By September 25, 2008

Wayne from Motoport / Cycleport responds

I promised Wayne at Motoport I would post his email to me in its entirety. I have only removed my first name from his email. I posted this on’s equipment forum, but I am unsure if the post will be allowed to stay because I posted on behalf of a merchant. So I’m reposting it here. I will quote Wayne’s comments, and bold my rebuttal.

One of our customers told me about a bad write up on advrider. I went on Gringo’s thread today and your comments upset me. First you just started riding and you know very little about motorcycle apparel and riding a motorcycle. The negative statements you made reflect this lack of experience. Second the comments you made damage my company. We do our best to make customers happy. In some cases it is impossible. I don’t post on Gingo’s thread. As a manufacturer it is not allowed. Only your comments are seen. My side of this story should be seen. Please post this response on Gringo’s thread.

You placed the order on June 30. Measurements given: 6′ tall, 180lbs., chest 44″, 38″ sleeve length and a 32″ waist. This is not a standard size. Chest large with a small waist. We built the jacket to your measurements and shipped both the liner and jacket on 8/1, 32 days after placing the order. Your size is a large jacket with a small jacket size waist. Here are some of your negative comments on advrider in red with my response in green:

I was explicitly told how to take measurements on the phone. I noted in this thread that I was very concerned about taking measurements correctly and did as I was told. The chest and knee measurement exercises made me worried but I did what I was told anyway. The lady who took my order said to draw in a deep breath when taking the chest measurement. My chest measurement with inflated lungs is a 44. Given that I did as asked and the sizing was entirely too big, I gave you my relaxed chest measurement the second time. For the knees, I was to get on the bike I rode the most while wearing comfortable pants. I was to put two strips of tape on the top and bottom of my knee cap and then make my measurement from there. I did as directed.

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

You gave me incorrect measurements.

I gave you the measurements you asked for to the best of my ability. It would be helpful if you had photos or a video on your Web site displaying the best way to measure for your products. There was a gentleman in this thread who said he had a problems understanding your directions also and had to phone in for clarification.

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

If we tried to put a zipper holding a 3/4 length jacket to a pant, it would be very difficult to bend at the waist. Zippers don’t need to be put on a 3/4 length jacket. We have been making thousands of 3/4 length jackets since 1965 and not one has ever ridden up the torso in a tumble.

Wayne went over this with me on the phone, and I understand where he is coming from. I also believe his statement about no one ever having a jacket riding up that high, especially when wearing appropriate riding pants. Please note in my future posts that I did not complain about the jacket riding up as high.

I was so concerned about the knee measurement that I called twice. Given how the rest of my order turned out, it’s the least of my worries. Still, for the price and the wait I expected more.

Call any motorcycle apparel company with the original measurements you provided and see if they have anything that will fit. We build you a custom Kevlar Jacket in four weeks to the incorrect measurements provided and you complain.

The reason I chose to order from Motoport was because I knew I had a funky body type and wanted custom fitting gear and great protection. I was willing to pay a premium to get both of these things. I sent you accurate measurements according to the instructions I was given over the phone, by both you and the lady I spoke with (I apologize for not remembering her name. She was nice on the phone, as were you).

If I wind up sending the pants back too I might have them do that. However, that’s the kind of thing that should be included with the jacket as part of the cost. My Tourmaster textile set cost about $200 shipped and has a 1/2 circumference zipper. Why doesn’t my $1200 Motoport gear?

Your Tourmaster is a Polyester Jacket that has no abrasion and very little tear strength. The Tourmaster is made in China, with material and labor cost for about $28.00. Add all the margins and when on sale the Tourmaster will cost $200.00. One yard of our Kevlar Mesh is currently $72.00. One yard of our Stretch Kevlar is $82.00. It takes 2.7 to 3.2 yards to make a jacket. Crash at 10mph, throw the Tourmaster jacket in the trash and pray that no injuries will occur.

I am not sure what the point is here — I am not saying that a Tourmaster jacket is as crash worthy as the Motoport gear. I appreciate the information about the cost of your raw materials, but this does not address my complaint, which was the lack of a 1/2 circumference zipper.

I talked with Motoport today and the lady on the phone was VERY nice. I expressed my concerns about the jacket fit. She told me they had a 44 chest size on file, which is what I sent them. I measured myself last night after trying on the jacket and found my actual measurement to be a 43. I told her that my Teknic leather jacket is a 44 and fits a bit snug in the shoulders (I have an ape’s arms and back) and couldn’t understand how the difference between a 43 and a 44 would equate to five inches of gathered material in the chest.

