Motoport Kevlar first impressions (long, many pics...)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Gringo, May 18, 2005.

  1. brewer90

    brewer90 Been here awhile

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    I have an Ultra II Cordura 1000 I scored off ebay and it's very high quality - I feel very protected when I ride in it. However it's getting too hot to wear it down here now that the humid Texas summer is coming. I finally got off the fence yesterday and called Wayne and ordered an Ultra II Kevlar Air Mesh Jacket and Pants. Delivery is 8 weeks away but I don't even know what color combo I want yet. He'll put your name in the que with a deposit and then you can call him back with your final decision later. I was out looking at mesh gear but nothing offered the protection level of the Motoport gear. I'm sure the air mesh Kevlar will be a little warmer than a JR mesh jacket but I'm willing to trade that for the extra benefits.
    #21
  2. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    Nice to see this thread calling out some long-term satisfied owners; now where were you guys when I was trying to gather information about these things?

    just kidding... I guess both the stretch kevlar and the mesh haven't been around that long to have alot of them out there. But one reason I decided to write this is that until recently was completely unaware of this stuff. If we hadn't been shopping for pants for my hard-to-fit wife at the MOA rally a few years ago and bumped into another petite woman wearing some unusual but good-fitting pants and asked her what they were, I might still be unaware of it. They make a great product, but they need to hire someone to beef up their marketing or something - I think Wayne does it all, but must be overextended judging by the dated, incomplete feel of their website and catalogs that I've seen. If I had been able to get the information I wanted, easily, I would have bought their gear much earlier, and I would've bought the more appropriate stretch kevlar and not the mesh pants for my wife - but the mesh was all we'd ever seen up to then.

    Now that I see how well this stuff works, I think it is an ideal alternative for many folks who might otherwise go with Aerostitch, but for whom full-time Goretex might not be the best compromise if you can only afford one good all-purpose suit in your closet. And by all acounts the protection may be quite superior as well.
    #22
  3. Ken Ackerson

    Ken Ackerson Adventurer

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    I've had an Ultra II cordura for 5 years and about 80,000 miles. I took off from Florida last July in 100 degrees and high humidity and rode out to Roosville, MT where we rode the Continental Divide Ride down to Mexico. During the trip I was comfortable in temps from the mid 20s to over 100.

    I high sided a TDM 850 2 1/2 years ago at 75 mph. After a 50 ft flight like Superman, I planted into the ground on my left shoulder and broke it along with cracking some ribs and popping my sternum. The ER doctor said that if I hadn't had on the suit, I wouldn't be alive. The jacket didn't have a mark on it and the imbedded dirt came off in the washing machine.

    It is a little bilky at first but then it conforms. I wear coolmax bicycle shorts underneath the pants or polypropelene long underwear if it's under 40 degrees. Coolmax shirts too. I love the suit and was much more comfortable on the CD ride last year than my buddies in their stitches.

    I will be wearing it when I ride down to Copper Canyon later this year.

    Ken
    #23
  4. raindog

    raindog dharma bum

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    That is exactly the write up i have been waiting for! Thanks for taking the time to do it :thumb
    #24
  5. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    some late additions...

    last weekend when I was taking the pics for this post, I couldn't find the fabric samples; yesterday I found 'em, all but the screaming-yellow, which should be hard NOT to find... thought some might find these interesting, particularly those of the mesh...

    [​IMG]
    the color assortment for both kevlar fabrics (bright yellow stretch is missing, but that's the 'yellow' mesh sample).

    [​IMG]
    same photo, but the stretch kevlar patches are flipped over so you can see the back - kinda terrycloth-like; it's thick stuff. Mesh is same both sides.

    [​IMG]
    close-up of the mesh colors

    [​IMG]
    red mesh showing how much light passes through

    As you can see, the mesh is quite good for ventilation; the stretch is more like a thick denim or thicker, and no light passes through it.
    #25
  6. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Does it have chest armor??? :lol3
    #26
  7. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    [​IMG]


    think this might have changed how you're feeling this morning? (black layer in middle is semi-rigid foam, outer layers are softer)

    I see Meathead trumped your biff - but it doesn't look like he rode his home.
    #27
  8. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Does it cover your sternum??? Mine looks like I had a Rolling Stones tattoo placed squarly in the middle of my chest~ Yeah- it couldn't have hurt to have some padding there. It made a diff for my shoulder and elbow~

    Meat is a very very lucky guy- I'm officially blaming Mushman. It's all his fault. How he's able to take us out from behind remains a mystery--- but he's always lingering around crash sites... you do the math!
    #28
  9. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    :lol3

    slight hijack--

    Hey, have you had a look at the Icon armor jacket? It has a bit of sternum protection. I'm considering buying one. Since you've got the big bruise there, I was wondering if you thought it would've helped. :ear

    linky
    #29
  10. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    #30
  11. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    ya know how the sternum is kinda on a pivot at the top??? I think mine flipped outa my jacket and banged along the gravel for a ways... nothing woulda kept that sucker in one piece. And who knew it was full of nerve endings!??? Owee, major fucking oweee.
    #31
  12. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    Gringo, thank you for writing up this review. Very nice, and it answers a lot of questions I have about the gear.
    #32
  13. mogwai

    mogwai humorless prick

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    Great review Gringo :thumb

    I recently ordered an Ultra Cordura jacket to replace my Darien. The versatility of venilation, insulation and armor that you guys have been admiring sold me on this jacket.


