Bought three jackets, only need one - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Bought three jackets, only need one

OK, in "indecision mode" I've purchased three jackets, and some returns need to be made, because I don't need three.
I'm wondering if you can weigh in with thoughts on the three.

In selecting jackets without regard for a price tag, just fit/features, I now have three jackets in my dining room, draped over chairs, and at two different price points, although I'm not seeing much difference in protection or features between the three (the pics are links to amazon listings for each, for more details):

Alpinestars T-GP-R Air in White/Black for $260 at a local shop:



Joe Rocket Atomic 4.0 in Grey/Black with white for $158 at a different local shop:



Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 in White/Black online (Amazon) for $152:



What I noticed about each:
Alpinestars-
  • Good fit
  • Good protection
  • Lots of white, probably not the most off-road worthy color.
  • The white is good for visibility, two small reflective bands on arms.
  • Removable liner: I like that it just attaches to the jacket, one zip jacket.
  • Warmth: good, with the liner in.
  • Cooling: I can't test the ventilation yet. Don't know.

Joe Rocket Atomic -
  • Good fit
  • Good protection (the guy at the shop was raving about their armor)
  • Grey/black seems more off-road appropriate.
  • White stripes (especially on back) and reflective piping are decent at least
  • Removable liner - has a flap that separately zips, then the jacket zips.
  • Warmth: good, with the liner in.
  • Cooling: I can't test the ventilation yet, but it has two vertical zippers that open on the front that snap together to stay open, and big vertical vents on the back. Shop owner again raving about that.

Joe Rocket Phoenix -
  • Good fit.
  • Shoulder protection seems less, but this is also the wrong size. Hard to tell.
  • Mesh doesn't seem it would show dirt much, even with lots of white.
  • Lots of white for good visibility, I don't believe anything reflective though.
  • Removable liner - has a big flap and separate zipper, then the jacket zips.
  • Warmth: doesn't seem too warm, even with the liner in.
  • Cooling: Can't test it, but seems like you couldn't beat it.

I've got to return the Phoenix regardless. The reviews all said they ran small, so I got a large and I'm swimming in it. I'm leaning towards thinking it'll be too cool for our cool fall/spring weather (it's 30 degrees now). It also looks a little goofy on, with huge battleship shoulders - granted, this is too big so that's contributing, but it's a little too... I don't know, zoom-zoom motocross crotch rocket speed guy. Probably wouldn't be so much so in the right size, there's a little caricature effect in the wrong size.

But not so with the Alpinestars jacket, I'm having a hard time taking myself serious looking in the mirror lol. It's probably the main reason why I went out looking for other jackets. Just not feeling it. But it does have some high-end branded details that I'm sure contribute to the cost... and honestly, it's more tame with fewer "fake sponsorship" detailing on it than lots of jackets at the shops.

I like the look of the Atomic best, has features that seem to match the Alpinestars jacket without making me feel foolish with it on, but at $100 less, I'm concerned there's possibly a compromise I'm not aware of (besides having a separate flap to zip while putting it on)

I also tried one of these on at a local shop, which I liked the look of the best (by far):


But it was an "almost fit" - just slightly too small/short in medium, which probably means a large would be a swim. It's the coolest/least obnoxious jacket, and all the piping is reflective, with white swooshes on the back also. I wish it fit, I'd own that one right now.
Should I even try ordering a large off Amazon? The local shop only had medium.

I also tried on some Coretech jackets, but again way too much of that teenage-appropriate wannabe-race-boy styling makes me cringe.

Any thoughts? I feel like I've exhausted my local shops.
I also feel like I'm leaning towards the Joe Rocket Atomic at this point, but the low price makes me nervous.

EDIT: I need to decide fairly quickly also - the one local shop (where I got the Joe Rocket) only has a SEVEN DAY return policy! Have you ever heard such a thing? I'm tempted to return that one on principal...

Last edited by geolemon; 04-04-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 09:16 AM
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We have had a similar discussion in this thread:

http://www.klrforum.com/showthread.php?t=16113

My recommendation is still the Tourmaster Transition.

Of those you show my choice would be the Joe Rocket Atomic 4.0. Not a big Joe rocket fan. They have/had a reputation for poor zippers.

For your safety by a jacket in a Hi-Vis colour.

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"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 10:19 AM
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You asked to evaluate based upon fit and features.

You are the only one who can evaluate fit, so I'll ignore that.

Evaluation based on features is highly subjective.

My vote would be none of them.

From a features perspective what I look for is a light color - white or gray/silver. In my opinion it offers better visibility, especially at night. I ride a lot at night.

The Rocket Phoenix is the best in that category, but it has no collar and not enough pockets. I need a collar on the jacket and at least four pockets.

T

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post #4 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 10:50 AM
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I'll agree with Tom, to an extent, I like the one you don't like also......for the same reasons.
That being said I have the Pheonix mesh 11 or something I think, full armour and Hi-Viz....just love it.

Once again to each their own.

Willys
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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I dig the look of the mesh one, I just bought the wrong size. It's not available locally. I may return it and order a medium to try it again - it'll only cost me shipping.
It's white (but not gleamingly so like the Alpinestars one), visible, and doesn't look boy-racer obnoxious with numbers and wannabe-fake-sponsorship swooshy zoom-zooms all over it.
I do want one that doesn't look like a winter jacket, so I like the fitted type 3/4 length jackets. I'm not going to be carrying a lot with me, I've got bags for the bike if I need to.

