The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity, whether it’s sticking to a few simple ingredients in our meals, limiting investments to low-cost index funds or avoiding clothes that require dry cleaning (or even ironing, for that matter). Same goes for the gear I like to wear on the bike, which tends to get dropped, lost, forgotten, stolen, broken and/or dirty in short order. So the simpler the better, and if it’s inexpensive that helps, too.
At an MSRP of $199.99 to $219.99, HJC’s new i70 sport-touring helmet line is definitely inexpensive, and uses a tried-and-true full-face design formula to keep the helmet simple without forgoing any basics. The DOT-approved i70 starts with an injection-molded, advanced polycarbonate shell that HJC says is lighter and more compact than its iS-17 predecessor. Its removable, washable Super Cool comfort liner has a Glasses Groove to ease wearing your spectacles, and the EPS liner has molded-in pockets by the ears for comm system speakers. Very functional closeable vents in the top and chinbar are easy to use with gloves on, and flow plenty of air into a channel in the helmet liner and out the exhaust vent/spoiler or up onto the face shield. The Pinlock anti-fog-ready face shield comes in clear, smoke, dark smoke, amber or mirrored silver, blue or gold and can be changed without tools. Since the built-in, drop-down sun visor is already dark smoke, I found the clear anti-scratch face shield a good choice for touring and commuting, and it ratchets into one of six positions (including a barely-open vent position) and locks closed with a center locking system.
In daily use behind a windscreen or straight into the wind, worn briefly without earplugs I found the HJC i70 to be about average for noise. The double D-ring fastening system has an extra-long strap with an end retainer, and at 3 pounds, 8 ounces in my size large, the helmet is a few ounces lighter than most fiberglass composite lids. Its comfort liner has a soft texture and firm, supportive foam that is comfortable and seems to wick away sweat, and both the cheek pads and headliner come in interchangeable sizes. The lever for the sun shield slides back-and-forth along the bottom edge of the helmet shell and was a bit sticky at first, but loosened up with use.
Overall the HJC i70 is a functional, comfortable full-face helmet with everything you need and nothing you don’t. I’m especially fond of the hi-viz Rias graphic shown, which looks cool and gets attention. The helmet comes in solid colors and several graphics in sizes XS-2XL (add $5 for 2XL) spread over two shell sizes.
The reason it’s 11 and not 12, however, is one rider remaining sidelined through injury: Niki Tuuli, the early season pacesetter. He’ll be replaced at Ajo MotoE by 2017 WorldSSP Champion Lucas Mahias, so that will be an interesting adaptation to watch. The Frenchman dives straight it with limited track time, but adaptation has been different up and down the grid.
The rookie on a roll was, is and likely will be someone else though: Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Race day at Sepang was tougher than Saturday, but he’d broken the lap record a handful of times by the time the lights went out – and outfoxed Marquez’ Q2 tactics. He’s got one more chance to win a race, and plenty more on the line: he’s just ahead of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as we arrive, and that would be something for the CV in a debut year. Valencia hasn’t always proven the best track for ‘The Doctor’ either, so could it swing the Frenchman’s way?
Despite a truly dominant mid-part of the season for Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), the pressure was starting to build for the points leader on the flyaways, and the two men coming in hot were Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP). But the number 73 kept cool in the searing heat of Sepang to take a tenth podium of the year and become a two-time World Champion, so now it’s about the fight for second – and the final win of the year.
The fight for Rookie of the Year is still on too, and it’s frequently been a fight in the top ten, top five or even for the podium. Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) is on the verge of taking the title, however, with the Italian 24 points clear of nearest rival Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). For Vietti to lose it then, Ogura would have to win – and the Italian would have to all-but fail to score. And if they’re equal? Then it would come down to the Japanese rider having taken a second place this season and Vietti “only” thirds, but that says one thing clearly at least: they’re both frontrunners and ones to watch.
Among the highlights at the Walcha Motorcycle Weekend’ will be the chance for riders to hear Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle and even go for a “demo ride” on their Jumpstart Experience.
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Keith Waddell says they have been “working closely with Walcha Council to support their plans to host riders with music and food options over the weekend”.
The company will set up at the Walcha Showground and will run demo rides over the weekend.
