Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

Aussie Quad Lock launches smart charger

My Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport features an Aussie-designed Quad Lock sitting proudly atop the handlebars.

It not only securely holds my iPhone so I can use it as a satnav, but also charges as I ride with a wireless charger hooked up via a long lead to the USB outlet under my seat.

However, that charging only works when the bike is switched on and it may not be totally waterproof although it hasn’t faulted yet.

Now the clever guys at Quad Lock have introduced a $A49.95 Smart Adaptor that they claim is waterproof, which is great for those on adventure bikes who may wade through water.

The device has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating or rating of IP66.

The first number measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust with 6 being the highest, while the second from 0-9 measures resistance to water, so it’s pretty good. Click here for more details.

It also features the option to have the device charged anytime the phone is on the mount, or only when the ignition is on or an auto mode.

The latter “smart” mode keeps the device switched off until input voltage rises above 13.5V and turns off when input voltage drops below 12.5V to avoid draining your battery drain.

You can easily switch between modes using the toggle. 

It also has in-line fuse and reverse polarity protection in the rare event of a fault. It can be hooked up to a USB outlet or your 12V bike battery.

I love the convenience my Quad Lock offers, but I recommend you also fit their vibration dampener as motorcycle vibrations can cause the camera in some iPhones to stop focusing and it’s not covered by your phone warranty.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech launches 3-in-1 boot

German adventure motorcycle accessories company Touratech has launched a boot it claims is a three-in-one to cover touring, sports and adventure riding.

Touratech Australia does not yet have a date for the arrival of the Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX boots and are currently only gauging interest.

But wait for it — if or when they do arrive, they will set you back almost the price of three boots at $A1492 in sizes 39-47.

For that price they better one good.

Touratech says they have the all-day “comfort of a touring boot, the safety of a sports boot and the robustness of an MX boot”.

So let’s check the claims on these boots, developed for Touratech by Dutch motorcycle clothing company REV’IT!

Comfort

The comfort is provided by a flexible joint system, a SEESOFT protector insert in the tongue and an Apex sole, developed with Vibram.

They claim the sole makes them easier to walk in so you don’t clump around like you are wearing skit boots without the skis.

Touratech also claim the sole has different zones; one for operating the brake lever; another for strength and others for walking comfort. 

The insole is made of washable, open-pored PU foam.

Safety

The Destino boot features a lot of protection as you would expect from an adventure-style boot with what they call a Dynamic Support Frame (DSF).

It is made up of a calf shield, heel cup and a stability frame to prevent twisting with extra impact protection in the toe area.

Destino boots are certified for safety with the highest EC approval level: EN 13634:2017 Level 2.

Fit

Another feature is the BOA Fit closure system which uses a now-popular hand-operated ratchet dial that pulls wire laces for the optimum fit and release at the touch of the centre button.

Best Full Face Helmets

There are no show laces to tie and no bulky and uncomfortable clasps that feature on many off-road boots.

Having the boot tight not only ensures a correct and safe fit, but also prevents mud and dust getting in.

Waterproof

These boots are made of a combination of materials such as SuperFabric, microfibre lining, Omega leather, supple nubuck leather and a Gore-Tex membrane that they claim guarantees “absolute waterproofness with simultaneous breathability”.

Excuse my cynicism here, but I have yet to find any breathable clothing that is also 100% waterproof.

However, there are varying degrees of water resistance indicated by an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

This rating consists of two numbers. The first from 0-6 measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust, while the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click here for more details.

I can’t find any reference to an IP on their website. It just says “Waterproof Yes”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP allows riders to compare gear

Eight motorcycle jackets and five pairs of riding pants have been added to the growing list of motorcycle gear rated by the award-winning MotoCAP website so riders can compare items before buying.

MotoCAP has now tested a total of 443 jackets, gloves and pants and now includes helmet safety and comfort ratings.

In the latest round of testing, RST Kevlar Tech Pro CE Mens denim pants and BMW PaceGuard textile pants were the highest performing, receiving four out of five stars for safety.

BMW Paceguard gear

The BMW PaceGuard pants are now the highest performing non-denim textile pants for safety and also received ten out of ten for water resistance.

The new ratings for jackets can be viewed here. The new ratings for pants can be viewed here.

The online site also allows readers to view items side by side for easier comparisons before buying.

The MotoCAP website now also includes helmet ratings after merging information from the Australian NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) ratings site, previously published on crash.org.au.

The MotoCAP safety intitiative launched in September 2018 and is the first of its type in the world.

