Tag Archives: Gear

Shinko Off-Road Tires for Intermediate and Hard Terrain | Gear Review

Shinko off-road tires
Shinko off-road tires. From left to right: Shinko 504/505 tires for hard terrain; Shinko 524/525 tires for soft/intermediate terrain

Go to any track day with a sportbike, and it’s all about lap times – and tires. There are supersport tires, racing slicks and race compounds, tire warmers and laboratory-grade pressure gauges, and mandatory tech inspections. Grip means everything – and on asphalt that is better than any public road in the galaxy. Control, control, control.   

So what’s up with us dirt donks? A track day at the local MX park has no tech inspections, but the rough-and-tumble flyboys (and flygirls) go about their berm-slaying and seat-bouncing with equal zest to their roadie counterparts – and typically with less focus on tires. Serious dirt guys and racers keep their rubber fresh, of course, but for us commoners, the adage is, “If the knobs aren’t too worn, they’re good to go.” Just air ‘em up, lube the chain, and hit it, Mitch.   

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain

Well, I’m here to tell you that tires are just as crucial for dirt work as they are for the street or track. Old knobbies – compromised by time, wear, and exposure to sunlight and ozone – harden, losing their elasticity and ability to conform to the terrain. And with wear, they lose needed tread depth and the sharp edges crucial for gripping the infinitely variable and always changing Mother Earth.  

Enter the Shinko off-road tires for hard and soft terrain. I wanted to ride both formulas back-to-back to learn the real-world differences between the compounds in real time. I selected the hard terrain 504 front ($84) and 505 rear ($115) tires for a late-model Yamaha YZ250F and the soft and intermediate terrain 524 front ($92) and 525 rear ($115) tires for a late-model Yamaha YZ125. The rationale was simple: Making less power, the light YZ125 2-stroke would be easier on soft tires than the heavier and gruntier 4-stroke YZ250F. Sizes were 80/100-21 front and 100/90-19 rear in both cases.  

See all of Rider‘s Shinko coverage here.

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain
Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain

The Shinko off-road 504/505 tires for hard terrain have a firm rubber compound and sturdy, closely spaced knobs. In contrast, the softer 524/525 pair features much more pliable rubber and slightly smaller knobs, with 28% wider spacing in between. Think of the hard-terrain tire like a running shoe for the Leadville ultramarathon and the soft-terrain tire like a gummy rock-climbing shoe for El Capitan. One shoe is a brute; the other is a technician.  

Acknowledging that the YZ250F and YZ125 are completely different machines with different suspension systems, I evened the playing field as much as possible with stock suspension settings and by airing all tires to a uniform 14psi. My ride day included everything from sand washes to hard pack, from rocks to silt, with endless hill-climbs and an MX track thrown in.  

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 505 tire for hard terrain; Shinko 525 tire for soft/intermediate terrain

The hard Shinko 504/505 is a tough tire; it rides firmly – perhaps even harshly – with no squirrely traits. As expected, the crisp edges of the knobs bite well – and happily, vastly better than the worn OE knobs that I replaced. Importantly, the good grip extends to the side knobs, which helps immensely when cornering, especially on the hard pack characteristic of California. For under $200 per pair, these represent a good value, especially if the MO is to run tires as long as possible.  

The Shinko off-road 524/525 duo for soft/intermediate terrain rides comfy. The markedly softer rubber and breathier spacing between knobs lend a more civilized feel to these units, and the tires’ ability to conform to the conditions I encountered inspired me to dub them the “Cadillac of Shinko knobbies.” They added an extra dose of fun to the ride experience in sand and loam simply due to the pliable carcass and broad knob spacing. But they felt somewhat squirmy on hard pack and rocks.

See all of Rider‘s tire reviews here.  

Shinko off-road tires
Shinko 525 tire for soft/intermediate terrain
Shinko off-road tires
Shinko 505 tire for hard terrain

I would say the Shinko off-road 504/505 is a solid, long-wearing pair that will handle a wide range of conditions and take abuse over a prolonged period. They would not be my first choice for mud or deep sand particularly, but I’d jump on them for rock crawling in the Rockies or scrambling over the Mojave Road. I’d also experiment with lowering pressures to 11-12psi on local rides. Then I’d totally take the 524/525 combo for slogging through deep loam, bogs, and beachheads, where paddle-like grip is key and wear is not a factor.   

