Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

Siima Sibirsky gloves in winter/summer test

Siima Sibirsky Adventure Gloves may not be the only motorcycle gloves you will ever need, but they do come close as our winter/summer test shows.

The gloves convert from a long winter gauntlet to a shorty summer glove in seconds and come with waterproof overgloves as this video shows.

Road tested

Siima founder Giorgos Evripidou sent me a pair to test shortly after I had lamented there was no such thing as an all-weather waterproof glove.

The Euro-approved goat skin gloves are designed in Cyprus, made in Indonesia and come in sizes large to 3XL. More sizes may become available if these are successful.

They are not cheap at €179.99 (about $A294) but the idea is you only need the one set of gloves for all seasons. 

Even though I usually take XL, Giorgos says the sizing is a bit small so he sent me a pair of 2XL to test. XL would have been fine as the 2XL was a little big.

Siima Sibirsky Adventure Glove for all weather conditions

While there are no hard knuckle protectors, they feel like a high-quality glove with thick rubber on the backs of the hands and quality leather and stitching.

The Sibirsky gloves also feel very comfortable with a soft felt-like Thermolite inner shell. 

Despite the perforations between the fingers for cooling air, they felt quite warm down to 10C.

However, once into single-digit temperatures my pinkies got quite cold.

I pulled the overgloves on and that added a little more warmth as it cut down wind penetration.

Unlike other overgloves, these are designed to fit over these specific gloves, so they do not make them overly bulky.

I found I could still bend my hands easily and feel the controls with a special grip patch on the palm so your hand doesn’t slip on the throttle.

There is also a wiper blade on the left index finger and a pull string to seal against the wind and rain.

While I didn’t get the chance to ride in rain with them, I filled the gloves with water and waited several hours to see if they leaked. They didn’t, so they should be fine for riding in the wet.

Summer testSiima Sibirsky gloves in winter/summer test

When packing for my recent trip to the USA to test the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire in Portland, Oregon, I decided it would be a good opportunity to test out the hot weather capabilities of the Sibirsky gloves.

It takes a couple of seconds to unzip the gauntlets. It takes a little while longer to put them back on, but it’s not that difficult as the zip is thick and robust.

So I just packed the shorty version.

Unfortunately, the temperature only topped 30C, so it wasn’t a super-hot day to test the gloves.

However, I could tell that they were well ventilated and coped quite well on the open road.

When I got back into Portland’s slow downtown traffic, they started getting quite warm.

So, they are more of a most-weather glove, than an all-weather glove.

You may still need your super-warm winter gloves and super-ventilated summer gloves for extremes.

Otherwise, these are a good all-purpose glove.

Sibirsky Adventure Glove tech specs

  • TPR flexible ventilated knuckle protector,
  • TPR finger knuckles,
  • Superfabric palm slider,
  • Carbon PU upper wrist protector,
  • Superfabric back thumb reinforcement,
  • Drum-dyed goatskin (outer shell),
  • Thermolite insulation for all-season temperature regulation (inner shell),
  • 180gr bemberg +5mm sponge (inner shell),
  • Reflective stripes for night visibility (gloves & rain overgloves),
  • Inside lining: tri-fleece liner,
  • Elastic mesh on the wrist (short cuff),
  • YYK durable zipper to transform into short cuff,
  • Shield wiper (left index finger),
  • Pull string “auto-cuff (rain overgloves),
  • Grip patch at palm,
  • Wrist velcro closure,
  • 4way air mesh ventilation,
  • 100% waterproof rain overgloves,
  • Touch screen friendly index & middle fingers,
  • Stretch panels on thumb and fingers,
  • Double stitched,
  • Reflective stickers.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Macna Bastic a clever summer jacket

This Macna Bastic bomber jacket looks like casual wear, not a motorcycle jacket, yet it has a lot of protection and some clever features that make it ideal for next summer’s riding.

The European motorcycle clothing company makes some advanced technological gear with a lot of street smarts.

We’ve tested several of their jackets and they all seem to have some unique features such as the Aytee all-season jacket I used on last year’s Italian Alps tour.

Macna Aytee motorcycle jacket
Macna Aytee motorcycle jacket braves the Italian alps


All European gear now has to be properly certified and these jackets contain a lot of protective materials for abrasion and impact resistance.

This Macna Bastic jacket features CE-approved impact pads in the back, shoulders and elbows.

However, I don’t think the satin-finish polyamide nylon material would have much abrasion resistance.

Clever features

But it is the clever little additions that I like.

