That’s right, Motorcycle Words is waking up and rubbing the sleep out of its eyes. Since moving to Spain last year (2022) and selling my bike before I left the USA, I haven’t had the opportunity nor the time to do anything motorcycle related. However, after doing a photo shoot of a friend and travel blogger and her bike here in Valencia, I’ve got the urge to go ahead and put the wheels in motion to get back in the saddle.
Of course, there are a few hoops to jump through before I can take to the streets again. First, I need to get a motorcycle license, which in Spain (and the rest of the EU) is a lot more difficult than it is in the United States. The tests are harder and the tiered licensing system makes you wait a couple of years to move up to a larger/more powerful category of motorcycle.
For me, I’m fine if I have to stay on a smaller (less than 48bhp) bike for a while. In fact, I’d prefer a lighter, smaller bike here in Europe and might never really get a larger machine. Of course if someone drops a Guzzi Mandello in my lap, I’ll go get that A license :). Until that license is acquired I’ll be riding using my AAA international permit. It allows one to ride any size bike but it is only valid for one year in many EU countries and only six months here in Spain (thanks, Spain).
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.
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.)
The Ironborn Jacket in Military Green (photo via Viking Cycle)
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
Aerostich is bringing back one of their most sought after products this October. The Transit waterproof and breathable two piece leather suit returns to the ‘Stitch lineup and with new products available for shipping this October! ( Images in this article are from the Aerostich website )
The Transit suits were always quite the aspirational riding gear setup for me and many of my fellow riders. I always loved the idea of the durability and protection of a special leather combined with waterproof and breathable qualities. Of course this special blend of features (and awesome looks IMO)came at a significant price at over $2,000.00 (USD) for both the jacket and pants together.
The new Transit 3 jacket and pants come in just under the price of the last iteration of Transit gear with the Transit 3 jacket running $987.00 and the Transit 3 pants commanding $897.00. These prices are still quite the premium over textile suits but for what one is getting, I’d say it’s not “crazy expensive” but perhaps more like “pretty pricey”.
The Transit 2 apparel was discontinued due to what Aerostich called “materials (supply-chain) complications”. The Transit 2 was made from GORE-TEX Pro Shell leather and this must have become hard to acquire. The Transit 3 gear is made from a laminated leather material called CORIUM+. This material is a new one on me and I’ll be doing my best to find out more about in the coming days and weeks.
I have to say I’m blown away by this return of what many considered the ultimate multi-season street riding suit. I have been eyeing my closet full of gear today see how much I can get if I sold all of it to put towards the new Transit 3. I’ll post more info on the return of the Transit as I find it.
The Trilobite Go-Up jeans take a minimalist approach to motorcycle riding jeans. The emphasis is on simplicity and durability with a Dyneema ® / cotton denim fabric and straight cut that can accommodate standalone knee protection. Price is closer in line with other riding jeans in comparison to the Ton-Up jeans which we reviewed last year.
I really appreciate when a manufacturer engages with me in regards to a product that I reviewed. I’ll take the negative with the positive because the important thing is it shows they’re paying attention to independent and unbiased reviews like those we publish here at Web Bike World.
The story of this review you are about to read started with a phone call I received from Jason at Motonation. He informed me that Trilobite had seen my review of their Ton-Up jeans and that they wanted to send me a pair of new jeans designed around the comments in my review of the Ton-Up’s.
Action Sports EMS’s business centers around the amateur motocross industry in several states. They have been collecting data since 2009 on injuries which fall into the criteria surrounding wearing (or not wearing) a neck brace along with cervical spine injuries and/or clavicle injuries, and /or death.
The data is very interesting and CycleNews is hoping that publishing this data will help clear up some of the misconceptions around the use of neck-braces. Specifically they want to show how effective these devices can be at preventing and minimizing serious injuries.
For my own part, I spent several months in 2017 riding with a neck-brace on the street. I was convinced to add this to my daily riding gear after reading a lot of anecdotal evidence from other riders at the ADVRider.com forum that neck-braces seem to have a positive benefit to injury reduction/mitigation.
