Tag Archives: Bike accessories

X2 motorcycle phone mount has power

This universal X2 phone mount comes with power attachment at just $36, including postage.

Many motorcycle and scooter riders now use their phone rather than a GPS to navigate, but most phone mounts won’t power your phone or electronic device.

However, the X2 will keep you powered up all day long.

It will fit just about any phone size and grips with four sprung claw-style holders plus the extra security of a rubber holders top and bottom. The back also has non-slip pads.X2 phone mount

We have tried the unit with iPhone plus sizes and the smaller XS over some bumpy country roads without the phones shaking loose.

It comes with two mounting options to fit just about any motorcycle or scooter. One is a U-clamp to go around the handlebar or wing mirror stem, the other is a bolt-down mount.

The holder has ball-link points to rotate the unit 360 degrees allowing you to position it so it is easy to see, but does not obscure your bike’s instruments.

There are many other similar phone holders on the market, but this is the first we have seen that is also powered.

It comes with 1.3m of cable to attach to your ignition or directly to the battery.X2 phone mount

The built-in USB charging port will allow you to keep your phone or other electronic device charged while you are riding.

This is important as navigation and Bluetooth connection can drain a phone quite quickly.

However, we warn riders not to use the phone screen while riding to check your Facebook status our any other distracting function.

The X2 phone mount comes standard with the clamp mount and bolt mount, two spare claws, anti-slip pads and rubber holders.X2 phone mount

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Anderson Stands struggling with demand

After reopening in 2018, famous Australian motorcycle stand business Anderson Stands has been struggling to keep up with the strong demand from customers.

New owner Michael Jeffery has replied to several of our readers who have expressed concern that they cannot contact the company and feared they had gone out of business again.

“We are still in business and the business of Anderson Stands is growing from its new start up quicker than I have been able to keep up with,” says Michael, a passionate Sydney-based motorcycle racer.

The mechanical engineer, fitter, machinist, welder and fabricator bought Anderson Stands more than a year ago after founder Chris Anderson decided to wind up the business.

Michael says he wanted to keep alive the iconic Australian brand and its quality product line.

“These are a quality made stands and a staple in the Australian marketplace,” he told us.

Anderson Stands struggling

Struggling to keep up

However, it has been hard work and the company is struggling to keep up with the flood of orders.

“The unfortunate result of this is we have not yet been able to get ahead in our manufacturing and the stands are selling quicker than we can produce them,” Michael says.

“The fallout from this is we have been unable to engage with every customer enquiry as we look to find the balance between the manufacturing and our customer service.

“Please let people know that we are working day and night to get ahead and re-establish Anderson Stands back into the motorcycle market place.

“I had intended to re-establish Anderson Stands initially with a low profile so that I could get some products into productions.

“The unfortunate result has been our low profile has only generated more interest towards Anderson Stands and everyone is chasing to have one.”

Anderson StandsAnderson Stands struggling

Bright red powder-coated Anderson Stands have been used by road riders, professional racers and race teams for more than 30 years.

They have an enviable reputation for quality and performance.Anderson Stands struggling

The original stands claim several firsts: adjustable width and interchangeable attachments; Big Wheel design; height adjustment; Castor stands (dubbed the Spacesavers); and a front Under Fork stand.

“They are Australian made with Australian steel and Australian quality and manufactured right here in Sydney,” Michael told us last year when the company relaunched.Anderson Stands struggling

“Chris designed, fabricated and manufactured these stands to be functional and lifelong, with no compromises and we will continue to manufacture Anderson Stands true to these values.

“We are not going to compete against the Chinese market, we do not build Flat-Pack stands.”

All their stands are fully seam-welded and powered-coated.

Click here to see their product list and prices.

And please be patient!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

S&S big-bore kits for Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield is on a winner with its 650cc twins as American engine giant S&S Cycle has now added 750cc and 865cc big-bore kits.

This follows the recent announcement that premium Swedish suspension manufacturer Ohlins has developed suspension grades for the twins and the Himalayan.

S&S also have other performance parts for the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.

They include clutch kits ($US399.95), mufflers ($US474.95) and handlebar adjuster kits ($US69.95).

But the biggest news is the 750cc big-bore kit at $US630.95 (about $A900) and 865cc kit ($US634.95).

S&S usually only make big-bore kits and performance gear for Harley-Davidson and Indian V-twins.

This is the first time the Wisconsin company has produced performance parts for any other specific motorcycle.

The company stress that the performance gear is for “closed-course competition use only”.