For example, there is a sunglasses hook to hang your sunnies on your chest.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Sunnies holder

It also has two deep outside pockets that won’t let your valuables fall out even if you forget to fasten them with the two snap buttons.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Deep pockets

Instead of the usual zip in the back to attach to your trousers if they have a matching zip, there is a simple snap tag that fits to your pants’ belt loop. Simple, easy to use and it works. Very clever.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Pants belt loop attachment

But the most clever thing is the venting system.

I didn’t think it would be very good in hot weather with its elasticised cuffs and waist band not allowing in any breeze.

However, there are two small zipped vents on the upper arms that direct air straight into your armpits for maximum cooling effect.

I tried it out in 30C heat in Portland, Orgeon, this week on the Harley LiveWire launch and it works!

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle basic
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

The front zip is also a clever two-stage zip.

If it’s cold, do it up to the tighter zip, but if it’s warm, zip up the second zip, leaving a 25mm-wide vent panel right down the front of the jacket.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Twi-stage zip with vent system

Of course, this won’t work if you are behind a windscreen.

But on a naked bike it almost feels like you have no jacket on at all; the air current is amazing.

There is also a strange, shallow pocket with no real fastener on the outside left chest. I do not have any clue about its purpose!

There is only one inside zipped pocket which is a shame, although it is quite big.

It’s also weather proof as are the pockets.

I haven’t yet been caught in the rain with this jacket, but I did give it a test in the kitchen sink and the interior stayed dry.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket

Macna men's jacket range

  • Satin finish Polyamide Nylon.
  • Soft polyester mesh liner with fixed Raintex waterproof membrane.
  • “SCS Lite” ventilation system.
  • Shoulder Safetech CE level 2, Elbow Safetech CE level 1.
  • Night Eye reflective panels.
  • CE back protector prepared, fitted with 12 mm EVA back pad.
  • Hoody holder, Air vents sleeves & back. Rear belt loop.
  • Zipgrip, Phone pocket, Sunglasses holder Coat hanger loop.
  • Olive Green.
  • Men’s sizes S-3XL

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sena Savage Bluetooth helmet review

If you have been looking for an open-face helmet with Bluetooth communication, the new Sena Savage is the answer.

It features integrated controls, speakers and a microphone discretely in the brow section of the helmet.

As you would expect, it’s noisier than a full-face helmet, the microphone is not as quiet as in a full face helmet, but it’s equal to or better than the boom-mic units people attach to their open-face helmets.

And it is neater as well. The compact two-control functions on the side of the helmet are sadly visible, yet easy to use.Sena Savage

They work the same as the Sena 20S controls wth a button and a dial/button/toggle control.

With just those two controls, you can switch on/off, summon Siri, play music, answer and reject calls, pair t your phone and another intercom, summon an intercom user, skip tracks and change the volume.

The only problem I found with the Savage is that the amplifier and speakers are not powerful enough to provide adequate sound when I wear my filtered earplugs.

The filtered earplugs reduce the overall sound a little, but mainly they filter out the damaging wind noise that gives you tinnitus.

They allow you to hear important traffic sounds such as emergency siren and horns, plus listen to your music and phone conversations at a lower volume that doesn’t hurt your ears.

Unfortunately, this system is a little too quiet, so it’s really only useful up to about 80km/h.

Last year I reviewed the Sena Momentum full-face helmet and I was so impressed it has now become my go-to helmet. Read my review here.

Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet hi-fi savage
Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet

It is a shame the Savage does not have the same volume levels as the Momentum Lite.

Still, it’s a very comfortable and useful helmet for around-town duties where an open-face helmet gives you extra vision to look out for errant traffic.

The quality of sound and noise-damping of the brow-mounted microphone is ok, but not great.

They also use this system in their Calvary half-helmet.

Sena Cavalry motorcycle half helmet with bluetooth unit savage
Sena Calvary

I talked to a few people on the phone while riding and they said it sounded a bit distorted at city speeds and over 80km/h there was to much wind noise.

That seems to be vindicated by this promotional video where the rider is mainly cruising around town.

Sena Savage

The Savage is now available in Australia in matte black in medium, large and XL sizes at $A499.95.

That makes it cheaper than buying a helmet and separate Bluetooth unit.

You can also buy optional long and short peaks and we imagine the three press studs would also fit many visors suitable for other open-face helmets.

It is the first open-face helmet with Bluetooth 4.1, connecting with three other riders up to 1.6km.

Like other Sena units, it is an intercom and has integrated 10-station FM radio which can be accessed hands-free with voice controls.

Talk time is 11 hours and the lithium polymer battery charges in three hours.

