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.
I live in California and we have, for the most part, had a pretty benign winter. The riding season is about eleven months and three weeks long here. In other parts of the country they are still playing hide and seek with the cold and the wetness while the motorcycles remain under wraps. Spring has yet to arrive for them but when it does they will be going through, once again, what I am going through with this rain of pollen.
My sister isn’t bugged by allergies. I most certainly am, its genetic roulette. When riding a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle during springtime you are in essence turbo-injecting pollen into your sinuses. There are two conventional ways to lessen the effects of pollen Rhinitus. One is to wear a filter mask over your mouth and nose while the other is the resort to chemistry.
There is guy in my neighborhood who rides a black Sportster; he dons a beanie helmet and a skull face mask on his head. Whenever I catch him out of the corner of my eye I am always slightly startled. Yeah, I know, that’s the idea. If you wear an open face helmet or a beanie helmet you can wear a face mask that will act as a filter to keep the pollen from your mouth and nose. A Freddie Kruger All Hallow’s Eve party mask is not gonna do it – you need a filter.
There is a company that makes a mask for motorcyclists which has a replaceable charcoal filter inside. Clever. They come in all flavors from a shade of delicate pink to a Halloweenesque skull mask. I have forgotten where this company is but if you know about them please post a link. When I ride a bicycle during that period when the gods of hay fever are in high dudgeon I wear a standard 3M (or substitute) H95 dust mask. It works pretty well but doesn’t help the itchy eyes much – more about that in a minute. I cannot wear a mask with my full face helmet because the fit is pretty tight so I resort to chemicals when on the moto.
If you don’t want to go the face mask route you can try the chemical regimen. There are anti-histamines and anti-allergens out there that do not make you drowsy. Before you go riding you should absolutely know how any of these products will affect you. Needless to say do not take anything that will make you drowsy or in any way disoriented. I leave it to you to do the research on this because there is a lot of good information out there. Here is an excellent start: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/living-with-allergies-11/rhinitis
My personal tea is a generic version of Flonase for the sinuses and Patanol eyedrops for the itchy eyes. It works reasonably well for me. YMMV. Once again, if you know who makes those masks with the filters let me know. I want to try one out on the bicycle rides – and soon.
With so many exciting motorcycle helmets hitting the market, and so much new gear, we weren’t’ sure where to start! So we will fill you in one post at a time to bring you up to speed on all the amazing new stuff from Arai helmets, Scorpion, Icon, HJC and more!
First things first. Arai helmets released a new model: The Arai Defiant. This is big news!
Designed for urban riders who want a more aggressive style, the Arai Defiant has been called the “ultimate street helmet” by Arai. It has an Intermediate Oval shell shape and traditional Arai quality. However, the Defiant also has a unique feature – a front air dam to minimize buffeting and wind noise.
Another great feature is the hydrophobic neck roll and cheek pad bottoms. They will not absorb water, even in a full on down pour. The Dry-Max material will stay just that- dry to the max! It will not soak up water and add weight to the helmet. Very cool.
With 5 solid colors and 6 graphics to choose from, you can see that style was considered in the creation of the helmet.But it wasn’t the priority. The Arai Defiant is an Arai through and through. And with a price point close to the Signet-Q, you can believe it!
The Defiant will range from $619.95-$759-95. Get ready for high functioning coolness!
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:
“Our Santa Cruz design/engineering team spent countless hours studying the market and potential Bluetooth partners before developing this new design that provides an unmatched riding experience in both terms of both sound and comfort” said Chris Sackett, Business Unit Director for Bell Powersports.
“Unlike many communication systems, there is no cutting, drilling or tearing apart of your helmet, and riders who already have the Sena SMH10 can simply transfer it to the Mag-9 Sena.”
The Mag 9 Sena is an open face design and offers a convenient drop-down sunshield. The liner is removable and washable and the cheek pads are contour style for an excellent fit.
This gorgeous lid is offered in several classic colors as well as a “rally” graphic.
For touring riders, this helmet will reinvent your ride with it convenience and awesome Bluetooth capabilities. With superior comfort, great volume and sound quality, the Mag-9 Sena helmet offers it all!
Shoei has once again “wowed” us with their new Shoei GT-Air helmet. The Shoei GT-Air helmet includes several features that enable riders to adapt to ever-changing conditions.
A built in sun shield is distortion-free and blocks 99% of UV rays. The Shoei GT-Air’s pinlock system offers the most effective anti-fog protection. Additionally, the CNS-1 shield has a wind and waterproof seal.
The Shoei GT-Air helmet improves cool-air intake and eliminates hot-air with its ventilation system. Three upper vents improve air intake while exhaust outlet vents reduce pressure suction.
Shoei will also be releasing another impressive model in their 2013 helmet line-up, the Shoei J-Cruise. Many have mentioned this is not your average open face motorcycle helmet and we agree! Shoei packed the J-Cruise helmet with several innovative features that keep riders safe and increase overall rider comfort. The Shoei J-Cruise helmet reduces road noise and wind turbulence with an advanced shell, shield aerodynamics, as well as liner components.
The J-Cruise helmet includes an internal sun shield for instant relief from bright sunlight. Like the internal sun shield, the CJ-2 shield protects against 99% of UV rays. A distortion-free CJ-2 shield provides a wider and taller field of vision.
