Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

Roof RO200 Carbon is lightest full-face helmet

French motorcycle helmet company Roof is releasing a new helmet, the RO200 Carbon, which is expected to be the lightest full-face helmet in the world.

At just 1090g, it beats the previous lightest helmet, the Nolan-made X-Lite X-803 Ultra Carbon at 1249g.

The 1090g weight is for their small shell size to fit XS to M sized heads, while their ML to XXL helmets weigh 1150g which is still lighter than the X-Lite.

Roof helmets have been around since 1993 and have ECE22.05 certification, so they are legal here.

They are imported to Australia through Cassons, now owned by Motorcycle Holdings which also owns TeamMoto dealerships.Roof RO200 Carbon is lightest full-face helmet

There is no word yet from Cassons about price and arrival.

In Europe they start at €699 (about $A1130), depending on colour and graphics.

Roof RO200 Carbon is lightest full-face helmet

Features include UV and anti-scratch visor with Pinlock anti-fog insert, removable and adjustable lining, intercom compatible, glasses channels, six air intakes and two extractors, and a double-D ring chin strap clasp. 

Despite its light weight, Roof says the helmet is suitable for race-standard protection with “advanced technologies and innovative solutions” including “Evolutive EPS protection with five densities”.

They claim the face aperture provides 210° of horizontal vision and 100° vertical.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Arai Regent-X easier to pull on/off

The next-generation Arai Regent-X helmet will address the problem of tight-fitting helmets being difficult to pull on and off.

It will be released late this year with the latest version of Arai’s Facial Contour System.

This system includes a 5mm adjustment in the jawline and cheek pads that “articulate up and down” as you pull on and take off the helmet.Arai Regent-X motorcycle helmet

They say this makes it easier to pull on and take off.

When the helmet is on, Arai claim the cheek pads will wrap around your face for a snug fit.

This is important as brain injuries can occur if your helmet does not fit tightly around your head.

Although it has a snug fit, the cheek pads have bigger speaker recesses and they say it is now easier to fit an intercom.

And, as usual, the cheek pads are adjustable and come in multiple sizes to fit your head.

It also comes with their usual multi-density one-piece liner.

However, some people with round heads (like me) can’t wear Arai helmets as they have an oval shell shape.

Arai Regent-X

Arai has also fitted a lighter weight neck roll, although they don’t say how much lighter it makes the helmet.

But Arai does claim it reduces wind noise seeping in from the bottom of the helmet.Arai Regent-X motorcycle helmet

Protection is claimed to be the same as their race helmets even though it uses a new less-expensive resin.

We don’t have confirmation yet of its arrival time or prices in Australia.

Aussie prices for Arai helmets range from about $550  for the Acces-III to $1339.95 for the RX-7V graphic.

It will be available in sizes XS-XXL in solid colours and graphics.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Klim helmet cooler, safer, longer lasting

A new Koroyd helmet liner being used by Klim is claimed to be safer, cooler and last longer than the industry standard polystyrene or polypropylene “EPS” foam.

Koroyd is basically hundreds of tiny tubes of plastic polymer that form a honeycomb around your head, absorbing more impact and allowing cooling air to circulate.

It is also not affected by heat and sweat like EPS which limits helmet life to about five years.Klim Koroyd helmet

And it can be reused after small crashes as the liner material “bounces back”.

The Koroyd liner has been used in bicycle helmets.

Now American company Klim features the material in their F5 adventure helmet. It adds about 40% to the price.

Australia currently only gets the Klim Krios adventure helmet ($A750-$950). There is no word yet on whether the F5 with Koroyd will be coming here, but it is being Euro approved which means it would be legal.

How Koroyd liner works

While EPS is the industry standard in helmet lining, there are other helmet inventions that also claim to be cooler and increase impact absorption.

For example, Italian manufacturer Momo has a fan in the helmet that activates at low speed and American inventor Jason Kirshon has developed his Kirsh helmet with a lightweight silicone liner that helps reduce impact by up to 60% over EPS.

By the Koroyd liner puts these two elements together as well as improving the life of your helmet.

