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On my first long distance motorcycle trip (PA to TX) back in 1982, I wore t-shirts and sleeveless t-shirts and thought it was fine. Of course my touring had just begun and I was on an '82 Suzuki 1000L that I equipped with a plexiglas windshield, plus I was only 27! While in TX I noticed that my one friend always wore either a long sleeved shirt or a denim jacket on the very hot days so I asked him why? He told me about his experiences riding in heat and that he learned that covering up from the sun helps not only keep you cooler but also enables you to ride longer. I tried it on the remainder of the trip and have been doing it ever since.

Fast forward to 2017 while in the local Cycle Gear store picking up some gloves and looking at other gear and getting a riding jacket for my wife, I noticed Heat-Out t-shirts and underpants on sale, half off, so, I asked the clerk about them, thought they were a great idea and bought a couple pairs and he, very kindly threw in a couple more. I think they were the end of that iteration and they were getting rid of the them to make room for the newest version. At any rate, I did not go a day on that 2017 loop from PA to MT without them with a long sleeved denim shirt on top. You see, I was never much on motorcycle riding gear, I thought it was too much on top of my clothes.

Now that I'm preparing for a ride across Canada (if they let me in next July-fingers crossed!) and up to Alaska, I'm actually looking at riding gear and just learned that the best gear, like the Klim stuff, et. al., is meant to be worn right over your base layer! Who knew!! Now it makes more sense to me and I'm SERIOUSLY considering it. I like the idea of the protection from rain already built into the gear so I won't have to stop and try to get rain gear on over my other clothes while it's raining. I also see the wisdom in the more controlled venting, when needed. What I am wondering though is, if I get something like a Klim Apex or Latitude jacket in the proper size for me, will it still allow me to put an additional warmer layer under it in the even we hit a cold front in the Canadian Rockies or Alaska?

The Klim Apex and Latitude are the two Klim jackets I'm considering and the Firstgear Kilimanjaro is an option too but are there other comparable or maybe even better options out there? Let me qualify that by saying that the Klim gear is at the top of my budget which, considering that in my 50+ years of street riding I've never purchased this kind of gear, I don't feel I'm being cheap at all. Just the same, I don't want to spend more than that and would prefer to spend less, if I can but don't want to be cheap and wish I'd have spent a little more. The Klim gear, from what I can gather, is excellent and worth the price so I'm good with that if better or equal options costing less are not available.

There are some threads on some of the gear mentioned but, based on the dates of the posts, they are not about the latest versions of these jackets, which is what I'd be purchasing, so I'd like opinions on the latest versions, if at all possible, please.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions, I appreciate it as the more input I have from others, the more info I have to make an informed decision based on my wants and needs.
 

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@nelsress, yes, there is room for an extra layer or two. If there isn't, you bought too small or your layer(s) are silly thich. They aren't meant to be skin tight.

Speaking of layers, while you're at it, buy a heated liner. Particularly for the kind of trip you're talking about. It's another game changer.

My Go To kit for year round, 20 degrees to 120 degrees, is an unlined textile shell (Darien and AD1 for me, but there are many) and thin base layer. For cold, add heated jacket liner and socks. For wet, put on glove covers. For extreme heat, I have a doo rag, a scarf, and some sleeves that I can soak and get evaporative cooling. It does away with tons of excess clothing.
 

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Can't beat First Gear, especially with a thin heated liner.

Having the breathable waterproof layer on the outside, and room for a thermal or heated liner on the inside is perfect.

I don't understand the clothing that has a waterproof liner on the inside. Now your jacket and pants are soaked, heavy, and whatever was in your pockets is probably wet.
 
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Thanks, I'm looking at heated liners now too! :) I'm not sure where I would plug them in though, it doesn't appear that Honda put any accessory plugs anywhere but in my trunk (2018 Airbag model-no "glove box") so I suppose I'll have to have one or two installed. (y)
 

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Can't beat First Gear, especially with a thin heated liner.

Having the breathable waterproof layer on the outside, and room for a thermal or heated liner on the inside is perfect.

I don't understand the clothing that has a waterproof liner on the inside. Now your jacket and pants are soaked, heavy, and whatever was in your pockets is probably wet.
I agree about where the waterproof layer is. As I understand it, Klim has their GoreTex layer on the outside too, correct? EDIT: (The GoreTex in the Klim is laminated to the inside of the outer layer. That works for me.)I've also been using GoreTex "stuff" since it came out and know nothing about the FirstGear's waterproof material, other than I've heard that it's "the closest thing to GoreTex" which leads me to infer that GoreTex is still better. Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions? Thanks again.
 

