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Thread: Suit recommendation

  1. #1
    Sullyman
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    Suit recommendation

    I am shopping for a good bike suit. Any comments on BMW suits vs Aerostich?
    I'm considering Aerostich Darien & BMW "Comfortshell". Any suggestions?
    I live in Canada, so would like a suit that will keep me warm in shoulder seasons, but not be oppressively hot in summer when I ride into US.
    -top notch protection obviously a priority too.
    Mike

  2. #2
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Big plus with Aerostich - the repair service. I had a 12 year old suit not only brought back to useable life, but expanded a bit (they shink in the winter somehow) for a very reasonable price. They also keep their style (or lack of) since the design doesn't go through yearly model changes. If you get a Roadcrafter (my favorite - 12 month of the year riding suit) you can also have custom modifications made to it when it's being made.. and it's made in the USA, by USAnians.

    BMW offers nothing for repairs/modifications. It fits or it doesn't. You might find a local tailor who can fix/modify your BMW suit, but I sure don't know of any. The few that are left near me have a hard time cuffing dress pants. The BMW suits are excellent quality - good stuff, nicely made, nicely finished, I just don't fit in anything they make, and the prices seem as high or higher than stuff from Rider Warehouse ('stich, Darien.)

    I know very few people who have regretted their Aerostich purchase.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  3. #3
    Registered User coalminer's Avatar
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    I like my Darien jacket and pants. I like dealing with the folks at Aerostich. I've never tried the BMW gear but it looks like pretty good stuff. I've thought about the BMW Santiago jacket just to have something different to wear every once in a while.

  4. #4
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    I have a roadcrafter suit and a BMW R2P. The roadcrafter is perfect for running errands, commuting, etc. When I know I'm going to be on the road most of the day I prefer the comfort of a two piece suit and wear the R2P. Also, the R2P is much better in heat.

    I've low sided in both. Both held up quite nice.

    Prior to the R2P I had the Darien jacket and pants. It is also excellent, but I found it a bit too warm on hot days. I had the standard Darien, not the Darien Light. With the R2P I can remove the goretex liner and be comfortable in temperatures well over 100 (on the west coast... not a lot of humidity) before I even think of using my evaporative cooling vest. In fact, I don't think I've used the vest since I replaced my Darien jacket.

    Many hate removable rain liners. They don't bother me these days. That was not true when I first got my Darien and one of the reasons that led to it's purchase. That Darien is still in excellent shape, purchased and now being used by a friend.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat empeg9000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I can recommend BMW

    I have the Santiago jacket and pants. I also don't find the rain liners a bother. On a day that looks like mixed weather I just make a decision as to whether or not I should put the pants liner in. The jacket liner I can just do on the side of the road if need be. I live in the north east where it gets hot and humid and its the coolest riding suit I have found so far. My favorite thing about the pants is that they feel like you are wearing jeans.
    I highly recommend it.

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Nobody has been able to convince me that I want to buy their suit instead of keeping my Aerostich. I have a 2 piece Roadcrafter. I outgrew (spread) my first one after about 15 years, and bought my second one 5 years ago.

    There are a number of decent suits/jackets/pants out there. I refuse, however, to embrace the silly notion that it makes any sense to hit rain, pull over, take my jacket and pants off so I can install the liners (standing in the rain in my shirt and pants), and then put the suit back on over my now wet clothing.

    If I was purely a local rider and short trip rider in densly populated places that might make sense. Maybe ...... but not probably. But I tour, long days, and often in the west where the next canopy to get under is 40 or 80 miles, and I haven't seen an Interstate overpass in a week or two. And Great Plains thunderstorms can rain with a vengeance. I'm not talking sprinkling showers here - I mean real rain.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #7
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Aerostich Roadcrafter two piece Riding suit