Koroyd tubes are designed to deform on impact to absorb the energy like EPS liners, but at a higher rate of 84% compared with 60%.

Not only does it absorb more impact, but it decreases the risk of a fracture, reacts better to direct or angled impacts and reduces rotational forces.Klim Koroyd helmet

The impact is also absorbed at a smoother rate of deceleration, reducing shock to the brain.

Once a conventional EPS-lined helmet has been in a crash, even at low speed, the helmet is usually a write-off.

However, the material in a Koroyd liner is able to bounce back from minor impacts.

Since it is made up of hollow tubes, it also allows more air to circulate around your head which is claimed to reduce heat by 30%.Klim Koroyd helmet


The technology seems to have been bought by Ohio company Klim (pronounced “climb”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries which makes Indian motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Varied protection for country and urban riders

Urban and country riders need different levels of abrasion, impact and seam-bursting protection in their riding gear, according to MotoCAP chief scientist Chris Hurren.

He explains the differences in this video from MotoCAP, the world’s first safety and comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing which launched on 18 September 2018.

Jackets and pants tested

Almost a year after launching, the Australian testing facility has now rated 146 items.

The latest inclusion is comfort and safety ratings for four jackets and seven pairs of pants.

Alpinestars SP-X perforated leather pants four stars for thermal comfort, the highest rating for leather pants in this category yet.

The pants also obtained three out of five stars in protection.Chris Hurren Varied protection for country and urban riders MotoCAP

The MotoDry Advent Tour textile pants received the maximum score of 10 for water resistance, only the second pair of pants so far to earn the highest score.

The pants only scored half a star for protection, but were awarded three stars for comfort.

The Merlin Hamlin Zip-up Hoodie jacket was awarded the highest rating for thermal comfort in this release, scoring three out of five stars, and one out of five stars for protection.Chris Hurren Varied protection for country and urban riders MotoCAP

MotoCAP ratings explained

The brief MotoCAP video follows recent seminars across the country by MotoCAP researchers from the Deakin University.

If you are interested in having a MotoCAP researcher talk to your riders group, click here to contact them.

Chris says he briefs riders on MotoCAP aims, how a rider can use the service to select the right gear, what is tested and why, plus “some of the science that we do to back up our work”.

Typical rider questions are:

  • Q: Who funds the program?
  • A: MotoCAP is a not-for-profit organisation in partnership with and funded by: from NSW – Transport for NSW, SIRA and the NRMA; from Victoria – VicRoads, TAC and RACV; from South Australia – DPTI, MAC and RAA; from Queensland – TMR and RACQ; from Western Australia – the Western Australian Road Safety Commission; plus the Australian Motorcycle Council and the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation.
  • Q: How many garments are tested a year?
  • A: It was launched in September 2018 and has so far tested 146 articles of clothing.
  • Q: Are any companies getting on board with the program?
  • A: Despite invitations, no manufacturer has yet come forward to have their gear tested. Instead, they use a system of secret buying.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Neckmike intercom headset for riders

Neckmike intercom is similar to those tactical headsets you’ve seen the good guys using in Hollywood blockbusters.

It’s the product of a two-person Swedish company that produces headsets for military and first responders.

But co-founder Carl Franzén says they don’t just make them for use in combat or special ops, so they sent me their civilian version suitable for active use such as motorcycling, skiing and cycling.

The Neckmike M4+ bluetooth intercom bundle includes a handlebar controller and costs $US219.99 (about $A320) from Tactical Headsets.

Neckmike from Tactical headsets
Neckmike and handlebar control come in handy zipped container



Most helmet intercom microphones are useless against wind noise, even when they have those little foam “socks” over them or have active noise cancellation.

As the name suggests, Neckmike uses a neck microphone that straps around your throat with two different collar sizes.

The mic is positioned right up against the skin of your throat so it doesn’t get any wind noise at all.

People I have spoken to on the phone, even when wearing an open-face helmet, say the voice quality is superb.

They couldn’t even tell I was on a motorcycle travelling at highway speeds.

Surprisingly the nec mic isn’t uncomfortable on a trip.

Neckmike from Tactical headsets
Neck mic

Another advantage of this unit is that it uses earbuds rather than speakers.

These silicon earbuds won’t irritate your ears and are passive noise cancellers if you shove them in far enough.

There are three different sizes of earbuds included to match your ear size.

They are comfortable for all-day use sop long and your helmet has ear recesses.

They also reduce damaging wind noise which can lead to rider fatigue, tinnitus and permanent hearing loss.Neckmike Case

Pairing is quick and easy and re-pairing when you power on is foolproof every time.

They don’t advise what bluetooth level it is and I couldn’t connect to other brands of intercom.

You can also download their free Zello app that turns your smartphone into a “push to talk” (PTT) device, using the 3G and 4G network.

So you can simply add other Neckmike users to your app channel and you’re connected at the touch of a button, although it only works if you have phone signal.


Neckmike from Tactical headsetsOur main concern with the Neckmike is that they take ages to fit each time you put your helmet on or take it off.

There are too many messy wires as well as a velcro strap to hold the neck mic in place. It all gets in the way of the helmet strap.

The waterproof controller has seven buttons — way too many — and they are all so small you can’t discern which is which when trying to find them with gloved fingertips.

And the volume controls are upside down with the down volume button on top and vice versa. Very strange.

However, the handlebar control does make controls easier to access and operate.

We also don’t like the fact that you have to hold the power button for up to six seconds to switch on and off.

Carl says the earbud speakers are made with hi-fi elements from a “renowned Danish company” and we found the audio quality very clear for speech.

However, it is a bit shrill and high-frequency-oriented for playing music.


Neckmike Case
Bundle comes with M4 intercom and handlebar controls

We acknowledge that some riders are critical about intercom communication and audio entertainment while riding.

However, there are other riders who love music and being able to stay in touch. It’s also a safety device on group rides.

Plus there are professionals who need to be in contact for work while riding such as couriers and moto-journos like me!

For the latter, this Neckmike is ideal as the microphone and earbuds are perfect for making and receiving calls and intercom communication.

If you are a courier or tourer who won’t be taking off your helmet frequently, this unit would be suitable.

They are also ideal for use with open-face helmets thanks to their noise-cancelling microphone and earbuds.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Arai Rapide Neo joins retro trend

Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers have now released retro designs over the past few years and now the Arai Rapide Neo joins the trend.

Arai is better known for its racing helmets, but the sports bike category is on the slide and the retro trend is continuing to rise, so it was only a matter of time before Arai joined in.

There is no word yet on when the 1980s-style Rapide Neo will come to Australia.

It will depend on when it receives Euro approval which is expected soon.

The helmet will be available in M (57-58), L (59-60), XL (61-62) sizes and we estimate it will cost around $800-$900.

What is a retro helmet?

A retro helmet is usually distinguished by its simplistic design, round shell, limited vents and lack of aero scoops and race graphics.

Rapide Neo follows this trend with a dome-shaped Special Fibre Laminate shell available in five solid colours only.Arai Rapide Neo retro helmet

Most of the retro helmets we have tested have been low-tech as befitting the old-school design.

While they may have modern protection and materials such as antibacterial lining to “wick away” the sweat, etc, they do have a few design flaws.

A minimalistic retro helmet usually has visors that don’t seal properly and little ventilation or at least no way to switch the ventilation on and off.

Arai Rapide


The Arai Rapide Neo may be a little more hi-tech than most other retro helmets.

For a start, it seems to have a better visor seal with a rubber gasket around the face aperture.

There is also a rather sophisticated hinge mechanism and doesn’t have the typical Aria covers side covers which should make it a little quieter.Arai Rapide Neo retro helmet

It also features a neat device to “crack” the visor open for more air.

Otherwise, ventilation is a bit hit and miss.

The big chin vents look like they would provide plenty of air and are adjustable, but the control is inside the chin bar which may be difficult to access.

To keep the dome design clean and simple there are no forehead vents.

