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Old 07-24-2014, 08:26 PM   #1
foodog2 OP
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Jacket help

I am switching from leather to textile and don't have a clue where to start. The bike is a wing hack rig so its big and hi vis is not a priority to me but three season is and so is waterproof. I'll wear mesh when its hot. I keep looking at the Kilimanjaro or Katmandu but wonder if even that is overkill for a touring sidecar rig. I want comfort first and for most. I am a big guy 5'10" 270 so that is a factor too. I would use a heated liner in place of a regular liner as well. Any suggestions without breaking the bank?
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:45 AM   #2
StuartV
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Motoport mesh Kevlar will be made to your measurements. And the protection is HUGELY better than any other textile jacket you can get. The mesh Kevlar has 10 times the tear strength of good leather. And the armor in my MP gear gives more coverage than even the armor in my custom race leathers.

I have the waist-length Air Mesh Kevlar jacket and love it.

http://www.motoport.com/index.php?op...d=27&Itemid=15

But, it seems the longer, 3/4-length, jackets like the Marathon seem to be more popular here on ADV for some reason.

http://www.motoport.com/index.php?op...d=27&Itemid=15
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
Motoport mesh Kevlar will be made to your measurements. And the protection is HUGELY better than any other textile jacket you can get. The mesh Kevlar has 10 times the tear strength of good leather.
Do you by chance have any facts that back up these claims?
Peer reviewed scientific studies by chance. Cycle magazine did a story 25 years ago, with sandbags made out of different materials, but is there anything more modern?
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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The reason the 3/4 jackets are popular is because with a normal length jacket rain gets funneled down into your crotch. Most adventure riders ride in all weather for long lengths of time.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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I'm a massive fan of buying a reasonable pressure suit that has elbow, back shoulder and thorax protection and then slinging over whatever's appropriate for the weather.

The main reason for this is that I've never found a jacket where the armour fits me well enough to provide meaningful protection in the event of an off. A pressure suit gives me that confidence.

As for being waterproof, I've got a rainsuit (Frank Thomas) - takes a few minutes to put on and take off, is 100% waterproof and adds an oft needed warm layer, It also means the gear I wear can be that much more flexible - so I can wear my mesh, or, on my longer trips, my RP2.

It's a combination that it look me a few years to get to, and one I'd heartily recommend.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catweasel67 View Post
I'm a massive fan of buying a reasonable pressure suit that has elbow, back shoulder and thorax protection and then slinging over whatever's appropriate for the weather.

The main reason for this is that I've never found a jacket where the armour fits me well enough to provide meaningful protection in the event of an off. A pressure suit gives me that confidence.

As for being waterproof, I've got a rainsuit (Frank Thomas) - takes a few minutes to put on and take off, is 100% waterproof and adds an oft needed warm layer, It also means the gear I wear can be that much more flexible - so I can wear my mesh, or, on my longer trips, my RP2.

It's a combination that it look me a few years to get to, and one I'd heartily recommend.
What pressure suit do you use?
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
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What pressure suit do you use?
It's a Zero 7 - but I basically went to my local (Vienna) bike shop and bought what worked. I'd suggest, if you go down that route, that you sit on your bike, with the pressure suit on to see how it fits. I had to trim a few inches off the bottom of the back protector to stop it shoving the helmet up when I sat on the bike - something I'd not thought of when I bought it.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squish View Post
Do you by chance have any facts that back up these claims?
Peer reviewed scientific studies by chance. Cycle magazine did a story 25 years ago, with sandbags made out of different materials, but is there anything more modern?
Sorry, I don't have any links handy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobes2102 View Post
The reason the 3/4 jackets are popular is because with a normal length jacket rain gets funneled down into your crotch. Most adventure riders ride in all weather for long lengths of time.
Interesting comment. One of the reasons I don't like a jacket longer than waist length is that, when I sit on the bike, the portion of the front that extends below my waist just flips up to for a catchbowl or pushes up the front of my jacket. At best it does nothing to help in the rain. At worst, it catches rain and holds it there until it soaks through around the zipper.

My waist length jacket does overlap the waistband of my pants, so as long as they're both waterproof there's nowhere for water to get in or pool up.

