Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

Form And Function: Ashley Watson’s Waxed Cotton Jackets for Motorcyclists

From the green hills of the Central Hemisphere comes Ashley Watson.

Ashley is a designer who has been itching to update the laminated fabric of traditional motorcycle gear into a more classic, sustainable choice  – and he’s gone and done it with waxed cotton

a model wearing the Ashley Watson Armoured Jacket for motorcyclists

According to a report from MCN, The Eversholt MkII (don’t ask us to pronounce it) is a variant of the Eversholt – the first waxed cotton jacket made available from Watson, and one that he made sure to test on an extensive trip across Europe prior to its release. 

Quoted by Watson’s website as “one of the world’s most protective textile motorcycle jackets,” the Eversholt MkII passes CE testing with a triple-A rating and comes with a hybrid Dyneema/Aramid abrasive resistant lining that houses the latest D3O Armour.

an armoured jacket from Ashley Watson

And the sustainability is sound, considering the market’s alternatives.

“Waxed cotton can be easily maintained at home – making the garment function for longer…laminated waterproof fabrics (the alternative to waxed cotton) are woven from virgin synthetic yarns which are derived from fossil fuels”, says Watson. 

a close-up photo of the new GSX-s950, in Triton Blue.

A front view of the new Ashley Watson Eversholt MkII

“The adhesive used to bond the layers of these fabrics together means that they can’t be recycled. In effect, this means that after a relatively short lifecycle, a jacket made from a laminated fabric will become landfill and take centuries to decompose.”

The jacket is rounded up to the neat sum of £765, as Watson is apparently making each by hand in his shed – adding to the exclusivity of the jacket. Watson is also limiting this batch to 300 units – though we hope in future he will consider expanding his brilliant ideas to the colonies.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider gear sacrifices safety for comfort

Motorcycle jackets and pants that have good breathability for the warmer riding months sacrifice safety standards, according to the latest test results from Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP motorcycle gear safety ratings service.

MotoCAP has now performed testing and issued safety and comfort ratings ratings for 354 items of rider jackets, gloves and pants.

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

It has now added 14 more products to its online ratings of 172 jackets, 90 pairs of pants and 92 pairs of gloves.

The new safety ratings for seven jackets and seven pairs of pants range from one to three out of five stars for safety.

They show that you can’t have it all when it comes to safety and comfort in hot conditions.

Jackets and pants that have good breathability score low for safety and vice versa.

For example, the Bullit Easy Tactical Icon pants score just one safety star but a maximum five for beathability.

Meanwhile, Dainese Delta 3 leather pants performed well for safety with three out of five stars, but just two for breathability.

It’s not that we haven’t suspected the trade-off on comfort and safety, but it’s interesting to see that sciebce back up our suspicions.

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

Riders are urged to consider checking the safety and comfort ratings of gear before they buy.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

While some have disputed the veracity or usefulness of the tests, rider representative groups and road safety experts say MotoCAP at least makes riders more aware of wearing protective gear.

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

[Review] Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System
A valiant attempt to translate what was originally a fitness armband mount to the motorcycle world, the Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System gets a few things right, but a lot of things need work. This isn’t to say that the idea overall is bad, it just needs refinement and evolution to rise to the level of stronger competitive products.
Materials & Build Quality
Effectiveness
Value For Money
Magnet is very strong, and holds the phone sleeve solidly, without any slippage
Phone sleeves are 99% waterproof
Phone sleeves are remarkably durable
If you have a bare phone, or a metal case for your phone, the steel magnet optional plate will serve you well for mounting
Packaging and product are presented professionally, with clear instructions
No vibration dampening at all.
Phone sleeve clear plastic is hard to see through in sunlight
The phone sleeve does not allow any heat dissipation and caused one emergency phone shutdown
Touch-capacity phone sleeved only worked about 50% of the time
Silicon mounting strap has a tendency with high-frequency vibrations to slip
Steel accessory plate only sticks to metal or glass, not plastic.

In the motorcycling world, much like with the car world, using your smartphone while riding/driving is just asking for an accident to happen. However, smartphones have become useful tools for motorcyclists to view important information. Speedometer doesn’t work? Download a GPS speedometer app. Want to check if your action camera is recording? View its status on your phone.

One of the most important uses for riders with their smartphones is GPS navigation. In fact, most phones, from either the iOS or Android base operations systems, will come with a baked-in GPS navigation map app. As well, there are multiple third-party apps, of which the most popular is by far Waze.

Being able to see these maps and upcoming turns is helpful, especially if you do not have a Bluetooth comm system in your helmet for the phone to broadcast directions to you. This is where the handlebar phone mounting system comes in, with multiple competitors from around the world vying to create the best solution.

About Shapeheart

Shapeheart is a relative newcomer to the mountable smartphone world, started by two friends, Antoine and Michael. Based in France, the company started almost by accident, as the two friends were working on creating an armband that could track heart rate that wrapped around the bicep, preventing the shaking that watches could encounter, or the discomfort of a heart-rate belt strapped around the chest.

They were encountering problems with fitting an optical sensor inside the armband, but the phone that it would connect to was too far away, or too had many layers between the phone and the sensor, which could use NFC to communicate. So, they developed a magnetic mount system that took a full 14 iterations to get just right, that didn’t add any weight to the arm but also wouldn’t have the phone jostled loose during jogging, walking, or exercising.

In 2019, they developed this concept further and released the bike handlebar phone holder, designed for use on the multitudes of bicycles that are popular across France, and Europe as a whole. From this design, it was realized that the system could be adapted to work with motorcycles, and in 2020, their first motorcycle phone mount system was released.

About webBikeWorld’s Review Policy

This product was provided at no charge for the purpose of this review. Note that we do not allow brands to influence review scores or content. Please see our review policies for more information.

We here at webBikeWorld believe that you can’t just try something out once and give an honest opinion of it. Any product we test is actually used by our testers, and for the month of May, 2021, I took off the other phone mount that I have for my bike and used the Shapeheart kit, rain or shine, good and/or bad.

The Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

Bike: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Phone: Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Let me start off by thanking Shapeheart for providing us a review sample of their handlebar mounting system.

Included in the package were the Classic Handlebar Mount boxed product itself, a spare phone sleeve, and a steel one-sided magnetic plate that attaches to a phone or phone case with strong 3M adhesive.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box and Contents

Shapeheart’s packaging, as you can see in the image above, is exactly the kind of thing that would look right at home on a retail peg in the local gear store. It’s unobtrusive, professionally designed, and does a good job listing what you’re getting in the packaging.

Unboxing

Opening the main mounting system box, you will find a drawstring bag that holds the magnet, the silicone mounting strap, and a pair of strong mount retention elastic bands. Honestly, the biggest surprise here was the bag, which turned out to be very useful. Personally, I put my registration and insurance card into the bag and placed them in the tail section of my bike. You could use it for other things as well, such as a place to keep spare GoPro batteries if you’re a vlogger out on a long ride.

Inside the Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box

The extra mount plate accessory is all that comes in the mount plate sleeve. No instructions are provided, yet I assume the rule of common sense prevails here, since it’s an accessory you need to purchase, you would know what you’re ordering.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Pack

Phone Sleeve

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Phone Sleeve

The phone sleeve itself is made out of a robust, almost waxy-canvas feeling material on the backside, and a clear cover on the other side that is touch-capacitive and is laminated solidly to the backing. The magnetic plate on the sleeve takes up a good third of the space and is solidly locked into place by the backing material and a compression fit.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System With iPhoneThe phone, in my case an iPhone 8 Plus, slides into the sleeve via a fold-over closure on the back. Once it is fully in, the material has enough stretch and give to pull over the exposed end of the phone and overlap the opening. Once the phone is in, it really is in. The sleeve holds it tightly, and it only moves a few millimeters if you shake the sleeve vigorously.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System With iPhone InstalledI did notice that the clear side of the sleeve was reflecting the lights of the studio box I was using quite significantly. I put this down to them being pure white LEDs.

Phone Mount Installation

As I ride a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650, my handlebar tube is only 7/8ths of an inch, so the extra mounting rubber bands were not needed. The magnet has four little upraised fingers, two per side, that mate to the four holes, two per end, of the main elastic silicone stretch strap. The mount relies on material tension to maintain stability, which is another reason that the main strap is silicone – to provide a strong grip even on the slipperiest of painted bars.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System On A Kawasaki Ninja 650

After finding a good mounting point, I pushed one end of the strap onto two of the mounting fingers. What surprised me was the sheer grunt needed to stretch the strap around the bar and pull it up far enough to meet the fingers on the other side around the bar. However, once lined up, the fingers popped through the holes and the mount was on. I gave it a good tug, twist, and shove to see if it would slide around at all, and it stayed put. Impressive for such a “simple” mounting style. Total time spent: 3 minutes.Shapeheart magnetic mount on Kawasaki handlebarIt should be noted that Shapeheart offers multiple mounting styles, including a hard mount to a mirror stalk or a fork stem mount. I would have preferred to use the fork stem mount, however, as you can see in the pictures, it is blocked off by the central handlebar spar that connects the bars to the front fork.Shapeheart kit with phone inside plastic sleeveOnce installed, it’s as simple as holding the phone sleeve with your phone inside anywhere near the magnet, and it clicks on solidly. The phone sleeve plate is also designed to only be one-way magnetic, so there is no damage done to the internal circuitry of the modern smartphone. When it’s on the magnet, it takes a moderate amount of force to pull the sleeve and phone off, to the point I felt a little uncomfortable pulling it off with my phone inside the sleeve.

Shapeheart Strengths

Good Waterproofing

My concern over the phone sleeve, upon first seeing it, was that the fold-over style of closure was going to be a point of failure. Yet, with the correctly sized sleeve, my iPhone never even thought about slipping out of the sleeve. My other concern was that, with the sleeve ostensibly being waterproof, that having that flap would allow moisture and water in.

However, in both artificial testing (holding my phone in its sleeve under a spray faucet attachment) and real-world experience (getting caught in light rain for 15 minutes while out on my bike), the sleeve did remarkably well. Road mist coming up from the tires of vehicles around me peppered the back of the sleeve, without making it in to affect the phone.Phone inside plastic Shapeheart sleeve

I feel it is my duty to note here that the iPhone 8 Plus is IP67 waterproof rated, and oleophobic as well. I make this mention only to reinforce that I was not worried about my phone surviving rain, allowing me the peace of mind to focus my thoughts on the Shapeheart sleeve itself.

Extremely Durable Materials Used

I also was a bit clumsy with my phone. I had one heart-stopping moment when I pulled the sleeve with my phone inside off the magnet mount and it slipped from my hand, landing face down in a parking lot. The end result? A minor scuff, barely noticeable, on the clear plastic of the sleeve. No damage to my screen or phone.

As I had two sleeves, I also carried the second one around with me at all times. For this part of the testing, I was not gentle with it, as many people are not gentle with their phones. If they were, Otterbox, Ballistic, and other phone case companies wouldn’t have a market!

As such, the spare sleeve was shoved in a back pocket, crammed into one of the chest pockets of my Alpinestars Andes V3 jacket, put in the same pocket as my house keys, earplugs case, and wallet in my Rev’It Arc Air jacket, dropped on the ground, tossed on a shelf with tools on it, and so on.Front view of Shapeheart plastic sleeve

After a month of almost daily riding and abuse as described above, the sleeve that was used for the phone primarily is on the left in the images above and below, and the one that was the spare? It looks as close to brand new as possible save for a small scratch from a key on the mounting plate paint.Rear view of Shapeheart plastic sleeve with magnetic mount

Very Strong Magnetic Mounting

Common bike mounts these days are either pressure-fit systems that grab the corners and/or edges of your phone or use a case with a twist-lock mechanism. Using a pure magnetic connection is a bit of fresh thinking in the motorcycle phone mounting space, and I can tell you with 100% confidence that once that sleeve is on the magnet, it isn’t coming off until you want it to.

