Hello again everyone,
A couple of weeks ago I tried on a Joe Rocket one piece suit but it just did not fit, so I decided to try one of the two piece outfits and quickly settled on the Ballistic Revolution jacket & the Ballistic pants, for three reasons, one if not getting a one piece suit I wanted to get a 3/4 length coat to prevent unintended exposure of my midriff section to freezing cold & fast moving asphalt, two the pants were the only ones I could find in the lower end of the price range with a true short inseam of 30″, and three the price was right. Yes unfortunately the price does matter, but the general consensus found in my research is that the Joe Rocket stuff will save your skin as well as anything else if you are comfortable wearing it. I am comfortable in this outfit, but quite frankly I hope to never test it’s protective abilities.
I like Hi-Viz colors!
Since the vendor that I bought the Survivor suit from was out of stock on the pants, I went over to good old reliable denniskirk.com and ordered this set. I placed my order on a Wednesday or Thursday (CRS* kicking in sorry) and the following Monday it was delivered, plus it was a dollar cheaper too.
Some folks might be put off by the high visibility colors shown here but this jacket is available in other color schemes & solid black. As for me I want the drivers of the cages that attempt to kill me to admit that they were deliberately trying to murder me without being able to soothe their consciences by saying, “I didn’t see him.”
I bought this outfit with my own funds and paid full retail price & plan to keep it as long as it works. What this means for you is that I don’t owe anybody any favors so if it screws up, I will tell you the whole truth about my experiences. So far I have worn this outfit while riding in temperatures ranging from 28°F (-2°C) to 72°F (22°C) and I am happy to report that once I got in and get everything zipped up & buttoned down it was actually reasonably warm & comfy for my 30 mile commute in the wee hours of the morning. Yesterday was unseasonably warm for December and as I was leaving the office I was worried that it would be too hot with the liners in place but it was okay once I got moving. Leaving the front zipper 1/3 the way down resulted in the wind entering the front of the coat with a sort of parachute effect that separated the fabric from my torso, greatly aiding my comfort. Whether this was by design or just a result of my particular riding style/body shape combination I do not know. As a package so far it works well, but getting into it and out of it is a little more involved than a one piece or plain leather jacket & pants or chaps combo.
This outfit is supposed to be water resistant but I have no plans to put that to the test. When I get caught out in the rain I’ll come back & let you know how it does.
Now lets talk about the individual pieces, the Ballistic Revolution jacket is a really good example of bang for the buck. It has CE approved armor for your elbows & shoulders. There is a foam spine pad but it is just that a dense foam pad. It can be easily removed & replaced with an approved spine protector if you so desire. Joe Rocket calls their exterior shell fabric RockTex which is similar to most other heavy duty abrasion resistant synthetics. It has five outside pockets. With the liner in you have four interior pockets including a nice vertical zippered pocket on the left side, that is just the right size to hold something small like a Walther PPK in it. Anything the least bit larger has to go somewhere else. Once you take the liner out there is only one pocket inside, and I wouldn’t put much in it.
The 2xl size fit my large frame well and the sleeves were the right length and large enough in diameter so that my arms fit inside and I could still bend them. Being a 3/4 length means that it is adaptable to a variety of motorcycle riding positions and it is easy enough to get in an out of. It is not perfect and I have a couple of quibbles, first the velcro style closure for the neck leaves something to be desired. I guess this comes from being built to a price point, but the neck closure needs to be redesigned with either a larger tab to give the hook and loop fabric they currently use a larger gripping surface or to switch to a stronger grade of material for this one spot since it is the only one where the velcro actually has to hold something in place as opposed to keeping a flap closed. It would also be nice to have the good inside pockets without the liner installed. It’s too early for me say anything about the long term quality or durability but right out of the box I am impressed.
These pants that I ordered are the Ballistic 7.0 size 2xl short. Joe Rocket list the short inseam as being 30″ which means that with my boots on they are just barely off the floor when I am standing straight up. When the liner is in you have to be very careful zipping the leg closures down or the zipper will catch the fabric of the liner & jam. When the weather warms up & I remove the liner this problem will be resolved but for now I am just being very careful not to jam the zippers. Walking around the house it feels as if the knee pads are way to low but once I sit on the bike they cradle my knee & shins perfectly. There was no problem putting these pants on over my triple e wide work boots. As with the jacket there are a couple of relatively minor complaints, the biggest complaint is the fact that you really have to be careful of the liner & storm flaps when zipping up the pants as the zippers will grab them and jam pretty easily if you are not careful. If you know you are going to be needing your wallet or house keys etc. you need to transfer them to the pockets of these pants or your coat. They could have put in a zipper to reach into your street clothes but that would have been one more potential entry point for cold air or rain so it’s no big deal, until you get to the gas station and have to unzip your coat and pants to get your money out.
So far my impressions are great and I would feel comfortable recommending that you try the jacket, the pants, or both if you are in the market for protective gear. Just purchase from a reputable vendor with an easy return or exchange program just in case it really doesn’t fit you well. If by some chance either piece falls down on the job I will be sure to come back here & let you know all about it.
(*Can’t Remember Shit)