By September 23, 2008

Never give Motoport the benefit of the doubt: how I got screwed into a $650 jacket that doesn’t fit

I ordered my kevlar gear from Motoport almost three months ago today. I have returned the jacket twice for alterations, and the pants once. The gear has never come back as I wanted it, and at this point the jacket fits worse than my $150 Tourmaster Transition II jacket. Here’s the story how wanting to resolve a problem with a small-time vendor wound up costing me a little over $650 on a jacket that doesn’t fit right.

This is an improvement over the initial fit, for the most part. The jacket is now tighter on my body, but still has the adjustment capacity to take the double liners I bought. Unfortunately, they had to alter the jacket in such a way that it made the other parts of the jacket fit weird.

For example, look at my left chest. See that big fold of material? Here’s a closer shot:

That also happens on my right chest, but it’s not as bad. I’m not sure why it’s worse on the left.

This is the back. It may not look like it, but the back fits pretty good. I have a broad back and a little bird chest. What doesn’t work for me is the ass. Look at all the extra material that is bunched up there.

Here’s the side, near the bottom. Notice the blousing. It’s so bad that the hand (side) pockets are held open.

Side view, not bad! A long way from the ridiculous fit I had with the first version. Except now ….

All the alterations have made the sleeves too short. This fits about as well (poorly) as my Teknic Chicane leather jacket I bought on closeout for $100. My Tourmaster sleeve length is PERFECT.

So, I decided to give up on Motoport, and called Wayne, the owner. I told him I still liked the pants, but I felt that the jacket design did not lend itself to my body type. Wayne replied that the 3/4-length touring jacket is more loose by design than a waist-length jacket. I told him I understood that, and told him I owned both types of jackets. He went on to explain that the less-protective Cordura used on other jackets has a softer “hand,” or feel, which allowed it to fit better. He recommended putting my jacket in a clothes dryer with some tennis shoes to beat the stiff fabric into submission.

I replied that I understood how clothes can break in — after all, I’ve gone through that with leather pants, gloves, helmets, boots, etc. I asked him about the extra material in the chest, and he admitted I had a difficult body to fit for. Well, no kidding, I thought … that’s why I ordered this supposedly “custom fit” gear from you ….

I told Wayne I wanted to return the jacket for a refund. He said that because the jacket was altered he could not accept a return. He had taken returns on altered gear in the past that he was unable to resell, approximately $200,000 worth!! I said I sympathized, but I told him this was unsatisfactory. He said that he’d work with me if I wanted to send the jacket back for another round of alterations.

I got off the phone with Wayne, and emailed him some of the photos I’ve posted above. I’ve yet to hear back from him, but that is typical — Motoport is a small-person operation and I expect Wayne will respond when he is able.

So, I phone Discover to see if they can help me out. I talked to a very nice lady and explained my situation. As I began to tell her about Cycleport’s no-refunds-on-altered-items policy, she interrupted me and said gently, “ahhh, they won’t accept an alteration, right?” Bingo. “That’s a shady policy,” she said, “but because you agreed to send the garment back, we will side with the vendor’s policy.” Looks like Discover wasn’t going help me out with a charge-back.

Here is my problem. If Wayne had allowed me to return the jacket the first time I called, it seems like it would have been okay for resale, and thus a return. Instead, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and sent the jacket in for alterations … which in turn made it impossible to return the jacket.

I should have just returned the jacket for a refund right off the bat. Now I’m short $620 for the jacket and liner, and about $40 in postage for the alterations. I have two choices: deal with the jacket’s shortcomings, and be disappointed every time I put it on; or try to resell it on or Craigslist at a loss. I could probably sell the jacket and liner for the cost of the jacket and take $150 loss + the postage I spent shuttling it back and forth for the alterations.

Motoport/Cycleport may make a good product, but their customer experience leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted in: motorcycling

15 Comments on "Never give Motoport the benefit of the doubt: how I got screwed into a $650 jacket that doesn’t fit"

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  1. Starbuck says:

    The horrible thing about this whole situation is that Wayne convinced you to send it back this last time. I remember talking to you about it and you said he told you to try this last time and if it didn’t work you could send it back. All I have to say is NOT cool.

  2. Mike says:

    Been following your story and so sorry to hear about all the troubles. I’ve been considering Motoport stuff, but your experiences fill me with doubt. I have a similar body type (broad shoulders, small chest) so it would be risky.
    Just a thought on the chest bunching. I bet the right side bunches less because of the pocket making it stiffer there. It just sticks the extra material out instead of folding up.

  3. Man, this debacle was still going on? I thought you’d’ve sent the jacket back after the first time. Meh..

    So, this custom made jacket… Did they take your measurements in the store? ie, did you get to meet and talk to the people who make your jacket in person? If not, then it just isn’t a risk worth that kind of bank. You wouldn’t let someone tailor make you a business suit off measurements on a napkin either, would you?

  4. Ed says:

    Did he convince you to send it to him via e-mail, along with the promise to let you return it? That might give you the edge you need.

  5. drfaulken says:

    Mike: If you choose to order from Motoport and are worried about the fit, you may want to only consider the stretch kevlar. I think the mesh is so stiff it will betray any odd-shaping your body may have.

    Cailin: I have emailed or phoned in measurements for rental tuxedos in the past, and have bought $3000 or so in motorcycle safety gear based on measurements. Motoport is my first experience with a merchant not wanting to take their product back due to a sizing issue.

    Ed: Nope. The correspondence I have in email is about the refund for my kevlar gloves.

  6. Ed says:

    Having just read the fellows responses (which boiled down to a claim that you screwed up the measurements), I feel that we should try to send him two more clients like you. It will cost us $1,300, but he would be out of the business.

