Tag Archives: Motorcycle Accessories

New Gear: Engine Guard Opening Trim for Honda Gold Wing

Honda Gold Wing Engine Guard Opening Trim

If you’re looking to add accessories such as footboards or highway pegs to your 2018+ Honda Gold Wing or Gold Wing Tour, the Engine Guard Opening Trim from Show Chrome Accessories is the perfect choice.

Related Story: 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Road Test Review

The Engine Guard Opening Trim cleans up the look of your bike after you’ve removed the OEM engine guard cover in preparation for mounting the new accessories.

Once you have removed the cover using the detailed instructions included with the kit, the black matte polypropylene trim piece fits into the opening by simply aligning it and snapping it into place.

Honda Gold Wing Engine Guard Opening Trim

The Engine Guard Opening Trim sells as a pair for $37.95 and is available online at Big Bike Parts.

The post New Gear: Engine Guard Opening Trim for Honda Gold Wing first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: HeliBars Tour Commander for BMW R 18 B/Transcontinental

HeliBars Tour Commander

The 2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental are great bikes once they get rolling, but they can be ponderous to maneuver at lower speeds – especially sharp turns – due to the stock handlebar’s 45-degree rearward sweep. Enter the Tour Commander bar from HeliBars.

Related Story: 2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental | Video Review

The new Tour Commander bar is specifically for the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental and is 1 inch wider than stock, with a more relaxed wrist angle (a 22-degree angle versus the stock 45 degree angle), providing more comfort and better steering leverage and control.

HeliBars Tour Commander
The relaxed 22-degree wrist angle and increased width of the Tour Commander from HeliBars can be seen in comparison with the stock bar above it.

The bar can be rotated forward almost 6 inches above stock bar height for taller riders or mounted 3 inches closer for shorter riders. The bar is currently available in black powdercoat starting at $479.

For more information, visit the HeliBars website.

HeliBars Tour Commander

The post New Gear: HeliBars Tour Commander for BMW R 18 B/Transcontinental first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Indian Motorcycles: The all-new Low Profile, Quick Release Trunk

Thunderstrokers, PowerPlus cruisers – now is your time!

Indian has, in commemoration of your special machines, released a low-profile trunk to complement your moto aesthetic without telling the whole world that you need extra room for all that extra stuff. 

The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.
The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.

Labelled by Indian’s press release as ‘fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up),’ the trunk comes available in 48 different colors, with a 2800 cubic inch / 12.12 gallon size for volume and a 22lb cargo limit.

The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.
The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.

That’s enough room for two half helmets, gloves, and a jacket, if you can believe it. 

Don’t want to have to deal with tools for installation or removal?

The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.
The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.

Thanks to the new Quick Release technology Indian’s added, you won’t have to – all you have to do now is choose which size suits your scoot better: 

demo rides increase sales

Low Profile Trunk: $1799.99

Trunk + Install Kit: $2319.96

The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.
The all-new Quick Release Low Profile Trunk, fit for all heavyweight Thunderstroke and PowerPlus models (Springfield and up). All media sourced from Indian.

For more information, visit Indian’s website, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties. 

*All media sourced from Indian*

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Opmid Meter for Honda Monkey/Trail | Gear Review

Opmid M1204 Multi Meter

Opmid’s M1204 Multi Meter is a direct plug-and-play replacement for the stock gauge cluster on 2019-and-newer Honda Monkey and Trail 125 models, and it alleviates the two most common complaints about the OEM setup. First, unlike stock, the Opmid’s adjustable backlighting is very bright and visible in all conditions, including direct sunlight. Second, gauge functionality is vastly improved, providing the rider with a wealth of information and customization not available on the factory cluster.

Installation on my 2021 Honda Trail 125 was very straightforward using the included harness. Opmid’s 10-minute installation video (on YouTube) was comprehensive enough for any reasonably competent DIYer to get the job done in 1-2 hours with hand tools. To begin, the stock gauge cluster is removed, and the new meter’s 5 x 3.9 x 2 inches (WxHxD) chassis drops into place. The only tricky part on the Trail is removing the body panels for the first time, since they utilize delicate tabs which can easily break if forced, but the video helps in that regard as well. (The Monkey’s installation is less painful than the Trail’s, since there are fewer body panels to deal with.)

Check out more of Rider’s gear reviews

Once the panels are out of the way, the intake snorkel is removed to allow access to the area beneath, and from here the wiring job begins as the Opmid’s main harness is laid out carefully and zip-tied into place. It plugs directly into the gauge cluster’s sub-harness, stock temperature sensor, and ignition coil. Check that there’s adequate cable slack as the handlebar is turned left to right full lock.