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I have experienced true Gore-Tex brand and several other "same or better" brands of waterproofing. Nice when new but even when properly cared for and treated, their waterproofing but evaporation properties will lessen.

I also think placing the waterproof liner inside the jacket seems counterintuitive but have not actually experienced how well (or not) this works.

I sometimes find it easier to just wear a fleece layer rather than hook up heated gear but use both.

I have owned a couple Firstgear jackets and they seemed fine. The fit on me was useable but not perfect. I tried on several KLIM jackets and found they run small. Suggest a try on before buying.

I felt that the price of those two KLIM jackets was high for a mass produced foreign jacket. I could buy a Motoport Cordura or even Kevlar for that price. I could also buy Aerostitch with Gore-Tex. Either of those companies would tailor to my fit and they are made in U.S.A.
 
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Interesting, I thought the Klim garments were made in Idaho! Thanks for that info, depending on where they're made would make a difference to me.
The ones I tried on at a BMW dealership had tags from Indonesia and Thailand if I remember correctly. Those could be towns in Idaho I suppose.
 

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@nelsress I am a Klim fan, I got tired of pulling over to change into rain gear here in FL and other places. I don't have to bulk up in winter layers, I just wear the heated jacket liner and heated pant liners dial in my comfort zone. I'm good to go year-round with the Klim Lattitude and Klim Badlands pants. I also have Klim Outlander Boots with GoreTex love them. In the brutal heat of various regions of the country I have a Veskimo cooling vest and vent the Klim Lattitude to create my own micro cooling environment. It was costly but the material works as described. I figure on many years of use and carrying less when out on the road. Just do your research and make a decision that works for you and your budget. ;)
 

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I have experienced true Gore-Tex brand and several other "same or better" brands of waterproofing. Nice when new but even when properly cared for and treated, their waterproofing but evaporation properties will lessen.

I also think placing the waterproof liner inside the jacket seems counterintuitive but have not actually experienced how well (or not) this works.

I sometimes find it easier to just wear a fleece layer rather than hook up heated gear but use both.

I have owned a couple Firstgear jackets and they seemed fine. The fit on me was useable but not perfect. I tried on several KLIM jackets and found they run small. Suggest a try on before buying.

I felt that the price of those two KLIM jackets was high for a mass produced foreign jacket. I could buy a Motoport Cordura or even Kevlar for that price. I could also buy Aerostitch with Gore-Tex. Either of those companies would tailor to my fit and they are made in U.S.A.
The Motoport Cordura has a removeable, waterproof liner, not laminated GoreTex, otherwise I really like what I read about their jackets from both a material and a workmanship standpoint and the price was quite good too, compared to the Aerostitch and the Klim. I find this a lot, I find great stuff that has different strengths that I'm looking for but not all in one! :) All of these options are quite good and, obviously head and shoulders above my typical "touring apparel". :cool:

I think I'm going to give the Motoport jacket a try and see how I like the liner system setup. I spoke with them today and they were very helpful. Obviously I can't try theirs on before I buy, them being in CA and me in PA, plus it's custom made. Based on the comments and reviews, I think it's worth a try. Thanks everyone for the input, I appreciate it and any still forthcoming. Cheers!
 

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According to customer service at Motoport, the Cordura Ultra II material is Teflon coated and dries in minutes. The liner does not need to be zipped in, according to him, you remove the jacket, put on the liner then put the jacket back on. Takes "seconds". If you're expecting rain it can be zipped in but it isn't necessary.

I asked him about the pocket contents getting wet and he admitted that water does get through the jacket and is then stopped by the waterproof liner. There is at least one pocket in the liner that is waterproof.

Putting on a rain suit over a riding suit seems more of a hassle than putting on a light weight liner, I've been doing it since my first trip, which is why I too liked the idea of a GoreTex jacket. The pros of the Motoport, in my opinion, outweigh the cons of needing to use a liner, and I'm only talking about the Cordura Ultra II which I'm considering.

If you're talking about the Kevlar Ultra II, the benefits increase even more, but I'm not choosing that route myself.
 

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It is the time of year in which a lot of people are discussing how to stay cool on their motorcycle. I have to chime in about what works for me for long-distance riding. Many of you have seen this before from my friend Bubba1.

I used to wear mesh jackets or no jackets with t-shirts, and tried gimmicks such as ice-pack vests trying to stay comfortable. I tried to get more cooling air flow. Nothing worked well, and I figured that was just part of the motorcycle experience.