And finally, a surprise: At day’s end, the 524/525 pair already displayed noticeable wear on the leading edges of the rear knobs, while the harder 504/505 pair held up better, despite their fitment on a more powerful bike. As such, in my SoCal riding universe, I figure on replacing the 524/525 units well before the 504/505 twins need renewal. But that’s okay – after all the tire swapping for this test, I’m fine-tuned with the tire irons.  

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Holiday Buyers Guide

2023 Holiday Buyers Guide
Hopefully our 2023 Holiday Buyers Guide will provide you and loved ones with great gift ideas.

Motorcyclists might be in the minority in thinking December is not “the most wonderful time of the year,” but a gift of motorcycle parts or gear brings the joy of the season. If you’re considering what to tell friends and family when they ask what you want for the holidays or are looking to buy a gift for a fellow rider, this Holiday Buyers Guide is a good place to start.

Here at Rider, we work hard to bring you “Motorcycling at its Best” in each issue. We hope these pages keep your riding passion burning through the cold months and give you plenty of new routes, techniques, and products to try out once the ice thaws. We’re able to continue this mission through support by you – our loyal readers – and our advertisers. Adding an item from this holiday buyers guide to your gift list not only benefits you or your motorcycle-minded loved one but also the companies that help us to keep delivering the stories you enjoy.

Thank you, and happy holidays from Rider!

Hair Glove

Hair Glove

The Hair Glove prevents knotting and tangling while keeping hair protected from dirt, dust, and other damaging elements, and it provides a sleek and stylish look with its cylindrical design. Snap buttons running the length of the Hair Glove help keep hair in place, and the built-in Flex-Hook attaches to an elastic band to keep it from sliding out even at high speeds. Simply hook it, wrap it, snap it, and go. Available in a variety of lengths and designs starting at $18.99.

HJC RPHA 91 Carbon

HJC RPHA 91 Carbon motorcycle helmet

This modular helmet features a carbon fiber shell for enhanced shock resistance, a distortion-free faceshield with increased peripheral view, and an adjustable three-step drop-down sunshield. The chinbar has a hidden closure point for smooth contact and less pressure in the cheek area, and the 3D-engineered interior reduces wind noise. The helmet is compatible with the second-generation Smart HJC Bluetooth system and other comms systems. Available in sizes XS-2XL starting at $699.99.

Barnett Lock-up Pressure Plate

Barnett Lock-up pressure plate

This new product from Barnett fits all Harley-Davidson FL Touring models with Milwaukee-Eight engines, as well as 2013-current models with slip/assist clutches (except Softails). Made in the USA, the one-piece hard-anodized billet pressure plate guarantees no flex and optimal durability. Weighted arms progressively apply increased pressure as the engine revs up. Two sets of chrome silicon heat-treated and preset no-sag springs are included for different pressure options. Available for $415.88.

SW-Motech PRO Cross WP Strap Tank Bag

SW-Motech PRO Cross WP strap motorcycle tank bag

This tank bag is made of TPU material with no seams, holes, or exposed zippers, creating a completely waterproof compartment for your items. It has a sturdy EVA lid with a magnetic lock for easy access and MOLLE attachment on the lid for extra carrying capability. The bag can fit on many motorcycle tanks, including small enduro bikes with narrow tanks, and it includes quick-release buckles for fast removal and a carrying handle. The bag holds 5.5 liters and weighs about 2 lb. Available for $199.95.

Kodlin M-8 Softail Engine Guards

Kodlin M-8 Softail Engine Guard

Protect your Harley from tip-over damage with this engine guard. Engineered from high-strength steel, the guard includes an oil cooler cover and black crash pads. The bolt-on design makes for a simple installation: Remove the mounting hardware from the stock foot controls, fit the engine guard in place, and bolt it back together. Available for $549.99 in a black or bronze finish, the guard fits 2018-23 Low Rider, Low Rider S, Low Rider ST, Softail Standard, and Street Bob models. Rear guards are available for $299.99.

Hawg Halters Radial-Mount 6-Piston Single Caliper Kit

Hawg Halters Radial-Mount 6-Piston Single Caliper Kit

Upgrade your brakes with this 6-piston radial-mount caliper kit. Fitting the popular 108 x 22mm mounting configuration, the precision CNC-machined 6061 billet-aluminum construction provides an optimum strength-to-weight ratio for strong braking responses. Reliability is ensured with dual EPDM copolymer seals and stainless-steel pistons, and a quick-change design allows for simplified pad maintenance. Available in Bright Machine, Gloss Black, Inca Gold, and Show Chrome finishes starting at $390.

