Originally Posted by MrBreeze
Thanks for taking the time and sharing your personal experience - it is helpful as you know the investment in this kind of gear isn't something we take lightly, so it is good to get candid feedback. You mentioned how the lighter colors soil more easily, and so if you were do do it again, would you go with the black, rather than the lighter colors? The look is much more adventure/rally with the lighter colors, not to mention aiding being seen by cagers over black garments.
I have had the Air Jacket for a few years now and it might be different on what they are selling now. I think I paid $299 and was around the BMW garment prices.. It has CE approved hard padding in the shoulder and elbow and a back pad that IMHO only kept the heat in. The zip in Gore-Tex wannabe liner will keep you dry in a full rain. Like most of the gear there is a water resistant spray applied to the fabric when manufactured and that keeps the jacket from retaining moisture in a light rain or keeping the moisture after the rain stops. What is really good for me is the same armor fits all the jackets so I can move it from Jacket to jacket and only carry one set of armor and use it in what I wear and the other jacket folds small.
The light color is what attracted me to the jacket because I had a FirstGear MeshTex II, as my original summer jacket, and that was really cool even when temps got into the high 90's provided you had some forward motion. I can get caught in traffic in NYC or New Jersey or on I-95 or I-84 and stopped dead even with the great heat management of the LT can be a chore and take any fun out of riding for work.
The light gray gets dirty and since I have done the NickWax I have not been in any rain. However water beads now on the fabric where it didn't with the Scotchgard. Takes me three days to wash air dry and re-coat the jacket with the rain resistant coating.
I will never
buy another dark riding jacket or pants. I have a full First Gear Black Leather suit, I bought in the early 90's and as you can guess it is hot, still in the closet. It fits and if I ever get a HD I will be right in style. Jus have to find a way to put a rag on my helmet. When I see anyone riding in 80+ degrees with a black anything feel sorry for them I understand why they are hot. I also have a Revzilla 'Scout' winter jacket (bought it first year Rev'it sold anything in the US) which is predominantly dark charcoal gray and I special ordered a black pair of pants to go with it from Rev'it. They were only available in Europe and they were great in the colder months but were nasty in the summer. The waterproof membrane liner was not removable so it was hot. I should have ordered the longer length. If you have long legs order the longest available. I converted the metric sizes to inches and the short was my pant inseam. Great length when I walk but shows more boot than I would like riding. The regular would have been better and the longer probably would have been too long.
Bottom line the light gray has so much heat advantage over the darker colors I recommend it without hesitation. The multiple liners for mine are really good and pretty much interchangeable. They don't all zip or snap in every combo that I have but they work. I use my LT for work and I work all over the northeast. I carry a complete set of hot to cold gear (even electrics) except for July and early August. I never know when I will be coming home very late. Even in late August or early June in the northeast 3 or 4 AM it can get pretty cold riding for a couple of hundred miles.
This is what my summer gear
looked like this year on the Dragon. I was working there also...
Good luck on your choice of gear.