How's your experience with Firstgear clothing? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 7:22 pm Thread Starter
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Question How's your experience with Firstgear clothing?

Looking at purchasing a Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket. Any especially good or bad reports about Firstgear's stuff? It looks pretty good to me but experience is what counts.

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post #2 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 7:33 pm
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I"ve had Firstgear MeshTexII pants and jacket for a lil over a year with no problems at all. very good quality. I pull out the pads and just throw them in the washing machine atleast once a month. Have many miles on them and still look like new just my $.02 worth

Stevie Shreeve
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post #3 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by 3444
Looking at purchasing a Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket. Any especially good or bad reports about Firstgear's stuff? It looks pretty good to me but experience is what counts.

Firstgear is one of the better manufacturers of motorcycle clothing. The 4.0 Kilimanjaro is a really good jacket, but a bit pricey...I've been managing a motorcycle accessory store for many years and sold a lot of jackets; Firstgear is always my best seller. If you know your size, you can always pick one up online for quite a bit less than retail....they also make Tall sizes....and their HT pants go very well with the jacket.
If you lived a bit closer, I'd be glad to help you out...good luck.

Life is what happens while you're making other plans
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post #4 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 7:51 pm
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We bought First Gear Kilamanjaros with our LT in 2000, and they are still providing excellent protection. No complaints at all. And the stiffness will limber up after a few months of use. There is also a Kilamanjaro Air out there now, but I have no experience with it. I know others here on the list have had them, and maybe they will chime in here soon if that is the style you are looking at.


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'00 K1200LTC "Katie"
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post #5 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 7:56 pm
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I first purchased the FirstGear Kilimanjaro and HT overpants. I liked the first Gear quality, so I have since purchased a Firtgear leather jacket, Meshtex, and HT air overpants. I have tried joe rocket, but have not been happy with either the fit or quality.

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post #6 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 9:00 pm
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I have a Kilimanjaro, Mesh Jacket, and HT Mesh pants.

Zero problems with any of them - like them all a lot...
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post #7 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 9:06 pm
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I've had two mesh tex jackets and HT air pants and HT over pant as well as the Kiliminjaro Air. I've been generally happy with all of them for fit and comfort but every single item has had broken zipper pulls or buttons. They've fixed a couple of them and I've just put up with the rest...

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post #8 of 20 Old Mar 9th, 2007, 10:35 pm
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I guess this is going to sound like a broken record

My wife and I both have the Kilimanjaro jackets, you can see them in the picture.
best jacket I've ever owned but I haven't owned them all so that may be a matter of perspective,
We took the liners out and use Gerbing jacket liners only,
comfortable and dry down to the low forty's and as Florida tropical sissies
we don't have much of a tolerance for cold,
with the vents open I can wear the jacket up to about 77 degrees
thats when I switch over to mesh tech (they also come in long sizes)

I love my HT overpants a very good compliment to the jacket.
The mesh tech is comfortable up to about 90 (when you're moving)
above that nothing is comfortable in my opinion
but that doesn't mean I'll ride naked (how's that for a mental picture )
when I got spit of the bike during that Elk collision last May
it destroyed that mesh tech jacket but it sure saved me a lot of hide.

St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Our preferred long distance carrier"

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post #9 of 20 Old Mar 10th, 2007, 12:40 am
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Thumbs up First Gear

In my experience, they are great when it comes to customer service. I purchased a leather jacket at a deep discount from a dealer who was closing shop(thank you BMW Motorad) about one month later the zipper broke. I called up First Gear in CA. and they said to ship the jacket to them and they will have a look. Well two weeks later my jacket arrived with a new zipper and no charge.
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post #10 of 20 Old Mar 10th, 2007, 2:53 am
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Smile First Gear Clothing

