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Old 05-09-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
rickypanecatyl OP
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The Hot and Humid Motoport review

Update May 16, 2012:

This has turned into a really long thread so I'm going to post some bottom line assesments at the end of this first post. Just look for the orange colored font at the end.


After years of lusting and debating, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Motoport Airmesh Kevlar Pants and Shirt.
Total cost including shipping, options and "jeans to copy" was a little over $1,300.00 USD. I can't remember in my life ever spending more than $100 US dollars on either shirt or pants so this was a jump for me!!

Like my dual (mutli sport) bikes I'm hoping they fill multiple roles. I ride nearly every day, aproximately 30,000 miles a year. I commute to work, do errands, recon/scouting in jungles and deserts, do long trips and play in the woods and jungles on free days.

I need my gear to protect me in a high speed freeway crash as well as landing on pointy rocks on technical terrain. I want it to be as cool as possible as it is always hot here! I don't want to look like a neon FMX rider, and I don't want to have to spend 10 minutes everytime I put it on. I'd like to be able to walk around fairly comfortably etc. I want to be able to wear it everyday without it being a major hassle to take care of.

After looking at many options out there and reading some great reports here I decided to go with the motoport airmesh kevlar gear. As I will wear this alot and I'm not known for being "delicate" with my gear I thought I'd post up my experience with it here.
Of course the most important part of motorcycle gear is how well it holds up in a crash. I'm not planning on intentionally testing that all for you guys, but I do have an idea for a fun video that will test the crash worthyness of it!


Here are some the specs on the motoport gear from their web site I was drawn to:

Protection:
"The Mesh Kevlar is 10 times stronger, and the Stretch Kevlar is 5 times stronger than leather and less than half the weight."
"Kevlar is the strongest fiber known to man."

Honestly its hard to believe that it is 10X stronger than leather, but the reality is, I'll probably be happy if it is just as strong as leather. Sometimes Wayne's site seems a bit over the top claiming to be the only company that uses Kevlar right or that does their stitching correctly. I do apprectiate the enthusiasm Wayne has for his product though... it comes thru not only on his web site, but in talking to him on the phone.

Comfort:

"Breathes better than nylon or leather, the best suit to wear for hot weather."
"Breathes better than Jeans in hot weather yet works better in cold weather."
"Intake zipper vents in the arms with exhaust vents in the back with all the Stretch Kevlar suits. With all the Mesh Kevlar no venting is necessary. The entire suit is a vent. While riding with air circulating Motoport guarantees that you'll be more comfortable in hot weather than if you wore a T-shirt and shorts, even at temperatures of 100F or more."
"Will not conduct cold or heat like leather/nylon or polyester so even the black color works great for hot weather."

The reality is, no matter how good the protection is of any suit, I am in danger of just not wearing it if it is not comfortable! I appreciate this site and the "accountability" it gives us to ride ATGATT... getting flamed for instance if you post a pic of yourself in a ride report wearing flip flops!
Here in Malaysia so many guys do wear helmets that use the SPF scale to measure protection along with flip flops and shorts. It's easy to think one is so responsible here just for wearing tennis shoes and long pants.
Of course these are all just claims I haven't tested yet, but if this stuff really is as comfy as jeans and a T shirt then wow!!
I'm also intrigued by the fact black doesn't conduct heat. I like wearing black but tend not to for that reason. (I'd rather feel good than look good!) Anyways I ordered the black pants and a blue shirt.

Practicality:
"The outer Mesh Kevlar does not absorb water and is dry in minutes after the rain stops.
Machine Washable. Will never stretch out or shrink."

I don't know if anyone else is as impressed with this as I am, but this is fantastic for my lifestyle! In Malaysia we get massive, sudden downpours that you just can't avoid. Riding wet usually isn't comfortable but if you were dry again in 10 minutes that would be awesome!
I'm also assuming it to mean you can wash them everyday and not have to worry about them being dry for you.
Heck I know this is weird for most of you but I have a shower at work. If I was sweaty and stinky I could jump in the shower with my pants/shirt on, soap up, rinse, sit around in my underwear and be ready to go in 30 minutes. I think that's awesome!!
Multiday rides - jump in a river with a bar of soap before lunch and hang it up while you eat

Somewhere on the motoport website as well it mentioned something about his gear not losing any strength when it gets wet and then dries whereas leather loses something like 20-30% every time that happens? I hadn't heard that before but sounds kind of scary.

