Kevlar Mesh Jacket and Pants - Grrreat! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Oct 14th, 2006, 10:25 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Kevlar Mesh Jacket and Pants - Grrreat!

The older I get, the more gear I wear. Wisdom? Admission that I'm getting frail? Two young dependants?
... maybe all of the above, and then some.

Iíve never felt like telling anyone about the apparel I purchased until now, but my fellow riders, you deserve to know if you haven't heard:

About every five to seven years I go on an apparel-buying spree, usually living with what I purchased until the apparel wears out. However, last year I purchased Olympia Mesh pants and jacket, but I replaced it with more expensive gear this year. The Olympia is great for hot weather and it's well padded. However, a pant zipper failed twice, I knew there was better gear available, and I recently had a small windfall.

After reading and asking others about their apparel for eight months, I found this WebBikeWorld review:
(see http://www.webbikeworld.com/r3/motoport/ )
As a result of that review and several discussions with Wayne at Motoport.com (AKA Cycleport), I purchased the Ultra II Kevlar Mesh jacket and pants with removable Gortex liners.

After riding 7,000 miles in this apparel, including a trip to Glacier National Park with my brother, I can say the product performs better than any other apparel I've owned. Not only do I feel more protected than ever before, but this apparel handled temperatures from 14 to 105 Fahrenheit, with a little help on the coldest morning. Here's the layering/cooling used for my summer vacation:

Cold weather (14 Ė 35 F): I wore the BMW electric vest over a REI base layer of wicking long underwear for the cold weather, with the Gortex liner and Airmesh. I was cozy.

Mid temps (36 Ė 60): removed the electric vest (see above).

Warm/Hot weather (61+ on an LT): REI wicking under wear and the mesh jacket and pants. When the temps passed 95, I would soak the wicking underwear (and silk under my helmet). It felt like the air conditioning was on MAX for up to two hours. The wind gently blows through the airmesh (behind my K1200LT windshield/fairing; I don't know how it would feel on an unfaired bike).

2000 K1200 LTC
1987 Honda Super Magna
1978 Suzuki GT380
1974 Suzuki GT550
1969 Suzuki T305 Raider

Regards,
John
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2000 K1200 LTC - Canyon Red
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post #2 of 12 Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:48 pm
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Sweet. I have been deciding if I should take the Kevlar Plunge. How was the customer support from Motoport? I recently heard some warnings. How long did it take for your gear to arrive?

Willie
2006 BMW R1200RT
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post #3 of 12 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 12:04 am Thread Starter
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Customer support

Maybe it's luck of the draw regarding responsiveness because they're a small company. However, Wayne came to the phone at my request on four occasions - twice before I ordered and twice after. One time he had to call back the next day. Because the Kevlar Mesh is expensive, I had a lot of questions and reservations. Wayne must have spent an hour or more on the phone, respectfully answering every question.

They had the jacket I wanted in my size. It took three days to get to my door after paying for it by visa/phone.

I told Wayne that I NEEDED the pants within 45 days (instead of 60 - 90 as he said up front) for my trip to Glacier Nat'l park. He agreed to rush the order (they custom size the pants after you provide your measurements - see their web site for instructions). As I recall, it took about 40 days.

I couldn't be happier with their customer service. Perhaps the disappointed customers think custom should be delivered in a shorter time period.

One final remark: I may purchase another jacket for short rides - something that will get my wife to do a double-take. ...maybe the GP-2 or waste-cut Air Mesh Kevlar. It might help my slipping ego - I just turned 50.

Regards,
John
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post #4 of 12 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 8:53 am
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I think you saw my warning the other day at http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ded#post115376 . Here is another members experience http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...=&view=&sb=&o=

Be very careful. I got burnt.

Malcolm McGee
Little Rock, AR
'00 K1200LTC Canyon Red
'09 Kawasaki KLR 650
'96 Bunkhouse
IBA #24557
BMWMOA #117769


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post #5 of 12 Old Oct 17th, 2006, 6:45 pm Thread Starter
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Question Warning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod
I think you saw my warning the other day at http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ded#post115376 . Here is another members experience http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...=&view=&sb=&o=

Be very careful. I got burnt.
zaphod, I'm confused about the first link (about size issue and maybe ordering Motoport or Aerostitch).
The bad exerience story is clear and unfortunate.

