New local MC clothing company-Ballistech

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by COXR650L, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    I have been on ADV for some time now and a few know me and a lot more don’t. So far this website has been a wealth of information and a great place to find everything I could imagine about motorcycles. Being local to Denver I’d like to formally introduce myself and get some Colorado ADV advice on a project and company a friend and I started.
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    For several reasons we decided to get into the motorcycle clothing industry to try and address various issues we have seen with gear, ranging from price and quality to versatility and functionality. We started Ballistech, which focuses on dirt and dual sport/adventure riding. So far we are in the development stage for pants, jackets and jerseys.

    I would like to use this thread as a way to get local advice about a local company with products that are designed to be used in our kind of riding environment. I want to solicit as much advise and expertise from local inmates about these products before we launch production. Id like to use this thread to get feedback on everything from color schemes and designs to scheduling local ADV test rides to get first hand feedback. Of course we will provide all the beer and burgers/BBQ for those willing souls :freaky:wink:

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    The first product we are working on are pants that keep versatility and durability as their primary goal. I have yet to find a pant on the market that can be used in all the extremes and drastically different seasons Colorado has to offer, while still maintaining durability year after year. Below is a prototype of a design that fits that bill.<o:p></o:p>
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    This is a true 4 season pant and can be used in everything from sub freezing temps to summer riding in the 90s. It has 4 large zippered vents that run the length of the upper thigh on the front and back of the legs. The pant goes from a wind stopping winter pant to a sea of mesh for summer riding as front and back vents open 3.5inx17in wide on both legs to flow massive amounts of air. <o:p></o:p>

    The pant features solid all Nylon construction consisting of: <o:p></o:p>
    -840D Jr Ballistic Nylon uppers<o:p></o:p>
    -1680D Ballistic Nylon throughout the entire lower leg and knee<o:p></o:p>
    -1000D Cordura seat<o:p></o:p>
    -Leather inner knee panel<o:p></o:p>
    -Moisture wicking mesh liner<o:p></o:p>
    -Reinforced liner for use with knee braces<o:p></o:p>
    -Premade bend at the knee for proper fit during riding<o:p></o:p>
    -&#8220;Ballooning&#8221; pockets on both legs<o:p></o:p>
    -Cinch straps on waistband and leg cuffs<o:p></o:p>
    -Belt loops<o:p></o:p>
    -Water repellant construction<o:p></o:p>
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    We have some changes we would like to make that are already in the works but what are some first impressions on quality, features, color scheme, versatility, or whatever else? We are open to anything&#8230;.<o:p></o:p>

    How do people feel about the tan on back as a two tone color scheme? <o:p></o:p>
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    If there is any feedback people have about clothing/gear in general that they have owned previously we would love to hear it. Things like features people would like to see on gear, problems with past apparel, selling points when buying, issues with fit, etc, etc, etc.......<o:p></o:p>

    We would really appreciate any advice:ear:ear:ear
    Thanks <o:p></o:p>
    Ben

    Pic from a recent trip to White Wash......
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    #1
  2. mylsmkj

    mylsmkj Been here awhile

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    Good on ya! If you need help I'm a good crash dummy.....and ride in freezing to 90+ deg. temps!:lol3
    Good Luck man! My first thought is they look great if the venting system supplies enough air.
    #2
  3. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    Thanks I will probably take you up on that here soon. When I get a chance and the pants come back from the pattern maker I'll put some better picture of the vents. They are much bigger then the pictures show here. They open up quite a bit more then the current Dakars and the mesh uses really large holes so air can flow with out restriction.
    #3
  4. Desertman

    Desertman Seeker

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    Welcome! I may need your products. It seems like I utter something like "who the hell designs this stuff" everytime I try to put on a pair of riding pants.
    #4
  5. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    What are some of the issues you've had? I dont want to be lumped into that group if you try our stuff:lol3
    #5
  6. Todd-Squad

    Todd-Squad See Ya, Bye.

