Motorcycle Words

a motorcyclist's blog

Bosch Using Gas to Prevent Low-Siding

So yeah, the title doesn’t make much sense but I have to hand it to the boffins at Bosch. They have developed a system that can mitigate lateral loss of traction and prevent a low-side crash from occurring.  This report and video from CNet.com lays out the details and a demo of this system and it’s pretty slick (pun intended).

When sensors indicate the motorcycle is starting to slide laterally, the system fires off a blast of highly compressed gas. The thrust from the blast counteracts the slide and allows the rider to move past the debris causing the traction loss and remain upright. You can see this demonstrated in the video below.
(Keep watching the video until the very end and you’ll see the bike make the pass without the rig to hold it up)

It’s an interesting idea and seeing it work even in this “setup” demonstration definitely proves the concept has potential. Of course one has to consider the cost in both dollars and weight in order to get motorcyclists to buy into it. I think the same thing was said about ABS when it was first brought to motorcycles by BMW.

One downside that the CNet article mentions is that it is likely a one-time use countermeasure that is depleted after the single use and must be recharged or resupplied with compressed gas. Maybe a replaceable cylinder could be purchased or could be recharged at a dealership for a nominal fee? That may be putting the cart before the horse but I don’t think it is something that should hold back this concept.

What do you think?

Visorcat System Available at Aerostitch

In December 2017, I reviewed a hand/glove mounted helmet visor cleaning system from Visorcat. The Visorcat is a unique solution that allows one to clear road grime and other debris from their field of view. This system includes a sponge,  squeegee, and cleaning fluid all wrapped up in a neat little package.

At the time of the review the Visorcat was not available via dealers in the United States. That situation has now changed as Visorcat just reached out to me and let me know that Aerostitch is now a dealer for their product. At this time the system can be purchased at this link but so far it only includes the whole system. There isn’t a link yet for refills of fluid and the sponges but I will be looking into when these are expected to be available.

Full review at wBW here.

 

Pilot Motosports Elipsol Jacket Review | wBW

My latest review for webBikeWorld of Pilot Motosport’s Elipsol jacket is now posted. The Elipsol is a new offering from Pilot which combines the ventilation of mesh panels with the utility of an adventure jacket plus a “dash” of sporty cut thrown in for good measure.

I’ve been a fan of Pilot’s gear since I started reviewing it for webBikeWorld a couple of years ago. I have found their apparel to offer a very good balance of quality, design, and value with some subtle innovative touches that go a lot further in real world use than one might think.

The Elipsol continues this tradition in a package package that can easily take on three seasons and then some. Mesh paneling plus two liners make it easy to adapt to varying weather conditions. Combined with a surprising amount of storage space, the Elipsol  is the most versatile jacket in Pilot’s lineup and offers good competition to offerings from other manufactures in this segment.

Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com

Pilot Motosports – Elipsol Air Jacket

Hit-Air MLV-C Airbag Vest – Preview

Product: MLV-C Airbag Vest
Manufacturer: Hit-Air
Sizes: Medium (covers S – XL), Large (covers XL-3XL)
Color(s): Black, White, Red, Blue, Brown, plus special edition colors
Made In: Japan
Price: $479.00 base ($509.00 as tested)


Introduction

Recently I posted that I had purchased an airbag vest so as one can tell from the title of this writing, I chose to go with the Hit-Air MLV-C Airbag vest. Here’s a look at why I chose the Hit-Air brand and why I chose to go with a vest instead of an airbag integrated jacket.

Why Hit-Air over Helite?

The two major players in the motorcycle airbag vest/jacket arena are arguably Hit-Air and Helite. There are also a handful of others making vests using a tethered system like the one used on these devices. After a lot of research I chose to go with the Hit-Air brand.

(Note: There are options from Dainese and Alpinestars that use electronic sensors to activate their airbags but I wanted to focus on the tethered systems for this review)

Deciding wasn’t easy as both manufacturers offer a quality product. Helite, for there part, does a bit more marketing than Hit-Air so their name may be more familiar. Marketing isn’t everything (but sometimes it is, I’m looking at you Betamax) and I wouldn’t have guessed that Hit-Air got started several years before Helite based solely on name recognition alone.

In terms of options, Helite has three with their Turtle vest, a race version, and a custom leather option. Hit-Air has several offerings for vests, seven by my count, and that is just the vest options. There also appears to be 13 jackets available from Hit-Air that include their airbag technology so Hit-Air has the most variety of options.

The Helite Turtle vest has an integrated back protector that sits over the inflation bags in the vest. This is a great feature for impact protection. The Hit-Air vest offers optional back protectors for their vests that installs via hook and loop fastener on the inner side of the vest under the airbag.

I like the optional nature of the back protector in this case, especially since I have CE level 2 back protectors installed in my riding jackets already. This last point I would consider a toss-up so no points either way. In the end I chose the Hit-Air, but then I had to answer the next question…

Which one?! Read on to find out.

Continue reading

Sloan’s Mystery Dinner Ride Tomorrow Evening

Our friends over at Sloan’s will be hosting one of their Mystery Dinner rides tomorrow evening. Meet up at  Sloan’s for an after-work dinner ride on a country backroad to a special out of the way place you may have never heard of before.

