Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kings Park, NY, USA
gear and helmet comparison
Yesterday and the day before were both 90F+ days with similar humidity so I took the opportunity to do a back to back comparison of my Vanson perforated leather jacket/HT Air overpant combination with my Aerostich roadcrafter one piece on the exact same route at the exact same times. Commuting is so much fun. 20 miles one way, mostly highway.
The Vanson is a Hurricane in gray, the stich is gray they are almost the same color so color is not an issue, this is a real close comparison.
For fit on the LT I'm 6'3", 36 inseam, 275lbs and my shoulders are a little more than 2 feet wide. I have the seat in the high position.
Logically, one would think that the great airflow from the Vanson would provide a cooler ride. It is probably the best perforated leather out there. This is not what I found on the LT because of how the air works.
The air goes into the underarm vents, actually a little more if I raise the windshield to a couple of inches below my eyeline. Then, there is airflow all around inside the suit. It bellows out with all of the air moving all the way around to my back.
If I lower the windshield all of the way, I get airflow down my neck as well.
I also get good airflow up the left sleeve, but for some reason not up the right.
If I raise my elbows WAY up I get almost direct air into the pit vents. Nice.
I tried adjusting the lower air deflectors but found that anything outwards directed the airflow around me.
With the Vanson, the only air I get is where it is hitting me directly. With the windshield all of the way down this is at my neck. No airflow around my chest at all, just my arms. Mesh/perf doesn't move air it just lets it get though.
I did get a little bit of cooling on the top of my legs with the mesh pants, but with the side zippers open (and hip armor in) on the stich I got blowing air which felt better.
Slow or stopped I bake in both.
Both were HOT but the stich was more comfortable. Ideally I would want zippered vents on the biceps and armpit vents and I would want to fix whatever is preventing airflow up my right sleeve.
The key to me was that mesh/perf does not work as well for me on my LT as a solid material with good venting.
From a helmet standpoint, I used a Shoei X11 and a Nolan N102. On my VStrom, the Shoei was quiet and the Nolan was loud. On the LT, it is the opposite. I think it has something to do with the very different helmet shapes and the difference in turbulence created by the VStrom stock shield and the LT shield's upper geometry. I don't mean this as a knock on the Shoei, but rather that the Nolan worked well with the LT and was much quieter at every windshield setting on the LT than it was on the VStrom.
Oh and by the way, this bike ROCKS!! My most common experience is "oh, this is going to be tough on this big machine" followed by "wow that was so easy". Most recent was a full lock U turn in less than one lane. Not that I'm going to let my guard down, but man, how great is this?
potius sero quam nunquam