SW-Motech Legend Gear Magnetic Tank Bag

SW-Motech Magnetic Legend Gear motorcycle Tank Bag

This tank bag can fit on nearly any motorcycle and includes a magnetic attachment for bikes with steel tanks as well as straps for nonmagnetic attachment. It’s made from napalon synthetic leather and waxed canvas and includes splashproof inner lining. A waterproof cover adds more rain protection, and the carrying handle allows the bag to be easily transported. The zippered expansion increases volume from 3 liters to 5.5. Available in black or black with brown for $121.95.

Wild Ass Classic Motorcycle Cushion

Wild Ass Smart Classic cushioned motorcycle seat

Made with medical-grade neoprene rubber, the Wild Ass Classic is a comfortable and natural-feeling motorcycle seat cushion designed for long-distance riders who want extra comfort and less fatigue. The neoprene rubber reduces pain at pressure points and promotes blood flow. The inflatable cushion also reduces shock and vibration, keeping riders comfortable over long distances. The Classic cushion is 15.5 x 14 inches and comes with a bladder, a cover, straps, and a patch kit. Available in black for $249.99.

SMK Titan Carbon

SMK Titan Carbon motorcycle helmet

SMK’s top-of-the-line helmet features a lightweight and impact-resistant Titan Carbon outer shell comprising carbon-fiber composite and energy-absorbing thermoplastic. An inner liner consisting of multiple densities of expanded polystyrene provides additional impact absorption. Ventilation is provided by a chin vent, a top vent, and four exhausts. Also included are a drop-down sunshield and a Pinlock anti-fog insert. This full-face helmet is ECE and DOT certified and available in sizes XS-2XL starting at $279.99.

Spectro Oils

Spectro Oils Heavy Duty Golden Synthetic V-Twin motorcycle oil

Spectro’s Heavy Duty products include engine and transmission oils, primary chaincase oils, fork oils, and brake fluids that deliver maximum protection while extending drain intervals and component life. Spectro’s Golden Synthetic Blend is the ultimate engine lubricant designed for use in Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines and features a combination of world-class Group IV synthetic lubricants, superior base stocks, and advanced anti-wear additives to extend component life. Find it at your local dealer. 

See all of Rider‘s Gear listings here.

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Joe Rocket Sinister Leather Motorcycle Jacket | Gear Review

Joe Rocket Sinister Leather Motorcycle Jacket
The Joe Rocket Sinister leather motorcycle jacket offers a good blend of protection and comfort.

When it comes to leather motorcycle jackets, Joe Rocket doesn’t make the motorcycle-apparel equivalent of Chef Gordon Ramsey’s often cited cardinal sin of too many offerings. The company keeps it simple – just five choices. Of these, the Sinister is the most geared toward sport riders.

See all of Rider‘s apparel reviews here.

From a protection standpoint, the Sinister doesn’t fool around. It’s made of 1.2-1.4mm embossed cowhide and has injection-molded reinforced shoulder caps with removable CE Level 2 shoulder and elbow armor and a spine pad. Reflective trim and a jacket-to-pants fastening system are additional safety elements.

When I put on the jacket, it feels substantial. And it’s not just my imagination; it weighs about 6 lb, which is on par with my leather cruiser jacket. However, for all that substance, the Sinister is more comfortable than I expected. It has precurved sleeves, which can feel somewhat constricting, but it balances this with Full Flex ribbed elbows for added mobility. It also has stretch panels in both the underarms and sleeve undersides, plus an adjustable waist.

There are zippered vents on the biceps and the back that provide sufficient, if somewhat underwhelming, airflow. I would welcome chest vents in the form of a couple pockets in addition to the three existing ones (two external and one internal), but I can see why the company didn’t want to disturb the aesthetic, which is definitely an asset worth noting.

Joe Rocket Sinister Leather Motorcycle Jacket

The Sinister is clearly going for a particular style, and if that is your thing, this jacket pulls it off. When I put it on, between the six-pack “abs” on the front (which seem more form than function), injected shoulders, and general sturdiness, I feel like Batman. I feel like a badass. Problem is, that’s not necessarily who I am. I enjoy riding sportbikes and pushing myself, but I don’t pretend to be a racer. And I’m not crazy about the giant “Rocket” logo across the front and back. I don’t mind supporting the brand, but it feels like overkill. But who knows? With all that protection on me, when I’m hustling down a backroad, instead of Batman maybe I’m Rocket Man.

