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

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

  1. MotoSteve

    MotoSteve Functioning Motard

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    Thank you for sharing your crash experience. I own a suit in stretch Kevlar, so it's nice to here real world crash data.

    If anyone else has crashed in the stretch Kevlar, I'd like to know how their suit held up.

  2. IC3D

    IC3D n00b

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    Chicago Il.
    My wife and joined I joined the Kevlar Club today !!!! We ordered a couple of Marathon Mesh jackets. Great forum full of info......
  3. killbilly

    killbilly Adventurer

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    I placed my order a couple of weeks ago. Relatively painless process.

    The Motoport website really does need a serious overhaul - it's hard to use and find everything you want. I hope they get to that sometime soon.

    I decided on a Riva waist-cut mesh jacket, and the ultra-II mesh overpants. I went back and forth on this right up until the day of production. Wayne was really, really patient with me and we finally decided that the warm, muggy (Washington DC is built on a swamp, y'know) weather here on my half-faired bike (Triumph Tiger 1050) would be best fought with mesh. I was damn close to buying the Hong Kong police version, but opted for something slightly (and I mean slightly) less eye-burning.

    Placing the order, I talked on the phone to a guy named Rob. I started asking about minor customization and the answer was, invariably, "yeah, we can do that, no problem." Deleted the logos, added sleeve pockets, etc.

    I had to email a number of questions about taking measurements (there are some ambiguities on their fit guides, argh!) but got prompt responses. I mailed them a pair of jeans and some tracings of my hands for the gloves. Turned out that I didn't need to send the pants - they mainly need that for street jeans.

    Wayne emailed me back asking for additional measurements to be taken. Based on what I'd sent him (I'm a tall skinny guy) he wanted to get measurements on my shoulders and on the front and back rise of the pants - they were about to send my stuff into production, and he was afraid the pants might not fit right without that information factored in. Pant rise measurements are on the women's fit guide. However, since I'd sent the jeans, not only did I give him the measurements, but told him to compare against those jeans since they fit me better than anything. Turns out they're necessary after all!

    He also wanted bicep, forearm and wrist measurements.

    Looks like they're going to ship about three weeks ahead of when they initially said they would, which is fantastic. I'm really looking forward to it.
  4. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    I bought a set of Kevlar Mesh pants off the FM and received them last week. I was expecting some adjustment to them, but they turned out to be the best fitting motorcycle pants I've ever owned and they're lighter than my BMW Summer 2 and 3 pants. I also bought a Kevlar Ultra jacket from another inmate and just shipped it off to Motoport to have it converted into a Marathon jacket. Wayne said it would only take 3-5 for alterations and ship it back.
  5. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Consider mesh arms while its there.

    I sent my marathon stretch jacket in for some mods last winter, since it was so damn hot to wear. Mesh arms, and had the main flap removed since I hate velcro so much. That helped eliminate all the velcro, but also made for a much cleaner, less clunky look.

    My jacket was second hand and the neck was HUGE. Like Frankenstein huge on me (sorry Keith), but now without the flap and the extra fabric around the neck I get a ton of air down my neck. That, with the sleeves, makes for a pretty airy jacket that isn't mesh enough to dehydrate, but just enough. Nice combo:clap
  6. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    The jacket I sent in was the all mesh ultra
  7. killbilly

    killbilly Adventurer

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    This is a very initial review, because I won't be able to actually ride in it until tomorrow - so this is based on initial impressions:

    I ordered the Riva Air Mesh waist-cut jacket and Ultra 2 Mesh Kevlar pants. I had them add a sleeve pocket to the jacket and some of the reflective stripes from the Hong Kong model jacket.

    I did upgrade to the quad armor, and I also added the hip and sacrum armor. I don't think I'll ever regret buying them. I also got a set of the gloves.

    Not long after I sent in my measurements, I got an email from Wayne asking for additional measurements, because apparently my proportions were non-standard and he wanted to double check the fit.

    The stuff is heavy, stiff and will take some time to break in. Despite that, I am amazed at how well made-to-order fits. Everything feels exactly as it should - I feel like I'm totally wrapped up in a protective, flexible shell. Just for fun, I stood in front of my bedroom fan and could feel the wind passing through. Very nice for these godawful tropical-heat days we're having. Might have to lower the Madstad, though, to get a little more wind through.

