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post #1 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 3:52 am Thread Starter
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Convertible Jackets

After 3 years and many miles, my Joe Rocket Alter Ego jacket needs replacing. So I figured I'd ping the collective for their experience.

I like that the Alter Ego is a textile jacket with a zip out cover that makes it into a mesh jacket, while still retaining all the armor and heavy cordura in impact zones. The additional back pad is a nice feature, though it makes it harder to roll up and stuff into a saddlebag. I didn't like the average quality (most of the zipper pulls have broken, and some of the arm stitching has let go letting some padding slide down to my wrist). The rain liner is basic seam-sealed plastic, which doesn't breath and means I have to take off the jacket to insert the liner. I've gone to just throwing an extra rain coat over the whole jacket when needed for wet or very cold situations. The jacket does work well over a wide range of temps, such that with a heated liner I am comfortable from about 30-100 degrees.

My ideal is to find a true 4-season jacket system. It would have a monsoon-tested waterproof outer shell that breathes, but be convertible to a mesh jacket. I've tried some with waterproof zipper vents, but found the vents were too small and ineffective behind the LT's huge fairing. I also don't like inner waterproof liners, as you have to take the whole jacket off to put those in (and who wants to do that on the side of the road when the rain starts?). Under 50 degrees I have a good Warm-n-Safe heated jacket, and over 100 I'd probably get a cooling vest. I'd love to find pants with a similar flexibility, but have had even less luck there.

The possibilities I've found so far follow. If anyone can contribute some direct experience with any of these jackets that would be great. Note that cost is secondary: the jacket has to work first or else I don't care how cheap or expensive it is.

1) Marsee One Wear System / Full Flow Jacket
This has a fitted external rain cover which should be easy to put on over the base jacket. The base jacket is full mesh for good airflow in high temps. The quilted liner vest is irrelevant, as I'd use my heated liner. Marsee has a good reputation for quality, which is a plus. They also make a cooling vest, which can be worn with anybody's jacket. This is probably my first choice if the rain jacket breathes and also depending on fit and quality.

2) Teknic Sprint Jacket
This also looks like a newer interpretation of the Alter Ego concept, but with the advantage of having the zip-off outer shell be waterproof at the outer layer. The zip-off piece maybe smaller and thus easier tio pack than a full outer cover, but would I have to remove the jacket to zip this piece on and off? It is a fairly new jacket, so I'm not sure how much real-world testing it has seen, or how waterproof/durable it may be. The collar looks huge, but zips on and off easily, so that may be an advantage when converting from really warm to really cold. And again, the quilted liner is irrelevant.

3) Teknic Spider Jacket
I think this jacket is now obsolete, as it isn't in Teknic's latest printed dealer catalog. That may just mean I can get a deal if I find someone who has the right size in stock. It looks like it has a full removeable outer shell over a full mesh jacket like the Marsee. It is a shorter jacket, so I have some concern about water seeping in at the waist. I also don't know about its quality or durability though.

4) Cortech Accelerator Jacket
This is a waterproof jacket with zippered sleeve vents, or you could remove both sleeves. You can also remove the two chest cargo pockets to reveal large mesh panels. I'm not sure if the sleeve zips and chest panels would give enough venting behind the LT's fairing, and I sure wouldn't ride with the sleeves off. I also have concerns about rain seeping through the vents, so this rates pretty low on my list. For the record, the Olympia gear seems to also suffer from too-small vents and questionable waterproofing.

5) Tour Master Flex Jacket
This looks like a higher quality interpretation of the Alter Ego, but it also suffers from the interior waterproof liner issue. So that pretty much takes it out right there.

6) Aerostitch or Motoport
In both cases these jackets don't vent at all in the heat, and the pants often leak at the crotch. Other than that, the quality is top-notch. Just not for my needs.

7) Anything else the collective can recommend?

May as well ask about pants while I'm at it. My current solution is mesh pants with rain pants put on top for cold and/or wet days. My current pair don't zip far enough up the legs, so I need to put them on before my boots (makes short commutes a real pain). Also the rain pants are cheapo WalMart specials that are too baggy.

So one option is to get better mesh pants and better fitting rain pants (maybe Frogg Toggs).

Another option is to get pants that are waterproof by themselves, but zip all the way to the waist. That means only one simple layer, but the option of zipping down from the hips/thighs to get some air flow when needed.

Any thoughts there?

Thanks for the input.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
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'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #2 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 6:41 am
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I have the Motoport Mesh Kevlar Jacket and Pants. Love the fit and finish and they vent like nobodys business. Can't beat custom made for fit! Breathable liners make them close to 4 season(especially in your area of the country). Granted, putting the pant liner on UNDER the pants when it starts to rain is my biggest beef with them. Their factory is about 2hrs. away from you. Worth a visit.

