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Old 11-05-2007, 11:56 PM   #1
longtallsally OP
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Cycleport Mesh Kevlar suit review- Post rainly season update

As many may recall I really raved about getting my new BMW Rallye 2 Pro.

Well Iíve found something better- significantly better. Since I am a self proclaimed safety nazi about ATGATT, I am always looking for something better. In this case, I needed a new suit after the demise of the red GS.

So without putting in a slew of worthless BS, Iíll get right down to it. A few words about the company, Wayne Boyer (the owner and mastermind of the operation), and general construction I think might help dispel some of the myths as well as shed some light on a word of mouth operation that not too many know too much about. First, the company; Wayne runs a relatively small facility in San Marcos, CA which is a touch north of San Diego. I wonít go into the detail about the companyís history, but just suffice it to say that it has had its ups and downs, yet it still remains. The company will be around for a while and is run very well and is profitable- so no worries about it not lasting. Construction of the suits is done all in the US at this facility and materials are special made and shipped in from Europe.

Next is the bane of the companyís existence: the website. Anyone who has shopped Cycleport knows how pathetic it is. We know this, Wayne knows this. Do NOT let this detract from the quality of the product despite the horrible presentation. There is some pretty good info there, but navigation is painful at best and I hope to shed some light at least on what they are about and what the suit looks like.

Wayne Boyer runs the show there and many know he is rather outspoken. Iím a rather mouthy person at times but generally like to think that I only do it when I have something intelligent to say. Wayne is one of these people and has a lot of intelligent things to say. Over the years he has had an inordinate amount of research done about safety, what works and what doesnít. He has ridden Iím pretty sure for longer than Iíve been alive and have biffed enough to know what hurts and where to fix errors (this over and above the scientific research already done). Wayne has no qualms about explaining the research done and why other products are quite frankly not what you would want to use. It is very hard to argue the points he makes as there is nothing but proof of what he says. Wayne took THREE hours of his personal time even when the facility was closed completely to talk to my fiancť and I. He answered every question, showed me the facility, explained and showed me construction and probably gave me a bit more info than I should know. Bottom line, he is a pretty incredible dude that the motorcycling world needs a few more of. In my mindís eye, he is the Tucker of bike gear, only with a happy ending.

General construction is downright baffling. Iíll start with the thread used. I could not break a single strand in my hands. A 5 over method is used for each and every panel that is put together. This basically means that the material will fail before stitching does. As far as material Wayne explained to me, the typical 500 denier Cordura has a tear strength of 22 lbs (I think it was) and the Mesh Kevlar has a tear strength of 1100 lbs. Donít believe it? Wayne showed me a couple interesting examples: 1) he took some electric shears and started a tear in a piece of the stretch Kevlar material- I couldnít complete or even get it to move a bit more. 2) a guy hit a deer at 60 mph and slammed a guard rail. The EMTs wasted 3 blades trying to remove it (cutting it off) and the suit looked perfect except for the cuts. The rider had no broken bones, no abrasions and no internal injuries despite being knocked out cold. There were a few other examples, but I donít want to keep babbling on- hopefully you get the point. Finally the armor was very trick as well. The example here was that Wayne had me hold a piece of it over my knuckles and punch the corner of an aluminum framed door- pretty sharp. I pounded the thing and felt NOTHING. I tried this again on the ride home and bashed my still tender elbow (from the off on the last bike and just had stitches removed) on a steel pole and felt nothing. The really crazy part is that there is no venting- it is one big vent! You can actually see through the material! Keeping warm will be shown in the pics.

Speaking of which, here we go with the pics that I hope can help someone learn a bit more about the company and make an intelligent buying decision.

My goony goo butt modeling:



Jacket off:



Pants off:



Collar of jacket sans all liners:



Adjustment at the sleeves rocks. There are 2 straps at great locations to cinch down the arms for custom fit as well as to account for the liners being in.



