Mesh Gear - Be Carefull

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by clarkebd, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. clarkebd

    clarkebd Custom Title Goes Here

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    I had a get off with a mesh jacket this week. Doing about 50-55mph.
    All things considered it's OK, but if I had my leather jacket on, or a non-mesh jacket, I would not have had arm issues. Wore right thru the jacket and the 'soft armor' underneat.

    Melted into my skin and they had to scrub it off (skin to get the jacket bits out).

    I posted the story in Face Plant along with pics if interested.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=334909

    I know I'll stick to my leather jacket with CE armor now, no matter the temp. Or at least CE Armor (I haven't found a mesh jacket that offers CE Armor though?)

    take care....
    #1
  2. Finny

    Finny Stromtrooper

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    And what make was the jacket? FirstGear perchance? :cry

    I don't remember exacally what armour mine has but it's some type of foam.


    - Martin
    #2
  3. clarkebd

    clarkebd Custom Title Goes Here

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    Yes it was a First Gear jacket.

    The foam I would not get again. Not worth the chance that it's called upon and burns thru like mine did.

    Granted, it's 1000x better than a T-Shirt, but there are much better choices out there.
    #3
  4. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    I also wear a FirstGear mesh jacket/pants combo when the weather gets toasty. Got the upgrade armor for both.

    My concern is that the arms of jacket do not fit snugly enough to keep armor in place when needed. I wear jeans under the pants, and generally a long-sleaved tee under jacket. Now I'm also bothered by seeing how your jacket rode up during your crash, though I always have mine zipped to pants.

    I have a FirstGear textile, non-mesh jacket as well, which I use frequently, and have a bit more faith in it.

    As the owner of a 2-pc. 'stich (used mostly while touring) and a FirstGear 1-pc. leather suit (day rides in the canyons) I think I have a good range of protective gear. I also consider the mesh stuff as disposable (a consumable, if you will) and would more than likely replace with similar.

    I'm a ATGATT rider now, but learned the hard way. Glad you survived your incident and are able to ride again, hopefully better protected, and certainly more knowledgeable, as are we for your sharing of the experience.
    #4
  5. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    olympia uses ce armour in their mesh jackets etc, might be an option. Glad you are ok. :thumb
    #5
  6. JoshDR

    JoshDR Been here awhile

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    the revit mesh jackets i'm looking at have CE armor.

    not in the back though :cry
    #6
  7. ylexot

    ylexot Super Genius

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    The Joe Rocket Phoenix 4.0 jacket has CE armor.
    #7
  8. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    There's two basic issues here:

    1. Polyester mesh. Polyester mesh is not very abrasion resistant. It *melts*. You should only wear polyester mesh over a heavy base layer. The vendors don't tell you that.

    2. Lousy armor. First Gear is notorious for that :-(.

    Solutions:

    a) Perforated leather. This is a good solution for warm weather sport bike riding. Unfortunately it is not a good solution for adventure touring, because it doesn't breathe well at low speeds (such as offroad) and leather must fit very closely in order to properly protect you. Loose or bunched leather tears easily. This means you can't really layer up underneath it when you finish crossing the Central Valley and are about to cross a high pass in the Sierras where it's 50F.

    b) nylon mesh. A bit more abrasion resistant than polyester mesh. Should be combined with heavy 1000denier solid weave cordura nylon at common wear points. I found two vendors using nylon mesh. It will still melt (albeit it takes more to melt it), so it should still only be worn over a base layer.

    c) kevlar mesh. Only one vendor is using this. It doesn't melt, but kevlar is not known for being particularly abrasion resistant -- it tends to fray easily. That is why kevlar skid panels for kayaks and such are saturated with epoxy as part of applying them, the epoxy provides the structure needed to keep the kevlar from fraying, while the kevlar provides the tensile strength and impact resistance to hold the epoxy together when the kayak hits a rock. Supposedly this vendor's mesh is in a yarn that resists fraying. I'm not sure whether I believe all of their claims, but the lack of melting certainly is a good thing.

    In any event -- I wouldn't say don't wear polyester mesh gear. If it's a choice between dying of heat stroke and getting road rash, I'll take road rash. But do wear an underlayer, such as a heavy long-sleeve cotton t-shirt and heavy denim jeans, and choose mesh gear that has abrasion-resistant E-spec armor and heavy cordura nylon reinforcements at common wear points such as the shoulders and elbow and knee and buttocks. And if you can afford the high end gear that has nylon or kevlar mesh, definitely look at them. The polyester mesh stuff is better than nothing, but not by much :puke1.
    #8
  9. xrmattaz

    xrmattaz sputum is my bread/butter

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    Does the Olympia Stealth suit address ALL of these issues?
    #9
  10. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    Somewhat. Olympia is one of the two vendors who use a nylon mesh rather than a polyester mesh and who put a solid nylon at common wear points. Unfortunately, they are only using a 500 denier cordura nylon on the wear points, which is better than nothing but not as protective as a heavier nylon. They appear to have made the decision that a heavier nylon, aside from being more expensive, would be too stiff and would impede the breathability of the garment too much.

    In short, I'd take it over a Joe Rocket or First Gear any time of the day. But I still wouldn't wear it without wearing a heavy-duty long-sleeve shirt and pant underneath to help protect against melting polyester, because if you look closely, you'll see that the mesh liner is polyester. Oops!