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    They look surprisingly good for a first attempt. I have a pair of Klim dakar pants that are vented in the front. I've always thought they would move more air if they had a vent in the rear as well. My Klim pants vent is shorter, and at an angle. Draw a line from the inside of the knee to the hip. That will give you an idea. I'm amazed at how much air does come in through their smaller opening, I think because of the angle. I would be a bit concerned that I wouldn't have needed protection if all zippers were wide open and I took a spill. I love my Klim pant except for one thing. It has leather on the inside of the right leg, presumably as a heat shield for the header pipe. Unfortunately I wiped out once soon after buying my pants and ended up landing on the right side of the bike with my feet up on the front wheel. Suddenly I felt my left calf getting uncomfortably warm where the header pipe was melting through my pants. I wish they would have put leather on the inside of both legs. Good luck, I believe competition make for better products and cheaper prices for everyone.

    Todd-Squad
    #6
  7. wescnmbkr1

    wescnmbkr1 Adventurer

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    Looks like you've got a good start on something the industry needs, if you can keep the cost figures reasonable.
    I'm unable to tell if you already have used the idea; but the Columbia & REI climbing/hiking pants have an extra wide area in the crotch area giving extra room to stretch without binding & pinching the nut sack. Most pants, like jeans etc., have about 4 seams joined together at the middle of the crotch. Good Luck!
    wescnmbkr1:ricky
    #7
  8. DigiSnap Mark

    DigiSnap Mark Been here awhile

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    Best of luck!

    Venting... YES!!! Overheating is by far my biggest complaint.

    Ballooning anything can catch on limbs. Same with sloppy vent folds. Flapping clothing is a pain as well.

    I'm old and refuse to ride without knee & elbow padding. I'd sure like integrated pads & pockets, as long as they stay in place.

    Doesn't need to be bulletproof everywhere. Looks like you are using different materials in different places... good!
    I used to have some Kayaking pants... advertised to 'Wear like steel, feel like Pajamas"... it wasn't a lie, at least for kayaking! Soft comfortable material reenforced with cordura where appropriate.
    #8
  9. Moto Beak

    Moto Beak Professional Amateur

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    Looks great. My suggestion would be "waterproof" rather than "water resistant." I don't like getting wet and I hate putting on rain pants.
    #9
  10. PrairieRider

    PrairieRider Gearing down for Hell

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    Looks like the pants zip up the back of the calf and just to the knee which is awkward and makes it difficult to get pants on over boots. My favorite pants (First Gear) zip up the outside of the leg and go all the way to the hip so they are easy on and off. They have built in hip pads and knee armor and a gusset on the inside of the calf to help keep out moisture.