Now you told us that your chest is a 42. This makes the chest size go from a large to a medium.

As stated earlier in the thread, my at-inhalation measurement is a 44. This was what I was told to do over the phone to get the measurement you wanted. Also, for the completeness, the jacket you sent me the third time is a small, not a medium.

I’m not going to talk about the pants right now, but the short story is they still screwed up the armor placement on the knee. I have no idea why they can’t just follow the same guidelines other manufacturers do; I have three other pairs of cycling pants and the knees fit me fine.

We placed the knee armor again to your specifications.

When I spoke with you on the phone you told me to put my mesh pants on, sit on the bike I rode the most frequently, and mark the knees in a plus pattern with tape. I did exactly what you asked, and the pants came back to me with the armor too low.

The jacket is smaller than the last one (the downsized me from an L to a M), but I am concerned it still doesn’t fit right. It certainly doesn’t feel “custom,” but I’ve given up on getting a true custom fit from Cycleport. They do alteration work, not custom work.

You returned the size large to us on 9/9. We rushed your new jacket and shipped it out on 9/16. We built a small jacket because of what you told me and how the size large was clamped. We didn’t send you a medium. Now your complaining that the small is too large. Please explain how we make gear for any rider any size without making custom apparel. I had 4 riders last month that were more than 7′ tall. Last month we made a jacket and pant for a rider that was 6’4″tall and weighed 550lbs.. It fit him perfectly the first time.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but your system seems to build a jacket from sleeve and body components. You then assemble the jacket from these larger grain pieces and then alter the suit further for a more tailored fit. The jacket is not made from scratch based off of the measurements provided by the customer. I would consider this truly “custom.” I believe you use the customer measurements as a guideline by which an existing set of product components are altered. If I am wrong, I will apologize. I am not faulting you either way — again, I grew up in a small family business and appreciate the need for efficiency. I am trying to explain what I meant.

It took five weeks for the first round to show up. It took another three weeks to get the alterations made.

Why don’t you explain that you live in VA and that the shipping each way is usually 7 days?

Although it’s been evident in my user data (on the left <---) that I am in VA, for the record I live in Virginia. I sent my suit back to you the first time and it arrived in three business days.
2) Nothing fits right. I call Wayne and ask for a refund. He asks me to send my order back to him for alterations. Despite my better judgment, I give him the benefit of the doubt. I return the jacket, the jacket liner, the pants, and the gloves at my expense.

It was your decision to try again.

Yes, my complaint is that by sending the jacket back to you I surrendered my right for a refund. I think that is unfair.

4) I am charged a fee for altering the location of the knee armor on my pants.

When we make a pant to your measurements and you provide improper measurements we charge 50% of the normal alteration fees. This was explained and is on the invoice.

I provided measurements to the best of my ability as directed by you and your staff. Customers that come to you in person get fit very well, but I don’t have the capability of doing that.

5) Three weeks after sending them back, I get my jacket and pants back. The knee armor is still off, by about two inches. I marked a huge X in tape on the center of each knee cap, based on Cycleport’s advice. I wind up putting aftermarket CE armor inside the pants via double-sided hook and loop tape atop the Tri-Armor. I call Wayne again and tell him I want to return the jacket for a refund. Again, he talks me out of it, saying that if I use binder clips they can make the jacket fit me properly. I relent, partially thinking of my father’s own small business, and how hard he had to fight to keep his head above water. I send my jacket and liner back, again at my expense.

Knee/Shin armor was again placed where instructed.

Already addressed as above, I made my measurements according to Motoport’s directions.
6) Three more weeks pass, and I get my jacket yesterday. The jacket fits better across my broad back, but there is still too much fabric in the chest and along the bottom of the jacket. I have to cinch the jacket in so much that the fabric blouses out about two inches in the chest and hem. Adjusting the hem to fit properly causes the hand pockets to permanently stay open. The alterations to the body of the jacket has now made my sleeves, which fit fine before, too short. The neck no longer buttons as it used to, either. The body of the original jacket was labeled a Large, the current jacket is listed as a Small. I call Wayne and ask for a refund for the jacket.

If the small jacket is still too large in the chest area your actual chest size must be 39 to 40″ at the most. Please post the photos you sent to me today on advrider and see the response. This jacket, wearing nothing underneath is not big on you. If you want it smaller we can do that, but it will be snug when layering for cold weather.

I posted one of the photos in this thread. I have many more images on my blog; unfortunately I can only post one picture at a time via the attachment functionality on the board. My image host uses a weird file path that the forum software does not process.

