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View Poll Results: Which would you buy
Black with red, looking good and being practical 11 52.38%
High viz yellow, safety first. 10 47.62%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-13-2016, 09:41 AM   #21
djs
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I did look at the cooling vests and I plan to buy something similar in the future. The cooling vests are a great solution for some applications but I decided they weren't for me for a couple of reasons:
  1. Too much work to keep ice packs cycling through the system. I commute every day and drive to the gym at lunch several days a week. Too much hassle to keep taking ice packs in and out of the fridge or to keep wetting a vest.
  2. I need to look professional these things are bound to get condensation / moisture on your clothes.
I will say that they offer a huge benefit in that they provide some cooling with zero air flow.

This thread has morphed beyond the original intent but so be it. Probably if I gave some back story my decisions might (or might not) make some more sense.

I am just coming back to motorcycling after 6 years off. I did not ride on 2 wheels from spring 2009 to fall 2015 because I had a pretty bad accident. I'm fine now, I ran the marathon last year but the accident freaked my wife. Part of the deal with her to get back on 2 wheels was to take every reasonable precaution to my safety.

So most of my gear dated from a time in my life with less money and different priorities. Now I have more resources and a family to consider. So first priority is the most protective gear I can buy that I hope I can wear year round. To me, that is Motoport mesh.

If I already had high quality protective gear, a cooling vest might be just the ticket to extending my riding comfort into the summer season. I have a decent mid range jacket and no pants so this is (I hope) the best choice for me.

Do I seem like less of an idiot now? Maybe I shouldn't ask that

Last edited by djs; 01-13-2016 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:47 AM   #22
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Have you considered Alpineskin?
It comes in Hiviz white guy or black.
It is very breathable in the summer, and lets you have the most air flow that why so many people wear it.
It will definitely get you noticed when you rev your engine at pp1.
And the best part is it wont hurt your wallet.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #23
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Can you post a link? Googling "alpineskin" and "alpine skin" and "alpine skin motorcycle got me nothing that made sense.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:05 PM   #24
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You are fine. This is MH, so you better get used to the attitude thrown around.

This Tech Kewl is bar none the best money I've ever spent on motorcycle gear. Keeping cool in Houston Summer is a safety concern. Good body core temp control allows the rider to maintain good mental and physical composure needed to deal with traffic and hazards.

It stays in the freezer at home and takes 15sec to put on. When I get to the office, it goes right in the freezer at work. On short lunch runs, I don't always bother to put it on. Hottest temps hit around 3-5pm. At 11-12pm, it's usually not too bad yet. Even if I do, it takes less than a minute to swing by the fridge on the way out and coming back in.

One thing about this Phase Change cooling vest is that too much air flow is actually not good. This is why I got rid of the Speed Triple R, which I bought for Summer riding. The vest worked best with my Trophy SE, which has excellent wind isolation and minimizes thawing of the cooling packs. I've ridden for 2-1/2hrs wearing that vest in early September and it stayed cool.

As for gear, protectiveness has 3 components:

1. Material
2. Methods of construction
3. Coverage

When I look at the Motoport jacket, I don't see it excelling at any of them. They can claim their mesh is king, but I just don't believe it is that much more abrasion resistant than layers of good ballistic nylon. I also don't see additional reinforcement at key areas like shoulder and elbows. Good jackets I see ALWAYS have layers of denser material added to those places. This is on top of CE armor pieces underneath. Regardess of how good the base materials is, those key areas NEED reinforcements to withstand brute force impact and prolonged abrasion.

Coverage wise, I'm not fond of waist cut jacket. I have them and still wear them from time to time, but I much prefer the additional coverage of the 3/4 length.

That talk about one jacket does it for all weather... yeah right! Nice thought. I ride 25-115F and no one piece of gear can cover that.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:06 PM   #25
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Maybe he meant to say Alpinestars?
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #26
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I noticed a very large reduction in near-misses when I switched from wearing black to high-viz yellow.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:38 PM   #27
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After some back and forth with the vendor, it boils down to a basic question:

I want the best functionality which means high viz.

But because I am paying a ton of money, I want it to have a long service life. I know the materials will last a decade or more but I am worried that high viz material will look like after a decade of riding.

