Exploring MotorFist Snowmobile Gear
A new choice in high-end snowmobiling activewear
Story by Matt Allred, Photography by Matt Allred and MotorFist, Created Jan 10, 2013
Southeast Idaho is a unique hot bed of snowmobiling activity. It’s a mecca of backcountry riding and home to many snowmobile companies that specialize in products that support the industry. For example, Boondockers, Starting Line Products (SLP), Klim, K-Mod rear suspensions, Rexburg Motor Sports, and MNTK (Mountain Tek) all call Southeast Idaho home. The area is also home to MotorFist.
Based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, MotorFist not only produces quality snowmobile gear, but the company is run by honest, hardworking folks, spun from a small town where values of honesty and humility are held in high esteem.
MotorFist has this mantra: “MotorFist Lifetime Warranty Plus – MotorFist proudly guarantees the quality and performance of all our products. Simply stated: We guarantee MotorFist outerwear with our exclusive ‘Lifetime Warranty Plus’ in the unlikely event of failure in materials and/or workmanship, to the original purchaser, for the life of the product.
“With MotorFist, this is where it gets even better (the +PLUS part). While your warranty claim or repair is being processed, we’ll provide you with a loaner jacket, pant, or bib. Backed by the Lifetime Warranty Plus, you'll never miss that perfect Bluebird snowmobile day.”
Betcha can’t get that level of customer service from your favorite super mall clothing store.
High End Gear
Moving into the high-end outerwear industry was a bold move for MotorFist’s team, knowing many companies dribble a ball on this court. But, MotorFist believed it had the skills and knowledge to develop a product that, according to General Manager Dan Peterson, “would allow a rider to ride without thinking about their snowmobile gear.” He said, “At MotorFist, we want the rider, at the end of the day, to think about their ride, not about wet feet or sweaty damp clothes.” MotorFist, according to Peterson, builds its outerwear to be invisible to the snowmobile conversation, trusting its products will deliver worry-free protection.
We must confess that to date we have not used MotorFist products. That will change this season as Snowmobile.com will evaluate the company’s high-end Rekon outerwear and Stomper boot. Given that, what we can deliver here is some technical information and MotorFist’s company mission.
MotorFist is building its brand image on a high end GE membrane called eVent. MotorFist feels that eVent is the superior product to allow moisture to pass from the body to the atmosphere, and to serve as the ultimate barrier against oncoming wind and moisture. MotorFist feels eVent is more successful at this than leading membranes.
Virtually all top-of-the-line winter active wear features a high quality breathable construction. The membrane in all waterproof breathable gear is the layer that is bonded on the inside of the outer shell fabric and acts like a one-way valve in very elementary terms. It’s a valve that prevents wind and moisture from passing through to the inside, yet allows body moisture (sweat) to pass freely to the outside.
MotorFist believes that the eVent membrane with its proprietary and patented technology accomplishes this more efficiently and quickly than other competing brands. In its 2013 product line catalog, MotorFist states, “Your sweat escapes while keeping outside moisture from getting in.”
The company explains the process in both “Nerd Terms” and “Sled Rider Terms”:
Nerd: “Textiles or micro porous membranes [using eVent] have a nearly constant water vapor diffusion resistance, regardless of the environmental conditions.”
Sled Rider: “eVent breathes no matter how sweaty you are. The others won’t breathe until there’s a sauna inside your gear. Even then, it does not perform as well as eVent.”
According to Peterson, “eVent membrane fabrics do not require differential pressures of heat and humidity to push the water vapor through the membrane. Peterson states that “other membrane products, such as Gore-Tex and Sympatex, need imbalances (differential) of temperature and humidity to begin to work and even then utilize a different process of diffusion which means moisture lingers longer against the rider’s skin and inner layers of clothing.“ To that, Peterson adds that eVent’s “efficiency and exclusive technology allows moisture to escape sooner and at all ranges of exertion than its competitors, and is quickly noticeable the very first time you ride in MotorFist eVent based gear.”