    There is a second vendor also using nylon mesh rather than polyester mesh. They use perforated leather rather than nylon to reinforce the wear points. Bonus points to anybody who figures out who I'm talking about :1drink. Unfortunately they provide tight fitting race-styled garments that aren't particularly well suited for adventure touring use, unlike Olympia, which has a wide variety of garments suited for adventure touring.
    #10
  11. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    The Cortech GX-Air uses leather in the shoulders, arms, and spine, plus hard shell armour! Best protection I've seen in a mesh jacket.
    #11
  12. catdailey

    catdailey MotoCat 06 F650GS

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    I'm going to guess Vanson because the Cortech GX Air leather patches are not perforated leather.
    #12
  13. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv € Fl Keys Fishing Guide €

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    Thanks for posting your unfortunate mishap, and I hope you heal well soon. I have always suspected that that First Gear mesh gear was so-so at best. I did the armor upgrades and I still feel that it is not as good as it should/could be. My gear is 5 years old and, I believe, past its prime. I'll ride in my RP2 form now on....
    #13
  14. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    Not to mention that I haven't been able to ascertain what kind of mesh the Cortech is made out of. I'm assuming it's polyester, since polyester mesh is cheaper and folks who don't say otherwise usually are polyester. Vanson, on the other hand, is the other vendor I've come across who explicitly say they use nylon mesh. Looks like good gear, just not suited for adventure touring, if I had a crotch rocket that I rode in the heat I'd definitely look at it tho.

    Edit: Here is a piece of a review of the Cortech that seems to verify that it's polyester mesh: "[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Had this on when I lowsided at 40mph. Fell on my left arm and slid a bit on the mesh, non-armored part of the sleeve. The road wore right through the mesh and the waterproof lining, but not through the thermal layer. If I hadn't had on all three layers, though, my arm would be hamburger. I might buy this jacket again, but I want to do some more research first."


    [/FONT]
    #14
  15. Eugene

    Eugene -

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    I agree. It's also what made me go with an Olympia Patton jacket for warmer weather. It has mesh but not very much. It has probably half the amount of mesh that the Bushwacker does. I don't really like mesh jackets but I do really like the Patton.
    #15
  16. Racegun

    Racegun Single Track Mind!

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    First and Foremost glad you are ok clarkbd!

    Yes to the ABS! and I have been ubber happy with my motoport kevlar mesh. There have been posts on the net maybe here but for sure on other forums...and the MOTOPORT does as advertised!!! Plus it lasts a realy long time. I went down w/ my stitch ( low side at 25 mph) and it melted just like Wayne says in his motoport info. I have a vanson leather one piece. It is awesome for track days when its cool. But i wore it in rain a few times. AND I CAN tell you for sure that the cellular structure of the cow hide has been comprimised and the suit is NOT as strong...JUST LIKE what Wayne ( at motoport) says.

    BOTTOM line... real good ( expensive) helmet & real good riding gear ( expensive) unless you like head trauma or hamburger/ plastic skin....for me is is a no brainer!


    again SUPER GLAD you are ok clarkebd!
    #16
  17. Lochlyn_Deckard

    Lochlyn_Deckard Dex Moto(naut)

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    On their mesh gear yes (well except for the new GT Air "hybrid"). But on their other offerings it's 2000 denier on the wear points.

    There have been a number of posters, myself included, who are hoping that they will decide to put 2000 on all their mesh elbows/forearms and shoulders. It is stiff and it might restrict some breathability, but these jackets flow a lot of air already. I'd take a slight price increase and more safety for a little less comfort.
    #17
  18. josjor

    josjor Long timer

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    Glad you made it through and are able to tell the tale with relatively little damage. Just a few comments that I can't keep myself from making.

    First off, the armour in the FG stuff is easy to replace and readily available from vendors like newenough.com. It's a jacket that is readily available for not much more than a bill or two so it's obviously not going to have the best armour. Given that no bones were broken I'd say that it did a pretty good job of shock protection, which is about all that FG says that this armour is good for.

    Secondly, I agree that better armour would most likely have prevented some of the injuries, but I think you fared pretty damned well for getting off a bike at hiway speeds. Hell, I've hurt worse falling down my concrete porch at 5mph. I'm sorry you got the injuries you did get, but damn, you look pretty good for hitting asphalt at 50mph.

    Finally, about three years ago when I first started looking into buying some mesh gear I heard rumors about it melting in a slide. I posted a request for FIRST HAND (not "I heard from a guy that saw a guy who knew someone......" ) accounts of this actually happening on about 6 online forums. I added requests for about a month in order to keep the topic towards the top of the list. I got ZERO response. Your's is the first "eyewitness" account I've seen in 4 years of surfing with the online motorcyclists community. Not sure what that means. I'll let people draw their own conclusions while I draw mine.

    Glad you're here to tell the tale and hope you get back in the saddle soon.
    #18
  19. orgthtogod

    orgthtogod Been here awhile

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    Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar for me... The only way to fly!

    Just sayin :D

    Sorry to here about your mishap, gald you're ok though! I had a Kawasaki Polyester mesh jacket that I pretty much won't use anymore, especially after reading this.

    I've had the Motoport Air Mesh over pants for about a year and half and just got the waist cut jacket from them as well. VERY STURDY stuff! I don't think you'd have had any trouble in this outfit.

    Has ANYONE had any Motoport stuff melt or wear through? I don't think so, but would be curious to know???
    #19
  20. carockwell

    carockwell Been here awhile

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    I second Orthogod, I have fallen hard on Motoport Kevlar mesh, and there was zero damage to me or the suit. I thought this issue with melting suits was hammered to death years ago, the Kevlar works great, otherwise wear a natural fabric under the suit.
    #20