There is a host of other entertainment across the three days, including stunt shows, a rodeo, guided rides, Harley demo rides, a Steampunk motorcycle gallery, markets, music, food stalls, a billy cart derby show and shine and more.
However, at the moment the Oxley is closed after bushfires and awaiting inspection by Roads and Maritime Services to see if it is safe.
All accommodation in town is fully booked so Council has organised for camping at the Oxley Sportsground.
Local not-for-profit groups will provide basic catering onsite and clean-up services.
Walcha Royal Cafe owner Toni Keable says they will continue with the entertainment they had previously planned before the events were axed.
“We had one rider who cancelled because he was concerned about bushfires, but they are a long way from us,” she says.
“People can be assured that this weekend will definitely go ahead.
“Everyone is positive and we’re not going to let this opportunity to showcase the town slip through our fingers.”
Bushfires can spread rapidly and even outrun a vulnerable rider, so stay alert.
Riders are also in danger from smoke inhalation and low visibility and eye irritation from smoke.
But rural fire services also say fires can be sparked by motorcycles and cars, especially the ultra-hot catalytic convertor, so don’t park on dry grass!
They say about 40% of all bushfires are accidentally started by humans dropping cigarette butts, campfires, discarding bottles, sparks from machinery, vehicles and motorcycles.
Most riders who accidentally spark these blazes are off-road and adventure bikes riding in the bush and on forestry tracks.
Tips to avoid dehydration in a heatwave:
Don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a ride. It has a diuretic effect which means it causes you to urinate more water than you take in which means you are losing fluid. And you can’t counteract that by drinking lots of water because most of it will go out in your urine. Obviously, don’t drink alcohol while you are riding!
Start drinking water as soon as you wake and keep sipping water right up until you get on your bike. It takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles. Guzzling water just before a ride is not good as it can make your stomach to cramp. The Royal Flying Doctor Service which has attended dehydrated riders in the Outback, recommends carrying 10 litres of water per day! Read their Outback riding tips here.
Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing. Leathers may protect you better in a crash, but they create a “microclimate” which impairs your ability to lose heat. As a result you will produce more sweat to decrease your core temp. Instead, wear a flow-through jacket. There are heaps of options on the market. Make sure they have vents in the back so the air flows through. Also, loosen the sleeves so you get plenty of air on your wrists which have a lot of blood vessels close to the skin to effectively cool you down. However, be aware that a flow-through jacket cools you down because it is drying the sweat off your skin which can lead to dehydration. A set of Ventz up your sleeve will also keep you cool as air flows up your arms.However, don’t be fooled by your level of coolness as ventilation can also cause you to loose more water through evaporation. So you still need to keep drinking plenty of water.
Don’t be tempted to remove your jacket in the heat! Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated. And while your skin feels cool, you’ll be tricked into staying in the sun longer which leads to sunburn. That also leads to dehydration because your body needs water to repair and renew damaged skin.
Get a Camelbak or other brand of water-dispensing unit so you can continue to take small sips of water while you are riding. I’ve seen riders on GoldWings and other big tourers with cup holders so they can take slurps from a water bottle. That’s obviously not as safe as the hands-free Camelback option, but anything is better than nothing. Some people don’t like Camelbaks because the water gets hot, but the temperature of the water doesn’t affect dehydration.
Stop more often than usual and hang out in the shade or in an air-conditioned cafe. Since you are drinking lots of fluids, you will probably need to stop anyway!
While you’re stopped, have a coffee, but take it easy. No need to swear off your favourite caramel latte, but avoid excess coffee. That also goes for caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull. High levels of caffeine have a diuretic effect just like alcohol.
While having a coffee break, avoid having too many sweet cakes, donuts and muffins. Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood. This can happen if you are a diabetic, take certain medications or have an infection or some organ diseases. Sugar causes your kidneys to produce more urine to eliminate the sugar, leading to dehydration. Likewise, don’t drink too many sugary drinks. Best to stick to plain water, real fruit juices with no added sugar or drinks such as Gatorade that replace salts and minerals lost in sweat.
We’ve talked a lot about urine and it’s important that you monitor the colour. It should be a straw colour. If it’s too dark, you are dehydrated.
Sweat also depletes your body of sodium and if it becomes too low, it can cause many of the same symptoms as dehydration. The average diet probably has enough sodium, but it’s good to have a little bit of salt on your meals or drink sports drinks that have a sodium supplement. However, beware of sports drinks with caffeine and sugar.