When the Opmid is first powered on, there’s some programming to input front and rear sprocket sizes, rear tire diameter, and the initial value of the odometer (take a picture of your stock odo before removing it, for reference). All the stock figures to input are in the installation videos, but it’s nice to see that the device can be customized for different sprocket combos and wheel sizes as necessary. Once that’s finished, just button everything back up neatly and go for a test ride.

Out on the road, mini-moto riders will be grateful for the upgrade from the dim, spartan stock display. With the M1204 now installed, the rider has the following information readily available (some of which is customizable): speedometer, tachometer, odometer, A/B tripmeters, clock, gear indicator, shift light, fuel gauge, oil temp, voltmeter, oil temp warning alarm, speed warning alarm, oil change reminder, hour meter, and max records (speed, RPMs, and oil temp).

Many of the settings are adjustable if you get into the weeds with programming, but for most Trail and Monkey riders, the primary benefits are the addition of the tach, the gear indicator, and the oil temp reading. The rest is icing on the cake, but it all adds to a more enjoyable riding experience on these pint-sized Hondas.

For more information, visit store.hardracing.com.

The post Opmid Meter for Honda Monkey/Trail | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

AltRider Skid Plate for Yamaha Ténéré 700 | Gear Review

AltRider Skid Plate for Yamaha Ténéré 700

When I look at protecting a motorcycle for multi-surface touring, my first priority is the soft aluminum underbelly, better known as the crankcase. Difficult to field repair and expensive to replace (over $1,400 from one online source), those intricate castings are the inner sanctum for the motor and tranny. Like most OEM skid plates, the Yamaha Ténéré 700’s 2mm-thick aluminum stock unit is adequate for mellow dirt-road travel, but it doesn’t provide enough protection against the serious rock impacts that can occur when the road deteriorates. For something more substantial, I turned to AltRider for its 4mm-thick aluminum plate, which is TIG welded by hand in the USA.

Read our Yamaha Ténéré 700 long-term review

It attaches to the same four mounting points as the stock piece with the included stainless-steel hardware, and to four rearward frame bolts, unitizing the undercarriage. AltRider’s compact design keeps the plate close to the engine to prevent rocks and debris from collecting; protects the header pipes, oil filter, and sidestand switch; and is vented in key areas to shed heat. The oil sight glass is still visible, just a tad harder to see.

Check out more of Rider’s gear reviews

To complete the armor package, I also sourced AltRider’s Linkage Guard, a 6mm high-density polyethylene piece that bolts to the tail of the plate. Riding just below the T7’s exposed rear suspension joints, the flexible guard helps the bike slide over obstacles while limiting impacts to vulnerable suspension components.

The skid plate installation video on AltRider’s website was a helpful guide during installation, to the point of showing how to keep the forward spacers in place with a dab of grease while lining up the screw holes. My 700 has the OEM centerstand fitted, which complicates matters somewhat, because the stand’s thick bracket shares the frame attachment points used by the rear of the plate. Having some visuals would have been helpful for aligning everything and getting the bolts threaded, but perseverance and some colorful language carried the day.

AltRider Skid Plate for Yamaha Ténéré 700

Testing began in the wilds of Nevada, with clunks and clanks ringing out from below as the T7 conquered rocky climbs and roadways-turned-creek beds. The extra-thick metal and stout welded structure gave me the confidence to plow through or smack aside anything in my path –good thing, since at times there was no option but to slam on ahead. The abuse continued into California, where the back way into Bodie State Historic Park dished up more rocks and rubble. Damage assessment: zero, to either bike or plate (not counting scratches), and no small rocks left rattling around between the crankcase and its armor.

Consider me satisfied. The skid plate runs $383.97, or $405.97 with the guard, in either powdercoated black or clear-finished silver.

For more information, visit altrider.com.

The post AltRider Skid Plate for Yamaha Ténéré 700 | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

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

The post Knight Design Lowered Footpegs | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Motorcycle Helmets for 2021 Worth Wearing

If there is one area of protective gear that is constantly evolving, and generally in a good direction, it is the brain bucket, the skid lid, aka the motorcycle helmet. New materials, new technology and techniques, and new innovations in safety have all helped shape the modern riding helmet, as well as new and more stringent testing and certification methodologies.

The biggest argument, however, is which helmet is best? That is not what we’re really asking in today’s listing, but the counterpoint is that not all riding is the same. What may be the perfect helmet for track riding and racing, may fail woefully in a desert run enduro or a motocross course. And there are those that don’t care for the sport style of riding, preferring comfortable helmets that can be worn for a day-long ride between cities.

Instead, today’s question is which are the best helmets worth wearing, for any given type of riding, in 2021. To qualify, the helmet itself doesn’t have to have been released in 2021, but it should be an update or new version that carries the latest and greatest advancements in safety, technology, materials, comfort, or any combination of all four. We will also be looking at both top-of-the-line and budget options, to provide the best spread of helmets.

With that said, on to the list!