Maybe I just don't qualify as an adventure rider, to you. The longest ride I've done is a 4 Corners Tour and I never rode more than 1100 miles in one day on that trip.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squish View Post
Do you by chance have any facts that back up these claims?
Peer reviewed scientific studies by chance. Cycle magazine did a story 25 years ago, with sandbags made out of different materials, but is there anything more modern?
Unlikely.

Leather is pretty damn hard to beat:

Link to SATRA (UK) tests
http://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=231812

Cycle gear 88 tests:
http://www.trainwreckstudios.net/abrasion/road.html
http://www.trainwreckstudios.net/abrasion/taber.html

Not scientific like above, but from a respected builder:

https://www.aerostich.com/media/oldsite/sec3.html

Also not scientific, but interesting as to the limits:
http://vansonleathers.com/vanson-rac...timonials.html
As I sit and write this letter, I am totally healed from the crash - totally. The only damage that I suffered was road rash on my lower back, where the vented leather of my suit succumbed to the intense heat and abrasion of sliding across the pavement at 246mph.

Disclaimer: I wear a Vanson jacket, but wear textile too. My textile jacket (Cortech 2) did just fine protecting me in the one crash I have had. Doctors were amazed I suffered only a minor concussion and bruising not broken bones or abrasions. (I got a small bit of road rash where the jacket rode up my back a little, I was too lazy that day to zip it to the pants)

Wearing the Vanson in the 100+ weather that is typical here in the California central valley is not the safest garment... coming off the bike from heat exhaustion is a bad idea. (or even just getting heat exhaustion, I have seen that too)
No one jacket is going to be the best in all situations, choose wisely.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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Please consider:

Leather is the best for abrasion resistance. But, street crashes don't often test the limits of abrasion resistance. I'm going to go out on a limb and state categorically that no one that ever reads this has or ever will crash at 246MPH while riding on the street.

Crashing on the street GENERALLY involves, EITHER, fairly low speeds (as in, say 60MPH or less), OR a fairly short slide before hitting something that doesn't move. Either way, street crashes generally don't involve long slides. And even less often would a long slide be on pavement - versus a short slide on pavement followed by sliding on grass or some other surface. In other words, people don't usually crash on the street in a straight line.

Thus, while abrasion resistance is important in a street crash, the actual tear strength and impact absorption of street riding garments is more important than abrasion resistance. This is different than riding gear intended for racing use. Racing environments are generally constructed to minimize the chance of hitting an immovable object. And speeds are generally higher than street riding speeds. So, for race garments, abrasion resistance is more important and impact absorption slightly less important - compared to the requirements of street riding gear.

For a street crash, GENERALLY, the most important thing is that the seams don't burst when you impact the ground or a car or a mailbox post or whatever. And secondly, it is important to have armor that will not just absorb an impact, but will stay in place as you are traveling from your motorcycle seat to the aforementioned impact. The best elbow armor in the world is all but useless if it's in a sleeve that is so loose and floppy on your arm that one or two flails of your arm shifts it around to where it's not actually covering your elbow.

I have seen all the "tests" of gear. All the ones I've seen attempt to give some assessment of abrasion resistance. I haven't seen any tests that actually compare jackets or pants on the characteristics that are important in a street riding crash.

And until I do, it will remain my opinion that Motoport mesh Kevlar gear is the best protection you can buy for street riding.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgconner View Post
Wearing the Vanson in the 100+ weather that is typical here in the California central valley is not the safest garment... coming off the bike from heat exhaustion is a bad idea. (or even just getting heat exhaustion, I have seen that too)
No one jacket is going to be the best in all situations, choose wisely.
ps. I moved to VA last year after living 2 years in Roseville (Sacramento area), CA. Even the mesh Kevlar gear is hot when riding in 100+ temps. But, it's more comfortable than my Roadcrafter suit or my fully perforated/ventilated Syed leathers.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
Please consider:

Leather is the best for abrasion resistance. But, street crashes don't often test the limits of abrasion resistance. I'm going to go out on a limb and state categorically that no one that ever reads this has or ever will crash at 246MPH while riding on the street.

For a street crash, GENERALLY, the most important thing is that the seams don't burst when you impact the ground or a car or a mailbox post or whatever. And secondly, it is important to have armor that will not just absorb an impact, but will stay in place as you are traveling from your motorcycle seat to the aforementioned impact.
I have seen all the "tests" of gear. All the ones I've seen attempt to give some assessment of abrasion resistance. I haven't seen any tests that actually compare jackets or pants on the characteristics that are important in a street riding crash.