It is based on evidence from crash injury research and the test protocols of the current industry standard. It is an initiative of state automobile clubs and transport departments.

In 2019, MotoCAP, has won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

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), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Noise-reduction Bluetooth for helmets

The world’s first active noise-cancelling helmet bluetooth system for a range of helmets is now available for order with delivery expected later this year.

Developed by DAAL Noise Control Systems in collaboration with Nolan helmets’ N-Com Bluetooth intercoms, the DAAL DXL-5 can be ordered by clicking here.

It will cost 5990 Norwegian Kroner which is about $A930, €630 or $US680 and you will need to pay half when you order.

It is initially only available for use in the Nolan X-Lite X1005 helmet, but units will be available for other helmets probably from next year.

This device should be a huge safety and comfort boost for riders to avoid hearing loss and fatigue from dangerous wind noise frequencies that can reach 110dB or as much as an AC/DC concert, even in the quietest of helmets.

Critics should note that even though this is called an active noise-cancelling (ANC) system, it is actually a noise-reduction system.

Earplugs are a noise cancelling system. But on the road, they can be dangerous as they prevent riders hearing important noises such as car horns, sirens and screeching tyres.

The DAAL DXL-5 is more correctly referred to as an active noise reduction system that filters out the most dangerous frequencies caused by wind noise.

DAAL founder and CEO Dag Loe says it is also different to the noise-cancelling earphones we may be used to.

“Unlike generic noise cancellation headphones, our system is developed specifically to perform in the harsh and demanding noise environment inside a motorcycle helmet – and actually performs well for wind noise,” he says.

Active noise-cancelling systems generate a reverse sound wave of the background noise and play it through the speakers to cancel out the unwanted, harmful noise.

The DAAL system consists of a microphone next to your ear, speakers by your ears and am eight-hour battery in the back of the helmet. Total weight of the system is 150g.

Because of the various elements required, the system cannot be an aftermarket, retro-fit unit like most simple Bluetooth intercoms that clip to the side of your helmet. 

Instead, the DAAL DXL-5 has to be separately designed for each helmet.

Apart from reducing noise, it connects via Bluetooth 4.1 class 1 to most smart phones, GPS and other Bluetooth devices including many other helmet intercoms.

Sena was the first to introduce a helmet with an integrated electronic noise-cancelling intercom system. It is not yet available in Australia.

The DAAL system will be the first to fit a wide range of helmets.

We first published news about the development of this product back in 2018 when it was excepted to be delivered in 2020. 

The intervening years of the pandemic have no doubt interrupted development with delivery expected later this year for use in the Nolan X-Lite X1005 with more applications available from next year.

Dag says their goal is to make DAAL ANC available for as many motorcyclists as possible, regardless of brands.

“From a scaling perspective, universal aftermarket sales is the way to go,” he says.

Dag Loe

“However, since there are some specific challenges regarding system-helmet integration that needs to be solved in order to make a product delivery at all – we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with an industry leader like Nolan (and N-Com). 

“The basic form factor of the resulting product can in principle fit into any helmet (we are not removing any EPS, we are sticking to the standard 40mm shallow intercom speaker recess that you find in most modern helmets, and so forth). 

“However the specific timeline moving forward is not yet set, seeing as we are currently in a period where our focus is heavily on learning from customer feedback and making sure we execute our deliveries properly!

DAAL claim production will be limited in 2022 due to the global component shortage.

Consequently, we have not yet been assigned a unit for review, but have been promised one when they are available.

I have high hopes for this device as I, like many other mature-aged riders, suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) from years of riding. Click here for more information.

I wear special earplugs to filter out the damaging wind noise, but still allow me to hear important sirens, horns and other noises, as well as my helmet intercom.

They work well, but I would prefer a less fiddly system integrated into a helmet like the DAAL system or the integrated unit in Sena’s Momentum helmet.

I’ve tried Bose noise-cancelling headphones under my helmet, but they are uncomfortable and can’t cope with the amount of wind and other noise developed when riding a motorcycle. It’s a much louder and more unpredictable noise environment than, say, on a plane where active noise cancelling headphones work quite well.

Given the amount of development time and specific research into wind noise for motorcyclists, this should be suitable for riders.

DAAL product tester and Norwegian enduro racer Pål Anders Ullevålseter says the reduced sound levels from the device provide a much more comfortable environment for the rider.

Pål Anders Ullevålseter

“I experience less fatigue when driving with DAAL ANC, and do not get the same pain in the ears that I do when I drive without it,” he says. 

“It is easier to hear what is happening around you when you drive with the system, and by and large the riding experience is better.”