Shoei RF-1400

Shoei RF-1400 Side View

When you think of the best of the best, Shoei is one of the few names that should immediately pop into your head, or more directly, pop onto your head. As the name suggests, the RF-1400 is the long-awaited update from the RF-1200, itself a legendary helmet in terms of construction and rider protection, but with all the necessary upgrades expected from a modern helmet.

The new helmet is improved in a variety of ways, the least of which is a revised aerodynamic shape. This new design offers up to 4% less wind resistance and noise, making an already quiet helmet even quieter. Reworked interior padding addresses one of the few gripes with the RF-1200, that being that it was at times uncomfortably tight to pull on. A redesigned ventilation system also improves upon its predecessor, allowing for optimal airflow.

The shell of the helmet is still made with Shoei’s excellent fiberglass, aramid, and organic fiber weave. It has superb strength and elasticity and has passed both the SNELL M2020 certification and ECE 22.05 certification tests.

Read the review: Shoei RF-1400

ICON Airflight MIPS Stealth

ICON Airflight MIPS Stealth Side View

  • Price: $320.00
  • Buy: Revzilla
  • Best of: Budget Full Face

Sometimes when a rider is helmet shopping, they may not have the available finances to afford a $500+ helmet. This doesn’t mean, however, that they should be left with a substandard helmet or one that skips out on important rider protection. Enter, then, the ICON Airflight MIPS Stealth, released in the latter half of 2020.

The most important bit of that name is MIPS or “Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.” This is a special piece inside the construction of the helmet, between the EPS foam and the liner, that allows the helmet to absorb an impact and begin rotating to dissipate energy before the liner starts to move with the shell. It only covers a few millimeters, and the time between shell and liner rotation is measured in milliseconds, but it is enough to allow the brain to slowly accelerate to the speed of the shell, instead of bashing against the inside of your skull during a tumble.

The helmet itself is made of advanced injection molded polycarbonate and is backed by multi-density, multi-layer EPS foam, the MIPS system, and then comfortable, thick padding. Ventilation is through multiple oversized intake ports and a massive chin port and is exhausted via multiple exit ports. The helmet meets or exceeds DOT, ECE 22.05, and other world standards as part of ICON’s push for their “All World Standard.”

Fly Racing Dirt Formula CC Solid

Fly Racing Dirt Formula CC Solid Side View

Not everyone who rides does so on the pavement. There are many that prefer to ride trails, kick around in some dirt, or even do long, off-road adventures that often require more protection than what their street-going brethren need. For just such riders, Fly Racing has developed the Dirt Formula CC Solid helmet.

The CC in the name stands for Carbon Composite, which is an interwoven shell of carbon fiber, DuPont Kevlar, and fiberglass, creating a super-strong but elastic shell that also has penetration resistance. This is extremely important when riding in areas where there are branches, sharp rocks, and the like. This is backed by a new style of EPS, known as “Conehead EPS,” which literally uses cones of EPS on the innermost layers to progressively absorb initial impact energy, slowing the head down before it comes in contact with the full multi-layer EPS.

Also helping absorb impact energy, especially low speed falls and drops, is what Fly Racing dubs “Impact Energy Cells,” made of RHEON impact rubber. These cells line the entirety of the inside of the helmet, and are specially shaped and designed to absorb both linear and rotational energy that would not otherwise be absorbed by the shell or EPS during a low-speed crash.

The Dirt Formula CC Solid exceeds all certification tests for DOT and ECE 22.05

You can find out more about this helmet here

Bell MX-9 MIPS

Bell MX-9 MIPS Side View

  • Price: $169.95
  • Buy: Revzilla | Amazon
  • Best of: Budget Dirt and Trail Riding

Off-road riding, especially enduro and long adventure trails, can get quite tiring and also requires great visibility to see the branches, roots, rocks, and puddles you need to go through. The Bell MX-9 was famous for being a lightweight, protective, and affordable helmet that addressed all the needs of off-road riders. So it’s reassuring to know that Bell has updated their best off-road helmet with new safety features.

As discussed earlier in this list, MIPS is a safety system designed to mitigate rotational impact energy on the head and brain, and if there is one area of riding that has the highest likelihood of rotational impact, it’s off-roading. Adding it to one of the top-rated off-road helmets of all time only reinforces that this is a helmet that should be on your head.

Made of lightweight polycarbonate, and fully lined (including the chin bar!) with dual-density, multi-layer EPS, the MX-9 MIPS easily passes all DOT and ECE 22.05 testing requirements. In fact, the MX-9 MIPS is one step below Bell’s competition helmet for professional motocross and supercross racers, and the trickle-down of safety advancements to an affordable budget helmet is very nice to see!

Find out more about this helmet here: Bell MX-9 MIPS.

AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid

AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid Side View

There are some manufacturers that will state that they have the best, latest, and greatest safety innovations in their helmets that turn out to either be gimmicks or adaptations of other manufacturers’ ideas. And then there are those manufacturers that actually develop and design those ideas. AGV is one such manufacturer, and the Italian gear company blew the modular helmet category away in late 2020 with the Sportmodular Carbon Solid.

As the name suggests, this helmet has a 100% carbon fiber shell. The interior design, EPS foam layout, and protection quality were all modeled on the AGV Pista GP-RR MotoGP racing helmet, and as such, the Sportmodular is lined and padded in only the best, highest quality materials. It also sports a full carbon fiber, metal-reinforced chin bar that raises on strong hinges and has a top position lock.

An internal sun-shield in the crown is included, sitting behind a race-grade visor, what AGV calls their GT3 visor with pinlock functionality. Ventilation is multi-channel and multi-intake, allowing the rider to choose where and how they want ventilation. The AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid is one of the few modular helmets that is rated for use with the chin bar raised and locked, as well as down and locked. It passes all ECE 22.05 and DOT tests without issue.

Read the full review: AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid.

HJC RPHA 90S

HJC RPHA 90S Side View

When you pick a modular helmet, you honestly want to make sure you are getting the best protection possible, with the strongest chinbar locking mechanism possible. There are hundreds of helmets that are less expensive than the RPHA 90S that could be listed as budget modular, yet they all have their flaws and issues. This is why our budget pick sneaks in under $500, but it still relatively expensive.

The RPHA 90S is the most recent update of the RPHA 90, a top-rated modular for many years past. HJC, for the 90S, has created a new shell material called PIM Plus (Premium Integrated Matrix Plus), which is made of carbon fiber interwoven with carbon-glass hybrid fabric. This allows for very dependable strength, elasticity, and penetration resistance.

The interior is lined with 3D engineered EPS and is then covered with HJC’s Multi-Cool lined padding. An integrated sun visor comes as standard, and the visor is the same as used on HJC’s racing helmets, model HJ-29, and comes fitted with an anti-fog pinlock insert. The RPHA 90S also received an excellent rating in our own review of it and is for sure a helmet that belongs on your head.

Check out the full review: HJC RPHA 90S.

Arai XD-4

Arai XD-4 Side View

  • Price: $609.95+
  • Buy: Revzilla | Amazon
  • Best of: Adventure and Rally Touring

It really doesn’t seem to matter who steps up to the plate to try to dislodge Arai from the top step of the ADV and rally touring ladder, the XD-4 is quite literally here to stay. It has been the top helmet for ADV for multiple years, through multiple variations, and the latest version of the XD-4 is just another example of always evolving and moving in a positive, safer direction.

Made of Arai’s legendarily strong fiberglass weave, the XD-4 is lightweight and extremely resilient to the rigors of ADV touring. Multi-density, multi-layer EPS foam lines the entire interior of the helmet, including the chin bar. The interior padding and liners are customizable, with 5mm peel-away thickness adjustments in the cheeks and temples. The cheek pads are also designed using Arai’s Facial Contour Support (FCS) design, which braces everything from the jaw up to the occipital bones with thick, supportive padding.

The latest update includes a slightly retuned shell shape, to better direct airflow into the vents to cool off the rider. New passive exhausts on the top-rear of the head also help pull heat and moisture out via a multi-step exhaust design, to keep the rider as cool as possible even in the hottest temperatures. The latest version of the Arai XD-4 is one of the few ADV helmets to receive the SNELL M2020 certification and is also one of the few approved helmets listed for the 2022 Dakar Rally.

See how this helmet compares to other models: find out more about the XD-4 here.

Shoei X-14 Solid

Shoei X-14 Solid Side View

  • Price: $769.99+
  • Buy: Revzilla | Amazon
  • Best of: Track, Supersports, and Race

The choice for the best helmet for track days, supersports riding, and powersports racing was a tough decision. However, we have to give Shoei the nod with this updated X-14 helmet. Developed in celebration of Shoei’s long term partnership with racing legend Marc Marquez (one of the greatest riders to throw a leg over a MotoGP bike) the X-14 has received something of much-needed update. This started with a new variation of the Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM) shell material known as AIM+, which added elastic organic fibers into the weave to enhance lightness, rigidity, flex, and resilience.

That shell is specifically shaped to cut through the air as cleanly as possible, reducing overall drag on a rider’s head. Dual-density, multi-layer EPS foam covers the entirety of the interior, including a reinforced chin bar section. Shoei’s CAD-designed 3D Max-Dry interior system of pads and liners allows for the rider to customize the angle the helmet sits on the head, as well as the thickness of the padding, to ensure the optimal fit that won’t wobble, move, or slip during racing.