  • Group ride with fellowship and great food each month.
  • We try to keep the ride to about 45 minutes from the store.
  • Be at Sloan’s by 6p
  • Kickstands up at 6:15p
  • 50/50 rule applies – (50% chance of rain or below 50 degrees, we cancel our plans) KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR INFO on our Facebook page and Website!
  • Want to meet us at our destination? Call Kelly (615-225-6071) or Curtis (615-225-6021) for more info.

More events…

Motorcycle Airbag Protection, Do You? Would You?

Motorcycle protective equipment is something I’ve been getting progressively more concerned with as I get older. Having started riding on the street nearly 25 years ago (has it been that long?) I’ve been fortunate to have what I would consider less than my share of spills and get-offs. I’ve also been fortunate to have been able to walk, or limp, away from the crashes I’ve had.

In the 90’s I had a couple of minor get-off’s that left me and my bike pretty much unscathed and considering the lowly state of my protective gear at the time, I was very lucky. Fast forward to the present and I have a lot of protective riding gear. This includes the usual suspects such as armored jackets and pants, gloves, boots and a full face helmet.

Last year I reviewed the EVS R4K race collar, a neck protection device designed for off-road use. It has worked well for me over my street gear for nearly a year now but lately I’ve been looking more closely the benefits and options involving airbag vests and jackets.

Manufacturers Helite (right) and Hit-Air (pictured above) are probably the best known manufacturers of airbag equipped protection for motorcycle riders. Both companies offer several options of vests and jackets with integrated airbags and use a lanyard system to “fire” the airbag if the rider is separated from their ride.

While these manufacturers would likely argue they are each better than the other, there is little dispute that either airbag systems is certainly better than none at all. After reading numerous threads on the subject of airbag jackets and vests at  ADVRider.com I decided it was time I take the plunge.

After weighing the various options of one brand or the other AND a vest versus  integrated jacket, I pulled the trigger this morning and have my first piece of airbag equipped riding gear on the way. Which did I choose?
You’ll have to wait to find out when I post my preview in a couple of weeks which will of course be followed by a complete review not long after.

In the meantime I’m very interested to know what my fellow riders think of airbags for motorcycle riders. Would you use one? If not, why? I get that price might be factor but if that isn’t it I’d like to hear the reasoning for or against. Leave comments here and let me know.

Weekend Events for March 17th and 18th

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend we’ve got some events on our calendar you might be interested in starting with:

Spring Open House – Hosted by Music City Indian Motorcycles from 10:00 to 4:00 this Saturday, March 17th.

Next up is the Spring Thaw Bike Show & Swap Meet at the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon, TN also this Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00

Then on Sunday March 18th, the Tuckessee Chapter of the Harley Owner’s Group will host a St. Patrick’s Day ride Starting at Appleton H-D in Clarksville.

If you have an event you ‘d like for me to post on the events page shoot an email to me at brandon@motorcyclewords.com

Teasers for Spring Reviews

A great little strip of asphalt called Fairview-Kingston Springs Rd. Short but sweet!

I just realized how badly MotorcycleWords.com has been neglected by me over the past couple of months. Seeing as the weather has been less than “motorcycle-friendly” in my part of the country it is likely  not surprising. Still, that’s no excuse for the emptiness and quiet that has descended on my humble little blog. So to get things warmed back up I thought I’d share some info on upcoming products I have in for review for webBikeWorld.com as well as some teasers for things on the way.

Manufacturer photoFirst up, I have one of the new Elipsol Air jackets from Pilot Motosport in house for review. This addition to Pilot’s lineup is a mashup of adventure styling and mesh airflow. I really like the styling of this jacket and in addition to light grey, dark grey, and Hi-Viz colors, they have a new “Sand” color which I totally dig.  I’ve managed two short rides with it during the brief periods when it was warm enough but Spring is on the way and this review will be hitting wBW soon.

Sitting on the shelf waiting for warmer temps is a pair of riding jeans from Trilobite out of the Czech Republic. Their TON-UP riding jeans take a different approach than other riding jeans I’ve reviewed in the past as they do not have a separate lining for abrasion resistance. Instead, the denim used in the jeans is made from UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) thread making it not only very durable but also much lighter than typical motorcycle specific jeans. The material is also very cool against the skin so I’ve been patiently waiting for Spring to show up so I can give these a full test.

Finally, after about 6,500 miles on my Continental Road Attack 2 EVO’s, I’ll be replacing them soon with a set of Continental’s new Road Attack 3‘s so I’ll be posting up an initial review soon as well as a “post-mortem” on the EVO’s. (Hint, the EVO’s were fantastic)

In news not related to my wBW reviews, I’ve got a more installments of my “Risky Business” series of riding skills articles coming for 2018. I also am looking forward to announcing a new riding skills course that will (hopefully) be available later this year from a highly skilled motorcycle riding coach/instructor I’m lucky to be friends with. I’ll be posting up news about that as it gets closer to launch. If this is something you might be interested in attending please let em know so I can let you know when this is available.

More content and updates to come!

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.

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