I traveled across the city on a variety of roads, from 40 KPH (25 MPH) to the ring road expressway maximum speed of 110 KPH (approx 70 MPH). No matter the speed, if there was a headwind, crosswind, or tailwind, and no matter the road condition, nothing moved the mounting plate from the mounting magnet. I mentioned earlier that it takes a solid amount of force to pull the sleeve off the magnet, and I would estimate that you would need at least a good 15 to 25 lbs of mechanical force to separate the two. Once it’s on, it’s staying on until you want it off.

Shapeheart Phone Mount Weaknesses

Screen Unreadable In Sunlight

The Shapeheart phone sleeves being extremely durable also caused one of my major complaints about the mounting system as a whole to become apparent: The clear plastic that allows for the phone screen to be seen is also highly reflective. I noticed it during the original unboxing and taking the pictures in my studio box, but in actual, direct sunlight, even with the iPhone 8 Plus’s brightness at full and its natural light sensor working overtime, you can often barely see the screen.Rider view of Shapeheart kit mounted on Kawasaki Ninja

Even reflective sun glare, such as off a concrete wall like in the picture below, was enough to cause maps, GPS items, and such to be very difficult to see. I had glanced down to see if this was my turn up ahead, and couldn’t see a thing. Once I entered the shaded area a second later, everything was fully visible.Rider perspective with Shapeheart mounting kit installedThis is not an issue when standing beside your bike and setting up your GPS navigation waypoints. However, when you forget to charge your Sena Bluetooth system before your ride, and it shuts off from low battery when you’re only a third of the way there… you want to be able to glance at the phone, get your bearings and any upcoming turns in the space of a blink, and then be back to watching the road. This proved undoable, no matter how I adjusted or angled the mount once I had pulled over into a parking lot to fix the issue.

It was so impossible to see the screen, in horizontal or vertical mounting positions, that after another few miles, I pulled over into a parking lot again and took my phone out of the sleeve to memorize the turns I needed. Since the gloves I was wearing at the time, my ICON Super Duty II’s, were not touch-capacitive, I pulled my right one off and found out the second most concerning issue about the sleeve.

Sleeve Does Not Allow For Any Heat Dissipation

The air temperature for that first GPS ride day was about 21 C, or almost dead on 70 F. Yet, when I passed the phone from my gloved hand to my bare hand, I nearly dropped the phone because it was quite hot. As part of the construction of many smartphones these days, the actual body of the phone is used as a heatsink for the powerful processors inside.

The Shapeheart sleeve, however, is designed to keep water, road grit, dust, and such away from your phone while you ride. What it also keeps away is wind. And, as the fold-over flap on the closure is designed to sit tight when a phone is in the sleeve, there is nowhere for any heat generated to realistically escape.Closeup of magnetic mount for Shapeheart kit

This came to a head a few weeks later, when Calgary experienced a heatwave that got all the bikes out on the road, including mine. Hot weather peaking at 90 F, a light wind off the mountains, decent roads to go for a ride on… it was as perfect as it sounds. However, even with the screen off, and streaming music quietly into my ears, all of a sudden the music cut out and the phone streamed a few beeps into my headset before that too stopped.

Concerned, I pulled over as soon as I safely could, and, having learned my lesson before, took off my glove and felt the sleeve. It was so hot I jerked my hand away to prevent being burned. The beeping sound, I later found out, was the iPhone’s emergency shutdown that it performs to save itself from damage. I need to reinforce here that the screen was not on, which is more often than not the key heat generator in phone usage.

Touch-Capacitive Plastic Is Often Not

I protect my iPhone screen with a tempered glass protector. However, for the duration of the month of May 2021, I removed the one that had protected my screen for a couple of years, as I have spares. This was specifically to test out the touch-capacitive clear plastic that is part of the sleeve.

After thoroughly cleaning my phone with a phone-safe screen cleaner and a microfiber cloth, touch was transmitted fairly well through the plastic for the first day or two. Granted, these touches were when I was not on the bike, and the sleeve was not on the mount.Shapeheart sleeve with phone in daylight

However, once out on the bike, I planned a route that would allow me to pull over into parking lots along the way to do tests like changing the song, opening the maps app, checking a FaceBook or SMS message, and the like. For these tests, I would wear the weather appropriate gloves I have, ICON Super Duty II’s for colder weather, Scorpion EXO-Vortex Air’s for warmer weather. I wiped off any sweat on my fingers on a microfiber cloth I tucked into one of my riding pants pockets, and then tried to use touch.

The result, to say the least, was not positive. A light touch would not transmit through at all. A moderate push would transmit, but a moderate push on an iPhone screen these days puts it into widget moving mode, so I would have to light tap the screen again to get it out of that mode… except light taps don’t transmit. Frustrating!

I did find a way to make it work, which was to pinch the sleeve at the base and literally pull it taught to the screen, and even then, only about 2 of every 3 touches transmitted. Thinking it was the sleeve, and as I had the spare with me, I changed out the sleeves. Touch still would not transmit half the time, and often, I would have to use more force than should really be necessary to make the touch transmit.

Sympathetic Vibrations Are Fed Directly To The Phone

One thing that I noted when I was setting up the mount, but accepted, was that the mount had no form of vibration damping. For those that have never ridden a parallel twin sportbike, above 4,000 RPM the bike comes alive with vibration. It’s not an annoying buzzing vibration, at least not to the rider. Yet, due to the nature of a 180 degree cranked parallel twin-engine, vibrations will make their way through the bike.

