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Thread: BMW gear total failure

  1. #1
    The good you do goes on.
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    Exclamation BMW gear total failure

    I recently posted about upgrading my summer jacket from the Airflow 3 to the Airflow 4. I did this to gain the advantage of the Coldblack technology (which actually works) and for the improved armor.

    Well, on the third day of a week trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway the flimsy main zipper failed and will not stay closed. The jacket is now an expensive black and gray flag flapping in the breeze.

    Is this important? Only if you believe the jacket is intended to provide a margin of safety.

    As I looked closer at the jacket I realized this thing is mostly a styling exercise. The huge heavy zipper on the sleeves makes no sense, the oversize velcro flap on the sleeves just catches the wind and tries to lift off the velcro. The front zipper is as flimsy as something you would find on an evening gown. The cheap bunge cords on the interior meant to allow you to wear the jacket like a "backpack" wouldn't hold up under the lightest use. There is no method of cinching up the waist to insure the jacket doesn't roll up if you end up sliding down the highway's. Oh, the size 118 is about 2 sizes smaller than the older size 118.

    IMHO BMW management needs to fire the "stylists" who design their clothing (while I'm thinking of it these are probably the same people who design the bike seats that are all about style rather than function) and hire people who actually ride and test this gear.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the bikes and think many of the dealerships are the best in the business.

    I'm sending this thing back and going with the Klim Badlands jacket as it gets rave reviews from users.

    Ride safe.
    BMWMOA # 36913
    Life is a gift, give something back.
    BMWMOA #36913

  2. #2
    Registered User teepke's Avatar
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    I concur... I have the airflow 4 jacket which I got because the airflow 4 pants I had first were (are still) excellent hot weather kit.

    Upon arrival that night gown front zipper did not correctly zip and when I called that to the attention of the seller (BMW dealer online/ebay) they advised me to make sure I took better care to seat the start of the zipper when initially zipping up the jacket. I will say, since getting that tip, it has not been much of a problem. Still you are right that front zipper is a weak spot.

    I also concur, the big flappy material at the wrist is way more trouble than it's worth, I'm considering cutting that stuff off but would probably need something to secure the cuffs at the wrist... here's a thought... I could use the bungie cord "backpack" straps which are indeed more nuisance than usable. Yeah, I'll just cut them out next time I inadvertently loop an arm through one while putting the jacket on. Then cut the velcro flaps and sew in the bungie material into the cuffs.

    Sad to think I sold off my Airflow 3 to help defer the costs of the 4... tho I still have my yellow/blue airflow 2... sans protective padding so never sees duty anymore...

    -tp
    '11 F800R

  3. #3
    Registered User Moto316's Avatar
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    [Q

    I'm sending this thing back and going with the Klim Badlands jacket as it gets rave reviews from users.

    Ride safe.
    BMWMOA # 36913[/QUOTE]

    I love my Klim gear. Their stuff works great, haven't had any problems.

  4. #4
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    I've had some issues with the Air Flow zipper as well tho I believe syncing it properly at the bottom is the solution. Overall I like the suit. However, there is a 2 year warranty on these BMW suits. BMW will replace the zipper if you're not happy with it. The repair shop is in the Seattle area and the fix takes about 2 weeks. Talk to your dealer. BTW I like the sleeve zippers. They're big, low tech, and can be zipped with one hand easily.

  5. #5
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    BMW Air Flow 4

    I've also had the jacket and pant for two years now so I have an appreciation of what some of the feedback on the front zipper is all about. I also found out that if you don't start by seating the zipper right you're going to have problems. I do find it a bit "light duty" versus what I would have expected from something that's supposed to go to Timbuktu and back. That said, I've had no problems since learning to work the zipper. I haven't owned other jackets (but I did look at a few) so I really am not in the best position to comment but only to say I'm reasonably happy and have no regrets.

    Kent

  6. #6
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    Great info. I am in the heat of Texas and have been eyeing one of these jackets. I just could not get past the zipper issue and how big hands make a mess of it.i want something that will handle the oppressive heat we have but have not found anything as light and comfortable yet. I may just pull the trigger and send it right out to have the zipper fixed. But for 600 dollars I was expecting more and for a big guy it is hard to find something that fits well and this jacket did fit well, though it was the largest size they made.

  7. #7
    Hammam
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    Yes, you MUST make sure the zipper slider is firmly set all the way down before pulling it up. But that's where the problem is: it's difficult to pull it down all the way. Something always catches. And what I don't understand is why they put those huge zippers on the sleeves, where they serve no purpose, and this tiny, flimsy one on the front. Should have been the other way around.

    Other than that, I still think that, for a jacket with this level of sturdy protection, the Airflow 4 offers very good ventilation. It fits well and is comfortable to wear. And it's rather elegant. If only this zipper... Oh, well...

  8. #8
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    Those sleeve zippers do make sense. The teeth are big and tolerances are loose so they can be moved easily. Has to be done with one hand, right? Opposite are zippers on hi tech jackets like Patagonia's. Very annoying to try to adjust riding a bicycle.

  9. #9
    Hammam
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEPPELJ View Post
    Those sleeve zippers do make sense. The teeth are big and tolerances are loose so they can be moved easily. Has to be done with one hand, right? Opposite are zippers on hi tech jackets like Patagonia's. Very annoying to try to adjust riding a bicycle.
    What is there to adjust on those very short sleeve zippers that absolutely needs adjusting while riding? For my part, I wouldn't adjust any zipper while riding, anyway, except maybe the front zipper.

  10. #10
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    Right, Hammam, I wandered. I just meant that the big, funky zippers are useful where you have only one free hand to zip.

  11. #11
    The good you do goes on.
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    Follow up

    Since starting this thread in all fairness I thought I should add the following comments.

    The jacket material is first rate, air movement thru the jacket is very good, the armor is as good as anything I've seen on any motorcycle jacket and the Coldblack finish really works especially at low speeds and stop/go traffic.

    If BMW gets the zipper thing corrected, reduces the size of the sleeve tabs (like the AF3) and brings back the waist tab (added strength to the main zipper in the event of an accident) they will have an exceptional hot weather jacket.

    All said and done I will end up keeping this brand new $600 jacket after having a local shop replace the main zipper.
    Life is a gift, give something back.
    BMWMOA #36913

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