Six jackets basking in the 105 degree sun. - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 3:22 pm Thread Starter
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Six jackets basking in the 105 degree sun.

Just wanted to find out why my newest neon yellow-green BMW AirShell jacket seemed even cool on 93 degree days while moving in the heat. Skinís wind chill effect Iíll guess (i.e. any wind cooler than your skinís temp will seem cool).

Anyway, too hot to ride so I did a little experiment. I put six motorcycle jackets out onto the hot patio concrete. Ambient temp shows 105 degrees at noon. Wind about 1-2 MPH max. I got some others, but I donít wear them as much so I left them out.

Photo of the jackets tested:



Jackets are (bottom to top, columns 1 and 2):

1. Bright neon Yellow-Green BMW AirShell.

2. Older style BMW Airflow, black and silver.

3. Heavy black leather Harley style jacket.

4. Marsee lightweight mesh silver (almost aluminum color) jacket.

5. BMW ComfortShell (the blue color with gray trim).

6. BMW Santiago (golden orange color) with khaki (sand color) trim.


Left them to sunbath for two hours. Concrete temp. in the sunlight is at 128 degrees.

Reading the temps off them (lightest color area I could find) with a IR temp gun as well as the concrete under them (in their shade) I read the following:

1. Outer shell 132 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 103 degrees.

2. Outer shell 138 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 105 degrees.

3. Outer shell 175 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 106 degrees.

4. Outer shell 129 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 109 degrees.

5. Outer shell 145 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 107 degrees.

6. Outer shell 139 degrees. Concrete beneath it measures 106 degrees.

The Marsee mesh silver (#4) had the lowest outer shell temp, however the concrete under it was much hotter than the AirShell (#1). Possibly the open mesh allows some sunlight to get through and bake the concrete? Concrete under that open mesh Marsee was the hottest of all too which seems to defeat the idea of open mesh in the summer.

Iím sort of puzzled as to why the concrete under the blue BMW ComfortShell (#5) was higher than the Harley leather (#3) Ė by only 1 degree though. Heavier and more insulation maybe? I know the BMW ComfortShell can feel like a sauna at times much like the Aerostitch Gore-Tex suit or my Gerbing's Cascades Extreme 4-season (it's not!). It does not flow that much air and I wish it had more vents, but it's mission was more of a one-piece including rain gear.

The bright neon yellow BMW AirShell green feels much cooler to me riding than the others. I suspect it is that color as well as whatever they use for the mesh isn't as open to allow sunlight through like the Marsee open mesh jersey-style jacket. Sort of validates my "Riding with it seems cooler" theory.

Draw your own conclusions. My


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 8:44 pm
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neat comparison

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 10:59 pm
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Dude.....a little too much time on your hands? I did 600 + miles today.....needed to cover some ground .... started at 6 am......after 11 am all 93 to100 degrees . Too freaking hot in anything. I've tried everything. Even the cooling wet clamy stuff. Light colored mesh has been best. But now after 90 or so its tee shirts, tons of water stops, and spf 50. That and get off the road by 3 pm. Just don't deal with the heat too well. I'll take 40 degrees over 90+ any day!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 12:29 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_W
Dude.....a little too much time on your hands? I did 600 + miles today.....needed to cover some ground .... started at 6 am......after 11 am all 93 to100 degrees . Too freaking hot in anything. I've tried everything. Even the cooling wet clammy stuff. Light colored mesh has been best. But now after 90 or so its tee shirts, tons of water stops, and spf 50. That and get off the road by 3 pm. Just don't deal with the heat too well. I'll take 40 degrees over 90+ any day!
Hey, it peaked out at 111 today. No riding no where 'round here. Still 91 degrees out and it's 10:30 PM. Ugh!

I prefer the cold as well. Electrics work better in winter than the Phase-Change vest does in this summer heat and humidity. I can't take the clammy wet vests anymore. Add in smoke from the neighboring forest fires and crappy air quality and it ain't no cakewalk here.

Fwiw, that neon yellow AirShell thing on the S1000RR is far more tolerable than using it on the wind-blocking GT. In stopped traffic, the naked S does get a tad warm though. Got to keep it up around 50 MPH and it isn't bad at all (even cool) at 93 degrees splitting rush hour traffic in full gear. That's why I was sort of curious as to why the damn thing feels cool at 93 degrees over all the other gear I've collected over the years - it just reflects the heat very well and flows just enough air. That Gore-Tex stuff is a virtual sauna at 85 degrees to me. Even their ComfortShell isn't that comfortable at 93 degrees to me.

