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Continental TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks Tires | Gear Review

Continental TKC 70 Rocks review best adventure tires
Continental TKC 70 (front, on left) and TKC 70 Rocks (rear, on right)

Adventure-touring tires are usually rated in terms of their ratio of intended use on-road and off-road. Many are 90/10 tires, designed for roughly 90% on-road use and 10% off-road use, such as Continental’s ContiTrailAttack 3. They have large tread blocks and look more like sport-touring tires than the aggressive knobbies on tires like Continental’s popular Twinduro TKC80, which is rated 40% road/60% off-road. Road-biased adventure tires are smoother and grippier on pavement and deliver higher mileage than knobbier tires, but knobbies provide more traction off-road.

Between the two options is Continental’s TKC 70, which is rated 80/20 road/off-road. After putting 3,500 miles on the 90/10 Michelin Scorcher Adventure tires that came on my Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, I wanted something more aggressive for off-road riding. I opted for the TKC 70 front and rear-only TKC 70 Rocks, which is rated 60/40 road/off-road. With a little over 1,000 miles on the Continentals, they fit the bill.

Continental TKC 70 Rocks review best adventure tires
We tested the Continental TKC 70/Rocks tires on a 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special.

Both tires feature zero-degree steel belt construction, which Continental says improves stability and comfort, and MultiGrip technology, which transitions from a harder, high-mileage center to a softer, grippier shoulder without the abrupt step from hard to soft with multi-compound tires. The TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear have large tread lugs in the center that suppress the whirring road noise that can plague knobbier tires, and smaller lugs on the shoulder provide extra grip off-road.

Thanks to its prodigious power, the Pan America accelerates aggressively in sand and on dirt/gravel roads, and the Continentals dug in well, providing good grip in dry, low-traction conditions. Since it’s the dry season where I live in Southern California, I wasn’t able to test them in mud. But when contributor Arden Kysely tackled muddy trails in Colorado with TKC 70s on his BMW F 800 GS, he reported good performance.

On the highway, the TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks were quiet and composed with a little tendency to deflect in road grooves. On tight switchbacks and fast sweepers, the road-biased front and more aggressive rear paired well, offering predictable, stable handling all the way to the edge of the tread and minimal squirming on greasy tar snakes. The TKC 70 front felt especially compliant when navigating over sharp-edged features such as curbs and rocks embedded in the road surface. And even though I have pushed these tires hard, they are holding up well with minimal wear.

If you are looking for a solid tire pairing for your large adventure bike, the TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear are worth considering. MSRP ranges from $148.50 to $243.50 for the TKC 70 front and from $259.10 to $314.80 for the TKC 70 Rocks rear.

For more information: See your dealer or visit continental-tires.com

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Schuberth R2 Carbon Helmet and SC1 Communicator | Gear Review

Schuberth R2 Carbon helmet review
The Schuberth R2 Carbon in Stroke Gold

According to Schuberth, its R2 Carbon helmet is the first full-face carbon helmet with an integrated communication system. Thanks to a pre-installed, invisible speaker, microphone, and antenna, this helmet comes factory-ready for easy installation of a branded Schuberth comm setup created in partnership with Sena.   

The R2 Carbon is exceptionally light. Schuberth uses two shell sizes for the R2 line, which spans from sizes S to 2XL. With the SC1 intercom and battery installed, my XL R2 Carbon weighs 3 pounds, 2.1 ounces, about half a pound lighter than my Arai Corsair-X without a comm system – a significant weight reduction well appreciated during a long day’s ride.

Once you understand the insertion procedure for the separate battery and comm module, it’s easy to slide them into their little pockets on the bottom rim of the helmet. It took a little fiddling to get two SC1 sets – one for me and another for my wife, Katie – working and linked. Once the SC1s are paired, small and easy-to-reach rubber-sealed buttons on the comm module adjust volume levels. Simple and effective. We tried the helmet/comms setup with and without earplugs, and we both preferred plugs. The SC1 offers plenty of volume without distortion, and wind noise becomes less tiring with this method.

The R2 exudes quality and it’s well sealed to prevent wind noise from interfering with comms. So much so that behind a well-faired bike like our Honda Gold Wing, I was wishing for a couple more helmet vents beyond the two-position forehead vent and small chin vent. As a passenger, Katie felt airflow through the R2 was fine, comparable to other helmets. On non-faired bikes the R2 works better for me, so just be aware of the limited ventilation if you’re doing a lot of warm-weather riding on touring rigs.

