By August 7, 2008

First impressions: Motoport Kevlar motorcycle jacket, pants, and gloves

I ordered a custom-fitted motorcycle jacket, pants, and gloves from Motoport (also known as Cycleport) about six weeks ago. The company makes all kinds of promises: incredible abrasion resistance, great impact absorption through the armor and reinforced areas and element resistant. The best claim was that if they are unable to repair any piece of their equipment after a crash, they will replace it for free.

Anecdotal evidence on the Internet seemed to validate these claims. One fellow was speeding at about 140MPH on his bike, saw a law enforcement officer, and clamped down on the brakes. He lost control and slid for quite a long ways. His bike was totaled, but the suit went in for repair to reflective tape.

$1200 and six weeks later, my order arrived today. It’s mostly bad news.

The gloves they sent were at least a size too big: I normally wear a 9 or medium, they sent me an X-Large. I have about 3/4″ extra length in the fingers and the gloves can be pulled off easily when fully secured at the tightest setting. I don’t know how they could make that big of a mistake given I sent them scans of both hands with eight inches of tape marked on each sheet, but whatever. They seem like an easy thing to send back for a smaller size.

The jacket seems to be sized too big as well. I am not sure if it is supposed to be this big in the chest — I feel like I have more than enough room to put in the liners and my chest and thorax body armor on TOP of the Motoport stuff. I called Motoport, but by the time I got done running errands and whatnot they were closed.

The jacket may fit better with both liners in, but I bought the jacket for four-season use. There is probably a fist’s worth of extra material in the chest. The bicep area does not adjust tight enough, although the forearm strap and wrist snap are very good.

The waist is also too big, and cinching the jacket down all the way doesn’t keep it put. The jacket travels about three inches if I move around too much. I am used to leather gear that stays put on the body; I am very concerned the armor and jacket won’t remain in the same place during a crash.
Notice how big the chest and waist area look. The fabric is very tough and doesn’t lay flat, but it still protrudes quite a bit. I have a 32-inch waist.

The pants turned out mostly great. The length is absolutely, dead-on perfect and they are very comfortable. The knee armor placement was a disappointment, mostly because the top of the armor is an inch and a half below my kneecap. The instructions that came with the suit say to make alterations to the velcro pocket inside the pants that hold the armor, but for $1200 shipped I shouldn’t have to bust out my sewing kit. It’s another thing that decreases my confidence of the suit in the event of a crash. Do I really want to trust my knee armor to stay in place by some threading I did myself?

I am also aghast that the pants and jacket don’t zip together. The cheapest motorcycling gear you can find has a zipper system or a belt snap system.

If I paid a third of the cost of my suit I’d still be a little disappointed. After the cost and the wait I am really dissatisfied. I hope to have a satisfactory solution from Motoport soon.

Posted in: motorcycling, review

7 Comments on "First impressions: Motoport Kevlar motorcycle jacket, pants, and gloves"

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  1. Starbuck says:

    That sucks. The green isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. But for that amount of money everything should have been perfect. Sorry 🙁

  2. fishsprout says:

    Bummer! My pants were dead on. The jacket ran big and I felt like a giant marshmallow when I put in both liners. 🙂

    Wayne will tell you to binder clip the areas that are too big, ride around with it, and if the clips don’t fall off, send it in and they will take it in. It’s because they are using generic sizing, not custom… and they get as close as possible, then based on fit u do the final alterations. 🙂

  3. roclar says:

    It would take a lot of brownie obsessions to make that jacket fit right. I hope Motoport offers a satisfactory resolution. I must admit I find that green pretty hawt.

  4. Ed says:

    You look like a green Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

    You should buy the hat to wear with it. That would be awesome.

  5. Yeah, I think you’re right: the jacket does look way too loose and big. That’s gonna tear the first time you fall :/

    At least I finally got to see what you look like 😉

  6. Robert Shay says:

    You may be too picky.

    I ordered my Motoport air kevlar outfit including Kevlar gloves, pants, jacket, upgraded Quad armor, hip pads, coccyx pad, a zipper to connect the jacket to the pants, and all the liners for rain and cold weather. Total cost $1,800. Well worth it and best purchase I’ve ever made. Fits well.

    Now, the suit isn’t as tailored as my custom made business suits, but hey – this is safety gear. Once you put liners in that jacket for cold weather and maybe wear a sweat shirt it should fit fine.

    I’ve been competitively racing and riding motorcycles for over 30 years. The outfit I purchased is, I believe, the best available in the world especially to cover temp ranges from 30 degrees F to 110F.

  7. drfaulken says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thank you for writing. If hindsight were 20/20, I may have been happier with the stretch kevlar offered by Motoport. I think I would have also been better off with an off-the-rack jacket from them; my expectations would have been sufficiently lowered in regards to a “custom” fit.

    Unfortunately, the patience and customer care Wayne and his staff showed me during the purchasing and alteration process went right out the window when I started making noises about a refund. Out came the excuses and the name-calling.

    The product you purchased may be fantastic, but my customer experience was not. It’s a shame.