Motoport Ultra II with airbag vest? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-06-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Motoport Ultra II with airbag vest?

I've just about worked up the nerve to spend near-$1000 (gulp!) on a Motoport Ultra II Stretch jacket, but I have some questions for current Ultra II owners.

Does anyone wear theirs with an airbag vest? I've become quite attached to my Helite Turtle, and plan to continue wearing it over the new jacket. The vest saved my ass in a dirt get-off last fall, so I'm not willing to leave it behind.

That said, I'm aware the vest is going to get in the way of some of the pockets. With the Transition 4, I can't access the lower vertical pockets without unfastening the vest. I only keep things in there I don't need very often.

The horizontal "handwarmer" pockets are easier to get in, but still partly blocked by the vest.

I don't think I'd have any use for the Ultra II's default upper, vertically-oriented chest pockets. They'd be totally blocked by the vest at all times.

I discussed one customization with Wayne. He offered to install slit pockets like those of the Air Mesh jacket, instead of the default Ultra II upper pockets, for the usual customization fee.

Not sure that's useful though - they're still vertically-oriented, so would be very awkward or impossible to get in, when wearing the vest, I would think.

So maybe I'll just keep the lower cargo pockets.

I am inclined to go with the default Tri armor, as the Quad armor adds a whole lot of $ and would likely impair breathability.

I am planning to get the 2-part jacket liner so I can add warmth when needed (most often) and waterproofing if required (infrequent but possible).

Keep in mind I live in the desert. I've been absolutely roasting in my Transition 4 due in part to its integrated waterproofing layers, and have been promised I will get a lot more airflow through the Stretch material.

Planned color scheme is gray on gray, maybe with some blue parts to match my bike, and quite possibly the wider reflective bands on the arms (not sure whether "black reflective" is best or what).

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-06-2019, 08:07 PM
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Don't know if they'll do it, but you might consider tri-armor chest and back, quad-armor shoulders and elbow. Or tri chest, and quad back, shoulders, and elbows.

I know they do pocket customizations -- I had many applied to my jacket. So forget about the stock pockets and decide exactly what you want.

On a current jacket, figure out where you can position pockets and still access them while wearing the vest. Take a picture of the jacket with masking tape outlining where you want the pocket outlines, zippers, and zipper direction (or photoshop the pic). Probably a good idea to take a pic of you wearing the jacket and vest, as well, so they can see how the vest lies and the pockets position relative to it (though it obviously will be somewhat different on a different jacket)

I think I had a total of 20-odd minor customizations beyond sizing, many pocket-related, some not. They didn't add a huge amount to the jacket price, and gave me exactly what I want -- which, for me, is highly desirable since I'm quite particular and I intend to have the jacket for a couple decades or more.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 09:08 AM
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No worries! I will bet they know exactly what is needed to make your safety equipment fit into their jacket. Been a while since I ordered my jacket, pants, and liners from them. But they are totally mine, I went with almost no pockets as I simply don't use them or want them blocking airflow. Added reflective strips. But most important of all is the way they make you measure everything thing about you, except Tallywhacker length, to get the fit exact. It will be NOTHING for them to make adjustments to that fit to allow space for whatever you need under the jacket.

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post #4 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 09:14 AM
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On another note, consider the mesh kevlar. Glad I went with that over the stretch. The mesh doesn't flow quite as much as cheaper mesh gear, but enough to wick sweat away. The stretch kevlar does breathe well compared to an Aerostich for instance. Depends on what you are after.

Their liners are the finest product you will ever buy! Great windbreakers. But also the only gear I have ever worn that was 100% totally waterproof after hours and hours of riding in rain. ( So far at least, I am hoping my newer Olympia gear can do that as well. Good so far in 1-2 hour events )

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 12:28 PM
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Mesh Kevlar, Ultra II with only lower pockets. Glows in the dark HIVIZ. I have rolled around on the asphalt twice and the jacket is unscathed. An air vest over it would not work well IMHO.

"If its not broke yet, it can still be fixed"
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STCorndog View Post
Mesh Kevlar, Ultra II with only lower pockets. Glows in the dark HIVIZ. I have rolled around on the asphalt twice and the jacket is unscathed. An air vest over it would not work well IMHO.
Corndog, I have failed to test mine. But if I ever have to jump off a moving bike, I want to be in the MotoPort gear. Fitting the air vest over it...the MotoPort gear is a little more bulky than other gear due to the amount of armor. So fitting the vest over might be an issue. I don't suppose those could be worn under?
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'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of food for thought!

