The Top 5 Accessories For New Bike Owners

Posted on: April 25th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments
  • Motorcycle Luggage
  • Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset
  • Motorcycle Back Protector
  • Motorcycle Personalization
  • Motorcycle Battery Charger

 

So you’ve got the bike and you’ve got the gear, now you can spend some of your time off the bike looking at different accessories to help make your ride more comfortable, convenient, safer–better. Making your bike and your setup just right for you is one of the many joys of bike ownership, so it’s time to start thinking about what could enhance your daily ride routine. Take a look at our list of the top 5 accessories for new riders for some ideas.

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Luggage

Your old backpack is probably working just fine for now, but having a bag that’s been designed just right for bikes and their riders can make packing up and getting out the door that much quicker and easier, not to mention improve your comfort while you’re toting all your stuff around.

Dryver Tank Bag SB Small Expedition Tank Bag FG Torrent Backpack GranTour Sissy  Tool Bags

Tank Bags

For short rides like a weekend lunch run, a tank bag might be all you need, and there are tons of different styles and sizes to suit different tanks and trips. For the quickest grab-and-go solution, look for a magnetic tank bag, just be sure you attach and remove it with care each time to prevent damaging the surface of your tank. Strap-mounted bags are available for plastic tanks or ones covered with a fairing.

Backpacks

Sometimes you just want to roll with a backpack, and that’s why we have packs that are going to stay put and stay comfortable, even at 80 mph. Need to carry your helmet around from class to class? Choose one with a helmet carry like the Icon Urban Tank Bag/Backpack. Have a dual sport ride in your future? Choose one with a hydration pack, like the Deuter Race X. Zipping around the Bay Area with a laptop? Go aerodynamic with the Ogio Mach 3, and a laptop sleeve is a must.

Saddlebags and Sissy Bags

You’ve got the cruiser, now the only thing between you and an unforgettable trip through the Sierras is some good storage. A duffel and a bungee cord might get your stuff there, but there’s a better way! Keep everything organized and accessible in a sissy bar bag or a pair of saddlebags. Choose a heavy textile outer or go with leather and customize as much as you want with details and colors. Either way, your luggage will hold up to the elements so you can leave it on for the Monday morning commute, too.

Tool Bags

If your destination is down the street, not in the mountains, throw your wallet and keys in a tool bag. A tool bag is like a fanny pack for your bike, but cool. So really, having one around makes a lot of sense.

Hard Luggage

If you’re feeling ready to make a commitment to storage, consider starting with a Givi top box. Boxes can mount either to a simple base plate (included) that can be attached to any rear rack, or sturdier, higher capacity boxes mount onto a bike-specific Givi luggage rack. Stylish and functional Givi hard luggage is Italian-made and Italian-designed, and we’re proud to say that Road Rider was Givi’s very first dealer in North America.

Bluetooth Headset System

You know that feeling of freedom, exuberance, adventure, and exhilaration you get when you’re riding your motorcycle? It really can get better than that, and it does when you add a Bluetooth headset communicator. Not exactly a necessity, but it is the most fun accessory on our top five list and the one you might be least likely to give up once you’re hooked. Fit a Bluetooth system on any helmet and you can stream tunes and navigator directions, listen to the radio, make and receive phone calls, or intercom with other riders in your group or with a passenger. Today’s Bluetooth units are so well engineered that you’ll fall in love with your headset even if you only use one or two of its features. When you’re ready to shop, we’ve got the world’s best systems right here, and we can help you choose the right one for you. And don’t worry, our systems are designed to fit beautifully on any helmet; we even have special systems for half helmets.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR TOP FIVE BLUETOOTH HEADSETS

 

CE Back Protector

Replacing the foam back pad in your jacket with a CE-certified back armor insert is an easy way to give your jacket an extra dose of impact protection. Back protectors aren’t the heavy, rigid boards they once were, either. With a wide variety of brands offering better protection with wayy more comfort and flexibility these days, it’s just a matter of picking the one that fits your jacket and feels great. If you’d like to upgrade your current jacket of any brand, bring it in to Road Rider to test out the feel and fit of a variety of CE-certified back inserts. If you’re not sure what CE ratings are, head over to our Guide to Back Protectors and Replacement Armor for the 4-1-1 on impact protection.

Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2i Back Protector D3O Back Protector Seesoft-Back-Protector Forcefield Super-Lite Back Protector

Personalization

Everyone’s got something–a guardian bell, rim tape, aftermarket mirrors or grips, a fender eliminator, even an aftermarket exhaust will give your bike a unique look and sound. However small or subtle or in your face, eventually we all put a few personalized stamps on our bikes that say, “This one’s mine”.  It doesn’t hurt when those little additions are functional, as well. Check out what other riders are doing and then visit Road Rider for universal and bike-specific parts and accessories.

Kuryakyn Accessories Guardian-Bell

CRG Levers Tech Spec

Battery Charger

Okay, a battery charger doesn’t exactly end our list with a bang, but if want your battery to live a full and long life, it’s a must-have. Even if your bike doesn’t sit for long periods without being ridden, it’s a good idea to give your battery a full charge once a month on a trickle charger like a Deltran Battery Tender or a Yuasa SmartShot. Keep the bike plugged in if you haven’t been able to ride for a few weeks and your charger will keep it fully charged and ready to roll. Bought a used bike and suspect it might be time for a new battery? Check out our Battery Buyer’s Guide for some basic info about your power supply.

 

Yuasa SmartShot 12V 900mA Battery Charger

 

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New! Boss Bluetooth Speakers

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

New in this week are these Boss Bluetooth speakers for motorcycles, models MC470B and MCBK420B. These speakers are LOUD and clear going up to about 80 mph, and will play music from a plugged-in device using the 3.5 mm jack or can stream music directly from your phone via Bluetooth. With a little bit of creative installation on your part, you can get an awesome stereo system for just around a hundred bucks! These speakers are a great deal.

Installation idea: Pick up a leather tool bag and install it on your forks or behind your windscreen to hold the amplifier.

Boss Bluetooth Speakers Model MC470B

Boss Rebel Bluetooth Speakers for Motorcycle 1000 W

Two pairs (4) of chrome 3-inch, 1000-watt speakers, hardware, amplifier, and wiring.

General

  • A2DP Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Weatherproof speakers and volume control
  • Four channel compact amplifier
  • 3.5 mm auxiliary input port
  • Adjustable handlebar brackets
  • Price: $129.99

Audio Specifications

  • Max Power: 1000 Watts at 10-16 volts
  • THD: <.01%
  • S/N: >85 dB
  • Channel Separation: >50 dB
  • Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 15 KHz
  • Sensitivity: 150 mv-1 v

Boss Bluetooth Speakers Model MCBK420B

Boss Rebel Bluetooth Speakers for Motorcycle 600 W

Two black 3-inch, 600-Watt speakers, hardware, wiring, and amplifier.

General 

  • A2DP Bluetooth Audio Streaming
  • Weatherproof speakers and volume control
  • Two channel compact amplifier
  • 3.5 mm auxiliary input port
  • Adjustable handlebar brackets
  • Price: $109.99

Audio Specifications

  • Max Power: 600 Watts
  • THD: <.01%
  • S/N: >85 dB
  • Channel Separation: >50 dB
  • Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 15 KHz
  • Sensitivity: 150 mv-1 v

 


Boss Rebel Bluetooth Speakers

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Featured Local Events

Posted on: April 20th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Here are a few of our favorite local events coming up, but you can see many other events listed on the Road Rider events calendar.

Promote Your Events!

We always love to hear about YOUR events, rides, and runs, so please email us or send us a message through Facebook with the details so we can include it on the calendar. We might even put it on this page or plug it on Facebook. Our calendar is for the community, so even if your run or fundraiser takes place at or is sponsored by other stores and dealerships, we still want to know about it! Sponsorship or prize donations may be available for your event upon request, too. Email us at sj@roadridermca.com or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/roadridersj.

 


 

Riders Out of Darkness Bike Blessing

San Jose

Bike Blessing and Car Show

Saturday, April 25th

Riders Out of Darkness MC and Luxurious Car Club present their 6th Annual Bike Blessing and Car Show at Victory Outreach San Jose. Enjoy live entertainment by the Crimson Blues Band, a BBQ lunch, a dunk tank, and vendors! This is a family event and all are welcome. Click here for the event address and additional details.