    Is it worth the money? ($1100.00 Canadian, at 2009 exchange rate)
    As I am a bit of a procrastinator, it took me a while to make up my mind to buy an Aerostich riding suit. About 20 years in fact! Over the years I have used various types of gear; Belstaff, Leather, Cordura, long and short jackets, bibbed and non-bibbed pants, all do the job but all have their problems.
    My desire was to have a riding suit that I could take off in seconds, warm, waterproof, well vented, comfortable and offers good protection. Along with all that, I didnÔÇÖt want it to be too hot in the extreme heat. Tall order. What I have chosen is the two-piece zip together Aerostich Roadcrafter. After wearing it for a year, does it meet my needs? Well a big Maybe.
    I donÔÇÖt think it possible to meet all needs with just one outfit but this suit comes very close. Is it warm? Yes, if one wears an electric vest and liner with it. The suit can be closed off at the neck and cuffs to seal out the wind.
    Comfortable? Yes, itÔÇÖs available in all sorts of mix and match sizes or can be custom ordered. When new, it is very stiff and takes a long time to break in and when it does, it takes on your body shape and feels much better.
    Waterproof? To a certain degree, yes, however, the old problem with the crotch is still there, if riding a naked bike. I have found the same problem even with rain suits. Well vented? Yes, as long as one is moving. There are vents under the arms and in the back that work well but the armour does limit these somewhat. Once stopped, itÔÇÖs a matter of getting it off as fast as possible, which is very easy to do. Unzip two zippers and in moments you stand there looking very dapper in your shorts and riding boots. To combat this look, I wear lightweight pants with zip off legs, which makes for a more acceptable look when going into a store or restaurant.
    Cool in the heat? Well in my wisdom I bought a black suit so I am asking a lot, but I find it no hotter than my leathers. I drink a lot of water and wet myself down often. I find I can handle the heat by getting an early morning start and stopping relatively early in the afternoon.
    Good protection? Hopefully I donÔÇÖt get to find out. I did go for the hip pads but donÔÇÖt like them as they interfere with getting into the inside of the suit. I also have the back protector with the standard shoulder, elbow and knee armour.
    After using the Aerostich for a year, I think it is the best riding outfit I have ever owned. 50 years of riding and IÔÇÖm getting closer to having all the right gear. Now itÔÇÖs time to look at helmets.
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
    BMW MOA Charter, Life member.
    Valley BMW Riders. British Columbia.

  8. #8
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    There are a number of decent suits/jackets/pants out there. I refuse, however, to embrace the silly notion that it makes any sense to hit rain, pull over, take my jacket and pants off so I can install the liners (standing in the rain in my shirt and pants), and then put the suit back on over my now wet clothing.
    Paul, I don't know of anyone who does what you suggest, so I guess we all refuse to do it, especially when removing the pants also requires removal of boots and not all of the pants are overpants.

    The issue is one of heat. If it's hot I'd rather be wet from rain then hot and wet from sweat. I own a Roadcrafter; I know how hot they can get. If it's cold and wet I'm likely already wearing the liners (because they help keep you warm). If not I can slip the jacket liner on in a few seconds (one doesn't have to zip/snap the liner to the shell before use). I carry a pair of external rain pants to cover my bottom half.

    Yes, it is a bit more effort than it is to just keep riding in my Roadcrafter. The effort is worth the extra 15-20 degrees of temperature I can handle in the suit with the removable liners.

    That said, they are not for everyone. Some people just refuse to stop riding.

  9. #9
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I have had the Kalahari suit, Savanna I suit, Rally II and the Santiago suit.
    Two times I have ridden through the rain and got wet and cold because I did not want to stop and put the liners in.
    The rest of the time I have put the liner pants on in the morning.
    If it rains I put the jacket and gloves on.
    I can ride with the pant on into the mid 80's with out being hot.
    It is not rain gear that you put on and take off, its a riding suit with a Gore-Tex liner that you can take out when it gets hot.
    Ask a astro-stitch owner in the summer if he wishes he could take his liner out.
    This is in 9 cross country trips and two to Alaska
    Watch or listen to the weather reports, watch for clouds, put the liners in ahead of time.

  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widebmw View Post
    I have had the Kalahari suit, Savanna I suit, Rally II and the Santiago suit.
    Two times I have ridden through the rain and got wet and cold because I did not want to stop and put the liners in.
    The rest of the time I have put the liner pants on in the morning.
    If it rains I put the jacket and gloves on.
    I can ride with the pant on into the mid 80's with out being hot.
    It is not rain gear that you put on and take off, its a riding suit with a Gore-Tex liner that you can take out when it gets hot.
    Ask a astro-stitch owner in the summer if he wishes he could take his liner out.
    This is in 9 cross country trips and two to Alaska
    Watch or listen to the weather reports, watch for clouds, put the liners in ahead of time.
    I'm an Aerostich owner and don't wish I could take my liner out - and I live in south Texas. I do own a mesh jacket. It is great at 80 to 85 degrees. If it's hotter the airflow sucks too much moisture out of my body on anything but a very short ride. So when traveling in on-the-road mode I prefer the Aerostich - either my Roadcrafter or my Darien. I wear either with my Roadcrafter pants with the zip-on bib top. My Roadcrafter has a satin sewn-in lining. My Darien doesn't. The Darien has a thick fleece and satin zip-in liner which I never wear except in the winter. I don't take it along when traveling in the summer because it takes up way too much space. The Darien is cooler than the Roadcrafter. When I want a liner for the Darien it is my Gerbin heated jacket liner.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  11. #11
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    It really comes down to temperatures. I live in SoCal and here it is all about heat. A mesh suit works better in heat. My Motoport is cooler in hot weather than a tee shirt and jeans. With all the liners installed, the Motoport is MUCH warmer than my Roadcrafter. The only issue the incredible hassle of installing the liners, the same thing with all the liner suits. Because you live Canuk the ability to ride through rain stoorms without stopping in summer weather could be an enormous advantage, that is why so many Iron Butts use the Roadcrafter. The Roadcrafter is pretty much just as good as a mesh suit if you are always rolling, it is only when you have to stop that the heat becomes a big issue. My Roadcrafter is good to about 85 degrees in traffic, 95 degrees at 45 mph. I have been thinking about using one of the phase change cooling vests for hot weather, or one of the ice cooled vests. If you weere willing to ride with one of these then the Roadcrafter would be the way to go.