I purchased a First Gear jacket and the dealer told me it was waterproof. The first big rain I got wet. I bought some sealer and treated the coat which supposedly already had this done. The next big rain I got soaked. I called the dealer and she said call the 1-8-- number on the collar. I did and they wouldn't talk to me because I wasn't a dealer. First Gear had been bought out by another company so I called them and the same thing. I figured I was stuck until I happened into another dealership and they called somebody and I got another First Gear jacket from First Gear. My original dealer should have done this but was too lazy I guess. I appreciate what this dealer did for me since I didn't buy the jacket from him orginally. It was a different model because they no longer made the one I had. I also have the pants and both are now waterproof. In Washington state that's important because it rains once in awhile here. The coat and pants are a little hot and bulky but taking out the liners helps and so do the vents. If I had to do it again I would just bite the bullet and buy a Aerostich Darrien Jacket and pants for about $900 and be done with it. This is what the local police wear in all types of weather. If you don't want to spend this much First Gear is good stuff.
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post #11 of 20 Old Mar 10th, 2007, 9:55 am
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First Gear

Just a quick note - buy a light colored pant!!

Black is unbearably hot once the weather gets warmer. If you want to wear it all the time, go for silver or another light or bright color (plus, it helps with the other traffic on the road, if they can't see your bike, maybe they'll see your clothing!)
I'm tall and it is a real drag to find any pants that fit, much less silver pants. I had the First Gear Mesh Tex pants (yep, they have 'em in tall sizes) but couldn't stand the retained heat of the black pants, worn in the summer heat, in bright sunlight.
For off the shelf products, Olympia and BMW make pants in silver. Oly doesn't do tall sizes and with their products, I look like I am ready to ford a small creek when sitting on the bike.
To get back into a mesh riding pant, I may go for a Motoport kevlar mesh pant. What they have to say about nylon mesh products is quite interesting (if it wears through, it melts onto your skin in a road rash incident!!!).
As a final note, I haven't worn a light colored mesh pant, but it has to be better than a black colored one.
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post #12 of 20 Old Mar 10th, 2007, 10:02 pm
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The only problem I can think of with my jacket is the velcro on the sleeves has gotten a little weak. But after 4 years and 70+K miles I'd say I've more than gotten my moneys worth out of it. I'd by another one without a second thought.

Bill McAllister
St. Louis, MO.
2003 K1200LTE
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post #13 of 20 Old Mar 11th, 2007, 9:04 pm
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Firstgear Kilimanjaro

I got the jacket last spring, and love it! Was riding a cruiser last year, with a short windshield, so minimal wind protection there. With the vents sealed up, can't even use the liner unless temp is below 30...rode in temps down to 22 with liner and no problem!

Rain protection is great, and at 80 F the vents provide plenty airflow. Of course, at the stop lights in summer, it gets warm.....but so will about any of them.

Hope this helps!

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post #14 of 20 Old Mar 12th, 2007, 11:39 am
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1st Gear Overpants

I have the overpants with liners. I've not had any issues with leaks and with the liners and armor they keep me warm. Velcro is still working after three+ years, they are a bit bulky to store.


V-twin transforming to a boxer or brick
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post #15 of 20 Old Mar 12th, 2007, 3:08 pm
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Have used first gear for several years and found it to be very good. I like the way they vent their jackets for summer riding. They do tend to leak unless treated after a few years but most of this type of clothing does. Can be quite comfortable on cooler days and long rides.
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post #16 of 20 Old Mar 13th, 2007, 9:15 am
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Kilimanjaro Air jacket and HT overpants:

First, note that neither of them come with CE approved armor, but you can easily get the armor and replace if you want. The Kili IV jacket, which I just bought for my wife, does have the hard armor.

Air jacket - I bought the long jacket and it fits my 35 in. sleeve length perfectly. Comes with a removeable waterproof liner that zips in and out in seconds. As to the waterproofness - I rode 12+ hours on the northern side of Tropical Storm whatsitsname last summer and was completely dry. Of course, if I take the liner out I am going to get completely soaked in a hard rain, since the shell is mesh. But oh, the airflow in the summer thru the mesh is terrific, almost like riding without a jacket. The zipper did break recently - that seems to be fairly common on Kilimanjaros - don't know about other First Gear lines. I had an old winter parka that had the same size zipper, so I removed the top zip from the parka, put it on the Kili, and it worked fine. One other caveat about the Kili Air - Even with the waterproof liner zipped in, the outer and inner pockets on the shell are not waterproof (duh!). DAMHIK.

