Motorcycle Words

a motorcyclist's blog

Category: Riding Gear (page 1 of 4)

Knox Orsa Leather MKII Gloves Review

Product: Orsa Leather MkII Glove
Manufacturer: Knox
Sizes: Small to XXL
Color(s): Black, White and Black
Price: £89.99 (GBP) from Knox / $130.00 (USD) @ Revzilla

Introduction

I want to start off by saying that I haven’t been fan of short cuff gloves for the past several years. Concerns over the lack of wrist protection combined with some “less than strong”  wrist securing methods had me looking towards full gauntleted options.

So how did I end up looking at (and then buying) these short cuff gloves?

Last year when I started looking for a new Summer glove I took a look at Knox as I appreciate their focus on safety and protection. Among the various glove options offered by Knox were the ORSA Leather MKII gloves. These are short cuff gloves with some perforations to combat Summer heat and protective features to combat everything else. They appeared so focused on protective features I had to give them a a go.

As one would expect from the name, this is the second iteration of Knox’s Orsa Leather glove. The MKII version is certainly more of an evolutionary than revolutionary update and that’s a good thing. The original ORSA Leather glove was well received and you can read a detailed review over at webBikeWorld where Alice Dryden tried them out in 2016.

(In full disclosure, I somehow missed Alice’s review when looking for new Summer gloves. Maybe I wasn’t ready to look at short cuff gloves again at that time?)

The MKII came out last year (2017) and brought with it some subtle, but welcome changes. The overall styling has been updated and I think the white version in particular looks better on the MKII. Other changes include additional elasticated area and the fit has been “changed” as well. I can’t speak to the fit of the previous version but Knox says they changed it, so, umm, there.

With the look back finished, let’s roll forward…

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Well, I’m on video.. for better or for worse 🙂

Trilobite 1860 Ton Up Jeans Review | wBW

My latest review for webbikeworld.com takes a look at the 1860 Ton Up jeans from Trilobite. These jeans are part of a new trend where apparel manufacturers are putting together motorcycle riding jeans that do not have an extra abrasion resistant layer. Instead, Dyneema ®  is used in the denim itself to create a sort of “super” denim that looks and feels (mostly) like normal cotton denim but can meet the abrasion resistance required for a CE level 1 (or better).

This material combined with traditional blue jean styling makes for a pretty stealthy pair of riding jeans. By just looking at them one would be hard pressed to tell they are protective riding gear. Add in the included hip and knee armor and the Ton Up jeans would appear to be the whole package, but all this comes at a price. What is that price exactly? Hit the link below to find out.

Trilobite 1860 Ton-Up Jeans

Hit-Air MLV-C Detailed Review

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


Over the past few months I have been wearing an MLV-C airbag vest from Hit-Air. During this time I have written about adding an airbag vest to my everyday riding gear and how I came to decide on the Hit-Air MLV-C for me. Now that I’ve had some time to wear the vest on a regular basis it’s time to follow up with my thoughts and final review.

When I started riding with this vest it was late winter and the temperatures during the day barely broke 50 degrees (F).Now with Summer approaching and the temperatures already up in the 90’s (deg F) during the day here in Nashville, TN, I’ve had a chance to evaluate what it is like to live with the MLV-C vest over different riding jackets and ambient temps.

That leads me to the first point…

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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.

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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.

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!

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.

Updated: I just received word that Visorcat has reached an agreement with Aerostitch so now USA residents have a dealer here on the other side of the pond.

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

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.

   

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