The R2 Carbon has a fast-drying, antibacterial, removable, and washable comfort liner, as well as emergency-release cheekpads. The faceshield is easy to remove and reinstall, and an anti-fog insert comes standard. A tried-and-true double D-ring secures the chinstrap.

Overall, Katie and I are happy with the fit and comfort of the helmets, and we appreciated the ease of use of the communicators. We opted for the Stroke Gold graphic (shown), but the R2 Carbon also comes in Stroke Red, Bold Chrome, Cubature White, and Cubature Yellow. The R2 Carbon retails for $649, and the SC1 is $229.

For more information: See your dealer or visit schuberth.com

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Knight Design Lowered Footpegs | Gear Review

Knight Design lowered footpegs review
We tested silver-anodized lowered pegs (about 1.4 inches lower) with the aggressive Quadtrax tread, plus silver-anodized lowered toe pegs for the shifter and brake pedal.

My heart will always belong to liter-class sportbikes; they are my all-time favorite machines to ride. The rest of my body, on the other hand, isn’t feeling the love. I can no longer coax my not-so-young bones into folding up pretzel-like in a full-on sporting posture for any extended length of time. My body simply rebels.

That’s why I recently purchased an Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory 1100. It’s a ready-to-go sportbike with all the thrills, but offers rational ergonomics that are a better match for my needs these days. However, even with its relaxed fit, the Tuono’s footpegs are mounted just a pinch too high for my aging and oft-abused hip joints.

Seeking relief, I was happy to learn that Knight Design provides a quick and easy solution. Knight Design is a family-run business based in Corvallis, Oregon, that manufactures parts in-house for a wide variety of motorcycles, predominantly footpegs and foot controls. They offer pegs in various sizes and designs, plus silver- or black-anodized finishes or natural silver. 

Knight Design lowered footpegs review

For my Tuono, I chose silver-anodized lowered pegs (about 1.4 inches lower) with the aggressive Quadtrax tread ($149.95 per pair), plus silver-anodized lowered toe pegs ($64.95 each) for the shifter and brake pedal. The parts boast excellent finish and workmanship, and they swapped out readily with the stock units. I didn’t even need to go anywhere to confirm the wisdom of the new pegs; just hopping on the Aprilia in my garage provided proof aplenty of the extra legroom.

Better yet, long days in the saddle are now distinctly more comfortable and accommodating. No more kinks in my hips. Hooray! Since I don’t move around in the saddle a lot when I ride, the grippy Quadtrax tread suits me well, and I appreciated the enlarged toe pegs, which I find easier to locate and operate. Some might worry about the loss of cornering clearance given the lowered pegs, but there’s still plenty available for the type of riding I do. I’m not planning on spending much time at the track with my Tuono nowadays, just some spirited backroad rides. So, the Tuono and I are just fine, thanks.

In addition to lowered pegs, Knight Design also makes regular-height pegs, wide pegs, and pegs with rubber tread for a variety of motorcycles. Whether you’re looking to change up your riding stance a bit or just add a little bling, it’s well worth checking out the options.

For more information: Call (541) 286-4455 or visit knightdesignllc.com

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

HJC Releases First-Ever Red Bull Licensed Motorcycle Helmet

HJC RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet

HJC Helmets and Red Bull have been working on launching the first-ever Red Bull licensed motorcycle helmet. Until now, any helmet sporting a Red Bull graphic has been exclusively available to sponsored riders, but HJC and Red Bull have partnered up to design a very special helmet, the RPHA 1 Red Bull Austin GP helmet.

For years, Circuit of the Americas has hosted a paramount MotoGP race for Red Bull, and the RPHA 1 Red Bull Austin GP helmet will pay tribute to this event with a graphic that celebrates the Grand Prix of the Americas. The sleek design accentuates the aerodynamic lines of the RPHA 1, HJC’s premium race helmet, while featuring the unmistakable Red Bull logo and COTA colors. The RPHA 1 has also been reserved for professional racers, but HJC will finally release their highly anticipated race helmet to the public in December 2021.

HJC RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet

The RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet was officially launched on October 3rd at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. October 3rd also marked the 50th anniversary for HJC Helmets.

HJC Helmets has released several successful licensed helmets in the past, but the RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet is one of a kind. The largest helmet maker in the world has teamed up with one of the most popular brands in motorsport.