My jacket is now considered “custom” because it has been altered, and as such is not covered by their satisfaction guarantee. I feel like I allowed myself to be tricked into violating their policy when Wayne asked me send in the jacket the first time.

This is explained again in bold on our invoice. I also told you that if you hadn’t worn the jacket making it used we would have taken it back?

I buy a lot of things online, including apparel and motorcycle safety gear. I have never had a problem returning anything I have purchased. I know that some people abuse the system and trash a product and send it back to you. I have been very conscious of not doing this for your product, or the product of any other vendor.
Wayne mentioned he has taken back a vast sum of money in mis-sized product due to people not measuring right.

The size large jacket returned is not standard. This jacket will be in stock for a long time. After 4 years it will be cut up. This entire issue is due to your improper measurements. As of today we have spent money trying to make a jacket fit from your improper measurements.

I have been concerned that the amount of time and/or materials spent on altering my jacket would have incurred a loss on your business. For that I apologize, but I have sent you my measurements to the best of my ability based on Motoport’s instructions.

I hope the rest of you have a good experience with Motoport. I really like the pants and wear them every time I commute into work. However, for those of you considering ordering from Wayne, consider that there is a point from which there is no return. This will not be communicated to you in any fashion until it is too late, and you may nice-guy yourself into a $650 jacket that you don’t like and doesn’t fit you well.

If you are actually a doctor I would be very concerned about the work you perform. Have you ever used a tape measure? Didn’t you see in bold writing on both invoices sent: “Custom items are non returnable.”? Do you expect to wear anything for hours and then return it for a refund? Do you know of any motorcycle apparel company that will make you custom apparel and then take it back? Go back and look at some of the other photos of riders wearing our gear. Your fit is not that bad when wearing nothing underneath for a new Mesh Kevlar Jacket that has not broken in. If you get in a riding position, not stretching the arms out as far as possible, then pull the wrinkles out of the sleeve the length might be better. This jacket is not made to snug up both the Velcro adjust under the chest and bottom hem, tight, when new and stiff with no wrinkles appearing.

If I had 3 customers a year like you, I would get out of this business.

Wayne Boyer
President Motoport/Cycleport USA

Aside from the personal comments made in this email, Wayne and his staff have been very professional and patient. I still think their products are very good, and intend to keep wearing the pants. As the temperates dip and I can wear the pair of liners and my Knox Sport Shirt armor the jacket may fill out appropriately.

One thing neither Wayne nor myself discussed was the use of a clothes dryer to soften the mesh. I have put the jacket and four shoes in my dryer with no heat, per Motoports suggestion. I have done this twice, once before sending back the medium sized body, and once after receiving my current jacket in a small. The first time I ran the dryer for an hour, the second time for two hours, per Wayne’s suggestion.

I find it unfortunate that Wayne would not accept my jacket return. I understand he has a business to run, but I have not abused his product and am not trying to take advantage of the system. I also wish that this opportunity would be used to improve the manner in which measurements are communicated. As noted earlier in this thread, my friend also ordered from Wayne and received a mis-sized jacket. Fortunately Wayne worked with her and she sent him the jacket with binder clips attached. Motoport was able to alter the jacket to her body and she wears it every time she rides.

I guess that’s all I have to say. I am glad Wayne wrote to me, and hope that he feels that his side of the story is now part of this thread.

Posted in: motorcycling, review

13 Comments on "Wayne from Motoport / Cycleport responds"

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  1. Starbuck says:

    I am not too happy with Wayne for three reasons. 1) I know for a fact you called Motorport back after we measured the first time to check to see if the measurements were taken in the right locations. He keeps saying they were incorrect (thanks, I took them). 2) There is no reason to insult you especially since you were just explaining your situation and experience w/the company. 3) DrFaulken you are the only person that I know that wears full riding gear and researches everything. The fact that he insulted you and said that you know “very little about motorcycle apparel and riding a motorcycle” makes me want to punch him in the face 🙂

  2. renegadeotv says:

    I’ve followed your motorcycle posts from Ars for quite a while because as the previous poster said, you are well researched and rational when it comes to wearing gear; quality’s I hope to have when I get into riding.

    They are inappropriate in how they talk down to you, which is odd since you would be a prime target for their products. Ill informed, unconcerned riders don’t spend that much money on gear like you are willing to do to be safe, they should be doing their best to get your business, not mocking you.

  3. > I was explicitly told how to take measurements on
    > the phone.

    Okay, there we go. You’ve answered my question from your previous post. I guess this is a lesson learnt: any tailored clothing should be measured by the -tailor- and not by the customer. That way you can guarantee a good fit AND you can hoist the responsibility of any fuckups onto the tailor.

