First Gear Kilimanjaro

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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby R4R&R » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:15 am

OK, back onto the original topic (I know, I'm not much fun). I had an original FG Kili jacket, bought new back in '98. Great jacket - got my money's worth. That jacket was 'old tech' since it had a goretex membrane inbetween the outer and inner layers of the jacket, but it made it WATERPROOF in some unbelievable rains, and for many, many miles (I think I had about 90,000 miles on that jacket). In the 10 years I used it, I never treated it for waterproofness - it never needed it. Eventually some of the seams came loose after flapping in the wind for so long and started leaking. I was not disappointed in it - it lasted a long time. So I thought I would get a replacement Kili. Apparently version "2" came out and there were enough complaints to FG about the new design, that they released version 3 shortly after, which was a re-vamped version 1 with 'newer' technology. Lucky me - I got a deal on version 3 and it was a similar layout (pockets/vents/padding), but didn't have to membrane in the jacket. This was a different design in the material, which apparently needs re-treatment to maintain it's effectiveness in rain. The jacket started leaking in a relatively short period of time (a little less than a year). The leaks have gotten worse, and the jacket is about as effective as a summer mesh jacket in the rain. I have to wear rain gear over or under the Kili. I've re-treated it multiple times with Nikwax after the receommendation from calling Firstgear and no change. The arms actually fill up with water in a decent rain, and it doesn't take much more than a drizzle to get my arms/torso wet. I too need a new jacket but am leary of buying Firstgear again until I hear about the long-term reliability of their jackets firsthand from other riders. When I tried calling them for 'support' or repainrs on their jacket, they were amazed and dumbfounded; they didn't know what to say other than "re-treat with Nikwax (which I did without any better results). I was looking for even a 'trade-in' credit or something to keep me with Firstgear but they didn't want any part of it. Maybe I'll try calling them again and see if anything can be done.

Anyway, I would LOVE to hear about the performance of your new jacket in the rain, especially six months from now.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:42 am

BMRGirl wrote:I know I'm going to be nuts here but I'm curious....

1 What other jackets did you compare it to?

2 Why did you pick this jacket?

3 What new improvements?

4 Did you buy it online or locally?

5 Was price a factor?

I have been looking for new riding gear and there's so much out there that I get over whelmed. I HATE to dish out so much money for something that isn't the "right" thing. Right now, I'm wearing my "CUTE" little Joe Rocket but that's also because it fits so nicely. I need a REAL jacket. :mrgreen:

Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Your input is very helpful!


1 Everything. Narrowed it down to this and the Olympia AST. If I had the time and decided the jacket was better, I'd have gone to Deluth to be fitted because they don't make women's sizes, but neither of those is the case so the Kili wins!

2 Overall it seemed to be a better choice for me. I think also that having had a Kili and been very happy with it helped. Also, I knew that the longevity of First Gear stuff is terrific given my own experience. I am still wearing my very first pair of motorcycle pants 10 years later - First Gear. And they're great. I have a paperclip as a zipper pull and some tears in the leg zipper cover flap thingy from a dog encounter, but other than a little fading, they're GREAT! Now I love my Olympia Airglide stuff, but the longevity isn't there. I've had a couple minor but disappointing things with the Olympia and so I feel like First Gear has done right by me and I trusted their product.

3 FAR better and numerous pockets. The previous version had these stupid pockets that were too small to get your hand in. Better zippers. I don't know the technical term for them, but they're a big improvement. The fabric is nicer. The liner is a snazzy jacket all on its own.

4 Online. Would have bought at a local dealer if anyone in my area that I frequent carried it. Was VERY disappointed that Bob stopped carrying First Gear. His business, his choice of course.

5 Not really. If I thought a $600 jacket was really superior, I'd have bought it. I just don't think that's the case at all. I've looked at the higher end stuff and it doesn't impress me at all.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:32 pm

Oh and I got douched down pretty good yesterday and stayed bone dry underneath. Even under my 10 year old First Gear pants!

It rained VERY hard for about 30 miles and then very steady for another 20 or so. Of course, she needs more of a test than that to be declared wonderful, but I'm confident!
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby BMWGirl » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:10 pm

Thanks for the info, Kitty. I've been looking for a new jacket for a while now. I've been looking hard at the new BMW jacket and then bouncing back and forth on others. I appreciate the info from you.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:29 am

Yeah, the BMW stuff is nice and I've heard good things about them. I didn't have BMW in my final selection group because I just didn't think the price tag was a reflection of the value... So I guess, in a way, price WAS a factor. But like I said, if I thought that jacket was truly superior, I'd have considered it, but I don't think you'll be disappointed with the BMW gear. Does it come in purple this year? :D
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby ERC Scott » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:47 am

If buying second-hand isn't an issue, I've found some considerable discounts on used gear at ADV Rider. I've seen lightly used Rallye 2 Pro jackets and the like sold at several hundred $ discounts. First Gear items are fairly frequent, too. I'm keeping an eye out for some off-roadish boots in my size. Scott
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:45 pm

Got rained on pretty seriously Friday on my way to NH and again today on my way back. The jacket is stil great. I thought it was leaking, but realized that I left the underarm vents open! Not much water came in though. This was SERIOUS rain. NJ turnpike crawling at 30 mph, everyone with flashers on. The pants still do pretty well, but I don't think anything will be totally waterproof (except a plastic bag) when you're sitting in water. My toes got wet, I think I need to treat my boots.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Maria V » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:34 am

Nancy, any new feedback after wearing this for 11+ days in all kinds of weather?
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Blaster229 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:53 am

M
Last edited by Blaster229 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:27 pm

Maria V wrote:Nancy, any new feedback after wearing this for 11+ days in all kinds of weather?



Frigging awesome! Love it!! The pockets on the lower front will fill up with water if you don't close them properly, which isn't easy to do. But the jacket is great. The venting could be better, but I've had that to say about every jacket I've ever had.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Deano » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:09 pm

New Enough has some Kili jackets on closeout for $109. Apparently, they have some unpopular colors:

http://www.newenough.com/protective_app ... acket.html
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby BMWGirl » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:27 pm

that's awesome!! I'm ordering a purple one!!
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby ChaseH » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:08 pm

I have a sand Kilimanjaro and enjoy it. Not for the hotest of temps, but comfy for all others. I love the fleecy collar, as the collar on my lighter jacket is a constant iritant. It would be a bit improved if it had a few features: an arm pocket for easy cash, easy pass, or other access; and port for wire or fluids. Minor details. I haven't found that any of the pockets are very accessible while riding, and the armor is very impressive, so much so that the shoulders interfere with my full face helmet when looking over my shoulder if I'm a bit shlumped and not careful.
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby Hello Kitty » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:16 pm

BMWGirl wrote:that's awesome!! I'm ordering a purple one!!


So, what you're saying is that purple is an unpopular color? :lol: :lol:
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Re: First Gear Kilimanjaro

Postby IAMBOB » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:28 pm

Hello Kitty wrote:Got rained on pretty seriously Friday on my way to NH and again today on my way back. The jacket is stil great. I thought it was leaking, but realized that I left the underarm vents open! Not much water came in though. This was SERIOUS rain. NJ turnpike crawling at 30 mph, everyone with flashers on. The pants still do pretty well, but I don't think anything will be totally waterproof (except a plastic bag) when you're sitting in water. My toes got wet, I think I need to treat my boots.

What kind of helmet in the rain, and was it waterproof?

The N103 doesn't seal very well, and holds up ok until you hit the heavy downpour stuff.. water on the inside of the visor is NOT fun..

Thanks for any input..


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