While they do not yet reveal power and torque output for the kits, they have released the following tech details.

750cc big-bore kit:

Stock

S&S 750 Kit

Bore X Stroke

78 x 67.8mm

83.5 x 67.8mm

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

11.0:1

865cc kit:

Stock

S&S 865 Kit

Bore X Stroke

78 x 67.8mm

90 x 67.8mm

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

11.0:1

The kits feature comprehensive engine upgrades including larger cylinders and pistons in addition to new head gasket.

Royal Enfield’s 648cc parallel twin produces 35kW (47hp) and 52Nm of torque. Output should increase about another 17kW to around 52kW.Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 arriving bore

Here is the full list of S&S performance parts for the new Royal twins.

Part

Price (USD)

Price (INR – For Representation only)

Dynojet Power Commander V with Calibration

USD399.99

INR27,760

High-Flow Air Intake Eliminator Plate Kit

USD23.95

INR1,662

High-Flow Replacement Air Filter

USD59.95

INR4,161

High-Compression 11:1 Piston Kit

USD492.95

INR34,211

Stainless Muffler Set

USD641.95

INR44,552

Race only Stainless Muffler Set

USD474.95

INR32,962

Handlebar Adjuster Kit (INT 650)

USD69.95

INR4,855

Performance Clutch Kit

USD399.95

INR27,757

High-Performance Camshaft Kit with Shims

USD186.95

INR12,975

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Öhlins develops Royal Enfield suspension

Premium Swedish suspension company Öhlins has developed special suspension for Royal Enfield motorcycles for the first time.

The first models to get the Öhlins adjustable shock absorbers and fork springs with adjustable pre-load caps are the new and very popular 650cc twin-cylinder Interceptor and Continental GT.

They will be followed by full suspension for the 400cc Himalayan adventurer.

When I tested the Interceptor and Continental GT, I found the standard American-made Gabriel shocks a little on the soft side for my 80kg frame.

I pumped up the rear preload to the fourth of five settings but it still managed to bottom out over some big bumps, bounced around at the rear and wobbled a little over mid-corner irregularities.

Ohlins developed on harsh roads

“Öhlins takes the bike to another level, especially for those that will ride pillion or push their bike to the limits,” says ASEAN Business Development Executive Dale Schmidtchen in Thailand.

“The suspension was developed this year here where the roads are similar in quality to roads in Australia.

“The rear shock option for the Himalayan will be a great option for resolving two concerns with owners.

“Access to the spring preload is very hard on this model, so Öhlins will offer a shock absorber with remote preload adjustment, which in turn allows the rider to quickly adjust for varying load weights and road conditions.

“With Öhlins suspension, firstly you now have the option to adjust spring and preload for varying rider, pillion and loaded equipment. This is not just a comfort feature, but also safety.

“Dynamic ground clearance will be improved, as well as stability through corners. And last but not least, with most of a bikes braking control being a by-product of the compression stroke of the forks, this will allow for better braking, especially over bumps.

Öhlins has not yet released prices, but say they will be a “surprise”.

They come in either black or yellow with interchangeable springs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech launch Zega Evo panniers

German motorcycle accessory company Touratech has released high-end aluminium Zega Evo panniers in black or silver with a new mounting system.

Touratech says the mount is more robust than its predecessor system and can be attached and taken off easily thanks to the rounder design of the fasteners.

Simply slide the hooks on to the rack and push the tension lever down until it clicks into place. To remove, pull on the tension lever and lift the pannier from the rack.

Yet they say they are secure and won’t fall off on the roughest track.

Zega Evo sizes

The waterproof Zego Evo come in 31-litre, 38L and 45L capacities and cost $1150.01 each in black and $1069.59 in silver.

Weight is 5.9kg for 31L, 6.4kg for 38L, 6.9L for 45L.

To better organise your luggage, there are fastening hooks on the inside of the lid. The outside of the lid also has high-strength attachment eyes.

Zega Evo comes with a webbing carry handle integrated into the lid recess.

Touratech has been making the Zega family of aluminium panniers for more than 25 years.

Like its predecessors, the new Evo is made of high-strength 1.5-millimetre-thick aluminium.

The new lid catches retain the popular hinge function that allows the lid to be opened from both sides or removed completely.

The lid and base of the pannier are manufactured using a modern deep-drawing process, which eliminates the need for unattractive welding seams.Touratech Zega Evo

Waterproof

The outer shell and base are attached by high-quality, waterproof rivets and the pannier is sealed with silocone.