The composite fibreglass shell helmet weighs just 1100g and features removable and washable padding, with a nylon double-D-ring fastener.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Shark gobbles up Nolan helmets

Italian helmet maker the Nolan Group has been bought by French motorcycle company 2Ride Holding, makers of Shark helmets, Bering and Segura motorcycle clothing and Bagster bike luggage.

Nolan Group make Nolan, X lite and Grex helmets and N-Com Bluetooth intercoms. 

An official statement about the merger does not give any assurances on whether production will be moved from Italy.

However, it does say 100% of Nolan Group’s products are “conceived, designed and created in Europe, and a good majority of them are even manufactured in the European territory”.

We believe many products in the 2Ride Holding range are made in South East Asia.

2 Ride Holding president Patrick François says they have already begun to work together and intend to “optimise all this Italian, French and European expertise in order to offer our global consumers more protective and easier-to-use products”.

Nolan and Shark helmetsNolan N-87 helmet in scratched chrome

Nolan helmets were the most trusted brand in Australia in 2015, the first year of the Canstar Blue customer satisfaction ratings.

Our assessment of the respected UK SHARP helmet safety ratings found Shark was the most prolific helmet brand in the survey with 24 helmets and all but one scored four or more stars, making it the safest, statistically.

Strategic alliance

The official press statement says the “strategic alliance” between these two European companies “attests to their intent on making significant inroads into the global marketplace and will enable them to pursue their geographic expansion plans”.

“With €150 million in sales revenue and a workforce of around 1000, the Nolan Group distributes its products in over 80 countries worldwide and enjoys a global leadership status in the market of protective equipment for motorcycle and outdoor sports,” it says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

First motorcycle jacket to score 10-star rating

The RST Ventilator textile jacket is the first jacket to receive a full 10-star rating for thermal comfort in the MotoCAP ratings system since it began a year ago.

It is one of six jackets and nine pair of gloves to be added to the list of 110 motorcycle protective clothing items.

MotoCAP has now tested 49 textile and leather jackets, 18 pairs of jeans and leggings, seven pair of leather pants, one pair of textile pants and 35 pairs of gloves.

The world’s first safety and comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing provides comfort ratings for thermal comfort and waterproofing on jackets and pants, but not gloves.

Top star

RST Ventilator jacket top rating star
RST Ventilator jacket

The $350 RST Ventilator jacket scored a full 10-star rating for thermal comfort, thanks to mesh panels in the arms, chest and sides.

However, it only scored two out of five stars for safety despite elbow and shoulder impact protectors and pockets at the back for aftermarket impact protectors.

Dainese fighter jacket rating star
Dainese fighter jacket

In the latest round of testing, the highest protection rating went to the $800 Dainese Fighter leather jacket.

It scored a three-star rating even though it has the same impact protectors as the RST.

Glove ratings

For gloves, two products scored equal high protection ratings of three stars.

These were the Five Gloves X-Rider Water Proof and the Ducati Performance C2 leather gloves.

Gloves are not tested for comfort under the MotoCAP rating protocols.

Transport for NSW says that to measure for comfort a large square of fabric must be obtained.

“There is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure,” they say.

The new ratings can be viewed on the MotoCAP home page by scrolling down to “Latest Rated Products”.

  • MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad teams up with Sena Bluetooth

BMW Motorrad has now teamed up with Sena Bluetooth to provide special a “Fit-for-All” helmet two-way intercom system that can be extended up to six people.

Basically it’s a Sena 10 series intercom with a BMW badge and probably a “BMW price”!

We asked BMW Motorrad Australia how much they cost and when they would be available. We are still awaiting a reply, but the standard Sena 10S costs about $250.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Fit-for-All intercom

BMW has slapped its blue roundel logo on previous collaborations including Navigator GPS units which are Garmin Zumos and BMW 2-in-1 gloves which are Held Air-n-Dry gloves.

The Sena 10S is the simple, bargain version which is easy to operate and very reliable.

BMW Motorrad also has a Bike-to-Bike communication module that extends the basic Fit-for-All intercom from two-person communication to up to six riders and range to 300m.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Bike-to-Bike communication

That means that when used in a group the front rider can still communicate wth the rear rider up to 2km in “optimum conditions”.

Riders can choose between a private and the six-member public mode using a free app.

The UV-resistant and weatherproof communication system uses only three buttons to handle most functions.

It has eight hours of battery life and can also receive and make phone calls, provide GPS spoken directions and play music from a Bluetooth device.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle seat slides with the rider

Imagine a seat that slides with the riders when they move sideways out of their seat for corners or forward and back for aerodynamic effect.