 

BAMS 2015

Alameda County Fairgrounds

Bay Area Motorcycle Superfest

Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd

BAMS is the bike show for everyone–a show started by riders for riders, future riders, and everyone with an interest in motorcycles. This year’s Bay Area Motorcycle Superfest is billed to be triple the size of last year’s, and will feature stunt shows both days by Tony Carbajal, bike competitions, demos, vendors, dyno tunings, safety demonstrations, and much more. You can meet Emilio Rivera, “Marcus Alvarez”, from Sons of Anarchy on both days.


 

Doc Wong Logo

Belmont

Doc Wong Clinics: Dual Sport/ADV Riding

Part 1: Friday, May 1st

Part 2: Sunday, May 5th

You’ve got the bike, you’ve got the gear, you’ve got the will, but do you have the skills? Take Doc Wong’s two-part Dual Sport and Adventure Riding Clinic and you’ll know what you’re doing when you transition from the pavement to the dirt. The Doc’s course will teach you the twelve basic fundamentals of dirt riding and help you improve your dirt skills and confidence. You’ll even go over controlled sliding of the rear and front wheels, controlled wheelies, hill climbs and more. Please take note, the Friday night classroom portion is a prerequisite to Sunday’s ride. Click here for the address, session times, and more details.

The Doc requests that you email him or call his office to let them know you will be attending a session, and we recommend checking his website as well for additional information on his other clinics.  You can also find his other classes listed on the Road Rider events calendar. Confirm by emailing docwong@aol.com or calling 650-365-7775.


 

Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally 2015

Hanford

Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally and Show

Saturday, May 16th

Now in its 47th (!) year, the Hanford Vintage Classic Motorcycle Swap Meet and Show is one of the best in the West. If you love classics, or even if you just like them a bit, head out to Hanford for this very fun and classic-filled festival. Food, an option to camp out, vendors, parts and bikes for sale, and a huge antique bike show are just some of the reasons why the Hanford is growing every year.


 

Z2

Sonoma Raceway

RoadRider 2.0-Beyond the Basics

Monday, May 18th

RoadRider 2.0-Beyond the Basics is an advanced skills course for riders who already have a license and some experience under their belt. If you want to gain more confidence, refresh your skills, or learn new riding techniques, Z2’s RoadRider 2.0 class can help! Learn to be a better rider through classroom instruction and closed-course exercises at Sonoma Raceway with the help of Z2’s great rider coaches. (RoadRider 2.0 is not affiliated with Road Rider Motorcycle Accessories.)

For more info on RoadRider 2.0, visit https://z2trackdays.com.


 

Z2 Trackdays-Womens-VIP-Day

Thunderhill Raceway

Z2 Women’s VIP Day and Track Day

Sunday, June 14th

This is a standard track day open to everyone but a special day for women! Z2’s Women’s VIP Day is a great opportunity to join up with other fast women and ride with them in the skill group of your choice. All women attending the track day will receive an event t-shirt, a track riding seminar, a lunch, and a raffle entry. You don’t have to ride to attend, either. Non-riding women can just sign up for the VIP package and attend the seminar and lunch. Sign up now to reserve your space!

Check the Road Rider events calendar for other PTT, Keigwins, and Z2 Track Days throughout the year.

 

Click here to visit the events calendar.

 

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Highlighting 1978: A Look at Motorcycling 37 Years Ago

Posted on: April 20th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

What did the world of motorcycling look like in 1978? It wasn’t just the year Road Rider first opened its doors to Bay Area riders. Touring bikes were getting bigger, dirt bikes were getting lighter, and American road racing was entering a golden era. Here are some of the highlights from the world of motorcycling in 1978.

By the early 70s, the Japanese Big Four–Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha– had taken a strong foothold in the U.S. and joined Harley-Davidson as America’s favorite brands. In 1978 the average middleweight bike would have cost you around $2500; a larger displacement touring model around $3500. That’s about $9,000 and $12,000 today adjusted for inflation.

Japanese Motorcycle Brands 1978

Americans already loved big touring bikes in the 70s, and Vetter Windjammer fairings were hugely popular accessories because most bikes still weren’t offered with full fairings.

Vetter Windjammer

In response to this growing demand, BMW unveiled their first full-dress touring model in 1978 to be released the following year, the R100RT. Honda would follow suit with an upgraded Gold Wing in 1980 that came with large fairings, a windscreen, and hard luggage.

