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

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

  1. dustin2

    dustin2 VFR800

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    Thanks for the replies. Two conflicting answers, though. It seems there's a degree of confusion all around. :D
  2. funinthesun

    funinthesun Been here awhile

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    To clarify my answer the suit itself without liners is not waterproof. The liners are as stated. Also a liner can be made for a pocket in the suit but only that liner in whichever pocket its in will be waterproof. Think ziplock bag in pocket but fancy and you could run wires out if it. Its is like separating the gor tex from the outer shell of the stich suit. And having to wear it separate.
    Each of us have a preference. I like the liner system in heavy rain conditions as i can shed the heavy outer shell of kevlar and padding and just be wearing a rainsuit for off bike. Then still be waterproof as i walk in where ever im going and not have to wear the bulk of the suit everywhere. Also is nice for setting up camp in rain. Hope that paints a better picture of the liner option.


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  3. dustin2

    dustin2 VFR800

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    Makes sense and definitely clarifies my question, thank you.

    Am I right in thinking that the waterproof liner that you zip into the Motoport would fit and feel similar to the nylon interior liner my Roadcrafter has? If that was the case, I would be ok with just leaving the liner in full time if it's easy to take the suit on and off day-to-day with minimal difficulty (like the RC).

    As for the outer pockets no longer being waterproof, I could figure out something else for the MP3 player. The rest of the things I put in the pockets of the 'stich don't really need to stay dry
  4. funinthesun

    funinthesun Been here awhile

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    It is not as easy as the roadcrafter. The liner takes a bit of "wiggling to get on and of as its is a little loose inside the suit but it is still very easy. Zippers ate in same locations and aside from the occasional snag on your boot or hand is te same. The real downside is the lack of waterproof pockets requiring a extra bag to store stuff in the suit or moving everything to inside the suit. There are pockets inside the liner but only one chest one. However you are much better protected.
    I have found that not zipping in the liners os faster for on off. More control of the liner zippers and then the suit just slides on over. In fast i have cut all the snaps and zippers off my liners as i will never zip them in again.


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  5. dustin2

    dustin2 VFR800

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    Thanks for all the info!
  6. 1-3-2-4

    1-3-2-4 Adventurer

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    To add to some of the already insightful responses, my take: Frog Toggs. Yes, it sucks to don rain gear, and if I lived somewhere that rained really frequently, I'd be looking for a one stop shop (like my Alpinestar SMX Waterproof boots).

    I've considered the liners, but primarily as a wind barrier for the winter. I've used rain liners on other gear, and while they work, your gear ends up getting soaked (and heavy). If riding in cooler climates, this means your heated gear needs to work overtime and the outer layers need to completely dry off before shedding the liners or heated gear.

    Also, I'm a full gauntlet glove wearer, so the gloves are the last thing I put on. This means that even with my Rain-Off glove shells, my hands still get wet (soaked, actually). The rain soaks the shell, hits the liner, and runs down the sleeves, where it collects inside my once warm and dry gloves. It didn't take long for me to abandon rain liners.
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Here ya go:lol3:lol3
  8. Farkles

    Farkles Mostly around Ontario these days.

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    I used Frog Toggs with Motoport Kevlar mesh and after one afternoon of riding (200km) the inside of the pants were shredded and the taped seam let go. I don't feel that Frog Toggs are compatible with Kevlar mesh. We have been using thin Rev'it raingear for successfully.
  9. 1-3-2-4

    1-3-2-4 Adventurer

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    Good point worthy of mentioning! I'm using the kevlar stretch...so no abrasion.
  10. pHudson

    pHudson still riding

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    Thanks to those who replied to my earlier questions, and for this comment as well. I wouldn't have thought of this in advance. So my plan in the end is to get the mesh kevlar pants, and order the rain liner--more for its wind protection, but also in response to your comment about the Frog Toggs getting shredded.

    I'm finding this gear to be more flexible than originally planned. My stretch kevlar jacket fits fine with a t-shirt, but the other day I was cold while riding so I've been experimenting with what I can fit under it. Today I wore a technical t-shirt, a button-down shirt, a heavy cotton sweater, and a thick hardshell fleece jacket under my motoport. Everything worked well and I was almost too warm even while riding in the winter rain--a rare experience for me. I wish now that I had invested a lot less elsewhere and a bit more with Motoport. My guess is that jacket and pants, each with liner, is all I'd ever need for hot or cold, wet or dry.
  11. Farkles

    Farkles Mostly around Ontario these days.

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    This is one of the versatilities I have found with Motoport mesh stuff. T-shirt and boxer type shorts for hot weather. Add some layers such as merino long underwear as it cools off. Perhaps a wind-blocking long sleeve shirt. Or electrically heated jacket.

    I then tend to use rain jacket and pants when it really cools off both for rain protection, but also to seal in the heat. Wearing your rain/wind-blocking layer under or over your mesh gear has different characteristics. For example, if you were to wear the same thin rain jacket and pants under the mesh, the wind is still going to permeate the mesh and be cooler than wearing the same garments in a different order, i.e. on the outside. The Kevlar mesh and sewn in perforated liner acts as an insulator if there is a wind barrier on the outside.

