I'm on the list for when there are more size options. Fine.
Put 6,000 miles on one of these suits last summer. Commutted most weekends from DC to Williamsport, PA. It's waterproof and comfortable. For the sleeve venting to work, you need gloves with minimal or no gauntlets.
First the suit itself is waterproof, protective and comfortable.... but the suit either needs to be customizable or offered in a better range of sizes...I'm extremely tall and although I got a jacket and pants long enough for me, I had to get both about 2-3 sizes too big in the waist. I hoped to have a local alterations shop, that fixes leather motorcycle gear, adjust the size but, they were unable to help me.... I think the pros outwiegh the cons.. and if you're average sized there are no cons. (Posted on 12/10/09)
I really like this jacket. Definitely not cheap, but the quality is great and it feels like it will last for many years. It's quite a feeling to ride through a downpour in a leather jacket and stay bone dry plus not worry at all about damaging the leather. The jacket has a good temperature range, though I would use a summer or perforated jacket for real hot weather. The Transit is good up to about 90, especially if you keep moving. You could also use it in pretty cold weather, especially with a heated liner (it's a bit too snug for multiple layers underneath). The armor is well placed and seems substantial. My only complaint is the sleeves/cuffs. The sleeves are a bit too long so the cuffs, which are not soft, chafe and push against my hands/wrists when riding. And only my thinnest cloves fit underneath, all others have go over, so you need gaunlet-style gloves. I REALLY wish the sleeves were a couple of inches shorter, or that customization was an option, because I really like everything else about the jacket. (Posted on 12/7/09)
There is much to appreciate, and in dire weather, even love about the Transit jacket and pants. Fact is that they work exactly as advertised. Cool for black leather, and quite waterproof.
The leather is IR reflective, as you will note when stopped under the hot sun, when the black cordura at the insides of your elbows starts to blister your skin, while the leather remains fairly cool.
Getting caught in a summer storm is no problem. The garments are legitimately dry. The same goes for cold fall weather.
Despite the -tiny- perforations in much of the garment, I was able to ride 125 miles in driving 45 degree rain and hail and stayed dry under the suit. Let's not talk about my hands, or feet. The Combats, which in all fairlness are not offered as waterproof or even really repellent, eventually soaked through.
Now for the bitching:
Not enough venting for truly hot weather.
Not by a long shot. Both the jacket and especially the pants need to be configurable to move more air.
The sleeve cuffs are silly.
Just an amateurish design.
It's not like a cuff is a new invention.
The Transit cuffs are ENORMOUS!
And uncomfortable. I have yet to find a way to snug them down without some portion of the cuff pressing uncomfortably on my wrist. Getting a gauntlet over it has also proven hard. And if you can't get the gauntlet over the cuff, you can't seal out rain or cold wind.
The same goes for the collar.
I've yet to be able to close the collar completely and be comfortable.
There's something weird about the way the shoulders are cut. The shoulders bunch up into strange humps even while riding my standard bike. The cafe is worse.
The leather soaks up a ton of water and takes days and days to dry. I literally could not hang it up as I reasonably suspected the beefy wooden hanger I use might snap as the garment had grown so heavy from absorbed water. Again, the water does NOT get through, not even driving rain at 70+ MPH, for hours at a time.
It does come down your collar...
How would I fix this interesting, and useful garment?
Smaller, normal cuffs designed to accept a standard motorcycling gauntlet over them.
Improve airflow, pants and jacket.
Find a way to make the surface of the leather shed water so it is more difficult for it to become waterlogged.
Design the collar and shoulders for human beings, not venusians.
Include a full zip between the jacket and pants, not the short, rear only zipper as is.
Really cuts down the usefulness of the garment in spring and fall. This is NOT really a true hot weather garment, but rather a good, interesting, first generation
three-season leather 2-piece.
Enlarge the zipper pulls. Too small, especially with gloves on.
Bottom line I find the garment uncomfortable. I nevertheless use it religiously, and hope it will be in salable condition when something better comes along, hopefully from Aerostich. (Posted on 11/19/09)
In planning for a long trip this summer, I weighed pros & cons of various suits & jackets. I had mesh and cloth gear, but each had disadvantages (as in needing rain suit for mesh gear or looking like a dork in a restaurant / bar in my fluorescent yellow retinal burning commuter jacket). Wanted one do it all out fit to minimize weight, bulk in my luggage and maximal protection. Was really attracted to abrasion protection offered by my discount perforated leather jacket but armor was not greatest and would still have to pack a rain suit. Plus any rain suit would have me sweating inside soon.
Saw catalog description of Transit suit with claim of best of both worlds and took a chance. Very glad that I did.
Did several weeks on the road this July with only the Transit pants & jacket. Went through a series of heavy storms, as well as mild rain.
One storm in particular stood out: torrential rains with hail, lightning, winds and traffic dodging all over the turnpike (Ohio) in a section with jersey barriers on each side and flooded road surface under about 1-2 inches of water. For obvious reasons, like lightning and standing water and no over pass and idiot cagers dodging all over the road as they were blinded by the torrential rains , stopping was not an option. Being in total control was. Without distractions of getting wet or suffering hypothermia. I was amazed. The suit kept me totally dry. I was damp inside from sweating a bit and having 100% humidity on the outside, so hard to evaporate body moisture out. But never once did I get cold or wet. And was able to completely focus on what was at hand. Plus, suit dried out far faster than my leather gloves (deerskin ropers) did.
Then, due to poor planning on my part, I got to test higher temps in the suit. Got stuck in 85+ F degree temps riding thru Friday afternoon traffic in Chicago on Rt 80 as I was heading west. (Don't do it - if riding west from DC or Baltimore - take 70 West and then 65 North to Illinois 24 West - and avoid Chicago like the plague unless you want to develop hand strength from clutching& braking for hours - yeah boy that was fun - not!).
In 5 hrs of stop & go traffic, the suit was fine. Opened up the jacket at sleeves and front zipper and stopped to hydrate periodically. Once out of traffic and above 20 mph, with a CoolMax undershirt, airflow & cooling was fine.
So, can not say enough good things about suit performance. Did everything as claimed. And the armor is superb in feel and comfort. The back protector in particular impressed me with its size in terms of back area covered (width as well as length.)
A few niggles:
- the top outer left chest pocket will hold a BlackBerry Storm but not in a protective hard / waterproof case that you can buy for it. I used the zip closure style snack size (6 1/2" x 3 1/4") plastic bag to ensure water did not short out my BlackBerry. But after the storm described above, I found no evidence of water in the pocket. Still, it would be nice if the pocket was a bit wider / bigger to accommodate a smart phone within a protective hard case.
- due to lack of customizable size, my jacket has a longer sleeve than my other jackets. Not a big deal per se. Just that heavily armored gauntlet gloves will not fit easily under the sleeve, and due to longer sleeve length make putting the guantlet over the sleeve uncomfortable for me. However slim gauntlet style gloves, like Lee Parks, fit under sleeves fine. But shorter gloves like Aerostich Elkskin Ropers, Aerostich Vegan, Lee Parks Touring gloves or a short gauntlet glove like CoreTech's Vice are a better choice for underneath the sleeve.
- for really hot temps like 95 - 105 degrees F, in stop & go traffic, you may want to bring a true mesh jacket along with upgraded armor. You sacrifice protection from abrasion & impact but getter better airflow if not traveling at speed. If at speed, in drier climates, the Transit suit should be all you need. Just stay hydrated and wet down. (Posted on 8/11/09)