The cuffs were something I was pretty impressed with. This is something that spooks me personally as I had a sleeve ride up my arm due to the cuffs not holding up with a past jacket years ago. You can tighten the cuffs correctly with a set of 3 snaps. Then there is a zipper that finishes the job and makes it easier to get the jacket off while keeping everything in place. This is one place where I have a minor beef: the exceptional armor comes all the way to the break in your wrist and the snaps and all are there too which makes the typical gauntlet on a set of gloves a tight fit at best.





More adjustments for the waist and back of the jacket. Interesting of note here is that the Velcro WORKS on this stuff to the degree that it is a PITA to get loose- a good thing in my book.





Back of the jacket in general:



Here is an internal shot of the jacket. You can see the coverage of a good bit of the armor including a bit of the chest armor. No I never thought about chest armor outside of track and dirt applications until I got this suit.



Inside the back of the jacket is a bit of a fanny pack. Not too much practical application as near as I can tell, but it's there:



Now the liners. It is a bit of a workout to get them in, but you are sorted once they are in. So as Wayne explained and I have known, in order to be waterproof, the fabric can't breath. Thus why he uses internal liners for that. There is also a warm liner for the jacket. With both liners in, you feel a bit Pillsbury dough boy, but it is still lighter than anything I've seen/tried.







Here are all the zippers of everything installed. It looks a bit busy, but it easily makes sense once you do it.



Now for the pants. I REALLY like how easy they are to put on; significantly better than the one piece I used to have and better than other 2 pieces I've had. One leg goes in and zipped down and the other leg zips all the way open and it is a simple draping maneuver to get that leg on.



There is a VERY comfy and wide elastic band 2/3 the way around to keep a snug fit and then a clipped belt to hold it in place with a cover that goes over it to keep from dinging and scratching stuff up.







So that's pretty much it. I've done to low 40s so far and only needed the rain liner in the jacket and nothing in the pants. I've had both rain liners in and did a DELUGE for 2 hours to a client and got soggy crotch, but I think I screwed up the way I put it on, so more testing as rainy season approaches.

Like I said, I hope this helps someone out!
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtallsally
With both liners in, you feel a bit Pillsbury dough boy, but it is still lighter than anything I've seen/tried.

Nice review

As a big fan of my mesh kevlar I'd have to second almost everything you said. The suit has allowed me to enjoy riding in the heat of summer with top quality protection.

The liners do feel very restrictive to me with both in. I now use the gore-tex with a heated liner underneath that is a bit thinner than the insulated liner. This is o.k. as I usually use the suit in summer and spring/fall with maybe just the goretex liner in the cool morning an it quickly comes out as temps rise. I will deal with the liners when dualsporting in the winter as it's the only suit that can handle cold weather all right an than layer off to full venting if I'm sweating on a technical trail.

Nothing I've found beats it's versatility. BUT if I'm on a road ride with temps in the 30s to 50s all day I have other gear that will keep me warmer and be far more comfortable than the mesh kevlar with all the liners in.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:42 AM   #3
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My hope is that one of these days I'll be able to justify the expense of buying a full suit of Motoport stuff. That initial sticker-shock is a killer :(
Thanks for the review.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:03 AM   #4
michaeln
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Thanks for the great review and photos.

I received my Ultra II stretch kevlar pants last week and was so impressed by them after one ride that I ordered the Ultra II mesh jacket in HiViz & Black. Wayne had my size in stock when I ordered last Friday and FedEx tracking says it'll be in my hands today. The jacket he's sending has the $29 option of the 3M reflective stuff down the arms. I probably wouldn't have ordered that option, but that's what he had in stock and I'm sure it's a good thing to have anyway.

I didn't order the liner because for some reason I still have the waterproof/windproof/insulated liner here out of a FirstGear Kilimanjaro Air jacket that I no longer own. It probably won't zip in, but I probably wouldn't take the time to zip and snap the Motoport liner in either. I rode in cold & torrential rain enough in the FG jacket to know this liner is waterproof and warm, so I figure it's worth a try before dropping another $189 to Cycleport.

Delivery on the pants was fast too... only about a week and I had to have a shorter inseam mod and had the hip armor installed.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:48 AM   #5
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Nice review. I've had mine about a month and am very happy with my choice.

