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Aerostich Roadcrafter R-3


keithu

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I received my new Aerostich Roadcrafter R-3 suit in August, and I have about 1500 miles on it now through a mix of sport riding and commuting to work. I've used it in temps ranging from 100-45F (38-7C). I've also worn it in some light rain and one 45 minute stretch through a very heavy downpour.
 
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Prior to this R-3 I had a two-piece Roadcrafter Classic for the last 19 years. It's still serviceable after all that time and 100k+ miles of use, but it was time for an update.
 
Suffice it to say I love this suit. But how does the one-piece R-3 compare to my old two-piece:
 
* Hot weather - the R-3 is a little more comfortable in hot weather. Whereas the lined Roadcrafter Classic gets toasty above 85F, the R-3 is comfortable up to about 95F. If most of your riding is in 90+ temps, the R-3 is a better choice.
 
* Cold/wet weather - the R-3 seems to be waterproof, but so was my old suit. The R-3 has a pass-through hole for a heated jacket wire, but it's not as convenient as the two-piece suit where the wire could just hang down through the front. Feeding the wire through the hole for every ride is not reasonable, so I bought an extension cable and now have to make two connections instead of one. If you routinely wear heated clothing, the two-piece is easier to live with.
 
* Convenience - Most people assume the one piece Roadcrafter goes on quicker and more easily than the two piece. I thought so, too. Wrong. Yes, the two-piece has an extra zipper, but the one-piece has a single long zipper from the neck down to the left ankle. It has to be started at the neck which is a pain. I fight with this a little bit every morning. At first I thought I'd get used to it eventually, but two months in it's not getting easier. In the grand scheme of things, this is still a very convenient suit that goes on over my work clothes in about 20 seconds. But my two-piece suit went on in 15 seconds with a bit less hassle.
 
* Sizing - For my two-piece Roadcrafter I had a 48L jacket, 46L pants, and the accessory ellipse that zipped between the two halves to give more room for sporty riding positions. I ordered my one-piece suit in 48L because tailoring the legs would have added cost. And I skipped the ellipse because it's another expensive custom tailoring option that isn't really needed on the FJ-09. The base price of the two-piece is higher, but when you factor in the ability to customize fit by mix-and-matching the two halves and adding the cheaper zip-in ellipse, much of the cost difference is moot.
 
Versatility - here again, the two-piece clearly wins. Need to securely stow the suit with the bike? The two-piece can be separated and each half fits easily in one saddlebag. The one-piece does not fit in a typical saddlebag. And sometimes I just want a jacket for around-town errands. I'm wearing the jacket from my old two-piece for that.
 
Having now owned both a one-piece and two-piece piece Roadcrafter, I honestly can't think of any advantage to the one-piece except price.
 
If you mainly ride in hot weather, the R-3 is the clear choice. The R-3 works well in cold weather too, you just need to layer and/or use electric clothing. The R-3 expands the comfortable temperature range for the Roadcrafter about 10 degrees F on the hot side.
 
If you're anybody else, IMO the two-piece Roadcrafter Classic is a better all around choice.
 
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I have no experience with the two piece but have about 1500 miles on my one piece R3 as well.
 
I don't do any commuting on my bike but for long rides I couldn't be happier. Cooler than I expected - venting works well. Mine has thus far been water tight. Highly recommended.
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I have not worn Aerostich as it is not available in the retail market over here and import duty makes it even dearer! I wholeheartedly agree that 2 piece kit is much more convenient - easier to put on and flexible use. The one thing you do not mention is that when you are on tour, a separate jacket can be worn when you go out for dinner in the evening or have a post-prandial walk around the town you are staying in, should it be damp or chilly.
This signature is left blank as the poster writes enough pretentious bollocks as it is.
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I recommend buying a used, well cared for Roadcrafter over a new one, especially with the newer prices. Many previous owners took very good care of their suits, but they can lose half their value in just a few years. I bought a classic 1 piece with 20,000 miles for under $500 with a dime sized hole in the inner liner in the lower leg and the extra hip armor in the color I wanted from an ADVRider member. There are BMW forums with similar deals along with Ebay.
 
Another advantage to Roadcrafters - they can be reconditioned to near new. After about 6 years, I sent my Roadcrafter back to Aerostich for repair from a low side (pre-FJ), a refresh, and the updated, more waterproof main zipper. It wasn't cheap (almost $400 including crash repair), but it's better than when I first bought it.
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I have not worn Aerostich as it is not available in the retail market over here and import duty makes it even dearer! I wholeheartedly agree that 2 piece kit is much more convenient - easier to put on and flexible use. The one thing you do not mention is that when you are on tour, a separate jacket can be worn when you go out for dinner in the evening or have a post-prandial walk around the town you are staying in, should it be damp or chilly.
I agree with this. I liked my one piece for the trip I did, but missed having just a jacket for running about after the days ride. In the future I'll also bring my summer armored jacket. I figure it can go into a waterproof bag, and wedge nicely into the space above the (stock) license plate area and below the seat (assuming I'm riding two-up and don't have room in the saddlebags or topbox).
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For people who have a 1 piece, this might be a convenient purchase: http://www.aerostich.com/adjustable-carry-strap.html
 
It looks like it rolls the suit up to a package about the length of a sleeve. This + a cable lock through a sleeve could be a good way to secure the suit to the bike. I just bought one to try it out.
 