In 6th gear, my 2012 Ninja 650, to keep a steady cruise speed on the ring road expressway we have here, revs to about 4,500 RPM, give or take a few hundred RPM. This is where I noticed in my peripheral vision that my phone was starting to slip down, in the sense that if I had it pointed mostly up to the sky, after about 5 minutes of cruising, it would be facing directly to my stomach.

In terms of pure physics of what is happening, the handlebars are vibrating at the frequency put off by the engine, but are mounted hard to the forks and therefore one feels more of the road than the engine by a factor of something around 10 to 1. However, this vibration seems to be just at the right frequency to make the silicone mounting strap “slip” slowly.

While that is inconvenient at worst, what this means is that the mount itself is also passing sympathetic vibrations through to the sleeve and to the phone, due to how strongly the magnet holds the sleeve on. Thankfully my iPhone 8 Plus is old enough that it does not have the newest image stabilization accelerometers for the camera, but on newer iPhone 11s and 12s, sympathetic vibrations at the rate of over 3,000 per minute are enough that they could damage those stabilizers, or at the least jar them enough out of alignment that you would have to restart your iPhone.

Accessory Steel Plate Adheres Only To Metal Or Glass

I have an old, dead Nexus 6P android phone that is my “let’s see what this thing can take” toss-away. Basically, if it fell off while riding, slipped out of my hand and cracked on the floor, et al, it was not the end of the world. For the phone, I have a Poetic Ballistic case, which has smooth plastic ridges on the back.

I took the accessory steel plate, peeled off the 3M sticker cover, and pressed it firmly to the plastic so that it would stay. I picked up the phone, and the steel plate slipped off and landed on my foot. This, in all fairness, made me lift an eyebrow in curiosity.

I felt the edge of the adhesive, and it was tacky and sticky to the skin, meaning that it was properly sticky. With curiosity piqued, I slipped my Nexus 6P out of its case, wiped off the dust and debris with a microfiber cloth, then tried to stick the plate to the aluminum back of the phone. It stuck on the first try, and strongly too for a light press.

I carefully peeled it off, then tried it on the glass back of the iPhone, using only a tiny portion of it on a corner. It stuck to glass the same as it did to aluminum: confidently and strongly. I then tried the plate on the matte plastic of a regular iPhone case. It slipped off again.

Basically, unless your case for your phone is metal or glass, the adhesive used with the plate seems to not like plastics of any kind. This is concerning because if you can’t find a sleeve big enough or the right size for your phone, you’d at least want something like an Otterbox or Ballistic case on your phone in case it did come off during your ride.

Final Thoughts: Things Work Well, Just Not Well Enough

It may sound like I am taking Shapeheart to task in my review, and I will start my feedback by stating that I am presenting only observed situations and my 100% honest opinion. In fact, I like the idea of a magnetic mounting system, removing the need for using a rotational locking case or using pressure mounts on the corners and sides. It is my personal opinion that Shapeheart really is onto something here, it just needs refinement and evolution.

Having originally come from a wearable fitness armband designed to monitor your heart rate, the sleeves haven’t changed much since the final design that was released in 2017. While strapped tightly around your bicep, the large mounting plate makes sense, to spread contact between the armband magnet and the sleeve plate as wide as possible, due to the jarring changes of direction, or repetitive movements, that happen during exercise.

The size of the magnet of the mount, about an inch in diameter, is perfect for fitting on a bike’s handlebars. Where the refinement and evolution need to come is in following the example of other mount manufacturers and offering an accessory vibration damping mount system, or a case with a thin damper built into a small hole in the back of it that would fit snugly over the mounting magnet.

A Valiant Attempt To Make A Fitness Sleeve Mount Work On A Motorcycle

Seeing that Shapeheart only started business in 2017, they’ve come a long way in four years. They developed a fitness product that introduced a new and comfortable way to track your heartbeat and keep your phone on you while allowing you to whip it off your arm if you needed to send a text, change a music album, and the like.

Where it falls short is that a great fitness mount sleeve, meant to be used during jogging, running, or exercise, does not make a great motorcycle phone mount. The basics of it are solid, and there is real potential for a good, quality product with some iterations on the idea. It does its job as described on the box, but not much more at the moment.

The Shapeheart will work if you absolutely must have a phone mount that is not a pressure fit or corner clamp style on a tight budget. Otherwise, there are far better, albeit more expensive, options out there.

Pros

  • Magnet is very strong, and holds the phone sleeve solidly, without any slippage
  • Phone sleeves are 99% waterproof
  • Phone sleeves are remarkably durable
  • If you have a bare phone, or a metal case for your phone, the steel magnet optional plate will serve you well for mounting
  • Packaging and product are presented professionally, with clear instructions

Cons

  • No vibration dampening at all.
  • Phone sleeve clear plastic is hard to see through in sunlight
  • The phone sleeve does not allow any heat dissipation and caused one emergency phone shutdown
  • Touch-capacity phone sleeved only worked about 50% of the time
  • Silicon mounting strap has a tendency with high-frequency vibrations to slip
  • Steel accessory plate only sticks to metal or glass, not plastic.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Shapeheart
  • Price (When Tested): Classic Handlebar Mount Kit €29.95 ($36.50 USD), Spare Shapeheart Sleeve €12.95 ($15.75 USD), Adhesive Steel Plate €9.95 ($12 USD)
  • Made In: France
  • Alternative models & colors: Mirror stem hard mount for classic British-style bikes, Fork Stem hard mount for supersports and sportbikes
  • Sizes: M, XL, XL+ depending on phone model
  • Review Date: May of 2021. Published June 11, 2021
  • Where To Buy: Shapeheart

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Photo Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

10 Best Motorcycle Jackets For Women

Let’s face reality here: it’s only really been in the past two decades that women’s jackets have been coming out in force. Before then, in what was historically a “male-dominated hobby,” women had to make do with either custom gear or modifying men’s gear to fit. We put the quotations there because ever since the 1970s, we know that women made up a good portion of riders, usually hovering in the 5 to 10% ridership range.

