As I’m getting ready to move overseas to Spain, I’ve sold my motorcycle and most of my gear. As such, there’s not much to write about right now. I do plan on getting a new bike in Spain once I get my license there so there’s a very good chance that this space will become more active again.
My review of the Insta360 One X2 camera just dropped the other day over at webBikeWorld.com I wasn’t sure I’d have that much nice to say about 360 cameras as they’ve always appeared “gimmicky” to me. I have to say I was wrong about this. These cameras are actually quite handy and much easier to work with than I thought. The One X2 is also much tougher than I expected as it kept working even after I was sure I had killed it.
Check out the review at https://www.webbikeworld.com/insta360-one-x2-camera-review/
Since this review is mostly centered around use for motorcycle riders and bloggers, I’m likely going to do a more photographer-oriented review on brandonjacksonphoto.com as I see lots of use for filming BTS and vlog entries for the working photographer.
Racer’s new for 2021 Hi-Per glove is a culmination of the best features from their current and past gloves. Safety and fit are what Racer’s gloves are known for and the Hi-Per gloves are an excellent example of their efforts. The gloves feel broken-in right out of the package and include all the safety and protective features one expects in a race level glove.
It has been a while since I last reviewed a pair of gloves from Racer with those being the Grip gloves back in 2015. At that time I found myself “luke-warm” about those gloves. They offered good protection for street riding but the fit and comfort wasn’t convincing to me. If not for the company’s trademarked tagline “THE BEST FITTING GLOVES YOU CAN BUY”, I wouldn’t have felt as let down by those gloves.
Of course that was six years ago and I was only sampling one of the many models of gloves that Racer offered at the time. Recently webBikeworld received some of Racer’s latest for review including the new Pitlane and Multitop 2 gloves reviewed by my colleague Alan Buller. He found both gloves offered good protective features, but the star of the show was the comfort.
Recently, I was sent a pair of Racer’s Hi-Per race-level gloves for review. Considering my previous experience with their gloves, I went into this review being a bit dubious of the fit. Sure, they had all the protection one expects in a glove designed for the track, but how was the comfort going to be?
My review of the Knox Urbane Pro MKII Armoured shirt is now published up to webbikeworld.com. This armoured shirt (yes, I’m using the British spelling) steps up the abrasion resistance from the previous iteration to level AA from single “A” making this garment tough enough for use on the street without the need for an outer layer. This brings it in line with the Zephyr Pro jacket for durability in a crash.
This also blurs the line a bit between jacket and shirt as both feel very similar in weight and fit in a very like fashion. Whatever one calls it, they both can be worn as standalone protection. I loved my original Zephyr jacket and only replaced it after needing a larger jacket (or shirt) to accommodate my Klim Ai-1 airbag vest. Since I wanted to try something different I decided to give the Urbane a shot as it has a different look and a lighter color scheme available which I prefer for hot weather riding.
The protection doesn’t stop with abrasion resistance as Knox provides CE Level 1 MICROLOCK protectors at the elbows and shoulders. The back receives their very large and very soft CE Level 2 MICROLOCK back protector which is one of the largest “in-garment” protectors I’ve seen. It is also very well vented and very soft making it a great, albeit heavy, piece of protective kit to have watching one’s back. Knox offers CE Level 2 armor for the shoulders an elbows and I did this upgrade on mine right before the review was published. One can see the CE 1 vs CE 2 shoulder pieces in the photo above.
Summer is fast approaching here in the Southeastern United States and things are heating up fast around here. In order to beat the heat this year I have replaced my Knox Zephyr jacket with the new Urbane Pro Mark II Riding Shirt. Not that there was anything wrong with the Zephyr but ever since getting the Klim Ai-1 airbag vest the Zephyr, which was already snug, was just too tight to fit over the vest. With the Urbane Mark II I ordered a size larger (XL) to accommodate. Since the Urbane Pro Mark II is a new product for this year it took a few weeks to arrive but now it’s here and has already been out a couple of times for “shakedown” cruises. A review is underway now which will be published to webbikeworld.com soon.
“But what if it’s really cool out for some reason the Urbane, a partially mesh jacket, isn’t going to keep you warm?”
As it happens, the other day I was asked by Viking Cycle if I would be interested in a review of one of their products. Taking a quick look at their offerings I saw there were a couple of textile jackets that might do the job for those not too hot, not too cold days. In particular the Ironborn jacket has a cut that I like and appears to offer mulitple vents. This could make it a good “all-rounder” for those days between Spring and Summer and between Summer and Fall. (Of course those days are getting shorter and shorter here in Tennessee.)
While the look and feature set of the Ironborn aren’t really that hard to find in other textile jackets from other manufacturers, the fact this jacket sells for $74.99 might get some attention, however. Usually I wouldn’t give riding gear at this price point a second look as one often gets what one pays for. However, the jacket has an interesting look (especially in the military green color) and Viking Cycle claims the shell is CORDURA®. They also include CE approved armor and an insulated vest liner.