  7. jaybird says:

    that damn jacket is fugly anyway. looks like a junior high home-economics class sewing project. kevlar or not, it’d be a cold day in hell if i’d pay 650 for it.

  8. Snap Rolls says:

    My experience is much like yours. There was nothing custom about the clothes they sent me. I’m a woman and I received typical “men’s clothing” in the mesh kevlar. They told me to mark it up for alterations which I did… and then the jacket was mine and it will never ever work.

    The pants they sent they admitted had hip measurements less than the measurements I gave them… they just sent me pants based on my waist. At that point, I said “enough, I don’t want to go through this shipping, alterations, still doesn’t work, cycle again.” They have had the pants for 6 weeks no refund. I e-mailed… no response. I have notified my credit card company but I’m surprised that there has not been any action on that (2 weeks now). I believe American Express will make this right… I hope.

    I do think the material is awesome for protection. If you can visit their shop in person, or easily wear off the rack clothes (men’s), then maybe Motoport is for you. I regret ever doing business with them.

    I enjoy your thoughts on equipment. Keep up the good work and let me know if you try the new Scorpion XDR gear!

  9. Ted says:

    I have to say that that is the worst alteration job I have ever seen in my life. They should really have sent you a measurement sheet with FULL measurements to take to a local tailor and get measured up.
    That is just ridiculous. 100% No excuse whatsoever for such poor workmanship. Imagine if a tux fit like that on your wedding day.

  10. Snap Rolls says:

    After more than two months, I received a refund for the pants and liner but not the additional cost of adding a zipper. I won’t do business with these people again. Thanks for warning people

  11. drfaulken says:

    Hey Snap Rolls, it took me a little over two months to get my refund, too. I had to get Discover involved. Did you wind up doing a charge-back as well through your credit card company? Motoport also kept all of the “alteration” charges and shipping costs I wasted letting them monkey around with my gear.

  12. Snap Rolls says:

    Yes… I had to get my credit card involved after I got no response via e-mail, website, or phone regarding the return. No, I did not get the alteration back which is bullshit since they admited they picked a pant that would never fit.

    I think their Kevlar mesh fabric has wonderful potential, but only if fitted specifically for you. This experience has also taught me that if someone advertises “custom fitted” gear – they need a way to take way more than four measurements on you. I think the customers that are happy with their service are the customers that can walk into the mall and buy clothes off the rack.

    Live and learn… and research what you do very carefully. Thanks for the website DrFaulken.

  13. c fields says:

    Wayne at cycleport burned me too. Charged top dollar for poorly made gear that failed within first week of use(the entire back panel ripped out in seat area), and did not fit from day one even though I sent brand new pair of jeans for them to copy. So I send back at my expense several times for alteration/repair. Not to mention the loss of use of safety gear I need and just paid for. The first return he just tried to sew it back together and it failed with in one hour(what a waste of time),. Second cross country return from ohio he replaces damaged panel with non matching material of obviously lesser quality rather then re-cutting another pant to honor his guarantee. Or at least using the same material he started with for repair which would have been ok by me if it worked. The entire back panel of pant was replaced with non-matching, lower quality material he claims because of cost while it’s still under warranty. Where talking about chinese nylon here folks. I spent over 600$ on cycleport gear not including buying jeans for them to copy and return shipping. The gear I received from cycleport is an unusable mess. The jacket failed also because of poor design. The velcro stuck to and damaged the codura nylon and pulled apart the material leaving huge mess. Then he just brushes me off because he’s so busy. Here is letter sent to cycleport before things really started to go south, i’ll post the photos soon and will look for other complaints about this guy. Buying gear from cycleport and trusting wayne was a mistake. Any questions or comments, please contact me. Subject: RE: Att Wayne

    Ok, my take on this is you know you made a mistake but don’t need me for anything so are trying to make it up with as little effort as possible. Well at least you tried but still don’t feel as though I received what I paid for, nobody would and do not recall any mention of un-ravelling cordura in your description of products. Like I said before if I had know what a problem this would turn into would not have purchased in the first place. That is the mark of an unsatisfied customer and for good reason. The last we spoke you said very clearly that you would do anything I want to correct the problem. The pants where terminal from day one and should have been parted out and re-cut like I suggested in my last letter to you. You say your busy with large accounts and that’s great. If they had a problem like this with one of your garments would you monkee them around or just replace. I think we both know the answer to that. I will end up replacing these at my cost unless you want to work something out. 20% off isn’t even close, o well felt as though I needed to say something about it and there you have it. Always suks when you save and look forward to something that does not turn out well. Charles Cleveland Ohio

  14. Jonathan says:

    I considered Motoport, but I picked up an arrogant vibe when speaking to Wayne. He bashes other brands flat out and then says he doesn’t like to put down the competition. He’s definately a competant salesman, but after 20 years in sales myself I was not sucked in by his attempts to persuade me through urgency into leaving a deposit when I was still researching my choices. I started finding negative reviews such as yours and feel like I dodged an expensive bullet. I am grateful to all of you for helping in my decision making process. Any chance of doing business with Motoport evaporated after reading your experiences. Thanks!

  15. Cory says:

    I had some issues with fitment on my original order of four items, but he made good on alterations to fix the issues. Measuring is important for sure, but so is clear communications of those measurements. Your should send him a picture of yourself with the measurements written on so he knows how the measurement was taken. Also, understand why he requests a clothing sample and make note of changes you want on that sample, for example, I sent him in a dress shirt that had the correct sleeve length and chest size, but the body was WAY too big on my because my chest size is consistent with someone weighing 50-75 lbs more than that’s what the off-the-rack shirt was sized for. When I got my gear my Kevlar shirt was made for that same sized person because I never mentioned that the belly size on the shirt was too big for me. That’s my fault.