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Discussion Starter #1
I've read with interest the excellent contributions on this and on other forums regarding the merits/demerits of jackets and pants from different manufacturers. Aerostitch, First Gear, Motoport, Olympia, Revit, Hein Gericke and various others get frequent mentions. What surprises me is the almost total lack of comment on BMW gear. Is there a reason? One posting included "It seems to be mandatory that you wear an Aerostich if you ride a BMW" Why is this? BMW seem to have a broad range of clothing to cover all requirements. I know they're regarded as being expensive but so are some others, so I don't think that's the reason. Has anyone done any actual comparisons? Seems curious to me since we all drive the machines.

Kevin
 

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You haven't read any reviews by me then. I LOVE BMW's riding gear! I have a BMW Commuter II jacket and StreetGuard pants for temps between 60°F - 110°F. And a BMW Light-n-Easy jacket and Tourance pants for rain and temps below 60°F. I also wear a pair of BMW Summer Rain gloves.

Around town, I wear a BMW Club jacket during shorter rides, or when I want to sport the BMW colors and look cool. :)

Add a complete set of Gerbing's heated gear to all the above, and there isn't any temps I can't ride in, rain or shine.

The only bitter pill to swallow regarding BMW's gear is...it is EXPENSIVE.
 

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I've had Aerostich (Darien jacket & pants). Now use the BMW Santiago jacket and pants. I believe both to be very safe and functional, but the Santiago is much more comfortable for me and I was able to purchase the jacket in a tall size. Although very expensive, I try to view it as a long term investment :)
 

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After having a couple of cheaper-but-adequate jackets and pants I'm riding with Aerostich Darien pants and jacket. I looked at several BMW products and believe they offer the same protection, function, and value as Aerostich/Motoport/some other products, but I could never find what I wanted in my size. That is BMW's Achilles' heel, IMO: I couldn't find a dealer that had a decent selection of BMW gear in all sizes. I know it's expensive to stock this stuff, but come on -- I can't try on what you don't have. Anyway...

Given all of the above, we drove to Duluth to visit Aerostich in person, did the try-on thing, and 3 1/2 weeks later had the gear. The other Aerostich plus: alterations. You can "have it your way", whether that means custom fitting or just adding/deleting options. (for example, I deleted the Velcro map pocket strips on the pants)

The Darien gear has been OK so far, although I'm still waiting to try the stuff out in something more cosmic than sprinkles. I may have to ride to Texas to experience rain in this gear.:rolleyes:

Regarding the issue of how expensive good gear is:
1. You usually get what you pay for. The gear will last longer, function better, and look better.
2. It's a lot cheaper than a skin graft or similar medical treatment. :eek:
 

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hschisler said:
Given all of the above, we drove to Duluth to visit Aerostich in person, did the try-on thing, and 3 1/2 weeks later had the gear. The other Aerostich plus: alterations. You can "have it your way", whether that means custom fitting or just adding/deleting options. (for example, I deleted the Velcro map pocket strips on the pants)
So it only takes an 1,800-mile round trip (food, gas, time, hotel, etc...), $850, and 3.5 weeks to get a riding suit that fits ya??? I have to believe that you could've found a BMW dealer half as close as Aerostich (4 States away! :eek: ) that carried BMW gear in your size.
 

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messenger13 said:
So it only takes an 1,800-mile round trip (food, gas, time, hotel, etc...), $850, and 3.5 weeks to get a riding suit that fits ya??? I have to believe that you could've found a BMW dealer half as close as Aerostich (4 States away! :eek: ) that carried BMW gear in your size.
You are correct, of course -- I could have found a BMW dealer that stocked something in my size. Heck, I even built a spreadsheet showing features, specs, blah blah blah on the various BMW suits v. Aerostich and Olympia. It would have taken a lot of phone calls to find this dealer, though. Mrs. hschisler was up for a quick dash and back to Duluth, so off we went.

If you need any birthday suggestions, I'll take a BMW Light and Easy suit (yep, just like yours :) ) and a BMW Venting Machine suit, please.

Main reason for the Aerostich? Ease of on-and-off while commuting. Their overpants can go on right over business casual, jeans, or the occasional tuxedo. :rolleyes:
 

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I don't understand the need for a BMW dealership to stock all sizes of gear. My dealer readily offers to order what we together think would be the best size and if that doesn't fit right, he will continue to reorder until he gets a garment that fits me the way I want it to. That has worked well for me although I had to make two trips to the dealer.
 

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Sunderland said:
I don't understand the need for a BMW dealership to stock all sizes of gear. My dealer readily offers to order what we together think would be the best size and if that doesn't fit right, he will continue to reorder until he gets a garment that fits me the way I want it to. That has worked well for me although I had to make two trips to the dealer.
Good point, and one I didn't address in my previous reply.

