Kevlar & Kevlar Mesh riding gear

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by teizms, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. teizms

    teizms Long timer

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    Hello folks,
    We are "considering" adding Kevlar and Kevlar Mesh suits to our lineup in addition to the Power Shell and Lombard series. Yes these would be the same materials used by Motoport.

    My question is, how many of you are looking for Kevlar/Kevlar Mesh gear and what do you want to spend on it. Before we invest in the idea, i want to get an idea of what you folks(the ones who are looking Kevlar based gear) have on your mind.

    Please do share - All kinds of comments are welcome
    Thanks
    #1
  2. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    Functionality, visibility, good stitching, crashworthiness.

    :clap
    #2
  3. BrainBender

    BrainBender Bounty Hunter

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    Better looking than Motoport (shouldn't be hard) and half the price! :evil
    #3
  4. teizms

    teizms Long timer

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    those two are pretty much a given. (not half but quite a bit less)
    #4
  5. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    It's more than the fabric though. Their stuff is built to be bullet proof. Is yours?

    If you can match the build quality, you'll have a winner. By far the biggest complaint on Motoport gear is aesthetic. Thing is though there isn't much out there that will beat it on tumble-ability. Anecdotally, it's the best. And, the ugliest. Bulkiest. Clunkiest.

    Their quad armor rocks. The Sas-Tec you're using now might be kick ass in a lab, but put it in a suit in the cold and it's a rock. I don't want to land on that. How about upgrading to T-Pro for real protection? If you're upgrading from your generic "CE" whatever that means, how about going whole hog and really upgrading?
    #5
  6. TheWorstKind

    TheWorstKind In the Wind

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    I am looking for kevlar/mesh kevlar.

    What do I want to spend on it? Well, as little as possible. However, I understand real quality costs real money. I spent just shy of $1300 for my current motoport jacket and pants, and another $120, or so, on the gloves. The benefit exceeds the cost, but I am not opposed to increase my margin; $1000 for a good outfit that will last for years is a no-brainer for me.

    I expect impact protection for most of my body, superior seam strength, tear resistance, and abrasion resistance. Furthermore, the gear must provide year round flexibility. It must be extremely durable for daily abuse, washable, and low maintenance. It needs to be able to be serviced by you in a reasonable time frame. Easy on and off, particularly for the pants (some of us are old, and we played hard in the past). It should have SOLAS level reflective material. I don't care a whole bunch about how it looks - I understand function over form. At this level of spending, I'm not so sure that "pretty" is important. "Rugged" is a look, too, and one that is appreciated. It must work, all the time.

    My motoport gear is built to last. Though I spent a lot of money on it, it will last me for a long, long time, say, oh, about 15-20 years. It isn't stylish, so I don't run the risk of ever going out of style:eek1.
    #6
  7. syaufu

    syaufu Been here awhile

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    I have a motorport suit and just returned from a London to Beijing trip and the suit worked well..would certainly buy another kevlar or kevlar mesh suit as it is very functional for a trip with many different temps and conditions..pricing is always important but the protection used tumps all..so use good protection ..design it well and sell it cheap and it will sell ..bj
    #7
  8. teizms

    teizms Long timer

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    JIM - not sure how to word this but - i mostly try to avoid marketing in a manner like "hey this is absolutely the best stuff and most bullet proof stuff out there". As you said, most of the feedback is anecdotal. Wherever we have some proper test results we will provide them and where we don't we will simply say so.

    As far as Sas-Tec goes, i have personally (again anecdotal) not experienced the "hardening" of the armor. Apart from the that, the protectors "feel" very protective and are extremely comfortable. I have the choice of using armor from several different vendors but chose Sas-Tec for these reasons. Yes they do provide test data for those who need - for those who don't can always look up crash reports for gear using this sort of armor.

    I dont mind using T-PRO if folks are willing to pay for it. However, we are a small company and cant risk investing in T-PRO armor and then have people backing off and saying hey its too expensive. If enough people are willing to commit ahead of time then we dont mind using T-PRO ....or any other material/part.


    the worst kind: All good points. i disagree with just one point though. when i spend a large sum of money (large for me at least) i kind of want everything too - including proper design (good looks?).


