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Discussion Starter #1
Well my First Gear leathers have come to the end of their road for me. I'm looking to replace them with either the First Gear Z Pilot setup or Vanson two piece perf setup.

Any opinions?

I guess I'm also open to other options, but the gear MUST be top quality - I ride every day, and the gear must be good from 15 - 115 degrees. FWIW, I got in excess of 100k miles out of my First Gear stuff.
 

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No First Gear experience, but the CSRV2 jacket that I have is maybe only good for 1-1.5 seasons here in SC. It's so well ventilated that it's downright cold at night even when it's warm out.

Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent jacket, but with a surprisingly limited application.
 

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Haven't used the First Gear stuff, but I have a Vanson Cobra jacket with the zip-up shields to cover the perfs when its cold.  The jacket is NOT an all season jacket.  Above 80* and you're cooking when you are stopped in traffic.  Below 50* and you better have the snap-in vest (at least).

I love my Vanson jacket/pant combo... the only trick is that Vanson puts the zipper in the jacket/pant backwards from everyone else, so you can't easily use a Vanson jacket and another brand of pants (or vice-versa).

It's top-shelf, though.  The quality of the Vanson is excellent.  Just not an all-weather solution.

edit: typo
 

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I have the Vanson full-perf CSRV and the zip-in thermal vest. I highly recommend this jacket for its versatility.:thumb: I have had my jacket for 2 years now and as long as you keep it clean and conditioned (as all leather needs to be - at least once a year), it will serve you well. The pants fit a bit strangely (didnt fit me), so you may come to your conclusion based on fitment. The PTTV full-perf (Traveler) pants are pretty comfy if they fit you properly.

Back to the jacket - as previously stated, it uses your body moisture, and the excellent ventilation it provides, to keep you cool and with the vest insert it will keep you warm down to freezing temperatures. NOTE: Vanson now sells an insert with full length arms (my arms get cold with the vest). Also to note - Vanson provides a professional cleaning/repair service for reasonable rates. Visit NewEnough and talk to Holly, they provide the best price and service on Vanson products. They also sell First Gear products if you care to go that route.


Dan
 

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BizJetGuy : Haven't used the First Gear stuff, but I have a Vanson Cobra jacket with the zip-up shields to cover the perfs when its cold.  The jacket is NOT an all season jacket.  
I also have the Cobra and noticed that the new version has zippered vents on the sleeves which would help in hot weather. I called the Vanson repair dept and asked if they could install the vents in mine and was told they could for about $80. FYI
 

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I have the First Gear stealth pilot two piece suit and the jacket has held up well and fits and ventilates well. The pants don't breath at all and the stitching has and is coming out all over. Go with the Vanson. First Gear stuff is made in Korea also.
MItch
 

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I have a custom one piece vanson. Its awesome. The next off the rack stuff I buy will be vanson as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments. I think Apex Motorsports in Sacramento is a distributor for Vanson. I'll get in there as soon as the temperatures around here dip down into the 90s or so and try some on.

The reason I'm even considering Vanson is because of newenough.com's comments about them.

I'm still interested in the First Gear stuff though. It's hard for me to complain about them. They have served me well over the years. Plus they come with a 10 year warranty.
 

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The only thing I don't like about Vanson is that you pay extra for everything.  If you buy new then you'll pay an extra $50 for shoulder and elbow armor, another $60 for a back plate, and $90 for a vest liner.  For the price you should at least get some armor IMO.  

If you have some patience you can find some great deals on ebay though.  After some trial and error I got a pair of practically new PTSR pants and Cobra jacket that I should have for years.
 

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FYI - NewEnough usually has the backplate on sale for $40 (in the used section) and the armor for $30. These items come up often, so be persistant and dont overpay (retail cost).
 

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Skully : The only thing I don't like about Vanson is that you pay extra for everything.  If you buy new then you'll pay an extra $50 for shoulder and elbow armor, another $60 for a back plate, and $90 for a vest liner.  For the price you should at least get some armor IMO.  
Very true, Skully.

It's good to have the option to mix and match, though.  I went with the 'GP' armor (hard shell) in the elbows and the 'Street' armor (soft) in the shoulders of my Cobra Jacket and I couldn't be happier.  One thing is for sure - this jacket will probably be passed down a generation or two... it's high quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I went and tried on the Vanson jacket at the local distributor. Apex Motorsports is offering a pretty decent discount, so I asked them to order a pair of pants for me to try on.

That stuff is really some pretty good quality gear.

I'm toying with going down to Helimot for a custom set though... not sure if I want to spend that much $$$$ though. Thoughts?
 

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Joel, which pants did they order for you? I know that I, as well as several others, had trouble with the fit of the Vanson 'Traveler' pants. The pants that fit my waist were WAY too tight in the legs, and if I got them big enough to fit my legs, they were WAY too big in the waist. I see that they have come out with a new design called the 'Techincal' that by the photos seem to have a different shape. I'll be ordering a pair from NewEnough shortly.

Just some info that might be useful for you when your pants come in.
 

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Helimot is hard to beat from a fit/performance standpoint, but the price of admission beats the hell out of your wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Pete, they are ordering the Technical pants. Thanks for the heads up on the fit. I've also heard that Vanson has had trouble with the zippers being reversed between the jacket and pants, but the retailer said they've never seen that.

I'm aware that Helimot is higher price. That is not good, which is why I'm taking a close look at off the rack stuff first.
 

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The reverse on the zipper is only for a Vanson jacket/non-Vanson pant combo or vice-versa. They do that to try and get you to match Vanson pants with a Vanson jacket.

If you are in the shop, take a pair of pants (any label other than Vanson - like First Gear, Fieldsheer, etc.) and try and zip it on to a Vanson jacket and you'll see what I mean.
 
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