DAAL product designer Kjetil Grimsæth says their active noise reduction technology will, in principle, fit into any helmet without compromising safety.

Kjetil Grimsæth

“At the same time, DAAL ANC is self-learning and adapts to each individual user,” he says. 

“This is built on the fundament of a controller core that has been developed to cope with very demanding noise environments.”

DAAL boss Dag says their product will provide a more comfortable ride as well as preserve their hearing.

“Many riders have been looking forward to being able to order noise reduction for their motorcycle helmet,” he says. 

The combination of very high sound pressure levels and unpredictable noise characteristics, as well as the need to simultaneously ensure safety, were the challenges DAAL had to solve in the development of DAAL ANC.

DAAL Noise Control Systems was developed in labs and wind tunnels in the tech-sphere around NTNU university in Trondheim, Norway.

They have received substantial investment from several successful fund-raising campaigns through the equity crowdfunding platform Folkeinvest.

Dag and co-founder Sigmund Birkeland also invested all their savings in the project and Dag even had to sell his motorcycle.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Flagship Aussie smart helmet launched

Australian smart-helmet manufacturer Forcite has now launched a flagship model MK1S helmet with extra battery life, better comfort and aero, and hi-fi speakers.

The company has raised millions through public equity crowdfunding and shares to build more varieties of their MK1 helmets and expand into the world market later this year.

The first of their new models is the MK1S which is now available for order on www.forcitehelmets.com at $1299.

Every MK1S helmet is built to order in Sydney to the rider’s size, finish and customisation specifications.

Customers will be given a build slot with the first orders delivered in June.

The MK1 helmet features Forcite’s patented RAYDAR helmet system, combining Formula 1 LED technology, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handlebar controller.

Click here for more details.

Forcite Mk1S

The Mk1S features battery life of more than seven hours while using all the smart features except the camera which reduces life to about 3-4 hours.

It takes about 90 minutes to recharge via a USB-C port.

The helmet accommodates phone calls and Bluetooth 5.0 communication functionality is in the pipeline for 2023.

It has also been updated with the new visor Pinlock ready, an improved camera lens, more comfortable liner and subtle aero styling updates.

What’s included in the box:

  • Forcite MK1S smart helmet
  • Handlebar controller, controller thumbscrew, spacers and mount
  • Pre-installed Harman Kardon speakers
  • Controller handlebar mount spacers x2
  • Screwdriver for Camera Shield and Handlebar Mount
  • USB-C charging cable
  • USB power adaptor
  • Instant media access cable
  • Media access USB adaptor
  • Forcite stickers
  • Forcite Authenticity card
  • Product pamphlet
  • Size swap card

I have not yet tested the Forcite MK1 or MK1S helmets so I cannot comment on their functionality, comfort or quality. However, the company says one is coming soon, so I will update with a review.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Helmet and bike gear ratings combined

The award-winning Australian MotoCAP website now includes helmet safety and comfort ratings as well as its usual ratings for jacket, pants and gloves.

The Australian NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) ratings previously published on crash.org.au, will now be located at MotoCAP.com.au so riders can get all their safety gear info in one place.

The MotoCAP safety intitiative launched in September 2018 and is the first of its type in the world.

It is based on evidence from crash injury research and the test protocols of the current industry standard. It is an initiative of state automobile clubs and transport departments.

CRASH is a consortium of Transport for NSW, Transport Accident Commission and Insurance Australia Group.

It tests 30 helmets each year against a range of criteria, including protection and comfort before awarding a star rating out of five for each criteria.

While motoCAP is unique, CRASH is similar to the British SHARP helmet safety scheme which has tested and rated hundreds of helmets, almost all of which are available for sale in Australia.

You may ask why helmets are still being crash tested in Australia despite European-standard helmets being available here for several years.Motorcycle dealership sale accessories jeans helmets best motorcycle helmets

Centre for Road Safety active executive director Craig Moran says that while all helmets sold here meet either Australian Standards or global standard UNECE 22.05, CRASH ratings “give riders more information so they can chose the best helmet for their situation”.

By “more information” they mean ratings out of five for safety and comfort. The standards just say they passed the tests, but don’t provide ratings.

For example, a helmet only has to achieve the lowest one-star CRASH rating to pass Australian and Euro helmet certification.

AS/NZ 1698 and UNECE 22.05 certification make no mention at all of comfort which is important for reducing rider fatigue which can distract your attention.

Despite not having as many helmets tested as SHARP, having the CRASH safety ratings included on the one website is convenient for riders.

