BMW Comfort Shell experiences? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2008, 12:14 pm Thread Starter
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BMW Comfort Shell experiences?

I'm shopping around for a new riding suit for my summer cross country ride. The BMW Comfort Shell has caught my eye. I tried one on today, and I found it to be fairly stiff right off the rack. The armor bits as well felt fairly hard, but the salesguy said it'd adapt some as it warmed up from body heat. (It's a cool day, 61 degrees outside, maybe 68 in the showroom.)

I really like the idea of a single suit for heat, cold, or rain. And it looks like it'll deliver, but of course they won't let me ride it before I buy it, and it's pretty hard to get an idea of how well the "air flow" thing works while standing in the showroom...

Has anyone had one of these for a while? How well does it break in? Does it breathe as advertised in the heat? How does it feel around the neck after it loosens up?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2008, 12:17 am
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I dished out a lot of money at Sierra BMW today and also bought the suit. I rode in in the Santiago which is a nice suit too with a lot more storage. At the store, I was sweating pretty good in the suit and couldn't wait to get the Santiago off. Suzette, who is part owner (I think), really knows her clothing stuff and weird BMW sizing issues. The Comfort Shell jacket was cooler while I wore it in the store. Pants seem a little taller on the hips while the jacket is shorter in length than the Sanitago. It must have worked tonight as I was riding around in the desert and while on I-80, I never thought about the temps. I had the neck closed and it didn't bother me. You can fold the Velcro flap back and stick it when you don't need it (BMW doesn't tell you a lot about operation of the gear).

I suspect it will soften up as did the Santiago once I wore it a season and washed it. Does seem a bit stiff when new, but at least it doesn't flap in the wind. Fewer pockets to carry stuff in. The pant's zipper area has a rain-flap attached to both sides that you need to tuck in so they aren't as good for quickie bathroom duty as say a Levi pants zipper area.

The armor is different. It molds to you. You can model it almost like clay - so it seems. Knee armor cups the knee much better. You can feel the material stretch in the back with the new CE rated orange armor in place.

Interesting part was a tall guy from Scandinavia who came in wearing he same suit. He had been in 20 degree up to 120 degrees in Death Valley wearing it during his western states tour. Said it never leaked in the rains in Washington state. My Santiago got a bit damp near Mammoth Lake, CA in some downpour, and although I had the Gore-Tex liners, you just don't want to take your pants off along the highway to put in the liner. He did say that it flowed more cold air and he stopped in to buy a windbreaker.

I did see the new, yet to be announced, BMW Advantage (?) 4 suite. Some specially treated Newbuck leather (like a thick suede) claimed to be 15-20 degrees cooler than regular black leather (it too is black), stretch panels, washable, with armor, etc. Cost was $899 for the jacket. No word about pant's price.

If this thing works, I can get rid of some liners and maybe just carry a thin shell windbreaker or a heated lining.

Mack
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2008, 12:52 am Thread Starter
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Bought one too

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
I dished out a lot of money at Sierra BMW today and also bought the suit.
Me too! I mentioned it to my wife and she wanted to go by Cal Moto and check it out tonight, so we did that, and I ended up plunking down money for the jacket and pants. While they had my jacket size (44L) in stock, my wife noticed a blemish in the material on that one, so they're ordering one for me which should be here next week. I took the pants home with me -- they're much more comfortable than my old Heine-Gericke riding pants.

I wore the jacket and pants for at least half an hour in the shop and was comfortable the whole time, pretty neat. My old pants had these cool pockets on the top of the thigh, easy to get to while sitting on the bike, for example to get out my credit card to pay for gas. I think I'll miss that, and the vents, but again the pants were comfortable so maybe not. But what really won me over was the idea of just one set of gear for all conditions. (And a good recommendation/review from a bmwlt.com reader.)

The armor is this pretty cool non-Newtonian stuff that stiffens under impact. I've got a snowboarding hat with the same material in it, and it seems to work out OK. (Though I wasn't willing to get hit in the head with a shovel to prove it!) Anyway, I feels a lot more robust than the foam "armor" in my old Heine-Gericke jacket.

I got the blue jacket. We both liked it better than the black one. If it came in red I think we'd have been all over that, but the blue is OK too ... with the black pants and the cu of the jacket it made me feel a little bit like I was on Star Trek TNG.

