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Thread: Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar vs. Ultra II Cordura?

  1. #1
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar vs. Ultra II Cordura Pants?

    I'm in the market for a new pair of riding pants. Being gifted with the finely-sculpted body of a potato, I need to have my pants custom made. Searches have led me to Motoport products, and I have all but decided on their products. However, I am not sure which model to go with: the air mesh kevlar or the ultra II cordura.

    I ride (pavement only) in the spring, summer, and fall so an insulated pant is not needed. Summer temps can get well into the 90s, however. I do ride through some wet weather now and then as well. My basic strategy is to get a fairly breathable overpant that is flexible enough to wear jeans, shorts, or u-trou underneath. For the wet, I'm planning to throw on a pair of Frogg-Toggs, so I will not be ordering the AirTex liner.

    The air mesh kevlars will cost me about $450 and the ultra II corduras (1000 denier) about $300. I am well aware of the safety benefits of kevlar vs. cordura and I am weighing this in my decision.

    However...

    Are there other compelling reasons to choose the air mesh kevlars over the ultra IIs? I'd be interested in the difference in comfort, breathability, convenience, etc. I know (through searches) that a number of you have the kevlars, but input on the ultra II pants would also be of benefit. Actually, any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    TIA,
    Last edited by THEO; 02-23-2011 at 01:39 AM.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  2. #2
    Dave Nicholls 105258's Avatar
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    re: pants

    My wife and I just had a set made last fall, mine are the kevlar mesh and hers are the cordura. The fit and finish is excellent and they were delivered when they said they would be. With the liner they are waterproof. I bought the kevlar because I am a warm person (wife's description). I'm impressed with the ventilation and have worn them to 110 deg F. I have also used them in cold down to 18 deg F and with the liner they were fine. I wear riding shorts only underneath.

    My wife the cold person likes hers and has also worn her's to near 100 deg, without the liner. She need's to but more clothing and the liner on to get to freezing, but is very comfortable.

    A friend of ours has had a pair for at lest 6 years and really liked them so that's why we made the choice to go with Motoport. His liner still does not leak which is better than any other pants we have tried. They warrant the liner for life so ?

    Depending on how much ventilation you need and what temps you ride in the choice is yours.
    Dave Nicholls
    Teulon Manitoba - Canada

    2010 1200RT

  3. #3
    Low speed, high drag
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    Thumbs up I love my Motoport gear!!!

    Like 105258, I am a "warm person." At least, that's what I say...

    I'm a large oaf, so I had my Motoport gear custom built. I got measured at two different tailor shops, "just to be sure." The gear came, and the fit was nearly perfect. My forearms were a little too tight for my liking when wearing a fleece underneath the jacket, but snug forearms seem to be common with other garments as well. I ordered sleeves an inch longer than the measurements, "just to be sure" the sleeves were long enough. When Wayne tells you that you don't want the sleeves too long because the Air Mesh is not a good fabric for "bunching" around the wrist, you should listen...

    I say go with one of the Kevlar choices, for the abrasion resistance. Just my $.02.

    I went with the Air Mesh for a "summertime" jacket and pant, and I'm thrilled. Even in MN, I'm too warm for most of the riding season.
    I normally wear LD Comfort shorts under my pants. You could also wear jeans, fleece, LD Comfort longies, etc.

    I use the Motoport rain liners, but the pant liners are not the handiest things to get into in a hurry (i.e., under an overpass). Jacket liners are easy. Frogg Toggs are one option a lot of folks use, but I've chosen to stick with the Motoport liners.

    Some complain that the Air Mesh is too stiff. I've not found this to be the case, but I ride a GS, so my legs are not "folded up." The Air Mesh can seem a bit abrasive. Some have complained that it will chew up paintwork. I've not seen that on my bike, but I do have some noticeable wear on my Russell seat (leather) after about 20K miles in the Air Mesh Kevlar. I'm pretty sure it's directly traceable to the pants. I love the pants, so I just accept that wear as the "price of admission."

    One option you might consider is Air Mesh on the front, and Stretch Kevlar on the rear-especially if you ride a bike with "sportier" ergonomics. If you call Motoport, you can ask to speak with Wayne Boyer himself. He might be able to make better suggestions once he hears more about your riding habits, weather, bike, etc.

    I've recently ordered a second jacket/pants combo in Stretch Kevlar. I ordered them slightly bigger, for layering in the early/late season. I'm also hedging my bets, as I want to make sure I've got a second suit in case the unthinkable happens and Motoport goes under.

    I got the Tri-Armor in my first suit, including the sacrum pad and hip armor in the pants. The armor molded to me very quickly, and I have not had any problems with it. It feels quite substantial, at least compared to the FirstGear stuff I've had in the past. I got the Quad-Armor in my Stretch Kevlar suit, just for comparison purposes. It's being built right now, and it'll be another month or so before I have dry streets here to test it out.

    If you haven't read the Motoport threads over at www.ADVrider.com, you might give them a look. Many of them are linked to on the Motoport site's "testimonials" page, http://www.motoport.com/alltestimonials . There are a lot of them, discussing the gear ad infinitum. There are also a lot of photos, and a lot of ideas for options and customization. Since the gear is being made for you, there are a TON of options available. I'll put in a vote for the "sleeve pocket" down by the cuff. Perfect for ear plugs or an ignition key when off the bike at a gas stop, etc.

    I "drank the Kool-Aid," and then came back for a second glass...
    Happy Shopping!

