Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Firstgear's Customer Service

My first riding jacket was a Firstgear Kilimanjaro Air. I loved its fit, it's striking visibility pattern and how it kept me cool enough in hot weather and warm enough in cold weather riding.  I bought it the same day I bought my first motorcycle, a 2006 Honda Shadow 750 Aero, which I named: Gretl.

Four winters and five summers later, that Firstgear Jacket is still ready for the next ride, though it has been relegated to my backup riding jacket since I purchased the Motoport Kevlar Air Mesh riding jacket and pants.

However, a part of that Firstgear Jacket has always rode with me or on me during the cold riding months here in Colorado.  For you see, it came with a waterproof/insulated Tex-Mesh liner, which transfered easily for use under the Motorport jacket.  That liner was a key part of my warm layers which allowed me to ride in temperatures as low as -17°F this past winter.

I'd recently managed to lose that great jacket liner, probably worked its way out of the covered sidecar on one of my recent rides on Natasha, my Ural Sportsman sidecar rig.  I was quite bummed about it and had contacted Firstgear about purchasing a replacement as cold weather riding approaches again here in Colorado.

Through phone calls and emails exchanged (quite timely in terms of their response time by the way), they let me know that they no longer made or stocked the liner that came with my Kilimanjaro Air Riding Jacket.

But, all was not lost, they said they had available (from returned for repairs jackets) a size Large jacket liner that went with their new top of the line riding jacket: The Technical Performance Gear (TPG) Rainier Jacket!  They just offered it to me, no charge!  Now that's standing behind your product!

I sent them my address and today I took receipt of the above gorgeous looking jacket liner.  It's got a smooth tactile feel to the waterproof outside layer, is insulated, fits like a glove and feels great under my riding jackets!

I was so impressed with Firstgear's customer service, willingness to stand behind a product that was not even made anymore and concious effort to keep a past customer happy that I wrote this posting to let others know!  NOTE:  They didn't ask me to write this in exchange for the liner, I write this as a happy customer of Firstgear!

The Rainier Riding Jacket itself  looks to be quite an achievement in terms of rider comfort and protection also, check out it's specs here on the firstgear-usa website:  LINK   I believe it would give my existing Motoport Kevlar Jacket a run for the money in terms of key areas such as comfort and protection for a rider.  It's not inexpensive but then again, you really want to skimp on protecting yourself during a crash?


Martha said...

Aw, look it is you and the Vespa, err, I mean Gretl.

I'd forgotten how petite she was.

Wifey (sassy mode on)

RichardM said...

My primary jacket is also a Kilimanjaro (not Air) and I have absolutely no complaints about it. It works well in cold weather (down to 15F so far) and it has adequate ventilation to be passable in warm weather. Granted, I don't see the really hot temperatures that some put up with but it still gets into the high 80s. I haven't had to call them before but it is nice to know that they stand behind their products.

Now their HT overpants, that's a different story. Very worn and the material seems really light weight.

Thank you for your post.

Richard's Page

Gary France said...

I love it when a company does something like that - amazing they gave it to you for free. Great customer service will generally see me coming back time after time. Well done to them!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chatlie6 (Dom):

There is nothing like a customer service story that concludes with a happy ending. Especially if the happy ending was not preceeded by threats or phone calls punctuated by screams.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

bobskoot said...


I am on the lower end with JOE ROCKET. I had a problem with a broken zipper with a pair of Alter Ego Riding pants. I returned it to them and they told me to go to their dealer and pickout another pair, NO charge. The dealer said I could use the value and pick out anything else, but I stuck with JR.

I have a brand new Olympia HI-Viz jacket I wear only when it is raining, but somehow there is a leak in the elbows. I don't know how the water gets in as it is all sealed with double taped seams.

I think next time I will purchase a higher end jacket such as yours

I think it is very nice that a company would stand behind their customers even in this case where it was LOST, and not broken

Wet Coast Scootin

Jack Riepe said...


I wear Joe Rocket stuff with confidence. I had a slammer of a crash and walked (the next day) wearing a Nolan helmet and Joe Rocket gear. But Joe Rocket was one of the few companies that makes 5X gear!

Next year, I'm getting CyclePort stuff. I figure about $700 for the pants, and $800 for the jacket.