Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Roadcrafter Crashworthiness?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    26

    Roadcrafter Crashworthiness?

    I am in the seemingly neverending market for a new suit. For warm weather, I have the Firstgear Rush Mesh, and really like the fit and style. This year, they came out with a textile version. This goes for around $160; my dilemma is do I go this way or with the RC for 3 times the price?

    If a jacket has CE Marked armor, I wonder if there is much difference in protection in the event of a get off? My needs are mostly touring, not much commuting, so the easy on and off is not so important to me. Most of my riding is in mid to warm weather, so venting is more important to me than waterproofness.

    Firstgear makes nice stuff (although, not in the US, which is a consideration), and the features seem about the same. The big things that are different is the RC is Goretex and has the heavy duty elbow and shoulder patches. The RC may be repairable, but at what cost? Seems like the repair is almost what other jackets cost new.

    I am happy to pay the extra if it can be justified by improved protection. Although if the venting is not so great, and I am wearing the mesh most of the time, this is sort of negated. I am also happy to a lessor extent to pay some extra to keep jobs in the US, although I would be buying the other from a local shop, which has some advantage of keeping jobs in town. Thoughts from folks who started one way and went to the other?

  2. #2
    Harrington
    Guest
    If you want real protection wear a car.

  3. #3
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,086
    When it comes down to it, what the gear does best is minimize abrasion injuries. You can still suffer impact damage. BTDT. I've experienced the capabilities of both the Kilimanjaro and the Roadcrafter. The RC appears to be more resistant to abrasion, IMHO. But, no matter what you have, if you're not wearing it when you need it, it doesn't really matter.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Posts
    265

    Which suit

    The Roadcrafter is a very well made suit as is the Darien. I have been in downpours with the Darien on and it is great. My buddy has the Roadcrafter and will never go back to anything else. He took a bike down two years ago and I saw the aftermath of the accident while looking at the suit. When my Darien wears out, I will get a Roadcrafter. It is a great product from really helpful people. JMHO

  5. #5
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Salem Or.
    Posts
    702
    The problem with the RoadCrafter is that in hot weather it doesn't breath. Hot as heck. And it may be goretex but the zipper isn't. The crotch area always leaked. Which is not as much fun as it sounds.

    Both our RC's have been sold. Now my wife wears a BMW jacket and pants. The BMW stuff is nice but the price is rediculous. I wear Darien pants and a Firstgear jacket. The RoadCrafter was great when it first came out. But with the advance of other makers stuff is has been left behind.

    There are now much better options, and some of them are really good stuff at a fraction of the cost. The Firstgear TPG (I think thats the model) jacket I have now sold for $450 new. I bought it on closeout for $99 shipped to me. The features are top notch and it fits like it was tailored for me. Which is weird because I also have a Firstgear Kilimanjaro the same size and the fit is lousy.
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '03 F650CS '09 F650GS

  6. #6
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    544

    Thumbs up It's gear I trust my life with..

    I met Andy Goldfine at the '83 National in Lake Placid, NY. Bought my first Roadcrafter in '86, and the EMT's cut it off of me in '91 (after it saved my hide and leg). The replacement suit served for 17 years with distinction, with many miles driven and a couple of slow-speed get-offs. About 2 years ago, I replaced the very worn suit and got another Roadcrafter. If you layer some wicking clothing under the suit, or use a damp neckerchief around the neck, it will keep you cooler in Hot Weather Riding.

    A lot of my friends down here use Aerostich gear, while others are using FirstGear, BMW, or Olympia. As long as you wear some sort of protective riding gear, it's all good.
    Last edited by RevWillie; 04-14-2010 at 02:24 PM. Reason: words got it the way
    Onward, through the fog!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Whitefish Bay, WI, 3mi N Milwaukee
    Posts
    1,604

    Talking my 2 cents

    For hotweather I use first Gear armored mesh. that stuff is good for one significant "incident". First gear works very well.

    Any Aerostich stuff is top shelf, and also good for more than one "incident". Riders I have talked with say that Aero is year round gear but not real good in HOT and/or HUGH hmidity weather. Note that it is good for cool and high humidity riding.

