Turtley Awesome Rossi

Before Marc Marquez, there was Valentino Rossi. Dubbed the “The Doctor,” Rossi is a professional motorcycle racer known for his multiple MotoGP World Championships. An Italian native, Rossi’s love for racing started a young age with kart racing and continued to grow as he did.

In honor of Rossi’s legacy, AVG has dedicated the Corsa Turtle Rossi Replica Helmet. The helmet is a colorful attraction featuring a turtle with big bright blue eyes. Rossi considers the animal to be very significant as he’s said the turtle was a mascot from his youth. It all started when his mother got him a stuffed turtle toy that he would then attach to his helmet while racing. Despite their size and speeds, turtles have come out on top though the popular saying “slow and steady wins the race.” Much like our nine time Grand Prix World Champ – Valentino Rossi.

Wherever your head’s at, we’ve got it covered.

-Helmet City

Helmet Designs for Tomorrow – Today

By Gerde Applethwaite

Bell recently announced that they are designing a helmet with an EPS liner that can be custom shaped to your individual head. I do not know whether or not this will be more comfortable on a long ride but intuitively I would think so. It also seems that in the event of a crash it would distribute and cushion the impact across your head better than a traditional unit. This got me to thinking about the future of helmet design and what we might have in store.

I like the idea of a custom molded helmet liner but more than that I would like to have an off the shelf helmet with a D3O or Sastech liner. The molecular armor would be more effective than the ubiquitous EPS foam in helping insulate your head bone against the shock of an impact, albeit a bit more expensive. D3O makes a helmet liner but I have never seen one in a helmet.

Reebok is making a small electronic device called the Checklight that installs into football helmets. It determines the shock force of an impact and reads it out. That’s clever. The notion of having some more objective way to evaluate the extent of an impact after your crash might be useful to the folks in the ER and it also might give you pause to think before you jumped back on your bike after what you thought was a small get-off.

Fighter jet style heads-up displays are already being designed for motorcycle helmet use. They are an interesting idea but they are not for me. I don’t want anything in my visual plain that will in any way distract me from scanning the road although I would consider one that displayed a visual warning if, say, the oil pressure dropped suddenly or the water temperature rose suddenly on my bike.

Photochromic face shields are available on some new Bell and Shoei helmets and I intend to test them out sometime this Summer. I like the idea of a shield that will change its shade in response to the light but I don’t believe that the current photochromic shields are polarized. I would like to see the polarized shields become more available across product lines.

The state of helmet communications systems improves with every season. Not that long ago they were scratchy and sounded like a bad walkie talkie but today the sound is markedly better and you can also hook up your phone and music devices. Things will rapidly change and become more even more innovative with these systems – and quickly at that.

Helmet shell plastics technology only gets better with every passing season.  Carbon fiber and Kevlar are still only available in the more expensive offerings but as the manufacturing techniques develop further we will see carbon and Kevlar migrating into lower priced helmets. New types of helmet shell materials are right around the corner and these new materials make my first helmet seem like a real antique bucket.

If you have an older helmet I recommend that you take a look at some of the newer helmet designs – whether it be comm. systems, drop down inner shields or pinlock setups the future is now… or at least soon.

Gerde Applethwaite

New Gear Learning Curve

By Gerde Applethwaite

honda_classic2_CB125A neighbor on my block just bought a bike. Its his first bike and he chose well. The vintage Honda 125 will be perfect to allow him to build riding skills without worrying about the weight of a full-sized machine.  He goes to college and his rides will be a combination of commutes to school, trips to the store, to see friends and also rides in the hills. Rides to the gas station will be few and far between which is smart considering his student budget.

Here in California you have to wear a helmet so he popped for a flat black open face unit because he likes the retro look of the open face. He is talking about cafeing out the bike and the helmet will be part of the look. At some point down the road he wants to swap in a bolt-on cafe racer seat kit. Its going to cost him a bit over $200.

He rides in a denim jacket, jeans and street shoes. I have forgotten what he is using for gloves but if I recall when I last saw him ride off he wasn’t wearing any.  He was stoked about getting some retro goggles to help complete the whole cafe look.

He is a new rider and he is young. He doesn’t want to think about riding gear, he wants to think about the paint scheme for his cafe racer seat.  He is going to have to make a choice. Does he go for the cafe seat kit or does he delay that and go for a jacket and some riding boots? You know where I stand. One crash and he could be out not only the bike but the balance of a semester. The gear makes all the difference.