Ventilation is through the massive top vent, as well as the crown vents just above the visor. A chin vent is also integrated, which has a special channeling system in the EPS to direct air down the cheek pads and exhaust out the bottom rear of the helmet. Exhausts are all positioned either directly before or after the three spoilers on the rear of the helmet, which gives added stability to the helmet when cornering hard, with the head ducked down near the clip-ons.

The latest Shoei X-14 update passes the SNELL M2020 certification test, as well as achieves the rarest certification, that of FIM Homologation, the most stringent testing currently available.

Read the review of an older model: Shoei X-14.

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air

Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Side View

  • Price: $399.99
  • Buy: Revzilla | Amazon
  • Best of: Budget Track, Supersports, and Race

If the price of the Shoei X-14 makes you wince and sends your wallet screaming for the hills, then rest assured that there is a budget track day helmet for you. Scorpion, the company that always seems to find the best price-to-performance balance for their gear, has a very highly reviewed and rated helmet for you in the EXO-R1 Air.

Using what they term as Ultra-TCT, the shell is made up of interwoven fiberglass, aramid, and poly-resin fibers. This is lined with multi-density, multi-layer EPS, with channels cut into it specifically for maximum ventilation and cooling. This ventilation comes in the form of a ram-air top vent and a standard chin vent. Four exhaust ports behind the rear spoiler quite literally suck the heated air out of the helmet using the venturi effect.

The padding and liner inside the helmet uses Scorpions AirFit system and KwikWik cloth. The AirFit system allows the rider to inflate small bladders in the cheek pads, which contour to the face to keep the helmet in place at speed. KwikWik is a very absorbent lining fabric that is akin to a shammy, and soaks up sweat at an astounding rate, to either be evaporated out via the exhausts or, with the removable liners, washed and cleaned by hand.

The Scorpion EXO-R1 Air achieves DOT, ECE 22.05, SNELL M2020, and FIM Homologation certifications (FIM only for the small shell size).

Read the review: Scorpion EXO-R1 Air.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Base Layer

Review Summary
A cooling base layer that does what it says on the packaging, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve feels more like a generic cooling base layer than a motorcycle-focused one. Moisture-wicking fabric does its job and cools using evaporation and heat transfer, but across the back of the shirt, this effectiveness is cut in half by using open mesh.
Materials & Build Quality
Sizing & Fit
Effectiveness
Value for Money
No chemical agents used during cooling
Compression fit, keeping it tight to your skin for optimal cooling
Machine washable
Does not lose any cooling functionality after washing
Comfort-fit seams sit flush and comfortable against the skin
Made of 92% recycled fibers
True to sizing chart
Back is made of open mesh instead of cooling fabric
Feels more like general use garment than motorcycle focused

I had the pleasure of reviewing the KLIM Aggressor -1.0 Cooling Shirt during the hottest summer that Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and most of the Pacific Northwest of North America, have seen in probably a decade. That shirt gave me the surprise of my riding life when it actually worked as described, and I gave it possibly the highest score I have ever given a piece of gear: 90%, which in MotorBikeWriter and webBikeWorld “review speak” means “damned near perfect, no flaws, top of the pile.”

That review also piqued my interest in cooling garments, as I am a bit on the bigger side and have many built-in layers to keep me warm. When bundled up in gear on a 30+ C day, that also usually means I sweat. A lot. So having something that passively helps me stay cool without having to take it out of the freezer and slot it into a special vest or dunk it in water to activate it is definitely something I want to review.

In the middle of the “Sizzling Summer,” as I have come to call it, Fieldsheer, a company well known for providing four-season and snowmobile heated gear, contacted us to see if we’d be interested in their newest line of cooling base layers. When this opportunity arose, of course, I jumped up and down and raised my hand to be put on the list. I am enthusiastic about keeping myself cool while on long rides, and I also wanted to pit a competitor’s product against what I considered the standard for this segment of motorcycle gear, the KLIM Aggressor named above.

About Fieldsheer

Since 1978, Fieldsheer has been involved in the heated and heat-retention garment business. This has included everything from the design and production of motorcycle jackets to developing battery-powered, heated work apparel. Thanks to advances in fabric technology, the company was recently able to provide a wider range of heated—and for the first time, passive—cooling garments for various uses.

Fieldsheer has recently refocused its product lines on heated and cooling apparel and includes active heat management in its battery-powered heated gear via smartphone integration. These heated and cooling garments come as base layers, regular use garments, or top layers and include everything from snowmobile and skiing gear to industrial cooling bandanas, skull caps, and shirts.

About webBikeWorld’s Review Policy

This product was provided by Fieldsheer for review purposes. Note that we do not allow brands to influence review scores or content. Please see our review policies for more information.