Arai Rapide Neo retro helmet
Chin vents, hinge mechanism, visor “crack” tool, rear vent

While there are small vents in the visor, it looks like they will just squirt air straight into your eyes and dry them out. It should also increase noise levels.

The two very discrete slits at the rear three-quarters and rear neck vent are the exhaust outlets.

Being down low instead of at the top of the head, we would expect it would draw air down, rather than over your hair.

However, Arai says it has “Air Flora Ina” ventilation that channels air throughout the liner.

We will advise when they arrive in Australia.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aerodynamic ARK bluetooth intercom for AGV

AGV is the latest helmet manufacturer to partner with leading Bluetooth company Sena to develop a special aerodynamic ARK intercom for their helmets.

So far, the ARK intercom is only compatible with the AX9 Adventure range, K5-S Sports range and Sport Modular Touring.

The AGV ARK intercom costs $399, but you have to also buy a helmet-specific base at $29.95. However, for a limited time, riders can save money by buying the compatible helmets and SRK in “combo deals”. 

Sena’s ARK intercom is a sleeker and more aerodynamic unit than their usual intercoms.

Instead of the handy “jog dial” rotating knob common to most Sena intercoms, it has buttons.

These may not be as easy to use as the jog dial, but there is also a handlebar remote available at $149.

Sena ARK bluetooth intercom for AGV helmets
Handlebar remote

ARK features

Australian distributors Link International say the ARK unit features 30 minutes of “quick charging” which equals four hours of intercom use. 

It is compatible with the Sena SF Utility App which allows users to configure device settings and accessing quick guides and the Sena RideConnected App that allows intercom with a virtually limitless number of riders over an extensive range, so long as they are connected to a mobile network.

Other Sena features are: voice prompts for functions; FM radio; microphone noise control to reduce wind and background noise; music sharing with another intercom; multi-way conference intercom. 

It also has audio overlay which allows phone calls, GPS instructions and intercom conversations to be heard over audio from the radio, music or GPS app instructions in the background with reduced volume.Sena ARK bluetooth intercom for AGV helmets


  • 10 hours of talking time 
  • Three-way conference phone call with intercom participant. 
  • Microphone mute option 
  • Smart Volume 
  • Audio Boost 
  • Voice activated phone answering and intercom start. 
  • HD quality crystal clear and natural sound. 
  • Bluetooth Audio Recording 
  • SENA firmware upgradeable 
  • Water resistant 
  • Bluetooth 4.1 supporting profiles: Headset Profile, Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), and Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP). 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

Motorcycle luggage has to be convenient, practical and attractive, and Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag ticks all those boxes for riders on small bikes.

And at just $A119.95*, this expandable commuter tail bag (11.7-15.7 litres) is great value.

Tank versus tail bag

I love a tank bag on a sports bike for carrying an extra pair of gloves, visor cleaner, rag, multitool, tyre repair kit and other incidentals.

It’s also handy to put a map in the top clear-plastic compartment and you know it is secure because you can see it right in front of you.

However, tank bags can get in the way and even scratch your tank if you happen to get a tiny bit of road grit in between the bag and the tank. Nasty!

But this tail bag has all the benefits of a tank bag (except that it doesn’t have a clear top nor sits in front for visual security) without the possibility of damaging your bike.

Simply sit it on your seat or luggage rack and it connects via strong webbing straps with four tough nylon clips that are quick and easy to use.

Even though you can’t see it, you can be confident it is still there as the fasteners are secure.

It didn’t shake loose even on some rough roads where I took my Ducati Scrambler and Triumph Street Scrambler.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Tail bag on Triumph Street Scrambler rear rack

You can loop the ties together or use an underseat attachment. Both are secure. There is also a long strap in case it is needed for some bikes where the straps won’t go under the seat. 

Quickly un-click the four clasps and you can carry the bag with the flush-mounted handle or add the long strap that turns it into a backpack.

Mind you, the backpack is a bit naff, fiddly to thread the long strap and not very comfortable, so I just use the handle.

Style and construction

Tank bags looks a bit silly perched high up on a bike and spoil the lines. Tail bags look a bit more stylish.