Staying cool for short rides was easy even in 100º F. weather. I could wear a phase-change vest under my jacket and stay reasonably comfortable for about an hour. I would then have to re-freeze the cooling packs in order to ride for another hour. I wanted some way to stay comfortable on long-distance rides.

I saw many posts by a forum member Bubba1 from Arizona who espoused a different tactic for long-distance hot weather comfort. Bubba1 wanted me to throw away my mesh gear, my cotton t-shirts, my blue jeans and tighty-whity underwear. He told me what the serious long-distance Iron Butt riders wear. These guys compete in an 11-day rally in July all over the entire United States, riding over 11,000 miles in all kinds of weather so they must know something. I decided to at least listen. Now, that’s the background for the following post.

There is a system for staying comfortable, and it all works together.

Start with a base layer of wicking underwear. Avoid cotton tighty-whities and t-shirts. The wicking underwear will also have the advantage of not feeling clammy when it gets wet in a rain. It’ll help keep you cool, but dry. I use Underarmor underwear and LD Comfort long-sleeve t-shirts when it gets hot here in Southeast Texas. There are lots of good choices as long as the drawers are seamless and don’t absorb moisture.

Wear good textile riding gear over the base layer. You want gear that will let you control the air flow.

When trying to stay cool in hot weather you DO NOT want to wear high-flow open mesh clothes that pass a lot of air through. You should be trying to protect your body from the hot air for the same reasons that firemen wear heavy protective gear. A high-flow mesh jacket on a 95º F. day will cook you like a convection oven. My present gear is MotoPort stretch Kevlar, but I don’t think the brand name is important for this purpose. My heavy First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket was a great year-round jacket too.

Your body has its’ own natural cooling system, that of perspiration, or sweat. Too much air flow will just blow the sweat away without allowing it to evaporate and cool your body. You want to allow a little air flow to come in through the sleeves and exit through the vents in the back. You’ll eventually find the right combination of sleeve opening and vent opening to make it work. I don’t worry about air flow through the pants as long as I can keep my head and my core cool.

As for keeping the head cool, wear a full-face helmet or a modular helmet with the shield down to keep the wind off your face and head. I have a bad habit of riding with my modular helmet open, but when it gets hot the face shield goes down. It really helps. I’ve also used and highly recommend a wicking helmet liner such as those by LD Comfort or Heat Out, etc.

Finally, if it is still too hot just add water. If possible soak the entire LD Comfort shirt and helmet liner, then cover up with the heavy textile gear. Allow just enough air flow to slowly evaporate the water, and you’ll stay cool for an hour or so. At least pour a little water down the sleeves so that the air coming in through the sleeves will be cooled and circulate around your core on the way out the back vents.

This method works FOR ME in both hot humid Southeast Texas and in hot and dry desert conditions. It is not as comfortable as riding in an air-conditioned car, but I still can ride my motorcycle fairly comfortably on long-distance rides in July and August.

Here is a link to the definitive document on staying cool in hot weather. This is from the IBA website, and explains the science behind why one should cover up in hot weather.

www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/ironbutt_1002_62-66_hot.pdf
I use the LD gear, but I am partial to leathers. I have worn a Dianese 2 piece full armored set for the last 10 years plus, and just this Fall replaced with the Transit 3 fully armored set of leathers by Aerostich. The reason for the switch is it is waterproof and I do not have to stop to put on rain gear anymore. They fit great.

I have soaked my LD comfort long sleeve top, rode through 110 degree weather in southern Idaho. Gotten off the bike to fill up, and when I unzip the jacket get chilled by the sudden cooling of the top. It works amazingly well. I used to have a one piece aerostich Roadcrafter suit. It just wasn't for me. My Wife has the 2 piece Road Crafter and she loves it.

I also use Dri-Fit socks and underware. Costco sells some stuff called 32 degree that is cheap, thin and light so you can use is for a base layer under the LD comfort top. They come in short sleeve and long sleeve. I carry one extra long sleeve to use for layering. I have layered up a few times on rides in Alaska. All of the layers can be hand washed and dray quickly over night so you can minimize how many you carry on a trip.
 

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Helmet color matters. We have white helmets here in the Sunshine State of course. Someone posted a video years ago with two helmets of the same model, full face, in the sun, one white and one black and the probe in the black helmet had about a 10 degree higher teperature.

