Competition Accessories’ Aeromoto Road Tech short gloves

48948_1As discussed in Episode 157, this week's gear review highlights the Aeromoto Road Tech short motorcycle gloves. These gloves are made from comfort-lined leather in a short or non-gauntlet sport style. The gloves have perforations along the inner grip of the fingers and have an open wrist with a strap-around retainer. As they are a shorter style with perforations, these gloves are best used in Summer, Spring and Autumn.The comfort lining does afford some resistance to cooler mornings (as I've experienced thus far this year). Construction and protection 48948_3The Road Tech gloves are designed to maintain a certain stiffness and structure to the body and fingers, while permitting very free movement at the various joints in the hand. I found the gloves to be stiff and protective without being fatiguing; I never felt like I was fighting the gloves while gripping the bars, twisting the throttle, or using the various controls. They are well articulated considering their seemingly more-than-ample protective design. The outer layer of the hands are protected by padded, metal inlay armor on the back of each finger, as well as a metal inlay carbon fiber floating puck for the third row of knuckles and the back of the hand. Considering the size and solidity of the knuckle protection, I never felt like the gloves were tiresome or uncomfortable. The puck floats on a grab-flap that isn't completely hard fixed to the back of the glove. Using the open-back grab flap as well as the palm flap, the wearer can easily pull the glove fully onto the hand, seating it completely. 48948_4In the grip area of the hand, across the top of the palm and in the crook between the index finger and thumb, lies is a layer of textured material that adds grip, again without increasing the amount of force or pressure it takes to move the hand and grip the bars. I'm not sure what this material is, but it feels substantial enough to add some additional protection. The palm and outside of the hand (the karate chop area) are covered with a second layer of leather, and the palm includes two plastic sliders at the heel. The additional layer of leather continues down to cover the wrist, while it is held closed by an ample amount of hook and loop textile fastener. Sizing and comfort glove1This particular pair of gloves is sized XL and seem to fit me better than most of that size. To put things in perspective, have a wider palm and thicker fingers; I wear a size 13 ring, but my finger length is typically better fit in a medium or large glove. While the palm fits me perfectly, I have a slight bit of room in the glove at the end of each finger, though considerably less than any other XL I might normally have to buy to fit my hands. As noted, the gloves are comfort lined and feel soft and compliant inside. The liner is not itchy, and helps provide a degree of insulation; while the gloves are not designed for hard Winter use, they've been very comfortable on some of our recent 50-degree mornings and I feel that I could easily wear these down to another ten degrees cooler. I'm looking forward to wearing them while using my heated grips in colder weather. Value glove4In a market where a comparable style of glove can be found at every level of quality and pricing, I find the current sale price of $119 US to be right in line with many upper tier offerings. I like the quality and construction of these Aeromoto gloves quite a bit. The balance of comfort, dexterity and protection is spot on. While I'm hard to fit for gloves and boots, the Road Tech gloves are closer to "just right" (for me) than any 20 or 30 pairs of gloves I can easily go and try. While a variety of gloves can be found at lower prices, the blending of comfort, fit and protection these gloves seem to exhibit make them a viable choice at this price point. Summary handsizeBefore reviewing these gloves, I'm not sure I would have bought them on my own as I hadn't heard of the brand before a few months ago, and their price point is on the high side of medial. Having now tried and reviewed two separate product offerings from Aeromoto, I can say that Competition Accessories has a winner in this brand, and I look forward to the name becoming more common in the market place, and in the gear closets of more riders. Now knowing what do about the brand's products, I can now say that yes I would, in fact, put my hard earned money toward these gloves. If you're looking for a premium quality glove, give these (and their gauntlet version) some serious consideration. I don't think you'll be sorry. About Competition Accessories Competition Accessories has grown from a tiny garage in 1961, to be one of the nations largest sellers of motorcycle gear and accessories.  The Catalog Outlet store and national headquarters sit in a state of the art 34,000+ sq/ft building just off I-77 where customers can come in and have access to over $2 million worth of the best gear on the market.  Our site is a candy store for the motorcycle enthusiast. It carries just about everything from a $4 can of spray cleaner to a nearly $1000 Arai limited edition helmet.