Flash forward to 2021, and now women account for about 22% of riders, worldwide. That is refreshing to see and has forced even a lot of the “old school” to recognize that there are badass ladies all over the globe that will swing a leg over and crank the right wrist. It’s also refreshing to see that in what was once traditionally a male-dominated sport, road racing and even MotoGP are seeing more and more women rising in their ranks.

What this means is that many of the big manufacturers and gear makers have had to adapt to provide proper racing suits and gear for these women. This, naturally, has led to the traditional trickle-down style of motorcycle gear from racing to street, which means that more and more jackets, pants, boots, gloves, and other pieces of gear are appearing every month.

Rev’It Eclipse Women’s Jacket

Rev’It Eclipse Women’s Jacket

Price: $179.99
Buy: Revzilla

Rev’It is one of those companies that has made women’s protective gear pretty much since their incorporation, as there are quite a few female riders in the Netherlands. On top of that, they have a history in both circuit racing and enduro racing, so both the full leather track jackets and hot weather mesh jackets are packed full of cutting-edge design.

The Eclipse is just one such example of this, with an open, flowthrough style mesh that would seem to not have any abrasion resistance at all. However, that mesh is made of polyester ripstop material, as is the main chassis of the jacket. While the solid panels are rated to 600D, the mesh itself commands a respectable 400.

With adjustable bicep and wrist closures, full YKK zippers, two external pockets, and one internal pocket, the Eclipse is also quite fashionable to boot. The armor comes in the form of Knox Flexform in both the shoulders and elbows, which feels extremely light but carries CE-rated impact protection. An optional back protector can be fitted to the jacket.

Roland Sands Mia Women’s Jacket

Roland Sands Mia Women’s Jacket

Price: $525.00
Buy: Revzilla

Roland Sands, with the Mia jacket, ticks off two-rider fashion styles in one go, without sacrificing any protection. The retro and cafe crowd will love the classic British asymmetrical styling, while the sport and the sport-touring crowd will love the aggressive fit with the included thermal lining that doubles as a hoodie when the leather is taken away.

That leather is one-grain style better than cowhide, as it is oiled buffalo leather at 1.0 to 1.2 mm thicknesses. In areas requiring stretch, premium-grade elastic ripstop polyester is used. The hoodie liner is also breathable and waterproof, meaning that even if you have to do a dash from the bike to your front door in a downpour, simply flip up the hood and you’ll get there dry.

Protection comes in the form of Knox micro lock CE level 2 armor at the shoulders and elbows, with the leather jacket’s inner mesh liner holding a back protector pocket for optional armor. Accordion panels at the elbows and a quilted stitch design around the shoulders allow the jacket to move freely, despite being pre-curved for a front tuck position. Ventilation comes via some very well hidden shoulder intakes and vents, which keep the jacket looking premium when zipped up.

Alpinestars Alice Women’s Jacket

Alpinestars Alice Women’s Jacket

Price: $479.95+
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If Roland Sands has the women’s cafe market cornered, it’s fair to say that Alpinestars, realizing there was a gap to step through, made a sporty cruiser jacket with the Alice. Carrying all the right looks of the double-breasted front flaps, the asymmetrical zipper, and the relaxed arm curvature makes this both a classic and a modern sports cruiser jacket, all in one.

Don’t let its old-school looks fool you into thinking it’s not armored to the nines. Alpinestars has included their super lightweight, breathable Nucleon Flex armor, which is certified to CE level 2, at the shoulders and elbows, with a forearm extension on the elbow armor. This is carried in a mesh-backed cowhide 1.3mm leather chassis, with a back protector pocket for optional armor.

As with other jackets of the sporting style, the thermal liner of the jacket is easily detached and serves as a hoodie. Ventilation is hidden well in the underarm stretch panels, allowing just enough air to pass to wick away heat without being overly cold.

This is a jacket that would look at home being used while riding either Honda Rebel 500 or an Indian Roadmaster. Classic, timeless styling with modern armoring deserves a spot on this list.

Roland Sands Riot Jacket

Roland Sands Riot Jacket

Price: $650.00
Buy: Revzilla

Roland Sands strikes again with a superb classic English cruiser jacket. Solidly in the retro cruiser fashion sense, the Riot jacket would look perfectly at home being worn in the crowd at an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest concert as much as it does astride a Royal Enfield or a Triumph Bonneville.

Much more of a summer cruise jacket, the Riot is made of microperforated top grain cowhide sourced from Blackstone, which means it is soft, supple, and abrasion resistant with a thickness of 0.9mm throughout. The asymmetrical zipper is, of course, full YKK, and is of the bronze classic style. Quilted leather highlights and aggressive cuff YKK zippers make the jacket scream “Rock n Roll!” in that quintessential British understated-but-loud way.

The jacket is also, of note, made with a very aggressive black dye process, as the color will lighten the more it is exposed to UV light until it reaches the classic light black that well-worn leather fashion jackets eventually reach. This is also the only jacket recommended on this list that does not come with pre-installed armor. However, pockets for elbow, shoulder, and back protectors are ready to accept your own choice of the best armor, from Alpinestars’ Nucleon Flexto Icon’s D3O and Rev’It’s SeeSoft.

Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R V3 Air Jacket

Alpinestars Stella T-GP Plus R V3 Air Jacket

Price: $239.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

With the increase in women’s participation in BSB, ASA, MotoGP feeder series, and the like over the past three decades, Alpinestars has had a lot of exposure to creating gear that is suitable to both genders, or those in-between genders. For the men, the T-GP Plus R v3 Air is one of the best mid-range sport and track rated jackets you can get, and by simply adding a Stella to the front of that name, that same legendary jacket is available to women.

The Stella T-GP Plus R v3 Air, apart from being one hell of a mouthful of words, is made of 600D highly abrasion-resistant polyester. Interspersed between these polyester panels, abrasion-resistant, tightly woven polyfabric mesh allows just enough air to wick away heat, but not chill you to the bone. A full mesh lining also helps boost that airflow’s effectiveness in carrying away sweat and warm air.