The Joe Rocket Sinister jacket comes in sizes S-3XL for $399.99.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

AGV Tourmodular Modular Helmet | Gear Review

AGV Tourmodular Modular Helmet

When I slide on a full-face helmet, there’s a kind of click. My focus instantly sharpens, and my shoulders relax. The lighter and more comfortable the helmet, the deeper the effect. Add in modular helmet action so I can chat, hydrate, and snack on the fly, and I can stay in the zone all day.

That’s why I was so excited to try AGV’s new Tourmodular on a recent midsummer multistate tour through the Northeast.

AGV Tourmodular Modular Helmet

It’s a handsome lid, but what’s more important to me is performance, beginning with safety. AGV claims this modular helmet is just as safe as a full-face helmet, and testing backs up this claim. It surpassed the latest market-driving ECE 22.06 safety standard. Since it’s a modular, it had to undergo additional impact and torsion testing both in its open and closed positions, and the Tourmodular passed these as well.

Comfort is my next priority. This wind-tunnel-engineered helmet is compact and lightweight thanks to a shell comprised of carbon, aramid fiber, and fiberglass. My Medium weighs 3.7 lb and fit true-to-size out of the box.

The removable/washable interior is super comfy, with Ritmo, a cooling, breathable material, covering the cheek pads and soft Shalimar lining the interior. As a full-time prescription glasses wearer, I also appreciate the Tourmodular’s recessed channels that accommodate eyewear. A lined chin strap closes via a micro ratchet, and an integrated sunshield is deployed via a convenient toggle.

See all of Rider‘s helmet reviews here.

All the mechanical functions are robust, starting with crisp, five-stop faceshield action. At 4mm, the faceshield is twice as thick as most lenses and considered part of the shell’s architecture. The optically correct faceshield provides a massive 190×85-degree field of vision, and its compact latches are such a cinch to operate that you’ll be popping the faceshield on and off just for cleaning.

The modular feature is actuated via an easy-to-operate latch under the chin: Just pull and flip. It’s perfect for me since I prefer to keep my helmet on during short stops.

AGV Tourmodular Modular Helmet
The AGV Tourmodular is convenient for snack breaks throughout a ride.

Underway, the helmet was quiet whether I was riding a touring rig or a naked bike. Its light weight kept me from feeling fatigued on long riding days. During severe extended downpours, zero water leaked inside even with the faceshield in the locked “micro-opening” position. An included Max Pinlock 120 insert kept fogging at bay.

My first two weeks in the helmet were spent riding behind a touring windshield in high humidity, so all avenues of ventilation were investigated. There are two vents on the chin bar, but the real ticket was the large wraparound vent on top that ushered in plenty of cooling air. 

In 30-plus years of testing motorcycle gear, I haven’t enjoyed a helmet more than this one. The Tourmodular modular helmet is positioned as a more economic version of AGV’s all-carbon Sportmodular. There are nine colorways and 30 fit combos between three shell sizes, six interior sizes, and five thicknesses of interchangeable cheek pads. Pricing starts at $659.95.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Lone Rider MotoBags 2-Year Torture Test | Gear Review

Lone Rider Motobags KTM 1190 Adventure R
The Lone Rider MotoBags on the author’s KTM 1190 Adventure R

Lone Rider, which entered the ADV world with its popular MotoTent that features a vestibule to park your bike, introduced its semi-rigid MotoBags in 2017. Over a period of two years, I tested the latest evolution on my KTM 1190 Adventure R with the MotoBags mounted to a set of Touratech luggage racks. 

MotoBags combine a hard pannier’s carrying capacity with a soft bag’s flexibility. This design is advantageous if a crash occurs – something that has happened to me numerous times while tackling single-track terrain on my big KTM. 

Lone Rider Motobags KTM 1190 Adventure R

In the event of a crash, hard panniers have two major limitations. First, big impacts can dent and mishape the panniers, ruining the integrity of the lid’s waterproof seal. Second, the rider’s leg can get caught under the pannier, potentially causing or exacerbating an injury. Soft bags, on the other hand, don’t dent and make for a softer impact point than solid aluminum. 