The lid has a tongue and groove profile with an integrated silicone seal, which guarantees a watertight seal.

The newly developed ventilation system relieves the pressure in or on the pannier if there’s a change in altitude.

This means you can open a pannier at high altitude even though you closed it thousands of metres down in a valley.

Zega Evo has accessory fixing pins to attach the special Evo accessory holders without drilling holes in the case.

Touratech has mounting units to suit most adventure and touring motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Modifications You Might Want To Get

(Contributed post on bike modifications for our North American readers)

Motorcycles are fun to own, and not just for the pure fun of going for a ride on a sunny day. There’s also the joy you get in personalizing it to make it really feel like its yours, and an expression of who you are. They may be machines, but they also help express your passion in steel and chrome customizations. But there’s more to modifying your motorcycle than just aesthetics, you do so in order to add value and to also protect your investment. But, just as some modifications can improve your motorbike, others affect the performance negatively or even make it unsafe to ride. It’s for this reason that you need to choose your modifications wisely. So, what modifications should you consider installing on your bike?

Frame Sliders

Frame sliders have the same function as bull bars in that they keep the frame of the bike away from the ground in the event of a crash. Frame sliders are inexpensive and they can save you a lot of money and heartache because they prevent, or at least minimize, damage to your motorcycle’s frame. As many motorcycle owners already know, frame repairs can be very costly.

Engine Guards

Much like frame sliders, engine guards are protective additions to your motorcycle. Many motorcycle owners would tell you that the engine is the single most expensive component of your bike. An engine is composed of thousands of tiny parts, to the point that you can wind up better off buying a new bike instead of a new engine if it gets damaged severely enough. And while it’s true that you can indeed craft your own parts by making use of bronze castings, doing so to replace engine components is a task that is far too complicated.

Upgraded Suspension

Ohlins TTX-GP 7 shock

Suspension systems aren’t just meant to ensure a smooth ride, they are also meant to provide as much control as possible to the rider. An upgraded suspension also helps increase the longevity of your motorbike by protecting vital the internal parts from being shaken up due to bumps on the road.

Tires

Much like an upgraded suspension system, tires are going to help you maintain control as you go through sharp curves and corners. The best part is that since your motorcycle already comes with stock tires, you can often sell them to help offset the cost of buying upgraded tires. Aside from the extra traction and control, your bike’s going to look much better with thicker tires. Thickers tires also last longer than stock tires, so you get good value from the extra cost.

Improved Windshields

Windshields on motorcycles are more important than most people give them credit for. They direct airflow around the bike, while a poorly aligned windshield can increase drag. Consider changing your stock windshield into one that’s better angled, and maybe looks sportier too.

So, now that you have the essential modifications, you’re free to add more mods that enhance the look and experience of owning and riding your motorcycle. Just make sure to do your research and choose your modifications carefully, so you don’t wind up ruining the look or feel instead of improving it.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘Cool idea’ for handlebar airconditioning

While most riders like to expose themselves to the elements, there have always been inventors trying to make the ultimate airconditioning unit to cool riders.

The latest comes from Bruce Hammond of Hammond Brothers Motorsports, Colorado, who has invented a turbofan that blows cold air at the rider from the handlebars.

Another example of Bruce's cool AC fan (Images provided by Bruce) airconditioning
Bruce with his AC turbofan

Bruce, 35, says motorcycles are not always going fast but spend a lot of time going slow in traffic when it can get very hot.

His airconditioning unit features thermoelectric cooling that uses electricity to release cold air. It is similar to those used in wine coolers and mini fridges.

It’s a much more compact system than large compressor units that circulate liquid refrigerant.

Bruce invented his airconditioning unit after living and riding in Florida’s oppressive heat.

It took him more than four years to develop and cost him $US21,000 to secure two vital patents for his design.

So far he only has produce cumbersome-looking prototypes and has not yet gone into production.

We wish him luck.

Cool air AC air-conditioning motorcycles Bruce Hammond airconditioning
Another example of Bruce’s cool AC fan (Images provided by Bruce)

Airconditioning riders

Riding in hot conditions is not only uncomfortable but can be unsafe.

It makes riders fatigued and can lead to dangerous dehydration. Click here to find out how to beat dehydration.

These days there are plenty of passive-cooling solutions including flow-through gear, Ventz that send cooling air up your sleeve and wet vests that cool your torso.

Ventz motorcycle jacket vents airconditioning
Click here to buy Ventz now from our online shop

However, Bruce isn’t alone in trying to cool riders with the more active solution of air-conditioning.

