Dad’s Day Options

My friend Marianne has a dad who rides. He has been riding motorcycles for a long time and he has all of the gear he needs. He doesn’t want a new helmet. He likes his jacket. His boots fit just fine thank you. We gave it some thought and she decided to go for a Bluetooth set. The idea was that when she occasionally rides with him they can talk about where to pull over for coffee and wot not or how beautiful the trees are  or…that her feet itch. When he rides with their mom he can talk about his itchy feet. Hmmm, I somehow just managed to make this sound a little less appealing, didn’t I? Thing is – she’s not sure he’ll like it. His hands signals are fairly well evolved and he always leads so it isn’t hard to figure out what he wants. He will smile politely and it will stay in its box. Then we realized that this thing will give her a chance to say to him stuff like “did you see those cops over by the overpass?” Or maybe she could even say “we’re pulling off at this offramp cuz I have to pee.”  For that and that alone its worth getting him the Bluetooth gear.

Dads who ride invariably need stuff for to make their ride just a little sweeter. It may not be a big ticket item like a new helmet (although if his helmet is more than 5 years old it should be replaced.) How are his face shields? Scratched? Get him a new one. Even better, if his helmet manufacturer makes them try stepping him up to a fog-free pinlock shield and a couple of differently tinted lenses. No fog, sun shade – sweet.

This isn’t really the season for heated gear but a pair of heated gloves is most welcome on a cold morning start or at the end of a long day when the sun has gone down. Keeping your hands warm on a ride can make all the difference between the miles tripping pleasurably by and hand cramps that harsh dad’s buzz completely.

Take a stroll through the accessories pages. You’ll find something there for even the most seasoned dad.

Hand Up

Sarita recently posted about the importance of riding gloves and I couldn’t agree more. The human hand is, per square inch, the most complicated and fragile mechanical part of the human body. It is also our most complex physio-dynamic instrument. I occasionally see folks riding with a helmet and a decent jacket and no gloves. Clearly they do not understand how fragile our hands are and they have given little thought to what their lives would be like if one or both of their hands were wrapped up in a cast for 2 months.

Scooter riders seem to be the worst. There are lots of scooters in my neck of the woods and altogether too many of them are dressed as though they are somehow invulnerable and immune to harm on the road.

Think about all of the stuff that you do every day with your hands and think, for just a moment (I don’t want to scare you) about what your first reaction is if you fall out of a chair. In most falling accidents your first reaction is to put your hands out to brace your impact. Often the first thing to make contact with the ground are your hands, palms down.

The human hand and wrist are fascinating structures. There are 27 bones in the hand. Add to that the maze of muscles and tendons and the hands become a somewhat miraculous structure. I think of it now as I bang away on the keyboard. Then there is the wrist.

On Emedicine they say this about the wrist:
“The wrist is the most complex joint in the body. It is formed by 8
carpal bones grouped in 2 rows with very restricted motion between
them. From radial to ulnar, the proximal row consists of the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, and pisiform bones. In the same direction, the distal row consists of the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate bones. ”

Any skateboarder or roller skater will tell you about the time/s they tried to avoid a full face plant by sticking out their hands. A decent pair of riding gloves for a motorcyclist or a scooter rider seems like the most reasonable of ideas and it is an idea you do not want to have while you are bare handed and in mid-air.

I currently have 3 pairs of motorcycle gloves. They are all different. The pair that I ride with the most are the Firstgear Navigator (gauntlet style) gloves that I picked up not all that long ago. I still like them, they are soft and they are broken in – they fit great. We have all manner of styles and types of gloves for you to choose from. My next pair will be heated gloves for winter riding.

If you do not ride with gloves please take a look at our offerings. We have so many to choose from I feel confident that you will find something to your liking.  If the gloves you currently ride with are wearing out please consider upgrading before you get too far into this riding season.