Protection is in the form of Alpinestars’ Nucleon Flex CE level 1 armor, with the shoulders being additionally armored with GP Lite slide shields. As sport riders will often choose between vest-style back protection or using jacket pockets, no back protector is included. However, Alpinestars has included both chest and back protector pockets, suitable for Nucleon KR-Ci CE level 2 armor.

A definite warm-weather riding winner, those that ride sportbikes where it never really snows have a go-to jacket that can be armored up as the need arises.

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Women’s Jacket

Dainese Racing 3 Perforated Women’s Jacket

Price: $579.95
Buy: Revzilla

If you want a sport riding jacket that is both warm-weather rated and contains the abrasion resistance of leather, Dainese has you covered with the Racing 3 Perforated women’s jacket. The “mortal enemy” of Alpinestars on the MotoGP grid, Dainese uses a special treatment on all the leather they use for track and street gear, naming it “tutu leather.”

This leather is always 1.2mm or greater in thickness, while the treatment makes it highly water-resistant, supple, and reinforces the abrasion resistance through chemical bonding. And if that wasn’t enough protection for you, the stretch panels between the leather chassis panels are made of S1 bi-elastic, a Dainese and Cordura co-development that mixes the elasticity of regular polyfabric with the 500D+ abrasion resistance of pure Cordura.

The jacket is also microperforated in key areas and includes zip closure vents in the upper chest, with intake and exhaust vents on the sides of the jacket. Protection comes in the form of Dainese composite CE level II elbow and shoulder armor, with the shoulders being covered by an aluminum impact and slide plate that is mounted on a composite base, meaning the plate is replaceable. The jacket features a back protector pocket suitable for a Dainese G1 back protector, or a Dainese D1 airbag vest can be worn under the jacket itself.

It’s a premium leather and polymer jacket that passes CE EN 1621.1 and CE Category II – 89/686/EEC Directive protection standards, meaning it is ready for track use. Dainese themselves note that the jacket does tend to run on the tighter sport fit side, so they recommend buying one size up from your measurements.

Klim Artemis Women’s Jacket

Klim Artemis Women’s Jacket

Price: $699.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you have spent even two seconds at the local gear store’s ADV and off-road touring gear section, Klim is a name that is plastered literally everywhere. Specialists in the long-distance touring style of gear, both on- and off-road, the Artemis is a design that is not shared with any other jacket in their lineup, making this one of the very few women’s only jackets.

Named after the Ancient Greek goddess that protected nature, the Artemis does a very good job at protecting whoever is within its confines. A true three-season touring jacket, this jacket is made of Klim’s own Karbonite textile, which is rated at least 600D, and up to over 750D, abrasion-resistant across multiple certification tests. Behind the chassis sits a full GoreTex membrane layer, which itself is over a Klimatek mesh layer that acts to both wick away hot air and sweat, and supports the jacket on the body.

In making the Artemis specifically for women, Klim did not have to worry about ventilation for the male torso, so airflow has been mapped specifically for the female torso. Ventilation is controlled via two centerline chest vents, two cross-core vents, 2 forearm vents, and two bicep vents, all of which exhaust out two massive vertical back vents.

Protection beyond abrasion is reinforced by D3O level 1 armor in the back, shoulders, and elbows. The Karbonite fabric is also penetration resistant, so no sharp rocks on an off-road trip should leave much more than a small bruise and a memory. The collar is comfort-lined to not be abrasive to the neck, and both sides of the collars can be pinned back to the upper chest to allow ventilation air to pass down from the neck roll into the body of the jacket.

If you are going to be off-road for any duration, you really cannot get a better ADV jacket than the Artemis. It’s designed for, built for, made for the active off-road riding woman, and it shows!

Merlin Madison Women’s Riding Shirt

Merlin Madison Women’s Riding Shirt

Price: $159.00
Buy: Revzilla

The latest trend in protective gear in 2021 has been the major push forward with armored shirts and hoodies. Either out of a desire to not look “kitted up,” or purely for comfort, there are varying degrees of quality with these newer pieces of gear, and Merlin has been at the forefront of the highest-rated, best quality shirts.

Looking like your average long-sleeved plaid shirt that isn’t out of place on a farm, the Madison shirt is much more than just a fashion statement. The Buffalo Plaid fabric, itself tear-resistant, is backed by a full, interwoven, 100% DuPont Kevlar lining that is rated to 1000D abrasion. A light mesh lining keeps things comfortable, as does a relaxed street fit, while the kevlar holds CE level 1 elbow and shoulder armor in place. There is a pocket in the mesh liner for a back protector as well.

What looks like a button up front is in fact a storm flap closure over a full YKK zip, with YYK zippered vents cleverly hidden along the tops of the chest pockets. The pockets have small inner pockets designed to hold hand-warmer packs, and if that wasn’t enough, the whole shirt is water-resistant but breathes easily.

If understated but superb protection is in your checklist for gear, or if you just want a good all-around riding shirt that pairs beautifully with some riding jeans and boots, Merlin has just the shirt for you.

Helite Xena Women’s Airbag Jacket

Helite Xena Women’s Airbag Jacket

Price: $800.00
Buy: Revzilla

To say that this jacket is revolutionary is understating just how important it is. It may not look like much, it may even look bland compared to some of the other options on this list, but Helite has made a women’s fit jacket that has the single most important protection feature that any jacket can have. Enter the Xena, a leather sport touring and cruiser jacket with a built-in, tether deployed rider airbag system.

Made from premium 1.2mm cowhide leather, the Xena hides stretch polyfabric under a cleverly designed panel at the top back of the jacket, whose importance we will discuss shortly. As well, the sides and lower back feature floating leather on stretch panels, allowing the jacket to keep a tight, close fit at all times. The arms are relaxed in their curvature, making it comfortable for long-distance cruising.