Black doesn't show stains, it will most likely not be visibly stained after a decade of use. High Viz Yellow after a decade of use? If I knew the answer, I'd be done thinking about it.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:25 PM   #28
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My Hi Viz mesh gear comes out of the washing machine just as clean and bright as new. You will sweat in them, and you will need to launder them. Unless you get some heavy black grease or Clinton-grade presidential stains, most road grime comes right off in a wash.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:30 PM   #29
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Ok, I know you've gone over your reasoning, and I just don't think you're really getting the best of anything with the jacket you selected.

If you truly want a jacket that will offer good protection and be usable year-round, you need to look into something with hybrid construction. Mesh panels will provide adequate cooling vs. a solid jacket in the summer while maintaining leather or textile panels in the high-abrasion areas will protect you better than a full mesh. On top of that, many jackets with this type of construction are touring jackets, which will typically include both a removable rain liner and fleece (or other thermal) liner. Both are necessary (IMO) once the temp gets below 40, as the waterproof layer acts as a wind barrier and the thermal aids in heat retention. The best all-around jacket I've found for my use is an Alpinestars Drystar, though I'm sure there are jackets out there that offer even better protection, but then again I don't believe there's one "best" piece of gear out there for year-round use.

I typically cycle through 4 or 5 jackets throughout the year, as well as about 3 sets of gloves, a couple of pairs of boots, multiple sets of riding pants, and at least 2 helmets. Each piece of gear I have has something it's better at, and I make my selections for the day based on time(s) of day I'll be riding, lowest or highest temp I'll encounter, and chances of rain.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:55 PM   #30
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Go with Hi Viz. You want to be seen.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:57 AM   #31
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Aside from it being a hi visibility jacket and also providing temperature defending options, it is like any other. You're spending a load of money on something you can pickup for much less with other brands. IMO, pick whatever looks best to you and fits comfortably. I would spend the big bucks on better armor features like collar bone and back protection that lower priced jackets do not provide. Whatever money you have left from your jacket budget, buy a nice pair of gloves. I'd rather pay a little less and come out of the store with more items, than pay a ton of money on one particular thing.

If your heart is not set on it, don't buy it. At any point you need help from others to make your decision easier... then you should keep looking. You'll know when you found what you want, because you'll just buy it without anyone's input.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:12 AM   #32
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Thanks for all the help. The thoughtful replies made me think about a few things. This thread morphed into a couple different points.

Safety vs. Fashion vs. Long Term Wear and Tear:
Turns out that I don't have to compromise on this particular topic after exchanging a few more emails with the owner. In his opinion the most conspicuous setup is black fabric with the yellow ASTM retro-reflective material. And the retro-reflective material can be replaced fairly easily if I can't stand the color or it wears out. So I get safety and reasonable "fashion" and long term stain resistance.

Value:
Lots of folks questioning the value of the motoport gear. I totally understand that it is not for everyone and for many / most riders it does not make sense. And I understand that value does not scale with cost, twice the cost is not twice the value. Lots of folks prefer multiple specialized jackets for different seasons / different applications. For me, I am personally convinced that for my situation, the Motoport is worth it. Not worth it for a lot of other folks but to each their own.

I can say with confidence that you can find a lot of good reviews and a lot of negative comments on the Motoport gear. But so far the breakdown is every owner of the motoport gear loves it and every negative reviewer does not own the gear but instead bashes the value. Just like this thread. Not hating, again to each their own.

I did change my mind from waist cut to a longer jacket but I did place an order this morning for some Motoport gear. Hopefully it is as awesome as I expect. If not, hopefully I have the nards to fess up / take advantage of the money back guarantee. Maybe I'll resurrect this thread for a review when I get the gear.


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Old 01-14-2016, 12:50 PM   #33
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Good luck. Yes, be sure to let us know how well it holds up to impact with terra firma and then sliding down 250ft of rough asphalt.

Back in Oct, friend of mine survived exactly that with a 10+yr old mesh jacket (probably similar what you can buy for $100-150 these days), after a forest rat hit his FJR1300. Fractured his collar bone and cracked a few ribs, but his gear saved him from major road rash. I doubt even a custom $3000 racing suit would've prevented those broken bones. Abrasion resistance is what a motorcycle jacket is good for, not blunt force trauma.

IMO, you don't need $500 mesh jackets to get reasonably good abrasion protection. But hey, its your money. Spend it however you please. A lot of us here might disagree with your choice and approach, but you get a BIG THUMB'S UP from me for taking protective gear so seriously.