I went for about a 225 mile ride a coule days ago (11 Oct 20). Weather in the 90s with the usual Florida humidity and some showers. I left the mesh jacket in the trunk. I wore a long sleeve, polyesyter/cotton shirt. No problems! Usually we are ATGATT but I figured there was a less than a 1% chance of going down and a near 100% chance of hot and humid that day. Also kept the windshield up, vent closed and vents under the turnsignals closed. There is still a breeze but the sweat has a chance to do a little cooling before evaporating.

I'm not that impressed with LD underwear. There is an annoying elastic band on the upper legs. I find either polyester or Bamboo underwear to work for me.

I let as little of my skin be exposed to the sun as possible. The parts that do get exposed get a 50 SPF lotion. I lost an uncle to skin cancer and the end days were not pleseant.

But of course everyone's experience is different.
 

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Update:

Okay, instead of purchasing the Motoport when I said I was going to, I dug deeper, found as much info as I could and talked with other riders. What I ended up with was the Klim Apex Black XL jacket. Klim is apparently discontinuing this jacket so dealers are now selling them at $650, which seemed very high to me but they originally retailed in the $800 range so, I got a deal? :)

Anyway, the jacket arrived yesterday and I have to say that I'm very impressed with it upon close examination and trying it on and wearing it around the house for a while. It is well made and I'm very glad I opted for the Apex for several reasons but one being that by everyone's estimation, it was a "lighter" jacket than the Latitude, Carlsbad or Badlands Pro. Lighter!!?? LOL For a guy who's been riding his entire "touring career" with a long sleeved denim shirt as his usual "jacket" in the heat of the summer all over the US, this thing sure felt heavy to me!!

To all the guys who have said that it's too much money for a jacket that's mostly 200 denier Cordura, I'll say that I'm actually thankful for the 200 denier Cordura in the non-abrasion/impact areas or this thing would weigh a ton! The 840 denier on those high impact/high abrasion areas is quite good and the armoring in this jacket, IMO, is great.

For me, one of the biggest reasons I initially was leaning towards the Apex jacket was the Gore-Tex Pro used in its construction. I've been a fan of Gore-Tex since the late 70's-early 80's and getting into rain gear in a hurry on the side of the road has gotten increasingly, shall I say, challenging! So, I thought that the highly acclaimed venting of the Apex, along with the excellent waterproofing of Gore-Tex Pro, the three layer laminated process and the top of the line Gore-Tex option, was the perfect combination.

Also factoring in my decision was the fact that so many people kept saying that Klim's sizing was for "big men" (paraphrased due to memory loss) which, for me, sounded okay as I'm one of those "big-boned" guys :ROFLMAO: myself (5'10", 225, with a 48" chest). Going by Klim's sizing chart, I determined that their XL should be perfect for my purposes because, though I am at the top range of their chest diameter dimension for the XL, I don't do much cold weather riding, and wouldn't need the room for heavy layers. When I got it and tried it on, they were correct, it fit me very well with enough room for any layering I'd likely use.

I got lucky and found a brand new, never used, pair of the Klim Torrent pants in my size and got them as well. They've been discontinued but were the recommended riding pant to pair with the Apex when they were a current model. They too are Gore-Tex Pro as well so I think I'll now (FINALLY!!) be adequately protected and, I'm hoping/expecting? to be a little more comfortable as well.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but thank you all for contributing to this on-going conversation, which helps a lot of guys, young and old, inexperienced and experienced, make more informed/better choices.
 

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It is the time of year in which a lot of people are discussing how to stay cool on their motorcycle. I have to chime in about what works for me for long-distance riding. Many of you have seen this before from my friend Bubba1.

I used to wear mesh jackets or no jackets with t-shirts, and tried gimmicks such as ice-pack vests trying to stay comfortable. I tried to get more cooling air flow. Nothing worked well, and I figured that was just part of the motorcycle experience.

Staying cool for short rides was easy even in 100º F. weather. I could wear a phase-change vest under my jacket and stay reasonably comfortable for about an hour. I would then have to re-freeze the cooling packs in order to ride for another hour. I wanted some way to stay comfortable on long-distance rides.

I saw many posts by a forum member Bubba1 from Arizona who espoused a different tactic for long-distance hot weather comfort. Bubba1 wanted me to throw away my mesh gear, my cotton t-shirts, my blue jeans and tighty-whity underwear. He told me what the serious long-distance Iron Butt riders wear. These guys compete in an 11-day rally in July all over the entire United States, riding over 11,000 miles in all kinds of weather so they must know something. I decided to at least listen. Now, that’s the background for the following post.

There is a system for staying comfortable, and it all works together.