The Helmet Hook by eXtuff

If you're like me, when you just need to walk away from the bike for a few minutes you might often find yourself putting your helmet on your handle bar and checking it for stability 8 or 10 times before walking away, fearing the whole time that it will fall off and burst into a million pieces the second someone sneezes anywhere in the parking lot. Because of this, I usually just carry my helmet with me. Wouldn't it be nice to have a stable and trusted way of just hanging the helmet on the bike somewhere for a few minutes while you fuel up, get an ice cream cone or make a phone call? Well, now you can. Enter, the Helmet Hook. The Helmet Hook is, as the name might imply, a hook for your helmet. The hook is designed to bolt onto the handle bar end, between the bar and the bar-end weight. Most bikes these days have some sort of damping weight on the ends of the handle bars, so the number of bikes on which this *won't* work should be small and fleeting. hooks2To install the hook, you simply unscrew or unbolt your existing weight, slide the screw or bolt through the hook and reinstall the weight. The weight has a sizing washer in the center to help accommodate various mounting options across the plethora bikes and manufacturers. Take a look and send George a note if you like the product. The Helmet Hook product can be ordered directly from eXtuff's website and the price includes shipping. Paypal is accepted and should make for a very easy purchasing experience.

Rowe Electronics (via Aerostich) PDM60

You often hear "just put in a relay" when people talk about adding power connections to a bike, but what does that really mean? Many people find it sufficient to simply hook up their electrical gadgets directly to a battery, or to some "key-on" power source. This may be fine enough for something as low-draw as a GPS or satellite radio, but for things that draw more power, this is usually a recipe for long-term disaster. The usual solution is to add a relay-controlled power circuit. Why? A relay is just a fancy switch that, for the actuator part of the relay, typically draws very little power. This lets you tap into an existing power source - your tail light circuit or your ignition switch circuit - to power the relay. Doing so puts very little additional stress on the bike's wiring. The battery is then connected to the switched part of the relay, allowing high-draw devices full power without harming the bike's existing wiring. relay_diagram_02A typical need for a relay circuit might be when a rider wishes to install a set of driving lights that draw as much as 15amps. That's not the type of power requirement that would safely be provided by tapping into most of the bike's existing circuits. The graphic shows a basic relay circuit. This allows you to have the relay do all the "heavy work" while not impacting the bike's generally small and fragile wiring; if you were to hook up the larger road lights to the existing headlight circuit, you would likely overload that circuit causing blown fuses and overheated wires. A simple circuit to be sure, and it is very limited. What if I want more flexibility? Excellent question. The next upgrade to this circuit would be to replace "device" (in the graphic) with a fuse box. A fuse box will take current coming into it from the relay (or battery if directly connected) and spread it out to a number of fused circuits. This allows you to run several additional items into one centralized, convenient location for power, and to protect those additions via fuses. This has been the standard for... well, as long as there has been power systems in homes, cars, boats, industrial buildings, etc. Fuses and more modern circuit breakers are the standard protection for electrical devices. That can end up with a lot of additional wiring and space being used by the fuse block and relay. Some bikes accommodate the extra pieces better than others. A modern, electronic power distribution system may be the next best solution for some riders. Enter, the Rowe Electronics PDM60. adWpEKsThe PDM60 module replaces the fuse box and the relay system with a simple-to-use, compact, highly sophisticated electronic circuit controller. This intelligent device sense electrical shorts and, rather than blowing a fuse, simply turns off power that circuit. When the short is resolved, the PDM60 turns power back on to that circuit. No more burned wires, blown fuses, and best of all, dangerous shorts and burning wires are all but eliminated. The PDM60 wires up directly to the battery and the various protected circuits are powered on and off by 'trigger' wires. In its normal configuration there's one positive (12v+) and one ground (frame or 12v-) trigger, 6 total circuits ranging from 5amps to 15amps, and two circuits with a delayed shut off. This allows quite a bit of flexibility when deciding on what to hook up and how it should be handled. Most riders will need a simple setup where the PDM turns on the circuits when the bike's key is turned on. With something like this, the PDM would be hooked up directly to the battery, and the 12V+ trigger would be hooked up to anything that comes on with the bike's ignition switch, such as the tail light, head light, aux power connector, etc. The PDM draws about 1milliamp for the trigger, so it will have no practical impact on any existing circuits. During my installation, I chose to have the 12v+ trigger hooked up to my tail lights, and the PDM's main connections hooked directly to the battery. As for the circuits, I chose a 5amp delayed-off circuit for my phone charger plug, a 15amp instant-off circuit for my dedicated tire-pump plug, and a 5-amp instant-off circuit for my GPS connection. I mounted the PDM directly into the storage tray under my seat, and ran the main power wires to the battery through holes I drilled in the storage tray. The PDM comes with eyelets preinstalled on the main power wires; these eyelets should fit most normal motorcycle battery connectors. The electrical accessories are connected directly to the PDM60 on one of the supplied output wires. In my case, the purple wire was a delayed-off 5amp circuit, and the red wire was the instant-off 15amp output. I connected and soldered the colored wires to the appropriate 12v positive side of the accessory. The PDM also includes leads that slide into the big connector to provide 12v- (ground) connection; this alleviates the need to connect the negative side of the accessories to the battery or frame ground. Once all the accessory circuits were wired in, I tapped into the tail light wire for the 12v+ trigger. On my unit, this was the grey wire. Each of the power and trigger leads are marked with stickers. I stripped back the tail light wire's insulation and soldered the trigger wire to it, then taped it back up and put it back in its normal place. I use solder on all connections that are meant to be permanent. After years of automotive and motorcycle ownership and repair & maintenance, I simply don't trust most "tap connectors" or twist-n-tape connections. That's really all there was to it. The unit works as expected and as described, and the total installation took about 30 minutes. I forced-tested the ground faults by taking the output circuit wires and grounding them to the battery's negative post. The PDM shut off power to those circuits immediately without damage to any wiring and without any smoke, sparking or any other dangerous dramatic events. The unit I installed is a few years old. The newer models are firmware updatable and are software programmable; this allows the user to select specific amperage ranges for the various circuits, delayed or instant-off control of the circuits, and which circuits are controlled by the 12v+ or 12v- (ground) triggers. It's a very flexible and simple system, and I like it very much. The unit retails for $199. At nearly $200 it's considerably more expensive than a $12 relay and a $50 fuse block. Many riders might wonder why they should choose it. I can't and won't speak for Rowe Electronics on the matter, but I will offer my opinion. I've installed relay and fuse circuit systems on nearly every bike I've owned. In every case, I had to design the routing of wires, the placement of the fuse block and relay mounting, and in every case, it took me considerably longer than a half hour. In addition, relays can be compromised by moisture, and fuse blocks can corrode in high humidity or if they get wet. The PDM60 is waterproof, has no "moving" parts (covers over fuses, switch actuators in relays, etc), and is also small and easily mounted out of the way. The PDM is safer, less complex to use and is fully self-regulating. It's also fully CANBus compatible. And you'll never need to worry about keeping spare fuses around, or finding a Radio Shack if your relay craps out. Is that 'worth it' to you? I can't say. To me, it is... at least for a bike I intend to keep for longer term, or on which I want to rely for long distance travel. It's also very, very cool. That has certain value. The PDM60 is manufactured by Rowe Electronics and is distributed by several wholesalers and retailers, including Aerostich, the company from whom I got this unit and who is the world-famous manufacturer of the RoadCrafter and Darien series of riding gear. Rowe Electronics directs users to AltRider as their primary supporter and distributor of the PDM60.