    The build quality is nothing short of amazing. I will post pictures as soon as I can, but so far I am quite pleased with it.
  8. danlicata

    danlicata n00b

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    Glad to hear you got it. I've been using mine every since I got it at the end of May, have a little over 1,000 miles on it now. I live in Baltimore, have a full fairing and a Madstad as well, so I understand the heat. I

    have not been disappointed with the air mesh. I just got home today with 90*+ temps and very very humid in stop and go traffic on the highway. I had on a t-shirt and UA shorts and while hot (no way to change that) I was more than comfortable. I usually wear UA shorts and shirts and it's just how I imagine riding naked would be. I'm leaving Friday for a trip to Buffalo, NY and am anxious to see how it feels on the long ride.
  9. Geoffster

    Geoffster Fool - Born This Way

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    Nice to hear so many good reports!

    One topic that isn't mentioned enough is how easy it is to care for Motoport gear.

    On Monday, I returned from a five-day coastal ride and my bike and gear was sticky, especially my pant legs. But not anymore ...

    I just zipped-up and snapped-up the jacket and pants and took them to the local lavenderia. I used the big front loader--$4.75--with very little detergent and 18 minutes of Telemundo later, the cold/delicate cycle was done. I hung up the slightly damp gear at home, got a good night's rest, and I'm ready to ride again. THERE'S NO NEED TO REMOVE THE ARMOR.

    I wish the bike had been that easy to clean!!
  10. killbilly

    killbilly Adventurer

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    I had to email Wayne and ask him to ship back my jeans. His reply, "Your jeans fit so well I'm keeping them.

    Just kidding. We'll send them back asap."

    Caring for the gear is pretty much a no-brainer. The quad-armor does have an increased break-in time, and it doesn't flow quite as much air, but it's still good. I ordered some Fabric 303 protector stuff tonight, and I'll probably spray it pretty regularly if for no other reason than to keep the hi-viz bits as bright as possible. There's quite a few of them:

    Wife: "You look like a firefighter on a motorcycle!"
    Me: "Perfect! People will SEE that!"
    Wife: "You want to look like a firefighter?"
    Me: "Don't care! As long as they see me, they can talk all about how much I look like a firefighter or idiot while they DON'T HIT ME!"
    Wife: "Aha. I understand...."

    Seriously. The way I had this thing made, Ray Charles could find me in the dark from the grave.

    @danlicata - good to hear a local voice. I've been worried about how well it will work with the lousy humidity here lately, and it seems like it will be okay. Sitting on the BW parkway at 5-10mph sucks at all times, so at least you feel marginally comfy, eh?

    Doing a long ride tomorrow. I'll let you know how it breaks in and works out.
  11. Johnny Lawless

    Johnny Lawless Adventurer

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    East San Francisco Bay Area
    I was riding around in my stretch-kevlar Marathon jacket and Ultra-II pants, in 90F/30C, and while I was hot (no getting around that with quad-armor), it wasn't *uncomfortable.* I LOVE this stuff.
  12. killbilly

    killbilly Adventurer

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    So I did about 4.5 hours in the saddle yesterday around the tidewater area of VA, and some of the eastern MD country and on back into DC. It was 90F yesterday with around 70-80% humidity. About as brutal as it can get out here. I was wearing the full Motoport kit - Riva Air Mesh jacket and Ultra II mesh pants. Alpinestars Ridge boots and Shoei GT-Air lid.
    [​IMG]


    I was cooler and more comfortable in the Motoport gear than anything I have ever ridden in, and that included the few times I've ridden in t-shirts and jeans.

    [​IMG]

    When I would stop for fuel or water, I'd start sweating of, course. But getting back on the bike, the wind would pass through the mesh and it was like standing in front of an AC vent. If my legs got warm (and they did) I just spread my knees away from the tank a bit and got cooling on the thighs and even into the crotch of the pants, which was nice, since they're sewn with stretch kevlar there.

    The sacrum armor actually made my seat more comfortable - that was a pleasant surprise.