HT overpants - the long size fits my 34" inseam with plenty of length to spare, waterproof shell, removable liner, non-CE armor (can be replace with CE). I've ridden in every type of weather (well, not a blizzard yet) in them, have been comfortable down to 6F (with longjohns and jeans beneath the HT and liner), and up to the low 90s (no liner, no longjohns, no jeans, no . . . well, I'll just stop there). Excellent rain protection with or without liner, full length zip up each leg to make it easy to get on or off over boots, 4 pockets (which are a PITA to get into because they are so well sealed against rain).

My wife loves the Kili IV regular jacket.

I'd buy First Gear again.

Guilford, CT
'99 Canyon Red K1200 LT - Buddah Bike
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post #17 of 20 Old Mar 13th, 2007, 10:02 pm
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I've owned a Kilimanjaro jacket for three years. I agree with all the other glowing comments about the jacket BUT my problem is that the comm cord catches the left pocket from time to time. It's a nit but it's a real pita as well. So much so I'm probably going to sell it.
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post #18 of 20 Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:37 pm
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Question Been down w/a Kilamanjaro???

I recently found some new BMW riding gear that is supposed to last longer if you go sliding. I've owned a Kilamanjaro for 4 years now and it has always kept me dry and warm.

I'm just wondering if anyone has had the unfortunate experience of going down while wearing one. How did it hold up and did it protect you?
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post #19 of 20 Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:41 pm
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I bought the Kilimanjaro "Air" back in October. It's a great jacket. It kept me warm this winter and it breathes real well when you take take the liner out in the warmer temps.
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post #20 of 20 Old Apr 4th, 2007, 3:50 pm
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Saga of my First Gear pants.......

About 18 months back I bought a pair of the First Gear pants from the BMW dealer in Fife, WA. A few times over the next few months I felt what I thought was wetness in the crotch of the pants (it rains a LOT here in the Seattle area). I didn't think a lot of it then, as I ride every day, and didn't have the time to go back down to the dealership, though I did mention it to one of their sales folks that following spring. Then on Nov 30th of 05 I was involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident in which I was struck from behind by an unlicensed/uninsured motorist while stopped on my street waiting to make a turn. The pants were beaten up pretty good, and I ended up with several holes in the rear end (the pants, you guys....the pants), and some other abrasions and holes on the right leg........ Because of that accident, I just figured that, oh well, so much for trying to get them covered under warranty.....and sort of let it slide until I attended the Vendor fair at SouthSound BMW just a few weeks ago. I found some folks from First Gear there (sorry, I didn't get any names) and after explaining my story, one of the guys went with me out to my bike (pants were bungee corded on the back seat), took down my name, address and other pertinent info, and took the pants and said he'd see what he could do. About 2 and a half weeks later, my wife finds an "Express Overnight" package at the front door. When I got home, of course I had no idea what I'd ordered that would arrive so quickly.....until I saw the return address......then I knew it was going to be my repaired pants. So, I set it aside to be taken out to the garage later, and laid out for my morning departure the next day. And of course, after dinner, I took the box and headed to the garage where I opened it, and said to myself "Wow....they put it in a sealed bag to ship it!" Then I saw the FG tag hanging from the waist......hmmmmmm? "why would they put a new tag on it?" (My wife says I am extremely slow sometimes.......ok, ok, ok.)

So, I'm guessing that the pants were in too bad of shape to repair....thus the new pants? Wow....I am impressed!! That is what Customer Relations should be about!!

Pat Patterson

Patterson/USAF1....'05 LT
and the little guy behind me is the world famous "Marty Hill"
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