Rekon And Empress Product
MotorFist’s high end product is its Rekon line of jackets and bibs, which utilize eVent throughout with 300D and 500D eVent panels. The coat has a drawstring collar, off-center main front zipper, moisture wicking fleeced-lined sleeves, and oversize pockets. The bib features raised back-of-ankle cuts that allow a rider to walk without stomping on the bib’s back cuff with a boot’s heel. Colors are black and gray, and black and red.
Next is the Big Mountain jacket and bib. This is a non-insulated jacket shell with a wicking liner. It has ”lay flat” wrist closures and powder cuffs with thumbhole. The Big Mountain line is new for 2013, uses eVent fabric, and is expected to be a favorite among deep powder riders.
Following this is the Trophy jacket, coupled with the Rekon pant. The trophy is a beautiful jacket patterned in white, black, and orange panels. It is a non-insulated, non-eVent parka that is made of a proprietary, breathable fabric. The Rekon pant is MotorFist’s flagship pant, not to be confused with the Rekon bib, which uses suspenders and a height that covers the torso.
MotorFist has a full line of women’s clothing and base layer and mid-layer clothing that, according to Peterson, complements and works in tandem with MotorFist’s outerwear. The women’s line, known as Empress, is an insulated line where panel designs and stitching were engineered with a woman’s curves and needs in mind. The men’s and women’s mid-layers are functional and specific to trail and mountain riding, providing warmth, moisture wicking and stay cool technology. Layering with MotorFist’s products, according to Peterson, “adds to the functionality of its coats and bibs.”
MotorFist believes in giving riders many choices that fit their budget and riding style. It also has a heavily insulated line known as Redline and Superior.
MotorFist products use high end YKK zippers, with some being water- and wind-proof, featuring water- and wind-tight panel stitching and welding.
MotorFist manufactures high-tech gloves from wrist length to over-the-cuff (gauntlet type) such as the Valkyrie, Superior, Redline, Empress (women’s), W.O.T., Kill Switch, Motor, and Wrench and Ride. The insulated gloves use Thinsulate and water proofing, and scuffed pads for improved grip. Stitching on the gloves is reinforced to prevent unraveling when reefing on the bars.
Go-Pro Ready Helmet
Another MotorFist product worth exploring is the lightweight Dominator helmet that is Hero GoPro camera ready. This helmet uses different foam densities that place the stiffest material next to the outer shell, and the softest foam on the inside. The helmet weighs just 1250 grams and uses a fiberglass and “Composite Fusion” design to create a high G-force impact resistant brain bucket. Colors are gray and black and red and black.
The company’s Stomper boot uses eVent as its inner membrane with TecTuff technical texture leather and 600 grams of Thinsulate. The lace up boot is waterproof and has a replaceable, super tough sole. You need to read the warranty details to fully understand the conditions. MotorFist also has socks to match the Stomper boot, to keep the foot dry and warm.
Getting It Right
MotorFist spends ample time investigating and testing products before they hit your dealer’s shelves. It takes the time to understand little things like how a sleeve cuff fits around a glove and when an arm is outstretched, the cuff stays with the glove, but does not stack when the arm is not extended. The coats have long tails that keep powder off the backside, but not too long as to ride under the butt. The zippers on coats are slightly off center so as to keep the zipper and its pull-tab away from a rider’s chin.
The shell material is comfortable and would seem to make it easier to maneuver on the sled.
If you are in need of some casual wear, to display your “fanness,” MotorFist has some tough looking products.
There is much more to discuss, and Snowmobile.com encourages you to check out MotorFist’s website to learn more about its product lines and which products have you covered from toe to head.
MotorFist has evolved its products to be functional beyond fashion, and that is crucial for mountain riding, trail cruising, and mogul mashing. MotorFist, though residing in Idaho Falls, is not a mountain outerwear company only. MotorFist has the flatlander in mind as well, a riding style most snowmobilers use.
Peterson says, “We are always critical of ourselves, being hard on our products, testing them beyond the conditions most riders expose their gear too.” Peterson states MotorFist has made its mistakes, but these mistakes have been lessons learned where the follow-up product is better than the one it replaced. He also adds that those who develop MotorFist’s products are also passionate riders who are also consumers. “They want what our customers want.”
But, as Peterson states, “We don’t want our customers to think about all this, we want them to enjoy their ride without worry and without being the topic of conversation.”
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