I've got my shipping order and am quite excited!! 13.7lbs

May 16th 2012 update: Quick summary after a year and dozens of other motoport customers input.

“Custom” sizing
- My gear came in the wrong color & size; quite a bit different than the jeans I had sent in.
- From the dozens of other stories here, motoport seems to get the size wrong about 2/3 of the time. (Although TallRob insists he got HIS size correct at least a dozen times in this thread, you still only get 1 vote Rob! J)
- Interestingly those that got measured in person at motoport didn’t get much better results.
- Lesson learned and common consensus is that although the phrase “custom sizing” along with the elaborate process of sending in well-fitting jeans/shirts with markings sounds like a good idea, it just doesn’t compare to going into a store and actually trying on a jacket and knowing how it fits.
- From the pool of experience here, you should go in to get fitted, and then plan on 2 more returns to the shop for alterations. My opinion on whether or not that is worth the hassle is based on how far from San Marcos you live, as well as how much free time you have.


Customer service
- All agree Wayne is an absolute delight to deal with before the sale and while talking about his product.
- Most have the experience that when there is a problem, Wayne insists that there is not a problem.
- If you continue to insist that your real problem is a real problem, Wayne is notoriously volatile with any criticism of his product.
- As my knee guards hung several inches below my knees (and different heights at that) I insisted they were too low. Wayne patiently instructed me that they really were NOT too low. When I continued to insist, he called me a difficult customer and told me he would do no further business with me including altering the size of the pants.
- Absolutely no refunds!


The gear itself
- I’ve never worn anything more uncomfortable in my life. For those interested in the gear it does seem that the stretch Kevlar is much more comfortable than the air mesh.
- Does not flow much air despite being mesh.
- It is more comfortable to wear as the humidity/temperature drop.
- Despite the website claim, “I guarantee you will be more comfortable in my mesh than jeans and a t-shirt in hot weather”, you’d be more comfortable wearing 3 pairs of heavy jeans on top of each other in hot humid weather.
- After the rain, without a “spin cycle” the gear takes about 16 hours to dry despite website claims of a few moments. This was a big issue for me as we have frequent sudden downpours and I wear the gear every day. It would also be important for those on extended road trip hitting rain without access to a washer. That 16 hours shrinks to 4 or 5 when you wash the gear and the spin cycle removes much of the water. For reference, when I say rain, I’m in Malaysia, and after 5 minutes of rain the gear is as wet as if you jumped in a river – which I have done. Much wetter than pulling the gear out of the washing machine as the spin cycle gets rid of lots of excess water.

Crash worthiness
- I got the opportunity to crash test the gear on the pavement at about 40 mph.
- The protection was absolutely amazing compared to the gear I sometimes wear; jeans and a t-shirt.
- The crash burned thru the Kevlar in 2 places; overall, I’m super grateful for it but at the same time I don’t think it’s any better than my cheap tourmaster jacket which is far more comfortable.
- I’m convinced the small burn thru on the elbow would not have happened IF the armor had been in place – not to mention nicer on the elbow. Sliding on a bony elbow versus sliding on a elbow pad. The armor wasn’t where it should have been though because 1.) Wayne greatly messed up on the size and 2.) I hurt his feelings and he refused to do any alterations. *From dozens of stories here what you need to know is that if Wayne screws up on the size don’t tell him. IF instead, you say it was probably your fault, he will alter it and charge you, but it really is a small charge. FWIW I’ve been to about 20 tailors and all say they can’t work with the material.
- I dislocated my shoulder but think if I had landed on the tri-armor it would have prevented that. The shoulder armor not being in place was much my fault though as I had the jacket zipped open at least ½ way.
- I have landed on the tri-armor in a fall off road and I am impressed with how much shock it absorbs for the size.
- For reference I have the air mesh kevlar “shirt”. (The “shirt” fills up a 56 liter givi box – much bigger than a leather jacket.) When comparing protection of motoport to brand X, I’m sure the quad armor, GT jacket with double panels on the shoulders/elbows has much, much more protection than the air mesh kevlar shirt.
- Somewhere in the middle of the thread you’ll see a guy with a much worse burn thru than mine from a fast parking lot crash on his aprilia.
- Other potential concerns: on Dr. Faulkners review they showed that the air mesh fabric melts on a hot exhaust pipe just like the “cheap” mesh suits Wayne knocks. I have no idea if that translates into melting into your skin on a fast enough road slide as seems to be implied.