Gerde Applethwaite

To Pink or Not to Pink: An Unmanifesto

When I lived in So. California I would, upon a warm Sunday morning, see a bunch of folks gathered in the parking lot of a large local motorcycle dealership queuing to go off on a ride together. I think community is a grand idea. More community – less strife. I sadly have, somewhere deep inside my rusting lizard brain, a sort of judgmental anti-fashion fashion mechanism. I am learning to overcome it — really I am. Many of my favorite quotes in life come from either Yogi Berra, Dororthy Parker or Fran Lebowitz. One Lebowitz quote is especially trenchant for this post. She said: “Your right to wear a powder blue polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eyes.” [Maybe she said mint green – I can't recall.]

At this dealership there were a couple of couples in matching fringed leather jackets. Oh, I have no problem with that — really. I am generally not too enamored of the idea of couples dressing alike but I certainly have more valuable things upon which to focus my attention – do I not? Oh please, do I not? I couldn’t help but notice that my stomach was acting up when I saw not one but two women who were wearing fringed leather jackets only differentiated by the intensity of their pastel color schemes — one in pink and the other in a disturbingly intriguing robin’s egg blue.  Thankfully they were not together like some mannered Rock Store Hummel figurine bookends from out of the mind of a Jeff Koons. I digress.

Beige is the hardest working color in the universe. Beige not black, it was discovered a few years ago, is the predominant color of the universe. Orange/yellow is the color of our solar system as El Sol works tirelessly to illuminate and warm us. On our little orb and amongst human kind it is pink that never sleeps. Yup, pink. Pink is singularly declarative. Pink stands resolutely at the bar, eyes darting back and forth across the crowd to see who’s watching. Pink is endlessly judgmental in its need to control the impression. Pink works across class and income to monitor and maintain the borderland of gender. Pink.

The reason for this post is to expiate my soul on the one hand and on the other to reinforce the notion that women have the right to wear whatever they danged-heck-want-to when they ride. As long as that gear is designed with some sort of rated armor and out of a material that will not shred in the off chance that you do an aerial pas de deux with your fringed partner then I don’t really care.

Here’s the thing though: women will, many women will…some women will… sacrifice any modicum of common sense for the sake of annunciating and articulating their femininity. Don’t get me started about shoes and the cult of the shoe — that phenomenon goes well beyond your garden variety commodity fetishism. The need to assert one’s womanliness by compulsively wearing pink is a syndrome of a larger social malady and while I would like to lean forward into rant mode over my keyboard I will not or at least not too much. Should you have the time and the interest though I highly recommend a book by Barbara Ehrenreich called “Bright-sided” for among other things its insight into the way pink is used as a marketing tool in women’s health care.

Motorcycle riding has largely been a testosterone basted male bastion and there are too many women who feel the compulsive to need to state “Sure, I ride but I’m really a girl.” Motorcycle gear designers have come up with satchels full of pretty gear designed to calm that neuroses. Again, I say, if you like the pink then go ahead and wear it – do not let my personal aversion to the color and its implied cuteness dissuade you, you’re stronger than that. Go for the pink, you’re worth it. The point I want to make is that your gear should fit you properly and be designed for riding no matter what side of the gender corral from whence you have roped it in.

A friend of mine doesn’t like women’s riding jackets because the cut of the jacket gives her what she so eloquently describes as the uni-boob. I am not as well endowed as she but I am not too fond of the uni-boob look myself. I have preternaturally long arms and women’s riding gear never fits me right. I buy the men’s version of the jacket in a size smaller and I invariably have a better fit. There is also a wider selection in the men’s gear line. If you are riding up the PCH with a group at 60 miles an hour how important is it really that you show off your svelte hour glass figure? Maybe it is and in such case I want to make it absolutely clear that we are chockablock with jackets and pants and helmets that will fulfill your desires.  Please just make sure that no matter what you choose to cover your body when you ride that you opt for gear that is designed for use as motorcycle kit and that it has the proper safety armor.

This goes for you under clad scooter vixens too. You know who you are. Just because your wheels are smaller and you are closer to the ground doesn’t mean you do not need the protection from a get-off. I don’t care if your scooter is pink too. Please gear up.