Start with a base layer of wicking underwear. Avoid cotton tighty-whities and t-shirts. The wicking underwear will also have the advantage of not feeling clammy when it gets wet in a rain. It’ll help keep you cool, but dry. I use Underarmor underwear and LD Comfort long-sleeve t-shirts when it gets hot here in Southeast Texas. There are lots of good choices as long as the drawers are seamless and don’t absorb moisture.

Wear good textile riding gear over the base layer. You want gear that will let you control the air flow.

When trying to stay cool in hot weather you DO NOT want to wear high-flow open mesh clothes that pass a lot of air through. You should be trying to protect your body from the hot air for the same reasons that firemen wear heavy protective gear. A high-flow mesh jacket on a 95º F. day will cook you like a convection oven. My present gear is MotoPort stretch Kevlar, but I don’t think the brand name is important for this purpose. My heavy First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket was a great year-round jacket too.

Your body has its’ own natural cooling system, that of perspiration, or sweat. Too much air flow will just blow the sweat away without allowing it to evaporate and cool your body. You want to allow a little air flow to come in through the sleeves and exit through the vents in the back. You’ll eventually find the right combination of sleeve opening and vent opening to make it work. I don’t worry about air flow through the pants as long as I can keep my head and my core cool.

As for keeping the head cool, wear a full-face helmet or a modular helmet with the shield down to keep the wind off your face and head. I have a bad habit of riding with my modular helmet open, but when it gets hot the face shield goes down. It really helps. I’ve also used and highly recommend a wicking helmet liner such as those by LD Comfort or Heat Out, etc.

Finally, if it is still too hot just add water. If possible soak the entire LD Comfort shirt and helmet liner, then cover up with the heavy textile gear. Allow just enough air flow to slowly evaporate the water, and you’ll stay cool for an hour or so. At least pour a little water down the sleeves so that the air coming in through the sleeves will be cooled and circulate around your core on the way out the back vents.

This method works FOR ME in both hot humid Southeast Texas and in hot and dry desert conditions. It is not as comfortable as riding in an air-conditioned car, but I still can ride my motorcycle fairly comfortably on long-distance rides in July and August.

Here is a link to the definitive document on staying cool in hot weather. This is from the IBA website, and explains the science behind why one should cover up in hot weather.

www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/ironbutt_1002_62-66_hot.pdf
What I wear when it’s 90 plus is wicking top and my standard motorcycle jacket zipped up but with all the vents open, I’ll put the wetted top on and zip up occasionally unzipping to pour some water from my mug in also I wear a bandanna filled with beads around my neck that swells with water same kind the forestry fire fighters wear when I stop I get a cup with ice let the bandanna soak and when ready to go put it on .. chilly.. also wear a scarf covering my face to prevent burns, blue jeans and biker boots, do 8000 mile trips and works for me on my 01
 

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I'll throw in another point of contention, since this is a thread about riding while staying cool. The thread is appropriate as we enjoy here in southern Arizona 110°F / 43°C high temperatures - for a week. Yeah - lows will be around 80°F / 26°C or even a bit higher just as the sun rise happens in the morning. We suffer with this in the summer to avoid that cold, wet, white stuff in the winter. It's a trade-off... 🌞

I post this after I saw somewhere online about a gent that was complaining about how well (or, not so well...) LDComfort base gear worked - under his jeans while he was riding.

Um, again, no airflow means they really won't do what they were designed to do. Wicking moisture off your skin so that the airflow between the garment and the jacket/pants you're wearing works.

Now, for the 'why didn't I think of that?' part of the discussion.

Most everyone will get the LDC long sleeve shirt, and do what's been mentioned here in this thread. When the temps really start cranking up, a little water on the sleeves and with some airflow, you have your own evaporative cooler for your torso. It works well, yet it does take a bit of experimentation to learn the technique.

Have you ever done the same thing with the LDC long-johns? Certainly is a bit counter-intuitive until you have gear that you can get a small amount of airflow below your waist - even if you have to stand for a few seconds.

Yep, it works.

Just another satisfied LDC customer., YMMV, and any other necessary caveats applied.
 
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I wet down the long johns also under my roadcrafter 1 piece suit. I also put my feet way out on the highway pegs together more airflow.
 

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We did a trip to Texas in 2019 during the hottest days of summer. Rode in 95 plus temperatures. I certainly agree with layers covering up from direct sun ray. Used an evaporative vest worked well stopped at
Buc-ee’s hydrated the vest drank water rode on.. I’m curious what materials are the LDC shorts made of?
 
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