Arizona company MiClimate unveiled their MiCli 1 personal AC unit in April 2016.

MiClimate motorcycle air conditioning conditioner airconditioning
MiClimate

It was expected to ship in December 2018 at $US399 (about $A540) plus shipping.

However, we have not been able to get in touch with the company for an update.

Because AC units are usually bulky, some of the “solutions” feature units that are mounted on the bike.

For example, the bulky 4.5kg BikeAir unit sits on the back seat of the bike and plugs into a special jacket that allows the cool air to flow through.

EntroSys BikeAir motorcycle air conditioner airconditioning
EntroSys BikeAir motorcycle air-conditioner

Honda has also patented a stand-alone, tank-mounted air-conditioning unit, but it has not yet hit the market.

It draws hot air through mesh openings in the sides of the tank bag and passes it over an ice pack stored underneath and a blower powered by rechargeable batteries to blow cool at the rider.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Air hoses that frustrate some riders

Riders with spoked wheels on their bikes are frustrated at not being able to get some service station air hoses to fit their metal valve stems.

The owner of a Queensland service station says he suspects one rider became so frustrated he found a solution to the problem by bending their air hose nozzle.

“I’ve often seen riders struggling to get the nozzle on to the valve stem on motorcycles,” the servo owner says.

“I suppose this works better now because of the angle, but I’m surprised he didn’t break it as it’s only made of brass.”

Riders should be aware that service stations are not legally bound to provide the free air service. Some have chosen to withdraw the service because of vandalism and accidental breakage.

Air your grievance

Air hoses are made to suit cars with flexible valve stems. They don’t suit all types of motorcycle wheels.

Riders with mag wheels on their bikes can start laughing now …

However, it’s no laughing matter for some riders with spoked wheels on their bikes.

In fact, it can be downright infuriating.  On several occasions I’ve ridden to several service stations in search of a hose that will fit.

The worst offenders are the old-style air hoses with the pressure indicator on the air hose. These have a long metal nozzle which is at the wrong angle to fit on the rigid metal valve stem of spoked wheels.air hoses tyre pressure gauge

Modern flexible air hoses with the pressure indicated on a digital screen on a fixed post are better. air hoses tyre pressure gauge

But even some of those are too stiff to bend enough to fit over the perpendicular valve stem.

Most spoked-wheeled bikes only have one disc brake on the left of the front wheel so you access the valve stem from the right. But even these can be difficult to get an old-style air hose to fit.

If your bike has dual front discs like the Ducati GT1000 I once owned or the Triumph Scrambler 1200 I tested recently, it is almost impossible to fit any type of air hose.

Some bikes with spoked wheels have large holes in the wheel hub so you can thread the air hose through the middle to access the valve stem in a straight line.

Otherwise, you have to thread the hose through the spokes wheels and even then it can be a difficult angle.

I’ve copped bloodied knuckles trying to get the right connection on the valve stem.

Meanwhile, as you try fitting it, the connector triggers the valve and lets out precious air pressure.

After struggling in vain, I’ve sometimes left servos with less pressure in my tyres!

L-shaped valves

air hoses tyre pressure gauge
Replacement L-shaped valve stem

Apart from the vandal’s less-than-ideal solution, you can fit L-shaped valve stems to your wheels for easy access by any style of air hose.

I swapped the very heavy spoked wheels of the Ducati for beautiful, lightweight Blackstone TEK carbon fibre wheels which came with convenient L-shaped valve stems.

Blackstone TEK Black Diamond carbon fibre wheels for Ducati GT1000
90-degree valve stem on Blackstone TEK Black Diamond carbon fibre wheels for my Ducati GT1000

It’s surprising bikes with spoked wheels don’t come from the factory with these right-angle stems.

You can buy L-shaped stem replacements for a few dollars or about $25 fitted.

However, make sure the tyre fitter re-balances the wheel after they are fitted because the stems can have a slight affect on balance that could lead to handling problems.

Even a minor variation in rotating weight can lead to dangerous vibrations.

air hoses tyre pressure gauge
L-shaped valve stem adaptors

A cheaper option is to buy an L-shaped valve stem adaptor that screws on to your valve stem. They are small enough to fit in your pocket and only cost a few dollars. 

Which air hoses are the most accurate? Click here for details.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The smart brake light that may save your life

This smart brake light could just save your life. It illuminates even when you slow down with the throttle only and acts as a warning motorists following behind.

Rear-ender crashes involving motorcycles are too frequent, probably because we often slow down with engine braking, rather than the brakes. This can take following motorists by surprise.

