In my previous installment of Risky Business, I looked at being vigilant and acutely aware of the hazards when riding on the street. This time let’s take a look from the other perspective, making yourself visible to other vehicles on the streets with you.
How often have you heard someone involved in an crash say “I never saw the other driver, rider, etc”. More often that you would think, this is actually a true statement. The driver may have actually been looking right at motorcycle and their brain never registered the bike as an object to avoid or be concerned with.
Drivers can get used to just looking for cars and other hazards on the road. Let’s face it, motorcycles just aren’t as plentiful on the roads as cars and trucks. It’s hard for some motorcyclists to understand this but as riders, we often take note of other bikes. Being on a bike seems to make us “tuned in” to see other bikes where drivers of cars simply aren’t.
So what can one do as a rider to mitigate this phenomenon? Let’s learn how to be seen. The following are some ways to improve your visibility on the road.
A modest sized tailbag that can still manage to enclose a full-face helmet when expanded, the Ogio Moto Sport tail bag is a great way to add storage to your ride. The attachment system is very flexible making it easy to adapt to most any bike with a passenger seat.
The overall construction is very robust and an included rain cover rounds out the features that make this bag a good deal for its sub $100.00 price point. Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com.
Right after I finished this review it turns out that these bags are in short supply so if you’re interested in one of these I’d pick one up ASAP! from Amazon. If you miss it MotorcycleGear.com tells me that more will be coming in Early September (link below).
webBikeWorld Contributor Bill P. takes an in-depth look at four different mobile device mounts for motorcycles. Personally I use the Ram Mount X-Grip as it is light and I don’t do any off-road riding on my Ninja 1000 🙂 but I do agree with Bill’s findings. While his favorite is also the most expensive in the roundup, one does get what they pay for in this case.
See the full review and comparison by clicking here.
From the review…
Many motorcycle owners are now mounting a smartphone on their motorcycle. Not that I’m advocating taking and making actual phone calls; indeed, most of us try to get away from that aspect of our lives when we ride.
So no, that’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s for things like music streaming using Bluetooth connectivity through your intercom system. And there are riders who don’t want to get lost, period. I’m sure many of you, like me, use GPS apps on your phone while on a ride and consider it essential.
Being a bit of a riding gear “nerd”, I recently started following some discussions on ADVrider.com regarding neck braces. These aren’t the kind one gets put in after an accident but rather the opposite. These are the kind that attempt to prevent the need of the “post-crash” ones.
Off-road riders have been using the collars and braces for years but there hasn’t been much on the consumer market for the street rider. Over the past fifteen years or so, there have been a lot technological strides in the neck brace area due on no small part to Christopher Leatt, who patented his design for the Leatt neck brace back in 2003.
Where once there were just padded collars (or “donuts”) the Leatt Brace had a framework of flexible and rigid parts designed to keep a rider’s head from flexing to the point of causing injury. This design requires that the rider be wearing a full-face helmet and it works by presenting a surface around the rider’s neck that physically stops the helmet from moving beyond a certain point.
My latest review for webBikeWorld is posted and this one is pretty sweet. The product being reviewed is a pre-production sample of the new NVx night vision helmet visor from Scotopia Technologies.
The NVx uses some pretty amazing engineering to create a visor that can literally see in the dark. The information on the Scotopia Technologies website is brief and kind of a tease. Of course I’m sure they want to keep their secrets.. well .. secret.
NVx Visor powerd up
Here’s a bit of what Scotopia has to say about their tech “the Compound Eye™ elements matrix and be embedded into a transparent material (ABS, PU, etc) and cover several several square inches”, and it continues “To create a lightweight and low-power display we developed FlexIris™. This system combines near-transparent OLED’s (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) with focus-able microlenses.”
I’m not going to pretend I understand all of what that says, but it’s pretty spiffy to see it in action. To see the complete review, head over to webBikeWorld.com.
Our friends over at webBikeWorld have just published their review of the Shad 58X top case. Being a Shad case user myself, I was very interested to see this review.
As one can guess from the title, this top case expands from 46 liter capacity all the way to 58 liters with an intermediate setting at 52 liters. This is a lot of space and being able to vary the size has the benefits of both a smaller view from the outside but also allows less gear to have smaller space to move around in.
Of course all this cool expandability isn’t the only good thing about this case. For the full review head over to webBikeWorld.com.
Carmen and I take a look at a pair of backpacks from Kriega for webBikeWorld. Neither one of us care to use a backpack when riding so Kriega had a long way to go to get us to feel good about these. We spent a couple of weeks (or maybe 3 or 4 really) pouring over all the details and features looking at quality of build and functionality of design.
I gathered a bunch of clothes and other sundry items to demonstrate how much each pack could realistically stow. Then of course they were taken out for a ride full loaded to see how comfortable (or uncomfortable) they would be in the real world.
If you’re looking into getting a motorcycling back or wanting to upgrade from what you have now then hit the link to take you to the complete review over at webBikeworld. Be prepared to spend some time as all the details and features run this review rather long, but it is thorough.
My latest review, the MotoPumps Airshot inflator, is published today on webBikeWorld.com. The Airshot is one of the smallest portable air compressors you can get. Running off of 12 volts and drawing less than 5A (4.7 I believe), this little device is able to fit in most underseat storage for street bikes as well as small tank bags and other luggage.
Capable of 100psi, this little inflator can even bring tubliss tubes (or non-tubes I guess) up to full pressure. The Airshot comes with power connectors to fit most any 12volt source you have. If you want to have peace of mind on the street and/or the trail, this little guy is worth checking out.
Read the full review over at webBikeWorld.com
Edit: Added video below
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was taking a look at the new Hepco & Becker Orbit side cases to review for webBikeWorld.com. The plan was to install these on our friend Johnny Jarvis’ anniversary edition Yamaha XSR 900. Unfortunately there were some differences with the rear turn signals between the USA and European market versions of the XSR 900 that prevented the Orbit cases from mounting.
All was not lost though. Hepco & Becker decided to send us a set of their semi-rigid Royster side cases to go on the C-Bow mounting system we already installed on the XSR. These bags installed without any clearance issues and the yellow accents on them look good against the backdrop of the black and yellow livery of the XSR 900.
The Royster bags and the C-Bow system are a good choice for those looking to add extra storage to their ride. The C-Bow system has a smaller, less noticeable “footprint” than many other luggage mounting systems and the locking mechanism is very simple, yet solid.
Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com.
NOTE: The Orbit cases would not fit the American market version of the XSR900 and we were unable to do the full review. We ended up reviewing the Royster cases which did fit on the XSR900.
Hepco Becker recently took the wraps off of their new Orbit side cases and I’ve got a set here for review for webBikeWorld right now. These new cases mount using H&B’s C-Bow luggage system which is a low visibility luggage carrier system designed to not detract from the looks of a motorcycle when the bags are not mounted.
The Orbit side cases are the first hard luggage units for use with the C-Bow system which has up until now consisted of soft bags and semi-rigid cases. Later today we’ll be installing the C-Bow system and the Orbit side cases on Johnny’s Yamaha XSR900 with a full review for webBikeWorld following shortly. Until the review is ready, you can have a look at some of the studio photos I took last night to whet your appetite.
(click the images for full size versions)