Last year I went on a search for a light and thin heated vest that would fit under pretty much any riding jacket I have. Most heated vests have some bulk to them and it makes sense. To be the most effective they not only need to produce heat but help keep as much heat as possible trapped near the body.
But what if you don’t need the “most” heat? How about just “some” heat?
In my case I wasn’t looking for the hottest heated gear out there. I had two goals. The first, augment my winter weather riding jacket with some active heating to allow riding in colder weather without significantly adding another layer. The second, extend the seasonality of my lighter riding gear and allowing me to wear more comfortable and less bulky jackets when it would normally be a bit to cold for them.
Enter Mobile Warming’s Thawdaddy battery-powered heated vest. The Thawdaddy is the smallest heated vest I’ve encountered and as such it meets my criteria for fitting under pretty much any of my riding gear. Of course small size and light weight likely means the electrical storage / heat generating properties of the vest will be compromised. But is it enough to reach my goals detailed above?
I really like Shark helmets. There, I said it. I want to make it clear that I might have some bias towards these lids and I feel that bias is well earned. Shark may not be the most well recognized helmet manufacturer (in the USA, anyway) but they have been around a long time and their products compete well against their peers.
Recently I had the chance to review the Shark “Spartan” helmet for webBikeWorld.com and I leaped at the opportunity to handle a new bucket from Shark. The Spartan is their top helmet for sport touring, touring, and commuting use with a design geared towards upright and mild forward leaning riding positions.
Using a fiberglass shell, the Spartan offers lightweight while including comfort features like a drop down sun visor and a very comfy interior. This is all contained within a shell that shows the excellent paint and clearcoat finish that one should expect at the price point.
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.
Dashcam’s for motorcycles are relatively few and far between, especially compared to the various options for cars. In fact, the only other “dashcam” style unit reviewed previously at webBikeWorld was the Innovv K1 back in 2015.
Since then many inexpensive camera systems that could be used as dashcams for motorcycles have popped up at places like eBay and Amazon. Often these cameras seem priced so low that the adage “Too good to be true.” can drive many potential buyers away.
Then a couple of months ago I became aware of a new camera system that falls into what I considered the “sweet spot” in price and features. I wanted to find out if this system is really the happy medium solution for motorcycle dashcams it appeared to be. Hit the link to the review on webBikeWorld to find out.
Fall is typically a beautiful time of year. In many areas of the United States including my home state of Tennessee, changing leaf colors leads to some very nice scenery along the highways and back roads where I often ride. This is all well and good while the leaves are still attached to their branches. When they start falling to the ground, however, they can pose a threat to the motorcycle rider.
Hazards from falling leaves come in two major flavors. For starters, leaves can obscure a damaged piece of pavement or debris in the roadway. This type of hazard isn’t that prevalent or as dangerous as the second scenario which is wet leaves.
A thin layer of wet leaves on a road surface can be very slick. Not only is the upward facing surface of those leaves slick when wet but the downward, road-facing side adds to the overall reduction in friction. All in all this is not the ideal surface for the small contact patch of a motorcycle tire to deal with.
What is really dangerous is that while one is typically already being cautious when riding in the rain, a patch of leaves may stay wet for some time after the precipitation has ended. It’s not unusual to have the sun shining down on a deceptively innocent patch of leaves on the road the morning after a rainy night. Those leaves can still be quite wet underneath and can easily ruin one’s day if ridden over at even modest lean angels.
It’s easy to get caught up in the scenery and colors that come with a crisp Autumn morning ride so be vigilant when you’re out riding during this time of year. Make sure you are staying aware of what is on the road surface up ahead and never assume those leaves on the road are completely dry. In fact, I would say just avoid riding over any leaves on the road if it can be done safely.
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.”
I mentioned yesterday that the Supersport race had to be restated twice due to crashes. I understand this morning that everyone involved is “OK” at this point which we’re all grateful for considering what it looked like right in front of my position on the track. The photos speak for themselves.
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.
I’m giving a “whole lotta glove” today with not one, but two, reviews posted up in the past 24 hours with this one coming by way of webbikeworld.com. In this review I take an in-depth look at the Druid D1 Long gloves from Dainese. These track oriented gloves offer good protection wrapped in high quality materials with robust construction.
These gloves have lots of hard parts as befitting this style of glove as well as some smart looking colorways giving these gloves a lot of appeal on the safety and style side of things.
Are they perfect? No.
There are a couple of issues that cropped up in my review but these can be somewhat subjective. Hit the link and view full review to found out if the Druid D1 Long gloves are right for you.
The information on this website is provided for your personal and non-commercial use only. By accessing or reading information on this website, you expressly accept and agree to abide by all the terms and conditions contained in this statement on this page.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brandon Jackson and Motorcyclewords.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.