I’ve tested the MotoBags in asymmetrical sizes (38 liters on the left, 31 liters on the right) to accommodate my KTM’s right-side exhaust. I’ve covered a wide range of terrain, from hardcore off-road trails to long-distance paved highways. And I’ve scraped and banged the bags against hard objects and dropped my KTM a few times, putting them through real-world abuse. 

Lone Rider Motobags

The 38-liter bag is 9.5 inches wide and the 31-liter bag is 7.9 inches wide. When fully closed, both bags are about 16 inches tall and just over 17 inches from front to back. The MotoBags set weighs 29 lb, which doesn’t include the luggage rack. 

The Lone Rider designers wisely looked to the military for inspiration, including the use of a heavy-duty but smooth fabric called Hypalon, which is used in inflatable boats where a puncture can mean a life lost. The fabric offers excellent abrasion and puncture resistance while remaining waterproof and dustproof. Reinforced stitching and replaceable rubber corners add extra strength. 

Even though I grazed tree branches at speeds over 80 mph and skidded the MotoBags across sharp rocks, they never punctured, and the fabric, once cleaned up, fared well. 

See all of Rider‘s luggage reviews here.

On the outside of each bag is MOLLE webbing for attaching smaller bags or accessories. As I found out, the MOLLE and a set of straps makes it easy to haul firewood or 12-packs from nearby stores to campgrounds. 

Lone Rider Motobags

Because there is an outer bag and an inner waterproof roll bag made of 500D PVC tarpaulin, accessing gear inside of MotoBags requires more effort than simply opening a hard pannier lid. The outer bag, which is reinforced with inner stiffeners, has drain holes in the bottom, so using the inner bag is essential for keeping the contents dry. 

Lone Rider Motobags KTM 1190 Adventure R

For short day trips, accessing the inner bag can be a hassle. But having a removable inner bag for overnight trips is a blessing – simply remove it and unpack what’s needed without taking off the outer bag. On extended trips, I pack only the things needed for the campground/hotel in the inner bags and everything else, like tools, extra gloves, and beverages, between the inner and outer bags. 

There is a learning curve with opening and closing the MotoBags. To open one, you must undo the top two main straps, unlock the combination lock (if used), undo the aluminum latch, remove the strap and fold, unfold the top closure, and then open the inner roll bag. To close the bag, do the same in reverse, making sure you squeeze the air out of the inner and outer bags. 

Lone Rider Motobags

Lone Rider provides a programmable four-number combination lock for each bag. However, when my six-year-old son helped me install the MotoBags, he reset the combination and locked one of the bags. For peace of mind, I use a pair of keyed Master Lock padlocks, with a spare key hidden in my jacket. 

When mounting the MotoBags, patience may be required to line up their attachment points with the luggage rack. When I first mounted them on my Touratech pannier racks, the quick-release mechanism for each bag was very stiff and difficult to actuate, and I had to tilt the bags forward to be able to lock them into place, which was frustrating. But I later learned when mounting them to my Ducati DesertX Outback Motortek racks that the locking mechanism needed to be readjusted, and now they go on and off quicker than any others on both the KTM and the Ducati. 

Lone Rider Motobags

The Lone Rider MotoBags offer a solid balance between cost and performance, making them an attractive option for those seeking durable, functional, waterproof soft luggage. The 38L/31L setup with the quick attachment and inner bags is available for $1,200. 

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Schuberth E2 Modular Helmet | Gear Review

Schuberth E2 modular helmet Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+
Schuberth E2 Explorer modular helmet in Black Anthracite

Knowing I’d be riding more than 1,000 miles during the dog days of summer – when Sirius, the “Dog Star,” rises with the sun, which ancient Greeks believed brought heat, drought, bad storms, bad luck, and mad dogs – I opted to wear my Schuberth E2 modular helmet for the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ press launch in Idaho and my two-day ride home to California. I wanted comfort, ventilation, minimal wind noise, and the convenience of a flip-up chinbar. The E2 delivered.

Related: 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Review | Road Test

We wrote a Schuberth C5 modular helmet and SC2 Communicator review for our September 2022 issue, and the E2 is largely the same helmet but with more ventilation and an ADV-style peak visor. The C5/E2 have an intermediate-oval head shape with more interior space than their C4/E1 predecessors. To improve comfort, the chinstrap, which fastens with a quick-release micro-lock ratcheting mechanism, was moved forward, and the chinbar’s new pinless locking mechanism prevents the helmet from becoming tighter when the chinbar is closed.

