Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting more protective Riding Gear

BMW Joke: What's the cheapest part on a BMW Motorcycle? The Owner!

After much angst and research, I decided to take the plunge today and ordered a new riding jacket and overpants to replace my Firstgear Kilimanjaro Air 3/4 Jacket and Joe Rocket Alter Ego Pants.

Both pieces of gear have served me well but with the fading of the red portions of my jacket and subsequent FUBAR attempts to fix that and my pants just not fitting quite right anymore, it was time to upgrade to better stuff.

As my loving wife put it, its pricey stuff the new gear but my protection is not something to skimp on in terms of money. I guess that means she wants to keep me around. : )

I ordered the Ultra II Air Mesh Kevlar 3/4 Cut Jacket, all black, with the optional reflective strip running down the back of the jacket's arms. I also ordered the Air Mesh Kevlar Pants, the only modification being to remove the logo on the flap that covers the belt buckle of the pants. The lady who to my order, Adele, mentioned they might have the items in stock, I am keeping my fingers crossed; specially for the jacket which I want right now.

Why Black you ask, given my previous postings on conspicuity? I don't want the fading issue to come up again, it hides dirt much better since I ride so much and the reflectors on it should be good at night. Remember, I count on the lights on my motorcycle more to catch a cager's attention; and besides, you're invisible when riding....remember? I ride accordingly.

Why the rush you ask? Turns out, my summer mesh jacket, a Firstgear MeshTex jacket may be made complete of polyutherane materials and plastic is known to melt under high abrasion situations such as a "get off" while riding and experiencing periods of dragging one's body on pavement as a result. So now, am not as trusting of the jacket and want the protection of the kevlar mesh.

The owner warranties the gear for 7 years! Let's see the other guys do that.

The manufacturer, Motoport aka Cycleport, has a truly awful website that is hard to navigate and use. LINK.

However, don't let the website stop you from researching the info within and looking at their stuff. Better links are obtained from the owner: Wayne Boyer via email. Here's a couple of threads form's forum and a blogger's site which pretty much sold me on motoport's products:

Link1 Link2 Link3

Here's a link to a comparison chart on materials and their strengths or protection potentials: PDF.

The links above have much superior pictures of the Motoport product lineup than the Motoport's website. It's not a great site and the owner freely admits this in the forums.

Here's the jacket I ordered, the picture came from one of the postings in the website threads listed above. The pictures are of the "Stretch Kevlar" version, the Mesh Kevlar version I ordered have a rougher texture and larger weave to them but with that comes more air flow which is important here during Colorado's hot summer months.

If you take the time and read through all the postings in the links above, you'll see pictures of samples of the fabrics to get an idea of texture/color and such. There's many feedback postings from riders who rave about the motoport suite of products. No better advertising in my mind and it makes up for their poor website. Apparently, they've got more business than they can handle now and improving the website for this small company is not a higher priority.

Here's high definition shots of the Air Mesh Kevlar Jacket, cheese grater is the term that has been used in the forums and which comes to mind.

So, I hope I at least get the jacket soon so I can report on its qualities on this blog. Being impatient and cheap are not a good combination but such is my lot in life. : )

Update: Called them four hours later, the size I need is not in stock. : ( It's about 4 weeks before I can expect to get both the jacket and the pants. Oh well.

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