Solve your sweaty hair problem with the Shoei J-Cruise motorcycle helmet. The J-Cruise’s EPS liner allows cool air to flow through tunnels created in the material for increased ventilation performance. Shoei’s exclusive Max-Dry liner material prevents heat buildup around the head by absorbing sweat and dissipating moisture quickly.
Shoei strikes the balance between airflow and silence with their new GT-Air and J-Cruise Helmets.
The Icon Airmada helmet is available in a wide array of different graphics and solids and we think it is about time Icon released a new model jam-packed with upgrades.
We all know helmet fit is important and the Airmada has so many options that give riders a better, more personalized fit. Icon gave the Airmada a new low profile shell that comes in four separate sizes made out of polycarbonate. The dual density EPS liner is an oval shape and comes in five additional sizes. Getting plenty of ventilation in this helmet will not be a problem. The SuperVent system has been improved with exhaust ports across the helmet.
To sum up this awesome new helmet: the Icon Airmada is bringing rider comfort to a whole new level!
The Arai Signet-Q was designed for the long oval head shape. You will find that the new Arai helmets have the SAI face shield which adds a wider eyeport to the tune of 5 millimeters per side of peripheral vision. Arai has grappled with the problem of fogged up face shields and has designed, in conjunction with the Dutch Pinlock firm, the Arai-Pinlock fog-free face shield which is standard on the Signet-Q.
The Arai Signet-Q is designed for an upright or 3/4 upright riding position and the fully adjustable chimney and rear vents work perfectly in that position. The Signet-Q helmet is loaded with all sorts of clever vents not the least of which is the brow vent system that is fully adjustable and is designed to channel air onto the temporal arteries for efficient cooling. Up in the front of the Signet-Q you will find Arai’s universally thoughtful touches: there is the three position chin vent and the retractable chin spoiler both of which can be easily manipulated with a gloved hand.
Lastly, the Arai Signet-Q is extraordinarily quiet and that comes down to the removable, washable, moisture wicking cheek pads. Again you see the countless hours of designing that have gone into a Signet-Q cheek pad set that is adjustable to fit your face type and will fit your head snugly yet comfortably enough to keep the helmet in place and substantially reduce wind whistling.
The new AGV GP-Tech Rossi Misano limited edition helmet features graphics that represent Valentino’s “WTF” attitude after his difficult 2011 season. The comic style graphics on this AGV helmet feature lightning bolts, skulls, accidents and two dogs on the back (can you guess what they are saying?).
The AGV Rossi helmet combines lightness, ventilation and comfort with an innovative aerodynamic design. Features include a super lightweight Carbon-Kevlar outer shell, removable and washable interior padding, front air inlets and rear extractors that provide efficient air-flow. Check out what else the new AGV GP-Tech Rossi helmet includes here.
Valentino Rossi has made it a tradition to wear a crazy graphic helmet at his home race in Misano, Italy. Without a doubt, this is a top of the line AGV helmet designed and developed with the support of Rossi himself. Get your hands on this limited edition Valentino Rossi helmet before it races off into the hands of someone else!
Both Nolan and Shoei are known for making premium helmets and now they are releasing their version of what a modular/flip-up helmet should be. With the upcoming release of the HJC RP-Max this spring, it should be a great year for modular helmets. See our comparison of the Nolan N-104 and Shoei Neotec below!
Shoei has already released their Neotec modular helmet and they are going fast! The Neotec is available in 7 solid colors including: black, matte black, anthracite, white, light silver, wine and brilliant yellow. The Nolan N-104 is available in solids too but is also offered in 17 stunning colors!
Both helmets are chock full of amazing features but the choice is made easier by the difference in fit. According to webBikeWorld.com, “…the Neotec [has an] internal shape and fit (“neutral” to “slightly round”), while the N-104 is neutral to “slightly narrow”. Riders who have already established brand loyalty by fit should have an easy time choosing.
SHOEI NEOTEC FEATURES:
Flip-up chin bar & face shield
Stainless steel components within pivot locking system
3 Shell sizes
Internal sun shield (QSV-1)
New CNS-1 shield (wider and taller than the previous CX-1V shield)
Pinlock anti-fog shield & lens system included
Fully removable 3D interior liner
Interchangeable cheekpads to customize comfort & fit
Nolan helmets continue to improve with every model released. This March the new N-104 modular helmet will be released in solids and graphics. That’s right, the N-104 will be available in graphics which gives riders more options. Just to give you an idea of how amazing Nolan helmets are, all manufacturing and painting is done in house at their facility in Italy. The Nolan N-104 has also received praise for its enlarged eye port which gives the wearer an increased field of vision.
NOLAN N-104 FEATURES:
Injected polycarbonate GE Lexan shell
2 shell engineering allows Nolan to offer sizes from 2XS to 3XL
Dimensionally correct sizing allows ample cubic volume in chin/nose area
Ultra-wide eye port opening is the largest on any Nolan helmet for superior vision
So unique that faceshields are sized to fit the 2 shell sizes
Centromatic chin guard opening mechanism
Shield is changed by a simple push button mechanism
Pinlock shield included with each helmet
New VPS System
VPS lens is scratch and fog resistant
New AIRBOOSTER ventilation system
Removable, washable interior is anti-fungal and anti-microbial