The relationship began with HJC supporting the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and becoming the official helmet partner for the series. From there, the relationship evolved and the next step of the partnership sees the release of an exclusive helmet collection that will be available to all motorcycle riders, something that has not been done before with any other brand.

MSRP for the RPHA 1N Red Bull Austin GP helmet is $949.99. For more information, visit hjchelmets.com.

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German Retailer Louis Moto Launches Rekurv Gear and Apparel

Louis Moto is a popular gear retailer based in Germany and sells products from several brands, including AGV, HJC, and Kriega. Visordown reports that the company also has its in-house labels at the more affordable end of the motorcycle gear spectrum. Now, it’s added a new line called Rekurv that will sell apparel and gear for the younger generation of riders.

An image of the Rekurv leather jacket

The official Rekurv webpage on Louis Moto’s website mentions that the new vertical will sell gear that delivers a no-frills, performance-oriented experience. The company’s products have been designed to focus on a sporty fit, optimal protection, and maximum comfort while being affordable. 

Image of the Rekurv textile jacket

The Rekurv portfolio currently comprises leather and textile jackets, gloves, and riding pants. The brand also sells non-protective apparel like T-shirts and jeans. There’s also a variety of gear and clothing available for women

Visordown points out that Rekurv’s Leather Combi Jacket is one of its more popular products. It comes with abrasion-resistant panels, removable elbow and shoulder armor, and an optional Super Shield HTP back protector. The jacket is priced at €249.99 (around $289.98), which matches entry-level options from popular brands like Dainese and Alpinestars.

Studio shot of a Rekurv glove

Studi shot of Rekurv ankle boots

Image source: Motorrad Online

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag | Gear Review

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag
Our Hayabusa test bike fitted with the Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag (Touring size).

As our recent test of the Suzuki Hayabusa shows, a big, open-class sportbike can make for one heckuva sport-tourer. But touring means going far, often for days at a time, and that requires luggage to carry gear. Earlier this year we tested Nelson-Rigg’s Commuter series tankbags, both the Lite (up to 8.4 liters when expanded) and Sport (up to 14.5 liters). They offer strap and magnetic mounts in the same bag, which is perfect for the Hayabusa, since the front of its tank has a plastic cover and the back is steel.  

When I needed to pack gear for several days to ride up to the Progressive IMS Outdoors show in Northern California in July, I used the Sport tankbag and matching tailbag. To accommodate different bikes and needs, Nelson-Rigg’s Commuter Tail Bag comes in three sizes: Lite (up to 15.3 liters, $109.95), Sport (up to 22.3 liters, $119.95), and Touring (up to 33 liters, $149.95). I opted for the Touring version.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Series Tail Bag motorcycle luggage review
Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bags are available in three sizes: Lite, Sport, and Touring.

The Hayabusa has a large passenger seat (for a sportbike), which is removable with the ignition key, and it has a large wrap-around grab handle. The Commuter bag has four adjustable straps that connect to quick-release buckles on the outside. Pairs of straps are connected via looped ends, and they run under the seat. I looped the rear straps around the grab handle for extra security. Installation took only a few minutes, and I was able to remove the bag and the straps even quicker. Once installed and loaded, the bag remained secure and the straps tight, even after a full day of tossing the ’Busa around on California’s ultra twisty Highway 1.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag
The Touring size Commuter Tail Bag in its expanded configuration.

In its standard configuration, the Commuter Touring measures 14 x 12 x 9 inches and holds up to 24.8 liters. When expanded, its height increases from 9 to 12 inches and total capacity tops out at 33 liters. The bag is made of Nelson-Rigg’s proprietary UltraMax fabric that offers UV protection against fading, and molded EVA panels help the bag maintain its shape even when empty. Inside the bag is a light gray interior, straps to secure contents, and a large mesh pocket inside the dome-shaped lid. The exterior has a non-slip, non-scratch base, a flush-mount reflective handle, and reflective piping. A rain cover and shoulder/backpack strap are also included.  

Overall, the Commuter Tail Bag is a great piece of luggage that’s well made, versatile, stylish, and reasonably priced. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty.

For more information visit: nelsonrigg.com

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

DP Brake Pads | Gear Review

DP Brakes pad review
DP Brakes were the first to develop sintered brake pads for motorcycle use, and now sintered pads are used in nearly all OEM specifications.

