Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

Fluid-filled helmet protects your brain

Fluid-filled capsules inside a motorcycle helmet could prevent damage to your brain in a crash by acting like the liquid that surrounds your brain.

Fluid Inside has developed their Fluid Pods after 25 years of research into how the liquid around our brain helps protect it from impact.

Their first helmet is the Fox V3 motocross helmet (pictured at the top of the page) that includes the pods in the lining instead of the usual EPS foam.

This innovation may soon be coming to a range of other motorcycle helmets after Swedish brain safety technology company MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) recently acquired Fluid Inside’s patents.

Fluid Pods

Fluid Pods helmet
Fluid Pod

Fluid Inside head of product communication Mike Chiasson says the pods are filled with a low-viscous, organic, oil-based liquid that mimics the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) around the brain.

It apparently disperses the impact in a crash to isolate the brain from crashing into the skull.

Such impacts have been known to cause serious brain damage.

However, the pods may also protect riders from memory loss, vision impairment and even Parkinson’s Disease by protecting the brain from the small and frequent impacts riders may cop when riding over bumpy surfaces or off-road.

The pods could be integrated into a helmet at production or inserted as an aftermarket addition to the lining.

They could also be used in other helmets for other sports such as cycling.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Seboy’s stylish motorcycle shoes seek funds

This stylish motorcycle shoe is the result of a collaboration between Milan shoemaker Seboy’s and Italian vintage motorcycle restoration workshop Soiatti Moto Classiche.

They say the shoe has extra leather in the toe for protection with discrete gear shift protectors on both shoes to cater for riders of vintage motorcycles with the gear shift on the right.This stylish motorcycle shoe is the result of a collaboration between Milan shoemaker Seboy’s and Italian vintage motorcycle restoration workshop Soiatti Moto Classiche.

That seems to be about the sum total of the protection offered.

We’re very wary of any elasticised boots as they can easily slip off in a crash, but in this case there is the added perceived hazard of laces which could get caught in the levers.

Stylish beginning

Massimilano Agostinacchio and Roberto Rusticchelli of Seboy’s started developing the shoe after going for a ride with their friend Alberto Soiatti and his father, Daniele.

This stylish motorcycle shoe is the result of a collaboration between Milan shoemaker Seboy’s and Italian vintage motorcycle restoration workshop Soiatti Moto Classiche.
Alberto Soiatti in his workshop

“We spent several months consulting stylists, designers, we evaluated hundreds of projects but we were never fully satisfied,” Massimilano says.

“Nothing came close to the dream of creating something unique and special until a sunny afternoon in which we decided to ride our motorbikes together and it all seemed so clear to us.

“We had to create a shoe inspired by the line of the beautiful motorcycles of the ‘70s. It has to be fascinating, sinuous and actual nowadays as in 20 years.

It must be comfortable and pleasant to wear in our everyday life as well as when we ride our beloved motorcycle.”

Funding appealThis stylish motorcycle shoe is the result of a collaboration between Milan shoemaker Seboy’s and Italian vintage motorcycle restoration workshop Soiatti Moto Classiche.

The collaboration is seeking Kickstarter support to get the project to production.

So far they have only two backers at $343 toward a $16,213 goal with 36 days to go.

“We decided to launch the project on Kickstarter because we truly believe in this community,” Massimilano says.

“We’ll offer the shoe to an interesting price, from the factory directly to you.” 

The “interesting price” is €290 (about $A470), but Kickstarter supporters can get them for €199 ($A323).

They are expected to be delivered in August 2019 in black and dark brown with sizes from 6.6 to 11.5 (40-45 Euro).

* What price do you put on style and safety in a motorcycle shoe? Leave your comments below.

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

Best all weather motorcycle gloves?

Unlike motorcycle jackets and pants, motorcycle gloves really don’t have all weather capabilities.

That’s why MotoCAP, the world’s first service that rates protective motorcycle gear for safety and comfort, does not provide ratings for glove comfort.

They say there is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure.

While gloves can have extra layers of insulation for winter and perforations and even small vents in the knuckles for cooling in summer, they can’t be an all-weather glove.