They don't have to stock all sizes, but they do need (IMO) to stock a lot more sizes than my local dealer, AND in more of the BMW products than my dealer does. And you are absolutely correct: my dealer has, on numerous occasions, reminded me that he will order anything without obligation on my part. I just don't want to put them through all the hassle; even though the apparel/parts manager will happily do it, I'm sure he's not pleased when it happens, especially with someone as picky as me. That said, I went to Aerostich where I could try on the one-piece Roadcrafter, the two-piece Roadcrafter, the Darien jacket and pants, and their AD1 pants -- all in one visit. They have all products in all sizes every day in their showroom. I understand they have a very different business model than our BMW dealers. I placed the order and walked away knowing it would fit.
 

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hschisler said:
Good point, and one I didn't address in my previous reply.

They don't have to stock all sizes, but they do need (IMO) to stock a lot more sizes than my local dealer, AND in more of the BMW products than my dealer does. And you are absolutely correct: my dealer has, on numerous occasions, reminded me that he will order anything without obligation on my part. I just don't want to put them through all the hassle; even though the apparel/parts manager will happily do it, I'm sure he's not pleased when it happens, especially with someone as picky as me. That said, I went to Aerostich where I could try on the one-piece Roadcrafter, the two-piece Roadcrafter, the Darien jacket and pants, and their AD1 pants -- all in one visit. They have all products in all sizes every day in their showroom. I understand they have a very different business model than our BMW dealers. I placed the order and then DROVE HOME 900 MILES knowing it would fit.
Fixed!!! :p
 

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messenger13 said:
Guilty as charged. If the trip had been on a bike, the 900 miles would have been OK, though. :rolleyes:
 

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messenger13 said:
So it only takes an 1,800-mile round trip (food, gas, time, hotel, etc...), $850, and 3.5 weeks to get a riding suit that fits ya??? I have to believe that you could've found a BMW dealer half as close as Aerostich (4 States away! :eek: ) that carried BMW gear in your size.
But who do you send the BMW garments back to for repairs if you happen to crash or melt a hole through with the exhaust? China I presume?

I had the entire sleeve of my Darien jacket replaced for only $100 after a high-side crash. I got another 4 years out of it before retiring it for backup. Aerostich has the patterns and, depending on the damage, can reconstruct their product at a fraction of total replacement cost.

I bought an Olympia this time around just for a change, but there are a lot of things I miss about the Aerostich: pockets. Especially the sleeve pocket, which BTW is not where you want to put anything valuable, (my crash being proof of that).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
messenger13 said:
You haven't read any reviews by me then. I LOVE BMW's riding gear!
I actually have - and you're one of the exceptions, which is also the impression being created by some of the replies.

The reasons so far seem to be availability in local dealers, either at all or in the sizes needed to try on, and repairs. Is that it? What about the actual quality? How does the Light'n Easy stack up against the Motoport Mesh for instance/ I mean really stack up - grade or thickness of materiel, armour, comfort, fit, waterproofness, etc. and likewise for any other comparable items. For instance how does the Streetguard 2 compare to a similar product from other manufacturers? Or are there similar?

Articles on BMW gear would seem to indicate that its the best stuff in the world. Motoport claim the same. It seems BMW riders have voted with their wallets. I'm just wondering why because I'm researching now for an upgrade from my 12 year old Weise Jacket & Leggings.

The problem is real comparisions can only be done by people who have owned different gear, preferably at the same time so they can switch over. Others can really only comment on what they have. Maybe Howard's spreadsheet could be published and expanded by contributions from the rest of us somehow?

Kevin
 

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BMW 3-Phase..........I love it.
While I did love my Darien pants, they leaked through the zipper ................
(somehing aerostich is fixing with the AD1 Darien pants..................
BMW pants have a simple gusset installed behind the zipper that eliminates the problem...........
BMW phase change gear, keeps me perfectly comfortable from 36F to 76F........
6 years on my BMW touring boots and still look good
BMW gloves........better fit than any I've tried and I'm really fussy about gloves.
I don't mind spending the $$ for this kind of quality.
Hell. I even bought their motorcycle.
 

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What's up with almost every jacket manufacturer making their garments waterproof with a zip in liner? Is this what everyone wants?

The last thing I want to do when it starts raining is stop, take off my jacket and zip in it's liner. Hell, it would be easier to stop and put on a rainsuit.....which is exactly why I started buying riding gear that was waterproof in the first place - so I wouldn't have to stop.

I know the answer to my first question is obvious: because it's a cheap way to make any jacket waterproof. I don't want cheap. I want riding gear designed by people who understand riding and how the function and convenience of their gear affects the rider.

Waterproof liner...some bean-counter came up with that.

Bruce Hodges
 

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highroamer said:
... The reasons so far seem to be availability in local dealers, either at all or in the sizes needed to try on, and repairs. Is that it? What about the actual quality? How does the Light'n Easy stack up against the Motoport Mesh for instance/ I mean really stack up - grade or thickness of materiel, armour, comfort, fit, waterproofness, etc. and likewise for any other comparable items. For instance how does the Streetguard 2 compare to a similar product from other manufacturers? Or are there similar?