Aerostich has free shipping right now with code Q42016.
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Keithu, LOL, I likewise have a 18+ year old 2-pc Classic. I see you still have your A/S Combat Touring Boots (I resoled mine, polished them up, replaced the laces and sold them a few years go for almost what I paid for them and got a pair of A* SMX+ boots because I always felt the CTBs were clunky for street riding). Whose heated jacket liner do I see (I have the 65W panel Warn & Safe and the Tourmaster Synergy 1 vest with heated colar; I sold my old Wiider vest and chaps). IMO my Classic is still in fantastic shape; as I have cleaned and DWR treated it religiously since new and 106,000+ miles ago. I have a 48R jacket that was Custom modified with the double V-side gussets from the waist line up to below the elbow due middle-age spread. The Pants are 46R and I use the Ellipse for my sport bikes and the Bib-Suspender adapter for my sport tourers; essentially creating a separated 2-pc suit (highly recommended because you can remove the jacket and leave the pants on but unzip the bib to keep cooler off the bike and inside). I also have the old Temper foam armor and original narrow back protector, left leg map sleeve and left arm clear pocket, plus of course the hip pads. Still fantastic kit but it never was completely waterproof and even then you could get soaked in an extended downpour even with fresh DWR and seam sealer applied. Because of my late middle age girth, the jacket and pants are just a bit too tight with just a base layer and my heated vest or jacket and the original matching A/S gray Polartec full leg zipper pants. The original matching A/S black heavy fleece jacket with pit zippers does not fit well under the jacket with only a base layer. All the current suits have the new waterproof zippers and soft armor. I thought about sending it in for them to update the zippers and armor but it was not worth the money. The answer of course is to loose 20 pounds to get down to near where I weighed when I bought the suit new!
 
Instead, when I got an email from Andy telling me that the special Gore-Tex Pro leather he uses in their Transit 2 suits was no longer available and thus whatever sizes they had would be the last, I swallowed hard and bought a brand new non-blem (non "irregular") Transit 2 suit after not seeing blems in my size. I had to send back the jacket the 48R jacket for a 48S because the Regulars were made for Orangutans apparently. The 38R pants fit like they were custom made for me. The jacket is a little snug in the sleeves, especially down at the wrists. I removed the IMO stupid wrist strap adjusters because I'll never need to snug the cuffs. All in all the Transit 2 suit, which zips 270 degrees together, has special waterproof and heat-reflective leather with a unique Gore-tex membrane bonded to its backside is fantastic and IMO better than their R-3 or Classic suits. (http://www.aerostich.com/jackets-pants/transit/transit-jacket.html) It certainly looks much sharper and mainstream, and the full-leg zippers make donning and removing the pants much easier, as I was wary initially of the weakness the zippers posed on the outside of the legs versus the zippers being on the inside of the legs on their other suits). the only negatives to the Transit suits are they are heavier, not as flexible (but they do have better armor especially the back pad), and the jacket is too warm much over 80 ~ 85 degrees even with the pit and back vents open and the from zipper down to the solar plexus (the pants for some reason not so much). But most importantly, A/S will (or cannot) do and crash repairs on it, or even fix zippers and such! Why I don't know but they did not make it in-house; it was specially made to their design and specifications by some company in Viet Nam of all places (a country I did my best to stay out of in 1972).
 
BA_in_Stitch_circa_1998.jpg
 
Aerostich_CBT_1.jpg
 
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Hah! I see you have good taste in gear. My heated liner is a 90W Warm-n-Safe unit. I used to have a Kanetsu vest but it died after about ten years.
 
I often thought about getting the bib attachment for my Roadcrafter pants but never bothered.
 
I'm really interested in the Falstaff jacket and will probably get one next year paired with Darien pants. I see they now have a waxed cotton version of the Roadcrafter called Cousin Jeremy. That's intriguing but I really want to try the Falstaff/Darien combo and see how that works.
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Hah! I see you have good taste in gear. My heated liner is a 90W Warm-n-Safe unit. I used to have a Kanetsu vest but it died after about ten years. 
I often thought about getting the bib attachment for my Roadcrafter pants but never bothered.
 