This is a particularly stylish bag that fits in with the lines of a small bike with a small back seat, especially my Ducati Scrambler.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Same size and shape as the Ducati seat

It’s almost as though Nelson-Rigg designed it for this bike as the seat is the same shape and size as the bag.

What makes this bag look extra stylish is the semi-rigid top and sides. It doesn’t look floppy when there’s nothing in it like many other soft bags.

The moulded Fibertech top even has a stylish carbon-fibre-style finish.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Carbon-like top

It’s good-quality construction all round with robust zips, reflective piping and premium lining.

The instructions are stitched inside so you never lose them.

There are also two straps to keep your stuff from rocking and rolling around, an under-lid storage area with a mesh zipped cover and two stretch pouches to hold pens, multitool, screwdriver or small torch.Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

It hasn’t rained here for a while, so I haven’t been able to test out its weatherproof qualities.

However, it does keep out the dust!

There is also a waterproof cover that you can store away in the top pouch.

Yes, they even thought about the fact that sometimes you have the tail bag zipped out to the expanded 15.7-litre capacity, so the waterproof cover also has an expansion zip.

WarrantyNelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

Nelson-Rigg is an American family-owned company that has been around for more than a quarter of a century.

They make a range of motorcycle and scooter accessories, including covers, soft luggage and rainwear.

They stand by their products with a lifetime warranty.


  • UltraMax® fabric with maximum UV protection
  • Quick-release nylon buckles
  • Moulded EVA lid with Fibertech “carbon-like” accents
  • Internal self-fastening straps to secure contents
  • Lockable reverse coil zippers and hi-density rubber zipper pullers
  • 100% waterproof rain cover
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Protective non slip base material
  • Measures: L28cm x W25m x H16.5cm / L28cm x W25cm x H21.5cm expanded
  • Holds 11.7 Litres / 15.3 Litres expanded

(* Link International says the $119.95 price is for Queensland, NSW and ACT only. Pricing may vary in other states.)


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What does CE approved clothing mean?

(CE certification article contributed by Pando Moto)

Motorcycle protective rider gear has become a lot safer over the years since Europe introduced a CE legal standard for motorcycle clothing, known as EN13595, in 1994.

It was originally designed as a standard for professional racers, but now any motorcycle clothing that does not meet the standard cannot be sold as ‘protective’ wear in Europe.

This CE standard (Conformité Européene or European Conformity) is now used throughout most of the world.

In Australia, it gets a little more confusing as we also have an independent MotoCAP testing regime for safety and comfort. Click here for the latest news on gloves that failed their tests.

If you are confused with the various labels, CE markings, standards and information about impact protection, double-stitched seams, and abrasion testing, read on.

CE markings and regulations

When buying protective motorcycle clothing, it is important to know whether the garments you are considering are produced to at least a minimum CE standard.

A label should have a CE marking permanently attached to the garment.

Pando Moto CE label

Any CE-approved product must come with a certificate of conformity.

What do CE standards mean?

If a product bears any type of CE marking, this means its manufacturer has constructed this garment to an applicable standard of safety and protection legislation.

This means the product is made to at least a particular level of quality for the consumer’s reassurance.

In 1995, Cambridge University played a big part in the development of CE marking, which aided an increase of knowledge for anticipated CE personal protective clothing regulations.

CE tested, certified or approved?

There is a huge difference between the terms “CE Tested”, “CE Certified”, and “CE Approved”:

CE Tested: The term normally implies that the manufacturer tested the whole or just a piece of a garment within their own facility that might meet certain standards. However, the garment is not necessarily tested in a certified testing facility to meet officially accredited standards.
CE Certified: This term is more secure, as it states that the garment samples were tested in certified testing facilities. In this case, you need to find out which part of a garment was tested.
CE Approved: This term means several parts of a garment were tested in certified facilities and are accredited to meet or surpass the required standards in all zones.