All jeers and difference of opinion aside... ride safe.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:52 PM   #34
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I've met a few riders and bobbies who had Motoport mesh gear, including one who had a bad high-side in it. They loved it for the durability and air flow. The Kevlar mesh is not the cheap kind you see from Joe Rocket, Dainese, and Alpinestars with their sub-$500 jackets. I believe in quality over quantity, so price is not a deterrence either.

That being said, I wear a perforated leather suit year-round on my recreational rides. I don't ride in the rain anymore. For cold weather, I wear a wind-blocking liner under the suit. If you have the high heat and humidity tolerance like I do, get perforated leather with a removable liner for versatility.

On being visible to cars around you:
The colour of your jackets and pants don't matter as much the colour of your helmet. A solid coloured full-face helmet in a bright fluorescent shade or white is the most visible. Matte black, silver, and grey are least visible. Furthermore, the brightness of your headlights and taillights matters more than jacket colour. Since the #1 killer of riders is a left-turning car, the danger is in the front. The only situation where a jacket colour matters is when you ride an upright naked bike. That makes your jacket more visible to oncoming traffic.

To reiterate, helmet colour and lighting are the most effective at increasing visibility. Motoport Mesh is high quality and pricey, but perhaps perforated leather may be a better alternative.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:07 AM   #35
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There's one something I rarely hear; and that is the psychology. Too many people think bikers are either gangsters or daredevils. The hi vis gear gives the impression of some old man that just values safety. Part of the secret to safety is more than just being seen, it's being the guy that others don't respond to with aggression.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #36
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People look stupid in high viz gear. I'd rather be dead and cool than alive and uncool
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:06 AM   #37
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Quote:
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There's one something I rarely hear; and that is the psychology. Too many people think bikers are either gangsters or daredevils. The hi vis gear gives the impression of some old man that just values safety. Part of the secret to safety is more than just being seen, it's being the guy that others don't respond to with aggression.
I believe there is a lot of truth to this. IMO it even extend to perception by law enforcement. A rider that come across as safety conscious across multiple fronts is much more likely to be regarded favorably than a squid that don't give a hoot about his own safety and that of others.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:24 AM   #38
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Quote:
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...Black doesn't show stains, it will most likely not be visibly stained after a decade of use. High Viz Yellow after a decade of use? If I knew the answer, I'd be done thinking about it.
Depending on how much you actually ride though don't forget about the sun. I have identical Tourmaster jackets, one black and one hi-viz. After equal hours (lots & lots) of riding the black looks worse due to sun fading. The hi-viz has faded also but just changed shades so not noticeable whereas the black has a old washed out/purplish hue to it.

I only bought the hi-viz because jacket was discontinued when I purchased a second one due to liking the first so much. Only NOS I could find was hi-viz. I'm used to it now and will probably keep buying hi-viz but I ride dual sports and adventure not sports bikes. So visible I had a deer take one look at me last month and jump out of my way so now I'm sold. Lol

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Old 01-17-2016, 06:29 PM   #39
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People look stupid in high viz gear. I'd rather be dead and cool than alive and uncool
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:41 PM   #40
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You made a great decision in going with Motoport, djs. It is great gear. I bought my Motoport gear, all black mesh with the liners, nine years ago and it is in great shape today. Their black mesh does not fade because it is 100% Kevlar. Mine is as black today as it was nine years ago and that's after 15-18,000 miles/yr., all over the country. I was rear ended in a construction zone by an 18 wheeler moving fast, a year after getting the gear, and the gear wasn't fazed. My bike and I flipped a number of times, according to the truck driver, but I walked away and my gear was not harmed. Read the testimonials and you'll see how great the gear is. Much stronger thread is used and the Kevlar is super tough stuff, putting leather to shame.
I bought mine sight unseen, like you, but I've stopped in and talked to them in Calif three times during rides. There is a good reason they get the accolades and police forces all over the world wear their gear. On my last visit a San Diego cop was there and he went on and on with superlatives about them.
I got the waist length jacket. I prefer it a lot over the longer one, and really like the way it zips to the pants, preventing roll ups. For the last three years I've worn a hi viz thin yellow vest to get more visibility. I also agree with the post above on white helmets for visibility.
I worn Joe Rocket mesh for a couple of years before getting my Motoport gear and they are not comparable. The Motoport gear blows the Joe Rocket stuff away.
You'll be pleased.

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