Other random thoughts
- The airmesh kevlar is extremely strong from a tearing standpoint. I’ve ridden thru nasty thorns that have grabbed me hard enough to pull me off the bike and it doesn’t faze the fabric.
- On the phone Wayne sold me on adjustment straps to hold the knee/elbow gaurds in place as that was a big concern of mine. I ordered both, was charged for just the knee straps and got neither. Wayne’s simple answer was that he wasn’t doing those straps anymore as most customers didn’t want them.
- I of course immediately asked for a refund. The reason Wayne gave no refund would be given is that my gear was custom size and color. I pointed out that he had sent the jacket in the wrong color and both jacket and pants in the wrong size! (Due to how uncomfortable they were and how long they took to dry I was hoping for a refund over having him fix the size and color.) He had also made the pockets I ordered the wrong size. The one thing Wayne did do, was to send me out pockets in the jacket color I ordered and the correct size. At least that was the intent. He actually sent them in the exact same wrong size.
- Whatever Wayne lines the collar with is super comfy!
- Wayne spent a MASSIVE amount of time on the phone and in writing emails to me after I received the product. However all of that time was spent first trying to convince me that pants that didn’t fit did indeed fit – that knee armor ½ down my shins was covering my knees etc. and then he spent the remainder of the time calling me insulting me, calling me a liar, and loudly and often affirming, “MOTOPORT MAKES THE BEST GEAR ON THE PLANET! JUST READ MY WEBSITE!”

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Old 05-09-2011, 01:35 AM   #2
rickypanecatyl OP
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Wicked The long journey to ATGATT

While waiting I thought I'd post up pics of my present gear. My dedicated riding gear consists of a tourmaster jacket and a pair of Alpinestar jeans with some kind of kevlar type material in the butt and knees. I use Thor 50/50 boots and various gloves though I really like some of the mechanic "antivibration" heavy machinery gloves you get in home depot type stores.

The tourmaster jacket doesn't inspire lots of confidence than the protection will be in the right place in a crash. I have crashed about 4X off road with it though and I think my elbow gaurds were always in place. I'm just guessing that the odds are in a crash I've got a 80% chance the elbow gards and 60% chance the knee gards will be in place.
Incidently another thing I like about the motoport gear is that it is custom made. I've never had knee armor fall in the right place for me. I talked about this a bunch with Wayne and he really took my concerns seriously. Not only did I do all the measuring he asks for on his site but I sent in about 10 pictures of my knees, called him 3X and emailed 3X. He seems to have Ghandi like patience and I'm stoked to finally have "properly fitting" pants!

Here's some shots of my present gear:

Tourmaster jacket:


Alpinestar jeans and Thor 50/50 boots



Wife modeling her version of ATGATT :)



Incidently the Alpinestar jeans are fairly comfortable with the exception of where the Kevlar material is on hot days. It really doesn't breathe and that band around the knees is pretty sweaty.
The Thor 50/50 boots are great for walking aound in; almost as comfy as broken in heavy hiking boots though perhaps no better in protection?


I have another set of riding gear I call my "civilian" gear. You can hardly tell I"m wearing; it's cooler though probably doesn't protect as well.



It consists of REI type synthetic pants that have a zipper up the leg. It makes it easy to put on and take off the rockgard knee/shin armor. I sometimes wear Fox or EVS padded underwear underneath but the truth is they are both extremely hot and don't seem to breathe.
I have skimpy fox elbow gards that can fit under most shirts, various gloves, and the deuter backpack actually does a fairly good job doubling as a back protector. I have fallen over backwards hill climbing in the dirt and it really seemed to take a lot of the impact. Besides that it is amazingly cool.
I guess now they make a backpack specifically to aid in back protection:

http://www.deuter.com/en_DE/backpacks.php?category=36




The Rockgarden gards are designed to work with shorter boots like the Thor 50/50.