How's the Phoenix mesh one in cool weather (40's, 50's)? Does the liner block enough wind (given that the jacket is designed not to)?
Seems like it would be great in the 90's here, just not sure about the cooler weather.
I was cool wearing it in my garage, and not warm wearing it around my house - but it's also large on me. Possibly a medium would be a good fit.

...I'm half thinking about getting a good textile jacket for all-around use, cool weather and highway warm weather use, and maybe a cheap mesh jacket from Amazon, just for when I'm riding slowly off-road. I don't think I'd trust a cheap jacket for the road.

EDIT:
I'm feeling like the "high-vis" neon version of the Joe Rocket jacket isn't really more visible:


All the white striping is grey, on that model. Unfortunate, because I thought the white striping going down the back/sides of the jacket gave the grey one some decent visibility (like the Castle, but with less reflective piping).
Not that the yellow color itself isn't visible.

Last edited by geolemon; 04-04-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 11:59 AM
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How warm or cold a jacket feels is subjective, as is an individual's tolerance for wind.

I should think you could evaluate that for yourself. Go out tonight and skateboard down a hill.



T

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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post #7 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 12:32 PM
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I have had the Atomic for a year now, same color as yours too.
Likes: seems to have decent protection, warm enough to be comfortable in 30 degree weather with a couple of light sweaters underneath( they call me a penguin lol).
Dislikes: bunches up in the belly area a little, rain "resistant" (fixed that with some Campdry), not enough pockets.
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 04:59 PM
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My Joe Rocket seen here....mine is in Hi-Viz...

http://www.joerocket.ca/en/catalog/i...a-326cdb6e0400

Is perfect. I used to have a textile jacket and loved it also, but after 5 years the zipper finally got very stiff and it had 65,000kms on it.

The mesh is good as it comes with a good wind shell that stops all but the finest of wind through it. If it gets cooler than that I wear my heated vest. But that is only in the spring and late fall. If I go on any adventure rides I take the vest any way just in case. I also wear a rain specific suit for wet weather and wouldn't trust any textile wet weather material to keep me dry. I have tried many and they all leaked, so I'm now back to almost industrial water proof jacket and pants. I would sooner worry about sweating compared to leakages. Nother worse than sitting in a wet diaper!
Back to the jacket....the mesh certainly allows for comfortable riding on the hotest of days. The hi-viz is blinding when new but will fade out after a year of constant riding. I've had mine for a year now and it's been across the country once and has started to become a bit duller. I like blindingly bright!
I used to worry about what people thought of me and used to wear black before this mesh. I even wore a Hi-Viz vest over my black textile jacket the year before buying the mesh. But I have come to realize....it's far better to be seen than dead! Beside most riders now are moving to the Hi-viz also.

Hope this helps

Willys
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 06:25 PM
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Have you tried a 'adventure' style jacket? Much longer in the torso and more comfortable in my opinion... Has alot of options as well,ce armor, high viz, hot, cold, both, lots of pocket and designed for a more upright riding position. and you can get some pants that match like the Rev It sand coat and pant combo...
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-04-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys View Post
My Joe Rocket seen here....mine is in Hi-Viz...

http://www.joerocket.ca/en/catalog/i...a-326cdb6e0400

Is perfect. I used to have a textile jacket and loved it also, but after 5 years the zipper finally got very stiff and it had 65,000kms on it.

The mesh is good as it comes with a good wind shell that stops all but the finest of wind through it. If it gets cooler than that I wear my heated vest. But that is only in the spring and late fall. If I go on any adventure rides I take the vest any way just in case. I also wear a rain specific suit for wet weather and wouldn't trust any textile wet weather material to keep me dry. I have tried many and they all leaked, so I'm now back to almost industrial water proof jacket and pants. I would sooner worry about sweating compared to leakages. Nother worse than sitting in a wet diaper!
Back to the jacket....the mesh certainly allows for comfortable riding on the hotest of days. The hi-viz is blinding when new but will fade out after a year of constant riding. I've had mine for a year now and it's been across the country once and has started to become a bit duller. I like blindingly bright!
I used to worry about what people thought of me and used to wear black before this mesh. I even wore a Hi-Viz vest over my black textile jacket the year before buying the mesh. But I have come to realize....it's far better to be seen than dead! Beside most riders now are moving to the Hi-viz also.

Hope this helps
That definitely helps! Much appreciated, thanks.

That's a good looking jacket, and sounds like Joe Rocket at least makes decent stuff. I don't believe the shop here carries that model at all, high vis or otherwise.
They have the female version of the mesh jacket I got off Amazon, but not the mens verision I got from Amazon.

I'm leaning towards keeping the Joe Rocket jacket, although it's the darkest.
Your post made me think - I could keep a high visibility vest in the bags of my bike, that's a really good idea.

I also saw this kit on Twisted Throttle, which was inexpensive, and great for night visibility:
http://youtu.be/bruIaWlO0mU

The shop owner was raving about the water resistance of the Joe Rocket... I don't know, I'm sure I won't be seeking to ride in a rainstorm, but I'm also sure it'll happen when I wasn't expecting it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceInjected View Post
Have you tried a 'adventure' style jacket? Much longer in the torso and more comfortable in my opinion... Has alot of options as well,ce armor, high viz, hot, cold, both, lots of pocket and designed for a more upright riding position. and you can get some pants that match like the Rev It sand coat and pant combo...
I've tried a few on - I can appreciate the utility of the extra pockets, but think I feel more secure in a jacket that's more fitted. I'm not planning on carrying a lot with me - maybe down the road, but for now, I'm building my confidence.
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