Yep I guess I want something that looks good, lasts longer that a couple of years, and I can use at a track school. I probably should of added that to my original question. Most track schools want you to wear leather.
I have the JR original Phoenix jacket & pants. They work well keeping me cool up to about 85-90 or so. After that, they're f'in hot. With the nylon & soft armor, they're clearly better than just jeans & t-shirt, but the real question is how much? Does anyone have actual crash experience (victim or witness) in them or other flow thrus? I'd hate to go down at extra-legal speeds and find out the hard way that they weren't worth crap.
Interesting to hear about your crash with the First Gear mesh... I use one of those with upgraded CE armor for my summer jacket, along with the matching pants. I've always figured it was a "one use" garment.
I like it cuz the temperatures can vary so much here, starting inland with 90+ degrees and getting out to the coast it'll be maybe 65, nice to be able to zip the liner in/out so quickly.
Watch the Vanson price, fully loaded, armor & liners you can get up to $900 pretty quick. Then you need the matching pants. Fashion is a *****. Beats assless chaps.
I don't know how tall or round you are. At 6'3" and 200lbs., I was looking at custom in Vanson and Bates.
I said it before, but, take a look at the Road Gear XJK perf. jacket w/liner. Warmer than my roadcrafter with the liner and no problem in 90 degree heat. I liked the jacket so much, I bought the matching pants. The big drawback is the lack of zip together option.
Mansoor, the owner, will send out a couple of sizes for you to choose from. First class guy.
Dude. C'mon. If you even THINK there's a chance you might go down at "extra-legal" speeds, then fer cryin' out loud, DON'T wear your mesh jacket on the ride. I don't see my Phoenix as being anything but "better than a t-shirt" at in-city commuting speeds.
When I hit the highways, it's either Blaster pants and jacket, or my Roadcrafter with the optional spinal armor and hip pads. I figure it'd be just my luck to have no injuries other than the scraping, and die of infection anyway.
I have the Fieldsheer mesh jacket that's mesh with leather reinforcement and hard armor. I have read about some folks crashing with this set-up and they were OK. It was 100 degrees and really humid today in Richmond.
I wore the jacket to go the 30 miles to pick up my new truck. I was stuck in a jam for an accident for about 20 minutes, and it was bearable, but sweaty.
When I got to the accident site, they were literally hosing the road down. Lots of blood. I saw a helmet faceshield lying on the road.
I see a lot of idiots riding around here in tshirts, shorts and flip-flops. Hope is wasn't someone I met.
I picked up a leather jacket maybe 10 years ago from a Boulder, CO motorcycle shop that has been my standby ever since. It has old Craig Vetter's name in it, but I'm sure he sold the right to his name to somebody for manufacturing. It is exceedingly comfortable and flows well, even down here in the swamp. It also has reinforced pieces on the likely touch-down spots after an unintentional dismount.
I've got a flow through polyester jacket by a company named "3rd Street". Its got some decent spinal, elbow and elbow padding (I wouldnt call it armor though) and rides very cool up to about 85 degrees. With a wet tshirt underneath its ok on up to the mid nineties, at least. Of course, nothing feels cool in those conditions stopped at a light.
I rode an 1150GS Adventure for two years as sole transport. stuffed more than a couple of "Bling Bros." in the Gap with it, too. Not that that's saying much. Return to college forced sale. (How many times have I mentioned that it's now owned by teevee's Alton Brown and will be the featured ride on a new show soon?)
And for the record, it's an "active adults community".
I have a VANSON HURRICANE and a Joe Rocket Alter Ego as warm weather jackets. Like the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." I got my Vanson at New Enough at a good discount along with soft armor. The armor isn't perforated, so there's some hot spots, but other than that, it's like a track suit on the street.
The Joe Rocket is fine...the Alter Ego is a versatile "cheap" ($250 compared to the Vanson) everyday jacket. It's a lot like the Phoenix when it's in the summer configuration. I bought matching jackets for me & the wife (how cute, we're bike twinkies). But if i'm sliding instead of riding, it's Vanson every time.
Don't forget about the rest of your extremities. It's usually not until you get hurt that you start to think about shielding the rest of your body with real riding pants/boots. I'd rather be sweating than riding in the shorts/t-shirts that a lot of these riders wear. But hey, that's part of our civil liberties--the right to Road Rash!!
My Honda pants are good to around 55-60 degrees with the Kevlar panels. Any colder and the Hein Gericke pants come out. My Sidi Corsa Races have vents on the sides....sucks in the wet, but better than any work boot. With the proper gear (and commensurate outlay of cash), you can be quite safe and comfortable in any weather.
Botton line...there's a lot of good gear out there, buy the highest quality you can afford and make sure it fits right. Armor doesn't do any good when it's not in the right place at the right time!!
If you know which track day organizer you are going to patronize, check out their requirements for riding gear. Some around here require either a one piece suit or a two piece with a full circumferential zipper. My avenger only has the 9 inch connecting zip in back. Some of the new Vanson designs have in addition two short connectors in front. Call or email and ask the organizers what passes tech and make sure it is a boss who gives you the opinion. The tech inspector may have a different opinion. Have a printout of the boss' emailed opinion handy.