We have jackets, gloves and boots that will not break the bank and they will go a long way toward helping to keep you out of a cast. As you get more experience (and a bit more cash) you will want to upgrade your gear — get some armored riding pants that zip to your jacket or step up to a different jacket with, say, molecular armor. If you are a new rider you owe it yourself when you are out zipping around to talk to the other riders that you meet about the gear they ride with and why they chose it.

Gerde Applethwaite

Shark Frenzy

Shark truly goes above and beyond in putting their riders first. This continues to be shown through their helmets and more recently in the two newest additions to the Shark Evoline 3 series: Moov’Up and Arona.The new helmets feature a quick chin bar release system, noise and sound reduction, improved ventilation and a easily removable and washable liner. The visor is also equipped with anti-scratch and anti-fog treatment. However, one of the most unique features that these helmets have to offer is the planned SHARKTOOTH location which gives you the option of installing the SHARKTOOTH technology. SHARKTOOTH is Shark’s very own Motorbike Wireless Entertainment System which comes with an array of awesomeness like a Bluetooth hands free kit for your cell phone, a bike to bike intercom system with other SHARKTOOTH riders, audio information from your bike’s Bluetooth GPS navigator and stereo Bluetooth A2DP music streaming. Lastly, the Moov’Up and Arona come in a variety of colors suitable for every rider.

SHARK EVOLINE 3 MOOV’UP

White/Black/Red

White/Black

Matte Black

Black/Orange

SHARK EVOLINE 3 ARONA

Red/Black

Matte Green/Black

Orange/Black

Silver/Black

Hi-Viz Yellow/Black

 

Wherever your head’s at, we’ve got it covered.

-Helmet City

Marc Marquez Madness

2014 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez receives Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award

Marc Marquez made history on March 23, 2014 when he beat nine-time world champion racing veteran Valentino Rossi at the MotoGP in Qatar. At twenty-one years old, Marquez is the youngest-ever champion to secure such a title. It doesn’t stop here though, at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Award ceremony in Malaysia, Marquez was also awarded the distinguished Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award. Marquez continues to make headlines in motorcycle road racing and our hearts.

Take a look at these SHOEI helmets made in his honor.

Shoei X-12 Motegi Marquez

Shoei RF-1200 Marquez

Shoei X-12 Montmelo Marquez

Shoei X-12 Helmet – Marquez 2

 

Wherever your head’s at, we’ve got it covered.

-Helmet City

Icon believe it!

We are thrilled to unveil the latest that Icon has to offer – the Icon Airmada! Now better than ever with the following features:

  • twin channel supervents and oversized intake and exhaust ports so cool air flows in and warm air flows out
  • injection molded polycarbonate shell for strength and durability
  • Fog-Free Icon Optics shield with Prolock shield locking system
  • removable and washable Hydra-Dry lining to keep you dry and cool
  • comes with a Dark Smoke Shield

These helmets come in a variety of graphics to please your wild side. Take a look below and good luck picking one.

 

Icon Airmada Spaztyk

The Spaztyk is available in five colors: red, blue, gold, purple, and green.

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Icon Airmada Spaztyk Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icon Airmada Chantilly

The Chantilly comes in black rubatone and white gloss.

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Icon Airmada White Gloss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Icon Airmada Black Rubatone

 

Icon Airmada Hard Luck

The Hard Luck is in black rubatone and red gloss.

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Icon Airmada Hard Luck Red Gloss

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Icon Airmada Hard Luck Black Rubatone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icon Airmada Lucky Time

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Icon Airmada Lucky Time Black Rubatone

 

Icon Airmada Ravenous

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Icon Airmada Ravenous Black

 

Icon Airmada Bioskull

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Icon Airmada BioSkull Chrome

 

Wherever your head’s at, we’ve got it covered.

-Helmet City

Get-Offs In Slo-Mo

By Gerde Applethwaite

A guy falling off his motorcycleI was watching the Olympics a while back and the crashes of the downhill skiers caught my eye.  The slo-mo replays of somebody biffing it on a downhill run have some resonance with a motorcycle get-off. You got to see the way in which the body automatically, in the absurdly brief time available, attempts to set up for the fall.  Arms and legs splay akimbo but there is often just enough time to put out your hands or feet in a defensive posture.