1978 BMW R100RT

Honda introduced the innovative CX500 in 1978 with the tag line “First Into the Future”. It broke away from engine design conventions of the time, resulting in a beautifully balanced bike with excellent handling. It was Honda’s first v-twin and the world’s first production bike with tubeless tires.

1978 Honda CX500

Harley-Davidson made a brief foray into the motocross market in the 70s, developing a two-stroke race bike with the help of factory racers like Marty Tripes and Rex Staten. The MX250 went into production in 1978 and is said to have been a fairly impressive effort. Nonetheless, the bike never took off and the team was disbanded that same year.

1978 Harley-Davidson MX250

In his first season riding in the World Championship Grand Prix, two-time AMA Grand National Champion Kenny Roberts took the world by storm when he became the first American to win an international Grand Prix title in 1978. The rest, as they say, is history. King Kenny told a reporter a few years back, “I never really considered myself a road racer, I just did road racing to get Grand National points”.

Kenny Roberts 1978 Sheene, Roberts, Cecotto Assen 1978

At the same time, another young American racing phenom, Freddie Spencer, was just beginning his professional racing career. He immediately claimed victory in the AMA 250cc championship in his first season and in five years would win an international Grand Prix against an incredibly tough field that included King Kenny.

Freddie Spencer in 2014

Robert’s Grand Prix win in 1978 marked the beginning of an era of international domination by American riders that would last until 1993. Five American riders–Kenny Roberts (3), Freddie Spencer (2), Eddie Lawson (4), Wayne Rainey (3), and Kevin Schwantz (1)–won thirteen of the sixteen 500cc Grand Prix titles from 1978 to 1993.

Mike “The Bike” Hailwood cemented his legend in 1978, taking home a seemingly impossible win at the Isle of Man in the F1 class. Returning to race the island on a whim after eleven years in retirement, accompanied by foot and leg injuries from a lifetime of racing and appearing a bit out of shape, Hailwood smashed his own lap record and clinched his twelfth TT victory. Sadly, he would be killed in an automobile accident two short years later.

Mike Hailwood 1978 Ducati_900SS

Bob “Hurricane” Hannah was an absolute natural on a dirt bike and undeniably one of the best offroad riders in history. He dominated AMA Supercross in 1978, winning a record eight-straight motos on his way to the championship title. He also became the first American to win the Trans-AMA series that same year. He won a total of seven AMA national titles in his career, including wins in both 125cc and 250cc motocross and Supercross.

Bob Hannah

Hot on Hannah’s tail in the Supercross championship was legend Marty Tripes, who won the first World Championship of Motocross in the 250cc class in 1978. 

Marty Tripes at Daytona in 1978

1978 marked the beginning of the long and successful relationship between Suzuki and Yoshimura, and the Yoshimura-Suzuki team of Wes Cooley and Mike Baldwin started things off on the right foot by winning the inaugural Suzuka Eight Hour on this GS1000. Also in 1978, Steve McLaughlin won the Daytona Superbike on his Yoshimura Suzuki GS1000.

Yoshimura GS 1000 1978 02

For the very first three years of the AMA Superbike road racing series the championship title was owned by one man: Reg Pridmore. Pridmore, father of AMA racer Jason Pridmore, won his third and final AMA Superbike Championship in 1978 aboard a Racecrafters- and Vetter-sponsored Kawasaki KZ1000s. He also became the first man to win an AMA event on a Japanese bike the year before. This photo shows Pridmore (crouching in the background) and Keith Code (sitting) at Sears Point (now Sonoma Raceway) in 1979.

Pridmore Vetter Kawasaki KZ1000S

 

 


Photo Credits

1: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program. “1978 Vetter Windjammer Fairing” by Craig Vetter.

2: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program in partnership with the Nationaal Archief, the Dutch National Archives, and Spaarnestad Photo. “Anefo 929-7878, Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Johnny Cecotto, 24.06.1978, Assen, Nederland” by Rob Bogaerts/Anefo.

3: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program in partnership with the Nationaal Archief, the Dutch National Archives, and Spaarnestad Photo. “Anefo 929-7836, Kenny Roberts, 22.06.1978, Assen, Nederland” by Koen Suyk/Anefo.

4: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program. “Freddie Spencer 02 – 2014″ by Hans Koberger.

5: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program. “Ducati 900SS Mike Hailwood DM” by Khruner.

6: RacerX Online, http://racerxonline.com/2013/01/02/30-day-countdown-to-a1-3-bob-hannah.