Now Finnish engineering company Etteplan has received a patent for a seat that slides sideways and forward and back with the rider.

The seat has been tested by disabled Finnish racer Ulla Kulju who was paralysed at 15 in a snowboarding accident.

sliding seat slides

She works as a Senior Design Engineer at Etteplan and is the world’s first paraplegic female motorcycle racer, coming sixth in the disabled world championships 2017.

Perhaps it would be useful for disabled riders, but we’re not so sure it would be useful for other riders.

What would prevent it sliding around and upsetting the rider’s control?

The company says the invention would be useful for all racers and helped Ulla improve her lap times.

Not only has the patent been granted for the seat, but also the manufacturing process as it is 3D printed in one piece.

Printing motorcycle parts on 3D printers looks like being the future of motorcycling for precise and cheap manufacturer.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

AGV AX9 is a versatile helmet

The versatile new AGV AX9 helmet can be worn as an adventure helmet, MX lid with goggles or even a touring helmet with its quickly removable peak and visor.

Once removed, there is no unsightly attachment hardware to affect the shell’s aerodynamics or aesthetics.

It is available in black or white for $699, multi-colours for $799 or matt carbon for $899 and comes in sizes XXS (51-52cm) to XXXL (65-66cm).

versatile new AGV AX9 helmet
AGV AX9 colour line-up

This is not the first such versatile helmet as Shark has had the Explore-R for several years at $599 and it includes the attached goggles, whereas the AGV AX9 doesn’t.

Shark Explore-R motorcycle helmet ax9
Shark Explore-R motorcycle helmet

Both have lightweight carbon variants weighing about 1.3kg. The AGV fibre-composite models weigh 1.4kg.

AX9 tested

AGV claims their helmet “reaches new standards in aerodynamics and ventilation” in wind tunnel and laboratory tests.

There are five adjustable vents including an adjustable chin guard vent so the rider can direct air flow exactly where the want it.

It also has moisture-wicking cheek pads and top liner and a water-resistant neckroll to prevent water from channelling inside the helmet.

Removable and washable cheek pads are made from Ritmo fabric, the crown pad is made of durable Shalimar and the base is made of moisture-resistant Shalimar and Nubuck to keep the helmet dry when you take it off.

The wide anti-scratch visor comes with a Max Vision Pinlock anti-fog insert and has six hold positions to allow extra air.

Their adjustable peak has been wind-tunnel tested to prevent lift which can cause neck pain after riding for some time at highway speeds.

AGV claims they also lab-tested the noise level at 97dB at 110km/h.

That’s still fairly loud and we recommend using earplugs for long rides to avoid short-term fatigue and long-term tinnitus.

Alpine MotoSafe earplugs make riders safer sound
BUY Alpine MotoSafe earplugs now in our online shop

AX9 safetyversatile new AGV AX9 helmet

AGV claims the helmet far exceeds ECE 22.05 safety standards.

Safety features include a shell, neck roll and chin shape that reduces impact pressure and the subsequent risk of collarbone injury.

Between the outer shell and the interior fabrics, AGV has fitted a multi-density EPS with four different foam densities, so it has maximum protection in any size.

It comes with a standard double-D chin strap for secure fastening.

ARK communicationversatile new AGV AX9 helmet

The AX9 is also set up to accommodate their soon-to-be-released integrated ARK aerodynamic communication system at $399.

It was developed by Sena not only for the AX9, but also Sportmodular, K-5 S and K6.

They claim it will seamlessly communicate with up to four riders simultaneously at the click of a button.

Range is said to be up to 1.6km and it features Sena’s Advanced Noise Control ambient noise control for quiet phone and intercom conversations.

It integrates a built-in FM radio tuner with station scan and save function.

The ARK can be applied to the helmet with an AGV Intercom Adapter without affecting the aerodynamic shape.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Your chance to test Forcite smart helmet

Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for the Forcite smart helmet that integrates a camera system, navigation and intercom in the shell and was developed right here in Australia.

The ultralight and ultra-hi-tech smart helmet will hit the market in December, but you can test it in July and August.

CEO and co-founder Alfred Boyadgis says their 6500 early supporters or “test pilots” can register to test the MK-01 helmet on their Launch Tour around Australia.

Dates are listed below and you can click here to register to attend.

Test Forcite smart helmet

The tour kickstarts with a track-day in Sydney and demo events in all states and territories.

“Throughout the tour, we will be gathering and utilising all the valuable feedback our Test-Pilots give us to further improve and refine the MK-01 helmet to make it the best we possibly can before delivering it to them in December,” their invitation says.