Coming up in the very near future I will doing a shootout post between the hi-viz Firstgear  (men’s) Kilimanjaro jacket and the  hi-viz Scorpion (men’s) Commander 2 jacket. I have no idea which one will win but I like them both: they will both be subjected to the tyrannically rigorous dictates that are the hallmark of the Applethwaite family way but I have to say right off the top that, without laying my hands on them, the Scorpion jacket has the fashion points all over the Firstgear. Does that matter to me? Tune in.

A final Fran Lebowitz quote before I go.

“The conversational overachiever is someone whose grasp exceeds his reach. This is possible but not attractive.” On that note I think it best that I take my leave now.

Gerde Applethwaite

AXO Waterproof Boots

We think you’ll love our newest line- AXO motorcycle boots! Amazing quality and versatile application. Check out our full selection of boots for all the styles. Here is a highlight of some waterproof motorcycle boots to get you through the season.

The AXO Freedom Adventure Waterproof Boots are great for all terrain riding. You’ll want these boots with you on your next adventure. At $300.00, they are a great addition to your boot collection.

 

 

We also have the AXO Q GT Waterproof Boots – Black which are offered for $178.99. A more affordable option, these boots are great for all weather riding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With many more styles available for all types of riding, we’re sure we’ll have an AXO boot that will suit your needs. Check them out on our site today!

Motorcycle Helmets on Sale: Weekly Specials

If you’re into bargains, here’s a good place to check every week: Our Weekly Specials page has all the best motorcycle helmets on sale! We put our top inventory items up as they go on sale to make sure you have access to the best prices. These items are brand new in box but at reduced prices as they move way to make room for the newest lids on the block. You can find awesome motorcycle helmets and jackets at much lower prices if you check in from time to time. Sign up for our newsletter too and be notified and these items drop in price! Here’s a sample of the offerings:

Shoei Qwest Helmet – Goddess TC-6

MSRP: $492.99

Your Price: $358.99

HJC RPS-10 Helmet – Ben Spies Monster

MSRP: $549.99

Your Price: $414.27

River Road Race Leather Jacket – Black

MSRP: $199.95

Your Price: $135.99

 

Alpinestars Rain Gear Makes a Splash

It’s the perfect time to try out some new Motorcycle Rain Gear! It’s the time of year when the weather is slowly warming up but the rain has us dreaming of better days. We have a great new addition to our rain gear line up that might help!

Alpinestars rain gear gives you some new options to get out in the elements. The new Alpinestars Mud Jacket is an interesting addition. WIth clear, see through material. It is a great cover up for your regular riding gear.

The Quick Seal Out Rainsuit from Alpinestars is another option for dry riding! With elasticized cuffs and reflective details. It has all the features of great rain protection!

Don’t let winter’s last wet onslaught keep you off your bike! Stay dry when you try Alpinestars new rain gear!

 

 

 

 

 

Firstgear Navigator Gloves

HC BLOG First Gear Navigator Gloves

There is a scene in Steve Martin’s L.A.Story wherein his character, Harris K. Telemacher, a weather guy at an L.A. TV station, talks about last night’s temperature drop. He says in part “… and when the weather dropped down to 58 degrees last night how did you cope?…”  I live in California and the vast bulk of my riding these days is in-state. Which is to say that I haven’t had a chance to test my new gloves in any sort of rigorously cold weather so I have never been inordinately cold with my First Gear Navigator gloves.

I don’t have too many sets of riding gloves: well, in fact I have two pair. I have a pair of older black leather gloves that come right to the end of my wrist and I have another pair which are gauntlet style gloves that go up and around the jacket  cuff – the First Gear Navigator gloves.