    Generally, i kind of knew it would start tilting towards a motoport comparison but thats not really what the point of this thread is. I want to get an idea of what amount people want to spend on this sort of gear. What can they live with and what they can live without - whats necessary and where can you compromise Were you considering this sort of gear and then dropped the idea ? Why - because of price? because of looks?
    #8
  9. subybaja

    subybaja Long timer

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    I won't repeat what TheWorstKind said...he pretty well covered why I wear Motoport.

    I will add that I read your "Women's One-Piece" with great interest. I even showed it to my wife, and if you knew how sick of ADV she is... :lol3 The one thing I thought it was really missing was kevlar construction, which would sway me to buy Motoport for her. Kevlar vs nylon is a deal-breaker for me, and probably many others. FYI.
    #9
  10. markdrums

    markdrums Better late than...?

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    My 2 cents may be slightly different.

    I already think you guys are on the right track with the Cordura and SuperFabric materials you're using in the Navigator and PowerShell suits. From all I've heard that's good stuff.

    There are way too many threads on ADV with debates on Motoport's kevlar vs other fabrics and whether their armor (Tri, Quad, whatever) is really as great as they say it is. One thing I think most will agree on is that Motoport appears to have the best armor coverage. I've considered getting an Aerostich or one of your one-piece suits for commuting, but what keeps me using Motoport besides the fabrics is the amount and placement of the padding.

    So, for me, I don't have to have kevlar if I can get Cordura, Super Fabric and all that for abrasion resistance. Just make sure I'm padded up like a bubble-wrapped egg and I'm good to go.
    #10
  11. markdrums

    markdrums Better late than...?

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    One more thing I forgot: it's gotta have a super-obnoxious retina-searing hi-viz color option. :wink:
    #11
  12. SantaRosa

    SantaRosa I'd rather be lost

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    +1 Armor +1 on the Hi-Viz. Durable and long lasting. Price would seem to be relative depending on product quality. If your going to make high end gear then don't cut corners.
    #12
  13. mikeprince

    mikeprince Adventurer

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    I have the Motoport air mesh Kevlar pants and really like them. I bought them for the Kevlar, great air flow, custom fit, and great build quality.

    What's kept me back from buying their jacket is cost (which I'd get over at some point) and the very superficial distaste for their design.

    My next jacket will be hi-viz.

    If you could match Motoports quality, with a design that looks nice, and hit $300-$350 for a jacket you'd have a winner.
    #13
  14. MZ5

    MZ5 Been here awhile

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    I've considered Motoport gear. I have always stopped short of buying it. I am distinctly unconvinced by their marketing approach that their gear is particularly better than other items that cost vastly less money. At anything remotely approaching their prices, I want to see CE test results. Specifically, abrasion test results AND burst/tear strength of both bulk material AND seams. Note that I say I want to see test reults. I don't necessarily care about the certification itself, but the full-spectrum testing I want to see. Styling (to include available colors) has also been an obstacle for me to buy from Motoport.

    Presently, I wear a heavy leather jacket with lots of armor. Sas-Tec is some of what's in the jacket. For lower-body protection, I have Forcefield shorts and pants that I wear under my m/c pants.

    I suspect I'm a little different market than most on this board, though, as I'm mainly a commuter in metro Phoenix. So, I need clothing that'll flow some air, but not too much. I need protection _from_ the wind/heat more than anything else in the airflow area. LD Comfort will take care of the heat issue if I have controllable airflow.
    #14
  15. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

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    I am interested in anything that will protect me better. I also think you are on the right track with your products although I have not yet sampled them. If I needed gear today I would strongly consider the power shell. If the price was not considerably more I would like Kevlar but I think it already looks like a great suit. I also like the reports of customer service where you send a suit out to try on.
    #15
  16. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

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    It will, IMO, be very difficult to do better than Motoport. Yes, their gear is not inexpensive (that is a relative statement for anyone familiar with Rukka or Halvarsson (two fine mfgrs.), or any race quality gear).