AeroMoto Sport Air Leather Jacket review on Episode 153

The good folks at Competition Accessories offered us an AeroMoto Sport Air Leather Jacket for review on the show. I don't want to give too much away, but I'll say this... I'm giving it a 4.5 out 5 stars. Listen to the beginning of Episode 153 for the full review. About the jacket: aeromotoThe Aeromoto Corsa Pro pants and Sport Leather Jacket are available in both solid and perforated (Air) versions.Constructed of premium cowhide leather, 1.2mm in the body and 1.4mm over the impact areas, these Aeromotoleathers will keep you comfortable and protected without breaking the bank. CE approved armor is found at theknees, elbows, and shoulders, and knee sliders are included with the pants. Connection zippers are included on boththe pants and the jackets, so if you have been in need of an inexpensive, but good quality two piece leather suit, waitno longer! The Aeromoto gear is simply the BEST quality for the Money you will find.. It is an Everyday Clearance!
  • 1.2mm (body) to 1.3mm (impact areas) premium leather construction for optimum protection, durability and comfort
  • 10mm thick memory foam back protector
  • CE approved shoulder and elbow protectors
  • Perforated leather in key areas for maximum ventilation
  • Extra padding is also provided via padded panels throughout the jacket
  • Pleated leather panels are used in multiple locations for the finest non-binding fit possible
  • Multiple stitched main seam construction for maximum tear resistance
  • Removable and washable quilted liner with a pocket zips in over a permanent mesh lining
  • Moisture wicking neoprene in the collar for maximum rider comfort
  • Zip open air vents are positioned on the chest and back of shoulders
  • Pre-curved arms for a perfect look, fit and for maximum riding comfort
  • Two front hand warmer pockets
  • Two inner pockets; one with zipper closure
  • Two waist connection zippers for any type of pant attachment
  • Extra long zipper pulls are used on all zippers
  • World famous YKK zippers
About Competition Accessories: Competition Accessories has grown from a tiny garage in 1961, to be one of the nations largest sellers of motorcycle gear and accessories.  The Catalog Outlet store and national headquarters sit in a state of the art 34,000+ sq/ft building just off I-77 where customers can come in and have access to over $2 million worth of the best gear on the market.  Our site is a candy store for the motorcycle enthusiast. It carries just about everything from a $4 can of spray cleaner to a nearly $1000 Arai limited edition helmet.