Unfortunately they are one size fits all and a tad short for me. Their velcro straps seem crazy too with the calf strap too short to even connect and the ankle way too long. They do feel secure though and IF they fit you I think they are a good product. My wife is 5'5" and they are great on her. She has Icon's on in the picture but they don't stay up :(
FWIW the rockgardens under the REI synthetic cargo pants are much cooler than the Alpinestar Kevlar jeans. I'm sure they are much better in protection for slower, off road crashes on rocky ground and probably not as good as the Alpinestars for a high speed freeway slide. Neither of course really count around here as ATGATT though :) but of course they are both better than flip flops and tank tops!

I often take my kids for some slow rides... here they are dressed up and ready to go :)






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Old 05-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #3
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Great pic.... just wanted to add that.

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Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl View Post



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Old 05-09-2011, 10:13 AM   #4
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I'm looking forward to your report.

I live in Bangkok and have resorted to cutting out the interior liners of my jackets to avoid the super humid heat. For track days I wear a Hi Velocity pressure suit and Joe Rocket Pheonix 1.0 pants. The pants have little protective value, I burned holes in it after a 15 mph lowside crash. I have since reinforced them with thick 2mm leather but IMO textile gear is worthless for asphalt riding. The HiVel pressure suit had a few scratches, I approve of this suit, it is crash tested and came out fine.

My Held racing gloves are getting old so I got the Motoport kevlar race gloves coming but don't have the cash for the big stuff yet. If you find them to be the best breathable option, I'll probably get a set of Airmesh stuff next year.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #5
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I have been riding with my Kevlar mesh jacket and pants for almost two years now, including two long trips in Malaysia, and they hold up very well and have kept me safe from some of my falls. Excellent gear indeed!

Btw, I am in Singapore.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #6
rickypanecatyl OP
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Singapore and Thailand... I'm sure our weather is just about the same.

ScubaSimon - do you dive by chance?

Rick
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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Hey Rick. Yeah. Singapore and Malaysia have very similar weather. I haven't done any diving for ten years now though I am looking to get back into it.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #8
rickypanecatyl OP
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The gear got here about a week ago and honestly I was pretty disappointed in it. I thought I'd give it a week to "break it in" and contact Wayne before posting up here.


Here it is - shirt and pants...







First off there were several mistakes on the order. I ordered a blue shirt with blue pockets. It was written down right on the receipt but I just thought the color looked corny.

More importantly Wayne blew the most important issue to me... the knee armor hangs down around my shins. I was pretty shocked at that as not only did I meticulously follow his measuring methods I sent him several photos of the process and talked with him 3X on the phone about my concerns with the measuring method. (Basically I didn't think it worked with guys like me who have extra bulging/protruding knees. You are suppossed to sit in a chair with your upper thigh paralell to the deck and your shin perpendicular and then press 2 rulers flat against your upper and lower leg but extending them till they meet. As my knees protrude out, though my shins were vertical the ruler was obtuse. I took pictures of that, talked him thru it on the phone and he said he got it.)

Wayne also told me on the phone that there was an optional velcro stap that went around the calf that secured the knee armor in place as well as one on the elbow. I paid for these but they didn't come with the pants or shirt.

I gave him a specific size for a cargo pocket on the pants and he made it about 1/2 the size.

The worse part was when I called Wayne about it. He used to be the nicest guy but when I told him the knee armor was in the wrong place for example he insisted it wasn't.
I let it go, tried to make it work and it was just obviously way off. I emailed him the 2nd time and he sent back a generic email that indicated I didn't know how to wear the pants, chided me and let me know they were in the right place.
I called him after that where he insisted he hadn't made a mistake but maybe I had sent him the wrong measurements. A this point I had to push him for him to realize he made a big mistake. Nice, friendly Wayne totally flipped and started yelling things like, "I've seen $3,000 custom race suits more messed up than this!" or "Maybe 1 in 5 suits that I send out are the wrong size but when I talk to them they all realize it was their fault!" or "CAN THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF TESTIMONIALS BE WRONG!!" or "JUST TRY TO GET A COMPANY LIKE RUKKA TO DO ALL THE CUSTOM THINGS THAT I DO!"
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
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I tried to talk with Wayne several more times and quickly realized he's a lot of fun to talk to when your telling him about some amazing testimonials you read about his gear on ADVRider but not so fun if your criticizing his work

Let's see the best answers I could get to the mistakes on the order were:

Jacket the wrong color
Waynes answer: "so I made 1 silly mistake."