Now this all sounds a bit too good to be true (OK, more than a bit) but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and take delivery of one of these jackets for review. The most important factor here is that they specifically asked for an honest review. Anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows while I may not get “mean” in a review I will call it as I see it, for better or for worse.
Intrigued? Me too.
Keep an eye out here and on the Motorcycle Words social media for a review of this jacket from Viking Cycle
The following is an excerpt from my review of the Pando Moto Robby Arm 01 jeans recently published over at https://www.returnofthecaferacers.com . And yes, my bike is seriously “un-cafe racer-like” for sure. 🙂
I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I reviewed the Karl Devil motorcycle jeans from Pando Moto. At that time I wasn’t familiar with the company and wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out I was really impressed with those jeans which frankly didn’t really look like jeans.
Sure they were made of denim (on the outside) but they looked more like track leathers than jeans. They were also very heavy compared to your typical “blues”. I liked them enough to wear them often when riding and only stopped doing so last year once I lost a couple of inches from my waist as they were just too loose.
With that experience in mind, I was very excited to have a look at a new pair of jeans from our friends in Lithuania. If you’re not familiar with Pando Moto, they are a motorcycle apparel company that began life in a small office above a Harley Davidson shop back in 2011.
From that small beginning, they quickly grew their team and product line and arrived at the 2014 Eicma show in Milan to make their presence known. As of Q2, 2021, their lineup includes not only twelve different pairs of jeans (9 men’s, 3 women’s) but also a selection of armored base layers and other apparel. For more info on Pando Moto you can hit up their about page.
To be clear, the full name of this product is the Robby Arm 01 – Men’s Slim-Fit Motorcycle Jeans which is quite a mouthful. Going forward I’ll just call them the Robby Arm jeans to save time for you and me.
The “Arm” portion of the name is important as it denotes these jeans use Armalith® as the material from which the denim is made. Pando Moto also uses Dyneema®, Cordura®, and Kevlar® in their different jeans so as one can guess, the Robby Cor jeans use denim made with Cordura®.
Want to get the rest of the story? Head over to Return of the Cafe Racers to check out the full review and photos.
The Forte 70886 “Sentor” and 70025 (no clever name here) tail bags from Turkish manufacturer Tex Motor are an interesting combination of Italian design and reasonable price. These bags offer two different, but effective approaches to easily add storage to your ride. Ahead we’ll take a look at each bag one after the other starting with the smaller 70025 bag.
Late in 2020, a representative from Turkey-based Tex Motor reached out to WebBikeWorld asking if we would take a look at a couple of their products. Always interested in checking out gear from a manufacturer I’ve never heard of, I raised my hand to offer up a review.
Doing a little research on Tex Motor, it turns out they started out under the name Zeynep Triko as a textile manufacturer and importer back in 1998 and began focusing on motorcycle accessories in 2005. Then, in 2008, they changed their name to Tex Motor and that’s how they are known today.
There are several brands under the Tex Motor umbrella including Sway, X-Tex, X Rider, Forte GT, X Lock, and Duratech. Each brand focuses on different areas such as helmets, apparel, goggles, footwear, and other accessories with some crossover throughout the range.
I have to admit it is a bit difficult to navigate their website as the English portion is not complete (lots of 404 errors) but one can view their catalog using this link. Unfortunately for us English speakers, the catalog is in Turkish, but at least one can see the range of available products which is quite extensive.
As this review is two -parts (one for each bag) I’m going to stop right here and link you to the full review with all the photos and details over at webbikeworld.
With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a follow-up review to my initial look at the Aerostich Transit 3.0 suit. Part of the reason it has taken so long was due to COVID-19 putting the brakes on a lot of business and trade.
When I first received the Transit suit about a year ago, I found the pants ran a bit large. The size 36 I received was more like 37, plus they could stretch a couple of inches from there. They were basically unable to stay “up” without a belt or zipping them to the jacket. I also didn’t care for the position of the knee armor as a result of the large sizing.
After discussing this with the good folks at Aerostich they said they would send a smaller size and felt confident that this would address my concerns. This conversation happened in February 2020 and due to the effects of the pandemic, Aerostich wasn’t able to get a pair of 34’s sent to me until August 2020.
Here we are in January 2021 and I’ve had the past months to get some seat time with pants that fit properly. There are some other updates to the original “first look” included here so read on for all the details.
The Transit 3.0 Suit
For those of you who haven’t read the previous review or are coming into this review without little familiarity with the Transit Suit, here’s a quick summary.
The Aerostich Transit 3.0 is a two-piece motorcycle riding suit that employs a special waterproof and breathable leather material for the majority of the suit construction. The goal of this suit is to provide protection from both crashes and the elements and that it can be worn in a variety of climates.
To achieve this, Aerostich uses leather that is bonded with a waterproof and breathable membrane that together is called Corium+®. This material replaces the Gore-Tex® based Pro Shell leather used in the previous iterations of the Transit suit which became unavailable years ago.
