Motorcycle Words

a motorcyclist's blog

HJC RPHA70 ST Review | WBW

If there were an official “household” name in motorcycle helmets, HJC would/could likely be that name, especially here in the in the United States. According to HJC, they have been the number one selling motorcycle helmet brand in the States since 1992 and has achieved this by offering a balance of good quality and reasonable price. As such, HJC has not been the most expensive or inexpensive choice around and has excelled at dominating the mid-range market.

      

My first motorcycle helmet was an HJC full-face model in 1993. I don’t recall much about it except it was black, full-face, and it did the job. I believe it was right around the $100.00 mark which fit well in my meager budget at the time. Since that first helmet I’ve had some other helmets from HJC but haven’t owned one in the past few years. When HJC provided a RPHA 70 ST for review, I jumped at the chance to check it out and see their latest and greatest.

Click here to see the complete review over at webBikeWorld.com.

EZGO Helmet Carry Strap Review

I have to admit when I first received the EZGO helmet carrying strap for review I thought, “Who is asking the question that this device is answering?”. A carrying strap that connects to your micrometric buckle (if so equipped) on your helmet? Seemed like it would be awkward in theory, but what about in practice?

After procuring a helmet with one of these Euro style buckles I spent some time testing out the EZGO. The results were much better than I had expected. Is it perfect? I wouldn’t go that far, but it is more useful than I thought it would be. Of course there are some caveats as well.

Check out the full review and more photos over at webBikeWorld.com for all the details.

Visorcat Helmet Visor Cleaning System Review – wBW

I recently got to review an interesting product from across “the pond”. UK based Visorcat sent me one of their helmet visor cleaning systems to check out for webBikeWorld.com. This isn’t the first time that webBikeWorld has review the Visorcat but they have made some updates to the product over the past four years since Alice Dryden reviewed it for wBW.

So what is it? The Visor cat is a device one attaches over their left glove. This places a sponge, under a rubber squeegee/cover, on the back of the rider’s hand. Swiping to the right and then left, the squeegee/cover is opened exposing the sponge to the visor surface. Pulling back to the left brings the squeegee piece into contact with the visor clearing the fluid and grime soaked by the sponge. Within the Visorcat is a reservoir of cleaning solution that wicks toe the sponge to keep it soaked and ready to clean.

            

That’s basically the Visorcat in a nutshell. It’s not something I thought  I would want myself but after seeing it first hand, they might have changed my mind. The only downside at the moment is that for riders here in the USA, there isn’t a distributor and so far. I did find that one of the UK distributors, Cupar Motorcycles is selling the Visorcat on eBay and will ship it to the States.

Read the complete review with details and more photos over at www.webbikeworld.com.

High-End Helmet Bag About to “Kick-Off” from Neo and Sons

Singapore based startup Neo and Sons has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new helmet bag they have been working on.

Dubbed “The Classic”, this helmet bag doesn’t look or function like your typical lid carry-all.  Most helmet bags I’ve seen are pretty simple affairs made from nylon, polyester, or a similar textile. The Classic is made from full grain leather (there is a waxed cotton version too) and uses quality hardware like YKK brass (or gunmetal) zippers as well as heavy duty D-rings.  The interior is lined with black twill cotton and an optional hounds-tooth pattern will be available for a bit of extra style on the inside.

The materials aren’t the only thing that set this helmet carrier from the rest. Neo and Sons make use of the empty space within the helmet for additional storage. I often carry my gloves in my helmet when I carry them around but this carrying bag has an integrated storage pocket that protrudes into the open helmet space from underneath.

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MotoAmerica Release Details About Twins Class for 2018

While covering the final round of MotoAmerica racing at Barber this past Fall, we learned about some of the new classes coming for 2018. This includes the new Junior Cup which replaces the KTM Cup which we are very interested to see but also even more surprising is the new Twins Class. This is very exciting to see as it adds a huge range of possibilities for both riders and builders.

The Twins class will allow for a lot of modification to the machines allowed to compete in the class which  comprises 600cc to 800cc displacement two cylinder engines. Plus this segment offers a lot of inexpensive and versatile places to start including Yamaha’s MT-07Kawasaki’s Ninja 650, and Suzuki’s SV650 (replacing the SFV650 for 2018).

      

Modifications can be applied not only to suspension and engine components but competitors will be allowed to modify ECU programming. This will be a boon to tuners looking to get the most out of these middleweight machines. These lenient rules are going to likely make for a very interesting and diverse  field of machines on the grids for 2018.

Read more about the new Twins Class at MotoAmerica’s website. You can also download the detailed technical specs by clicking here.

Sunglasses for In-Helmet Use – The Flying Eyes Golden Eagle Sport

Along with a change to a new look at webBikeWorld.com, my latest review for that site has been published as of yesterday. This review is of the Flying Eyes Golden Eagle Sport sunglasses which are designed for use in helmets and with over-the-ear headphones.