7: AMA Hall of Fame Online, http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=282.

8: Photo licensed through the Creative Commons media sharing program. “Vetter Kawasaki team with Reg Pridmore” by Steve Ginn.

 

 

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NEW! Dainese Rainsun D-Dry Jacket

Posted on: April 10th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

There are a lot of clever ideas in the world of motorcycle gear, but far fewer clever ideas turn into great products. Like the idea behind the Dainese Rainsun D-Dry Jacket: let’s give riders a true 2-in-1 winter/summer jacket by making the cold weather layer removable. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, it’s been done before. But this time it really, truly worked, and the resulting jacket is so cool we were surprised. We think you’ll be surprised, too, and love this jacket as much as we do.

Dainese Rainsun Jacket inner mesh

 

For a jacket based on an idea that’s come to be viewed as–let’s be honest–a bit gimmicky, the Rainsun is one of our top jackets of 2015. Here’s the deal. The outer layer is wind-blocking and water resistant, with large ventilation zippers along the sleeves and wrapping from the shoulder blades down to the front of the torso. The material itself is waterproof, but the jacket’s zippers and seams aren’t, so it’s considered a water-resistant jacket.  When the temps heat up, fold away the shoulder panels and open the zip vents to reveal portions of the mesh sub-jacket. On a hot summer day, remove the outer layer entirely and leave it in your backpack or at home and ride with the mesh only–that’s where the CE shoulder and elbow protection is, and there’s a pocket for an optional back protector, too.

Where other jackets of this nature have been complicated, full of tabs and snaps, and not exactly stylish, the Rainsun is a first-rate jacket made with top-quality fabrics, uncompromising style and comfort, and a smooth functionality like everything Dainese. But the best way to learn more about the Rainsun is to see it yourself! Get down to Road Rider and check it out while it’s still cool enough outside to fully appreciate both of the Rainsun’s identities.

Dainese Rainsun D-Dry Jacket

  • Constructed with Dainese Motegi fabric and abrasion-resistant mesh fabric
  • CE-certified composite protectors at the elbows and shoulders; prepared for a Manis D1 G back protector (sold separately)
  • Adjustment on neck, sleeves, and wrists and drawstring adjustable jacket bottom
  • D-Dry® waterproof membrane laminated to external DWR-treated (durable water repellant) outer fabric
  • Air inlets on sides, sleeves and shoulders
  • Completely removable outer shell
  • Reflective inserts on arms, back, and front of shoulders

The Dainese Rainsun is $399.95.

 

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Coming Soon! Scala Rider Packtalk

Posted on: April 9th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Estimated arrival: late April

The new Scala Rider PackTalk by Cardo offers a whole new world to club and group riders, revolutionizing multi-point intercom communication. The PackTalk is the very first intercom system to break away from the limitations of daisy-chained group communication, which relies on each intercom unit in the formation serving as a signal beamer. Such a linear connection means that in order for the signal to reach riders at the end or front of the group, all the riders in the middle beaming the signal down the chain must stay in formation. That’s what’s so different about the PackTalk–it’s an intercom web instead of a connect-the-dots. DMC (Dynamic Meshwork Communication) technology provides fluid communication that adapts with the group, like this:

The groundbreaking PackTalk is essentially a version of Scala’s premium G9X on intercom steroids, and shares all the rest of the G9X’s features, including advanced voice control enabling a completely hands-free experience. Riders can intercom with each other and their passengers, make and receive phone calls, stream music or GPS directions, listen to the radio, and all of it can be entirely voice activated or operated easily by the push buttons and new roller wheel.

The PackTalk is compatible with older model Scalas and can be paired with other brand headsets, as well. The Scala Rider PackTalk is available in single or dual sets, retailing at $579.95 for a dual and $329.95 for a single.