There are myriad choices when it comes to riding gloves. The prices run wildly from a bit under fifty dollars to somewhere in the near four hundred dollar zone.  I opted this season for a pair in the just under one hundred dollar range  with the First Gear Navigator’s.  I do not regularly need a cold weather glove. For the cold weather First Gear makes a couple of nice gloves in their TPG range  called, not coincidentally, the “TPG Cold Weather” glove and also their aptly named “Tundra.” Then there is the toasty category of heated gloves which I have yet to experience but about which many on the interwebz have sung their praises. ‘Mmmm, heated gloves’ (insert your best Homer Simpson donut voice here.) My old wrist high gloves were just not cutting it anymore. They let rain and wind in under the cuff of the jacket and in a get-off they have the potential to leave a part of your forearm exposed to the menace of road pizza upon the eventual and dreaded landing.

The First Gear Navigator gloves, the gauntlet style gloves, are goat skin for the most part and they are soft and pliable. The fit seems to run just a bit small but after you break them in, wrapped around your hand grips for a few hundred miles, they fit like they were made for you.

As mentioned in a previous post I like the quality of construction of the First Gear equipment. These gloves are well stitched and have some nifty features bolted up to them. There is a small strip of rubber sewn in on one glove that acts as a sort of windshield wiper. The times when I have found that little device most useful were on those rainy days on the freeway. I am reticent to wipe the rain off of my helmet because it just smears everything and makes the vision a bit worse but with the little windshield wiper doodad on the First Gear Navigator gloves I can, especially when the freeway throws up oil and crud into the mix, wipe a clean spot onto the face shield and keep riding.

These gloves do not have the big carbon or plastic knuckle protectors and that makes them easy to store into the backside kangaroo pocket in my jacket – no more lost gloves. They Have a siliconized grip pad in the palm that makes holding onto to the hand grips that much easier. The First Gear Navigators are also flexible enough to allow me to readily work the vent latches on my helmet as well.

All in all I am content with the First Gear Navigator gloves but if I did much riding in really cold weather I would look into either their Cold Weather glove or the Tundra. I am quite comfortable in my  Cali. quasi-Mediterranean climate and I suspect I won’t be glove shopping again for a while but then again…heated gloves, mmmmmm.

*****

Gerde Applethwaite

Getting Ready to Ride in the Rain

Here at Helmet City we are already thinking about the upcoming rainy season. The riding weather is superb right now but we are always getting new gear in and that makes us take another look at the options. I have a history of ignoring the ATGATT dictum and as a consequence I have a small compendium of soaked-and-cold-to-the-bone stories to tell around the campfire.

One of the more miserable events was the time i was riding through France (North to South) during the Bol D’Or Weekend. It was late summer and I thought I would be fine with just a leather jacket, boots and jeans: oh, I was so wrong.  Not long into the journey the sky grayed up and the temp. started to drop. I could see it coming and about the time that you could smell the rain in the air a mist started to fog up my face shield. I figured the road would start to get slick as the water brought up the oil on the expressway so I slowed down.

I looked for a place to pull over in order to snug up my jacket but figured it could wait until I got gas. By the time I pulled into the massive super station I was drenched. There were bikes everywhere as it was one of France’s biggest Moto weekends.  I looked around at the assembled crowd clustered around the filling pumps and I was the only fool in a leather jacket and jeans. Rain Water sloshed in my boots and now that I had something else to focus upon other than keeping the bike upright I started to shake from the cold. I still had many more wet miserable miles to go before I made it to my campsite.

Everyone else at the petrol emporium was either wearing some sort of multi-season gear and just going on about their business or they were tearing into their bags for rain-specific outer coverings. I ached with envy and swore I would never do another ride without thinking through the whole rainy weather scenario.

I am slightly embarrassed, after laying out the story above, to say that I have yet to get it sussed. I do have the boot thing sorted with my new Sidi On-Road boots. Nice. Here’s what I figure: I can either get a nice multi-season jacket and wear it along with the reasonably water resistant textile overpants I am fond of riding in these days or I can go for the small folded-up  rain suit rig that scrunches down under the seat or into a panier or tank bag. They both have their advantages. There are also the full suit options.  I had one once back in the mid-eighties and it was extraordinarily comfy in all but the hottest weather.