So the makers of the clever Smart Turn System self-cancelling indicators ($160 plus shipping) have now introduced their Smart Brake Module ($125 plus shipping).Smart Turn System Self-cancelling indicator may save your life

BUY smart indicators here

They had identified that many crashes are caused by riders forgetting to turn off their indicators. They also believe that many motorcyclists are rear-ended because riders don’t use their brakes to slow down.

How it works

The Smart Brake Module uses the same motion sensor technology as the Smart Turn System.

It detects any decrease in speed, regardless of braking with the front or rear brake or just decelerating with the engine.

Spokesman Miha Ernstscheinder says the module will detect “even the smallest deceleration forces”.

“It senses deceleration, and it activates the brake light when it senses a deceleration greater than 4.1kmh/s (2.5mph),” he says.

So it detects deceleration even before the bike’s brake switch activates.

Two modes

It has two modes of operation – a steady brake light signal (the same as when you press the brake lever) or a “flashing signal”.

“The flashing signal is similar to the blinker frequency,” Miha says.

“It does not have a modulating effect like a strobe which is forbidden and can be used only by emergency services and police.

“Most safety schools teach or advise that you tap the brake lever when you are engine braking.

“That signals to the following traffic and increases their reaction times.

“The SBM module does exactly that, but automatically.”

(When you apply the brakes, the brake lights perform in the usual way as a solid light.)

It could be enough to save you from a rear ender.road rage tailgate tailgating rear-ender motorcycles BMW S 1000 RR lane filtering lane splitting

Miha says the brake light is compatible with all motorcycles whether they have standard bulbs, LEDs or HID lights.

“It is very small and easy to fit – not much bigger than a box of matches — and easy to hide under your motorcycle seat.”

Legality lights

Some riders have questioned whether the unit is legal in Australia.

There is no mention in the Australian Design Rules about the light modulating.

However, Miha says the unit has Homologation Type Approval which is above the requirements of regulations around the world.

“It complies with the unified standards which are standardised in all countries that are part of the United Nations,” he says.

“Thousands of riders have already made the MOT in the USA, UK, Germany and Australia.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Tenneco ownership to boost Öhlins suspension

Riders looking for premium motorcycle suspension should welcome the new ownership of Swedish company Öhlins Racing by tech company Tenneco.

The American company has worked with Öhlins on their CES valves over the past 20 years.

It will lend technological and logistic support that should lead to more products for more models, more outlets, faster delivery and probably cheaper prices.

Öhlins boss Henrik Johansson has welcomed the “strong owner”.

“Tenneco has everything we need that we currently do not have,” he says.

“We have technology, engineering capacity and a global brand name. Tenneco has global production, technology and a distribution network.

“By using Tenneco’s capabilities in purchasing and product development, we can reduce cost, increase profit and increase penetration of Öhlins products.”

He says the ownership deal will also bring new products to market faster.

“Competition is getting stronger, lead times are getting shorter; technology is getting to market faster,” he says.

“Tenneco will benefit from our ability – as a smaller, more agile organisation – to act much quicker and more efficiently in bringing new products and technologies to market.

“My objective is to continue to develop technology, open new doors in some areas and keep them open.”

Öhlins ownershipDucati Monster 1200 R ownership

Öhlins is well known in racing and recreational circles as one of the world’s top suspension companies for motorcycles, mountain bikes, cars and in motorsport for the past 43 years.

It not only provides aftermarket suspension components but also factory-fitted suspension.

Manufacturers using Öhlins include Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Norton, Triumph and Yamaha who used to own 5% of the Swedish company before it was bought back in 2007.

Öhlins will be incorporated into Tenneco’s Aftermarket and Ride Performance company which will begin operations this year.

Despite the new ownership, Öhlins will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.

Tenneco boss Brian Kesseler says Öhlins will remain a premium product and there are no plans to bring it into the mid-market, mass-market motorcycle segment.

Tenneco also bought Italian motorcycle and bicycle suspension company Marzocchi in 2009.

Racing support

MotoGP Ohlins MotoGP auction aids Sydney girl Freya ownership
Ohlins Racing Moto 2 forks

The company will continue to play an important part in motorsport.

“Öhlins has never sponsored a rider or a team,” Henrik says.

“We actually sell what we produce for Formula 1, Formula E, MotoGP, Nascar and others because we make the best products.

“I’m convinced that Tenneco will continue with that strategy and we can work on further building the Öhlins name in racing.”

The ownership deal is yet to be approved by the EU.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com