    As and example, yesterday I was out on a ride at a temperature of somewhat less than 10 degrees C/40 degress F (with very strong sun) with Kevlar mesh jacket and pants with merino bottoms and tops on. I also had my Warm N Safe electric jacket on (on full for most of the time). My legs got cold pretty quickly. I threw on my Rev'it rain pants and they warmed up immediately and stayed that way. Because I was travelling at fairly high speeds on a dual purpose bike without much wind protection, my upper body wasn't exactly warm even with the jacket at 100%.

    I know from previous experience, that putting a layer over the mesh jacket blocks more wind than putting the layer underneath, and that had I chosen to due so I would have been running the electric jacket at 50% and would have been toasty and warm. Long story short, it is combinations such as this that have been allowing me to travel in desert and tropical heat, down to close to freezing with one set of gear (using layers). It is not as convenient as having multiple pieces of gear for different occasions, but sometimes this is not possible, or desirable, and can be quite costly.
  12. pHudson

    pHudson still riding

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    Thanks. Lots of really useful information that confirms some of what i've observed, but adds some new wrinkles. I'm finding that any route to warm riding is quite costly--including the Motoport option. Don't know how I'd cope if I hadn't moved to Australia.
  13. stevie99

    stevie99 That's gotta hurt Super Supporter

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    Farkles has some sage advise.:clap
  14. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

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    I think I may have some relevant input on this. I have had a 1-pc Roadcrafter suit for at least 7 years. I have had my Motoport mesh Kevlar jacket and pants, with Aero-tex liners for about 5 years, I think.

    Is the Motoport stuff as convenient when riding in the rain? Well, NO. But, it's still my main gear.

    I bought the Aero-tex liners with my suit and I would not do that again or recommend it to anyone. Yes, they DO live up to Wayne's (owner of MP) billing, in my opinion. They are more breathable than my Roadcrafter and still completely waterproof.

    The reason I don't use them is this: Waterproof liners for pants SUCK. Especially if the pants you're wearing are jeans style, not overpants. Meaning, pants like mine require removing my boots to take the pants off. So, riding all day, and hitting an afternoon shower means pulling over, taking off boots and pants, putting on liner pants, then putting on boots and pants again. Not happening. The alternative is, of course, to just put on the liners when getting dressed before the ride. That's okay, but not as comfortable - especially if it's warm out.

    All that would be slightly better if you're actually wearing overpants that can be taken off without removing your boots. But still, if you're going to carry pants to put on in the event that you hit rain, why not just carry pants that can go over your riding pants? I use inexpensive waterproof breathable rain pants from a regular sporting goods store. My last pair cost $35 and lasted for many years. They recently ripped in half at the crotch so I bought a new pair. Found them in the golf department at Dick's. They have waterproof side zippers that come all the way up to the hips. They also cost $35. I've worn them in rain a couple of times now and they've kept me dry. Why spend more on something that is less convenient?

    And for the jacket, well, a waterproof outer shell would be convenient, because it would save you from having to do anything with any stuff that's in your jacket pockets. But, most waterproof jacket shells have a hood in the collar, which makes it bulky and super annoying when wearing a helmet.

    For me, I killed two birds with one stone by buying a Warm n Safe Gen WP heated, waterproof jacket liner. If I get caught by rain, I put that on under my jacket and stay totally dry. With the added convenience of being able to turn on heat if the rain also makes me cold. Anyone that rides much should consider buying a heated jacket liner. In which case, why by a heated liner and pay for some kind of waterproof shell, when you can get the WnS Gen WP and have both in one for less money?

    Unlike the pants issue, putting on a jacket liner on the side of the road is no big deal.

    So, my 4 season gear is the Motoport Kevlar mesh jacket and pants, waterproof pants to go over my riding pants, and Warm n Safe heated, waterproof jacket (plus WnS heated pants, socks, and glove liners, for when it's REALLY cold). And I LOVE the minimal bulk that this setup requires for riding in even the COLDEST conditions. I don't wear a fleece or long johns or anything else. It's my hottest-summer gear (including summer gloves - Motoport Kevlar Racing Gloves) plus one layer of heated gear underneath, plus the rain pants and I am good for extended rides in freezing conditions, comfortably.
  15. pHudson

    pHudson still riding

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I can definitely see the appeal in your set-up. On the other hand, since I live in Australia, I'm pretty sure I'll never buy heated gear. I occasionally ride in temps down into the 50s, but that is only if I don't get home before sunset on a wintry day. Most of the year, my riding temps are 70s and 80s, with a few days in the mid-60s. So my preferred option is to layer up to face the cold, even if it means more bulk. I've been thinking about buying a Heat Factory Heated Back Wrap and turning it around to cover my chest, and then filling it with Heat Factory or Hot Hands warmers. It would be easy to carry, and would probably only get used two or three times a year--so easier and cheaper than buying heated gear (which in Oz would be incredibly expensive).