    For warm weather I use British Motorcycle -BMC- textile Mercury Jacket and First Gear Textile pants.
    The mill that makes the material for BMC just happens to make the same stuff for BMW.

    I would find California riding challenging(especially in the northern parts) in that depending on the time of day and route (along the coast vs.riding inland) , i would want gear that I could actively adapt by adding or subtracting layers or stages. A late fall day in SanDiego is HOT. What is it like in the heading East from Santa Clara? along the coast in the late fall?

    You want what we all want: 1 piece of gear that does it all in any kind of weather. (a bit presumptious of me?)
    Adding a liner inside of mesh allows for a lot of riding conditions.

    Personally, I would not float the bond issues for Aero or BMW gear. I would find a mid range mesh outfit that fits and has liner capability. If it rains, throw on a Nelson Rig AST vented rain suit.

    By the way, I like to ride cooler, rather than warmer.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  8. #8
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,086
    As I've told students in riding classes I've dropped in on, the gear is expendable. It doesn't do any good if it's not being worn.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep

  9. #9
    reidguyton
    Guest

    Ouch!

    Before sinking any cash in "protective" gear, be sure that what you are getting is what you think it is. Check out the website for Cycleport Kevlar mesh gear and read about the abrasion resistance of most mesh gear. It may surprise you.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    175

    Price? Did You Say Price?

    Try $1,299 for a Klim Adventure Rally jacket...sooooo much more quality and protection..
    Phil
    ========
    "In Wallowas"
    ========
    2007 R1200GS Adventure

  11. #11
    '99 R1100RT FatBaxter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    46

    We need a hot weather clothing thread

    I've had a two-piece Roadcrafter for ten years now. In my experience, there are two things to consider before investing in a Roadcrafter: The amount of airflow over your bike, and where you'll be riding mostly.

    I have a '99 RT with an Aeroflow windshield. The full fairing indeed keeps the wind off you, with just a little flutter around the upper arms, shoulders, and head. This works great in keeping crappy weather off you, but it means a VERY hot ride in the summer. Which brings me to the second consideration: where you ride.

    I live in the Deep South, specifically south central Alabama. The summer temps down here are frequently in the high 90s with humidity to match; 100+ is not uncommon. A Roadcrafter in that environment, on a fully faired bike like my RT, is an invitation to heat prostration in very short order. Above 80 degrees, I jettison the pants. Much above 90, I can't wear the jacket, either. For me, down here, the Roadcrafter is strictly a cool-weather option.

    My summer riding gear consists of kevlar-lined jeans (Draggin' Jeans or Diamond Gusset, with the kevlar at the knees and seat area), and a Dragging' Jeans kevlar mesh long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt. Perforated gloves make a big difference, too. I know it's kinda marginal protection, but on an RT in the Deep South, it's almost tolerable. Anything heavier on a fully faired bike down here and you're asking for trouble.

    if you have a bare bike or a bike with a smallish fairing, you might be able to wear some of the mesh jackets and pants. I tried a pair of First Gear mesh-tech pants a while back, but they're no solution on an RT.

    FWIW, I won a Silver Eagle evaporative cooling vest at a rally, the one that you soak with water. It kinda works in this environment, but only for about half an hour. It's a pain stopping every 45 minutes or so to re-charge it. I am seriously considering a Veskimo active cooling vest that circulates cooled water.

  12. #12
    MisterMo
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middlebury, CT
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by reidguyton View Post
    Before sinking any cash in "protective" gear, be sure that what you are getting is what you think it is. Check out the website for Cycleport Kevlar mesh gear and read about the abrasion resistance of most mesh gear. It may surprise you.
    I've got a Motoport mesh kevlar jacket. It is very cool in the heat and if you believe the info on their website, it's more protective than the rest. Compared to my Rallye 2 Pro, it has chest protection (and I've never seen this in another jacket).

