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  #1  
Old 15 Jul 2013
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UK-Australia: kevlar jeans & mesh jacket?

I'm heading from UK to Australia this October via Turkey, Iran and SE Asia in October and I can't decide what riding gear to take.

I've Halvarssons Textile trousers (I think they're called Zen) which have been perfect for normal British weather but I cooked in them this weekend after half an hour of crawling through London traffic in 30 degree heat! I've also been trying to get a new jacket for years now to replace my old and useless Frank Thomas 3 season jacket, but can't seem to find one that fits (6ft 3 and thin). I'm not sure I like the goretex type - the vents are too small when it's hot and you're still wet after 2 hours riding in the rain.

I'm thinking of replacing them with kevlar jeans and a mesh jacket (if I can ever find one that fits) - reasoning it's easier to warm up than cool off: layers - thermal underwear, electric vest, fleece, rain jacket.

Has anyone tested this theory with these kind of climate ranges in mind? - and any recommendations for products?

All suggestions welcome!
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  #2  
Old 16 Jul 2013
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There are many combinations that work for different people. Pros and cons of each.

One approach is convertible mesh jackets, which gives you a bit of a greater temperature range than a pure mesh jacket.

There are partially meshed pants which help a fair bit as well. I haven't seen many dragging jeans used on very long tours so would lean toward the advantages of actual riding pants.

You'll need a good set of separate rain gear. It can rain a lot longer than any goretex jacket can keep you dry.
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  #3  
Old 16 Jul 2013
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Not jeans .. and not kevlar jeans

I've a pair of kevlar jeans .. take 2 days to dry .. in warm dry weather .. they are good for mild weather close to home. I'd not take them touring.... too much of a washing problem!

For riding I'd go with something that drys quickly, for heat something that breaths, for wet weather another layer .. it does not rain that frequently in OZ that you need to be in/out of it so much.

Oh .. you will acclimatise to the heat .. 30 deg is just getting warm .. 40 is hot. Less than 20 is cold though.
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  #4  
Old 16 Jul 2013
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We've been riding over a year with mesh jackets with removable rain/thermal liners, regular jeans (bad I know). They make mesh riding pants with liners but its very hard to remove them any place unless you want your bum exposed. We also go with fairly lightweight rain gear that goes over everything so it just comes off when the squall passes and the sun starts baking you. For the cold, the raingear doubles for wind protection and we carry extra fleece & long johns for inner layers. Never needed heated gear but it mightve been nice at 5400mtrs! As Grant says, it's all about layering . He was SO right.
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  #5  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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I've been riding in temperatures up to 45C with high humidity for the last 6 months. Air-flow jackets are useless in these temps because the air is hot and will not cool you. They also won't release enough heat above 40C.

The combination I have found works best is a BMW motocross body armour top with light mesh arms and body (to prevent sunburn) and significant spinal support BMW Protektorenjacke 2 - BMW Motorrad Zubehör BMW Motorrad Bekleidung BMW Motorrad Shop BMW Motorrad Ersatzteile. Couple this with an evaporative cooling vest to keep you damp and cool under the body armour evaporate_cooling.

This set up also handles tropical rain where it is still warm, and dries quickly.

I use BMW gear and have removed the armour from my Rallye 3 Jacket and wear it over the body armour. I have a separate light wet weather jacket and pants for big rains.

PN
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  #6  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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I found what I believe is the best goretex jacket with mammoth mesh panels and have used it all over Oz and Europe for the past 3 years.



Full review here.
I was so impressed I bought some for the Gobi Gals and they also swear by them.
Only in Oz tho nathan@topace.com.au
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  #7  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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I have used a DriRider mesh jacket and Monsoon mesh pants for years down here and loved em. They work fine in the heat, but when I was riding in the real hot heat, I limited my riding days. Got up real early, did my 500km befor lunch and stopped for the rest of the day

They have been replaced while in Europe due to being no good up there, I bought a IXS jacket and pants and like Scootergals, they have multiple flaps and panels and zips to get airflow. I rode through the heat of southern Russia, Kazhakstan, Kyrg, China and SEA. They worked fine although the humidity of SEA was a bugger. Also it had liners.

