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.
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.
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.
My review of the Vemar Zephir helmet is posted today over at webBikeWorld.com. The Vemar Zephir has entered the ring to slug it out in the sub-$200.00 helmet space and it packs a wallop! To start with, the feature set is comprehensive with an internal drop-down sun visor, provision for a Pinlock Max-Vision insert, and a unique port for communications devices.
The Zephir also comes out its corner swinging with a comfortable liner and accurate sizing. If that’s not enough, the finish and overall build quality has this helmet punching well above its weight (or price!). All is not perfect but the minuses are definitely minor compared to the pluses. So is the Vemar Zephir a contender for your next helmet purchase?
Check out the complete review over at webBikeWorld.com
Rick and “Burn” have just wrapped up their review of the newest addition to Shoei’s helmet lineup, the RF-SR. The new RF-SR is now the lowest priced member of the full-face lineup coming in at $399.00 (MSRP). Despite the low price you still end up with a lid that has the feel and fit that Shoei wearers have come to expect over the years.
While $399.00 might not sound like a budget helmet, it still is quite the bargain for those looking to move into Shoei for the first time. Despite being on the low end of pricing you still get great features like four shell sizes and excellent ventilation that are typical of the brand.
The initial offerings for colors is a bit thin with just solids available in black, grey, white, blue, and “tangerine”. Black and grey offer a matte finish option as well but no Hi-Viz or other bright colors are shown right now. Hopefully more will be on the way later this year.
Sounds interesting? Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com
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.
I recently reviewed a helmet (ok, the helmet) from Pilot Motorsports for webBikeWorld and is published as of today. The ST-17 at first glance is a good helmet. By that I mean it is really good in some ways, and just “OK” in other ways. However, what makes the ST-17 stand out from the crowd is the price.
It sells for $100.00 direct from Pilot and that’s were a “good helmet” becomes a great bargain! In fact right now that great bargain is even better if you go to Amazon right now as you can get a new ST-17 for only $84.43! A good helmet for that price is outstanding!
Now you might be thinking “Who is Pilot Motorsports and are they actually making this helmet themselves?”, which is a valid question. Pilot has been making apparel for years for the likes of Honda, Suzuki, and other brands under those names. In recent years they have been selling custom racing suits and more recently begun selling technical riding gear under their own label.
The ST-17 isn’t manufactured on premises by Pilot but is being manufactured in Vietnam for Pilot by Gao Jin Industries. Gao Jin might not ring any bells but their Zeus brand of helmets might. We reviewed some Zeus helmets over at wBW and I had my own 3000 series Zeus helmet myself. These were well made helmets that offered great “bang for the buck”.
So what we have here is a budget priced helmet, designed by a company that makes a lot of experience making riding apparel, that has teamed up with a helmet manufacturer that has nearly twenty years in the industry making affordable and well put together helmets.
Sound too good to be true? Read the full review and find out for yourself – Full Review Here.
My latest review, an owner’s report on the Arai Vector 2 helmet, has been posted over at webBikeWorld.com. This is a fantastic helmet, which being from Arai isn’t that surprising, but is it perfect? Well nothing’s perfect, now is it? Excerpt is below, or click here for the complete review.
Looking closely at the paint shows a lot of metalflake which is, in my opinion, super slick. It is most noticeable in the black and gray areas of the helmet but it is present in the white as well. This leads me to believe the “flakes” may be in the clearcoat layer. The paint is beautiful no matter how you look at it.
Picking up the Vector 2, one gets the sense this is a quality piece of protective equipment and not just a “brain-bucket”. The fiberglass laminate which makes up the shell of an Arai is hand laid and the care that goes into shows. The shell is light but very strong. Not a creak or squeak is heard when trying to flex the helmet such as pulling it onto the head.
Looks like Skully Helmets may be shutting down. Reports are coming in (from anonymous sources in the company) that Skully may be shutting down for good very soon. This is on the heels of the recent departure of the two company founders Marcus and Mitch Weller. If this is true this does not bode well for those who had pre-ordered a Skully AR-1 helmet. At nearly $1,500.00 a pop, that’s going to sting. Hit the link below for the full story over at AutoEvolution.
Today, August 8th, Skully officially announced their shutdown:
It is with great regret we must announce that SKULLY will formally cease operations, effective immediately. Over the past several weeks our management team has worked feverishly to raise additional capital but unforeseen challenges and circumstances, beyond our control, made this effort impossible. What this means now is that SKULLY will no longer be able to ship AR-1 Units or process refunds directly.
Substantially all of the assets of SKULLY are now subject to liens held by a secured creditor. The management team does not know if there will be any value above the amount of the secured debt. In addition, at this time, we are not aware whether there will be any distribution amounts available to unsecured creditors. SKULLY now plans to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case within the next several weeks. You will receive notice from the Bankruptcy Court and instructions on how to file a claim.
Our team is devastated and deeply saddened that our valued partners, vendors, employees and customers have been negatively affected by what has transpired. We realize there are many unanswered questions and that this is a very upsetting situation. We are truly sorry.