Scala Rider PackTalk Bluetooth Headset

Intercom

  • DMC™ Intercom network for fluid multi-rider communication for up to eight other riders
  • Up to 1 mile (1.6 km) bike-to-bike intercom and up to 3.1 miles (5 km) with 4 or more riders
  • Four-way conferencing with two riders/passengers or three separate riders
  • Click-to-Link Bluetooth Intercom for spontaneous conversation with other Scala Rider users in the area
  • Cardo Gateway enables intercom communication with users of non-Cardo headsets
  • Intercom-to-Mobile switches intercom mode to cellular mode when riders move out of range

Controls/Operation

  • New Scala Rider roller-wheel and flat-plate controls
  • Complete voice command operation for fully hands-free experience
  • Make, receive, or reject phone or intercom calls with voice commands or button controls
  • Multiple language settings
  • Cardo SmartSet App allows remote, on-the-go setting customization and control
  • Cardo Community online community provides easy access to software upgrades, headset customization, and social networking with other Scala riders

Music

  • Music Sharing feature allows rider and passenger to listen to the same music in stereo
  • Parallel Audio feature allows rider and passenger to talk via intercom while listening to music at the same time
  • FM radio with RDS includes six radio presets with auto scan that detects the strongest signal; radio automatically mutes for incoming calls
  • Hot Dial preset can be programmed to dial emergency response or any important number

Other

  • Receive GPS navigations or stream music via Bluetooth
  • Automatic volume adjustment changes volume in response to increasing ambient noise
  • Includes both hybrid and corded microphones and replaceable speakers with 3.5 mm jack
  • Battery run time: 8-10 hours on radio; 13 hours talk time; one week standby

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Guide To Back Protectors & Replacement Armor

Posted on: April 6th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

When you buy motorcycle gear you’re paying for protection, and that protection comes in two main forms–abrasion-resistant fabrics and armor inserts that absorb impacts. Our focus here is the latter, impact protection, and in this Guide To Back Protectors and Replacement Armor we’ll give you an overview of what you can typically expect from a pair of motorcycle pants or a jacket right off the rack, and why some riders choose to make the additional purchase of a back protector or even replace the armor that came with their gear.

Understanding Safety Ratings

Nearly every piece of gear you wear on your body for motorcycling can be CE rated, like your jacket, gloves, or boots (helmets are not included; for information on helmet safety ratings, read our Helmet Buyer’s Guide). ‘CE’ stands for ‘Conformité Européene’, and to be CE rated an item must meet or exceed certain requirements for its category that measure how protective it’s going to be for you in a crash. A jacket, pair of pants, or one-piece suit can now be CE approved as a piece of protective clothing for motorcyclists (EN 13595-1), but including CE-approved armor within that clothing has been a fairly universal practice for much longer. So while your jacket as a whole may or may not be CE approved yet, its armor–elbows and shoulders for jackets, knees for pants–most certainly should be.

Back Protectors and Limb Protectors

The two main categories of motorcycle armor are back protectors and limb protectors. Limb includes elbow/forearm, shoulder, hip, and knee/shin. A CE-Level 1 or -Level 2 rating is determined by the amount of force transferred through the protector when impacted with a propelled weight. Within the back protector category there are two rating levels–CE-Level 1 and CE-Level 2 (EN 1621-2 Levels 1 and 2). Prior to 2014 there was one single rating for the limb category, but it now has two rating levels also (EN 1621-1 Levels 1 and 2). How these levels are determined will be discussed in the sections below.

Limb Protectors & Replacement Armor

For the limb category, the minimum CE-approved levels have not changed, and to be certified to Level 1 a protector may not transmit a force greater than 35 kilonewtons (kN), with a one-time allowance of a 50 kN spike in an area other than the center. To earn a Level 2 rating, tolerances are reduced to 25 kN with a 30 kN one-time maximum. The new rating system also tests in a variety of temperature conditions to account for performance fluctuations in the heat or cold. Very few protectors have actually been officially certified to Level 2 so far, but armor innovators like Forcefield and SAS-TEC are leading the way and listing some of the kN ratings of their products so the numbers speak for themselves.

Most motorcycle jackets include removable CE-Level 1-certified armor in the elbows and shoulders, and pants include CE-certified knee armor. Other protectors, such as hip and chest, are usually sold as optional upgrades. Chest protector pockets are not standard across all brands, but are usually a nice feature of Alpinestars and RS Taichi jackets (chest protectors fall under the separate category EN 1621-3).

With the rapid evolution of armor we’ve seen in the last few years, many riders take into account armor brands when shopping for new gear, or choose to replace the stock armor with protectors that are more lightweight, low profile, and flexible. SAS-TEC, Knox, Forcefield, Bio Armor, Seesoft, and D3o are common names in armor, and you can check out the differences between these at Road Rider and read a little bit about them at the bottom of this page.