    Does anyone know if the info Wayne posts on his site is accurate? Why isn't this more publicized?
    '93 R100GS/PD
    '09 R1200GSA

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    26

    First Gear Rush Tex

    I ended up getting the FG Rush, and was mixed about it. The overall construction seems to be high quality, and it certainly seems like it would be a nice waterproof jacket for wet weather. There is a weather flap behind the main zipper, and most of the other zippers are the waterproof type. The overall construction seems well done, the stitching is uniform and neat, although the textile seems a bit light.

    That being said, there are some minuses... first, the jacket is a lot less substantial than I was expecting. I also have the Rush Mesh, which seems like it would provide a bit more protection, with the CE pads, and additional outer padding over the pads. This outer padding is not present on the Tex. On the mesh, the cuffs have substantial zippers which help keep the sleeves down in the unfortunate event of a get off. The textile version has zippers, but they seem to be much lighter, and probably more suited for venting than for securing the cuffs. The fact that the velcro securing straps go over the zippers means the zippers are not intended to opening the cuffs to put the jacket on. The jacket has no zip out lining (which I knew ahead of time), so it is sort of a cool to warm weather jacket.

    Compared to the Roadcrafter I have on loan from a friend, it is much less substantial. So much so that when my wife compared the two, she told me to get the Roadcrafter... I probably have about 1000 miles on my borrowed one piece, and while the bulk and size of the thing is an inconvenience, I certainly feel protected. That being said, the Rush went back and a Roadcrafter is on order.

  14. #14
    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    State of Hockey
    Posts
    323
    Living in Minnesota a trip to the Aerostich factory is a easy ride and when you get in there you can see the rack of suits both Darien and Roadcrafter waiting for repairs. You get a quick appreciation of how good these products are in a bad situation.
    '02 R1150RT

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,127
    +1 on FatBaxter.

    I own a Roadcrafter 1 piece and live in NC. Its a great go to work suit- on and off in flash, adequately waterproof if you get caught out in a commute. Mine actually hasn't leaked yet in any condition on my RT. But his comments on the 80s and 90s when mixed with high humidity are spot on. For 20-30 minute rides it makes no difference but if you're doing a long one, the gear needs to be right on. Its back slit vent helps a lot at speed but ain't no way in any sort of traffic in town when it hits humid 90s. However, your location isn't nearly as humid.

    My hot weather stuff is the Rev'It Turbine mesh pants and jacket and even mesh gets pretty uncomfortable in the saturated 90s. I find I have to back off to jeans and no jacket on a few of the very hottest days to stay functional if I'm going into town. I don't like it but its reality. Evap cooling isn't a great solution in high humidity and slow speed.

    A 2 piece is more flexible than a one piece- you can mix and match. When heading for the NC mountains I might be wearing my mesh and carrying a Gerbings to go under it at the higher cool elevations. The only decent rain gear goes over your protection- its NOT liners nor is it anything urethane lined. Mine is GoreTex from LL Bean and Cabelas (They sell long pants that work well on bikes). The jacket is a hi vis yellow no longer sold.

    Summer gloves are the BMW mesh type, or if a bit cooler, the HELD Steve. I also have a HELD perf leather/mesh glove that is the coolest but a little light in the protection department. They're reserved for hottest days/in town only. I never ride without gloves, a full face, and boots.

    The newer Draggin Jeans with Dynema should be first rate. Too bad their website sucks and they can't seem to make stuff with knee and hip armor. Dynema is first rate and is the fiber in all NATO fiber based body armor. It is far stronger than Kevlar. It is made by a Dutch firm, DSM, in Greenville, NC. The US manufacture source was a condition of the US/NATO acceptance, I understand.

    The reality is there is really no such thing as "all conditions" gear. In addition to the Roadcrafter and Turbine 2 piece, I have a 3/4 length RevIt Scirocco jacket and Cayenne pants that (with my Gerbings) are my preference for cold riding (anything below 38 or so). Virtually all the Harley hoards around here park it in winter though we have no snow so there is no reason to if you dress for comfort. Our CCBMW Club does 250 mile rides for a German style lunch in winter and we get a better turnout for those than the spring rides!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •