Tag Archives: Bike accessories

Finn Update Helmet Intercom Speakers

One of the major failings with motorcycle helmet intercoms is the poor quality of their speakers.

Recently Sena and Cardo (JBL speakers) updated their intercoms with bigger, louder, thinner and better-quality speakers.

We have tested these upgraded speakers as well as some aftermarket speakers and the improvement in sound is welcome. You wouldn’t listen to music at home wth crappy speakers, so why do it when you’re out riding!

And for those who say music is a distraction, maybe they shouldn’t be riding … or even driving as all cars have sound systems!

One of the aftermarket speakers I reviewed was a set of $30 speakers from Finn Moto. I found they provided a substantial improvement in sound for a budget price.

Now, they have made them thinner and bigger which means they are more comfortable next to your ears, as well as louder and with better bass.

In fact, for those who know about audio quality, the output is now from 20Hz to 20kHz.

The problem is that wind noise tends to cancel out the bass end in most speakers.

However, these seem to retain a lot of that fulsome deep sound.

It’s not audiophile quality, but it’s a lot better than before.

Updated Finn intercom speakers

Best of all, they are now just $27.95.

While the speakers look a lot bigger, most of that size is the padded surrounds which make them comfortable against your ears.

Flip them over and the actual speaker unit is no bigger. Yet the sound is better.

And they are much thinner which again improves comfort.

They come with Velcro attachments so you can securely position them right over your ears for optimum sound.

It’s a small price to pay to vastly improve the quality of your sound.

So if, like me, you enjoy music and riding, why not double your enjoyment with a good set of speakers in your helmet intercom?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Italian Company Regina Make Maintenance Free Chain

Just 10 days after BMW Motorrad unveiled a maintenance-free X-ring chain, Italian company Regina has announced they will launch a similar Z-Ring High Performance Endurance chain that eliminates the need for periodic lubrication.

The BMW M Endurance chain in 525 pitch is available on the latest S 1000 RR Race, S 1000 RR M Sport, S 1000 XR Sport as standard and as an option on the S 1000 XR Tour.

It will also be available as an aftermarket item for any bike with a 525-pitch chains for about $A160.

That compares with standard chains costing as little as $A40 and gold chains of about $A200.

There is no word on the price of the Regina Z-ring chain when it hits the market in January 2021.

Another ta-C chain

Both the BMW and Regina chains feature an extremely hard “industrial diamond (tetrahedrally amorphous carbon) coating on the bushings and rollers.

The ta-C coating reduces energy dissipation and increases efficiency in the secondary transmission, combining the very high hardness of the coated surface with a low coefficient of friction.

Kawasaki Nosilu

Regina and BMW promise a greater life than the traditional chains, without the need for lubrication or coated front and rear sprockets.

It also eliminates messy lubricant spatter and the need for regular chain cleaning, minimising environmental impact.

While Regina CEO Paolo Garbagnati says the technology is “unparalleled”, clearly it is not.

And we expect more chains will soon be offered with ta-C coating.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech Protects KTM Engines

German adventure and touring motorcycle accessories company Touratech has produced a special skid plate for the engine on big KTM adventure bikes.

Touratech KTM

The KTM Rallye skid plate allows riders to literally skid over hazards such as rocks, logs and other bumps on rough trails without doing any damage to the engine.

Touratech KTM

Unlike some other rigid skid plates that bolt straight into the engine casing and can transfer impact to the engine, this is made of 6.5kg aluminium that flexes and absorbs impacts without breaking.

That weight is kept low in the bike, so it doesn’t affect handling or balance.

Touratech KTM

It also has two parallel recesses to absorb impacts and allow the bike to skid along the object without jamming on it.

Forcite MK1 Helmet

There are also no welds to snag on bushes and sticks.

Touratech KTM

The KTM Rallye skid plate costs $A711.50, but it’s cheap insurance on protecting your engine.

It suits KTM’s 1050 Adventure, 1090 Adventure, 1190 Adventure and 1290 Super Adventure.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Introduces Worry-Free Chain

Keeping your motorcycle chain clean, lubricated and tensioned is a messy business, but now BMW has developed a special chain that never needs lubricating nor re-tensioning.

BMW has long been known for its maintenance-free shafts, but now they have extended that ability with their M Endurance chain in 525 pitch.

BMW Group Australia Nick Raman Product Communications Manager says the M Endurance chain is standard on the S 1000 RR Race and S 1000 RR M Sport from September 2020 production.

“It is also standard on the S 1000 XR Sport and available optionally on the S 1000 XR Tour from August 2020 production,” he says.

“The ex-factory price for the chain on the S 1000 XR Tour is $160, though we don’t have any information at this point on whether it will be available on other models.”

That’s not too bad considering chains cst between about $50 and $200 for a gold link model and these should last longer.

BMW Motorrad’s global release says “further models are being prepared for this feature”, so we expect the F and G models will get something similar.

However, it may also be suitable for non-BMW bikes.

Company spokesman Gerhard Lindner says: “I think you can put it on every bike with a 525er chain.”

BMW Motorrad No Maintenance Chain

So how does it work?

The M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings, so they don’t require lubrication, nor re-tensioning.

Father's Day

BMW uses a new tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C) coating material for the rollers. It is also known as industrial diamond.

This coating is harder and more resistant than Diamond Like Carbon. The only thing tougher is pure diamond.

BMW says the ta-C industrial diamond coating “does not wear off” and “drastically” reduces the friction coefficient.

“Thanks to excellent dry lubrication properties and the elimination of wear, the tetrahedral amorphous carbon coated rollers of the M Endurance chain offer maintenance comfort equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle,” BMW claims.

“This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain also offers maximum environmental friendliness.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is carbon fibre suitable for bikes?

BMW Motorrad is leading the charge for more carbon fibre on motorcycles with a patent for a carbon fibre swingarm and carbon fibre wheels, fairing and fenders for its S 1000 RR sports bike.

The latter are among their new M performance parts catalogue, but it shows their commitment to lightweight motorcycles.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

But in this drive for lighter weight for both better performance and economy, are they sacrificing structural integrity and safety?

Carbon fibre is a material consisting of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon, used as a strengthening material, especially in resins and ceramics.

It has been around for many years with early development in cars by Toyota and BMW.

Performance motorcycles have long offered various carbon fibre accessories, but nothing really structural.

Today’s carbon fibre is a lot better produced and BMW has shown that it can even be used in the frame.

Many riders are still sceptical that it can withstand the unique physical punishment in a motorcycle.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

Race engineer for Porsche and Supercars, Jeromy Moore, says that compared with ABS plastics, carbon is more brittle, but is lighter and stronger in that it takes a higher load until it fails.

“It can be used in combination with Kevlar which of course is used in bullet proof vests as it’s strong and impact resistant,” he says.

“There are also flexible resin systems out there now that allow movement under low loads and the parts return to original position.”

That seems to be what BMW Motorrad is doing with its swingarm which uses flex rather than a pivot.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

Jeromy says Kevlar is not as stiff as carbon but still has higher stiffness-to-weight ratio than plastic.

As for how it stands up in a crash, Jeromy says it depends on the crash.

“Plastic will just deform and you may be able to repair it,” he says.

“A composite that has been deformed past its yield is throw away.

“It is more expensive and I think unless you are looking for the last tenths of a second around a track by shaving a few kilograms, on a road bike it’s just an expensive nicety.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

VIOFO add motorcycle camera

UK car dashboard camera company VIOFO have launched the MT1 Motorcycle dash cam with a dual lens and a host of hi-tech features.

Many riders now have dash cams constantly recording their ride for both recreational purposes and evidence in the event of a crash.

Now, they are becoming more and more technical.

The VIOFO dash cam includes Sony Starvis sensors, dual-lens 1080p, remote control, Wi-Fi, GPS logger, G-sensor, super capacitor, loop recording, IP66 waterproof rating and more.

Viofo MT1

All this for £229.95 from Amazon UK and Amazon for $US299.90.

Unlike a car dash cam, this unit has to be rugged, dustproof and waterproof for a motorcycle.

VIOFO MT1 is also a dual-channel camera so you can video what’s in front and what’s behind you. And after all, many motorcycle accidents consist of rear-enders from drivers not paying attention.

It records at full HD 1080P video resolution with the Sony Starvis image sensors.

Both lenses have a 170° wide angle which makes it possible to cover multiple lanes and capture more details.

VIOFO also claims their dash cam has “outstanding night vision footage” even in low light.

Viofo MT1

Early motorcycle dash cams simply recorded everything until they ran out of storage space.

The MT1 uses loop recording where the oldest footage is overwritten by the newest when the memory card fills up.

It will not overwrite any accident-related files thanks to the built-in G-sensor that locks and protects footage automatically when the dash cam detects a sudden shake or collision.

There is an option to begin manual recording in an emergency using the remote control which can be mounted in an easily accessible position to save full evidence.

Viofo MT1

The remote control also lets riders control the Wi-Fi connection and includes a microphone to record important audio.

The MT1 comes with a 32GB microSD memory card, but memory can be expanded up to 256GB if required.

Riders should be aware that the information stored on this unit could incriminate them if they misbehave as it has a GPS Logger that records speed, route data and time.

The device uses a super high-quality capacitor to ensure a more stable power and longer lifetime in temperatures from -10°C to 65°C.

The included power cable has ACC function to detect when the ignition is turned on and off automatically.

It also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity which together with the VIOFO app, allows users to instantly view real-time recordings, manage files and change settings using their phone.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cameleon chain oiler updated

The Canadian-made automatic Cameleon Chain Oiler has been updated to a PLUS version.

Oiling your chain is messy, it’s a nuisance having to carry chain lube with you and it’s something easily forgotten after a long ride when your chain is hot and best suited to oiling.

But the electric-powered Chameleon Chain Oiler Plus (about $A280) takes away the mess and automatically keeps your chain clean and lubricated so you don’t have to think about it.

We tested the Cameleon Chain Oiler One (about $A200) and found it a great way to do long tours without having to worry about frequent chain maintenance.

One of the problems with the previous Chameleon Chain Oiler One was the oil didn’t have the same viscosity in changing temperatures.

The PLUS version constantly corrects the flow to keep your chain at optimum lubrication no matter how hot or cold it gets.

Chameleon Automatic Chain Oiler

The result is the cleanest oiler on the market.

The oiler also now has a separate setting for rain.

Now all models also have a fast connector.

These systems will save you money by lengthening the life of your chain by up to four times and avoiding leaving you stranded with a seized link or broken chain.

The oiler basically consists of a reservoir containing enough oil to last for 6000km, an electronic pumping system and a tube to gravity feed oil on to your chain.

It takes less than an hour to install and the only visible part is the clear tube running down on to the chain guard. The rest fits neatly underneath your seat.

The only maintenance is to fill up the reservoir tube with Cameleon Chain Oil every time you do an engine oil change.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Store your gun in motorcycle vault!

There may little call for it here, but one American company has created a special motorcycle vault to store your valuables such as a wallet, phone and even a gun!

Console Vault who make vaults fr all sorts of vehicles says they are in the “peace of mind business”.

I’m not sure that carrying a gun in a vault on your motorcycle would provide me with a lot of peace of mind.

They say demand for in-vehicle protection is being driven by the “significant increase in firearm purchases” and a rise in “smash and grab” thefts.

Grab your gun!Motorcycle gun vault

However, the very nature of a “smash and grab” means it is quick. I’m not sure how quickly you could access your gun in this vault as you would have to pull over, unlock the vault and then get the gun out.

I should also point out that carrying a gun on a motorcycle in a vault could contravene even the lax gun rules in some states of America where you cannot conceal a weapon.