    [​IMG]

    Complaints - there really aren't any major ones, and some of them will go away with time:

    • Stiffness - it's a known thing. The mesh is stiffer than the stretch and takes longer to break in. Couple that with quad armor and I suspect it will be around 30 hours or so in the saddle to really get broken in properly. I might try the dryer trick, but I don't have a front loader and don't relish the idea of going to the local 'mat to do it.

    • Pocket Capacity - I would like to have slightly greater capacity in the pockets than I have. Like I said, it's a minor thing. Very minor. Almost not worth mentioning, but with the cash outlay for this gear, I'm going to be picky.
    Gloves - okay, here's where I have a few gripes:

    1. I sent them a tracing of my hand as requested, but it DEFINITELY feels like I need the area from the fleshy part of the palm to the end of the thumb to be longer. It was constrictive and by the end of the day, uncomfortable. They may stretch some, though, so I'll reserve judgment there.
    2. The lining in the gloves clings to your fingers if they're the slightest bit sweaty. When you take them off, it is VERY difficult to get them back on, because the lining bunches up, and you have to very gingerly work your fingers into the liner to get it to extend to the end of the glove. Once you get it on, it's snug. You can alleviate some of this problem by gently pinching the ends of your fingers with the other hand to "grab" the liner off the one you're removing, and kinda hold it in place. Makes it a little easier to re-don the glove.
    3. Last issue is that there are double-seams on the finger tips arranged above and below the finger, but on the thumb, it's a single seam which presses into the end of the thumb. I realize this is common to manufacture this way, but as snug as they are, it's uncomfortable.


    I do like the gloves, but either I need them to be slightly bigger, or I may go with a different summer-weight glove. Haven't decided.

    So - other than the minor gripes with the gloves, I am pleased.
  13. ssevy

    ssevy Been here awhile

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    With no disrespect to Wayne, I think that glove design and manufacturing is a specialized subset within the broader category of garment manufacturing, and while the Motoport racing gloves may work for some riders if their hands are the correct size, Motoport doesn't have enough of a sizing range to fit some riders. Since you are buying a custom sized suit made especially for your own dimensions, the fact that the gloves come in limited universal sizes seems odd, but I am sure that the cost of sewing these in house as he does the other garments would be prohibitive. When you also consider that armored motorcycle gloves have to fit to an even closer tolerance in order to offer adequate protection (similar to fitting a helmet properly), you can see what a challenge it is to create a glove that will fit many riders correctly when only offering a handful (sorry) of sizes. I think we all need to think of glove sizing more like helmet sizing in terms of individual variations, and accept that some brands will simply never fit us with their current design.
    My own hands are very average in size, and my glove buying experience has still been what I imagine is typical for most of us: order a model online with the features we desire, and then send it back to exchange sizes until it feels right. In some designs, that just never happens, and so we either look at other brands, or pick the best size we can and just live with them. Personally, I find that anything that hurts is distracting, and since I wear Motoport gear, I am obviously concerned with my personal safety, so distractions are something I try to avoid. As a result, I have bought and returned many pairs of gloves to find a pair that are comfortable. When I do find gloves that feel custom built for my hands, I even go so far as to buy two pairs, in case they change the design or manufacturing.
    If you want to stay all Motoport, definitely try Wayne's gloves, and you may be one of the people who falls into his size ranges just fine. If not, there are some other manufacturers who make what many would consider an equally safe model, and they may be worth a try. As mentioned in my earlier post, the Velocity Gear gloves are built to a European safety standard, and just happen to fit my hands as if they were built for me. Excellent quality and cost as well. They are but one example of a safe alternative, but there are many others.
  14. funinthesun

    funinthesun Been here awhile

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    I had Wayne increase my pocket sizes on the entire jacket and pants. Chest and cargo style. They work much better now and hold about double the volume. :clap
    Plus there is a lot more changes I made.