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stackingreasyBBs
My hope is that one of these days I'll be able to justify the expense of buying a full suit of Motoport stuff. That initial sticker-shock is a killer :(
Thanks for the review.
Actually it's not too bad based on a few different things:
1) I think you can crash multiple times without repair on this suit (Wayne showed me examples) which has obvious benefits
2) For me, it is not much if any more than a Roadcrafter due to the custom enhancements I'd need
3) With the liners this is truly a year round suit
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtallsally
Actually it's not too bad based on a few different things:
1) I think you can crash multiple times without repair on this suit (Wayne showed me examples) which has obvious benefits
Even if the suit does need repair they'll fix it for you. They come with a 7 year warranty I believe.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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Amazing Quality!!!

I'm in on this one!!! I too, self-proclaimed slut for great gear!

I bought the BMW Santiago suit, beutiful! However...the Motoport clothing is THE ULTIMATE IN SAFETY!!!

I use the Mesh Kevlar Jacket with liner & the Stretch Kevlar (Keprotec) Pants. What a combo for most riding, also so very cool in the summer.

Fit & Finish is unmatched & safety...NO ONE COMES CLOSE!

Hey! all this just imo.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:30 PM   #9
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Good as that thing may be, it would be a LOT better in warm weather if it were white or other light color: White reflects visible, ultraviolet, and infa-red energy vastly better than black, which is the most absorptive color. White = cool. Black = hot.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL
Good as that thing may be, it would be a LOT better in warm weather if it were white or other light color: White reflects visible, ultraviolet, and infa-red energy vastly better than black, which is the most absorptive color. White = cool. Black = hot.
Here's a dorky but accurate response. Sit still for 10 minutes and sweat a bit. Then go anything over 10 mph and you get cooled off. It honestly feels like a T shirt.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL
Good as that thing may be, it would be a LOT better in warm weather if it were white or other light color: White reflects visible, ultraviolet, and infa-red energy vastly better than black, which is the most absorptive color. White = cool. Black = hot.
Then why do Bedouin's wear black robes?
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #12
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Nice review LTS. Gonna have to look into one of those! Already have a R2P jacket...but it sounds like an addition to the wardrobe wouldn't be a bad investment.

Is it custom made for your measurements...or an off the rack? I remember you bitching about all us dwarfs ...or something like that.

I like the pants design. I have dedicated riding pants, but not something I can pull over regular pants for commuting.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SofaKing
Then why do Bedouin's wear black robes?
They do wear black robes---in the cold of WINTER. In the heat of summer, they wear white or very light colors to reflect the heat, for all the reasons noted in my post.

And, yes, Longtallsally, that is a dorky response.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oni
Nice review LTS. Gonna have to look into one of those! Already have a R2P jacket...but it sounds like an addition to the wardrobe wouldn't be a bad investment.

Is it custom made for your measurements...or an off the rack? I remember you bitching about all us dwarfs ...or something like that.

I like the pants design. I have dedicated riding pants, but not something I can pull over regular pants for commuting.
I also have the R2P pants which I really like, but as you mentioned- not over pants. I initially bought this as a commuting suit, but it more than likely will become my do everything suit.

I was stupified to have Wayne pull off a jacket and pants in the closet sized showroom that FIT! AND ON THE FIRST TRY!!! Wayne says, "I've been doing this a while." I went there thinking I was going to get measured and I'd have the suit in a month or so. NOT SO!

Interestingly, when I first put on the jacket, thought, "damn, this thing is huge and fits me like a burlap sack, but we're close." A cinch here and a strap there, and booyah! Like a glove! He does an excellent job of catering to us goons.

And I am a dork, RSL. Didn't you get the memo?
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL
Good as that thing may be, it would be a LOT better in warm weather if it were white or other light color: White reflects visible, ultraviolet, and infa-red energy vastly better than black, which is the most absorptive color. White = cool. Black = hot.
That is exactly what I thought but when I checked the outside temperature of my light gray kelvar mesh jacket against the temperature of my riding partner's black kelvar mesh jacket they were always within 2 degrees of each other.
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