I wonder what the ratio of good to bad customer service experiences have been with Motoport.

Regards,
John
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post #6 of 12 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 9:03 am
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Thumbs down Bad Customer Service @ Cycleport

I hope this doesnít sound like a rant, but here it goes

I got my mesh pants from them last year. After much research I concluded that; from others experience, I would be in for a long wait and they wouldnít fit right the first time but in the end to quality of the outfit was worth the hassle. Well, as expected when I got the pants after a 3+ month wait, they didnít fit. I half expected that, so I called and got a return authorization, sent them back and a week later got a great fitting pair of mesh pants. My only slight complaint at the time was the matching liners, while shown on-line as only coming in black were in fact bright red.

In April I took the plunge and ordered the matching mesh jacket. I got the jacket 4+ months later and guess what, it was too big. Just like before, I called and was told to send it back for alterations. When I received it back in about a week and was shocked to find an invoice for another 100 bucks. I call to find out what was going on and it went downhill fast. The owner, Wayne, got on the phone and started into a tirade about problem customers, how he didnít make any money on these things and then started cursing at me. I hung up in shock, and proceeded to write him an email. The emails got me nowhere. Wayne refused to take any responsibility, claiming customers caused all his problems and he was thinking of getting out of the business. I have never had an experience with a merchant who was so belligerent, rude and unwilling to listen. By the way, the jacket still doesnít fit right, its liner is bright blue and now Iím looking for another vendor to buy my wife a new outfit. In the end Wayne lost another $1000 sale, and the good word of mouth I had given him, all because he wouldnít admit he built the jacket too big and correct his mistake.

The only advice I would give if you decide to use them is to send them a jacket/pants that fits you for them to use as a template. If they had suggested that from the beginning I donít think I would be writing this now. Personally you couldnítí pay me to use them again after the things Wayne said.

Good luck.

Rant off.

Malcolm McGee
Little Rock, AR
'00 K1200LTC Canyon Red
'09 Kawasaki KLR 650
'96 Bunkhouse
IBA #24557
BMWMOA #117769


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post #7 of 12 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Arrow Let your money do the talkin

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod
... The only advice I would give if you decide to use them is to send them a jacket/pants that fits you for them to use as a template. If they had suggested that from the beginning I donít think I would be writing this now. Personally you couldnítí pay me to use them again after the things Wayne said.
Malcolm, If I had heard about your experience, I probably would not have bought from Cycle Port! Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience.

However, I am now wearing a Kevlar pant and jacket pair that makes me feel much SAFER than wearing leathers and far safer than my Olympia gear. Ignorance, in this case, turned out to be bliss.

For anyone watching and wondering whether to take the risk on Cycle Port, here's some additional info that might help you make your decision. I'm 6'-0," 181 LBs, 35 waist and 42 chest. Cycle Port's large jacket fit right off the rack without a problem. Regarding the pants, I followed their instructions and gave them my dimensions with a request to make the pants slightly oversized to use them as overpants (jeans or Gortex under). Again, they fit as well as any other cycle pants I've owned and the pads are in the right places without modification. If you're size is common, there probably isn't any risk of having problems with Cycle Port.

Wayne was always pleasant to me, but I do not doubt that Wayne and Malcolm had an phone altercation. As one of nine kids, I know that there's always more to the he said, she said. I have a brother and sister not speaking to each other, probably forever, because both characterizes an arguement they had with each other--that the other started it. Also, each claims the other one cursed while they remained calm and reasonable. How do I deal with it? ... I don't. Each are free to establish their own relationship with me. ... maybe one day I'll take sides--if one of them irrationally dresses me down.

Ultimately, Cycle Port's success or failure will rest upon whether customers come back for more. I will, for now. Malcolm won't. Let your money do the talking.