    See posts 4 and 6 here. And hope this helps.
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=893811
  15. CALIDUCKHUNTER

    CALIDUCKHUNTER n00b

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    May 21, 2013
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    I got mine about a month ago the air mesh waist length jacket with quad armor makes me feel like Ironman haven't put a liner in yet (I live on the central coast of California ) stretch Kevlar over pants are good too with quad armor after I zip tied the armor for a few days
    Great protection
    Might buy pants in air mesh next year
    Just seem more durable than strech but still worried about scratching /wearing my seat with the mesh
  16. killbilly

    killbilly Adventurer

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    Yeah, the mesh could abrade your paint if you weren't careful. The way my bike is set up, I never contact the tank with my legs - there are plastic fairing inserts where the legs go, and a sharp up-sweep to the seat keeping me off the tank.

    I rode again on Sunday morning, but by 9:00an it was already 90F and high humidity and it just wasn't fun to ride in ANY gear.
  17. Afry

    Afry Why hike?

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
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    Ramona, Ca
    Just stopped at Motoport today and ordered my Marathon hybrid - stretch Kevlar torso with mesh sleeves. I have been using a Vanson 1000D full mesh under a vest to hold some moisture in but not die from the heat. Been doing this for a couple years and it works for me. Problem is the quality of zippers etc on the vests suck and didn't have the setup I wanted. The 950 leads one to hit speedy numbers on the slab so dirt gear does not cut it. I ride a lot of hot dry desert (Baja, Anza Borrego etc) on a 950se and full mesh is just too hot.

    It was really nice to be able to order a custom jacket with features just for me.
    No lower pockets - my crap is on my bike
    Hydro bladder pocket on the back that works
    Hydro hose loops in front for hose and clip
    Collar hold back
    Money/CC pocket on breast
    D ring inside breast pocket for camera leash
    Breast HAM radio pocket W/antenna loop
    Additional back vent
    Double orange bicep stripes for some Ktm pizazz!
    Custom measured for a size perfect like me .. cough

    Hope I'm as excited when it comes as I am now. Christmas comes on 8/1 for me!
  18. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    My jacket just got back from Motoport today. I sent it in to be converted from a Kevlar Ultra Air Mesh jacket I bought used on the FM to a Marathon. I marked the front length and sent it in for alteration. It took about a week for the turnsround and it couldn't be more perfect. It's like a Kevlar mesh version of my Klim Badlands jacket.
  19. Skycessna

    Skycessna n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
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    8
    Just received the Marathon jacket that I ordered with chest map pockets and right sleeve pocket. I've already sent Wayne a congratulatory email praising the excellent workmanship. Very impressive piece of gear. Ride report to be added later.
  20. econwatch

    econwatch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
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    182
    Location:
    NYC, PA, DC
    Have been riding exclusively with this gear 4 months (mar-jul 2013) on 80/20 mixed surface (~2000miles) and have to say I'm very happy with the results. For comparison I'm 6'2" and ~195lbs (pre-beers).

    Motoport Marathon AirMesh Kevlar Jacket, quad armor, 4x zip pockets on body, 2x zip pockets on arms, aerotex liner.
    Ultra II Stretch Kevlar pant, quad armor, tri sacrum and hip.

    This gear provides an impression of a high degree of safety and quad armor will conform to you nicely after some wearing-in. Typically I've ridden with ripstop shorts and a tshirt underneath. The heat from the front right side of the TigerXC does hit my shins moreso in hot weather or when parked on I-80 so thin long pants or bike/running tights might help. The pants are truly zip and clip on and off, just like Wayne advertises. The jacket liner and sometimes heated vest got me through some early season cold NY/NJ/PA rides, the VT PDR/Bayley-Hazen and here's hoping a chill vest will help with an upcoming BRP/Cherohala ride. Summer gloves fit underneath the stretch kevlar inserts on the wrists and winter gloves with a cuff fit over top. The 303 treatment that Wayne recommends works for slight drizzle on both mesh and stretch although I've worn a shell jacket over top when it rains. Live in NYC so packing the pants, jacket and boots from home to/from the bike parking is some bulk/weight but boots/pants squeeze into one of those recycleable shopping bags with the jacket laying on top.

    Overall very pleased that I've finally found an all season mixed surface outfit, now I just have to get organized to sell the collection of extra gear to get back a tiny but valuable amount of closet space.

    Pic is kinda washed out so can provide a few gear detail pics if interest is there.

    <a href="http://imgur.com/U0pHluu"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/U0pHluu.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com"/></a>