The yootoobz be full of slo-mo viddys of motorcycle get-offs. They run the gamut from CCTV of Chinese scooter accidents on busy streets to wobbly Isle of Man TT high-sides or the fixed camera setups of weekend riders who go wide out of a turn on Mulholland. There is a similarity between many of the bike get-offs and the downhill skiing fly-offs. Basically, in both you have yer low-sides and yer high-sides. The low-side skiers (if they maintain consciousness and are fortunate enough to remain unbroken) are attempting to push against the slope in a braking maneuver. The high-side skiers, when slowed down enough, often have the look of an old slapstick cartoon where the poor boffo is swimming in air.  Also the high-siders will put an arm down to broach the distance between themselves and impending doom. Its an automatic reaction – skiers do it, skateboarders do it, bicyclists and motorcyclists too. If you watch professional football you will all too often see a receiver on the edge of the field catch a pass and then step one foot out of bounds to maintain balance. The pass is ruled ‘not a reception’ because you need 2 feet inbound at the time of the catch. The better players have trained themselves to drag that second foot keeping 2 feet inbound and just taking the fall. It is counter intuitive to just take the fall. The football players earn 6, 7 and 8 figure salaries and train for this sort of stuff constantly but on the day they will still, instinctively, put that foot out to brake the fall or prevent it.

I recently wrote a post about road rash and one of the pieces of information I decided not to include in that post (not because I deemed it uninteresting but in a rare attempt at keeping the post brief) was Dr. Flash Gordon’s* information about the ways in which infection can cause serious permanent damage to your body.  If you have a full thickness road rash on your hand or you have torn up the area around a joint be very careful; infections consequent to this can cause permanent damage to your hand.  So there you are in mid-air in the midst of your soon-to-be expensive high side as you and your CBR part company and you reflexively (in the micro-seconds afforded to you) stick one or both of your ungloved hands out toward the approaching pavement. You snap a wrist or two, tear open the skin and then pivot onto your t-shirt covered shoulder; some sliding …. and you stop – let’s say partially under a parked car. Just for the purposes of full disclosure I should say that something similar happened to me. The details are a bit different: it was a parked semi-tractor trailer, it was raining, and I was all ATGATT’d out but the sense is the same – one second you are riding blissfully along and then somehow you are the star of your own brief, slo-mo, get-off cartoon.

In a low-side you will quite often not have time to pull your leg from between the side of the bike and the pavement. This is an ugly sandwich. Its the luck of the draw whether or not you break your ankle and mangle toes. It really depends upon where your leg just happens to be, the shape of the bike, the terrain of the road bed and, not least, your foot wear. The skiers often have time and free room to do that kicking, braking, steering motion but even if you could it will be of little avail to you with one leg trapped under your bike. Maybe in your low-side the bike slides out ahead of you or off to the side – that could be lucky. You see it on the race track frequently enough – Rossi slides on his back at 80 MPH and lives to sign autographs later that day. I mean it could be lucky if your chosen path did not lead toward an impact with something that will mangle you. Good luck. I find it somewhat comical when I see a guy on a sport bike wearing shorts and a t-shirt but he has frame sliders installed on his bike. He is aware that a crash might happen and he has taken the time to install something that will help minimize the damage to his costy fiberglass but he has thought not one wit about what will happen to his body in the same scenario. DOH.

Women, you’re not out of this either. You think your jeggings and cute boots will protect you in a crash? It is to laugh. The pressure on women to look good while doing anything and while being anywhere is crazy-making. It discombobulates any reasoned approach to the purchase of riding gear. When I commuted to work by motorcycle I wore an old Air Force flight suit, helmet, gloves and boots. I kept a pair of shoes at work. My commute was fully suited out in protective gear but underneath I wore my work clothes. A Joe Rocket Survivor Suit is my current kit and it does the same duty. I really didn’t care all that much how I looked on the bike although I like the look of the Joe Rocket.  I wasn’t out there to look gooey nectar on my commute. These days I am astonished at the number of women who wear clothing that will do them less than no good when they are riding. She wears the helmet and a pair of leather garden gloves and no other protective gear. Believe me they will cut those pricey jeggings off of you in a heartbeat in the ER.

I used to like one particular Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach. The first time I showed up there to meet friends I was confronted just inside the front door by the maitre d’ who politely explained to me that there was a dress code and that my flight suit was not appropriate. I laughed and told him that I expected to check it and then started to doff the suit. Underneath I was wearing clothing acceptable to management and everybody was happy.  It is possible to plan an evening out on the town and still wear riding gear that will help keep you safe – they are not mutually exclusive. The maitre d’ got to know me and would make a comic flourish out of welcoming me when I came in. It was fun for us both.  Yes, my boots were a bit out of the norm but it became my look. Trust me, you can wear your motorcycle boots to the opera and as long as everything you are wearing is black you will get away with it just fine (note: boots with lotsa buckles can make a sound that is annoying to those sitting next to you.)