Having bought my first Triumph Bonneville in 1960, I must say that my 2006 version has some notable upgrades. Like the brakes, with single discs on both wheels. Honda did it first with its CB750 in 1969, and then everybody followed suit.  

My 2006 Bonnie has fixed brake discs, and when changing tires a couple of months ago, I noticed the pads on the sliding calipers needed replacing. There are fancier (and more complicated) braking systems, but I’m happy with what the Bonnie has.  

A call to DP Brakes in Lancaster, New York, got me two new sets in the mail. The packages warned, “Brake pads should be fitted by experienced mechanics,” which leaves me out. I decided that my local technician, Herb, should do the job. Better to have an expert do the job than for me to do it inexpertly. If you really want to know more about your motorcycle’s brakes, I recommend getting a Haynes manual.  

DP Brake Pads
The author’s 2006 Triumph Bonneville has single-disc brakes front and rear.

Motorcycle brake pads mostly use the sinter (great Scrabble word!) process, which means taking a powdered mix of various metals and compacting it, then using the right amount of heat and pressure to create the pad. Done right, this increases things like tensile strength in the pads. DP says it was the first company to use this sintering method, and OEMs now use sintered pads on virtually all their motorcycles. 

Heat is the main problem in braking. Squeeze the front brake lever, or use your foot on the rear pedal, and the fluid pushes the little pistons behind the pads against the spinning disc. If you are going fast down a steep hill and approaching a tight curve, the pads slow the disc and transform kinetic energy into heat. Fortunately, in normal riding, all that heat escapes into the air and the pad compound is quickly good for the next braking event.  

DP Brake Pads
Fitted to the author’s Triumph Bonneville, the DP brake pads provided swift, smooth braking and excellent lever action.

There is a break-in period for brake pads, with relatively gentle use advised for the first 150 miles. After that, I took the Bonnie out on a twisty section of local road around here, nicknamed Rossi’s Driveway, and was quite satisfied with the swift, smooth slowing down, providing excellent lever action and sensitive pedal operation, even when pretending there was an emergency with a couple of very fast stops on my non-ABS bike.  

There was no chance to try them out in the rain here in drought-stricken California, but since they are manufactured in the United Kingdom, a nation noted for its many rainy days and wet roads, I figure that DP knows what it is doing. MSRP for the front DP118 pads is $48.95, and for the rear DP411 pads is $37.95.

For more information visit: dp-brakes.com

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Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket and Pants | Gear Review

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Wearing the Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants while testing the 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

We’ve tested a lot of Olympia apparel over the years, starting with the Sentry Jacket and Ranger Pants back in 2003. And we’ve worn and tested every iteration of the Airglide jacket/pants combo, which is now in its sixth generation. Olympia was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Kevin and Karilea Rhea, both designers and avid riders, and for years it was based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. A few years ago they sold the company, which is now owned by Motovan, a Canadian powersports distributor.

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Grey Red Black review
Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket in Grey/Red/Black

The Airglide jacket and pants are part of Olympia’s Mesh Tech line. That means they have large panels of Ballistic Airflow abrasion-resistant mesh (gee thanks, Captain Obvious!), with 1000D Cordura used in impact areas. Designed for three-season riding, there is a removable thermal layer as well as a windproof rain layer that can be worn under or over the jacket and pants (and a handy carry bag is provided). Removable Powertector Hexa CE Level 2 armor fits into pockets at the shoulders, elbows, back, and knees, and there are removable foam hip pads.

Olympia Airglide 6 Pants review
Olympia Airglide 6 Pants

With various fit adjustments and stretch panels, the Airglide jacket and pants are comfortable, with a generous cut that accommodates under-layers (and American midsections). I found the pants in my normal size to be a bit too large to be worn by themselves (they felt more like overpants), and the jacket sleeves were a little short for my long arms. If possible, try on the Airglide 6 before buying. The pants have full-length two-way side zippers and EZ-Hem bottoms so they can be tailored to length.

Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa review
Wearing the Olympia Airglide 6 Jacket Pants while testing the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa. (Photo by Kevin Wing)

I’ve personally worn and tested a lot of Olympia gear, and I’ve always been impressed by the quality and attention to detail. For example, the front pockets in the Airglide jacket and pants are lined with soft fleece, so they’ll actually keep your hands warm on a cold day. The jacket also has an inside chest pocket with a pass-thru for earbuds. Grippy rubber zipper pulls are easy to use with gloved hands. Over multiple days of testing the Honda Gold Wing Tour and Suzuki Hayabusa, with temperatures ranging from the low 50s on the coast to well over 100 inland, I appreciated the versatility that the Airglide 6 ensemble provided.