The importance of both the large stretch panel at the top of the back and the stretch panels on the sides and lower back is so that if you do come off your bike, in any way, shape, or form other than stepping off of it when it’s parked, a tether attached to a solid point on your motorcycle yanks an activation valve open, inflating the airbag hidden in the liner of the jacket in 0.1 seconds. This airbag, along with the full Sas-Tec CE level 2 back, shoulder, and elbow armor, provides extreme impact protection into the high tens of G’s.

As it is a tether-operated system, with no fancy electronics or GPS sensors, it works every time you need it to. In fact, the airbag will self-deflate over about half an hour, and as long as the jacket has not been penetrated by any object or otherwise damaged, all you need to do to reset it is replace the spent 60cc CO2 cartridge in the right lower front of the liner, and it’s ready to deploy again.

For disguising a life-preserving safety feature in a fashionable cruiser and sport-touring jacket, while it is expensive, nothing is more expensive than your life. Either this or the wearable Helite Turtle 2 airbag vest, comes highly recommended.

Dainese Lola 3 Women’s Jacket

Dainese Lola 3 Women’s Jacket

Price: $599.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Much like a couple of the other jackets in this list, if you’re going for a retro look that hides otherwise superior protective features, Dainese has a retro jacket for you in the Lola 3. Just looking at it, you’d think it was a slightly heavier track jacket, or a zip-up spring jacket to wear on the walk to the grocery store.

However, the Lola 3 is so much more. Combining high-grade Iride matte leather with S1 bi-elastic polyfabric panels and Dainese Pro-Armor impact zones, the jacket passes both prEN 17092 Class A jacket protection and EN 1621.1 armor class 1 standards. The Pro-Armor elbow and shoulder protectors are also rated CE level 1, which, while not as protective as CE level 2, allows for the armor to be more flexible and comfortable, while still being able to take an incredibly harsh whack without passing the impact to you.

And the piping on the jacket is not just for fashion, either. It is fully reflective material in an artificial shape, so the eye at night recognizes an artificial shape among the organic clutter of the environment in their headlights. A pocket for an optional Dainese G1 or racing G2 grade protector is inlaid into the TechFrame internal comfort liner just in case that person doesn’t see you.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Long-term review: Avon Tailrider tyres

Tyre reviews are only worthwhile if they include wear characteristics which means a long-term review is necessary.

So, with a recent 480km day ride completed, our review of a set of Avon Tailrider tyres can now include details of how they are performing after 2500km.

The tyres fitted to our long-term CFMoto 650MT are the 120/70ZR17 AV54 and 160/60ZR17 AV53 Trailriders which we reviewed shortly after fitting.

The triple-compound Trailriders are described as 10% offroad and 90% road.

Our recent 480km ride put them to the test with a mix of smooth tarmac, very broken tarmac, one road made from volcanic rock and also varying degrees of unsealed road, some with water crossings. The previous week, we had the pleasure of two days with wet roads.

Perfect conditions to evaluate these “all-road” tyres.

As a road tyre, we have high praise for the overall design and capabilities. They simply do not put a foot/tread wrong and are performing without any cause for concern. 

The levels of grip, road noise and compliance over bumps and similar is excellent.

There are many tyres on the market that would be better for trackdays, but in the real world, the Avons deliver.

In the wet, the Trailriders provide consistent and predictable grip and braking control, with the wider and deeper-than-usual tread design allowing standing water to easily disperse.

The 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets for Men [2021]

The Trailriders are fine on unsealed roads, but would best suit riders who only occasionally get their rubber dirty. If you ride more dirt than tar, Avon’s Trekrider range would provide better levels of confidence.

We have been riding with 30psi in the front and 33psi in the rear and wear on either tyre has been minimal to date.

The dual-compound rear can easily be seen, especially after a dusty road, and both compounds are wearing well.

Overall, the Avon Trailriders impress as under-rated tyres for occasional ADV riders.

Website: www.proaccessories.com.au

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New ‘Triumph Beeline’ Navigation System Boasts Robust, Minimalist Design

Triumph has just partnered up with Beeline, a company that caters to two-wheeled navigation systems, to deliver an upgraded, industrial-strength navigation system with a minimalist design and laser-etched Triumph features, compatible with any motorcycle. 

According to a report from AutoEvolution, the new navigation system hit the UK’s store shelves this past weekend and is anticipated to be a big hit – especially since this model is based on the trendy Beeline Moto device introduced back in 2019

new triumph beeline navigation system for motorcycles

The system features an IP67 waterproof and shockproof case that sports the iconic ‘triumph-branded packaging’ and is said to fit any motorcycle handle – specifically, Triumph models (take your pick of models from this list curated on WebBikeWorld). Simply install the elasticated snap-mount onto your bike of choice, and the system locks in with an easy push and twist. 

photo displaying the ease with which the new triumph beeline can be installed on a motorcycle of choice

Should you decide that you can’t wait for the Triumph Beeline to make its way across the Atlantic, Beeline’s website currently has the original, non-Triumph “Beeline Moto” available for purchase – and if you really love the concept of the Triumph Beeline, the navigation company also carries modified systems outfitted for bicycles. 

…Not that we’re especially keen to drop our motors and go for a pedal, but the option is there. 

The 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets for Men [2021]

According to AutoEvolution, the system will be compatible with motorcycles in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. 

Looking forward to when the Triumph Beeline makes its way to the Western Hemisphere – until then, long live Triumph!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Two custom kits for Ducati Monster

Ducati Australia has announced pricing for two customisation kits that make personalising a Monster even easier.

The Monster has always been a customisation favourite for owners using either factory accessories or aftermarket accessories from various manufacturers plus custom paint jobs.

Now Ducati has made it easier to personalise the naked bike using their extensive catalogue of factory accessories with an online configurator. 