If you are coming to Oz, I would suggest you buy them here, they are made for these conditions. No matter if they have liners, buy a chap over jacket and pants for them emergency moments, otherwise pull over and try and find some shelter, good luck

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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Wink hmmm, let me think

Eastern Turkey in October one word... SNOW
or at least a very strong possibility, we had freezing hailstorms in September
you will also be restricted in where you ride in Pakistan- the interesting places tend to be more mountainous and therefore colder...

so don't be too quick to ditch the cold weather gear.

in my book it's easier to cool doew than warm up- jump in a river/lake/pond with full bike gear, including helmet or find some running water.
whereas to warm up you need somewhere sheltered with electricity

Good luck, sounds like a great trip.
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  #9  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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Just remember you can actually buy clothes when you travel. I ride in an amour jacket because I knew I would be mainly in hot countries. However, due to enjoying Pakistan too much I ended up riding in the snow in Iran and in Turkey, but I brought clothes for next to nothing and was given a lot of things too. Then when I reached northern Ethiopia and it became summer for me, i gave my stuff away to a super nice cleaner and made her day.

Now, ive reached South Africa, and its winter again - ive been on the road for 3 years now... buying and giving away clothes. Im glad i didnt bring my $80 Marino thermals from home - bugger carrying that sort of weight and bulk!
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  #10  
Old 26 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperfoot View Post
I'm heading from UK to Australia this October via Turkey, Iran and SE Asia in October and I can't decide what riding gear to take.

I've Halvarssons Textile trousers (I think they're called Zen) which have been perfect for normal British weather but I cooked in them this weekend after half an hour of crawling through London traffic in 30 degree heat! I've also been trying to get a new jacket for years now to replace my old and useless Frank Thomas 3 season jacket, but can't seem to find one that fits (6ft 3 and thin). I'm not sure I like the goretex type - the vents are too small when it's hot and you're still wet after 2 hours riding in the rain.

I'm thinking of replacing them with kevlar jeans and a mesh jacket (if I can ever find one that fits) - reasoning it's easier to warm up than cool off: layers - thermal underwear, electric vest, fleece, rain jacket.

Has anyone tested this theory with these kind of climate ranges in mind? - and any recommendations for products?

All suggestions welcome!
I did Europe to Oz on a 2-piece Dainese leather suit, and a separate rain suit. Left Europe at the end of October, and arrived in Australia next March. Eastern Turkey was almost wintry, but most of the time was spent inside the tropics, so it was hot and humid. Hottest times were in Oz, +45-47C for several days, that was a bit too much!! For me, leather did work surprisingly well thru the entire temperature range, but still there´s no denying, that it was almost intolerably hot sometimes. And leather needs a lot of taking care of in such conditions. Plus if you get a lot of rain, the separate rainsuit thing isn´t very practical. In the tropical heat, you end up not using it, so leather gets soaking wet, and that kills it after a while.

I actually think a textile suit, that is designed for warmer climate, so has removable Gore-Tex membrane, and proper ventilation (and shields), would be the optimum do-it-all solution for this kind of trip, where hot and humid conditions are expected. I just chose leather, because I happen to like it.

BTW, kevlar jeans and mesh jacket, that might be okay for warm climate, but you will suffer in cold conditions, putting more and more extra layers on, just gets too complicated for me.
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  #11  
Old 29 Jul 2013
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Thanks for the advice so far.

I guess my main problem now is finding a brand that fits. As I say I'm 6ft 3 (195cm) tall and slim with neanderthal arms - I'm yet to find a jacket small enough in the body and long enough in the arms. I tried BMW Rallye jacket as I'd heard to arms were longer but they weren't long enough for me.