Garment testing zones

The certification test EN13595 uses two test levels, with the body divided into four zones (see illustration with zones below):

CE Testing zones

Zone 1: must-have impact protectors and needs to last 4 seconds on the Cambridge Abrasion Machine to meet Level 1 protection, and 7 seconds to meet Level 2.
Zone 2: must-have impact protectors and needs to last 4 seconds on the Cambridge Abrasion Machine to meet Level 1 protection, and 7 seconds to meet Level 2.
Zone 3: requires 1.8seconds for Level 1 and 2.5 for level 2.
Zone 4: can be used for ventilation and stretch panels, but must still last 1 second on the abrasion rig for Level 1, and 1.5 seconds for Level 2.

Cambridge abrasion machine

EN17092 has five test levels, covering three key zones of the garment – Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, with samples tested on a Darmstadt machine that spins them at a set speed until they’re dropped on to a slab of control concrete where they slow to a stop.

Darmstadt machine

Usually, you will see A, B or C letters on a label that indicates garments classification.

Classification AAA: The highest level, demanding four seconds of abrasion resistance with the machine spinning at 707.4rpm (the equivalent of 120km/h) in Zone 1, two seconds at 442.1rpm (about 75km/h) in Zone 2 and one second at 265rpm (around 45km/h) in Zone 3.
Classification AA: More suited to touring gear, this specifies two seconds in Zone 1 at 412.6rpm (about 70km/h), one second at 265.3rpm in Zone 2 and 0.5 seconds at 147.4rpm (the equivalent of around 25kmh) in Zone 3.
Classification A: Deemed suitable for urban riding, with Zone 1 requiring one second of abrasion resistance at 265.3rpm and half a second at 147.4rpm in Zone 2.
Classification B: same as A, but impact protectors are not required.
Classification C: covers garments such as the mesh under-suits that have impact protection for off-road riding.

Samples are taken from each zone to be tested for seam strength and abrasion resistance.

A company using the same materials and construction methods in two or more jackets, for example, could meet approval with one test, so long as the tested parts are put together in a tested way within the tested zones, and subsequent garments are added to the certificate.

Once these materials and construction methods are approved, they cannot be changed, and that includes the specific supplier of the material.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Viking Warlock jacket fits female form

Female riders who complain about the lack of shape and adjustment in motorcycle jackets that don’t fit their shape should check out the stylish Viking Warlock all-seasons women’s jacket.

Not only is it designed to fit the female form, but it has plenty of adjustability.

There are two hip zips to allow for wider hips and three straps in the back to adjust to your exact waist shape.

Viking Warlock jacket fits female form
Three-strap adjustment

At just $US115.99 (about $A170), it’s great value and comes in black only in women’s sizes small to XL.

It’s a great all-seasons jacket with a shell of completely flow-through ventilated mesh Cordura for the hot days and a full-length quilted zip-out thermal comfort layer.

Viking Warlock jacket fits female form
Quilted thermal liner

Our test pilot, Sharon Ledger, says it feels very comfortable with plenty of warmth for single-digit temperatures as well as enough ventilation for hot summer riding.Viking Warlock jacket fits female form

She also likes the sprung clip in the right pocket to attach your keys when you are not riding, so they don’t fall out and get lost.

There are also plenty of pockets inside and out for your purse, phone, garage remote, lipstick, etc, she says.Viking Warlock jacket fits female form

Warlock safety

The Viking Warlock hasn’t been rated by MotoCAP for safety.

However, it is made of Cordura 600D which has very good abrasion resistance according to independent tests.

Viking Cycle says the Warlock jacket is coated with polyurethane which is wind and water resistant, won’t sag and creates less wrinkle.

Inside are CE-approved EN1621-1 Type A impact protectors in the shoulders, elbows and back for urban riding protection.

Viking Cycle have a refund policy within 30 days and a one-year defect warranty for peace of mind.Viking Warlock jacket fits female form

Viking Warlock features


600D PU Coated Fabric and Soft Mesh


Mesh Panels On Torso (Front & Back) And Sleeves


CE Approved Removable Armor On Elbows, Shoulders, Back and Chest


2 Zippered Side Pockets


Phone, Sunglasses, Wallet, Knife And a Concealed Pocket


Waist Adjustability


Velcro Sleeve Closures


Reflective Piping

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com