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post #1 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
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Mesh Jacket Question

Hi Gang,
I'm looking to buy mesh riding jackets. My wife and I have leathers but they are heavy and too hot in the summer. Also, our leathers are from the HD store and don't have any armor. My dealer says a good mesh jacket with liner is warm enough for mild winter riding and, without the liner, is cooler than a tee shirt in the summer. North Carolina doesn't get too cold in the winter but the summers can be brutal (unless you're in the mountains).

I sure would appreciate any advice y'all might be able to offer. I'm looking at the Olympia Airglide 2 Mesh Tech jackets but I haven't made any final decisions until I consulted with my LT brethren.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
'05 Dark Graphite
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post #2 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 1:05 pm
 
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I have the First Gear Mess Tech, works good for me. With the liner it's good to about 50 deg., any colder than that & I wear a light wind breaker type jacket under it & I'm good. I also use the Mess Tech pants, better than jeans in the summer.
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post #3 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 1:27 pm
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Olympia Airglide 2

Smith:

I rode the entire summer in NC with the Olympia Airglide 2 Coat & Pants. I purchased the lighter colored coat and the black pants. I found the Olympia gear to be very comfortable, even on the hottest days. I'll also give a nod to the high quality of the Olympia gear. They use name brand protection and the products are well made. As you may know, the Olympia Company is based in Hendersonville, NC.

I used the Tecknic mesh gear prior to Olympia and the Airglide 2 is a superior product in fit, finish and protection. I also compared the Olympia gear to the BMW Venting Machine side-by-side and I would say the quality of the Olympia gear rivals that of the BMW...not to mention at considerably less cost.

I don't know that I agree that the mesh gear, with the liner, it a true three season outfit. I did a Saddle Sore 1000 on September 30th with temps in the low 40's and was a little cool with the Airglide. Maybe I am a little cool natured, but I would say the mesh is good from the 50 degree mark and above. I purchased the Olympia AST/Ranger 2 gear for the cooler weather.

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post #4 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 1:54 pm
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Ditto on the Airglide outfit. I've had mine for two years and love it. With a fleece or sweatshirt and long underwear it is good to 25 degrees. With the liners only between 40 and 60. Without the liners it is as cool as a tee shirt when you are moving. Mine is black so it is hotter when stopped. It is very easy to switch from liners to no liners too. Right now the dealers around me have the original Airglide outfits like mine at 50% off as it is an older style. Pretty good deal!

Brian
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post #5 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 2:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith
Hi Gang,
I'm looking to buy mesh riding jackets. My wife and I have leathers but they are heavy and too hot in the summer. Also, our leathers are from the HD store and don't have any armor. My dealer says a good mesh jacket with liner is warm enough for mild winter riding and, without the liner, is cooler than a tee shirt in the summer. North Carolina doesn't get too cold in the winter but the summers can be brutal (unless you're in the mountains).

I sure would appreciate any advice y'all might be able to offer. I'm looking at the Olympia Airglide 2 Mesh Tech jackets but I haven't made any final decisions until I consulted with my LT brethren.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
'05 Dark Graphite
I'm probably going to offend Olympia mesh fans, but I've paid my dues. After six months and three zipper failures the pants and jacket were tossed in a box never to be used again (bought them in 10/05). The gear was comfortable, but IMO not worth the money. Also, I felt more vulnerable after wearing leather for years.

That said, mesh gear is great for warm climates, especially if you have layers or liners to wear as necessary.

If you're looking to improve safety over leather, check out Kevlar mesh at http://www.motoport.com/index.asp Be sure to select "click here to see all pants (jacket, ...)"
The gear is great, customer service reports vary (mine was great), and the prices are high (less than a skin graph). This gear has better abrasion and impact protection than leather.
To see what other say: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ht=kevlar+mesh

Regards,
John
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post #6 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 3:06 pm
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First gear mesh teck here, my wife and I are on our second set.
After our crash in May we got new jackets, threw the old ones away,
they did their intended job well, saved us a lot of skin.

We got ours at cycle gear, which is nice as you get to try things on,
there may be one near you.
http://www.cyclegear.com/


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post #7 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 3:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith
Hi Gang,
I'm looking to buy mesh riding jackets. My wife and I have leathers but they are heavy and too hot in the summer. Also, our leathers are from the HD store and don't have any armor. My dealer says a good mesh jacket with liner is warm enough for mild winter riding and, without the liner, is cooler than a tee shirt in the summer. North Carolina doesn't get too cold in the winter but the summers can be brutal (unless you're in the mountains).