And until I do, it will remain my opinion that Motoport mesh Kevlar gear is the best protection you can buy for street riding.
Based on what you just said, Leather would be best. It does not shift when impacted, it slips over the surface of the road, it spreads impact....

Not to mention, what is the number one enemy of Kevlar? Heat, moisture and... sweat.

I posted the 248mph story as an example of the limits... but then overkill sounds like less of a problem when we are talking safety equipment.


As for hot weather riding, I still find the Sand II, a solid but well vented jacket, to be superior on long rides to mesh.
The mesh lets TOO much air through, and I tend to bake. The targeted evaporation of the Sand II kept me cooler.
Rode to lunch, put the vest on for the return ride. Already in the high 90s to hundreds when we stopped for lunch.

After 2 hrs of riding, my cooling vest was the only one not nearly dry. The GWing rider had some moisture left, mainly because of the bubble created by the giant fairing.

The other rider had a screen like mine and a mesh jacket, his was dry after about an hour and half of riding according to him, it no longer seemed to be cooling him down. He soaked at almost every stop to keep it wet.

4.5 hrs later getting home and at 106, I was still getting cooling from the vest and neck buff. While dry over the vents, I still had moisture in the gel and sides and still comfortable.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:17 AM   #13
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I'm a big Motoport fan - have had the mesh kevlar jacket & pants for about 6 yrs now, and have found them to be very good in a wide variety of weather. Plus build quality is excellent.
If the temps are high -- over 95 or so, I think it is easier for a body to dry out with the mesh than with a suit that doesn't vent as well. Sometmes I wear my rain liner, as counterintuitive as that sounds, when it is really hot, as it slows the evaporation.
I have a Klim Latitude as well, but don't wear it nearly as often - mostly on shorter rides
Overall, have been extremely pleased with the Motoport gear, and would definitely buy it again.
Cheers
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgconner View Post
Based on what you just said, Leather would be best. It does not shift when impacted, it slips over the surface of the road, it spreads impact....

Not to mention, what is the number one enemy of Kevlar? Heat, moisture and... sweat.
I'm not sure what version of Kevlar you're talking about, but I don't believe the Kevlar blend that Motoport uses is damaged by heat (at the level of body heat), moisture or sweat. I have sure sweated in mine plenty in the 5 years or so I've had it and it shows no sign of deterioration. And I completely soak my MP Kevlar Racing gloves in water (fill them up inside and then put them on) when it's really hot out. Again, no sign of deterioration after 2 years or so on the gloves now.

Also, the MP gear is also designed to not move around - rather, to keep the armor in place. Of course, with any gear that will depend on how well it fits you. Loose leather could be worse than good polyester, for example. But, since the MP gear is custom made to your measurements, it has a better chance of keeping the armor in place than off-the-rack suits of any type.

Also, leather does not "spread impact". I don't know where you got that from. The armor IN a leather suit will spread impact. But, so will the armor in a MP suit. And there's more armor in a MP suit than any custom race leathers I've ever owned or even seen. The MP mesh Kevlar will not slide as well as leather. But, it will not blow out a seam as easily as leather, either. I have been racing in custom leathers since 1990. I have crashed on the track before and had the seam over my elbow armor blow out on impact and allow the armor to get pulled away from the suit and my arm. With the mesh Kevlar being 10 times stronger than leather (and that's when the leather is new and in good shape - not even talking about leather that is weaker from hours of being sweated in, rained on, etc.), I can hardly even imagine that same kind of thing happening in a mesh Kevlar suit in a street riding crash.

Thus, why, I conclude that there are tradeoffs either way, but I think the tradeoffs are better for mesh Kevlar for street use and leather for race track use.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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ps. and all that stuff about the protective aspects of why I think mesh Kevlar is better than leather for street use doesn't even address the other advantages of the mesh Kevlar.

It's lighter in weight than leather.
It's cooler in hot weather.
It's not hurt at all by getting wet.
It dries out in about 15 minutes of riding, if it does get wet.
It doesn't break down over time from normal use - or not NEARLY as quickly as leather, anyway.
It doesn't require any maintenance.
Stretch Kevlar panels make it fit better and more comfortably without compromising safety (compared to the typical stretch panels you see in leathers, which offer no protection at all).

Oh, and it's also less expensive than made-to-fit leathers, too.
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