Articles on BMW gear would seem to indicate that its the best stuff in the world. Motoport claim the same. It seems BMW riders have voted with their wallets. I'm just wondering why because I'm researching now for an upgrade from my 12 year old Weise Jacket & Leggings.

The problem is real comparisions can only be done by people who have owned different gear, preferably at the same time so they can switch over. Others can really only comment on what they have. Maybe Howard's spreadsheet could be published and expanded by contributions from the rest of us somehow?

Kevin
Good points all around. I'd be happy to donate my spreadsheet for review, enhancement, and correction by folks on this site.

I've always believed that BMW's gear is absolutely top-quality, is priced accordingly (as in, it's worth it), and it's priced competitively to Aerostich, Motoport and other top products. Everyone has their favorite, some have or have had one or more brands.

Here's a point I didn't make:

Given a choice between going with Aerostich and actually finding a BMW dealer that had all of their various riding suits in a size that fit me, I probably still would have gone with Aerostich because of their overpants solution. BMW's Santiago, Commuter 3, Streetguard 2, and Light N Easy suits aren't overpants. I wanted something I could wear to/from work and zip off, with jeans beneath. If money was no object I'd have an Aerostich one-piece Roadcrafter for commuting and one or more of the BMW suits for non-commuting riding.
 

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bruce2000ltc said:
What's up with almost every jacket manufacturer making their garments waterproof with a zip in liner? Is this what everyone wants?

The last thing I want to do when it starts raining is stop, take off my jacket and zip in it's liner. Hell, it would be easier to stop and put on a rainsuit.....which is exactly why I started buying riding gear that was waterproof in the first place - so I wouldn't have to stop.

I know the answer to my first question is obvious: because it's a cheap way to make any jacket waterproof. I don't want cheap. I want riding gear designed by people who understand riding and how the function and convenience of their gear affects the rider.

Waterproof liner...some bean-counter came up with that.

Bruce Hodges
Couldn't agree more. I don't want a liner in anything, and I sure don't want to stop and put a liner in or take it out.

The downside to not requiring a liner usually means less breathability -- the waterproof barrier is bonded to the shell.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm baack!!

No, just joking - never left, but the thread seemed to die. However, I just thought some of you'd be interested in this:

Two years ago I took the plunge and bought the Streetguard ll suit. I liked it a lot. A real comfortable, stylish, waterproof all season suit. Fortunately never tested the impact/abrasion qualities, but to my eye it looked robust (seems to have been borne out by the subsequent survey in 'Ride' magazine).

During year two I noticed that there were areas of black material on the sleeves and on the sides of the jacket under the arms which were turning a dull red. However, it continued to function perfectly.

During a visit to a local dealer last July I noticed a Streetguard jacket hanging on the back of an assistant's chair which had gone seriously red. I asked was it his, intending just to compare notes and wondering how old it was, how much it might have been exposed to UV and essentially how long it would be before mine ended up the same. ''No, it's in under warranty'' was his reply. '' What's wrong with it'' I asked. ''Can you not see, it's gone all red'' was his reply.

To cut a long story short, I found my invoice, established that my suit was under two years old (just!) and they put a warranty claim through for me no questions asked. Apparently it's a known issue. Further, since they couldn't source a suit in my colour & size I was supplied with a brand new Streetguard 3 suit, in my choice of colour - absolutely free! No Hassle. Smiles all round.

I just thought this should be noted, since there is a tendency to highlight problems with BMW but people aren't as quick to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) when credit is due.

And another thing - the Streeguard 3 ROCKS!! It is a serious improvement on the SG2. I had a trip through France just after getting it. We drove through torrential rain for the first two days, so heavy that the K1200LT was tending to aquaplane, even with a new front tyre, and I had to slow right down. However not a drop of water got through my Streetguard 3 (or my wife's new BMW one piece suit). The armor and liners are upgraded. Its' cool in the sun with the vents open (on the bike or walking around) and warm enough at 48F (in both cases with the liners out). With the liner in the jacket (not in the pants, but seat heat on) at 53F its toasty warm and I'd suspect (based on my experience with it and the SG2) with both liners in it'd be good right down to freezing. I'd highly recommend this suit to anyone in the market.

Kevin.
 

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A few thoughts about riding gear:

My first "real" riding jacket was a BMW, summer weight light (ironically) green colored jacket that is everything I would want in a light weight summer jacket except for one thing, It's light colored sleeves. They get dirty and there is really no way to get them clean! Not a big deal, but it seems that all light colored materials get dirty looking pretty quickly.

The other "mistake" I made was to buy summer weight riding pants that have a zipper in the upper leg to make them shorts. In 6 years, I have NEVER unzipped them to make shorts, and the zipper annoys me ! Never buy them again.....

Just my two pet peeves.......
 
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