This season I am trying to plan ahead and find myself touring through our wet weather options. We have a section of the website dedicated to a collection of our rain gear offerings. If I shift some tools around under the seat I think I may have room for a small scrunchable rain suit. So, the master plan at the moment is to get something that lives under the seat all the time and then look more closely at my rain jacket/pant or rain suit options. This setup will have me covered in all possible scenarios and avoids the potential for future sad sack gas station shivering.

I currently have a couple of Tourmaster jackets and I am happy with their fit, workmanship and price.  So, I think my choice for rainsuit (oversuit) type rain gear is going to be either their full suit, the Elite II or their Sentinel Jacket and pants set. Both of these Tourmaster rain suit options are designed to be worn over your riding jackets and pants. None of the Toumaster rain gear clothing comes in hi-viz but amongst their many color offerings there is a bright yellow. Again, I wonder why these gear manufacturers are not putting out more hi-viz riding wear.

The other possibility I am considering is a jacket and pants combo that is designed as rain gear but is not an over-suit.  Although it is a bit costy I really like the looks of the Icon Patrol in their Hi-viz, mil. Spec. yellow. The Icon Patrol duo is loaded with features not the least of which are their magnetic storm flap closures, full CE armor and even a water bladder option.

On trips when I know I am going to be heading out into inclement weather the  hi-viz Icon Patrol would seem to be the way to go for me. The thought that they put into this set up really shows and if I am riding in nasty weather I want to be seen on the road. Then again there will be plenty of times down the road when I get caught out in the rain as I did in France. The Toumaster Sentinel or elite setups would be easy to pack and to don when the sprinkles start.  I will let you know what I decide and I’ll do a wetness test at the advent of this year’s rainy season.

Gerde Applethwaite.

Sidi Vortice Hi-Viz Yellow/Black Boot Hits the US

After Sidi released a photo of Andrea Dovizioso holding the Sidi Vortice hi-viz yellow/black boots they received so much positive feedback that they decided to release them in the US.  There is no doubt that hi-viz motorcycle gear is growing in popularity, so it only makes sense to make the Sidi Vortice boots in the hi-viz yellow/black color combination available to everyone.

Who’s Andrea Dovizioso? Let me give you a brief history of his career.  Dovizioso debuted in the 125 class race in 2001, then went on to seize the 125cc World Championship Title in 2004. Ever since Dovizioso has proved himself as a top racer. After a long career with Honda he is now teaming up with Yamaha in hopes of a new adventure, all while wearing Sidi boots.

Here is what Andrea Dovizioso had to say about the new Sidi Vortice boots, “I know about the quality and technical value of Sidi boots, and now I’m happy to get the chance to wear them in competition. My first impression is really good, because right away Vortice comes off as a high performance boot that nonetheless doesn’t sacrifice solutions studied to insure safety to the rider’s feet. The first tests of the season in Sepang will be important to fine tune the bike, but also to put some touches on my new Vortice boots. Boots are fundamental to a rider because they are a unifying fulcrum between man and motorcycle.”

Sidi Vortice Boots give riders the best protection money can buy and offers the patented Tecno VR adjustable calf system that can only be found in one other boot, the Sidi Vertigo.  An adjustable Tecno Knob allows riders to evenly close and wrap the internal mono-filament line around the calf for a perfect fit.  The shifter pad ensures that the plastic qualities will not change in high/low temperatures and provides a consistent feel due to the molded DuPont Techno-polymers.

Sidi Vortice Boots - Hi-Viz Black/Yellow

Although the Vortice hi-viz yellow/black boots will not be available in the perforated air model, they do feature a closeable vent system on the toe and vents on the side of the foot.  If you prefer the perforated air model then check out the Vortice Air boots available in black and white.

We believe the Sidi Vortice in hi-viz yellow/black will be the new ultimate sport-on road boots and will go fast.  Make sure to check out the Vortice boots before they are gone and order yours today!