The E2’s shell is made using Schuberth’s Direct Fiber Processing method, where glass fiber is combined with a special resin and compressed in a vacuum at high pressure, and the shell is reinforced with a basalt layer for added strength. The size medium tested here weighs 4 lb, 6 oz.

Schuberth E2 modular helmet Gloss White
Schuberth E2 in Gloss White
Schuberth E2 modular helmet
Schuberth E2 in Matte Black

Inside the E2 is a dual-density EPS liner, a drop-down sunshield, and a removable/washable Comfort Fit interior with CoolMax antibacterial fabric and customizable pads. The helmet is prewired for the SC2 communication system ($349, sold separately), with HD speakers and antennas for FM, Bluetooth, and Mesh already installed.

See all of Rider‘s helmet reviews here.

Comfort for the E2 was good right out of the box, and it improved as the helmet molded to my noggin. Ventilation is excellent, with two intake vents on the chinbar, a large central intake on the crown, exhaust vents on the rear spoiler, and air-flow channels built into the EPS liner. One gripe is that the chinbar intake vent just below the faceshield pushes open and closed, and I often bumped it closed accidentally when opening the faceshield.

Schuberth E2 Explorer modular helmet White Red Blue
Schuberth E2 Explorer in White/Red/Blue
Schuberth E2 Defender modular helmet
Schuberth E2 Defender

As the faceshield snaps shut, two small tabs near the shield’s base plate lock it closed. When closing the shield from one side or the other, occasionally one or both tabs would not engage to fully close the faceshield. However, it locks closed easily if I spread my hand apart and push the shield closed from both sides with my thumb and forefinger. Schuberth’s patented memory function keeps the faceshield open at a desired level after opening and closing the chinbar, and a Pinlock anti-fog insert is included.  Motorcycle windscreens can introduce turbulence, but the E2 slices through the air cleanly, and the adjustable peak visor provides shade without getting caught in the wind. When I stood up on the Tracer’s pegs to stretch my legs, I was enveloped in smooth, quiet air, allowing me to simply enjoy the thrum of the engine.

The Schuberth E2 sells for $799 in one of three solid colors and $899 for the E2 Defender graphic or one of four Explorer graphics.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Motorcycle Luggage: Tail Bag and Tank Bag | Gear Review

Nelson-Rigg Commuter motorcycle luggage
The Nelson-Rigg Commuter motorcycle luggage makes a nice addition to the CFMOTO 450SS. (Photo by Killboy)

Motorcycles offer many advantages over other methods of transportation. However, one drawback is a lack of storage space. Whether packing for a weekend trip or picking up a few groceries on your way home from work, having a versatile motorcycle luggage system can be a game-changer, and that’s what the Nelson-Rigg Commuter luggage series provides.

See all of Rider‘s luggage reviews here.

The Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag is a useful piece of gear that allows for quick attachment and removal. It’s made with UltraMax fabric with UV protection and a molded EVA carbon-like panel that helps the bag to hold its shape. It also comes with a waterproof rain cover, internal straps with hook-and-loop fastening, and a mesh pocket under the lid.

Perhaps the most convenient aspect of this particular bit of motorcycle luggage is how easy it is to attach and remove from a bike. The bag comes with four straps and four attachment points. It can be secured on the bike in two ways, either by removing the passenger seat and looping the straps under the seat before replacing it or by fixing the straps to solid points on the bike. The bag also comes with a shoulder strap that can be looped through a D-ring to convert the bag into a backpack.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter motorcycle luggage tail bag
Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag

The Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag comes in three sizes: Lite (11.7 liters, 15.3 liters expanded, $119.95), Sport (16.4 liters, 22.3 liters expanded, $129.95), and Touring (24.8 liters, 33.0 liters expanded, $159.95).

The Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tank Bag is constructed of the same materials as the Commuter Tail Bag, and it includes a waterproof rain cover and a clear map/phone pocket.

Like the Tail Bag, the Tank Bag attaches to most motorcycles, either by straps or magnets. The magnet system is easiest to use, since all that’s required is untucking the magnets from the nonslip bottom and sticking them to a metal tank. To use the strap system, loop one strap around the neck of the bike and attach the two ends to buckles on the bag, then loop a second strap through a solid point under the seat and attach the ends to the other two buckles.