    Of course it sucks that it’s a $650 lesson.

  4. drfaulken says:

    Here’s the last from Wayne at Motoport. As before, I told him I’d post his email in its entirety — except for my name. I feel like I have nothing else to say; there’s a point where things degenerate to calling people liars or n00bs or fashionistas or whatever. I’ve said my piece, and I believe Wayne has said all he’d like as well.

    Hi DrFaulken,

    Thanks for posting my comments on advrider. This shows me that you have character. Please also post the following on advrider:

    After reading your post on advrider and seeing the other photos on the blog,
    it appears to me that the jacket is sized correctly with the body. When the
    Mesh Kevlar is new, it is stiff. This stiffness makes it is impossible to
    cinch down the Velcro straps under the chest and bottom hem without getting
    severe wrinkles in the jacket. As mentioned on the phone this style jacket
    is not made to wear in a snug fashion. Wearing the jacket snug only
    accomplishes negatives, bad fit, uncomfortable to wear etc… You mentioned
    in the thread about the armor moving when falling if the jacket is loose.
    Never in our history has the armor moved in a tumble. The type of armor,
    construction, materials used, prevent the armor from moving with impact, even
    when worn loose.

    The sleeve length is another issue. The photos shown appear that your
    stretching the arms out fully extended. This is not the position when
    riding a bike. Pull the wrinkles out of the sleeves and put the arms in a
    riding position. If the sleeves are short, then we need to make them
    longer. It is very easy to take perfect fitting apparel and make it appear
    to fit terrible in a photo.

    Fitting riders has always been our most difficult job. Different types of bikes require
    different fitting apparel. Riders like you want snug fitting gear, others
    prefer loose fitting. Sizing for regular clothing in pants/jackets has never been consistent and in the majority of cases,
    not even close to actual measurements. This confuses people when they wear a pant size of 36
    and the measured waist size can be up to 41 or larger. It is very common to get incorrect chest/hip measurements from women. Incorrect waist/chest measurements from men. My company has been manufacturing motorcycle apparel since 1965. In the past we used a very detailed sizing page to fill out. This gave us more problems. The current methods of sizing has been learned over many years of experience. Go on our web site. We do
    have a Sizing Guide. Yesterday I also updated all the text on the Kevlar
    apparel. (Our sizing now is explained better.) The sizing issue we will continue to improve over the years. It will still be impossible
    in some cases to fit every rider perfectly.

    Finally, you mention growing up in a small family business and your respect for small companies like mine. Then you go and trash my company with many lies and misinformation.

    1. No person in my company would ever tell you to take a deep breath and measure the chest.

    2. You state as fact how we make our gear and that it is not custom made. As a new rider you may not realize that we are the only company left in the world making synthetic custom motorcycle apparel. I’m very surprised that some of our custom sized riders didn’t blast you for your comments. When you sent back the first jacket that was custom made to your improper measurements, we loose money from that point on, even if we sell you another jacket. (Note: We didn’t charge you any custom fees.) Just last month my company was blasted by a women on a web site. She gained weight, upset that we made her pay to alter her pant and pay for return shipping!!!!

    Following was a great response from Tom shown on adviser:
    We have never made a profit selling complete custom gear. Try to purchase any custom apparel. If we charged an extra $500 for a complete custom jacket and $400 extra for a complete custom pant, on top of the regular price, that would be a break even point. If the gear needed alterations after sending, we loose money again.

    Everyone in my company would also tell you that I’m the only one here that wants to keep making custom apparel.

    3. The biggest complaint about our company is waiting for our gear after placing the order. If I spent one tenth of the time on each customer that was spent on you, everyone would be waiting even loner.

    Customers like you and the women in the above links, make it difficult to continue with anything custom.

    Best regards,
    Wayne Boyer
    President Motoport/Cycleport USA

  5. Configures says:

    I was surprised by the unprofessionalism of Boyer’s comments as related in your entry, but my jaw dropped when he accused you of lies, per your follow-up comment. The icing was the hypocrisy of his sign-off.

    They definitely should have warned you that carrying out their suggestion would void the warranty.

    I agree that a true custom job would involve making the gear from scratch based on the measurements, not alterations to pre-existing components.

    Also, re his whining about your atypical chest size, somebody call the waaahmbulance! Seriously, if they can’t handle atyp or online/phone orders, they should turn them down to begin with, not blame the customer.

  6. Robert Shay says:

    I’ve now read your story and Waynes.

