Motoport stretch vs mesh

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by phats2, Jul 8, 2019.

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  1. phats2

    phats2 n00b

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    Hi all-

    adventure to me is commuting daily in NYC year round. ive decided to upgrade and am seriously considering Motoports gear. i joined here as it seems there's a wealth of experience with Wayne's gear. in short

    how breathable/liveable is the stretch jacket/pants in warm weather? and/or
    does anyone use the air tex liner for warmth on the mesh? how warm can that be?

    not sure how to solve the dilemma of which material is more adaptable for year round, 4 seasons.

    thanks!
    #1
  2. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Long timer Supporter

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    Love my GP2 Stretch jacket and pants in moderate temps. As soon as the temps go over 80 I bring out the Olympia mesh. At the other end of the spectrum, as soon as the temps dip below 60 I bring out the Gerbing heated jacket. Alternative to the Gerbing is to pull out the Frogg Toggs if it looks like it's going to be wet or cool. All in all, I find it to be great gear with many, many positive attributes.
    #2
  3. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    I have used my stretch kevlar 2 piece in everything from 40 degrees and raining,to 115 degrees.
    I am in western US,so humidity not an issue.
    The stretch flows just enough air for comfort,without dehydrating in the summer.I can ride for 30 min or so in light to moderate rain without needing to put in/on rain gear.

    I would get the stretch kevlar for year round use,but have the option of a mesh jacket for the summer,as suggested above.
    I have the Olympia transitions jackets that close up like solid body jackets for the cooler weather and have large zip open mesh panels for the heat.
    They do not have near the protection of Motoport.

    JR356
    #3
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  4. thirdofthree

    thirdofthree Adventurer

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    Short answer: Motoport's mesh gear & liners work great for me year-round in Chicago*, though I do add a heated jacket liner in winter.

    Long answer:

    I use Motoport's Marathon mesh jacket and mesh front / stretch back pants and have used them year-round in Chicago.* I have the waterproof jacket and pants liners, and the insulated jacket liner.

    Mesh Jacket. Flows air darn well, and with the wind- and waterproof liner does just fine in the cold and rain. The stretch definitely won't flow air as well, but also won't be that much warmer in cold weather since both mesh and stretch will require the wind- and waterproof liner in cold and rain.

    Armor. I opted for quad armor. According to my brother, who's used both tri and quad armor, the trade-off for quad's better protection is somewhat reduced airflow. I think my ideal setup would be quad shoulders, arms, and back, and tri chest. But I don't think Mp will mix & match armor...though it couldn't hurt to ask. Anyway, just know the armor has a role to play in airflow, too.

    Mesh Front / Stretch Back Pants. My brothers both have full mesh pants. I've always been the black sheep of the family, so I figured I'd mix it up with mesh front and stretch back. I've never really compared, but the stretch on the back strikes me as more comfortable in the seat and a bit more fitted, and still flows air well (it's just an exit for the air flowing through the front mesh, after all). Hmmm...I wonder if Motoport would make mesh front / mesh back / stretch seat only.

    Jacket Liners. The wind- and waterproof jacket liner is easy to zip- and snap-in for ongoing wear (as is the insulated liner), or just slip on for one-time use. Likewise the insulated liner that zips into the waterproof liner. But I'd skip the insulated liner and go with a heated jacket liner, instead.

    Pants Liners. I find the pants liners a minor pain in the ass. For me, it's a little tricky (in my Sidi Adventure II boots) stepping through both the pants liner and pants, but then again I'm a bit of a klutz. I strongly recommend having Motoport reverse the hook & loops on the pants liners & flaps. In standard configuration (hooks on flap, loops on inseam), the hooks on the flap stick to the interior of the liner. They stick when I roll or fold them up. And they stick and re-stick as the pants flop around while I'm putting them on. When putting on the pants with liners, this requires multiple instances of detaching and re-detaching the flap from the interior of the liner as I put them on. With the hooks & loops reversed (loops on flap, hooks on inseam), this isn't an issue (according to my brother, who had his reversed).

    Heat & Humidity. The Motoport mesh provides excellent ventilation, but it's not air conditioning. (I can't really speak to the stretch.) At some point, if it's disgustingly hot and humid, you'll be unpleasantly hot even with the Motoport gear. But it's far better in this regard than any other substantially protective gear I've tried.