Test pilots will also be able to buy a limited-edition founder carbon composite helmet with gold logos for under $1000.Forcite smart helmet funding

Forcite sales director Dylan Ross says the planned retail price for the helmet when it comes to market in December 2019 will be $A1299.

Flaws fixed

In this video he admits that their earlier Mach 1 model had a few flaws such as the camera position on the top.

He says that the top-mounted camera worked for sports bike riders, but those sitting upright mainly videoed the sky. And if the rider raised their visor, it obscured the camera.

The 160-degree camera has now been repositioned in the chin area.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Chin bar helmet

Alfred also confirms that they have not altered the physics of the helmet which still complies with European ECE22.05 standards.

He says none of the lightweight electronics (<200g) is embedded in the foam lining to ensure the integrity of the helmet’s protection.

The Forcite helmet’s electronics are powered by two ceramic batteries that are guaranteed not to rupture or ignite in a crash.

Uni design project beginnings]

The Forcite helmet evolved from an undergraduate UNSW design project with co-founder Julian Chow.

It followed Alfred’s “near-death experience” when he crashed his motorcycle in an oil spill about five years.

He says he broke his knee and cracked his helmet in half. The attached action camera almost penetrated his skull.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Alfred with Mach 1 and founder helmets

The helmet is based on similar smart helmets Forcite has developed for other industries, and the business recently received mentoring in the UNSW 10X Accelerator. 

They say their helmet and software package give riders “greater situational awareness and allows them to overcome their lack of visibility on the road by communicating essential information about their ride in a completely safe manner”.

It can also alert riders to nearby safety hazards with audio and light signals in the chin bar.

The helmet also provides video and audio recordings of the ride and it can be controlled via a smartphone app.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Mobile app monitors helmet technology

All the technology is integrated inside the helmet with no external attachments.

Alfred says helmet attachments are illegal in NSW and being investigated by standards bodies in many countries.

(Our understanding is that NSW and Victorian police still believe external fittings render a helmet illegal, but NSW have been ordered not to fine riders until the issue is officially resolved.)

He says helmet attachments add weight to a helmet and at high-speed impact, can crack helmet shells, leading to death or injury.

There is also concern that they can cause dangerous head rotation in a crash.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What happened to motorcycle centre stands?

What has happened to motorcycle centre stands which are often only available as options (like on the above Kawasaki Z900RS) or provided as standard on just the biggest motorcycles?

When I started riding in the ‘70s, most road bikes had them.

Honda CX500 with standard vinyl seat
1980s Honda CX500 had a centre stand

Even some modern bikes regarded as touring bikes don’t have these utilitarian stands and if you want to buy one, they cost several hundred dollars.

Benefits of centre standsHonda Africa Twin CRF1000L main stand

A centre stand is vital for any chain-driven motorcycle heavier than, say a 400cc bike.

Here are some of the advantages of centre stands:

  • They will allow you to securely park on soft ground;
  • They make it easy to clean and lubricate the chain;
  • They allow you to fit your bike in a narrow space such as in your garage or within parking line markings; and 
  • You can sit or even sleep on your bike when it’s on a centre stand!

The only option is to buy a paddock stand which often also requires the owner to fit pick-ups. But of course you can’t take these with you on tour.Anderson Stands centre

Reasons for omission

There are three main reasons manufacturers don’t provide centre stands as standard equipment on most modern motorcycles.

The first is to make the bike appear cheaper.

It’s a competitive industry and price is a huge bargaining tool.

Most buyers are more interested in the power of the engine, the bright colours and hi-tech features, often forgetting about practical things like a centre stand.

The second reason is that they don’t look sexy!

I can’t recall one motorcycle brochure or promo photo showing a motorcycle on a centre stand even when they have one.

I’ve seen motorcycles on paddock stands, but not a provided centre stand.

MV Agusta Superveloce 800
MV Agusta Superveloce 800 on a paddock stand

The third reason is emissions regulations.

It is becoming more and more difficult for manufacturers to reach the ever-increasing standards of European emissions controls.

So they try to keep the bike’s weight down to improve engine efficiency.

Centre stands are heavy, often weighing several kilograms, so jettisoning this extra weight allows manufacturers to reach emissions targets.

Even many modern side stands are now made of a light alloy rather than a substantial steel or iron for weight-saving reasons.

Consequently, they bend and can develop faults with the engine cut-off switch. You should never stand on the pegs to mount a tall bike while it is on its side stand for this very reason.

Weight-saving and emissions targets are also why fuel tanks are getting smaller on modern bikes … but don’t get me started on that!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com