We here at webBikeWorld believe that you can’t just try something out once and give an honest opinion of it. Any product we test is actually used by our testers, and for the month of August and part of September 2021, any time I rode—hot or cold—I wore this base layer.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Features

Bike: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650

When I first unpacked the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt from the packaging, I was surprised to find that there were, in fact, two shirts in the package. As I am 185 cm and 127 kg (depending on if I ate a lot for dinner the night before), I am definitely in the XL to 3XL range for most gear. I have a 127 cm chest circumference and pretty broad shoulders from both genetics and playing rugby in my younger years. Using Fieldsheers’ sizing chart, I found that I was in between 2XL and 3XL, so I requested the 2XL, but they sent me a 2XL and 3XL. Thanks, Fieldsheer, for the generosity in this aspect for an in-betweener!

The biggest thing I noticed right off the bat is that the Fieldsheer cooling shirt is much thinner than my KLIM shirt. Whereas the KLIM feels like it’s been knit together by some very small knitting needles, the Fieldsheer shirt is, to borrow a word from their name, sheer. It’s about 1 mm thick, if that, and is very stretchy, as it is 8% spandex. I also noticed that there were two small panels on the chest and back, as the chest was made of what Fieldsheer calls DriRelease, and the back was an open mesh.

Putting the 3XL shirt on, I found that it was actually a tad too big, with the garment not pulling close to the skin and the sleeves sticking out from under my Rev’It Arc Air jacket. Doffing that, I put on the 2XL shirt and found it to be a much closer, nearly compression-style fit. It still sat a bit loose on parts of me, but where it counted, it was in contact with the skin and pulled smooth.

Like most base layers, as I have discovered through research, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt features comfort stitching, meaning that there are no seams or joins pressing annoyingly into your skin. The fabric is smooth and feels premium on the skin, although I did notice that most of the adjustment and stretch of the shirt happened everywhere except the back panel.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Fit & Comfort

Although I already touched on this above in the features, I will go more in-depth here regarding the fit of the shirt.

As per the Fieldsheer size guide, I am between 2XL and 3XL. As I expected stretching, that is why I asked for a 2XL. I have also found that with most gear, it is either one size too big, or one size too small, because of differences in standards across the globe. For example, my Forma Trace riding boots are a Euro size 46, but my feet are 10.5 (Wide) in US sizing—which should equate to an EU 39 sizing, but does not.

Side view of man wearing Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
Pardon the pandemic belly—we’ve all gained a little in lockdown, even the fitness enthusiasts I know as friends!

I can report that the Fieldsheer gear, at least as far as I have experienced, fits bang on according to the size guide. My chest is 127 cm, the 2XL has a max chest of 127 cm, and it fits perfectly—not squeezing me, but definitely keeping contact with the skin. My side-of-neck-to-wrist sleeve length is 69.5 cm, and the 70 cm sleeve of the 2XL is nearly perfect, just 5 mm too long and peeking out from under my jacket by a hair.

Close-up of jacketed sleeve with Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt visible under cuff
Could you get a better fit? The sleeve is just a tiny bit long, but this usually gets covered with a glove.

Comfort-wise, after about 5 minutes of getting used to the new-out-of-the-bag feel and letting the fabrics start to passively cool you, this is definitely a shirt you could wear for any type of activity. It kind of joins with your body in a way that makes it feel like a second skin, albeit a looser layer. It’s so lightweight you barely notice you’re wearing it unless you’re actively looking down at yourself and saying, “ah, I’m wearing a cooling shirt.”

The comfort stitch seams, and spandex fabric interwoven with the DriRelease, do their job to help with that. The only part I was actively aware of being a shirt, and will definitely explain in much more detail in the Real World section of this review, is the back. The back panel, as well as the underarms, are open mesh, and because of that, they are not as effective as the other panels at “becoming one with your skin.”

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Ventilation

Since I’m mentioning that back mesh panel, let’s talk ventilation. By nature of biology, humans have five major radiators to dump excess heat from our bodies via sweat from our skin. These are our heads, underarms, backs, groins, and feet. A cooling shirt touches two of those areas: the back and the underarms.

Close-up rear view of blue Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
A blessing or a curse? The open mesh design of the back of the shirt works in different ways depending on what you’re using it for.

Most riding jackets, be they cold, warm, hot, or extreme weather jackets, have ventilation that passes across the underarms in some way, and exhausts out the back. By placing open mesh in the underarms and on the back, my assumption is that Fieldsheer wanted natural convection to occur with these vents to both wick sweat away from the DriRelease fabric and get ventilation air to the skin in the major radiation points.

When I mention open mesh, I really do mean open mesh. Each ventilation hole is at least 1mm wide when not being worn, and I assume a mild amount of stretch opens them even wider during use, especially when leaning forwards towards handlebars.

