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Re: [ST] Mesh riding jackets

I bought the Phoenix.  I like it a lot.  I've been happy with the fit, airflow, and protection.
What you may not have noticed is there are two sets of armor and two layers of mesh in the Phoenix.  armor that is sewn into the jacket and also replaceable armor in pockets.  I, unfortunately, had an opportunity to test the protection level of the Phoenix.  I was going about 45 on the highway 35 when a car pulled in front of me, I grabbed brake but not clutch.  I hit the pavement and slid about 15-20 feet.  The only damage to myself was a bit of roadrash on my knee because I was in work pants.  The jacket held up fairly well.  Some holes but no damage past the sewn in armor.  a couple of leather patches and the jacket will be useable again.    

The reason I picked this jacket was mainly due to what my dealer had to offer.  It was Joe Rocket or First Gear.  I didn't like the First Gear, due to it's armor and armor pockets.  First Gear only uses one level of armor and while it's jacket came in first in abrasion resistance test I read, it's not Cordura or Leather, so you have to be very dependent on the armor as well, and the First Gear Armor seemed rather flimsy to me, on top of the fact that the armor pockets are proprietary in shape and size.  And I'm not thrilled with the idea of paying 50 bucks for Knox armor and then having to take a razor to it to get it to fit a jacket.  My Knox armor fitted just fine in the Joe Rocket Phoenix.

BTW I don't know if this is the case  or not, but one reason the arms may not have fitted well might be that the fitting snaps on the arms may not have been snapped together.  I've noticed at my dealer when people have tried on the Phoenix jacket they complain about the arms then the salesman snaps together the fitting snaps and they become much happier with the fit.

Lex Offer
2000 Triumph Sprint ST (was Lucifer Orange now becoming a pearl Green)
1986 Honda VF1000 F-II

>>> mort.harries@xxxxxx 08/13/02 07:59AM >>>
A bit late in the season, I know, but I bought one of those mesh jackets a
few weeks ago, and as I tried out quite a few before I bought one, I'm
writing this as a sort of review.  Hope anyone in the market for one of
these finds it helpful.....

Joe Rocket Phoenix:  I tried on several different sizes of this, and
couldn't get comfortable in any of them.  The armor moved around too much.
The material is real flimsy - about the same heft as women's underwear.  It
did not inspire much confidence in me.  If I couldn't get the armor to stay
in the right place while I'm trying it on in the store, what are the chance
of it staying put while I'm sliding down the asphalt?  Cost: $139.

Joe Rocket Reactor:  This is similar design to the Phoenix, but much of the
material is thin perforated leather, so it's more substantial, and more
likely to hold together when it's needed.  I was going to get one of these,
but was put off by two things:  I could only find it in black - not the best
color for a hot weather jacket - and it was almost as uncomfortable as the
Phoenix.  Cost: $195

Dainese:  Don't remember the name of the jacket, just that it's a mesh
jacket made by Dainese.  Overpriced and under-featured.  The cuffs were too
tight - a struggle to get over my hands.  There was no back protector;
There's a pocket for it, but it's an extra $60, and the dealer didn't have
any in stock.  It's only in black, and on top of all that, they wanted $269
for it.  No thanks.

First Gear Meshtex:  Ahh.  Now that's more like it.  It was comfortable,
lightweight, and definitely more substantial than the Phoenix.  It's a mesh
jacket, with two layers of mesh, but they're polyester and nylon, so don't
confuse this with Cordura or leather for protection.  OTOH it's substantial
enough that the jacket holds its shape - unlike the Joe Rocket Phoenix. The
padding stayed firmly in place when I put it on and the jacket was snug
enough that it didn't move around much either.  Available in light grey.
This is the one I bought, and I still love it, though the velcro cuff
fasteners look like they'll be the first thing to wear out.  Cost $139.

BMW Aeroflow:  If you're serious about protection, this is the jacket to
get.  Of course, I first saw one of these the day after I bought the First
Gear jacket.  The material is very heavy duty - Cordura I think, and it's
perf'd so there's lots of airflow, and available in light grey so it doesn't
absorb too much heat.  Cost, IIRC is $299.  It's not going to keep you as
cool as the others, but offers substantially more protection.  

Sorry for no Sprint content.  But hope this helps anyone who's interested in
these jackets.

Mort Harries
'00 ST

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