Knee armor too low
Waynes answer: "sheesh!! In your coutry it'd probably take someone 2 seconds to cut the liner out and resew it in the proper position."

Cargo pocket too small
Waynes anser: (He had told me to mark on the sample jeans I sent in a rough sketch of where I wanted it. I did, but also sent in the exact measurement of the pocket and confirmed it in a email which he told me read and would follow in a phone conversation.) Wayne said, yes I saw the dimensions you wrote on the paper but I instead I followed the drawing on your pants. (Actually truth was the pocket he made was about 1/2 the size of the dimensions I sent in and 3/4 the size of the "rough drawing")

No velcro strap behind the calf to hold the knee armor in place that I paid for:
Waynes answer: "That's right... that's not an option anymore on the pants you ordered."

No strap like he told me there would be on the elbow to hold the armor in place
Waynes answer: we used to do that but found most guys didn't like it.

OK so I realized I'd be on my own for trying to sort this out. One of the funny things Wayne said was he made thousands of custom suits and NONE of them came back!! All his customers were satisified.
I pointed out that just because he wouldn't let any pants come back that didn't necesarily mean he 100% customer satisfaction.

I know tons of guys on this web site have ordered his stuff and absolutely love it! That's why I bought it.
If I had to guess objectively what happened I would guess that he is probably German and that he usually does a good job of making stuff but when he screws up he can't/wont admit it. Being German he probably does work really hard behind the scenes to fix it while all the while insisting he didn't make any mistake.
A case in point I pointed out some claims on his web site that were't true and he argued strongly but a few days later I noticed those claims were no longer there.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Bummer. Motoport has a long way to go before getting their stuff to fit a person very well I think. I have a set and love the material, but hate the cut, fit and overall design. To be fair I got mine off an inmate, but the fellow custom ordered them to fit and was exactly my size (within 2lbs and 1/8" in height, weight and inseam).

Once I threw away most of the motoport armor, fitted some better armor from aerostitch, knox and technik and fiddled about a bit it became tolerable to wear on bikes with open riding positions. The cut of the legs make them difficult to use on a sport bike (which, ostensibly, my GPII suit is intended for).

Sadly, I'm not aware of any gear maker that offers both an excellent, well-considered design and durable, comfortable materials.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:34 PM   #11
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So you're saying the knee pads are off when you are actually riding the motorcycle?
Can you post pictures of your sizing pics/process and actual fit dilemma?
It sucks that simple things like the pockets are wrong.
You should definitely get a refund for the velcro straps you didn't get and hopefully the pockets.

Wayne might be right, the armor may just need to break in and form to your body; but then again what you describe is hard to fight. If Wayne cares about his reputation just send him a link to this thread because he knows people read it.

Since we live so far from SoCal, shipping this back for alterations is costly.
I want to get a jacket and pants from Motoport but want to see how all of this gets resolved.

I also find most Asians cannot admit they are wrong.
Stupid thing called "face" and how its not culturally correct to call someone out for F'ing up.
Well I think it's a bunch of BS, if you can't admit being wrong, you're just making a bigger fool of yourself.
Just because you can't see the truth doesn't mean everyone else can't.
I'm wrong all the time, you learn from mistakes and get more respect in admitting it in my opinion.
I feel America's ability to quickly admit and recover from mistakes helped make it the most powerful country today.

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Old 05-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #12
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Your first post was 5/9/11. Your last post 5/13/11 and you state you've had the gear for a week. Seems pretty respectful towards Wayne on your part. Clearly, you've given him the opportunity to do the right thing.

I like Wayne, have been to his shop twice and own 2 jackets and 2 pairs of his pants. It's great stuff, and it all fits perfect. If I was to crash tomorrow, I sure hope I'm wearing his gear since I think it's the most protective out there, but what you describe is bullshit, and it's not the first time I've heard it when they don't get something right.