The name Flying Eyes relates to the fact these shades were designed by a pilot for use when piloting planes. The original “aviator” design sunglasses can be less comfortable with modern headsets and they also tend to let noise into what are otherwise sound isolating headsets.

By using very thin temples, these sunglasses have minimal impact on headsets and are comfortable inside of helmets used for flying. As such they are also well suited for use in motorcycle helmets which is exactly why they landed on my desk for review. So how did they perform? Check out the full review and find out.

   

Moto-Skiveez Performance Tights and Compression Socks

My review of the new Moto-Skiveez Performance Tights and the Compression Socks with Aloe is posted up to webBikeWorld.com.

These tights from Moto-Skiveez are a new addition to their lineup of riding base-layers designed to improve comfort. They take the newly redesigned padding from the Adventure Skiveez and puts them in a  3/4 length pair of riding tights.

While I was at it I also reviewed the Compression Socks with Aloe. Paired up with the tights they make a complete base layer for one’s lower half. Check out the complete review over at webBikeWorld.com.

MotoAmerica Plans Big Changes for 2018

Big changes are coming to the MotoAmerica racing series for next year! They have announced there will be changes to its class structure for the 2018 season with the addition of three new classes and the rethinking of two others.


First, what is going away: The 2018 season will see the demise of Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 with those two classes no longer incorporated into the Motul Superbike and Supersport classes. The Motul Superbike class will be just that beginning in 2018, Superbikes only. The official explanation given for this change is help fans avoid confusion with regard to what rider is racing in a given class. It is a valid point – with the Superstock bikes being run at the same time as the premier class, there often just isn’t a great degree of separation between them. Not having two classes on the track at the same time makes sense. The Stock 1000 class becomes the feeder to Superbike, giving riders a chance to gain experience on the liter class machines.
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Bike 55 Ends Up Fire Number 3

Gilbert on the track the day before.

During Sunday morning’s warm up for the 600cc machines we had another bike on fire incident, this time involving Michael Gilbert (55). Gilbert had a low-side get off that of course wasn’t great for him, but not anything that likely would have prevented him from taking the track later in the day. However shortly after the bike was moved a fuel tank leak resulted in the motorcycle catching on fire.

This was the third motorcycle to catch on fire during this weekend races here at Barber during the final round of MotoAmerica’s season. David Anthony and Josh Hayes also ended up with their own machines in flames the previous day. Needless to say it has been a rather dramatic weekend so far.

Michael appeared uninjured when I spoke with him a but later on after the crash but I know this was a big disappointment for him.  It was for me too as I’ve been following his progress this year and was hoping to see him on the podium in person this weekend instead of reading about it later. With any luck I’ll get to see Michael on the podium next year as he told me he will be coming back. Looking forward to seeing you there again soon, Michael.

The sad aftermath of Gilbert’s (55) bike after catching fire.

 

Some Unfortunate Spills from Saturday

Saturday’s 600 and 1000cc races resulted in some unfortunate crashes. In the 600 class Shane Richardson (26) and Max Fernandez (128) collided in turn 5 resulting in both riders going off the track. Max comes off his bike pretty early on while Shane seems somehow to come out of and then land (nearly) back in his seat  during the slide off the track. Both riders escaped receiving major injuries.  The somewhat blurry sequence of images below gives you an idea.

In the second lap of the 1000cc race for the afternoon, Sylvain Barrier (28) had highside going into turn 5. You can see below where his rear tire is heavily loaded up and the front looks very light. The next frame shows the bike tossing Barrier into the air to eventually land just ahead of his machine in the grass and gravel. Sylvain stayed down after coming to a stop in the gravel trap and was taken away on a backboard in the ambulance. We understand this morning that he is already back here at the track and he might have a fracture in the foot. Hopefully that is the extent of his injuries as from my angle it looked like it could have been a lot worse.

 

The above crash brought the race to a stop but the drama didn’t stop there. The second start of the race had David Anthony (25) and Josh Hayes (4) both having crashes with Anthony’s bike reaching the airwall after the first turn and promptly catching on fire. I understand that the fuel pump may have kept pumping and sprayed fuel spreading the fire in the space including onto the airwall catching it on fire as well.  Bother riders escaped any serious injury but the stopped the race again and set us up for a third start.

From the third start the race proceeded to the end with Roger Hayden (95) taking the win followed by Matthew Scholtz (11) and Josh Herrin (2) in second and third respectively. Toni Elias (24) managed a fourth place finish despite an off in Turn 5. Looking at the sequence of images below you can see his left foot hanging off free from the peg. His foot can be seen nearly dragging the ground and then he goes into a low-side carrying him into the gravel trap. Elias is quickly back up on his bike and is soon back on the track to make his fourth place finish.

      

 

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