"Smitty"
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post #3 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 9:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
...May as well ask about pants while I'm at it. My current solution is mesh pants with rain pants put on top for cold and/or wet days. My current pair don't zip far enough up the legs, so I need to put them on before my boots (makes short commutes a real pain). Also the rain pants are cheapo WalMart specials that are too baggy.

So one option is to get better mesh pants and better fitting rain pants (maybe Frogg Toggs).....
I use the First Gear rain pants. Leg zipper is almost to the knee so getting over boots is eazy and it's gathered at the ankle as well. Whole thing stuffs into into it's own bag and ends up about the size of softball.

.

Bill "Omaha"

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post #4 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 9:42 am
 
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4 season jacket

I wore the Tour Master Flex on our recent trip to Maine.Very versatile,a bit of a pain to zip on the outer cover over the mesh,but the inner water proof jacket is easy.The last 300 miles was in rain,kept me warm and dry.Nice not to pack xtra rain gear.Also helps that I bought the jacket slightly used for under a $100.
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post #5 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:10 am
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Four Season outfits

I have a jacket with a removable GoreTex liner that I have used in tempratures between -3 Deg Cel and 37 Deg Cel. Obviously I had lots of thin layers on in the cold weather and the lining out in the warm weather. While it does everything I want and is an excellent piece of kit I am still not convinced about the removable liner but in my mind that is more related to the wet climate in Scotland. We can and do have hot wet summer days where wearing the liner to keep dry makes the jacket too warm but I at least have the option of attempting to proof the jacket with nikwax etc from http://www.nikwax.co.uk/en-gb/index.php

Trouser wise I have a pair of BMW Summer Trousers made from cordura with armour and they are really good in hot weather but again not waterproof. I recently purchased an end of line Touraeg (sp?) set of trousers and again they have a liner, which despite what the sales driod said IS the waterproof part so again I cannot have light and waterproof with a liner for colder weather.

As I do not normally have to endure high tempratures my ideal kit would be lightish weight and waterproof shell with armour and the ability to add a thermal liner for winter use and I would prefer the trousers to be dungaree / bib style which would be a cross between the BMW Tourance or the Streetgaurd2. One of my comapnions to Libya had the Streetgaurd1 jacket and he seemed to survive okay in the heat.

Would really like to try a Aerostich as it seems ideal for commuting and short trips.

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

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post #6 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:28 am
 
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I have the Marsee and love it. The liner on the outside is the best thing since sliced bread. It was cool enough on my LT this summer (Dallas), fairly warm with the outer liner(Low 50's-high 40's), really warm with the Gerbings
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post #7 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:47 am
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Ken I would take a look at a few in the FirstGear line:
Kilamajaro Air is a really nice one.
http://www.firstgear-usa.com

Scott
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post #8 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 11:53 am Thread Starter
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Marsee has just informed me that they no longer make motorcycle apparel. And that after a great magazine review, they've pretty much sold out of all their stock. That really did sound like the perfect option.

I know the Motoport, First Gear, Tour Master stuff is good quality, but I really don't want to fuss with an inner liner if I can avoid it.

Guess I'll have to look at Teknic again, but I can't seem to find anyone who carries it in stock. A local dealer will order what I want and even exchange it if the size is wrong, but I don't want to order two different jackets and not be able to return one.

Guess I'll keep looking for now.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #9 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 1:32 pm
 
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The BMW dealer here in Dallas had a handful of the Marsee jackets last time I was there. Let me know if you want me to see if they have any in your size
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post #10 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 1:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
After 3 years and many miles, my Joe Rocket Alter Ego jacket needs replacing. So I figured I'd ping the collective for their experience.

I like that the Alter Ego is a textile jacket with a zip out cover that makes it into a mesh jacket, while still retaining all the armor and heavy cordura in impact zones. The additional back pad is a nice feature, though it makes it harder to roll up and stuff into a saddlebag. I didn't like the average quality (most of the zipper pulls have broken, and some of the arm stitching has let go letting some padding slide down to my wrist). The rain liner is basic seam-sealed plastic, which doesn't breath and means I have to take off the jacket to insert the liner. I've gone to just throwing an extra rain coat over the whole jacket when needed for wet or very cold situations. The jacket does work well over a wide range of temps, such that with a heated liner I am comfortable from about 30-100 degrees.

My ideal is to find a true 4-season jacket system. It would have a monsoon-tested waterproof outer shell that breathes, but be convertible to a mesh jacket. I've tried some with waterproof zipper vents, but found the vents were too small and ineffective behind the LT's huge fairing. I also don't like inner waterproof liners, as you have to take the whole jacket off to put those in (and who wants to do that on the side of the road when the rain starts?). Under 50 degrees I have a good Warm-n-Safe heated jacket, and over 100 I'd probably get a cooling vest. I'd love to find pants with a similar flexibility, but have had even less luck there.