It allows you to preview what your bike will look like before you commit to buying the accessories.

Many motorcycle manufactures now use these convenient online configurators; a feature you can’t get that from aftermarket accessories providers.

Ducati’s Monster configurator goes even further, including Ducati-approved accessories from premium Italian company Rizoma.

Ducati Monster
Rizoma accessories

Their billet aluminium accessories include handlebar balancing weights, footpegs, brake fluid and clutch fluid reservoirs.

The configurator will also let you see what the two new accessories kits and two decal sets will look like.

The Pixel kit costs $A1132.56 and consists of a tank cover, seat side panels, seat cover, headlight fairing and front mudguard.

worker holding up examples of patented solid-state batteries
Ducati Monster
Pixel kit

As the name suggests, the $A762.30 GP kit gives it a more race or Ducati Corse look with a special tank cover and seat side panels.

Ducati Monster
GP kit

Both kits are available for all three colours of the Monster and Monster Plus: Ducati Red, Dark Stealth and Aviator Grey. 

These are complemented by two sticker kits, Corse and Logo, also available for all colours of the bike.

The new Monster and Ducati Performance accessories can now be ordered from all Ducati dealerships.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoCAP now rates more than 300 rider gear items

Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP motorcycle gear safety ratings service has now performed testing and issued safety and comfort ratings ratings for 340 items of rider jackets, gloves and pants.

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

It has now added 16 more products to its online ratings of 165 jackets, 83 pairs of pants and 92 pairs of gloves.

The new safety ratings for 13 jackets and three pairs of pants range from one to three out of five stars for safety.

All pairs of pants from DriRider (Titan and Xena ladies pants) and Macna (transfer) tested were rated at just one star.

The Dainese Prima72 leather jacket was the top jacket performer with three stars.

Dainese Prima72 jacket
Dainese Prima72 jacket

Riders are urged to consider checking the safety and comfort ratings of gear before they buy.

While some have disputed the veracity or usefulness of the tests, rider representative groups and road safety experts say MotoCAP at least makes riders more aware of wearing protective gear.

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

Is your handlebar mount damaging your phone?

I recently found photos taken on my iPhone 11 were blurry because the autofocus wouldn’t lock on.

The phone was under warranty so I rang to have the camera fixed and was immediately asked whether I rode a bicycle or motorcycle.

When I said yes, they asked if I had a handlebar mount.

So obviously they are aware of an issue where having your phone or camera mounted to your handelbar can cause vibration issues that can damage the delicate workings of your device.

I’d be careful what you admit to as it could void your warranty.

Several handlebar mounting devices for cameras, GPS, phones, etc now come with vibration isolation attachments.

One of the most popular is the Aussie invention, Quad Lock, which offers a vibration mount for just $A24.95.Quad lock

It’s a small price to pay for the insurance of protecting your expensive device.

I have been mounting my phone to the handlebars using a Quad Lock with a wireless charger for several years without any issues … until now.

Having your phone charged while you are out on a ride is not only a convenience, but also a safety device.

If you get lost, crash or fall ill, having a fully charged phone means you can ring emergency and they can track you.

The Quad Lock is available for motorcycles, scooters, cars, bicycles and runners.

You can buy the mount (RAM, handlebar or mirror), the case to suit your iOS or Android phone, a waterproof covering if required, plus accessories such as the charging units and isolation mounts separately or as a pack to save money.

To mount your phone, hold it at a 45-degree angle until it slots into place, then twist it clockwise to a vertical or horizontal position where it remains securely in place.

To remove the phone, simply push the blue tab (or ring on the wireless charger mount) and rotate anti-clockwise.

That makes it useful if you are riding along and see something worthy of a photo – no fumbling in your jacket for your phone, just grab it and take the shot, then re-attach it. (Obviously, stop first!)

Although it is very secure, it does vibrate which makes it impossible to use the camera or video function on the move.

And as we’ve now found, that vibration can cause damage, especially if you ride on rough roads or off-road.

Quad Lock even lists a variety of motorcycles – mainly twin cylinder models – that can cause vibration issues.

Be aware that it may be illegal in your jurisdiction to even touch the phone while riding, although the laws are a bit vague, says the Australian Motorcycle Council.

If you want to access any of the touchscreen facilities, you would need to have special gloves with touch-sensitive finger pads.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

SOS service for all riders

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Automatic emergency calls that activate in the event of a crash are being installed in cars and some motorcycles and motorcycle helmets, but Triumph has now released a similar phone app that all riders can use.

Triumph SOS will detect if you have suddenly stopped and send an automatic emergency call that can be manually cancelled if you just happened to have dropped you phone or your bike and are not in any danger.

The service has been launched in Australia,  New Zealand, Europe and North America.

BMW SOS button motorrad win mandated
BMW’s SOS or ecall button

Unlike the BMW SOS button on their K 1600 models which is yet to be introduced in Australia because of incompatibility with our telecommunications system, the Triumph system just needs to rider to install an app and ay a monthly $A6.99 subscription.

It is available to any rider, but Triumph owners get a three-month free trial.

Paramedics say the chances of survival of a rider in a crash are linked to the speed of contact with emergency services, making this service vital.

However, it will be limited by phone coverage which can be patchy at best in Australia’s vast outback.

The Triumph SOS app has been specifically tailored for motorcyclists, and monitors key sensors in your smartphone to detect and validate an accident.

The Google-Cloud hosted emergency alerting platform automatically sends the rider’s details directly to the emergency services within seconds of the accident being detected, following a unique validation process.

Details include GPS location, direction of travel, bike details, and medical information, but

Triumph confirms the app does not record or send any speed or telematics data to the emergency services.

Advanced features include sophisticated auto-pause technology to prevent accidental triggering so you can fully focus on your ride.

The app requires a rolling monthly subscription with no cancelation fees or long-term contract commitment.

Riders can download the Triumph SOS app now from iOS and AndroidApp stores.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com