They are simply too small to have zip-out thermal liners or zip-open vents for cooling.

It’s a shame as hand comfort is important.

I find that if your hands are cold your whole body is cold and vice versa.

And when you are uncomfortably hot or cold, it affects your concentration which can lead to mistakes with injurious repercussions.

All weather solutionsMacna winter and summer gloves tested

Many riders wear silk or felt gloves under their motorcycle gloves for extra warmth in winter.

However, we have found it either makes the gloves too tight with the liner in or we have to wear oversized gloves to accommodate the liners and they are too loose when we take them out. That adversely affects throttle and lever controls.

So the simple answer is there is no all-weather glove that we have found and we’ve tested quite a lot over the years.

Our best advice for handling all weather conditions is to take a spare pair of gloves with you.

After all, they are small enough to fit in your jacket pocket or small shoulder bag.

I have a small tail bag in which I keep a neck sock and two spare pairs of gloves.

This is especially handy in South East Queensland’s autumn/winter/spring where temperatures can more than double on your ride from the single digits in the morning to the high-20s in the early afternoon.

Buying surveyMacna Saber gloves

The 2018 Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey found that 9% of riders don’t wear gloves even though they know they should and 6% have suffered a hand or finger injury while riding.

The survey of more than 400 riders also found that Baby Boomers are more likely to choose comfortable motorcycle gloves.

Meanwhile, Millennial riders buy for style and are most likely to buy gloves online and in a deal with other protective gear.

The average rider spends $102 on gloves. Some 21% buy online, 42% try them on in a store first and 29% research gloves before buying.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Readers support helmet scanning service

More than 70% of respondents to a survey have supported a $40 helmet scanning service to check for hidden fractures in your helmet.

The Helmet Doctors who developed the helmet laser-scanning invention say it would give riders peace of mind that their helmet is safe to use after a drop or crash, or whether it needs to be replaced.

The Sunshine Coast family business asked Motorbike Writer in February to publish a link to a survey about their service and received more than 430 respondents.

Federal funding

Brayden Robinson, who founded the venture with this father, Scott, says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needed to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.

“Just over 72% (of survey respondents) said they would be prepared to pay for the scanning service once a year or after every accident and some even said twice a year,” he says.

“We’ve had both really positive and negative feedback from people which is all very helpful.

“AusIndustry commercialisation advisors told us that if we received 100 responses it would be good, 200 would be convincing and 300 would be conclusive.

“Well, we’ve now had more than 430 respondents and the survey is still open.”

You can take part in their quick 10-question online survey by clicking here.

The scanning service has stalled while the Federal Government is in caretaker mode, but Brayden and Scott are confident even a change in government will not affect funding.

Crash starts study

helmet doctors scanning
Brayden is taken away in the ambulance

Scott and Brayden began researching a helmet scanning system after Brayden was hospitalised with a fractured skull from a motocross crash.

They developed their device with the help of a Belgian company and the Composites Research Group in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland.

“We found this laser scanning technique can categorically guarantee that, if there is any damage to the helmet’s outer shell, our technique will identify it. It’s ground-breaking, proven science,” Scott says.

The Helmet Doctors have a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application that allows them to enter their patent application into any of 152 jurisdictions by 23 June 2020. 

At present the application has been examined by the international PCT body and all but one claim has been found to be novel over identified existing technology.

Need for scanning

Helmet Doctors laser scanning helmets
Helmet scanner

Scott says very few riders know exactly when to replace their helmet.

Manufacturing safety standards say a composite helmet has a lifespan of five years and, if used frequently, about three years.

But what if you drop it or have a crash?

“We have all heard how if you drop your helmet once you should replace it. But very few do this,” Scott says.

“No one knows how much impact a composite helmet can tolerate before the shell is critically weakened.

“Composite materials have many layers and tiny fibres that can be damaged in a fall.

“The impact energy is dispersed among the fibres and away from the brain which it is designed to do.

“This is why a dropped helmet may still look ok.

“However, the impact could have led to a small crack or splintering which you can’t see with the naked eye.