Then I came home and ordered a Schuberth C2 helmet from a shop in the UK and an Autocom setup. ...best get it all over with at once.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2008, 7:25 am
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I've had the ComfortShell suit for several months, and it is great. While it did feel a little stiff when new, it is now very comfortable, and the armor is the best I've owned. It really does "mold" to me and after a very few minutes, I don't even know it's there.

I have worn a one-piece Roadcrafter and a Rukka Air Power suit in the past, and bought a StreetGuard 2 prior to the CS. Great suits, but each with its limitations. While no suit is perfect, the ComfortShell comes very close, in my opinion. The material works as advertised, keeping me warm when the temps are low (just put my Gerbings on and I'm fine, even when it's in the 30s) and really "opens up" to keep me comfortable when it gets HOT. The material stretches a bit, so I never feel like I can't move, even with layers underneath. And while the collar looks like it could be a problem, I find it to be fine, whether it is closed or "open" as GMack described above.

The jacket and pants zip together easily, keeping the protection where it's supposed to be in the event of a slide. Fortunately, I haven't tested the protective capabilities of the suit, but I'm confident that it will perform well if I ever need it.

I hope you will be as happy with the suit as I am.

Bud
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2008, 9:30 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonafidebob
I got the blue jacket. We both liked it better than the black one. If it came in red I think we'd have been all over that, but the blue is OK too ... with the black pants and the cu of the jacket it made me feel a little bit like I was on Star Trek TNG.
Et tu?

I had to go to the bank after I bought it (damage control) and as I was standing in line, I noticed the color camera monitor overhead. Damn blue stuck out like a sore thumb compared to everyone else in line, even a lady in a blue sweater. Very bright!

I thought the black color may be a bit hotter and I cannot stand that living in the central San Joaquin Valley of CA where it gets up to 115 F at times. That new BMW Atlantis 4 coming out (from Bulgaria or Romania) supposedly is a cooler leather that BMW tested with infrared lamps and cameras to see how much cooler than leather it really is.

Fwiw, Suzette at Sierra BMW says that BMW changes their colors every two years and the overall design every 4 years. They move a lot of clothing out of their store. They told me a Chinese lady in Canada buys a lot of BMW clothes at a time online - like $10K worth. Must be selling them somewhere.

Mack
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2008, 9:13 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
I did see the new, yet to be announced, BMW Advantage (?) 4 suite. Some specially treated Newbuck leather (like a thick suede) claimed to be 15-20 degrees cooler than regular black leather (it too is black), stretch panels, washable, with armor, etc. Cost was $899 for the jacket. No word about pant's price.
Mack
BMW Atlantis 4. Got one about 4 weeks ago, and while it hasn't rained, it's been a better suit than the Savanah II I normally use.

Savanah and Santiago are pretty much the same style of suit and they need a gortex liner t make them rain-proof. Thing is, the Savanah weighs a ton when you've been in enough rain to soak the suit. It's good in the summer up to about 110ºF as there's a lot of airflow available. It also has a lot of pockets to put things.

It's been unusually cool here in the S.F. Bay Area for this time of year, and while I'm using the Savanah pants, the Atlantis jacket has been what I've been wearing to keep the cool weather out. Got the Atlantis primarily because I don't like the liner-solution for rain, and the rain-oversuit is a PITA. It's a long process to put on in a dry foyer, and really restricts my head movement because it's compressing the jacket under it and I haven't figured out how to re-arrange things so I can turn my head 90º without letting go of the bars. Atlantis jacket also zips around the pants at least 75%. Rain flap behind the pant zipper is a chore to deal with, but I guess keeping the crotch dry in the rain is a higher priority.

Washing instructions? Washing machine on gentle cycle. Hang to dry. Pants are $699.

Don't know when it's going to rain again, but it'll be tested when it does.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 2008, 10:30 am
 
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I've had my CS for 6 months. Live in WA and have been in 40 degree temps with rain to upper 80's in sun. This is the suit I wear for both conditions and I love it. It works great and is very comfortable. I also have a set of Vanson Leathers that I use for weather in the 70's - not because the CS doesn't work just because I love the feel of leather. You will not go wrong with this suit. You obviously need to layer underneath for the appropriate conditions. Hope this helps.
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