Regards,
John
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post #8 of 12 Old Oct 18th, 2006, 10:51 pm
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Thumbs up Happy Camper here in Canada

I bit the bullet and went with Kevlar UltraII Mesh jacket and the stretch kevlar pants. Lots of cash, particularly when translated into CAD but I am delighted! The jacket was in stock so I got it in less than a week. the pants took 10 weeks as promised and fit as promised. When you are walking around, they feel to long and the knee pads are low and off center. Once you mount up, all is well.

I had no issues with service - I got what I expected when promised and I feel really smart riding with all this great protection. Now, if we could just skip winter ...

bottom line - strong recommendation
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post #9 of 12 Old Oct 19th, 2006, 7:56 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
However, I am now wearing a Kevlar pant and jacket pair that makes me feel much SAFER than wearing leathers and far safer than my Olympia gear. Ignorance, in this case, turned out to be bliss.
I agree that the Kevlar gear is probable the safest stuff made. That is why I was willing to put up with the wait and the anticipated returns for alteration. What I was not prepared for was the unannounced extra charge and Wayneís response. I am now in a quandary as to suitable gear for my wife. Iím leaning towards Aerostich.

If you can by off the shelf, youíre probably safe. If you custom order, beware.

Malcolm McGee
Little Rock, AR
'00 K1200LTC Canyon Red
'09 Kawasaki KLR 650
'96 Bunkhouse
IBA #24557
BMWMOA #117769


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post #10 of 12 Old Oct 19th, 2006, 11:13 am
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Bought a pair of Cordura 1000 Jeans

Giving up a garment for Cycle Port to template from might be the best bet for getting it right the first time with them.

I got a pair of their Cordura 1000 jeans. I sent in a pair of my best fitting jeans and waited the prescribed 3 months. They fit great, and are exactly what I wanted: a pant that I can wear in hot weather alone or over bike shorts that isn't an overpant. So, I'm very happy with the purchase.

When I ordered over the phone, the owner did try to sell me up to the Kevlar material. But based on his materials comparison sheet, the apparent UV instability of Kevlar and my own experience crashing two Aerostich Darien pants, I opted to save the $100.

I probably wouldn't buy a jacket from them. There are just too many other alternatives that seem to be a better value in my opinion. And after reading this thread, I'd rather stick with low-risk good service like Aerostich, Motorcycle Superstore, the local bike shop, etc. In case I'm not completely satisied.

-----------------------------------------

The word motorcycle is a verb.

2005 K1200LT "Rolf"
2007 Moto Guzzi Norge
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post #11 of 12 Old Oct 19th, 2006, 11:37 am
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No problems

I've had my Cycleport gear for over 2 years and have not had a problem. I bought the kevlar mesh jack from a guy on the RT board. It needed alterations and I wanted pants as well. I called Wayne and he met me at a coffee shop and took all my measurments. The jacket came back in about two weeks and fits great. The pants took about 2 months and also fit great. At 6' and 250, I'm not an off the shelf guy either. Even with the few bad experiences I've read, I would still go through it again. I've not owned anything that has given me such a feel for protection as I do in the kevlar gear. With layering, this truely is the only outfit you will need to take on an extended trip and cover all four seasons.

Wayne does operate a small shop. What I can't understand is he could sell much more product if his customer service record was unblemished. There are people including myself, that don't put a price on safety. I would pay more if I had to to get the gear quicker,fits right the first time, etc... I don't know Wayne's business plan but I think an additional investment in the production process to speed things up could sucessfully be passed on the buyers. Are you listening Wayne??

2005 K1200 LT "Graphite Graydude Metallic"

Todd "Graydude" Ask me why I'm the best Realtor you've ever met!

IBA#22266
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post #12 of 12 Old Oct 19th, 2006, 5:47 pm Thread Starter
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I asked Wayne if he wanted/needed capital

Quote:
Originally Posted by graydude
I don't know Wayne's business plan but I think an additional investment in the production process to speed things up could sucessfully be passed on the buyers. Are you listening Wayne??
I raised the same thing to Wayne about decreasing lead times and said that I might be interested in investing. He politely declined.

Regards,
John
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