Wollongong race win a timely confidence boost for Tierney
Yamaha privateer earns maiden race win at WIN Stadium.
Image: Foremost Media.
A surprise SX2 victory in main event three at Wollongong’s third round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship has come as a timely boost of confidence for Connor Tierney, the Yamaha-mounted privateer confirming his potential after a number of difficult seasons.
The Western Australian lodged an 11-13 scorecard in the opening two mains, however an excellent start in race three granted him a clear path to victory over newly-appointed points leaded Josh Osby (Raceline KTM Thor), crediting him seventh overall.
“I got a good start – actually, I got a sick start,” Tierney stated to MotoOnline.com.au. “It was probably around lap three where I put my head down and rode my own race – the guys were battling behind me, and I was just doing my own thing. I didn’t make any mistakes and just rode it home – it seemed like it came easy to me.
“It felt so good – it’s been a long time since I’ve won a race at a national calibre event, so it really felt good and gave me such a confidence boost. It’s good to have those moments – I feel like I really need to savour it, because it’s hard to stay in this sport with injuries and everything – results like that make it worth it.”
Tierney sits eighth in the championship standings as the series heads to New Zealand this weekend for the Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy entry scores third-straight podium at Wollongong.
Image: Foremost Media.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Dan Reardon is encouraged by his position in the Australian Supercross Championship, which sees him right in contention for the crown with just the Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland and AUS-X Open Melbourne remaining in the series.
The popular Queenslander has landed on the podium in the opening three rounds, scoring second overall at the weekend’s stop in Wollongong, New South Wales.
Positioned just six points shy of leader Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) and three points behind teammate Luke Clout, the number 122 is confident he can elevate in the upcoming two events which will see a strengthened line-up of AMA Supercross regulars.
“I think I’m well placed in the championship now and right in the middle of a good battle for the SX1 crown,” Reardon commented. “The last few years I have been able to come home at the final rounds strongly so to be within six points of the lead and heading for the two biggest races of our season is a good spot to be in.
“It took me a bit to get dialled into the track as it was quite hard-pack and slippery in spots but once I got that sorted, I was fine and just focused on getting good track position early as passing was difficult.
“We are off to NZ this week and look forward to going up against not just the best Australia riders but also the incoming US guys who always raise the bar for us.”
Both the S-X Auckland and AUS-X Open Melbourne will also make up the 2019 S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship.
Brayton and Clout divided on degraded Wollongong whoops
Differing opinions for title favourites from Saturday’s third round of AUS Supercross.
Image: Foremost Media.
Australian Supercross Championship heavyweights Justin Brayton and Luke Clout have shared divided opinions on the severe degradation of Wollongong’s whoop section on Saturday night, which saw a selection of riders utilise a near flat line on the edge of the circuit.
Penrite Honda Racing’s Brayton, who recorded his first blemish of the season in third overall, expressed his frustration over the section where riders seemingly gained an advantage, explaining he’s at a loss as to why the portion of the track wasn’t maintained for greater consistency.
“Absolutely, [the track] was [sketchy]. The biggest thing, and it’s a bummer, is that they left the whoops the way they were,” Brayton told MotoOnline.com.au post-race.
“On the right side, there were three whoops and the rest were all flat. It’s just a bummer that at the highest level of racing they’re like that. I was still going through the middle, but when you’re out front, you just go down the right side. That’s my strong point… it’s all good, I’m happy to keep the points lead.”
Clout broke through for his maiden SX1 overall victory, although the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy rider disagreed with the three-time defending champion’s opinion, offering that the line remained within the track limits, while officials didn’t feel it was necessary to hand down any penalties.
“I’m not going to comment on JB’s thoughts, that’s up to him,” Clout declared. “The first two races I was going down the middle of the whoops as well – I was going down the middle and everyone was going down right as well. They weren’t penalising anyone and apparently it was on the track.
“I did nothing different to anyone else and I only started doing that because 99 percent of people were doing it. I was happier to go down the middle of the whoops, but if everyone else is doing it and it’s in the track limits, then there’s no cutting of the track. It is what it is.”
The duo are now separated by just three points heading into New Zealand’s penultimate round this weekend for the Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland.