Feb 23, 2006

What a mesh

Our weather is so hot and humid, especially in coastal Mumbai, that my riding kit is almost all mesh. I use a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket and pants combination daily and love it. The kit breathes better than most athletes and the integrated soft armour, plus there’s foam armour in the pockets. Which I’ve 'upgraded' with foam-backed plastic armour from an older motorcycle jacket. But the thing is no one, not even www.motorcyclegearreview.com knows if mesh gear works in a crash.

Well, I have a fair clue now. It isn’t as strong as a normal textile jacket, but it is far from useless. In my crash, the area just below the pockets on the pants touched down on tarmac. But instead of tearing or splitting, it 'melted' in situ. Which isn’t perfect, but if you were wearing one layer of clothes inside, you shouldn’t burn at all.

What I did learn is that helping the armour stay in place tightly helps a lot. I use four home-made hook-and-loop nylon straps to hold the armour in position, over the forearm/elbow and the knee/shin. Evidently, that works. The armour does not slide against skin and burn it. And stays where it provides maximum protection.

For street riding, and speeds up to 120kph, in weather like ours, mesh gear with proper armour should take care of most minor crashes. Should.

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