I sure hope Wayne does the right thing and resolves this issue. His stuff really is great, but I wouldn't be happy with your outcome either.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #13
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I own a set of Motoport kevlar shirt and pants. If I ever go asphalt surfing, I can't think of anything else I'd rather be wearing. However, I had a similar experience with my shirt: the sleeves were too short and painfully tight at elbow bends. After several phone calls and emails with Wayne, he insisted, like he did with you, that he had done nothing wrong, even though I sent him pics of the kevlar shirt and sample shirt that I had sent for sizing. I decided that the ultimate goal was to get a shirt that fit, so, despite the fact that I had paid over $350, I swallowed my pride and patiently worked with him. He finally lengthened the sleeves using gussets and added a larger stretch kevlar insert at the elbow bends at no extra charge but never admitted that he had screwed up the original order. If fact, he kept insisting that I had measured wrong, didn't know how to measure sleeve length, etc. Your observation that Wayne is great to talk to BEFORE the sale is spot on. Good luck in getting gear that fits and works for you! I know it's hard, especially given the great distances you're dealing with but be patient and remember the goal is to get gear that fits and that you can live with. Here's one of few pics I sent to Wayne:
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:28 PM   #14
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Of course the most important thing anyone wants to know from a protective gear review is how well it holds up in a crash. While I'm not planning on intentionally crashing I do have a fun idea for a video to do in the next few days!

Asside from the order being screwed up, here are some initial impressions, things I liked, things I didn't and things I'd do different.

The stretch kevlar is some really cool feeling, stretchy, decently looking stuff. The "mesh kevlar" (important to distinguish between those) is not nice to wear/look at at all.
On his web site Wayne says the stretch kevlar is 5X stronger than leather and the mesh kevlar is 10 stronger. Though I now think he exaggerates extremely its probably close to say the mesh is 2X as strong as the stretch. For what it's worth if I had it to do over again I'd get all stretch. 5X stronger than leather is good enough for me and the stretch is pretty comfy and the mesh is not comfy to walk/move in at all.

I got the tri armor. Compared to what I was wearing so much more of my body is covered in armor.

Here's a pic from Waynes web site of what the tri armor covers:





I thought it was funny/ironic that on the front 1/2 of my pants, everything is covered EXCEPT FOR my knees and my "unit". Until then, I never thougth about the fact before that most don't consider covering "their unit" a part of ATGATT.
To me the most important part of pants is to cover the knees. If my fit had been correct I would still feel that they weren't as protected as when wearing the thick, rockport knee gaurds I had before. Everything else is much more covered.
Actually I'd rephrase it this way... with my old rockport kneegard set up my knees were probably much more protected if I landed on them in some nasty, rocky terrain. However with the motoports they are probably more protected if I slid on them after getting off on a smooth racetrack at 100 mph. Or to rephrase I'm sure the motoport knees can take more abrasion and the rockports more impact.

From what I understand Wayne has 3 thickness of armor.
1. Quad armor the thickest/bulkiest
2. Tri armor
3. The foam padding he puts around the hips

So.... if I had it to do over and Wayne gave this option I would have shorter, Quad armor around the knees and then the lightest/thinnest foam stuff on my thighs and seperately removeable tri armor around the shins so that when wearing full legnth MX boots I could take just it out.

I'm sure the size/total volume of said pants would be smaller but with more protection where I really need it. FWIW I'm thinking like a dual sport bike but more towards the dirt/rocky side.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikePilot View Post

Once I threw away most of the motoport armor, fitted some better armor from aerostitch, knox and technik and fiddled about a bit it became tolerable to wear on bikes with open riding positions. The cut of the legs make them difficult to use on a sport bike (which, ostensibly, my GPII suit is intended for).
Motoport's quad armor is actually pretty dang good.
I'm not sure how it ranks with aerostitch, knox, etc.
It's definitely better than that crappy CE-1 hard armor that you get with low end gear like Joe Rocket.
Was it just the comfort factor that you didn't like? Once I broke mine in, it became comfy.

This guy reminds me of Tron Guy:




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