“Our device can view, read and record the helmet 100,000 times better than the naked eye and find if there are any cracks, splintering or deformations which would make the helmet defective and unable to withstand another impact.”

Helmet scanning scheme

Helmet Doctors laser scan helmets scanning
Helmet scan identifies a flaw

The Helmet Doctors plan to test their service first in South East Queensland.

Riders would take their helmet to a participating motorcycle dealer where they would leave it and pick it up a few days later.

The helmet would be sent to the nearest scanner depot where it would be scanned, assessed and returned.

Scott says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needs to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.

“As you could imagine this experimental laser camera is very expensive, but our goal is to make this service accessible and cheap enough for everyone to use it,” Scott says.

If the project is successful, they hope to extend the service to other states and overseas.

If you have a few minutes, click here to take this short 10-question survey and help the Helmet Doctors.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Does your head crush like a cabbage in a crash?

If you believe your head will crush as easily as a cabbage if you crash, then this video of some helmets being crushed will be of interest.

Crush test

The video from the “Hydraulic Press Channel” on Youtube shows a cabbage in several types of helmet including half and full-face motorcycle helmets, an army helmet and a cycle helmet.

Advance to the 4:20-minute mark and you will find the full-face motorcycle obviously holds up the best to the 150 ton (136 tonne) hydraulic press.

It doesn’t really tell us anything useful about impact resistance, but it’s good to know there is some protection if a 136-tonne truck runs over your head in a crash.

If you want to know the real-world safety rating of helmets, we suggest two sites.

The NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) crash-tests 30 helmets a year and releases the details every November.

It is not as comprehensive as the similar British SHARP helmet safety scheme which has tested and rated hundreds of helmets, almost all of which are now available for sale in Australia.

Click here if you want to know if helmet safety is related to the cost of your helmet.

Crash stats

Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet modular crush
Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet shows impact areas by percentage

Meanwhile, the Icon Airframe helmet (above) shows the percentage chance of parts of your helmet suffering an impact in a crash.

The crash statistics come from the 1981 Hurt Report and show that the most common area of impact on motorcycle helmets is the chin at 19.4%.

The least vulnerable place is the very top of the head at 0.4%, as shown in the crushing video above for the half helmet, although it is the cabbage that crushes before the helmet!

Both the video and the statistics helmet are good arguments for wearing a full-face over an open-face motorcycle helmet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How To Improve Motorcycle Safety With GPS Tracking

(Contributed article about GPS tracking)

Motorcycles are fun, thrilling, expensive and a preferred target for thieves, but GPS trackers will follow your bike’s location if it is stolen and help you get it back.

What is GPS tracking system and how does it work?

A GPS motorcycle tracker is basically a location tracking system that uses ground stations and a satellite network to find the exact location of the signal. Just place this small tracker device on your motorbike or any other vehicle whose location you want to track.

This device precisely tracks the location of the object to which it is attached in real time with high accuracy. This makes it easy for the owner to quickly find their stolen bike without any legal intervention.

Benefits of a GPS tracker system

Additional layer of protection

As cases of motorcycle theft have been increasing dramatically lately in the UK, it has become very important to take appropriate safety measures to safeguard your bike against theft.  Motorcycle tracking is one of the best ways that has been adopted by many bike riders.

Hassle free way to track the location

The best feature of these GPS tracker systems is that if you do not have access to a computer, you can use a tablet or smartphone to pinpoint the accurate location of the bike.

Real-time tracking of location

Installation of a GPS tracker unit gives you clear information on the location of the motorbike along with its movement at any given period of time. You can also view the previous route history up to three months in the past.

Geo-fence Zones

Geo-fence zones are virtual geographic fences that you can draw on the map so you receive a notification if your motorbike enters or leaves the area without your consent.

Mental peace

GPS tracking devices come with a movement alert feature that sends a message to the owner about any motion of their parked bike. In this way, the owner knows about an attempted theft even before the bike is taken.

Saves Money

The GPS tracking system also monitors your motorcycle, providing details about fuel consumption, range covered, etc.