    A few more comments:

    1) I've got a stretch kevlar jacket (which I consider just about perfect), and have ordered a pair of mesh Ultra IIs (overpants). Other people have suggested that the mesh kevlar pants will shred a pair of rain pants pretty quickly. Would you agree with that assessment?

    2) my assumption is that I'll put in the Aero-Tec pants liner and ride with the pants/liner set for the bulk of the year--as much as 7 months. Then during the summer I'll just do without a liner, or (if it looks like rain) bring it along. The other 2 months of the year, I'll keep an eye on the weather report and plan accordingly. Sydney's weather is less variable than in many parts of the US (esp compared to where I grew up in Milwaukee).

    3) At first I thought I would prefer the jean type pants to an overpant, but I'm starting to see huge advantages in an overpant. This past Sunday I put on my current riding pants over a pair of trousers and rode to church, where I then removed the overpants. Very convenient, but something I had never considered before. I'm sure I won't like the way the Motoport overpants look compared to the trimmer varieties, but in terms of utility they seem to be the way to go.
  16. stevie99

    stevie99 That's gotta hurt Super Supporter

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    pHudson, I have both the kevlar mesh over pants and the jean type stretch kevlar pants which I purchased a few years later. After buying them, I've never worn the mesh over pant again. The stretch is much more comfortable, flows air almost as well and fits so much better. However, I you need an OVER pant, well.......they aren't.
  17. Farkles

    Farkles Mostly around Ontario these days.

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    This sounds like it is in reference to my earlier comment. To clarify, my statement about shredding rain pants was in reference to Frog Toggs, specifically. This particularly product (fabric) has an almost Terry cloth feel to it. I found that the Kevlar mesh just wears at the surface. I don't mean days, or weeks. My first ride with them was in the rain and after two or three hours the fabric was wearing through and the sealed seem was torn away. Motoport Kevlar mesh has worked fine for me with simple, "slippery" two-ply waterproof breathable fabric, for example this Rev'it jacket and pant set.

    This particular rain gear is not "bullet proof" in that it is thin and can tear when caught on things, lacks pockets, eventually velcro starts to "fade", etc. but two of us have been using this stuff successfully from Canada to Argentina for almost 8 months without much issue. For what it is worth, lack of pockets can be annoying, but IMHO, simple is better. The pants go over fairly bulky DS boots (velcro only, no snaps, zippers or fiddly things). They will not last *forever* but so far the crotch seams are still intact and we are not babying this gear. With days and days of riding, including long off-road sections (i.e. in Bolivia) we aren't exactly just sitting statically on the (beaded) seat and the simple, and "slippery" fabric is holding up fine. Gotta run...will be putting on said pants for another day of riding momentarily.
  18. astrolump

    astrolump Been here awhile

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    I have the marathon mesh and stretch pants....i paid to have them make me a waterproof pocket for the jacket and it was the one thing i was totally unsatisfied with.
    the cost was $45.oo for a scrap of liner fabric crudely sewn and sealed with velcro. they even made it open on the wrong side. ( the pockets open on the side..the waterproof pocket opened on top?)..i sent it back and they cut the same scrap apart and remade it...the new one was even more useless than the first.
    so i guess what im saying......save the $45 and buy some ziplocks.
    other than that one hitch.....the suit has served me well and is my most comfortable piece of kit. i tested it at 45mph on a rocky hard packed dirt road.....not even a scuff on me.
  19. funinthesun

    funinthesun Been here awhile

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    Thats good to know. I never used their pocket. I use sea to summit dry bags. They have worked well.


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  20. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist Supporter

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    First, if I were not going to buy heated gear then I would just carry a rain jacket to wear over my mesh Kevlar jacket, just as I do with the rain pants.

    Second, my last pair of rain pants were worn over my mesh Kevlar jeans for years and they only failed when I ripped the crotch out. I need to quit gaining weight or they need to make rain stretchpants. :)

    Third, overpants are good for commuting or any other time where you are actually going somewhere to do something and the motorcycle is simply your transportation. I.e. you want to arrive and then go around in "street" clothes. For riding (i.e. when I'm going for a ride, not just using my bike as transportation), the jeans are the ticket. So, I would always want to have both (which is why I do wear my Roadcrafter sometimes).

    Finally, after many years at this, I have come to the conclusion that the extra expense of "waterproof" gear is generally (generally, mind you - there are exceptions) just not worth it. The waterproof characteristics wear out (or never work) way before the gear itself wears out. Or the gear itself is a compromise in safety. Or the gear is uncomfortably warm. Or it doesn't breathe well and is like riding in a sauna.

    My only exception to his is my Roadcrafter 1 piece. And it's not a 100% exception because it is still too hot and too much like riding in a sauna for a good portion of my riding season. But, for commuting to work, it IS the business (as long as it's not too warm out).

    My boots are plain leather that is thoroughly treated with Aquaseal Leather Waterproofing and they have kept my feet completely dry for 16 years now. "Waterproof" boots that I've had have never stayed waterproof for more than a couple of years or so.

    So, again, I say, get good gear that will be comfortable (especially since you're riding in heat a lot and cold never). Then buy inexpensive rain gear to put over it and just plan on replacing the rain gear every year or two.