Episode 152: Still prettier than Repsol

Episode 152 - Still prettier than Repsol July 23, 2013

ThePaceFINAL-300x116

Not just anyone can own and wear deer skin on their hands. No, wait... that’s not right. Anyone can. All you need to do is buy some Tour Master gloves. And that’s what Chris did. Again. Frustrated with affordable summer gloves that fit is oddly shaped mutant mitts, he went with what he knows and got another pair of Tour Masters. And he likes it that way!

Is Yamaha’s new parallel twin engine too big? Only James knows for sure. But he’s loving the new KTM390, so that should give you an idea. And speaking of right sized... Motus unveils the final production machines, and at almost 1700CCs of torquey monster power, surely that’s the right size to get it done, right? 

The guys wrap up the show by giving props to a very, very cool Ryca conversion on a $500 Craigslist Savage. Check out the pictures, but don’t get too close. It’s a Lycan, after all.

Review:

News:

Links:

Feedback:

  • John Ryder - Which bike for a tall guy?

  • Arno Jansen - What’s high mileage for a bike?

  • Stuart Watson - Chris, get a BMW!

  • Daniel Short - The Lycan, a Ryca conversion.

Episode 135: MANUALLY RANDOM!

Episode 135 - MANUALLY RANDOM! January 13 2013 ThePaceFINAL-300x116
We’re giving it away. All of it. Every single bit. Well, every single bit of the Grip Puppies, that is. Both of them. That’s right... the pair. Then we move on to this week’s product review: The Bilt Storm Jacket from Cycle Gear. Say what you will; they’re making some decent stuff. Are we spending too much for our GPSes? Hmmm.... could be. Fish eye? Get it here, now with more competing products. And if you think Ford is doing some cool stuff, stay tuned; they just went Open! Triumph gets sporty on the Tiger, and hey... feedback, feedback, feedback!
  • James will pick the winner of the grip puppies - Scott Pfeiffer
  • Facebook
    • Ron Leonard
Feedback:
  • Michael Veal
  • Kevin Kocher
  • Chuck Brewer

The Vemar Jiano helmet

Another "multi-feature" helmet currently on the market is the Vemar Jiano. This helmet is a larger shell, modular helmet which includes an internal drop-down sun visor and integrated bluetooth communications. My friend Paul just ordered one and when it arrived, he brought it into my office for me to look over and take some pictures. He was also kind enough to let me try it on. The helmet fit me pretty well in size Large; it seemed to fit well for my roundish shaped head with no apparent pressure points or hot spots. I'm just coming off of 4 years wearing a Shoei Multitec. This helmet feels lighter than my old Shoei and has a similarly sized outer shell. The internal lining and padding felt good, and I didn't experience any "face squish" from overly large cheek pads. Vemar seemed to pay attention to detail of fit and finish. The controls for the visor, modular chin bar, vents and sun visor all seemed easy to use and intuitive. I did not try to use the controls with gloves, but given their placement and ease of operation, I suspect there will be no issues. The snow shoe style chin strap latch was also able to be opened with one hand using the convenient pull tab. A very nice feature, indeed. When the chin bar is open, one can easily see the mounting and routing of the flexible boom microphone. Also, the charging jack is prominently placed in the front for ease of connection. Open the chin bar, plug in the helmet, wait for charge. No battery or device removable is necessary. Again, a nice bit of attention to detail. I will ask Paulie to keep me updated on the bluetooth system's ease of use, volume and sound quality, and the helmet's wind noise levels. The Vemar Jiano is available for around $175 from various online retailers.  