The Airglide 6 jacket is available in men’s sizes S-XL ($379.99) and 2XL-4XL ($399.99), women’s sizes XS-XL ($379.99) and 2XL-3XL ($399.99), and Grey/Red/Black (shown), Black/Hi-Viz Yellow, and Black/Silver. The pants (Black only) are available in men’s sizes 30-38 ($279.99) and 40-44 ($299.99) and in women’s sizes 4-12 ($279.99) and 14-18 ($299.99). Everything is covered by a 1-year warranty.

For more information:
See your dealer or visit revzilla.com (U.S.) or motovan.com (Canada)

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

The Why Behind Arai Helmets

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Akihito Arai pictured at the Arai factory in Japan.

In 1914, a doctor practicing near the Brooklands racetrack in England first correlated the relationship between motorcycle accidents and serious head injuries. Dr. Eric Gardner went on to invent the first purpose-built motorcycle helmet. It wasn’t until two decades later, when a head injury resulting from a motorcycle accident took the life of Thomas Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, that the first serious studies were conducted into the efficacy of motorcycle helmets in reducing the severity of head injuries. Hugh Cairns, Lawrence’s attending doctor and a leading neurosurgeon, used his findings and influence to ensure that helmets would become obligatory equipment for British Army Signal Corps riders going forward.

Early helmets were mostly constructed from cork, leather, and sometimes wood, and remained so until post-war developments in synthetic materials lead innovators such as Hirotake Arai to develop an entirely new design. Arai, a keen motorcyclist, had retooled his family hat business to produce safety helmets for construction workers. Applying the same manufacturing techniques, he began making and selling the first Japanese motorcycle helmets in 1952. They were made from a fiberglass resin outer shell lined initially with cork, and later, expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Seven decades on, motorcycle helmets, along with a multitude of international standards, have evolved exponentially, as has our understanding of science. Nonetheless, the infinite number of variables existing in a real-world crash ensure that even the most sophisticated models used to gauge a helmet’s ability to absorb an impact will remain controversial. While tests aimed at appraising shell penetration, peripheral vision, and the strength of chin straps lend themselves more readily to laboratory observation, governing bodies are forced to compromise in the face of producing practical, repeatable tests that accurately simulate impact absorption.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
An Arai factory engineer utilizing an ‘anvil test’ rig on a helmet shell.

An effective helmet design aims to minimize the energy reaching the wearer in a crash, and since much of the testing involves dropping helmets from a given height onto an anvil, passing the resulting standards can be as simple as thickening the EPS layer in all the right places. Arai argues that the resulting helmet would no longer possess the overall strength and durability afforded by a sphere and ignores the role a helmet plays in redirecting and absorbing energy. In the same way a stone can be made to skim across a pond, a round, smooth helmet will glance off a surface, redirecting energy away from the wearer.

Arai’s design philosophy first accepts that practical limitations on a helmet’s size and weight restrict the volume of protective EPS foam it can contain. Inevitably, helmets can’t prevent all head injuries. But, with the understanding that safeguarding a rider’s head goes far beyond meeting the demands of governing bodies, Arai applies the “glancing off” philosophy to design helmets that reduce the effect of impacts on riders’ heads. Given that most impacts are likely to occur at an oblique angle because motorcyclists are moving at speed, Arai’s design aims to maximize the ability of a helmet to redirect energy by glancing off an object. The design is a function of shape, shell strength, and deformation characteristics that absorb energy along with EPS.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets

Arai collects crashed helmets for analysis and data collection, and uses the information to continually refine their helmet design.

