Review of my Gear
just wanted to share re: some new gear.
I just returned from a 7 day jaunt from Pender Harbour, BC (northwest of Vancouver BC) to Mount St Helens, WA and Crater Lake, OR, then up the coast of OR into the WA peninsula and back home. Rode with a new jacket and pants from http://www.motoport.com
First. When I bought my spanking new BMW R1200RT in 2008, I also purchased BMW Street guard jacket and pants, with the all-around BMW gloves, summer gloves and all around boots.
Great gear, all waterproof, never leaks, comes with zip in and out liners for warmth. Problem, the jacket is really hot in the summer - even here in Vancouver BC where it gets to 25 to 30 Celsius for part of the summer. Still have this gear.
the boots, and both sets of gloves are great. all around gloves and boots are totally waterproof. The summer gloves, very airy and light, with good protection.
Oh yes, I also purchased (in 2009) a BMW System helmet with the internal sun visor - awesome, can never go back. Schuberth (as long as it fits comfortably) is my new helmet next year.
So why the new gear, other than being hot?
I believed I could find more protection with a better fit. So I ordered an Ultra II Air Mesh Kevlar jacket with the quad armour upgrade and extra visibility strips, along with stretch kevlar pants, with quad armour and hip protectors etc (all the extra protection goodies) about 1.5 years ago. I received the jacket last August 2012 (the pants did not arrive until late October) and took it for a 12 day trip. It took 5 days to break-in. Wayne, from motoport, told me that it would fit tight and take a few hours to mold the quad armour to my body, and the air mesh kevlar would take about 5 days of riding. All true.
The jack fit pretty tight from the start, but I thought it would break in and become a better fit with wear (you can guess where this is going...).
I ordered the thermal layered waterproof liner for both the jacket and the pants.
Long story short, did not try the pants until this summer. The bmw gear is great in the wintery months up here.
I had phoned Wayne and told him the jacket was just too small, I felt like the kid in the Christmas Story with the red suit on to go out in the winter, my arms stuck out at the sides (well not really), but with the liner in, I could only wear a t-shirt and not any other layers. The mesh breathes well, but also one can't regulate the air flow, and I was concerned about dehydration in hot weather (read going to Salem this summer rally). I told Wayne I would see him at the rally. So, well Glen's crew was installing my new Krista's (thanks Glen for the gratis install and $$ off on the lights) I went to see Wayne.
BTW, the jacket had a really low cut collar, and I received (one day last year on the Montana trip) a very nasty sunburn and windburn on my neck. Collar needs to be taller, for me.
He looked at me, with my jacket on and said, oh yeah, that jacket looks too small. So he took notes about how to fix it, and I told him I would send it to him. The stretch kevlar pants fit well, and are soooooooo comfy. Lot's of great quad armour protection, I believe it provides superior protection to many other makes of pants, including my BMW pants.
When I got back home, I sent Wayne the jacket and spoke with him on the phone. I told him that I would prefer a stretch kevlar jacket, fit to my proper size with a higher collar and additional visibility strips on the arms and front of the jacket (that stuff is great on my black jacket, anyone following me says I stand out even if I am a mile ahead of them, and at night it has high, no read HIGH, reflection. The black jacket with those strips just plain make you visible because of the contrast).
So Wayne gave me some money back for my used jacket, I paid him some additional money, and he built me a Stretch Kevlar Marathon jacket (a slightly different cut with a high collar).
So on this recent 7 day trip, just returned about 3 hours ago, I wore my Stretch kevlar jacket and pants (with liners when raining - yes it rained 50% of the time), my BMW all around boots, and alternated between my BMW sets of gloves.
Now I'm happy. Great gear, comfortable, high visibility, lots of vents on the jacket that can control airflow (for riding in hot weather and regulating to get the evaporative cooling effect) lots of protection that just plain makes me feel safer. Oh yes, I wear LD comfort underwear and turtle neck shirt with Drymax socks. Great underwear, and btw, those dry max socks are the most comfortable socks ever for motorcycling.
Okay, so that's my story. Hope it helps someone if they are pondering what gear might work for them.