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Old 01-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
COXR650L OP
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Talking New local MC clothing company-Ballistech

I have been on ADV for some time now and a few know me and a lot more don’t. So far this website has been a wealth of information and a great place to find everything I could imagine about motorcycles. Being local to Denver I’d like to formally introduce myself and get some Colorado ADV advice on a project and company a friend and I started.

For several reasons we decided to get into the motorcycle clothing industry to try and address various issues we have seen with gear, ranging from price and quality to versatility and functionality. We started Ballistech, which focuses on dirt and dual sport/adventure riding. So far we are in the development stage for pants, jackets and jerseys.

I would like to use this thread as a way to get local advice about a local company with products that are designed to be used in our kind of riding environment. I want to solicit as much advise and expertise from local inmates about these products before we launch production. Id like to use this thread to get feedback on everything from color schemes and designs to scheduling local ADV test rides to get first hand feedback. Of course we will provide all the beer and burgers/BBQ for those willing souls



The first product we are working on are pants that keep versatility and durability as their primary goal. I have yet to find a pant on the market that can be used in all the extremes and drastically different seasons Colorado has to offer, while still maintaining durability year after year. Below is a prototype of a design that fits that bill.













This is a true 4 season pant and can be used in everything from sub freezing temps to summer riding in the 90s. It has 4 large zippered vents that run the length of the upper thigh on the front and back of the legs. The pant goes from a wind stopping winter pant to a sea of mesh for summer riding as front and back vents open 3.5inx17in wide on both legs to flow massive amounts of air.

The pant features solid all Nylon construction consisting of:
-840D Jr Ballistic Nylon uppers
-1680D Ballistic Nylon throughout the entire lower leg and knee
-1000D Cordura seat
-Leather inner knee panel
-Moisture wicking mesh liner
-Reinforced liner for use with knee braces
-Premade bend at the knee for proper fit during riding
-“Ballooning” pockets on both legs
-Cinch straps on waistband and leg cuffs
-Belt loops
-Water repellant construction


We have some changes we would like to make that are already in the works but what are some first impressions on quality, features, color scheme, versatility, or whatever else? We are open to anything….

How do people feel about the tan on back as a two tone color scheme?


If there is any feedback people have about clothing/gear in general that they have owned previously we would love to hear it. Things like features people would like to see on gear, problems with past apparel, selling points when buying, issues with fit, etc, etc, etc.......

We would really appreciate any advice
Thanks
Ben

Pic from a recent trip to White Wash......



COXR650L screwed with this post 01-05-2012 at 05:28 PM
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
mylsmkj
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Good on ya! If you need help I'm a good crash dummy.....and ride in freezing to 90+ deg. temps!
Good Luck man! My first thought is they look great if the venting system supplies enough air.

mylsmkj screwed with this post 01-05-2012 at 06:11 PM
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
COXR650L OP
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Thanks I will probably take you up on that here soon. When I get a chance and the pants come back from the pattern maker I'll put some better picture of the vents. They are much bigger then the pictures show here. They open up quite a bit more then the current Dakars and the mesh uses really large holes so air can flow with out restriction.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Welcome! I may need your products. It seems like I utter something like "who the hell designs this stuff" everytime I try to put on a pair of riding pants.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Desertman View Post
Welcome! I may need your products. It seems like I utter something like "who the hell designs this stuff" everytime I try to put on a pair of riding pants.
What are some of the issues you've had? I dont want to be lumped into that group if you try our stuff
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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They look surprisingly good for a first attempt. I have a pair of Klim dakar pants that are vented in the front. I've always thought they would move more air if they had a vent in the rear as well. My Klim pants vent is shorter, and at an angle. Draw a line from the inside of the knee to the hip. That will give you an idea. I'm amazed at how much air does come in through their smaller opening, I think because of the angle. I would be a bit concerned that I wouldn't have needed protection if all zippers were wide open and I took a spill. I love my Klim pant except for one thing. It has leather on the inside of the right leg, presumably as a heat shield for the header pipe. Unfortunately I wiped out once soon after buying my pants and ended up landing on the right side of the bike with my feet up on the front wheel. Suddenly I felt my left calf getting uncomfortably warm where the header pipe was melting through my pants. I wish they would have put leather on the inside of both legs. Good luck, I believe competition make for better products and cheaper prices for everyone.

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Old 01-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Coxr650l

Quote:
Originally Posted by COXR650L View Post
What are some of the issues you've had? I dont want to be lumped into that group if you try our stuff
Looks like you've got a good start on something the industry needs, if you can keep the cost figures reasonable.
I'm unable to tell if you already have used the idea; but the Columbia & REI climbing/hiking pants have an extra wide area in the crotch area giving extra room to stretch without binding & pinching the nut sack. Most pants, like jeans etc., have about 4 seams joined together at the middle of the crotch. Good Luck!
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Best of luck!

Venting... YES!!! Overheating is by far my biggest complaint.

Ballooning anything can catch on limbs. Same with sloppy vent folds. Flapping clothing is a pain as well.

I'm old and refuse to ride without knee & elbow padding. I'd sure like integrated pads & pockets, as long as they stay in place.