I sure would appreciate any advice y'all might be able to offer. I'm looking at the Olympia Airglide 2 Mesh Tech jackets but I haven't made any final decisions until I consulted with my LT brethren.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
'05 Dark Graphite
We talked about this quite a bit last May: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...enting+machine

I rarely buy BMW brand stuff, but I compared all the mesh fabrics available - and there were only two that were extremely abrasion resistant - BMW's Polyamide (probably sourced from Schoeller) and Motoport Kevlar (Dupont) - both VERY expensive and worth every nickle... all of the other stuff was virtually worthless due to the low melting points. I bit the bullet and bought Venting Machines for myself and the missus at Chicago BMW for 20% off. Very pleased. I only have one issue with Kevlar, it degrades rapidly in sunlight (UV) - which we certainly have plenty of here in the Southwest. In just about all applications where Kevlar is used outdoors it is protected by a cover of polyester. How this plays out with the longevity and strength of the Motoport stuff I have no idea.

I also had a Vanson Corsair fully perforated leather jacket with armor - a very nice piece with tons of armor but on the heavy side - and it would get a little clammy at stops. Not nearly the ventilation of the mesh. At over $500 bones it just does not make sense anymore.

Something to consider: Vanson's Breeze jacket is on sale now and it comes in 3 different shades of grey and one is almost white - much cooler than black. It is fully perforated leather and very nice looking for $179.00 and that is a BARGAIN. No armor, but for another $100 you could get a long sleeve lightweight micro fiber shirt with some minimal CE Armor pockets and be really well protected... http://www.vansonleathers.com/detail.aspx?ID=271


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post #8 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 5:15 pm
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I can recommend the MotoPort (CyclePort) Air Mesh suits. I have an Ultra II Air Mesh suit from them and it's been fantastic. Grat ventiliation, lots of protection, has body armor, and you can get a gore-tex liner with or without quilting to stay dray and warm. http://www.motoport.com/

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post #9 of 21 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 7:57 pm
 
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I wear an inexpensive Tour Master from Cortech. Light, comfortable, two liners, armor inside. A decent jacket that has served me well from Buffalo, NY to Key West.
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post #10 of 21 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 7:40 am
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Gotta go with Ron on the BMW gear. BMW gear is very pricey but probably worth it.

I also have a mesh suit from http://www.hein-gericke.com/uk/index.php/cPath/1

For really hot weather this stuff is great. It seems a bit more sturdy than most of the other mesh stuff I looked at and they use CE armor rather than the foam found in many of the mesh outfits. If you have a dealer in your area it is worth looking at.

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post #11 of 21 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 8:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_E
I have the First Gear Mess Tech, works good for me. With the liner it's good to about 50 deg., any colder than that & I wear a light wind breaker type jacket under it & I'm good. I also use the Mess Tech pants, better than jeans in the summer.
I agree, just make sure you get the silver jacket, not black. The black jacket absorbs moocho heat when sitting still in the hot sun.

Dick Wood
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Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
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post #12 of 21 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 9:02 am
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I bought (and love0 a Jor rocket leather mesh jacket with armor...............
The J.R. patch was easily removable from the sleeve and went on a very long trip with me as my only jacket. on cool mornings I put a rain lacket over to stop air flow, on cold mornings I added BMW phase change underneath..................
cheap, light, versatile.......
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post #13 of 21 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 4:44 pm
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IMHO I would recommend anything that you will wear. If you find something that fits and you think is stylish that is what is important. If it abrades easily or is warm, waterproof, windproof or sun proof those are all secondary. You need to be wearing it or it is worthless.

After that consider it's overall weight and go as light as possible because in 100 degrees weight becomes the most important factor and protection is secondary. Look for a color as light as you can accept so you can reflect as much sun as possible and not overheat and lose concentration while riding.

Consider one with some sort of removable wind proof zip in liner so that late night summer run home isn't so cool.. these jackets really work.. Consider CE rated armor and then make sure the jacket fit snugly enough to hold the armor in place or straps to make the jacket snug.

I have a silver First Gear MeshTex II and I'm considering a MeshTex III because of the increased protection from hard armor. I wear mine all summer. It's better than a Tee Shirt because you never need to worry about sunburn..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #14 of 21 Old Nov 27th, 2006, 8:17 am
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Mesh Jacket

I am like you. All I had was Harley leather. About 3 months ago, I bought Olympia mesh jacket and am very pleased with it. The coldest I have ridden in so far was 34 degrees. I also live in NC, Charlotte. I wore a long sleeve T shirt, electric vest, jacket liner and jacket. Was burning up. Had to cut back the thermostat to <1. The jacket and protection of the LT does a more than adequate job keeping you warm and comfortable.

Enjoy.

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post #15 of 21 Old Nov 27th, 2006, 7:19 pm
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joe rocket

we wear joe rocket for mesh jackets

almost cant tell u have it on in the summer but good protection....

not much protection for cooler weather but thats why we got em....

Kip
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post #16 of 21 Old Nov 27th, 2006, 9:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kip
we wear joe rocket for mesh jackets

almost cant tell u have it on in the summer but good protection....

not much protection for cooler weather but thats why we got em....
Polyurethane coated mesh? Melts right into your skin during a typical get off which can generate temperatures up to 600F. JUNK. (sorry to burst your bubble but this stuff is not even worth a second look)

On the plus side it does have a nice "hand" - which is fabric jargon for great drape. .... and that's exactly where it belongs -as a sunshade on your windows.