    Leather on the inside of both legs would be primo as would either adjustable length or offerings in short, regular, and long inseams. My 2 cents.
    #10
  11. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    Thanks for all the feedback.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    -Venting was a primary goal for us and I think these pants flow more air then the Dakars. There may be some concerns with protection in a fall if the vents are wide open. I think that would apply more to street riding though and as far as I can see there is really no way around that problem, short of keeping the zippers up? Has anyone seen anything else that would address that issue?<o:p></o:p>
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    -About waterproof vs repellant, I agree, I want a water proof pant also and that is what we started out trying to make, but there are a few problems. The first is the increased price point and the resulting decrease in demand. We are trying to hit the biggest market possible with our first production model and that means looking at both features and the related price.<o:p></o:p>
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    The second problem is durability. The vast majority of everything on the market that is waterproof is no where as durable as the non waterproof versions. This is because waterproof and breathable fabrics (Goretex Ultrex, etc) are only commercially available in lighter weights. There are some custom coating options, but you have to spend a lot of money and order 100s of yards of fabric and it still may not perfrom correctly. A waterproof and breathable pant that is very durable is defiantly one of our goals. We hope shortly after we start selling and have inventory on hand we can get a waterproof/breathable version of these pants into production. <o:p></o:p>
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    Ultimately, these pants will be fine during an afternoon light rain storm, stream crossing, etc and will be much better than anything else on the market, short of those items designed to be completely waterproof. <o:p></o:p>
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    On that note&#8230;.how do people feel about goretex vs other options. Are you willing to pay more for the goretex name, or would a lower price and a generic waterproof/breathable be appealing (assuming we can meet goretex performance)?? <o:p></o:p>
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    -I do like the zippers that run up the side of the leg and we are looking at that option&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
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    -Regarding the crotch, I forgot to mention that the pants do have a gusseted crotch. So plenty of room :evil:evil
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    -I had not thought about the ballooning pockets catching on things. We did it just to add volume to the pockets and make them more usable, but we may have to pay close attention to that during testing and revisit the design. Thanks!<o:p></o:p>
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    -The issue of integrated padding is something we are still wrestling with. I guess our thought process was for any kind of moderate dirt riding most people are using separate protection options (knee pads/braces, pressure suits, elbow pads&#8230;.) and often integrated pads get in the way of those. We designed these pants to be more dirt orientated so we decided to leave them out for now. Down the road we want to make a pant and jacket that is focused strictly on dual/sport use. With that we want to design integrated padding that is truly useful. I think the d30 padding has some potential but I&#8217;m not completely sold on it for off road use. Ultimately we are striving for a design that offers the same level of protection as dedicated knee and elbow padding but is fully integrated to the garment.<o:p></o:p>
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    -I know what you mean about leather needing to be on both legs. A lot of manufactures skimp on that aspect because it&#8217;s running about $3 a square foot for leather and those costs add up fast. Currently we have leather on the inner knee of both legs and on the next revision we are adding leather to totally cover the inner leg on both sides of the pant to address concerns mentioned above. Additional, we are also going to double layer the leather with 1680d nylon on the inner leg to provide as much strength as possible. <o:p></o:p>
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    Thanks for all the feedback&#8230;.keep it coming:ear
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    What are some insights people can provide about jackets?? What cuts (short vs long) do people like, number of pockets, issues with fit, how the cuffs should be designed, needed areas of reinforcement, etc would be really helpfully too.<o:p></o:p>
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    Thanks again,<o:p></o:p>
    ben <o:p></o:p>
    #11
  12. Genghis Swan

    Genghis Swan Been here awhile

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    You appear to be on your way to making a great product. My only suggestion would be that after you have the utilitarian aspect completed go hire a real clothing designer to help you with the visual aspect. You can make the greatest pant in the world and if your potential buyers don't like the looks you will never sell them.
    Also I caution you on trying to be everything to everybody. It will insure your demise. A Giraffe is a Horse designed by committee.
    I wish you luck, you are off to a great start.
    #12
  13. TaterHarry

    TaterHarry Redneck Emeritus

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    Just wanted to chime in that us tall skinny guys (and gals) like to ride too, and the gear choices we have tend to be limited. Another quality label offering tall sizes would definitely be welcome :clap
    #13
  14. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    Haha, that was said very well, thanks for the input.
    #14
  15. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Looks like a nice product to me right off the bat. Although it doesn't seem like it would be an issue with your pants, I'd suggest really trying to limit the use of velcro. I've had a couple jackets and some armor that had velcro tabs for critical cinch spots and the stuff always wears out long before anything else does. Velcro and zippers always seem to be weak points that make people angry when they fail. Good luck!!!
    #15
  16. modette

    modette RMAR

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    Leather near the bottom of the pants to slow wear and to stop melting. Like Klim has.

    Do these have padded areas? We off-roaders go down a lot so that is a big plus. The ability to easily clean too is needed, my Klim trap water and its a real mess after washing them.

    Otherwise great job
    #16
  17. Lovin' it Strom

    Lovin' it Strom High functioning sociopath

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    One of the major manufacturers just dumped all their tan gear to motorcyclegear.com because they weren't selling enough. Just a heads up that the tan might not actually be that great for the wider market share.

    I don't ride much dirt, so I don't have any input on dirt offerings.

    I can say there is a notable increase in ADV riding world wide and many gear manufacturers are taking notice. My tips are based on ADV gear that I have and that I would like to see. Currently I use one pant - the Joe Rocket Alter Ego, and two coats. For cooler times - the Scorpion Commander and for warmer times - the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0

    Pants first: What I like, the zip off panels allow a ton of air and keep these pants cool in the summer and has been pretty adequate in the rain. They do leak in downpours though. What I don't like is the "waterproof liner." The liner works, but you have to stop on the side of the road to take off your pants in the rain in order to get the liner on. If you can come up with a way to put the water proof liner (even as an option) on the top. Realistically, you could have the pants just water resistant then have some kind of zip on panel that would go over the thighs, through the crotch area to the butt. Just "water proof" the areas where water will pool or soak in while riding. Everything else just let the water bead up and run off.