The Commuter Tank Bag comes in two sizes: Lite (5.8 liters, 8.4 liters expanded, $119.95) and Sport (10 liters, 14.5 liters expanded, $139.95).

Nelson-Rigg Commuter motorcycle luggage tank bag lite
The Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tank Bag in Lite size.

I appreciate the versatility and ease of attachment and removal that the Nelson-Rigg Commuter motorcycle luggage provides. I use the Sport sizes of both bags for weekend trips and daily commutes and find they provide plenty of space for my storage needs. They have proven to be durable, hold their shape well, and can be used on almost any motorcycle. The only downside I’ve encountered is that they would be easy for someone to snatch off my bike since the attachment points are visible and simple to undo, so I park where my bike is visible during lunch stops and remove the bags when I’m done riding for the day.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Weiser Extreme EVO Multifunction LED Motorcycle Light Kits | Gear Review

Weiser Technik LED motorcycle light kits triple-function rear turnsignals

Weiser Technik’s Extreme EVO LED Motorcycle Light Kits transformed my 2020 BMW R 1250 GS test mule into a much more conspicuous presence on the road by adding running light capability to the front turnsignals and running light with brake light capability to the rear turnsignals. The kits essentially replace the stock turnsignal modules with Weiser’s own design, which utilizes 12 super-bright Osram LEDs per indicator. The result is dramatic, especially at night where the GS’s relatively meager stock lighting was once easily lost in the sea of traffic.

In addition to the 4 LED light modules, the Weiser LED motorcycle light kits arrived complete with all necessary components for installation – including standard wiring, extension wiring, zip ties, posi-twists, posi-taps, posi-locks, locking keys, and solid-state relay – and full instructions. Many variations of the kits are available to fit a myriad of brands and models, and generally the LED light modules fit within OEM housings. However, Weiser also offers the turnsignal housings themselves (if necessary), clear or tinted lenses, and short (4.2 inch), medium (4.6 inch), or long (6.25 inch) turnsignal stems to fit nearly any application.

Weiser Technik LED motorcycle light kits dual-function front turnsignals

The lights are fully CANbus-compatible, so no load equalizers are necessary, and there is no danger of fault codes if installed properly.  Installation itself is relatively straightforward for the shade-tree mechanic using online tutorials and the printed manual that came with the kit, but since my bike was in for service already, I had my shop install everything in one hour of labor. 

Pre-Weiser, my GS’s turnsignals were devoted solely to that function and otherwise remained unlit. With the Weiser kits installed, the front turnsignals now glow a constant bright white color as full-time running lights. Activating the turn signal overrides the white running light with a bright flashing yellow-off-yellow pattern and then glows continuously white again once the turnsignaling is canceled.

Weiser Technik LED motorcycle light kits dual-function front turnsignals

The rear setup operates in a similar fashion to the front, with both indicators operating as full-time red running lights. If the rider hits the brakes, both indicators glow an intense bright red. If the turnsignals are utilized, the side indicating glows in a yellow-red-yellow-red sequence until the turnsignal is canceled and then resumes its red running light mode. Hazard lights operate as normal, flashing yellow-off-yellow up front and yellow-red-yellow in the rear.  

Weiser Technik LED motorcycle light kits triple-function rear turnsignals

Out on the road, the Weisers drew plenty of compliments from my fellow riders, especially at night when the additional lighting really popped compared to the stock dim setup. The company claims their lights are up to 10 times brighter than OEM, an entirely believable claim based on my observations. The kits I tested carry a four-year warranty with tech support available by phone or online.

See all of Rider‘s Parts & Accessories reviews here.

The Weiser Extreme EVO LED motorcycle light kits tested here are $249-$269 for both the dual-function front kit and triple-function rear kit or $449-$489 for a combo kit. 

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet | Gear Review

LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet

Established in 2007, Spanish manufacturer LS2 produces a full line of motorcycle helmets, including full-face, modular, open-face, off-road, and youth. The LS2 Thunder Carbon is the brand’s top-of-the-line motorcycle racing helmet, designed with input from professional riders in World Superbike, Moto 2, Moto 3, and other series and certified by DOT, ECE, and FIM.  

LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet Lightning
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet in the Lightning graphic
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet Lightning
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet in the Lightning graphic

The LS2 Thunder Carbon helmet features a Kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber shell, a multidensity EPS liner, emergency-release cheek pads, and a double D-ring chin strap. The interior has an intermediate-oval shape with a snug and comfortable fit, making it ideal for full days on the track, on the highway, or in the canyons. Its aerodynamic shape slices through the wind, its rear spoiler enhances stability, and its light weight (3.25 lb for a Medium) reduces fatigue. 

LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet Alliance
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet in the Alliance graphic

The Thunder Carbon motorcycle racing helmet comes with both clear and dark smoke faceshields, as well as an extra set of black visor fasteners to match the dark smoke visor. Slick and thoughtful! The eyeport is above the normal line of sight, which improves visibility when tucked in. A Pinlock anti-fog insert and a breath guard are also included. 

Six intake vents, three exhaust vents, and channels in the EPS lining provide ventilation. The intake vents have harmonizers to streamline the airflow through the helmet for maximum cooling, and the faceshield has an air crack position to allow in additional air. Testing this helmet on hot days in Texas was a pleasant experience, and I remained cool even at stop lights and in traffic. 

The Thunder Carbon has no cutouts for Bluetooth speakers inside the liner, which is understandable for an aggressive-style helmet like this one. However, I was able to install a Sena 50 Series Mesh system easily. 

LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet
LS2 Thunder Carbon Motorcycle Racing Helmet on its included inflatable resting pillow.

Overall, the LS2 Thunder Carbon is an attractive, comfortable, high-quality helmet with excellent safety features. It also comes with a hydration tube, a helmet sleeve, a protective bag, and an inflatable resting pillow for off-bike storage. 

See all of Rider‘s helmet reviews here.

Whether you’re a professional motorcycle racer or an everyday road warrior, the LS2 Thunder Carbon helmet offers a perfect blend of style, performance, and protection. It’s available in sizes XS-2XL in solid and graphics starting at $699.98. 

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Hudson Valley Motor Parts Motorcycle Bar End Weights | Gear Review

Hudson Valley Motor Parts Motorcycle Bar End Weights
The Hudson Valley Motor Parts Motorcycle Bar End Weights provide a smoother and more enjoyable ride on my BMW R 1250 GS.

After nearly two decades aboard various generations of BMW’s venerable RT-Series sport-tourers, I recently decided to learn how to ride off-road and made the switch to a BMW R 1250 GS adventure-tourer The GS is surely a capable machine, but it’s not quite the glass-smooth operator my RT was on the highway. Though by no means offensive, the GS’s handlebar transmits a modicum of vibrations to the rider’s hands as the revs climb, and Hudson Valley Motor Parts Motorcycle Bar End Weights represent a compelling antidote to this. By adding copious mass to the bar ends, these weights effectively quell the sympathetic resonance which plagues all motorized two-wheelers to some degree.

Related: 2021 BMW R 1250 GS | Road Test Review

My HVMP test pair was perfectly finished in gloss black, with each bar end weighing a portly 8.9 ounces sans hardware and measuring 1.6 inches high by 1.5 inches in diameter at the base. For reference, the GS’s stock bar end weighs a scant 2.2 ounces sans hardware and measures 1 inch high by 1.5 inches in diameter at the base.

Hudson Valley Motor Parts Motorcycle Bar End Weights
Stock BMW R 1250 GS bar ends (left) vs. Hudson Valley Motor Parts Bar End Weights (right)

Installation was a breeze and required only common hand tools. The GS’s stock bar ends must be removed by loosening the T45 Torx bolts which hold them in place. Then, they are replaced with the HVMP units, which are fastened via the included 6mm stainless Allen bolts. It’s a good idea to add some medium strength thread locking compound (Loctite or Permatex blue) to the bolt threads. Torque to 9 lb-ft, and you’re done. There is no interference whatsoever with the GS’s handguards, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes for the pair.

See all of Rider’s Parts & Accessories reviews here.

On the road, the HVMP motorcycle bar end weights had a dramatic effect on handlebar vibes throughout the entire rev range. The GS’s handlebar is now dead still below 4,000 rpm, and the buzz which used to emanate from the grips above 4,000 rpm is now reduced by what feels like 75%, making spirited riding and downshifting much more enjoyable. My GS’s grips are smoother now than my RT’s in stock form ever were.

For the modest investment and effort required for installation, the HVMP bar ends are a worthy addition for commuters, long distance travelers, riders with carpal tunnel syndrome and other related afflictions, and anyone else who desires less buzz in the bars. HVMP offers a wide selection of its American-made motorcycle bar end weights for various BMW and other brand models.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com