    Highly protective gear costs serious cash, big surprise. If you want to ride in race quality leathers (with armor of course), I hope you like doing the maintenance quality leather requires.

    I would be surprised if a competitive product can be produced with the same custom sizing, fit, and options that Motoport currently offers at a better price. They are exacting in their standards and will produce precisely what a customer requests. My order experience reminded me of my experience with a Brooks Brothers suit.

    The issue of quality versus cost in motorcycle safety gear has bemused me since my introduction to the subject a few years ago. I remain amused why any rider would consider anything other than the ultimate protection available; skin, bones, joints -- are difficult (and expensive) to fix. The pain component can be for a lifetime.

    I'm highly sensitive to injuries/hospitals/bodily damage, etc. - I got banged up a bit in Viet Nam with the Marine Corps. I spent almost 6 months in the hospital in Guam, about half of that in traction and a body cast. The medics originally said I'd be crippled for life, nine fractures in my spine, no left leg function and my ankle was a disaster. I beat the odds.

    The discussion of protective gear is a subject I spent quite a bit of time researching. To each their own: for my money and safety - I own a custom Motoport Airmesh gear set. I believe it is the best protection my money can buy. I think it is ill advised to wear anything other than race quality gear on any ride, whether around the corner or cross country. Hospital stays are a real downer, trust me on that opinion. JMO
    #16
  17. Texcollect

    Texcollect Adventurer wannabe

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    Having seen what Teiz have accomplished with price vs quality in their existing products I am looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish with Kevlar clothing.

    Keep up the good work
    #17
  18. subybaja

    subybaja Long timer

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    This. I want the best, not the best for the price. No war stories for me, but a propane explosion...

    One amberlamps ride to the hospital and an overnight admission will be more expensive than the highest-end gear you can buy. Nevermind weeks in ICU.

    The "cheap head/cheap helmet" joke doesn't stop at the neck.

    I'm also looking forward to what Teiz can do with superior materials!
    #18
  19. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I'd be very interested. I have a motoport suit, love the material, not a fan at all of motoport. Their cut, sizing, fit, design etc. is all rather terrible. Put some thought into it so it fits well (on the bike, in a riding position -- this is the bit motoport can't seem to comprehend) and isn't bulkier than it needs to be. Their armor also sucks, I much prefer a visoelastic type armor like aerostich uses (and many other).

    Just for starters, legs and arms need to be pre-curved so that they fit best when a rider is in a riding position. On a kevlar suit (like my dual layer GPII), the material itself can be quite thick, this is fine in most places, but a real problem behind the knees and elbows, especially combined with the insufficient pre-curve of the suit. The material bunches up badly, making it uncomfortable to ride a sport bike while wearing the suit. There's no reason the back of the knee needs exactly the same amount and thickness of material as the front of the knee - the back of the knee should have fairly thin, stretchy stuff. The front thick, super-durable stuff. Same with the wrists, a wrist closure should allow the jacket to close snugly around a wrist without much extra bulk so full gauntlet gloves can be worn (motoport is too bulky, for that matter so are the leather jackets I got from you are a bit bulky in the wrist and hard to wear with gloves too).

    How much I would spend really depends on the details. A suit with motoport-style materials and something approaching a good, clean, good-fitting design, quality zippers, etc would certainly catch my attention. I'd want a 2-piece suit with a 360 degree zipper. I'd would guess I'd pay something like $700-800, though less would always be great!

    Motoport's armor is well placed, but thin and hard (their tri-armor, haven't seen their newer stuff) and won't absorb much of an impact. Armor needs to be thick to cushion a blow just like you need suspension travel to soak up a big hit.

    FWIW your sport-cut leather-mesh jacket (I forgot the name) in medium fits me perfectly:deal
    #19
  20. worker

    worker Adventurer

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    Hi
    a) hi viz
    b) water proof on the outside
    c) no armor -- but pockets for it with adjustible straps
    d) 3 piece design (if possible) where pieces are 'zipped' and strapped together -- to allow for functional '4 season' modular setup
    e) would spend 400 usd for jacket and pants -- no armor option.
    f) I do not know if possible, but some sort of antiseptic/antibacterial /refilable lining
    #20