Arai has developed and refined its approach through decades of evaluation and experimentation. Its helmets are round and smooth, and any protruding vents or airfoils are designed to detach on impact. The shell itself must be strong and flexible, but it must not deform too quickly or it will dig in rather than glance off. Arai uses multiple laminated layers combining glass and composite fiber to produce a very strong but lightweight material, and areas of potential weakness at the helmet’s edge and eyeport are reinforced with an additional belt of “super fiber.” Arai says its shells can withstand much higher abrasion than what is mandated by standards tests, and in doing so, can retain its energy absorption properties for a second or third impact.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Every Arai helmet is still made and inspected by hand at the family-owned factory in Japan

While glancing off can redirect energy from the impact, a high-velocity crash may also require a helmet to absorb and distribute impact energy. Arai’s proprietary one-piece, multi-density EPS liner is made up of different sections of varying densities corresponding to the adjacent shell surface. This helps maintain the helmet’s spherical form and enhances its ability to glance off. In the case of a crash involving a slide along the ground and into an object, such as a curb or barrier, Arai’s helmets are designed to deflect the initial impacts with the ground with minimal shell deformation, saving its absorption properties for the rapid deceleration caused by impacting the object.

While glancing off can redirect energy from the impact, a high-velocity crash may also require a helmet to absorb and distribute impact energy. Arai’s proprietary one-piece, multi-density EPS liner is made up of different sections of varying densities corresponding to the adjacent shell surface. This helps maintain the helmet’s spherical form and enhances its ability to glance off. In the case of a crash involving a slide along the ground and into an object, such as a curb or barrier, Arai’s helmets are designed to deflect the initial impacts with the ground with minimal shell deformation, saving its absorption properties for the rapid deceleration caused by impacting the object.

The Why Behind Arai Helmets
Each helmet shell undergoes a series of quality control checks before continuing through the production process.

Many other helmet manufacturers and philosophies exist, and riders must make their own conclusions in the knowledge that certification requirements mandated by bodies such as the DOT and ECE only guarantee a minimum standard. Every Arai helmet is still made and inspected by hand at the family-owned factory in Japan; the only automated process is the laser cutting of the eyeports. Over its history Arai has built an enviable reputation for quality and attention to detail. As the saying goes, it is expensive for a reason.

For more information on Arai helmets, visit araiamericas.com.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet | Gear Review

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet Review

We can’t get enough of modular helmets here at Rider. The protection of a full-face helmet combined with the convenience of a flip-up chinbar is really hard to beat. Add in the premium features of a helmet like HJC’s RPHA 90S, and you cover all the bases: safety, comfort, aerodynamics, ventilation, versatility, and ease of use.

Based in Korea, HJC is the world’s largest helmet manufacturer. RPHA, which stands for Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advanced and is pronounced “arfa,” is HJC’s premium line of full-face and modular helmets. The 90S shell is made of HJC’s proprietary, lightweight Premium Integrated Matrix (P.I.M.) Plus that blends carbon and carbon-glass into a hybrid fabric. My medium-sized 90S weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces, which is comparable to other premium modular helmets we’ve tested.

The interior is 3D-engineered to reduce noise, and combined with the aerodynamic shell, neck roll, and chin curtain, the helmet does a good job of dulling wind noise. The 90S has a plush, removable comfort liner, recessed ear pockets, and channels to accommodate glasses. The anti-scratch faceshield is Pinlock-ready (an anti-fog insert comes in the box), and a sliding lever on the lower left edge of the helmet deploys or retracts the drop-down sunshield. Vents on the chinbar, crown, and rear of the helmet are easy to open or close with gloved hands. Airflow through the helmet is decent but could be better (though that would increase wind noise; I wear earplugs most of the time, so it’s a trade-off I’d be happy to make). Sold separately are Sena-made Smart HJC 20B and 10B Bluetooth communication systems that integrate into a port inside the rear of the helmet.

HJC RPHA 90S Modular Helmet Review 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT
HJC RPHA 90S on a 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour (Photo by Kevin Wing)

I’ve been wearing the RPHA 90S for about a month on bikes ranging from a Triumph Speed Triple naked sportbike to the Honda Gold Wing. There is no EPS padding built into the chinbar, but it does latch closed with metal pins and locks securely. The chinbar’s release tab and the center locking mechanism for the faceshield are both easy to find and use on the fly, though with the faceshield cracked open the mechanism ends up in my line of sight. Otherwise, vision is very good through the large eyeport. I appreciate the plush liner for the chinstrap, which secures with a traditional D-ring. The 90S was comfortable, quiet, and user-friendly during 12-hour days in the saddle with highs in the triple digits. Can’t ask for much more than that.

The HJC RPHA 90S is available in sizes XS-2XL. Pricing ranges from $459.99-$469.99 for solids to $499.99 for graphics (shown).

For more information: See your dealer or visit hjchelmets.us

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Source: RiderMagazine.com