So what is this new material making up most of the shell of this third iteration of the Transit suit? Corium+® is not really a specific product but rather a technology that can be applied to leather. Basically, it involves bonding multiple layers of materials, as well as treating micro-perforated leather to which they are bonded in order to create a waterproof and breathable final product. In the case of the Corium+ ® used in the Transit 3.0 suit, the leather is cowhide but other types of leathers can be used.
The above diagram shows how the various layers are stacked. You can go to the page here for an interactive version of the above graphic if you like. The quick rundown is:
Top Layer: Perforated layer
Mid: Waterproof membrane
Lower layer(s): Reinforcing layers to protect the membrane
You can get all the details on Corium+® at the Mat Group website.
The idea is to take the protective characteristic of leather and make it more comfortable for a wider range of weather conditions. By allowing water vapor to exit through the shell of the suit, it makes it more comfortable in warmer conditions as sweat doesn’t build up as fast as it might in typical waterproof gear.
I still think of Scorpion helmets as a “new” manufacturer but as I did my research for this review I realized they have been around for quite a while now. In fact, it has been about 16 years since we reviewed their EXO 700 helmet (Dec, 2016) and we came away impressed.
Back before I’d started looking at webbikeworld.com reviews (or even heard of them) I had purchased an EXO 400 in 2007. This was after handing the helmet in person and weighing the comfort, feel, and price. I wasn’t sure how long Scorpion would be around but it seemed worth it at the time.
I’ve owned and reviewed a lot of helmets since then and there have been other Scorpion helmets along the way. My current daily rider is an EXO ST1400 which I reviewed about 18 months ago so in a way I’ve come full circle over the past dozen years.
The EXO R1 Air Helmet
The R1 Air is Scorpion’s top-of-the-line Sport / Track helmet. While sitting at the same price point as its sport-touring sibling, the ST1400, there are several features that separate these two helmets. However, there is enough overlap that either could serve a wide variety of riders.
The EXO-R1 Air is available in four different graphics plus solid “colors”. I put quotes around colors as the solids are only available in black gloss, black matte, and pearl white so we’re playing it a bit fast & loose with the term “colors”.
The Corpus graphic is available in three colors with black, blue\white, and neon red rounding out the choices while the Blackletter graphic (reviewed here) is a white/black/gold affair. There are also two “replica” styled helmets which resemble riders Alvaro Bautista (WSBK) and Fabio Quartararo (MotoGP) helmets which are provided by Scorpion. The former in white/yellow livery while the latter being a black/gray/red graphic.
Pricing moves up from the solid colors at $399.95 to the Corpus and Blackletter models adding a thirty dollar premium at $429.95. The replica helmets command $459.95 for closely resembling the look of their namesake’s actual racing helmets.
Note: Prices are in USD.
Before we dig into the details, here’s a listing of the notable features of the EXO-R1 Air:
- Composite Multi-layer shell
- Includes two Pinlock Max-Vision ready face shields (Clear and Smoke)
- Includes one clear Pinlock Max-Vision insert
- AirFit cheekpad inflation system
- Emergency cheekpad release pulls
- Integrated cheek pads and neck roll for easy removal and installation
- 5 Year warranty
Check out the full review and more photos over at www.webbikeworld.com
Since early 2018, I’ve made an airbag vest part of my riding gear. I decided to invest in an airbag vest after I spent 2017 using a race collar from EVS as a way to help prevent/reduce neck injury in the event of a crash. I’m willing to admit, as I get older, I care more about potential injuries.
After a year of wearing the race collar, I started looking into airbag vests. Airbag vests aren’t exactly new to the protective gear landscape having been around for about 30 years, but they’ve seemed to linger on the horizon, rather than at the forefront of motorcycle safety gear.
Looking into how airbag vests and airbag jackets worked, I found most of them not only protect your chest and back but many designs will immobilize your head (when wearing a full face helmet) enough to help reduce/prevent neck injuries.
I was sold! But which one should I get?
The old guard of Helite and Hit-Air use physically tethered systems which rely on a lanyard attached to the motorcycle to activate the airbag. Dainese and Alpinestars introduced systems a few years ago that use electronic sensor packages to determine when a crash is occurring and deploy the airbag. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.
Mechanical systems are less expensive and often the user can easily repack a Hit-Air or Helite device and replace the compressed air cartridge. Assuming the airbag isn’t damaged, the rider can continue on their merry way. These airbag systems are typically in the form of a vest that goes over existing riding gear or the airbag system is integrated into a jacket for an all-in-one solution.
Dainese, Alpinestars, and now Klim, offer electronically triggered (non-tethered) systems. These systems can be used with dedicated apparel as well as most other jackets assuming they offer enough room for deployment. In the case of Dainese (D-Air Smart Jacket), one can even use their system on top of a jacket.
Note: Helite recently released their own electronically activated airbag vests, the e-Turtle and e-GP Air, but they do not appear to be available yet in North America. I’m sure once they become available we’ll have a look at these as well.