I haven't owned a ballistic 4.0 (thought I did just order the pants for my SO), but I have pretty much stuck to JR for all my riding gear.
If you are in the market for a jacket, you can't beat the JR Revolution. It is supposed to be a bit better than the Ballistic model. And the best thing is, they have been closed-out, and you can get them for only $129 at http://www.newenough.com.
I paid $269 for this jacket 2 years ago, and would pay it again. I am considering buying one at the $129 price, to have a replecement in a couple years when I wear my current one out.
At New Enough they are also having a "package deal" special, get the Revolution jacket ($129), and the B4.0 pants ($118) and get an extra $30 off!! With shipping included it is less than I paid for the jacket alone!
The Revolution is very comfortable, has a lot of bungee adjustments and a belt to get it snugged just the way it is comfortable for you.
One thing that concerned me is it has a "backpack" which stores in a pouch at the bottm of the back of the jacket. I was worried it would be uncomfortable against the back ot the 1800 seat. I bought the jacket anyway, with the intention of cutting out the backpack. But I don't even notice it, even after 40+ straight hours in the saddle. So don't give that a second thought.
It comes with a removeable fleece liner. It has vents in the sleeves, and back, but behind the GW fairing, they are of little use. It is a great three season jacket, but will get toasty in the summer. But there are plenty of great deals on mesh jackets for that!
We have a pair of Joe Rocket Ballistic (original, before the 2.0) both
jacket and pants. We are happy with the jackets, but neither of us
care much for the pants. Like Mike said, Jackets are great as a cool
weather gear jacket, and the vents are pretty worthless behing a
wing fairing. For Summer, including late spring and early fall, we have
gone to the Joe Rocket Phoenix jackets, and either add a liner (included)
for cool or wet morning or a Sahara for HOT days. Pants are a poor
cut and bind in wrong places. Carol hates hers. Both of us like the
jackets, both styles.
New Enough is where they came from, but they will not give refunds,
even on defective merchandise. They only give in-store credit.
I use a Joe Rocket...dont member the number ..its out in the garage and its raining..and I aint going there lol. i got it last year. I like it very much...a tad bulky to pack if you dont wanna wear it. but is very comfy even in high desert heat...riding of course..not stopped lol...aint too bad even when you are stopped.
You asked about gear in the Deep South. I have a JR somthing that has the armour. This is a full length touring jacket. I live in Birmingham and will shed it for my JR Phoenix some time in the Spring. This is not JR's fault just a fact of life. Even with the vents open there isn't enough air flow. All the plastic on the Wing is great for stopping the wind but makes for a hot ride.
I was wearing JR 3.0 Pants and Jacket when I was T-Boned Nov 13 2003
at 6:25 am The Motor Punkin was Totaled ($22500.00 to put it back on
the road) Bike slid 30ft from Impact sight, I slid 20ft. If the guy did not
hit me just where he did I would have walked away un-scathed. As soon as I got part of my setalment cash, I went right out and bought more Joe Rocket. For summer time riding, I use the Reactor jacket with phenix<sp> (Mesh) Pants.
The new textile clothes are great, much better than leather in my opinion. I dont think that you will find one style that will work in all conditions.
I have the 4.0 pants and Jacket, they are waterproof and work well from late fall to early Spring. During the warmer months they are way too hot, as they dont breath well. I have the JR Phoenix jacket and pants for summer wear and have the dry tech jacket liner which is waterproof but is hot. As others have said you can find good deals on these thru new enough .com and also thru Motorcycle closeouts .com.
I have the JR Meteor 4 jacket. I like it alot. I like it better than my leather jackets because it's lighter and is waterproof and with it's removable liner..it's very warm. I have found with it's liner zipped in it's as warm as any leather jacket I have had. The jacket has vents in the biceps of the arms and the lower back... The wrist area can be tighten or loosen by velco.... you open the wrist area and it's like a ram air effect with the incoming air entering the wrist area of the jacket and exiting through the vents in the bicep and lower back area. Works pretty good although jacket at least for me get hot at around 75 degrees even without it's liner.
I also have the pants that match the jacket. I like the pants... they are padded in the hips and lower back area with armor in the knees and have a full length leg zipper with a rubber seal over all the zippers so water won't wick through to get you wet after a long ride in the rain. My only complaint with the pants is they are really only a cold weather pants because at around 60 degrees they are hot for me.