A message from Chris Harr about Ricor suspension components

We got an email from long-time listener and guest on the show, Chris Harr. Chris wants to tell us about Ricor suspension components.
Hey Guys,
Do you read MCN? I ask because the back cover of a recent issue had a write-up on the Ricor Intiminators, a drop in compression valve/shim stack for damping rod forks which features an inertial valve which is intended to limit brake dive while also allowing effective high-speed bump absorption. In effect, the inertial valve allows the fork to have 2  different compression damping curves depending on which direction the suspension travel is occurring. The matching IAS Shock also has an inertial valve which affects rebound response instead of compression.
I did some homework on the KLR650.net, ADVRider and SV forums and found numerous positive reviews w/ no complaints, so I decided to give the Ricor parts a try.
I purchased the Intiminator fork valves and matching shock for my KLR in December under a winter special. The shock was shipped with a 300lb/ft spring which is on the soft side, but it seems to be working fine for me @200lbs in gear and with the panniers installed.
Install was straightforward. No modifications to the OEM damping orifices are needed, which means the forks can be returned to stock w/o replacement of OEM parts. I’d imagine you could install them w/ the forks in the clamps on the pre-08 KLRs but it’s better to remove them to drain the forks completely. The rear shock was also fairly easy  - the KLR’s upper shock mount nut is captive, which is a good thing since the airbox blocks direct access to it. Total install time with 2 guys working on the bike on a lift was about 2 hours. At home, I’d guess it’d take a half-day working solo, assuming you have the correct tools including an oil level tool for the forks.
I’ve had them in for a few weeks now and have logged around 500 miles since install.
In my opinion, the benefits of the combo are significant. The dive control under braking is really effective, but the forks are still fairly compliant over square-edged bumps. On local dirt roads I find that the front is far less scary over rough washboard/bumpy surfaces. Overall, the valves work exactly as advertised.
The shock is less cut and dry. The IAS system helps to slow forward pitch on the brakes relative to the OEM shock. Traction seems very good, even on wet and bumpy surfaces. The rear compression is stiffer than stock but it’s also less prone to bottoming. The improvement is definitely valving-related, as the 300lb/ft spring is only slightly stiffer than the OEM spring and I’m not running any more preload than I did with the OEM shock.
Where the IAS shock is strange, but effective, is over the wide speed bumps used in my local area. On the OEM shock, it would get launched out of the seat over those bumps at anything over 25mph (I can hit them much faster on the Aprilia BTW). The OEM shock simply had too little high-speed rebound to prevent kicking when most of the travel was used. The IAS shock exhibits far less of this behavior. The shock seems to extend quickly enough to track the back side of the speed bump as there is nearly no wheel spin after the crest of the bump, even at 45mph, but the kick is far less. Where it’s interesting is when the bike settles and then rebounds, it does so slowly and without a second or third oscillation.  To put it simply, the rear suspension seems to respond quickly when the rear suspension unloads over a bump, but rebounds slowly when dealing with chassis weight.
Compared to OEM, the bike is less pitch sensitive, less prone to bottoming, is slightly less plush over minor pavement imperfections, and is far easier to ride on bumpy gravel roads.
Post-sale, I’ve had a few questions or concerns. Brian @ Ricor has been responsive to my needs and has offered a spring rate change/revalve free of charge if needed (which I’ve decided it’s not). There may be limitations on those policies, but I’m still impressed with my interactions with their company.
Would I recommend the combo? Definitely, as long as the purchaser isn’t expecting KTM Adventure suspension quality… the kit on high-end dual sports is still superior to the modded KLR, but the gap is far less now and even with mods, I’m at ½ the cost of a used 950 Adventure and still less than the going rate for a used F650GS.
Chris, thanks for this excellent information!

The Nuda 900 at the Perth International Motorcycle Expo

HI Chris and James - Here are the photos I took on the day of the Nuda 900. The bike looks more Hypermotard than tourer to me - seat style is more out of the Huski trail range and I'm sure your bottom would hurt after a while in the saddle! The 900R has a rear Ohlins shock which is a nice piece of add on as the normal 900 model has the Sacs (not too shabby either!). Both have Sacs forks. It's a parallel twin (tweaked) motor with nice high bars and the rear footrests are in an okay position for two upness. It comes with (after market) accessories for 'touring' like a higher windshield and rear panniers. I could really do with a higher screen on the 900 Hornet!! The guy from the importer told me that it comes in at just over 100bhp and about 175kg (386 lbs) in 'dry' weight. The bike on show had no electrics and fluids in it so could not even be started or ridden! It was being sent onto the Sydney show and then back to Italy so we were fortunate? We have to wait until March for a test ride and it should retail in Australia for about $16000 (about par with the USD so same possibly for yourselves) I think it would make a great kick ass second bike and I love the design. Not a fan of those plasticy type mirrors and I would've liked it to come with the hand protectors. It looks a very clean simple machine - anyway, I enjoy the show, loved the 'Barber' trip stuff and the general day to day bike banter you guys do! Cheers - Jamie McVey
Thanks, Jamie. Really appreciate the pictures and the write up. Much appreciated!

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth

Nuda 900 @ Perth