George McConnel's RC51 BLOG

Date:November 20, 2009

Sooner or later even the best quality leather

Gixxernaut's "Hell Yeah" of Approval.
needs to be reconditioned and repaired. Doesn't matter whether or not you crash, just using the leather wears it down.

After my track day at Nashville Superspeedway with the Minnie Pearl group I took my leather up to Barnacle Bill in Kentucky. "Barnacle" Bill Burns is the man who made my leather suit all those years ago for someone else. When Sherry and I rode up to his place in May of 2006 to purchase this suit he spent a few minutes taking some of the slack out of it so it would fit me better. In spite of that the suit was still too big for me then. I've lost some weight since that time so the suit was even more loose.

Additionally, I had crashed several times with the suit and scuffed it. There were a couple of places where crashing had ripped some stitching and there were a couple of crash related holes (small ones) in the suit.

But I suppose the worst part of it was the knees. Dragging my knees through the corners can be rough on the suit if the knee slider

No more wondering who that was that just passed you!
gets worn down to the point that the leather has a chance to contact the asphalt. And with the suit being so loose it was sometimes questionable whether the knee slider would touch first or the suit would get slightly out of shape and some other part would contact the surface of the track. A couple of holes had developed around my knees where I was inadvertently getting leather down instead of knee slider.

So it was time to get all that taken care of. I donned my suit in Barnacle Bill's shop and let him mark the places where it needed to be trimmed down. We also discussed me getting him to put my name on the back of the leather. Rather than put my last name on the suit I elected to go with my first name. I wanted it in red since I tend to accessorize with red.

After about three weeks the suit came back to my doorstep. I unpacked it and put it on. I'm very pleased with the result and look forward to my next opportunity to ride with the improved suit.
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