the waist measure the suit shipped back to Italy on GP Bikes tab and here is where things get somewhat complicated. As the suit was getting 24.5 cm (!) removed I faced the very reason why I had resorted to a made to measure suit. Bordering on obese and scared my finish line was years closer than it should be, I changed my lifestyle. When the corrected suit returned, I had lost 14 kg and 6 cm off my waist and performing the tailor duties in house now, Ken carved two hours out of a hectic day to make things right, again. Taped and recorded 3 times, I compared these with the originals and saw the pattern. Casual and quick related to the tailor’s precision not just the atmosphere in her store. All but one were long and the freakish waist number I can only attribute to a straight up mistake in recording.

Another alteration was needed and disagreements arose from our separate interpretation of the numbers but in hindsight, I realize Ken was simply trying to minimize the upcoming loss for GP Bikes. My argument being that had the first measurement been correct, GiMoto would have routinely did a first alteration to compensate for my weight loss. In the end, Gimoto decided for us and refused to make subsequent changes, citing suit integrity and leaving it dangerously ill fitting and unfixable.

Ken was adamant in trying to salvage the situation and other then the mistakes of a lax tailor this is the only fault I could even entertain throughout all of this. Wanting to dissect the numbers again, he failed to understand that our deal had fallen apart. When presented with this, Ken immediately offered a full refund and volunteered a cheque without trying to box me into store credit. This was not lost on me and prompted me to turn around and give my money back to GP Bikes. I still needed a suit.

The Alpinestar Atem suit fits great for off the rack but I regret the lost opportunity to brandish Gimoto’s distinctive snake head logo on my chest and the confidence of perfectly fitted gear.

This ordeal took place a few years ago and I still wear the Atem suit, which has held up beautifully but will never be as unique as that GiMoto would have been. GP Bikes and especially Ken Dick treated that whole debacle with candor and professionalism. Since I never actually rode in my custom suit, I have reached out to a hero of mine from back in the day to offer a few words on her more recent experience with GiMoto and GP Bikes.

“On my ‘fun comeback’ to road racing I wanted the best protection and I found it with a custom G-Moto race suit through Ken Dick at GP Bikes. Ken professionally walked me through all the options leading to my safe and comfy ACF50 suit that I have already crash tested! Happy to report that I received zero injury and raced again the same day. Now Ken is fitting me for one of the new G-Moto air bags.”

– Toni Sharpless, Pro racer, moto-journalist and

Canadian Motorcycle Hall of inductee

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