Keeps your bike safe

Installing such an effective motorcycle tracking device is safer than traditional locks that can be broken, no matter how sturdy they are.

Conclusion

GPS tracking is one of the most valuable ways of ensuring the safety of your most prized possession.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP rates leather gloves for safety

MotoCAP has published the safety ratings on 13 pairs of leather gloves ranging from half a star to four stars, but has not released any comfort ratings.

In the latest round of testing, the highest performing gloves are the Rev’It RSR 3 unisex gloves which received a four-star rating.

One pair of Alpinestars gloves (pictured top of page) rated three stars, DriRider and Merlin rated two stars, six rated one star and three rated half a star.

Click here for the full results.leather gloves

No comfort ratings

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.

That is despite some of the gloves tested having perforations for airflow.

It also comes as the latest Canstar Blue customer satisfaction research found Baby Boomers are more likely to choose comfortable motorcycle gloves while Millennial riders buy for style.

However, three pairs of gloves were tested and rated for water resistance because they were advertised as having this feature.

The highest performing pair are the DriRider Apex 2 unisex gloves, which received a score of eight out of ten for water resistance.

MotoCAP ratings

Motocap Motorcycle clothing rating system launched The world’s first motorcycle clothing safety ratings program, MotoCAP, has given only half a star to two stars to eight more pair of textile pants.
A dummy dressed in riding gear is tested for abrasion resistance

MotoCAP has now tested 31 textile and leather jackets, 18 pairs of jeans and leggings, seven pair of leather pants, one pair of textile pants and 26 pairs of gloves.

Deakin Uni Institute for Frontier Materials Senior Research Fellow and Honda GB400 rider Chris Hurren says the site will have 150 clothing products on its site by the end of June.

“We have purposely targeted only 10% of the market in the first year so that manufacturers have a chance to come along with the scheme,” he says.

“We do not want to put a manufacturer out of business as we want them to improve their products and think about protection and thermal comfort in their design.”

“If they follow this path like car manufacturers did for ANCAP then the rider will always be the winner.”

So far, no article of motorcycle clothing has been provided by a manufacturer.

All have been bought by MotoCAP using a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bargain Biltwell Gringo helmets tested

Biltwell retro Gringo helmets have been around for about six years and have only now received Euro approval that allows them to be sold in Australia.

The American motorcycle helmet manufacturer sent me their Lane Splitter urban/enduro helmet last year which was their first to be Euro approved.

Biltwell Lane Splitter Rusty Butcher retro motorcycle helmet motorcycle safety
Lane Splitter

Gringo bargain lids

We loved the helmet, so Biltwell’s Australian distributor, Monza Imports, sent us an antique white visorless Gringo ($249.95) and a gloss black Gringo S ($299.95) with a clear flip-up visor to review.

Like the Lane Splitter, the quality of finish is beautiful.

The gloss paint is thick and lustrous like much more expensive helmets than these bargain lids.

And if you can’t find a colour or graphic to suit your taste, then you really are fussy as there is a big selection.

Biltwell Gringo S
Biltwell Gringo S

Visors

We did have a problem with the clear visor delaminating on the inside after fogging up.

Monza said they had a faulty batch of visors, so they sent me clear and tinted replacements which have had no such problems.

In another bit of good news, there is a host of scratch-resistant visor styles and colours available and they won’t cost you a fortune like some other brands.

Standard Biltwell visors in clear, tint or iridium are just $49.95 and the trendy bubble visors are $59.95 no matter whether they are clear, tinted or iridium.

While the base model doesn’t come with a visor, it has five press studs to attach a fixed bubble visor which will only cost you $39.95 for clear, tinted or iridium.

Biltwell Gringo visors
Biltwell Gringo visors

Otherwise, you can wear it with goggles.

We found motocross and ski goggles were too big for the visor aperture and even some of our other goggles were a tight fit.

Unless you can find some slimline units like our Aviators Retro Pilot T2 goggles or the special Biltwell goggles at just $54.95, you may prefer to wear riding sunglasses such as Barz Optics.

You can also fit black or white sunshade peaks to the Gringo for a mere $19.95.