I'm really interested in the Falstaff jacket and will probably get one next year paired with Darien pants. I see they now have a waxed cotton version of the Roadcrafter called Cousin Jeremy. That's intriguing but I really want to try the Falstaff/Darien combo and see how that works.
I had a Belstaff waxed cotton jacket 40 years ago.  It required waxing every month and still leaked at the seams in an extended downpour.  Road rash ruined it after an only 15 mph slip but it was getting mildewy anyway.  Maybe modern waxed cotton or nylon with armor is a lot better but the stink of my Belstaff still is in my sinuses but new ones are over $600!  I think I paid $125 new for my Trailmaster with the brass rivets and buckle in 1973. 
BTW, I got the 65 watt panel version with the Lumilite exterior because most of my bikes have alternators with marginal output (like 280 watts), and it has proven toasty on the Heat Troller set at 75% or less down to below 40 degrees F.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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I looked up Belstaff jackets and they look more like fashion accessories than true moto gear. I'd tend to give Aerostich the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps I should check some reviews.
 
I can attest that the FJ-09 alternator has plenty of juice ro run my 90W jacket with the Heat-Troller on full blast plus the factory heated grips on 10.
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I have a Roadcrafter Classic that i purchased in 2006. I've put around 75,000 miles on it. It was my first quality gear, after starting out with Joe Rocket, Fieldsheer, and the like. It will easily last another decade. Last year I sent it back to Aerostich for a "tune up" and adding of waterproof zippers.
 
Like 2and3cylinders I also bought Transit 2 gear (jacket only) when I learned that the Goretex Pro leather supply chain had dried up. In fact I got the last jacket in my size, maybe the last 38 regular anywhere. Rukka had run out of Merlin jackets; there may have been one other manufacturer using this leather.
 
The Roadcrafter Classic has been just too hot for Texas summers. The vents provide more cooling than meets the eye but not enough for 90+ degrees.
 
I had been coveting the Transit Suit since its launch. When my idol Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist from the Canadian progressive rock band Rush, endorsed the original design I almost pulled the trigger. I'm glad I waited for Transit 2. It's high quality.
 
 

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Rusty, as I indicated, I got the jacket in "short" because the arms in regular seemed would fit an orangutan , did you find the same issue? Because I have large forearms / wrists, I removed the sleeve wrist cinches because they made it more difficult to pull up and over glove gauntlets.
 
Why for heaven's sake did you not get the matching pants?? I think the pants are even better than the jacket and feel cooler too.
 
I asked for and received a second pants/jacket zipper set and sewed them together to make an extension, then zipped it to the pants and hand sewed the extension's lower half and pan'ts zipper pulls to keep them fixed tight. This eliminated the extreme difficulty (for me anyway) of zipping the jacket to the pants!
 
 
BTW, BMW has their equally costly Atlantis waterproof leather suit but it must be sent back to the mothership as needed to be retreated.
 
http://www.sierrabmwonline.com/product_info.php/bmw-atlantis-jacket-mens-womens-cold-weather-gear-mens76118553-238-248-womens76138553-291-297-p-711
 
http://www.sierrabmwonline.com/product_info.php/bmw-atlantis-pants-mens-womens-cold-weather-gear-mens76118553-264-274-womens76138553-310-316-p-710
 
Waterproof leather but no Gore-Tex Pro laminate leather like the Transit which is also treated to stay 20+/- degrees cooler, which I verified with a infra red digital thermometer between the Transit 2 jacket and my otherwise excellent 20 year old Hein Gericke "Danish MC Courier" leather jacket.
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I looked up Belstaff jackets and they look more like fashion accessories than true moto gear. I'd tend to give Aerostich the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps I should check some reviews. 
I can attest that the FJ-09 alternator has plenty of juice ro run my 90W jacket with the Heat-Troller on full blast plus the factory heated grips on 10.
The real Belstaffs are true MC gear but I don't remember the new versions now have armor. 
Yes the FJ-09 cranks out adequate juice but the "two" cylinders in my forum handle represents my 1977 RD400C, whose alternator is decidedly low output.  Likewise my 98 VTR1000F only manages 280 watts through a "modern" replacement Mosfet VRR, and another such unit is on the shelf for the RD.  Similarly, a 72 H2 Mach IV, 85 VF500F, and 81 GPz550D1 have little amperage to spare!!  The 61 Matchless G80CS Cafe does not even have a generator let alone an alternator; ignition magneto only with a dummy headlamp assembly and rechargeable battery under the tail to power the tail light! 
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2and3cylinders I don't like leather pants. Just don't care for the look. I have goretex pants from Rukka which is being mated to the Transit jacket waist zipper this week.

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2and3cylinders I don't like leather pants. Just don't care for the look. I have goretex pants from Rukka which is being mated to the Transit jacket waist zipper this week.[/hquote] 
 
Each to there own but IMO nothing beats leather for crash worthiness and while not having quite the rise I'd prefer (very very rare for me to find a extra tall rise with only a 33 inseam), the full side zippers and Gore-Tex Pro leather are super and now molded to me
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