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.
Product: R4K Race Collar
Manufacturer: EVS Sports
Sizes: Adult and Youth
Color(s): Black/Red and White/Green
There are riders that subscribe to ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) and those that don’t. How much protective riding gear one wears and how often it gets worn ends up being a matter of risk management. Barring helmet laws, protective riding gear is not compulsory so the range of protection observed on street motorcycle riders tends to vary widely.
I am an ATGATT rider and lately I would say I’ve become an ATGATT+ rider. I consider “All the Gear” for the street to include riding boots, pants, jacket, helmet, and gloves that all contain armor as applicable.
Recently I added an additional piece of kit to my normal riding gear, a neck brace/collar.The following details my experience so far using the R4K Race Collar as an daily use piece of protective street riding gear.
I want to point out that EVS does not specifically market or recommend this product for street riding use. In the past I have taken other off-road safety equipment such as knee/shin protectors and used them to augment my street riding safety gear.
Just in time for summer, my review of the Pilot Omni Air Mesh V2 overpants is now online at webBikeWorld.com. This are a great way to make a two piece hot weather suit when combine with the Direct Air V3 mesh jacket also from Pilot. I’ve had a lot of Pilot gear coming through for review this year an I’ve been really impressed with the bang for the buck offered by the brand.
Features like Pilot’s RedTab system and the thin, but present, tailbone protector are sma ll details that demonstrate someone at Pilot designed their gear with real world riders in mind. Pilot not only makes textile technical gear like these pants but they also make custom leather racing suits that are very popular with AMA/MotoAmerica road racers.
Check out the full review here.
My review of the Pilot Motosports Direct Air V3 jacket was just published today over at webBikeWorld.
The Direct Air Jacket V3 combines free-flowing mesh material with solid textiles in the impact zones. This makes the jacket feel a bit more sturdy than other “full shell” mesh jackets. But it does so at the expense of some air flow.
Pilot has upgraded the protectors used in this jacket as well as the waterproof liner. It’s now a REISSA membrane lined with polyester mesh. Usability features like Pilot’s Red Tab system and “At Hand” pocket are present and those are details we also really appreciated in the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket we reviewed recently.
Read the full review (click here)
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
The Pilot Dura pants are basic motorcycle riding pants that function well. But they’re probably not equivalent to the Pilot Trans Urban V2 jacket (review) from a value perspective.
Pilot has upgraded the knee protectors in the Dura pants compared to the Pilot Omni mesh pants we reviewed. Otherwise, the Dura over pants are more of an evolutionary update rather than a revolutionary one. There are a lot of things to like, however, such as full-length side entry zippers and a permanent waterproof liner.
Also, the Pilot “RedTab” system for locating the connection points is helpful. And the overall build quality of the Dura over pants is very good. However, there are a few small details that could be addressed which would really help the Dura pants shine in the crowded sub-$200.00 arena.
Check out the complete 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.
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Pilot Motosport‘s follow up to their original Trans.Urban jacket , the Trans.Urban V2 for the past several weeks and I’ve come away very impressed. This jacket is more of an evolution of the original rather than a makeover and that’s great as there was a lot to like about the original one.
The original Trans.Urban was a great jacket for a very good price at $225.00 (USD). The new Trans.Urban V2 updates the styling and armor but keeps all the good stuff that was already in place and only adds $15.00 (USD) to the price. This is only 7% from where it was around three years ago so it’s not a bad increase at all.
The important aspect to keep in mind is the value that is represented. Even with the minor cost increase, the bang for your buck factor is still impressive. Add in the fact that it’s a pretty sharp looking piece of kit and you’ve got a great 3/4 length jacket for honest three season use.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? For all the details and more photos head over to the full review here at webBikeWorld.
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 for webBikeWorld.com is posted and this time it is of the TCX X-Blend boots. The TCX X-Blend boots combine a classic leather work boot look and feel with CE certified protection. (For more information, be sure to read the wBW report “CE Certified vs. CE Approved“, because their is a difference.)
Most people would never know these are motorcycle boots unless the details such as the shifter cover on the toe boxes or the round ankle protectors were noticed. Add waterproofing to the mix and you have a motorcycle boot that looks old school but has taken lessons from modern riding gear to provide both safety and comfort.
Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com.