And if your helmet is not listed, then you can still go to the SHARP site.

This year’s CRASH results reveal only nine out of the 30 helmets tested achieved four out of five stars for crash protection safety. The new ratings can be found here.

Helmet still crash tested in Australia rotation
CRASH testing

Click here for more information about CRASH testing procedures.

I have previously researched helmet ratings from CRASH and SHARP to assess whether price correlates with safety.

We found some surprising results! Click here for the full story.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pants and gloves rated for safety

Australian motorcycle gear ratings authority MotoCAP has added six pairs of pants and nine pairs of gloves to its online ratings fr safety and comfort.

MotoCAP has now tested a total of 430 jackets, gloves and pants, with a recent adjustment to their testing regime that makes it tougher for manufacturers to score well.

The new ratings for pants can be viewed here. The new ratings for gloves can be viewed here.

The RST GT CE ladies leather pants performed very well, receiving five out of five stars for safety and four out of five for breathability.

RST GT CE ladies leather pants

Recently MotoCAP made changes to their glove-rating system based on new research on impact damage.

Deakin Uni Institute for Frontier Materials Senior Research Fellow and Honda GB400 rider Chris Hurren says the changes are the result of “ongoing tweaking of the system based on new research conducted by Deakin University”.

Chris says these changes mean that accurate ratings are assigned to gear based on the latest research and testing, allowing consumers to make informed decisions on their purchases and increasing their protection on our roads.

“Hand injuries have not previously had the level of scrutiny that the rest of the body has received by researchers worldwide,” Chris says. 

“They are just listed in most research as hand injuries regardless of the injury type.”

The original MotoCAP ratings were developed with the limited information at the time of the risks involved for the hand. 

Dr Liz de Rome and Chris have conducted research into this area to determine the injury risks to hands to fill the previous lack of information and provide the appropriate advice to riders. The glove ratings were revised accordingly. 

“The majority of gloves will have stayed the same or improved in rating however there may be a small number that have reduced in their protection scores,” Chris says.

MotoCAP testing

Dr Chris Hurren explains use of one of the uni’s testing machines ratings
Dr Chris Hurren with one of the uni’s testing machines

All gear tested and rated by MotoCAP is bought covertly.

In 2019, MotoCAP, has won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

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), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

In 2019, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Thrilling race video from Summer Night Series

Australia’s first smart-helmet manufacturer, Forcite, has created an exciting cockpit-view race video filmed with their clever helmet.

Filmed in collaboration with Cam Elkins of Stories of Bike, Under Lights features the amateur racing event – The Summer Night Series.

Forcite spokesman Charlie Stack says it is a short story that explores the tight-knit community and culture that has formed around Australia’s newest and most exciting race series. 

It is hosted by St George Motorcycle Club over four rounds under the state of the art Floodlight installation at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“St George Motorcycle Club started the series two seasons ago in an effort to bring something fresh and exciting to an otherwise stagnant Australian amateur motorcycle racing scene,” Charlie says. 

“Driven forward by a raft of dedicated organisers, volunteers, and competitors, the series is quickly becoming a crowd favourite for Sydney based spectators, and the club hopes to grow the event in the upcoming season and beyond.

Also showcased is Forcite-sponsored rider Aidan Hayes with his Forcite helmet providing a unique cockpit view of the close racing.

He battles his way through the field from a pit lane start to end in a photo finish, separated from a fellow rider by mere centimetres.

Forcite has launched a public equity crowdfunding campaign through Equitise to build more varieties of their MK1 helmets and expand into the world market.

The cashed-up company has already attracted funding from Atlas Advisors Australia, bringing their combined post-sales funding to $8 million.

Forcite smart helmet

The MK1 helmet features Forcite’s patented RAYDAR helmet system, combining Formula 1 LED technology, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handlebar controller.

Click here for more details.

Forcite’s smart helmet is designed to deliver road alerts and visual and audio turn-by-turn navigation without a phone, enabling riders to see or predict things before they happen to avoid danger.

It also automatically records dashcam footage of multiple lanes without distracting the rider.

All the technology is incorporated into the helmet without the need for an externally mounted device.

Forcite Chief Executive Officer Alfred Boyadgis claims the helmet’s technology which warns of road hazards with flashing lights, can reduce the number of accidents and save lives.

The Sydney based motorcycle technology company aims to provide a safer, more dynamic motorcycling experience with it’s Forcite MK1 smart motorcycle helmet. The world’s first ECE 22.05 approved smart helmet has rapidly sold out every time it has been available.