    I need to see their Ultra pants before ordering a pair; I had an older version of their overpants and was not thrilled by the inside zippers. They developed a bitching seam leak and the zipper stormflaps were always, well, a bother.
    #33
  14. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    Well it hasn't gotten above 90 here and won't for awhile yet, we're still surrounded by 58 degree ocean. But on Monday it did get up to a very humid 86 and I got a chance to see how the kevlar mesh would feel in such conditions.

    It's quite nice. They advertise on their site someplace that it's like wearing denim, and that's about right - it ain't mesh, but there is a good flow of air and it never felt too warm anyplace. Over a T-shirt and shorts it was just about ideal at 86 when moving; I stopped to do a few errands wearing it and got a little warm, but hopped back on the bike and could feel my knees getting a breeze and blowing the sweat away very quickly, and after moving for about 5 minutes I ceased to think about comfort, nothing was calling attention to itself and I could concentrate on enjoying the ride. And I haven't even opened the vents yet!

    Monday night I rode home wearing the motoport; but then I had to go to the city with thunderstorms threatening so I put the old 1-pc aerostitch on for waterproofness, and also because I know it's easy to lock up in my narrow left-side system case, which I haven't yet attempted with the motoport, much less with liners... 2 minutes into my ride in the stitch I was thinking 'Gawd, how did I live with this thing for so long?' Even at 55 mph I was so much hotter in that stitch - my knees were sticking to the inside of the (unvented) pads, my ass was hot, my forearms were hot and my elbows sticky - only my torso and shoulders, with all vents open and the neck zipped partway down, were comfortable. And the cordura is so constricting to wear after having gotten used to stretch kevlar's give when I move! It convinced me I made the right move, switching to the kevlar suit with separate liners. I carry them around when it might rain, but have yet to use them.

    as always, YMMV. But I'm very happy with my purchase. It's kind of funny that folks at work now give me crap when I walk in wearing the motoport on hot days, having gotten used to seeing me in the 'stitch for years - I guess the motoport looks much hotter. If they only knew...
    #34
  15. urbancowboy

    urbancowboy Vicious Cycler

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    this review was great. can anyone compare the motoport kevlar vs their cordura (1000 weight) and/or cordura light(620 weight)?
    i'm looking at the ultra 2 pants and want to make sure i choose the right material.
    how water resistant is this stuff WITHOUT the gore-tex liner?
    thanks.
    #35
  16. LarryGS

    LarryGS Been here awhile

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    I have both Kevlar pants and jacket and Cordura jacket. I've found the kevlar is much more breathable and airy than the cordura. While I haven't been in a downpour in either, I have been in the rain. I think that in the high temps the Kevlar has been fine. Mine are treated with Scotchguard and seem to resist well, but the rain has been welcomed - to cool things off. I balked at getting the liners - price and didn't want to put them in once it's started raining. In the cooler temps the liners have been nice. Haven't tried/had to put them in during rain. I think any waterproof liner would do the trick. Cordura shed water well, with Scotch. treatment.
    I've found that, lately, I just don't want to ride in the 90 + temps here in Colorado with ATGATT and haven't compromised on gear, just haven't ridden in the heat of the day.
    #36
  17. mr7q

    mr7q Stupid and Contagious

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    The Kevlar mesh without the GoreTex liner inside is pretty lousy at repelling water, at least in its stock form. However, in warm weather, the jacket is not bad. Seemingly water can go where air can go...:doh
    #37
  18. charleshmosesii

    charleshmosesii No skills no worries

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    I would go with the kevlar mesh, unless I lived in Alaska and didn't travel south perhaps. You can always layer up underneath (windblock fleece, thermal underwear, heated fleece, etc.) if it gets cold.

    As far as rain:
    • Probably all textile riding clothes absorb and/or pass through water. Don't bother trying to get rain protection from the suit. You need to get it from a rain suit that slips inside (rain liner) or outside (any rainsuit or jacket/pants).
    • I no longer use the inside rain liners, I just use slip-over rain jacket/pants. Rain liners are too much of a pain to install on the road when it just started pouring on me, and, more importantly, while the rain liner may keep your body dry underneath, the riding suit on the outside typically or eventually absorbs some water and stays wet, and heavier, for maybe up to 2 days (in my experience).
    #38
  19. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    Well, I'm in southern Massachusetts, and I'm glad I got the stretch, not the mesh. This suit is always slightly cooler than the roadcrafter was for given conditions, judging from what I choose to wear underneath it. Although I have not yet needed the gore-tex liners for wind protection, I know that day is going to come, and for my daily riding, that'll be the one downside to this suit, climbing into and out of those extra layers and having to haul them around, hang them in the office, etc. The other night after our hottest day so far (94F), the weatherman was saying that Boston had already had the first 3 of its average of five 90F+ days in July, with an average of 3 more to come in August. That was the first time I've had all the vents open with just a T-shirt underneath, and it was great - even a little chilly at speed. I'm glad I invested for comfort the other 356 days of the year.

    I do worry about the 'soak factor' for an internal rain liner - worried before I bought it, and wonder how it'll do when I do finally get it wet. When I wash the suit for the first time, I'm gonna run it through a second cycle and throw in a bottle of Nik-Wax wash-in waterproofing, in the hopes that'll coat the fibers and reduce water retention. But I want to get it wet once without the treatment, to compare... Heading off to VT for the weekend, possible T-storms Sunday on the return trip, so maybe that'll be my chance.
    #39
  20. Kaumajet

    Kaumajet H.I.D. Positive

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    Nice report Senor Gringo. Thanks for taking the time :thumb
    #40