Maybe too much time.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 12:50 am
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Interesting little test. It was much hotter for my commute home to Santa Rosa yesterday (105) than today (90). Splitting traffic in my leather jacket sure had me wishing I had pulled the trigger on a Motoport stretch kevlar jacket. You know when you exhale and your breath feels cool it's fricken hot out!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 1:53 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sharkbait
... Splitting traffic in my leather jacket sure had me wishing I had pulled the trigger on a Motoport stretch kevlar jacket. You know when you exhale and your breath feels cool it's fricken hot out!
Got one, navy blue color and black pants, and I left it out as it's way too hot for me and it's not as snug as the ones shown in the test. More like an over-suit. The extra bulk bothers me and it seems to be a bit "heavy" to wear, if that's the right word. The 'Port suit just doesn't fit me as well even though it's tailor made compared to the off-the-rack BMW jackets and it's almost impossible to try and squeeze it into two bags. The tightness of their Kevlar weave doesn't breathe well either, imho. Looks like a really tight canvas cloth and no doubt would hold up well in a crash, but it's too darn hot, very heavy, and bulky for summer.

I left out the Gerbing's Cascade Extreme 4 Seasons jacket and pants too. Way too sauna-like (Gore-Tex in summer = yuck!) and it's not 4 seasons around here - maybe 3 at best. At 85+ it's a "No wear" much like a 'Stitch. Gerbing's stitching has nothing on the stitching of the 'Port though.

My only beef of the BMW AiirShell is their rain liner uses a stretchy fabric for the attaching loops along with snaps. The fabric is so stretchy that the snaps will pull through the fabric when trying to unsnap them. My dealer sent it off to Seattle, WA to the "BMW fix-it clothing place" under warranty and they replaced the stretchy fabric and snaps with a fabric that doesn't stretch nor do the snaps pull through. Much better now for a $500 jacket and liner (it also has the extra $50 back protector in it also).

Nice thing about the BMW jackets is they all zip onto their various pants too. Some universal thing they did I guess. No need for suspenders either.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 4:24 am
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An interesting approach to a problem I've been thinking about for a while but I think there are some other factors.

When we wear a jacket there is the heat source from our body added to which is the solar gain which is probably a lot more. When riding there will be more air flow all over, so some jackets may breath better not being laid on concrete. I'm not sure about using an IR gun, since the concrete underneath will be an IR emitter of heat. If the jackets were clear of the concrete and opened up in shape similar to a human torso as worn, then the air temperature of trapped air inside might make a better comparison.

It amazes me that motorcycle jackets are nearly always black which has the highest solar gain of any color. Do we like riding in black gear because it doesn't show the dirt? is it a hangover from leathers being black?

I have a Joe rocket mesh jacket and it's the nearest thing in Summer to wearing a string vest. But I don't think the tests here would do it justice because there isn't the same riding air flow.

This is an interesting starter thread because I'd like to see more done in the design of bike jackets to reduce solar absorption, whilst still allowing the jacket to breath. There are some very good 3M plastic films around now that would make an excellent heat reflecting under layer, but I don't know how you can get good airflow.

Just my 10c - thanks for starting the thread.



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 12:47 pm
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Thanks for the feedback on the MP Stretch kevlar. I have the 1000d Cordura overpants from them which flow a lot of air and thought the stretch kevlar might be equal with the air flow. Back to the drawing board I guess.

James

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2010, 1:16 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbait
Thanks for the feedback on the MP Stretch kevlar. I have the 1000d Cordura overpants from them which flow a lot of air and thought the stretch kevlar might be equal with the air flow. Back to the drawing board I guess.
You're welcome.

I got the heads-up on that as someone mentioned at the time I was going through their fitting process that Cordura and Velcro don't play well together. They had reported a lot of snagging and fabric fraying going on which sort of self-destructs the clothes over time. So I went the costlier Kevlar route on their advice, but that Kevlar of theirs is pretty darn tough stuff though. That tri-armor of theirs in mine is sort of interesting with the hard inner (nylon?) layer and it's quite large-size stuff (probably part of the weight and clothing bulk too). The BMW orange-colored armor molds to the body far better though once warm, more so when it gets warm like washing it in a tub of warm water during my biannual cleaning ritual. That extra $45 back piece in the AirShell is pretty thick (an inch?) and quite large too.


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