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Real-World Testing

As stated earlier, it was bloody hot over the summer here. Even as I write this review in mid-September, it is still breaching 20 °C some days of the week, in a month that sees traditional temperatures from 5 to 15 °C. Most days I was out riding in August, the temperatures were in the mid to high 20s, and more often than not, they were above 30 °C. This shirt was used with a combination of jackets, from my Alpinestars Andes V3 on the colder days to my Rev’It Arc Air on moderate-to-hot days, and with my review sample Rev’It Tornado 3 hot weather mesh jacket on the super-hot days.

For the first little while, I tested the Fieldsheer shirt “as it is,” meaning there were no special considerations given to maximizing airflow, opening or closing specific vents to affect which bits were touched by the wind, etc. Calgary is very prone to wind, as we sit right at the confluence of warm Pacific Ocean air coming over the Rocky Mountains and the North American part of the Jetstream.

Close-up of side seam on blue Fieldsheer Long Sleeve shirt
The join between the front and the back of the shirt. It’s a comfort seam, but there’s still a bit too much of that open mesh for my liking.

Through gentle headwinds, gusting tailwinds, and at one point what felt like a howling gale as a thunderstorm rocked up in 5 minutes flat and dumped a ton of rain and hail on the city, my front and sides were comfortable. If it was a particularly cold day, say between 10 to 15 °C, I did find that I sometimes got a touch cool, but not to the point of it being dangerously cold.

The biggest issue that I had with the Fieldsheer cooling shirt, however, was the back. Because it’s that open mesh and not the DriRelease smooth panel fabric, I found it didn’t wick up the sweat and heat as well, especially in my waterproof Alpinestars Andes V3. That jacket sends a lot of cooling air around the outer shoulder and underarms, with exhaust vents to get rid of it on the sides of the back.

My underarms definitely benefited from that ventilation path, but my back never seemed to pull any heat away from the spine, while the KLIM Aggressor, with its solid back panel of Klimatek cloth, did so with the same jacket on. With the Rev’It Tornado 3, whose back panel is literally one big mesh, there was a lot of evacuation of air and heat, but it still never felt quite as cool as my front did, especially on the 30+ C days.

This made me go back to Fieldsheer’s website and look up the Mobile Cooling shirt again—where I found out that “powersports use” is just one of the many applications they recommend the shirt for. As such, I tested the shirt for a few other things as well, wearing it for one of my pedal bike rides on a hotter day in August, as well as trying it on under a cotton t-shirt during a walk (as someone hiking in a slightly cooler area might).

Mesh back panel of blue Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
The mesh goes shoulder to shoulder, top to bottom, all the way to the sides of the torso. For hiking and pedal biking, great! For wearing under a jacket, not so great!

I can report, through this “not on a motorcycle” testing, that the shirt worked flawlessly in both situations. In fact, on the pedal bike ride where my speed averaged about 15 to 30 KPH, it worked better than it did under a motorcycle jacket. Under a thin cotton t-shirt on a cooler day—as hiking in Alberta is generally in the mountains and can get quite chilly—my walk was improved by my underarms and forearms not getting soaked in sweat. The sweat-wicking DriRelease fabric did its job, carried the sweat to evaporation areas, and kept me comfortable.

It is due to this testing—as well as Fieldsheer’s outright admission—that I think the Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve is more of a general-use cooling shirt rather than a dedicated garment for powersports use.

Should You Buy the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Shirt?

At the end of the day, the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt is an effective general-purpose cooling shirt. I want to highlight the “general-purpose” bit there. I feel my KLIM Aggressor would be a bit too warm to wear under another t-shirt for hiking, and while it would work just as well for pedal biking, the Fieldsheer is thin and light enough to be eminently useful in both those areas.

Man wearing black mesh jacket over Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve shirt
After a ride with a mesh jacket. Nice and dry from the DriRelease fabric!

Personally, I think having the back panel made of the same DriRelease fabric as the front would make it much more useful as a base layer under a riding jacket. The underarms with the open mesh are great, since they were definitely effective in reducing a ton of heat through being blasted by colder air. Just make the back solid fabric, allowing it to carry the sweat and heat to the ventilation areas, and my rating on this shirt would be a few points higher.

That said, I can’t deny that having a shirt that doesn’t need to have any chemicals activated by water and isn’t made of exotic unpronounceable things is a step in the right direction. By being made out of almost entirely recycled fabric, the shirt, and Fieldsheer in general, are helping reduce waste and allowing for generally more affordable garments for riders. If you are riding in warmer parts of the US, just make sure to pair it with a hot weather jacket, so you have that armor on top and cooling underneath.

Despite the “my back is kind of warm” issue I faced—and what I consider minor design considerations that make the shirt more general-use vs. motorcycle-oriented—I still can’t fault it too much. If only that back panel was made of the same material as the front, and they extended the mesh from the underarms down the sides, it would work much better with the heat from a rider’s back.

With that in mind, I can safely give the Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve a solid 4 out of 5, or 80%, rating, and will recommend it to anyone that wants to have a multi-use cooling shirt that isn’t purely for riding.