Now, 1380 riders are using the Forcite MK1 on the road and track with 14,000 more registering their interest to buy.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech announces new all-roads helmet

German adventure motorcycle accessories company Touratech has announced a new adventure helmet which can quickly convert into a road helmet without the need for any tools.

The Touratech Aventuro Rambler is available in Australia now for $1090 in seven sizes from XS to 3XL.

Like its previous helmets, I suspect this is made for the company by fellow countryman Schuberth helmets who make high-quality models that score well on independent safety tests such as the British SHARP helmet safety scheme ratings.

The most interesting and cleverst feature of the ECE 2205 and DOT approved Touratech Aventuro Rambler is its ability to be used on-road and off-road.

It can be transformed from a hybrid adventure helmet with peak and visor into an airy cross helmet with peak and goggles or a streamlined road helmet with little effort, all without the aid of any tools.

The Rambler also has the vital safety feature of red emergency pull tabs that release the cheek pads in the event of a crash so the rider doesn’t sustain neck injury when removing the helmet.Touratech Aventuro Rambler

Aussie riders should find it comfortable in the summer heat thanks to the adjustable four-vent system and replaceable and washable COOLMAX inner padding.

You can wear it with the visor attached or with goggles which are not included. However, there is an integrated goggle strap guide to keep them in place.Touratech Aventuro Rambler

The helmet comes in three outer shell sizes and it’s not super-light.

It weighs 1600g for the XS-S in on-road setting and 1750g in off-road mode.

The middle outer shell (sizes M-L) weighs 1625g on-road and 1775 off-road, while the large outer shell (XL-3XL) is 1650g and a whopping 1800g.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussies support smart helmet company

Aussie riders are getting behind smart-helmet manufacturer Forcite which is on track to raise $A1m through a public equity crowdfunding campaign through Equitise.

Since it launched in December 2021, $920,000 has been raised with one week to go until it closes.

Together with Series A Preference Shares which raised $4.6m the Sydney-based motorcycle technology start-up is on track to raise about $6m to build more varieties of their MK1 helmets and expand into the world market later this year.

Company spokesman Charlie Stack says they now have sold Forcite MK1 helmets to 1380 riders with 14,000 more registering their interest across Australia, US and Europe.

“The equity crowdfunding campaign speaks to our DNA of community involvement in the company,” says Charlie.

“Since the early days of Forcite, we have involved motorcycle riders in the design process with a test pilot group of 8000 riders giving us feedback and input on our technology.

“We have had many reach out to ask if they could invest, thanks to equity crowdfunding this is now possible and our campaign on Equitise is on track to raise over $1m.

“Being part of the motorcycle community is a pillar to our business, 60% of our staff ride and we’ve always wanted the input from motorcycle enthusiasts.

“On the road, we’re getting a very good response from Aussie riders who are loving the integrated tech, alerts, navigation, app and lightweight design.”

The MK1 helmet features Forcite’s patented RAYDAR helmet system, combining Formula 1 LED technology, audio interactivity, military-grade camera recording and a fingertip handlebar controller.

Click here for more details.

Forcite Mk1 smart helmet
Helmet, handlebar controller and free app

Forcite’s smart helmet is designed to deliver road alerts and visual and audio turn-by-turn navigation without a phone, enabling riders to see or predict things before they happen to avoid danger.

It also automatically records dashcam footage of multiple lanes without distracting the rider.

All the technology is incorporated into the helmet without the need for an externally mounted device.

Forcite Chief Executive Officer Alfred Boyadgis claims the helmet’s technology which warns of road hazards with flashing lights, can reduce the number of accidents and save lives.

Forcite smart helmet delivered in December
Alfred with early-design helmets

“Thanks to input from riders across Australia, Forcite has created a more dynamic, exciting and safe riding experience with our smart helmet technology.” Alfred says.

“Our expert team of designers, developers, and engineers are also motorcycle enthusiasts who use Forcite technology daily so they can constantly test, learn and make iterative improvements after every ride.

“They have their fingers well and truly on the pulse. With this investment from venture capital and equity crowdfunding we’re expanding globally and building our R&D pipeline for the next generation of Forcite motorcycle helmets and in-bike technologies.”

Charlie says their next model, the MK1S, will launch in April.

“We also have a number of partnerships in the works with global motorcycle manufacturers to integrate smart technologies within bikes as smart bikes and E-bikes take off,” he says.

The first owners of the helmet have their own Facebook group and there is a Founders club where the riders give the Forcite design engineers feedback and ideas to improve on the smart helmet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com