Fieldsheer Gear and Apparel

Fieldsheer gear and apparel now avaiable at Helmet City. We are now happy to introduce their entire line of Apparel including Jackets, Pants, Gloves, Vests, Raingear and Women’s Apparel. Fieldsheer apparel is available in Leather, Textile and Water Proof/Resitant material. With their wide selection of apparel we’re sure you’ll find something the fits your style and provides protection during all your riding adventures.

Fieldsheer Razor 2.0 Jacket - Black/Silver/Black

Fieldsheer Razor 2.0 Jacket - Black/Silver/Black

The Fieldsheer Razor 2.0 Jacket is available in Black, Red and Blue. The Razor 2.0 jacket displays Fieldsheers trademark logo and includes the following features:

  • Premium quality 1.2-1.4mm cowhide leather
  • YKK front zipper closure
  • CE approved armor in shoulders and elbows with an SP Memory
  • Foam back protector
  • Rear armor pocket accommodates optional CE back armor
  • Zippered cuff closures
  • Phoslite reflective piping for increased nighttime visibility
  • Ram Air front shoulder intake and back vents for optimum airflow
  • Stretch Cordura in underarm,sleeves, sides and back provide additional comfort
  • Elasticized leather stretch panels along sides for added mobility
  • Snap adjustable sleeve volume control
  • Zip-out full sleeve quilted liner with 100g polyfill insulation
  • Mandarin collar with neoprene padding
  • Two hand warmer pockets, one zippered map pocket, two waterproof cargo lining pockets
  • plus phone and cargo pockets on quilted liner
  • Adjustable waist belts
  • 8″ and 360 degree zipper connections

Check out our great selection of Fieldsheer jackets available in Men’s and Women’s styles. Fieldsheer also has an extensive line of matching apparel - get the entire look in one stop!

Fieldsheer Sport 2.0 Pants - Flat Black

Fieldsheer Sport 2.0 Pants - Flat Black

Fieldsheer Sport 2.0 Pants are available in Perforated and Non-perforated materials. Fieldsheer pants are the perfect match to any Fieldsheer jacket.

Fieldsheer Sport 2.0 Pants include the following features:

  • Premium quality 1.2-1.4mm cowhide leather.
  • Available in perforated or Non-perforated styles.
  • CE approved armor in knees with SP Memory Foam hip pads.
  • Phoslite reflective piping for increased nighttime visibility.
  • 1000D Carboflex stretch panels behind knees and calves.
  • Elasticized leather stretch panels at knees and back waist for added mobility.
  • Hypo-allergenic mesh lining.
  • Zippered hand pockets.
  • 8″ and 360 zipper connections.

Check out the Fieldsheer Pants section or go straight to the whole selection of Fieldsheer apparel.

Fieldsheer also makes a great selection of Women’s apparel.

Women's Fieldsheer Breeze 3.0 Jacket - Black/Pink/White

Women's Fieldsheer Breeze 3.0 Jacket

The Fieldsheer Breeze 3.0 Jacket is custom made for women available in Black, Pink and Silver. The Fieldsheer Breeze 3.0 Jacket includes the following features:

  • Ultra-Breathable Polytitanium Mesh Outer Shell
  • Removable Comfort Armor Equipped In The Shoulders, Elbows And Comfort Pad In Back
  • Anatomically Fitted For The Riding Position
  • 600 Denier Carbolex And SP Memory Foam In High Impact Areas For Addition Protection
  • Unique 3-Step Adjustable Upper And Lower Sleeve Volume Control To Secure Armor In Place
  • Reflective Phoslite For High Visibility
  • Velcro Adjustable Waist Strap
  • Gusseted Adjustable Velcro Wrist Cuff
  • Pockets Included: 2 Zipped Front Hand Warmer, 1 Inside Velcro, 1 Cell phone
  • 8″ Zipper For Connection To FS Pants Plus Universal Belt Snap
  • Rain Blocker Water Resistant Zip Out Liner Included

Fieldsheer has a wide selection of apparel to fit every motorcyclists needs. Check out Fieldsheer Pants, Jackets, Women’s Apparel, Gloves, Raingear and Vests now available at Helmet City!