I usually don’t get into the “Check out this sale!” thing but I just received a note in my inbox that MotorcycleGear.com (formerly NewEnough) is blowing out their remaining stock of the AGV Sport Compass jackets. This textile/leather jacket is one of my favorites as it combines the durability of leather in impact areas with the lighter weight of textile used in the rest of the shell. I reviewed this jacket back in January of 2017 for webBikeWorld so you can get all the details but I’ll sum it up real quick in case you want to waste no time getting in on this deal.
The styling, as you can see in the image to the right, is a sport riding cut combined with a classic brown textile material. The leather is buffalo leather which doesn’t lay as smooth as cowhide and it has a different texture than cowhide adding to the jacket’s unique appearance.
Shoulder and elbow armor is included but no back-pad comes with it short of the piece of foam that helps the pocket maintain shape. The shape is a bit wonky but I purchased a back-pad made from viscoelasitc materials I could cut to shape with some heavy scissors. Oh, and there is a quilted vest liner included for cooler days.
Sizing runs slightly snug. Frankly I like my gear to be snug so it can stay in place better in a crash. If you like a “fitted feel” order your normal size but go up one size if you prefer a more relaxed fit. Keep in mind that at the time of this writing there are only L, XL, and XXL sizes left.
I would like to take a moment and say congratulations to #43 Caroline Olsen for a great Supersport race (two actually) this past weekend at Barber Motosports Park during the final round of MotoAmerica. The last race, on Sunday, was particularly satisfying as she moved from starting in 19th place to finishing 11th! The previous day’s race was nothing to sneeze at either as she started in 22nd position and moved up to a 17th place finish.
It’s been heart-warming to watch her get back in the groove and it hasn’t been an easy journey. For those who aren’t aware, Caroline had a pretty nasty crash due to brake failure last year at NJMP that landed her in the hospital for a couple of days. Her injuries were rather serious as she described in a press release last year;
“I escaped without serious long-term injuries and I got released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Bruised lungs, a broken collarbone, two broken vertebrae and an overall beat up body were the verdict. Since I’ve got back to Norway, I’ve had an operation on my collarbone and it was discovered that I had a broken fibula just below my right knee.”
It’s that time of year again when Kevin and I head down to Leeds, Alabama for the final round of the MotoAmerica series at Barber Motorsports Park. This weekend will have us watching (95) Roger Hayden taking his last laps before he retires from racing.
We’ll also be watching (43) Caroline Olsen to see how she fares in the last of the year. Caroline had a bad spill at NJMP last year but has been she’s working hard this year to get back in the groove. Personally, I’m elated to see her back in action as I feel she truly loves motorcycle racing. I’ve caught a lot of photos of her over the years and she always looks so happy when she’s on her bike in the grid ready to take off.
2018 brings some new/changed classes to the fray which should make for a packed weekend of racing. Though not “new”, the KTM cup has evolved into the Junior Cup with the field of KTM only machines now holding mostly R3’s and Ninja 400’s with just a brace of KTM 390’s in the lineup. The new Twins Cup class is something close to my heart as the field is seeded with a large dose of SV650’s, a bike have owned myself and still feel is one of the best all around bikes of the past two decades.
It’s going to be a lot of action in Alabama this weekend and Kevin and I will bring the highlights to this space as best we can.
ADVRider.com member S21FOLGORE recently posted up a very informative thread on the popular adventure riding discussion board site detailing ways to deal with helmet “Hot Spots”. His post includes very detailed instructions on how to measure one’s head to determine the shape in a more specific way than simply round, oval, intermediate oval, etc.
He also details the issues with hot spots and demonstrates ways to address them. I am fortunate that my head shape fits in the general mold for most motorcycle helmet brands so I personally have not been affected by these issues. For those of you that do find most helmets uncomfortable to wear for more than 45 minutes or so I highly recommend reviewing the thread.
Even if you don’t have issues it is still an interesting read and the illustrations by the author are quite good. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find that your heads shape is different than you thought and you could end up making your current lid that much more comfy.
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