  12. #12
    Rally Rat empeg9000's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Nobody has been able to convince me that I want to buy their suit instead of keeping my Aerostich. I have a 2 piece Roadcrafter. I outgrew (spread) my first one after about 15 years, and bought my second one 5 years ago.

    There are a number of decent suits/jackets/pants out there. I refuse, however, to embrace the silly notion that it makes any sense to hit rain, pull over, take my jacket and pants off so I can install the liners (standing in the rain in my shirt and pants), and then put the suit back on over my now wet clothing.

    If I was purely a local rider and short trip rider in densly populated places that might make sense. Maybe ...... but not probably. But I tour, long days, and often in the west where the next canopy to get under is 40 or 80 miles, and I haven't seen an Interstate overpass in a week or two. And Great Plains thunderstorms can rain with a vengeance. I'm not talking sprinkling showers here - I mean real rain.
    Like wise no one has convinced me a Aerostich is better than what I have. I like what I have an around here, I know when its going to rain so I generally put the liner in at the start of the day. I see your point and since I've never lived out west I've never seen a storm come on that quickly when I couldn't see things darkening up ahead of time.

    The only time I have ever thought it might be nice to have a stitch is maybe for riding to work to have the one peice to slip on over my work clothes lickity splt. However my 15 minute comute would never justify that.

    We all like our suits for different reasons and mine works best for me. I have owned a couple suits where the liners were part of the jacket, such as my olympia AST, and even with the big vents in the humid sunny days of July and August they are just too hot. Especially behind the fairing of the RT.

  13. #13
    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
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    Purchased a Darien jacket and pants in 2002 and I still use it when I ride. I would like to get a Roadcrafter but this thing just will not wear out! I follow the instructions on washing and I always waterproof it after washing. Yes, it is on the warm side in the summer but once you get rolling and have the vents opened you can ride and not worry about the weather or body surfing the pavement.

    '02 R1150RT

  14. #14
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by empeg9000 View Post
    Like wise no one has convinced me a Aerostich is better than what I have. I like what I have an around here, I know when its going to rain so I generally put the liner in at the start of the day. I see your point and since I've never lived out west I've never seen a storm come on that quickly when I couldn't see things darkening up ahead of time.
    Likewise with my Motoport mesh suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by carockwell View Post
    It really comes down to temperatures. I live in SoCal and here it is all about heat. A mesh suit works better in heat. My Motoport is cooler in hot weather than a tee shirt and jeans. With all the liners installed, the Motoport is MUCH warmer than my Roadcrafter. The only issue the incredible hassle of installing the liners,
    In the summer you don't have to install them, just put the liners on and then wear the suit over top. I only attach the liners to the suit during early spring and late fall.

    I have worn my Motoport Mesh suit from temps in the high 20s up to 105F. It is a good all round riding suit. It is made from Kevlar, has good armour that doesn't slide around and is custom made to your dimensions.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  15. #15
    R1200GS Adventure Madhatter's Avatar
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    I have used a BMW 2-piece Santiago suit w/ liner for a couple years and just recently got my 1-piece Aerostitch Roadcrafter.

    I absolutely love the Aerostitch. I just wore it on a 2200 mile trip through Texas and back to Wyoming. I hit temps from 38 deg F to 85 deg F. Rode through a lightning storm of biblical proportions (leaked at the crotch on that one), light snow, hail, a wild fire, and bright sunshine. The 'stitch took it all in stride. I really like the one piece design--just seems easier and more comfortable to me. I also like not having to stop and put a liner in.

    Yes, it did leak, but at the time it was raining so hard a puddle was formed by the seat and my legs. I probably shouldn't have been riding at all--couldn't really see more than a couple bike lengths ahead of me--but that's a BMW rider for ya. I have now had several riding days in adverse weather (cold, raining) where I never saw another bike on the road. I think the 'stitch gives me the comfort to tackle just about anything but extreme heat.

    However....

    I think over 85-90 degrees F the Santiago is going to prove much more comfortable. The Santiago can breathe really well and the venting is great. I've worn the Santiago fairly comfortably with a cooling vest in 110 degree heat. I don't think a cooling vest would work as well in the 'stitch. Oddly enough, I've never really tested the Santiago's rain protection. Don't know why, maybe it's lucky.

    I think it depends on your riding weather really. They are both 3-season protection in my mind. The 'stitch covers Spring, Fall, and Winter. The 2 piece covers Spring, Summer, Fall. If I had to choose just one, it would likely be the 'stitch though.

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