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post #17 of 21 Old Nov 27th, 2006, 9:47 pm
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Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar. If you order now it will be ready by the time that you really need it. I have no affiliation, just a satisfied customer.

http://www.motoport.com/detail.asp?I...ategory=Kevlar



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post #18 of 21 Old Nov 28th, 2006, 7:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Polyurethane coated mesh? Melts right into your skin during a typical get off which can generate temperatures up to 600F. JUNK. (sorry to burst your bubble but this stuff is not even worth a second look)

On the plus side it does have a nice "hand" - which is fabric jargon for great drape. .... and that's exactly where it belongs -as a sunshade on your windows.

Don't shoot me, I am the Messenger.

You know your right... However not all accidents have will have 'slide' that will completely disintegrate the jacket because all accidents do not involve pavement.

I'm not using the analogy of 'It ain't going to happen to me so I won't wear anything'.. Not everyone wants to buy the 'top rated' of anything.. For a variety of reasons. That is what makes marketing so much apart of our choices for everything that we purchase. Yes, one jacket may not survive a 40 MPH low side get off on a newly paved road or new concrete highway... but the same jacket might on do well or 'good enough' on a highly polished road.. same slide distance..

I had one accident where I had a very bad case of road rash... I had very good gear in the topcase and I was planning to put it on at my next gas stop. The reason I didn't have it on was because there was so much protection it was very hot.. You can say the same about gloves, helmets and boots.. everyone needs to make a personal choice on how much is enough.

IMHO ... Buy something you will wear.. because something is generally better than nothing.

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post #19 of 21 Old Nov 29th, 2006, 12:10 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
IMHO ... Buy something you will wear.. because something is generally better than nothing.
Yep, something is usually better than nothing.

My view is objectively evaluate the safety value of all gear and pick the best you can afford. If money is an issue, consider waiting to farklize in favor of protecting your skin.

BTW, not all Cycleport gear looks good as the photos attached to a message above Here's one of their uglier cuts:
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post #20 of 21 Old Nov 29th, 2006, 3:16 am
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I am on my third Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket...the Phoenix IV comes with a breathable zip-out liner that is water and wind-proof, the "cut" is perfect for me, has easily adjustable velcro waist adjustments and arm straps, and the IV series even has a lined inner pocket for an extra helmet shield that places it alongside your ribcage. (well, and another that fits a concealed handgun nicely, but that's another post...) And, I got mine in white with black and reflective trim, nice for the Texas heat...

shop around and you can get it for under $120, and they now come with foam CE-approved armor on shoulders, elbows, forearms and back...all but shoulders removable. (and they have a totally separate "cut" for their women's jackets--as you shop, remember that like a lot of motorcycle clothing, most internet sources won't be able to list their actual price, only the approved "lowest price" which the manufacturer dictates...but they will sell for lower, I've bought mine from EBay, from actual shops that also sell on EBay, and been thrilled with all of them).

I understand that multi-millimeter leather is going to be more protective in a 'get off," but in 110-degree heat, there's no way I'm going to wear that because I'd pass out from heat exhaustion on my ride home from work...the phoenix series is like wearing almost nothing, especially with a phase change or evaporative vest underneath (or a cotton t-shirt saturated with water), and the argument of "what happens if this is subjected to 600+ degree heat in case of a lowside" wouldn't be a deterrent factor for me because in the case of (another) accident, I'd anticipate not just sliding, but doing the ol' flip-flop as well...and I've learned the hard way to NEVER remove the CE armor from protective gear.

Not to mention seeing first-hand some high-end leather gear that got shredded like cabbage in a Ronco salad-o-matic in low-speed dumps, and the jury being out on the effects of UV exposure and cleaning of kevlar anything.

For quality, price, extras like pockets and special outlets for ipod headphone cords and house keys, I've been pretty happy with Joe Rocket...they make nice mesh pants as well for summer riding that make for cool below-the-waist protection as well.

My two cents, feel free to give me change back


Pete

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post #21 of 21 Old Nov 29th, 2006, 4:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
We talked about this quite a bit last May: http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...enting+machine

I rarely buy BMW brand stuff, but I compared all the mesh fabrics available - and there were only two that were extremely abrasion resistant ... I only have one issue with Kevlar, it degrades rapidly in sunlight (UV) - which we certainly have plenty of here in the Southwest.
What about the DuPont Cordura Fabric Armored Motorcycle Jackets?
I've Goggled them & read they are superior to Kevlar because they have “stretch & return" properties as apposed to tearing. In fact I understand the Kevlar needs to be interwoven with Cordura or a similar thread to be useable and only two manufacturers do it properly.
So confusing! I'd sure like to know!

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