Take a look at the online videos of riders going down and make some reasoned decisions about how you want to look when you are the one staring up at the sky after a crash. Do you want to be she who is wearing very little riding gear and has to be carted off to the ER or do you want to extend the chances that you will not be carted anywhere and wear the ATGATT? There are ways to wear the gear that won’t inhibit your social life or your look.

*Note: Dr. Flash Gordon’s book Blood, Sweat and 2nd Gear: More Medicine for Motorcyclists is available from White Horse Press.

 

Gerde Applethwaite

Arai? All right!

We hope you are all as excited as we are for the new Arai helmet arrivals! These helmets are teeming with cool features, different designs and more personality than your cat! So let’s cut to the chase and get right to it.

Introducing the first in line is the Arai Signet Q Zero series. A notable difference is the Long Oval Shell Shape, which is very long front-to-back and very narrow side-to-side. The interior head liner has 5mm peel-away pads on both sides for additional forehead room. The Signet Q Zero series is available in silver and red. For the more bold who can’t be tied down to one color, we also have the Signet Q Bomb.

Arai Signet Q Bomb

Next up is Arai’s Defiant Chronus and Defiant Chopper helmets. The Defiant Chronus boasts FCS, Multi-Density one-piece EPS Liner, Dry-Cool liner material, micro fitting interior padding and a pull down spoiler. Created to be the street helmet, it offers comfort, stability and ventilation. The Defiant Chronus comes in red, green, yellow and black while the Defiant Chopper is in black/red.

Arai Defiant Chronus in Black

Arai Defiant Chopper in Black/Red

Arai brings two new designs into the Corsair V family to acknowledge and celebrate the past and present motorcycle racers Tetsuya Harada and Jonathan Rea. Harada, a former racer, won the 1993 FIM 250cc World Championship and inspired the Arai Corsair V Harada Tour. Rea was a runner-up in the 2007 British Superbike Championship and 2008 Supersport World Champion. He currently competes in the Superbike World Championship and has helped spur the Arai Corsair V Rea 3 helmet.

Arai Corsair V REA 3

Want recommendations? Need help in finding a helmet? Not sure what to look for in your next helmet?  Then check out our friends Best Motorcycle Helmet for more information!

Scorpion Leather Jackets – Serious Riders Only

Helmet City is pleased to announce its latest additions in apparel from Scorpion! We now have even more to offer both our male and female riders in leather jackets. (Sorry, you’re on your own in the love department).

Ladies, say hello to the Scorpion Women’s Vixen Leather Jacket.This jacket offers the perfect fit, form and flexibility for female riders with various stretch panels, adjustable waist belts and multiple perforation points for maximum ventilation. The Vixen is available in three different colors: white, black and pink.

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white

For gentlemen, we have the Scorpion Men’s Clutch Leather Jacket. Similar to the Vixen, the Clutch is superior in comfort and fit. It also offers Powertector GP AIR HUMP for even more airflow, additional padded panels, internal pocket storage and external hard warmer pockets. The Clutch comes in three flavors: black/neon, black/white and white/red.

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black/white

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white/red

Made from top-grain leather, the Vixen and Clutch are meant for serious riders with only the best in mind. For riders seeking the thrill of the road while maintaining safety and comfort, be sure to check out the Vixen or Clutch!

 

IJMS Conference – 2014 in Colorado

By Gerde Applethwaite

The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies is a group of folk who roll around in the research and the writing centered around things motorcycle [not to be confused with the International Journal of molecular Sciences – they do something on a quite different scale.]  If you go to the IJMS main site you will see all manner of really intriguing papers written by riders, some academics – some not. It is truly great stuff. Its not just for motorcycle journalists, the topics vary widely. I have burned up hours and hours reading really fascinating papers gathered under the IJMS rubric. I recommend it to all y’all.

This year the 2014 IJMS conference is going to be held in the States, in Colorado. If you can carve out the time in mid-July to make it to the conference I will see you there. I will not be presenting a paper (BTW, final submission date is march 1st)  but I will be attending as many panels as I can.

Check it out:

http://ijms.nova.edu/

https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1309315

See you in Colorado Springs,

Gerde Applethwaite