Comfort

We loved the interior of the $459 Lane Splitter and didn’t expect these helmets at half the cost to be quite as plush, but we were wrong.

The removable, washable and hand-sewn and diamond-stitched liner has a nice suede look and feel.

Sizing is a little askew.

Our Lane Splitter was small (55-56cm), so we ordered the same in the Gringos.

While the Lane Splitter feels a bit loose, the Gringos are very tight.

We always recommend trying on a helmet in store, so we suggest you try a size up in the Gringo.

The helmets don’t have any vents, but you don’t need it on the Gringo unless you have a visor fitted.

They also allow a lot of air on to your face through the gap between the visor and the aperture, plus there is no chin spoiler so you get plenty of air.

The liner is also breathable and the cheek pads have open-cell foam for air flow.

Biltwell Gringo
Biltwell Gringo

It’s not great in winter, but they are quite cool in warm conditions.

Safety

The seamless shell is Biltwell’s proprietary Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic which has no true melting point and is the strongest of all plastics.

Its impact resistance doesn’t vary with temperature and it ages well. It can also be recycled.

They also feature a very thick shock-absorbing EPS inner shell and a secure double D-ring chin strap.

Biltwell hasn’t been assessed by the UK’s SHARP helmet rating system, so we can’t vouch for its safety level.

Noise

As expected, the Gringo without a visor is noisy.

The Gringo S also has a large gap that allows air on to your face, but I was surprised at how quiet it was.

Ok, it’s not super-quiet, but a lot quieter than I expected.

Biltwell has been making helmets in Temecula, California, since 2005 for the midrange market.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Do You Want to Buy a Racing Watch?

(Sponsored post)

Watches will always remain tied to the automotive sports world. Often, we remain attracted to watches or other timekeeping devices and the roles that they play on track too. 

If you are interested in any racing watch like a chronograph watch, then read this post.

Characteristics of a racing watch

The following are a few features which separate certain racing watches from any other sports watches:

  • Basic three or two register chronograph function
  • The high-contrast dial which is easily read at a much higher speed
  • For speed calculations, the tachymeter bezel scale 
  • The orientation of the angled case which allows one to read the time without taking your hand off the steering wheel
  • Rubber straps or rally-style leather straps, both of which are comfortable and breathable to wear

Many racing watches may integrate characteristics, e.g. racing stripes, bright colors, or even recycled components of motorbikes and cars, which most people might find a little overwhelming. 

Therefore, consider your wearing preference, style and professional track needs before selecting one.

For the purist

If you are looking for something pure and understated, then consider:

  • A basic 2-register chronograph setup
  • No extra timing scales and any no-nonsense dial layout 
  • A classically-sized case which is bold enough for your modern standards
  • Any “high-speed” visuals which may work in both formal and casual settings
  • With various kinds of straps available, the case design must work for you
  • A low-maintenance movement which can handle anything

For the weekend track warrior

In case you are searching for something more functional while you are out on your track, then legibility is the key. Your watch should not only offer a true and in-the-field purpose but must also serve as a stylish piece that you can easily wear for most of the occasions. 

Try to look for the following:

  • Black and white, high-contrast color scheme
  • Full tachymeter scale
  • More ease of use when you drive select chrono pusher positioning or an alternate case 
  • A contoured or slim case design for all-day comfort  
  • Alternate material integration for light weight as well as increased durability

For 24-hours Daytona winner

It is crucial that you use the kind of watch that can tell you and the world where you have been and how quickly you are moving. If racing is in your blood, then you might even prefer Ted Gushue, who has made it right from the hospital to the crib. You should consider the following:

  • Precious metal or two-tone case construction
  • Truly in-house movement architecture 
  • Metal bracelets instead of rubber or leather
  • Oyster-style case meant for its increased water resistance
  • 3-register chronograph configuration

Your racing or any racing-inspired watch may serve as a great everyday watch. No doubt, you might not easily find your speed through your victory laps or time your work and commute with tachymeter. However, you may appreciate all these watches nonetheless. They will serve as a great addition to any collection and you can never go wrong with all the options listed above.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com