Having discussed pocket options with Wayne, I'm not sure there is much utility in the pocket modifications I first wanted. The default horizontal-access, upper chest pockets will be fine.

For the lower pockets, I suppose I'll draw out what I want and run it by Wayne. I may not have been clear in our first communications. Basically these would be a second set of handwarmer pockets, only unlined and not needing a waterproof zipper. This is where I would stash spare keys, spare earplugs, etc. Things that I don't need often, and which won't be ruined by getting wet.

Those pockets need to have openings on the sides. There are vertical lower chest pockets on my Tourmaster that I rarely use, because they are just not accessible with the airbag vest in the way. Even without the vest, it's a lot easier to reach in from the side vs. straight down.

I'm inclined to go for the wrist pockets on both sleeves. The left sleeve pocket on my Transition 4 has been indispensable for commuting. Wouldn't hurt to have a right-side one as well.

I'd like to know more about the "clear velcro pocket." I have to physically hand my ID to the gate guard where I work; merely having it visible through clear plastic won't do. As well, those clear plastic panels tend to wear out quickly. But there could be some other use for such a pocket, that I haven't thought about.

I am definitely getting the extra zippered chest vents. Desert environment and all.

Considering the Emergency Information Pocket. It will be mostly covered by my vest, but still, seems like a good idea.

I'm not sold on mesh. While I do want airflow, I don't want to get dried out in the summer. Or freeze, in the winter.

Perhaps it's not clear, but the airbag vest I wear (Helite Turtle) is worn over one's jacket, not under like the Alpinestars Tech-Air system. The fit of the vest can be adjusted by chest straps, and it has huge arm holes. It can therefore go over pretty much any jacket, no matter how bulky.

Having successfully bounced off the ground uninjured, thanks to the vest, I won't be riding without it. The neck-stabilization airbags alone make it worthwhile.

I appreciate the comments on armor, but I'm not sure I need back armor in the jacket. The Helite vest has a very sturdy back plate (hence the "Turtle" model name).
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 01:50 PM
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Food for thought.

Kevlar mesh is the strongest by a good margin. More so than stretch Kevlar.
Mesh is the only protective garment I have found that rides cool.
In the winter I use a rain liner, I have to. I add a heated vest to that.

You need to feel the Motoport Kevlar mesh with your hands, it is impressive. The other thing I like is a minimal amount of seams. It is not very fashionable but neither are scars.

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post #9 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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I suppose the rain liner goes over the waterproofing liner and acts as a windbreaker then?

I finally got a heated jacket liner last fall. Excellent purchase, makes winter riding MUCH better.
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post #10 of 34 Old 02-07-2019, 03:15 PM
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DB -- Sounds like you're figuring out just what you want. Good stuff.

The liners zip into one another / the jacket. Liner layering, from inside to outside: insulated liner > waterproof / windproof liner > jacket. Were I to do it again, I'd probably skip the insulated liner and just wear a snug-fitting fleece of my own. The waterproof / windproof liner alone goes a long way towards keeping me warm on cold days as long as I have long sleeves on underneath.

The rest is probably too long for most, but since I've put way too much thought into my Mp gear, I'll share a bit more...

If you don't need chest or back armor due to the vest, skip it. Doing so will reduce a bit of bulk.

Consider re-positioning the interior breast pocket. In its stock placement, whatever you put in the breast pocket adds bulk on top of your vest and armor (if any). I lowered my jacket and liner interior pocket from breast height to just below the chest armor to minimize bulk. And I duplicated it on the other side. I add phone to one and wallet to the other, with no noticeable increase in bulk. (Not so in the standard breast position.)

My sleeve pockets are by far my most-used pockets. I use them every ride for key(s) and earplugs / case.

Chest pockets: if you really like and want to use chest pockets, you might be able to tweak the standard vertical chest pockets so they're accessible even wearing the vest (depending on the vest coverage). I had Mp put a zipper on the outer edge of one of my vertical chest pockets, nearly under my armpit. It allows me to access the chest pocket from the side rather than the front (though that's not how I use it; I open both zippers -- front and side -- to make a 'sleeve' for stashing my gloves on the jacket.)

For the zippered pockets you do choose, you might consider having the zippers close in the down position (a pet peeve of mine...I can't fathom why any pocket zipper closes in the up position).

Finally, a note on the custom fit: it's really hard to do remotely based on measurements alone. Even with custom measurements, you may still end up returning for a final round of fit refinement. I'm due for fit refinement on my mesh jacket, but haven't gotten around to it, yet. That said, it's still the best fitting gear I've owned in 20+ years.
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