Doesn't need to be bulletproof everywhere. Looks like you are using different materials in different places... good!
I used to have some Kayaking pants... advertised to 'Wear like steel, feel like Pajamas"... it wasn't a lie, at least for kayaking! Soft comfortable material reenforced with cordura where appropriate.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
Moto Beak
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Looks great. My suggestion would be "waterproof" rather than "water resistant." I don't like getting wet and I hate putting on rain pants.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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Looks like the pants zip up the back of the calf and just to the knee which is awkward and makes it difficult to get pants on over boots. My favorite pants (First Gear) zip up the outside of the leg and go all the way to the hip so they are easy on and off. They have built in hip pads and knee armor and a gusset on the inside of the calf to help keep out moisture.

Leather on the inside of both legs would be primo as would either adjustable length or offerings in short, regular, and long inseams. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #11
COXR650L OP
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Thanks for all the feedback.

-Venting was a primary goal for us and I think these pants flow more air then the Dakars. There may be some concerns with protection in a fall if the vents are wide open. I think that would apply more to street riding though and as far as I can see there is really no way around that problem, short of keeping the zippers up? Has anyone seen anything else that would address that issue?



-About waterproof vs repellant, I agree, I want a water proof pant also and that is what we started out trying to make, but there are a few problems. The first is the increased price point and the resulting decrease in demand. We are trying to hit the biggest market possible with our first production model and that means looking at both features and the related price.

The second problem is durability. The vast majority of everything on the market that is waterproof is no where as durable as the non waterproof versions. This is because waterproof and breathable fabrics (Goretex Ultrex, etc) are only commercially available in lighter weights. There are some custom coating options, but you have to spend a lot of money and order 100s of yards of fabric and it still may not perfrom correctly. A waterproof and breathable pant that is very durable is defiantly one of our goals. We hope shortly after we start selling and have inventory on hand we can get a waterproof/breathable version of these pants into production.

Ultimately, these pants will be fine during an afternoon light rain storm, stream crossing, etc and will be much better than anything else on the market, short of those items designed to be completely waterproof.

On that note….how do people feel about goretex vs other options. Are you willing to pay more for the goretex name, or would a lower price and a generic waterproof/breathable be appealing (assuming we can meet goretex performance)??

-I do like the zippers that run up the side of the leg and we are looking at that option…

-Regarding the crotch, I forgot to mention that the pants do have a gusseted crotch. So plenty of room

-I had not thought about the ballooning pockets catching on things. We did it just to add volume to the pockets and make them more usable, but we may have to pay close attention to that during testing and revisit the design. Thanks!

-The issue of integrated padding is something we are still wrestling with. I guess our thought process was for any kind of moderate dirt riding most people are using separate protection options (knee pads/braces, pressure suits, elbow pads….) and often integrated pads get in the way of those. We designed these pants to be more dirt orientated so we decided to leave them out for now. Down the road we want to make a pant and jacket that is focused strictly on dual/sport use. With that we want to design integrated padding that is truly useful. I think the d30 padding has some potential but I’m not completely sold on it for off road use. Ultimately we are striving for a design that offers the same level of protection as dedicated knee and elbow padding but is fully integrated to the garment.

-I know what you mean about leather needing to be on both legs. A lot of manufactures skimp on that aspect because it’s running about $3 a square foot for leather and those costs add up fast. Currently we have leather on the inner knee of both legs and on the next revision we are adding leather to totally cover the inner leg on both sides of the pant to address concerns mentioned above. Additional, we are also going to double layer the leather with 1680d nylon on the inner leg to provide as much strength as possible.

Thanks for all the feedback….keep it coming

What are some insights people can provide about jackets?? What cuts (short vs long) do people like, number of pockets, issues with fit, how the cuffs should be designed, needed areas of reinforcement, etc would be really helpfully too.

Thanks again,
ben

COXR650L screwed with this post 01-06-2012 at 06:51 AM
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #12
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You appear to be on your way to making a great product. My only suggestion would be that after you have the utilitarian aspect completed go hire a real clothing designer to help you with the visual aspect. You can make the greatest pant in the world and if your potential buyers don't like the looks you will never sell them.
Also I caution you on trying to be everything to everybody. It will insure your demise. A Giraffe is a Horse designed by committee.
I wish you luck, you are off to a great start.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:27 AM   #13
TaterHarry
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Dont' forget the tall guys

Just wanted to chime in that us tall skinny guys (and gals) like to ride too, and the gear choices we have tend to be limited. Another quality label offering tall sizes would definitely be welcome
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #14
COXR650L OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genghis Swan View Post
You appear to be on your way to making a great product. My only suggestion would be that after you have the utilitarian aspect completed go hire a real clothing designer to help you with the visual aspect. You can make the greatest pant in the world and if your potential buyers don't like the looks you will never sell them.
Also I caution you on trying to be everything to everybody. It will insure your demise. A Giraffe is a Horse designed by committee.
I wish you luck, you are off to a great start.

Haha, that was said very well, thanks for the input.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:47 AM   #15
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Looks like a nice product to me right off the bat. Although it doesn't seem like it would be an issue with your pants, I'd suggest really trying to limit the use of velcro. I've had a couple jackets and some armor that had velcro tabs for critical cinch spots and the stuff always wears out long before anything else does. Velcro and zippers always seem to be weak points that make people angry when they fail. Good luck!!!
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