    I have Motoport gear. My comment to you is that protective gear is not suppose to fit like a custom business suit. Your jacket looks to me like it fits fine. This jacket is meant to be worn in temps ranging from 30F to 110F with optional layering – I purchased all. My total motoport outfit – that I purchased over the telephone in August 2008 fits great and was the best $1,800 I’ve spent.

    Wayne knows what he is doing. Maybe he got a little emotional and unbusinesslike in the letter. In my opinion, from over 30 years of racing and riding motorcycles his gear with the quad pro armor upgrades is the best you can buy in the world – esp. for the broad temperature range it can be used.

    Give the jacket a try. Once you begin layering in colder weather it will fit great. Then, when it breaks in, it won’t look or feel as bulky. You made an awesome purchase – you just don’t know it yet. You will by August of next year if you start wearing the jacket now.

    I only hope that before August of 2009 you redeem Wayne and Motoport in the same way you made your thoughts known now.

    Good luck and good riding!

  7. Robert Shay says:

    Also, on the pants, use the velcro around the ankles to tighten the pants in that area. You will find that the knee pads will rise, appropriately, about 2 inches. This will probably put them right where they should be. It did with me.

    Best, Bob

  8. drfaulken says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks again for your comments. The way the pants are designed continue to make me happy every time I step in and out of them. The system seemed confusing at first, but it really is great. I’m going to review the pants independently from the jacket at some point, and perhaps shoot a video to better convey how easy they are to get in and out of.

    I do use the velcro around the ankles, and it helps. The side stand on my FZ6 is particularly bad about snagging the inside of the pant right where the velcro is, and unhooks the velcro >:( Not a big deal though.

    The knee armor doesn’t move up enough to cover my knee cap, even after sitting on the bike. Installing aftermarket CE-certified armor helps quite a bit, and will also be depicted when I write my pant review.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  9. Starbuck says:

    still think he is rude :/

  10. Robert Shay says:

    When I ordered my outfit, Wayne seemed like a great guy to me and probably won’t hold a grudge. If your sleeves are too short on the jacket now, I’m sure he’ll fix them. I didn’t get the longer jacket because it wasn’t my style. We have similar body types – I’m 6′ and 180lbs. The longer jacket doesn’t need a zipper since it won’t separate from the pants in a long asphalt slide.

    Regarding the pants(mine were size XS – go figure), I have Alpinestar boots – MXR – so when I tighten the velcro on the bottom of the pant cuff my pants rise about 4″ and the knee pads fit great. So far I’ve worn my outfit about 50 hours and the jacket and pants are beginning to loosen up. I imagine in another few months they should be much less stiff and more form fitting.

    I feel very, very confident riding my Honda ST1300 on very long highway rides with this gear. I can’t imagine having any other type of outfit – even a full leather racing suit – that would provide as much protection (I have the upgraded quad armor in mine).

    Good luck. You will really love this outfit in time. I can almost guarantee it.

  11. Steve Scovel says:

    As another unusual sized rider (tall and narrow) I looked at Motoport as a possible solution to fit problems. Based on the ad hominem attacks and generally sarcastic tone of Wayne Boyer’s correspondence I’ve decided it would be too much trouble to deal with them. I just want to buy some good gear, not start electronic warfare.

    Despite Motoport’s claims that all other gear is inadequate I will take my chances in the retail market and keep searching for off the rack gear that fits. Quality gear is never cheap, some production gear is even more expensive than Motoport, but I doubt that I will be subjected to insults if I have problems with BMW or Rev It.

  12. senwah says:

    Bummer of an experience. Just found this after I posted my initial question.

    Had a similar experience on a “custom” job with a bicycle bag manufacurer in Seattle: R.E. Load bags.

  13. James Connelly says:

    I too am an extremely satisfied customer, who will only buy motoport, despite Wayne’s shortcomings. He does not seem to want to give up money at all, even when an issue is completely his fault. You just have to accept that before trying to do business with him.
    In my case, I bought a jacket, then a couple of years later decided to complete the set with a pair of pants. In my email I described my jacket, and asked for the “universal” zipper so I could attach the two together. I had spoke with wayne on the phone during both transactions. Nicest guy in the world.
    When I got the pants, the zippers were different. Small on the jacket, large on the pants. He came up with a bunch of excuses for the discrepancy, none of which I felt were legit. In the end I sent the jacket back and bought a new zipper for it. He refused to pay for shipping, or any part of it at all. In fact he really acted unprofessionally and kinda like a baby. Completely different attitude from before the sale.
    I could have taken him to court, but in the end I just wanted some gear, so I decided to be the bigger man.
    Yes I would buy more gear from him, but no I do not respect his business character.