The latest $US399 (about $A560) Console Vault Motorcycle Safe is the first unit they have designed for 2014 or newer Harley-Davidson baggers.

The company plans to introduce new vaults for more motorcycle makes and models.

Each motorcycle safe is built with heavy gauge steel with a choice of three unique locking mechanisms.

They say they can be quickly and easily installed and fits in the saddle bag “without compromising the profile, balance or riding integrity of the motorcycle”.

Console Vault was established in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MV Agusta partners with Akrapovic

MV Agusta has announced an industrial partnership with Slovenian exhaust systems manufacturer Akrapovič.

The agreement includes the supply of exhaust systems designed and produced for specific MV Agusta models.

Akrapovič has similar deals with other manufacturers and for several years has been supplying original mufflers for BMW and now Indian.

It’s not unusual for motorcycle companies to develop such partnerships. The most obvious is Ducati and Termignoni, but many other companies have developed partnerships over the years.

Akrapovič claims to be a pioneer in the “innovative use of titanium and super-alloys, and are at the forefront of carbon-fibre components construction”.

The company was founded by racing champion Igor Akrapovič and works closely with several teams in MotoGP, World-Superbikes and MXGP.

Akrapovic sounds

New MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov says the sound of the exhaust on one of their bikes is critical.

“Sound is part of the MV Agusta experience. It’s a key element to its style and we pay a lot of attention to it,” he says.

“Our three and four-cylinders models have quite unique personalities and we’ve always worked towards matching them with hair-raising sound, but this partnership goes well beyond the look and sound; it is really about leading-edge technology, performance and uncompromising quality.

“MV Agusta and Akrapovič have a very similar approach to industrial excellence, accepting nothing but the best. I welcome this partnership as a natural alliance between like-minded leaders in their own field, which will bring about many synergies and even better products for the enjoyment of motorcycle enthusiasts around the world.”

Akrapovič CEO Uroš Rosa says the partnership is a “natural fit”.

“Count Domenico Agusta and Igor Akrapovič both came from a racing background and created winning global brands through their passion, making this collaboration a natural fit,” he says.

“Akrapovič will create innovative products for the beautiful MV Agusta models that are coming soon, with designs that have never been seen before.

“With high-tech, race-proven materials, such as titanium and carbon fibre, we will create systems that will enhance the ‘Motorcycle Art’ that MV Agusta prides itself on, and our engineers will produce a unique sound for the range. Our exhausts will make a statement for all to see and hear that perfectly complements MV Agusta motorcycles.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

WP Suspension to suit more models

Esoteric Austrian suspension company WP Performance Sports GmbH which is owned by KTM Group has announced it is branching out into units for other models.

In Australia, WP Suspension is sold through KTM and has been available only for KTM models.

However, a recent release from the company about its street suspension says WP Suspension plans to “expand its portfolio with suitable products for a large number of other manufacturers”.

It’s good news for riders as the suspension units are among the best in the world.

The range includes on and off-road competition-focused Pro Components, such as Cone Valve forks, Trax rear shock absorber, triple clamps and steering dampers, as well as t-shirts and stickers.

KTM Australia adds WP Suspension and gear

WP Suspension history

The Dutch company launched as White Power Suspension in 1977 and has been heavily involved in motorsport, winning more than 300 FIM World Championship titles.

Its unfortunate name was based on its iconic white coil springs.

The company went broke in 1991 and relaunched the same year as WP Suspension.

KTM gradually took over the company from 1997 and re-established the factory right next to theirs in Mattighofen.

Championship winning KTMs

Their combined engineering has helped the company develop their off-road and now road racing motorcycles.

Meanwhile, their street-oriented APEX PRO COMPONENTS feature a growing selection of cartridges, forks, shocks and steering dampers for KTM motorcycles.

New products include the APEX PRO 7500 Cartridge, APEX PRO 7746 Shock and APEX PRO 7117 Steering Damper for the KTM 890 DUKE R and KTM 1290 SUPERDUKE.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com