    Jackets next: I love the back pocket on the scorpion that lets me just drop a water bladder into it. I love my Joe Rocket jacket that is actually a mesh jacket and the waterproof liner goes on as an over coat. A little bulky, but the convenience is worth it.

    As for pockets - We don't really put much in our pockets just to prevent injuries caused by hard items if we crash. If you do put pockets that are bulkier, put them on the front of the thigh and make them waterproof. Talk to those who use pockets to see what we are carrying or want to carry in them - like a small camera and passports. Put a water bladder pocket on the back of the jacket.


    For real field testing, you should prepare about 10 or 12 pairs in varying sizes and bring them to Westfest and RMAR. RMAR historically has been a mud fest so lots of testing there. Hand them out to testers and get their impressions at the end of the weekend. I'm sure we'll be brutally honest. :D

    Good luck to you.
    #17
  18. tgeliot

    tgeliot Topher

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    Personally I think the big cargo pockets are a mistake. Anything you're carrying in pockets, especially pants pockets, has the potential to become permanently embedded in your flesh if you land on it in a get-off. When I get on my bike, I move my pocket knife, house keys, phone, flashlight and even lip balm into my tank bag; my wallet goes into the chest pocket of my jacket. All that's left in the pockets of my riding pants are spare earplugs, and I think I can survive landing on them :-) Others' comments about gusseted pockets are also valid; I've had pockets like that catch on door latches and the corners of filing cabinets and the like.

    When it comes time to design a jacket, provide a high-visibility option -- and then make THE WHOLE THING high-vis. If you break up the high-vis material with black or gray as a fashion statement, you also break up its recognizability as a human form, essentially creating a certain amount of "camouflage" aspect.
    #18
  19. modette

    modette RMAR

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    I'll expand my thoughts.

    I like the pants pockets as its great for maps. I also tend to put my wallet, keys and other things mainly in my coat pockets. If it is warm and I have on body armor and a Jersey I put the stuff in my camel back. This is where I then tend to put my phone and maps in the pants pockets more often. Also insurance, registration go in my jacket but if no jacket then in my Klim pants pocket in a Ziploc baggy.

    Tank bag!!! Must be a big bike rider...LOL No room for one of those, but yeah street riding on the FZ1 I used to use the tank back for everything...I do miss having that as an option, but any bag upfront would get in the way of off-road ridding, and especially ATV trails and single track.

    Lovin' it Strom - Great minds think alike, I PM'ed 'COXR650L' about RMAR. :D
    #19
  20. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    :clap:clap:clapHook a brother up! :evil

    Presenting "The 2012 Monkey-Butt 500" sponsored by Ballistech. :lol3 That has a nice ring to it! :clap

    On the jacket part, I personally look at the aspects of either - under, over, or built in armor/pack. I personally like the "under the armor" configuration for colder all day riding, a lighter over the armor/pack for temporary summer storms and high altitude type of riding ( but it must be able to crush into my pack), and the more street/ADV oriented built in armor. I have about 6 different jackets in my closet right now, and I tend to use most of them. It would be great if your designs could cut that down for me. I would be glad to tell you what I do and don’t like about each of them.

    So a few notes from my experiences.... I love venting - the more the better. They need to be able to be opened and closed but if they are zippers they really need to be waterproof somehow. The other aspects that are hard to find for me are arm length for someone my size, having a torso draw string of some sort, having a longer lower back piece to cover my butt-crack, enough room around the neck - but not too much as to let too much cold/rain in (somehow adjustable would be nice), I do like colder weather removable liners (especially the ones that double as a separate wearable fleece or vest), and it needs to take at least a few spills before its trashed and I have to throw it out. Just a few Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

    I wish you guys the best of luck, and please do not hesitate to call/pm if you need any help of any sort.
    :clap
    #20