Note: As a bit of a fun aside, I wrote this entire review wearing the cooling shirt at my computer desk, and it’s kept me perfectly comfortable the entire time!

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Fieldsheer
  • Price (When Tested): $65 USD
  • Made In: China
  • Alternative models & colors: Cerulean (light blue), Morel (grey), Coyote (olive brown), Ocean (very light blue), Hi-Viz (fluorescent yellow)
  • Sizes: SM to 3XL
    • Size Tested: 2XL
  • Review Date: August 2021

Important Links / Where to Buy

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Long Sleeve Shirt Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA

The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA
A purpose build asphalt oval track will host a number of races including the 2021 Super Hooligan National Championship final.

The Moto Beach Classic returns to Bolsa Chica on Saturday, October 23rd. Entry is free for a full day of motorcycle racing from the final round of the 2021 Super Hooligan National Championship, as well as a Costume Surf Contest, local live bands, ride-in motorcycle show, art show, vendors, and much more.

The Moto Beach Classic, now in its fourth year, draws racers, bike builders, surfers, artists, musicians, and motorcycle enthusiasts to Bolsa Chica State Beach, in Southern California, for a day of family-oriented action and adventure. The organizers say that the event has cultivated a community of eclectic humans that live a life on two wheels and speaks to the heart of Southern California, and we are all invited.

Roland Sands Design has partnered with SeaLegs at the Beach, Bolsa Chica’s concert venue on the sand, to host a full lineup of punk, funk, reggae, and surf rock, to bring home the final round of the Super Hooligan series. The venue will also include an art show, the V-Twin Visionary Ride-In Bike Show, a vendor village, a kid’s STACYC electric bike course, food, and spirited beverages.

The 2021 Super Hooligan National Championship is an open series for lightly modified street bikes running on road, oval, and dirt tracks, where racers must prove their versatility in addition to skill and nerve. The season finale takes the form of Flat Track Racing on a purpose build asphalt oval track on Bolsa Chica beach and will determine the best and most well-rounded heavy street bike racer of the series.  All-day racing will also be served up by an eclectic group of additional race classes: Vintage, Mad Dog Mini’s, Big Twin, Run What Cha Brung, and Super 73 to name a few.

The vendor village includes representation by local motorcycle shops. Check out new models, try on riding apparel, and shop new products from a host of manufacturers.

Roland Sands Designs has selected and curated a collection of installations inspired by surf, rock & moto culture, and has promised attendees an art show “to rock your oculars.”

The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA
The event includes the V-Twin Visionary Ride-In Bike Show

All day long kids can walk into the STACYC booth and demo an e-bike. In the afternoon, open to all STACYC owners, kids 3-5 years old in the 12″ class and 5-7 years old in the 16” class will have a chance to prove they are the fastest eKids at the beach. The STACYC Electric Kids Race main event will take place on the Super Hooligan racecourse.

V-Twin Visionary Ride-In Bike Show contestants will have front row parking for their custom machines at the center of the action. The custom bikes will range from mild resto-mods to wild choppers, scramblers, flat trackers, café racers, and purpose-built race bikes in all makes and models.

VIP tickets are available in a limited quantity this year. While the event is free to the public, the VIP area will feature Grandstand seating with an unobstructed view of the racing action, a VIP bar, VIP restrooms, and 2nd story viewing from the RSD Moto Shed. VIP tickets will also get you access to the racing pits.

“The Moto Beach Classic is the physical realization of a lifetime of insane ideas all jammed into one day at the beach,” said Roland Sands. “Motorcycles, music, racing, art, all on the sand where I grew up surfing. I couldn’t think of a better place to do it and with a better group of people.”

The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA

General admission is free, action starts at 10am and finishes at 6:30pm. VIP tickets available for purchase at: rolandsands.com

For additional event information, please visit: motoclassicevents.com

The post The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

[Review] Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

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

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

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

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

About Shapeheart

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

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

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

About webBikeWorld’s Review Policy

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

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

The Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

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

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

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

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box and Contents

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

Unboxing

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

Inside the Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box

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

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Pack

Phone Sleeve

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Phone Sleeve

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

Phone Mount Installation

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

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

Shapeheart Strengths

Good Waterproofing

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

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

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

Extremely Durable Materials Used

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

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

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

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

Very Strong Magnetic Mounting

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

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

Shapeheart Phone Mount Weaknesses

Screen Unreadable In Sunlight

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

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

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

Sleeve Does Not Allow For Any Heat Dissipation

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

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

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

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

Touch-Capacitive Plastic Is Often Not

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

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

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

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

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

Sympathetic Vibrations Are Fed Directly To The Phone

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

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

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

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

Accessory Steel Plate Adheres Only To Metal Or Glass

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts: Things Work Well, Just Not Well Enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Specs

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

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Photo Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com