The possibilities I've found so far follow. If anyone can contribute some direct experience with any of these jackets that would be great. Note that cost is secondary: the jacket has to work first or else I don't care how cheap or expensive it is.

1) Marsee One Wear System / Full Flow Jacket
This has a fitted external rain cover which should be easy to put on over the base jacket. The base jacket is full mesh for good airflow in high temps. The quilted liner vest is irrelevant, as I'd use my heated liner. Marsee has a good reputation for quality, which is a plus. They also make a cooling vest, which can be worn with anybody's jacket. This is probably my first choice if the rain jacket breathes and also depending on fit and quality.

2) Teknic Sprint Jacket
This also looks like a newer interpretation of the Alter Ego concept, but with the advantage of having the zip-off outer shell be waterproof at the outer layer. The zip-off piece maybe smaller and thus easier tio pack than a full outer cover, but would I have to remove the jacket to zip this piece on and off? It is a fairly new jacket, so I'm not sure how much real-world testing it has seen, or how waterproof/durable it may be. The collar looks huge, but zips on and off easily, so that may be an advantage when converting from really warm to really cold. And again, the quilted liner is irrelevant.

3) Teknic Spider Jacket
I think this jacket is now obsolete, as it isn't in Teknic's latest printed dealer catalog. That may just mean I can get a deal if I find someone who has the right size in stock. It looks like it has a full removeable outer shell over a full mesh jacket like the Marsee. It is a shorter jacket, so I have some concern about water seeping in at the waist. I also don't know about its quality or durability though.

4) Cortech Accelerator Jacket
This is a waterproof jacket with zippered sleeve vents, or you could remove both sleeves. You can also remove the two chest cargo pockets to reveal large mesh panels. I'm not sure if the sleeve zips and chest panels would give enough venting behind the LT's fairing, and I sure wouldn't ride with the sleeves off. I also have concerns about rain seeping through the vents, so this rates pretty low on my list. For the record, the Olympia gear seems to also suffer from too-small vents and questionable waterproofing.

5) Tour Master Flex Jacket
This looks like a higher quality interpretation of the Alter Ego, but it also suffers from the interior waterproof liner issue. So that pretty much takes it out right there.

6) Aerostitch or Motoport
In both cases these jackets don't vent at all in the heat, and the pants often leak at the crotch. Other than that, the quality is top-notch. Just not for my needs.

7) Anything else the collective can recommend?

May as well ask about pants while I'm at it. My current solution is mesh pants with rain pants put on top for cold and/or wet days. My current pair don't zip far enough up the legs, so I need to put them on before my boots (makes short commutes a real pain). Also the rain pants are cheapo WalMart specials that are too baggy.

So one option is to get better mesh pants and better fitting rain pants (maybe Frogg Toggs).

Another option is to get pants that are waterproof by themselves, but zip all the way to the waist. That means only one simple layer, but the option of zipping down from the hips/thighs to get some air flow when needed.

Any thoughts there?

Thanks for the input.
Ken,
I bought the TourMaster Jacket this Spring and have rode in 37 deg. to 95+ here and recently in Tuscany. We had a poker run (260 miles) last week-end of 5 dealers and started in the 37 deg range. By mid-day, I zipped off the panels to expose the mesh and put the insulated liner in my top case. On the way home in the evening, it went in reverse. For your early morning foggy rides along PCH, this would be an ideal jacket. When the Jan/Feb rains come, I'd opt for full protection with rain suit. For ~$200, it's a great value. Washes well also with removable armour. Lots of great Tuscany fare from the sidewalk cafes needed to be purged from the front!

pm
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post #11 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Ken -

Check out the Olympia Airglide2:

http://www.olympiamotosports.com/airglide/airglide.htm

Zip-out lining in jacket and pants w/ mesh outer. Bought it for our oldest, although Fawn has worn the pants and liked them.

They had them in stock at the multi-bike place off the 101 & Victoria.

Ted

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post #12 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 4:01 pm
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I've used the Olympia Airglide (I) for two years and it has worked exceptionally well. I just ordered the Airglide II because it addresses the few shortcomings of the original; inner "systems" jacket now has a waterproof zipper, and the jacket has a taller collar. New style is more attactive as well. Above 40 degrees, this is all the outfit I need. The inner "systems: jacket/liner can be worn by itself and is not unattractive. Most BMW dealers carry Olympia.

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post #13 of 13 Old Oct 11th, 2006, 4:06 pm
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I have Tour master, Joe Rocket, Next-Gen etc etc etc.
The only Company that I have more than 1 from is Tour Master
I have 3 at present
They wanted my Cortech suit with 90K on it, but I told them I'm not done yet. It was exclusive for 3 years, when it got really cold (below 20) I put on a goose down vest under.
They still ain't sold me on the electric stuff yet, not sure I'll be going inside when I get somewhere, so nI like wool and goose down.
Rock
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