  4. #4
    Ute's Chauffeur
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    I have 2 sets of the air mesh Kevlar and a pair of the cordura pants. One of my mesh pair of pants is the mesh in front stretch Kevlar in back which I find more comfortable than the all mesh. It is not meant to be worn as an overpant. The all mesh version is my commuter suit in hot weather as their is room for my work clothes underneath. What I have found is that I do not notice much air flow difference between the mesh Kevlar pants and the 1000D pants. What Wayne told me (they are about 4 years old) was that the 1000D had a fairly loose weave and air flow was more effective than the 500D pants which had a tighter weave.

    I am very tolerant of heat so this perceived lack of difference in air flow may be that more than anything else. If I had to keep one it would be the mesh in front and stretch in the back as I find them to be the most comfortable.

  5. #5
    Low speed, high drag
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    Lightbulb Check for a group buy...

    One more thing- check the Web for a "group buy" on Motoport gear.

    This is where a group (usually an internet forum) arranges a discount, say 10% off if they can get together a group of 20 orders.

    Just type "motoport group buy" into your search engine, and you should get lots of hits. You'll find lots of expired group buys, but it seems like someone usually has one going on. You'll probably have to join another forum to take advantage, but that's no big deal.

    I've gotten two Motoport pant/jackets combos at 15% off, and either 10% or 15% off on my Russell Day-Long using group buys.

    The discounts add up when you're paying for top of the line gear...

  6. #6
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Great info!

    What kind of gyrations does it take to put on the liner under the bridge? Can it be done without "pogo-ing" into the roadway?

    Thanks,
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  7. #7
    Ute's Chauffeur
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    As for the liners, my first set had the liners for the jacket and pants, my second set not only did I not order the liners I had Wayne leave off the zippers to even attach the liners as I knew I would never use an internal liner again. If I need rain gear I carry an external suit.

  8. #8
    Registered User gsrider05's Avatar
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    I have the mesh pants and jacket with the liners for both.

    When the temps are in the 70's or lower, you can ride with the liners in anyway and you don't have to stop and put them on. I wear the liner in the jacket for half the year in South Florida and only take them out in the heat of the summer.
    2011 BMW R1200RT - 2013 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited
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    Danny

  9. #9
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    Great info!

    What kind of gyrations does it take to put on the liner under the bridge? Can it be done without "pogo-ing" into the roadway?

    Thanks,
    Putting on the pant liners is a royal pain if they are attached to the Kevlar riding pants. However, I get around this by simply putting the rain liners on first (unattached to the riding pants) and then simply put the pants on as normal. Got my mesh Kevlar in 2006 and about 75,000 miles later, they still look good, even with a 30mph slide on gravel. Ridden from 28F to 106F. With electrics when necessary, they handle all weather fine. I ordered a lined vest as well as the Gortex liner. I never wear the lined vest as it is too bulky and not necessary with electrics.

    My youngest son says that I'm twice the man I normally am when I ride. Yes the mesh Kevlar is bulky, but it does the necessary job.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  10. #10
    Low speed, high drag
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    Great info!

    What kind of gyrations does it take to put on the liner under the bridge? Can it be done without "pogo-ing" into the roadway?

    Thanks,
    I got into a severe thunderstorm at night in SD last year. It's a long story, better acted out in person. It wasn't pretty!

    I've not "given up" on the internal rain liner, but I can definitely see the point of those advocating external rain gear.

    I concur with Paul_F on putting the liner on separately if in a hurry. Paul and a friend of his (Larry, IIRC) had Motoport gear in 2009 at Johnson City. I got a good look at it during the "Rolling Rally" to the RA rally in WV.

    I bought a set, and I've been thrilled.

  11. #11
    Registered User JohnM's Avatar
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    Airmesh Kevlar jacket was a good choice for me. Except when I rode the Cherohala Skyway in it last October. 36 degrees! Fortunately had my Gerbing liner turned up full blast.

    One downside is that, with the quad-armor, it is very bulky. Won't fit into one of my R12R's cases.
    "One day you're a kid sitting on a bike, dreaming the road; next thing you know, your social life consists of drinking microbrews with middle-aged roosters who ride BMWs and wear Aerostitch suits."

    - Joe Glydon

  12. #12
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for their contributions! I've decided to go with the 1000D pants, skip the liner, but order the Aero-Tex rain pants. I think it might be easier putting on the rain pants over the 1000D pants than to zip-in a liner. Same price!

    Again, thanks!
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  13. #13
    Registered User Eldor's Avatar
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    After a lot of research and making the mistake of actually speaking to Wayne on the phone a couple of weeks ago , I made my decision and placed an order yesterday.

    I went with a Riva Air Mesh Kevlar jacket and Ultra II Kevlar pants, all with liners and Quad-Armor.

    He says it'll all be ready in a couple of weeks.

    I've been riding with a set of Rukka gear and I love that also, but it's just too warm for some of our summer days. And besides, as good as it is, I suspect it doesn't have the protective qualities that Motoport gear has.
    #6 - 2011 BMW K1300GT Exclusive Edition
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  14. #14
    North Coast, Ohio
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    Air Mesh Jacket and Stretch Kevlar Pants, the best combo.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by drsales View Post
    Air Mesh Jacket and Stretch Kevlar Pants, the best combo.
    I just ordered this combo yesterday. Wayne said given my height and shape the air mesh pants would be too bulky on me.

    I got a tour of the shop....can't tell you how impressed I am. Worth every penny, you are paying for quality materials, service and salary for the workers. The gear is made in America....no question.
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