    Cold & Windy. I think the wind- and waterproof jacket liner works great for wind-blocking and waterproofing. I tend to wear it: > 55ºF+ no liner; 40º - 55ºF liner; < 40ºF liner + heated jacket liner. I don't get a lot of air on my legs on my bike, so I only use the pants liners < 40ºF or so. I haven't bothered much with the insulated jacket liner, since I unexpectedly got a hand-me-down heated jacket liner shortly after my Motoport gear.

    Rain. I'm not crazy about dealing with the jacket and pants liners for ad hoc rain road-side, so I also carry a relatively inexpensive set of rain over-jacket and -pants for easy donning. As a result, I really just use the Motoport liners for wind-proofing and warmth.


    Doing It Again. Were I to do it again, I'd get the same mesh jacket and maybe full mesh pants (one of these days I'll swap pants with one of my brothers), plus the waterproof liners (with reversed velcro on the pants liners), but skip the insulated jacket liner. Then, I'd add a Warm & Safe waterproof jacket liner and an inexpensive set of rain over-jacket and -pants.


    * On an impulse, I picked up Darien jacket & pants pretty darn cheaply in the marketplace, so tend to wear those in the winter these days -- mainly because the pants area a bit easier. But I used the Motoport's mesh gear & liners for a full winter or two and wouldn't hesitate to do so again and again if they were my only gear.
    #4
  5. HeliMark

    HeliMark Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have been using the mesh pants for about 6 years now. Really like them, and are good in the hot/humid when just wearing shorts. Long pants when it cools down. If it rains, I have some rain gear that fits over them.
    #5
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  6. phats2

    phats2 n00b

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    thanks for the replies and thirdofthree, great detail as Chicago (grew up in Illinois) and NYC are very similar
    #6
  7. rogue1970

    rogue1970 Its better to burn out then fade away

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    I just bought some used Motoport gear. Stretch Kevlar jacket and mesh pants. I live in SoCal and ride a naked Z900, so I'm in the airflow.

    Jacket
    The jacket is a little big for me, but adjusted down with the Velcro straps. It is very comfortable and its hard to believe how much air flows thru it. It does have elbow to wrist mesh. Stretches in all directions. The only downside of the jacket so far is the collar. It will take some getting used to it being so close and in contact with my helmet. I stopped wearing a backpack as the volume on my Sena S20 would auto-adjust louder often. Winter riding will require some kind of inner wind liner because of the amount of air it flows. I've only been in 90* so far this year and I was NOT hot at all. Even with the black jacket, I was cool.

    Pants
    The pants are full mesh with stretch material around the waist. They are probably 1/2 size too small, but work OK. They are a bit tighter since the Mesh material has little to no stretch. Like others have mentioned, they are made of some tough material. I could use the pants to sand drywall repairs down. My knees are below my tank, so I should not be wearing the paint in that area. I wear these to work every morning with a pair of Duluth Fire-Hose-Flex pants. I don't feel the air as much on my legs due to the flow of air and that I'm wearing pants. BUT, you can hold the mesh material up to a light source and see right through it. So you will need a rain liner if you plan any riding in colder rainy weather.

    Motoport gear is not flattering at all as other reviews have said. I'm 49, 5'8" and 200#. Wearing this gear makes me look even bigger.... I'm OK with this as I feel just about as protected as you can be on a motorcycle. I made the same decision this year, going to Motoport and am very happy with my decision/choice.

    In the future, I will be buying new designed-for-me Motoport Stretch Kevlar jacket and pants.
    #7
  8. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

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    Sorry to throw a monkey wrench into this but here it goes. I commute in NYC as well. Downtown Manhattan to mid-town. Limited number of miles but - as you know - with traffic etc - csn take extended amounts of time. I have a lot of gear...sadly. I have 2 sets of BMW jackets and pants; one mesh and one more traditional with vents etc. I also have a Vanson mesh jacket, some kevlar lined pants from draggin' and a kevlar mesh shirt in a lovely shade of yellow also from draggin'. I also have internal liners for my jackets and pants that have thermal qualities in the cold and are waterproof in the wet. I also have a veskimo setup for extreme heat.

    As one of the other posters said, mesh is not a/c. I think the issue in NYC is our humidity and the likelyhood of being stopped in traffic for extended periods of time. Mesh is s great idea but it does rely on movement to actually be effective.

    If I were to do it all over again I would buy a jacket / pants combo like the one i have with as many vents as possible. I'd make the size such that I could layer thermal underneath in the cold. I would opt for external rain protection. I dont know of they exist but a gore tex version of frog togs. I would forgo the mesh suit... my thinner mesh is a joke protection wise. The shirt has no armor. The vanson has what I will call padding and the BMW combo is very beefy and flows not enough air for this guy. I would go for a jacket and pants with a lot ofvents. Vents closed and as much or little layers under for the cold. Wicking under and vents open for warm and vents closed and veskimo cranking for very hot and not moving. You need water, ice, and batteries and it only lasts a limited amount of time but the veskimo is as close to a/c on a bike I have experienced.
    #8
  9. Panther6834

    Panther6834 Adventurer

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    Like you said, mesh is not a/c, but...sorry to "throw a monkey wrench" at your comment...neither are vents. You are correct in saying that one must be moving to allow air to flow through mesh, but, the SAME holds true for vents. If there is a breeze, then, yes, air will flow through vents when you're not moving, but, other than that, if the air movement is anything higher than a "breeze", that same air WILL follow through mesh. I have a mesh jacket (albeit, not Kevlar mesh from Motoport...yet), and I can confirm this with 100% certainty. Don't downplay mesh great, just because you, personally, don't like it.

    Besides, there are other important...sometimes MORE important than air-flow...being discussed here, such as PROTECTION. Air-flow is important...especially when dealing with heat and/or humidity...but, protection is, to a certain degree, more important. Additionally, what was being discussed/suggested want just any mesh gear, but Motoport's Kevlar mesh gear, which probably provides greater protection than anything else out there. I'm not about to personally out that to the test, but there are videos of people doing just that...and, so far, everyone, and every piece of Motoport gear, had survived. Unfortunately, they are a little more bulky, and they might weight slightly more, but, in the end...the MOST important part...it just might save your life.

    And, no, I don't work for, not so I have any connection with, Motoport. I'm just a cyclist who's been riding for 35+ years, had been in 4 accidents, and has experienced gear not holding up.
    #9
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  10. safeTnerd

    safeTnerd Adventurer

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    I bought a Motoport Air Mesh Shirt and am very pleased with it. Sizing was easy, I just sent them a good fitting shirt and added an inch or two for sleeve length. On the hottest of days, I simply wear a heat out tee shirt or similar underneath and add layer(s) as it turns cooler. I took the back pad out of the Motoport shirt as I wear a Helite Turtle vest on the outside. On the coldest days, I wear an oversize windproof/waterproof jacket from Alaska Hardgear over everything.
    For the bottom side, about the same... I have both Motoport mesh and stretch Kevlar trousers which I purchased used from this site and others. i wear the mesh pants on the hottest of days with heat out liner and make the switch to the stretch Kevlar when the seasons change.
    Motoport is arguably unappealing to the eye, ........ I have not put it to a crash test, nor do I want to, but I believe Motoport Kevlar offers the best protection available.
    #10
  11. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

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    Everything is a trade off. I thought my experience commuting on a motorcycle year round in NYC would be of value to the OP. My BMW mesh set doesnt flow a lot of air. The vented hear plus a veskimo is a better option for me given the conditions.
    #11
  12. Panther6834

    Panther6834 Adventurer

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    I might suggest you, yourself, give Motoport's Kevlar mesh gear a try. Yes, it's a bit more costly than almost all other options. No, it's not the most "glamorous" to look at. But, it provides the greatest protection...plus, unlike other gear (ie. off-the-rack), Motoport gear is truly custom-fit, to your specific measurements. In placing the order, there's a list of specific measurements. For those who love closer enough, they can go in for the measurements to be taken.
    #12
  13. thirdofthree

    thirdofthree Adventurer

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    ham -- Good feedback, taking a step back and evaluating broader options, even if not 100% on topic. The Veskimo's active cooling sure sounds appealing! No amount of ventilation will compare to active cooling when it's nasty hot. Looks like Veskimos aren't available anymore, unfortunately. Curious about similar options -- I've begun my search -- though refilling the tank with ice or maintaining ice at work might prove challenging.
    #13
  14. Vince

    Vince Been here awhile

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    Post No4 here is the best review I have seen on this topic, I have stretch GP2 pants and Mesh Marathon Jacket and have exactly the same experience with this gear
    #14
  15. yellowcarbon

    yellowcarbon Been here awhile

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    My name is yellowcarbon and I have a problem with motorcycle gear.

    I own several Motoport configurations. All mesh shirt & pants, mesh front/stretch back pants, stretch jacket & pants, and mesh sleeves/stretch body jacket. I have also done tri & quad armor, tail bone & hip armor on pants. All have been purchased used for 25-50% of new, so some fits okay, some are slightly long and most fit perfect, but I check the measurements before buying. But apparently there are other 6'3" 300# motorcyclist out there that like Motoport.

    My favorite is my mesh front/stretch rear over pants. The stretch allow me so get a snug fit without sacrificing comfort. I use it for the majority of the year when riding for fun. When I have to stop at job sites for work, I wear some Bull-It stretch jeans. I really should get some Motoport stretch jeans for those occasions. As for my jacket, the stretch jacket is the most comfortable and flows enough air for warm conditions. Again, I need to get a Motoport stretch hoody for work runs. When it is hot and I am headed somewhere that I need to be presentable, I wear mesh as it keeps the sweat at a minimum. For long pleasure rides, I go with the stretch. When it is cold & rainy (all 4 weeks out of the year here in AZ), I wear my Aerostich Darien. I also wear my Vanson perforated leather & Bull-It stretch jeans if I am stopping to meet the wife for dinner/lunch.

    But if I had to, which I happily don't (I'm in the upper middle class), pick one piece of riding gear. It would be my stretch back, mesh front over pants and a mesh jacket. When I worked full time in an office I wore that 90% of the time. In the cold I would wear a windproof light jacket under the mesh and use it as a stand alone jacket once I got to work. It is by far the most flexible piece of gear out there. I have tried tons.

    With that said, while I love the abrasion resistance of the mesh gear. It is the armor coverage of Motoport that I love the most. Shin/knee, thigh, chest, elbow to wrist, back, shoulders are all standard. The elbow to wrist armor piece is bigger than some back armor. Impact injuries is what cause death & long term injury. Between my Motoport gear and Hit-Air air bag vest, I am as protected as I can be as far as gear goes.
    #15
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  16. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

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    Bummer on veskimo; I thought it was an excellent product. If you do a search i think you will find similar products. If I had to do it over again I might have gone with Motorport but I am too invested in my current gear.
    #16
  17. SASteve

    SASteve Been here awhile

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    I recently got a Marathon mesh jacket with the quad armor. I really like it, fit and comfort are phenomenal. The only thing I don't care for is the bulk - it's super comfortable, but at 6'2 and 240 it makes me look like a stay puft marshmallow man, It is not exactly slimming! Given the comfort and protection however it is my favorite Jacket
    #17
  18. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

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    Mesh jacket and stretch pants is my combo. Flexible where you need it most, does not scratch the bike up, and lots of airflow.
    I commute on a naked bike year round (with exception of snow) in the Philly burbs so similar weather but obviously without NYC traffic.

    Regarding liners, and why I believe most people who worry about them don’t have them or are thinking of liners in other gear.

    In the cold part of the year, say October through end of April my liners are installed all the time anyway so no worries with rain then, and yes they are warm. I re-use my jacket liner as an extra layer on snowmobile trips in Maine every February. If my commute involves an unseasonably warm day between Oct-April I leave the liners installed, but do not zip the jacket liner. That gives me a huge front vent that does the job on those rare occasions.

    During the hot part of the year WeatherUnderground can tell me with nearly absolute certainty if it will rain on my way to work. If it will rain on the way to work I wear liners. If not, I don’t.
    What happens if it rains on the way home? Uh, I get wet. Maybe I am an oddball, but I don’t care about getting wet on the ride home, at least not in that part of the year. I am going to change clothes when I get home anyway, and my gear is always dry by morning.

    I have owned my Motoport gear for 11 years. I don’t even own any other gear for street riding so I have worn it (most) days over those 11 years and I have never, not one single time, wanted or needed to stop and put on rain liners mid-ride. I can see where that may be a consideration for long term touring because you need to prepare for varying conditions, but in terms of commuting liners are simply the best way to go IMO.

    (Edit: when talking about Motoport liners I am referring to their water/wind proof aerotex liner. I have the ‘thermal’ liner, but rarely wear it as it does not add much more warmth vs any other layer I would wear in its place)
    #18
  19. phats2

    phats2 n00b

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    again, thanks much for the responses. i ended up going with the GP2 stretch jacket and stretch pants both with aero tex liner and quad armor- may end up getting mesh for summer but after surviving last week with my current non-breathable rev'it gear, i know this will be a step in the right direction for summer and better for the rest of the seasons. going to be a few weeks but looking forward to it
    #19
  20. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Great comments here, helpful to me, looking for a new jacket. :thumb

    Is it just me, or does MotoPort not have a page with clear differentiation between Solid, mesh, and stretch jackets? I'm inclined toward an Ultra II Cordura with two-part liner for SF Bay Area all-year riding,
    #20