Any tall riders out there with mesh or touring jackets? What brands do you use (that I can preferably get in the UK or France).
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  #12  
Old 30 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximondo View Post
Im glad i didnt bring my $80 Marino thermals from home - bugger carrying that sort of weight and bulk!
Merinos (thin ones) cool you as well as keep you warm. I wear my merino baselayers in the freezing cold and in the hot (seriously hot Iranian desert 45c+).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
Eastern Turkey in October one word... SNOW
or at least a very strong possibility, we had freezing hailstorms in September
you will also be restricted in where you ride in Pakistan- .
KKH In september wasn't too bad- wearing jumper, normal bike jacket with liner- had the heated grips on, nippy. If you were unlucky it could be mega chilly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNomad View Post
I've been riding in temperatures up to 45C with high humidity for the last 6 months. Air-flow jackets are useless in these temps because the air is hot and will not cool you. They also won't release enough heat above 40C.
Second this, too much airflow evaporates your sweat too quickly I think. The wind is too hot, in Turkmenistan I had my big black Halvassons jacket all zipped up, as it was like a constant hairdryer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperfoot View Post

Any tall riders out there with mesh or touring jackets? What brands do you use (that I can preferably get in the UK or France).
The German and Scandinavian brands tend to cater for bigger chaps, and the French/Spanish/Italian brands tend to be on the smaller size.
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  #13  
Old 30 Jul 2013
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Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0 Jacket

Greetings Paperfoot

We also looked for a mesh/regular jacket for both the hot and cold parts of our trip (Alaska to Panama/Argentina) as it turned out quite a lot of the trip was colder than we expected but having the mesh for the journey south of Mexico City was a bonus.

The jackets we had were Joe Rocket Alter Ego 2.0 I would rate them a 7.5/10

The down side of these jackets were

- A bit short in the body (from your description I think I am the same height/build as you)

- removing the outer textile layer to expose the mesh inner was fiddly (road grime made the zips very stiff to undo)

- The waterproof layer was a separate removable layer on the inside of the jacket (We used a separate outer rain jacket and pants to keep the rain off and also as first layer against the cold)

- while it was windproof it wasn't as heavy duty as other jackets but we wanted something for the hotter climates (For the colder parts of the trip I used a Widder heated vest and that was fantastic, keeping your body core warm and wearing a long sleeved merino top, etc made up for the lighter weight jacket)

That was in 2007, there is now a version 3.0 of this jacket that I've just bought

JoeRocket.com

I haven't tried it yet but it looks like they have made several improvements

- they now come in tall sizes with longer arm lengths (but only in black, I bought a large tall)

- instead of unzipping the textile panel to expose the mesh, the entire textile jacket is removed in one piece (no zips). As before the armour is attached to inner mesh jacket so you still have the protection (The downside is you have a complete jacket to strap on the bike)

- The outer textile layer is also the waterproof layer. I don't know how waterproof it is but I will still take my rain jacket and pants anyway as a first layer of weather protection.

- it feels like a heavier jacket but I'm still taking the heated vest with me

I'll come back with a road report when I get some wet weather

We also had the Alter Ego pants but I never bothered removing the panels to expose the mesh. I have no complaints about them and will take them again.

We started the trip with some Kevlar jeans but I felt my knees were a bit exposed and wanted some padding around them, also as someone else mentioned denim takes ages to dry

I think our clothing choice worked well for us but as we were two up on a big bike we didn't plan to do any hard core off road (or at least a minimal amount) and your type of riding may affect your choice.

Good Luck

Ian J
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  #14  
Old 30 Jul 2013
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Yep, I def second what Scootergal said about the Matador jacket. Both me and Nadiscles wear them and they are without doubt the best and most versatile jackets we've ever had. The front panels zip out, as do sleeve panels and the back, meaning its a really airy cool ride. But they are also great in the rain (totally waterproof) and also excellent in cold weather with the usual removable thermal lining and windproof/waterproof layers too.

I've also just bought some Rev'itt airwave trousers which I'm really pleased with. They zip right down the length of the leg so can be worn over ordinary jeans or base layers if its cold, and topped with waterproofs if necessary,or as riding trousers in the own right as they have armoured bits. ( Got mine from Harpers, Leigh on Sea, Essex £120.00 - speak to Dave). Layers and lightweight stuff is the way to go for me.
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  #15  
Old 2 Jan 2014
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,
Try RST - they do a three layer rally type jacket , similiar to Bmw . Its about two hundred pounds . Lots of vents , zips , a hydro pack and the arms are very long . I am 6ft 4" and the XL was perfect . There is a new version coming out this year .
Cant remember the name but its on their website.......................
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