Forcefield Net Replacement Armor Shoulder Elbow Knee Alpinestars Smart Guard Jeans Replacement Armor Knee D3O Replacement Armor Shoulder Elbow Rev'It Seesoft Tryonic Hip Replacement Armor SAS-TEC Replacement Armor Knee Shoulder Elbow Draggin Alpinestars Nucleon-kr-ci Chest Protectors

Back Protectors

A CE-Level 2 back protector transfers half as much force to the rider’s back as a CE-Level 1 back protector. Specifically, a Level 1 protector allows no more than 18 kilonewtons (kN) of force be transmitted through it to the rider’s body, while a Level 2 protector allows only 9 kN.

Armor materials have come a long way in a very short time, and it wasn’t long ago that choosing a Level 2 protector meant you had to live with one that was thick, heavy, and uncomfortable. Today, there are few reasons why you wouldn’t choose a Level 2 protector because companies are developing thinner and more flexible materials that get the job done. These new protectors are surprisingly effective, and they’re great for use in stylish urban riding gear as well as gear that requires a lot of flex, breathability, and mobility, like dual sport and adventure gear. These new and improved materials can also be used in conjunction with a hard plastic shell for an even higher level of protection.

When shopping today, you will more than likely be comparing a number of different CE-Level 2 back protectors in one of two main categories: inserts and harness-style protectors.

Back Armor Inserts

Though the trend is changing, most motorcycle jackets still do not include a CE-certified back protector. So when you’re buying a new jacket, it’s a great idea to try it on with a CE-certified back protector at the same time. Even though protectors are getting thinner and more flexible, it will still impact the fit of your jacket.

Most riders simply choose the protector that is designed to go with their particular jacket model, and that’s generally a good idea, especially as we’ve seen the improvements in armor technology extend to these readily-available options. If you have an older jacket rest assured there are options for you, too. You can test out the fit and feel of a variety of different brands and shapes of CE-certified back inserts in your own jacket at Road Rider.

D3O Back Protector D3O Viper Back Protector Seesoft-Back-Protector Knox-TP2-Advance-X Forcefield Pro Back Insert Dainese-Manis-G-Back Protector Forcefield Super-Lite Back Protector SAS-TEC-Back-Protector

Back Protector Harness

Harness-style back protectors are designed to provide a greater degree of protection, in many cases greatly exceeding CE-Level 2 requirements, and cover a greater area of the spine often including portions of the tail bone and neck. They will feature either shoulder straps or snaps that attach to the snap-tab of a jacket or leather suit; and a waist belt provides lumbar and kidney support.

Back Protectors Harness Kidney Belt

Armor Brand Overview

Alpinestars Bio Armor Close-Up

Alpinestars Bio Armor/Nucleon: Alpinestars uses their proprietary Bio Armor protectors in all their jackets and pants. Until recently, Bio Armor back protectors, hip pads, and chest pads were the optional upgrades for A*star gear, but Alpinestars has since replaced these with Nucleon upgrades. Similar to SAS-TEC and Knox, Bio Armor is made of a dense but flexible polyurethane foam; Nucleon is thinner and more flexible. All Nucleon back protectors are certified to meet or exceed CE-Level 2.

D3O: D3O is thin and extremely flexible, and identified easily by its bright orange color. Dubbed ‘molecular armor’, D3O hardens upon impact as the molecules respond to force by pulling closer together. Standard D3O T5 limb protectors meet Level 1 requirements and are included with many jackets made by Firstgear, Icon, and Klim; back protectors are available in Level 1 or Level 2 versions.

Forcefield: Forcefield is made of a honeycomb-structured PVC material that is soft and flexible. A leading innovator in protective armor for sports, they focus on finding new ways to provide maximum protection while maintaining flexibility and comfort for action sports. They have a wide range of protectors and armored clothing like back protector inserts, harnesses, and a variety of different styles of limb protection, including their CE-Level 2 certified Net protectors. For more information visit ForcefieldBodyArmour.com.

Knox: Knox makes a variety of different kinds of armor and armored clothing, and their protectors are commonly used in Rev’It! gear. The Knox TP2 Advance X back protector fits many RS Taichi and older model Rev’It! jackets, and is made of a light, soft foam.

SAS-TEC: SAS-TEC has always set a high standard for armor, and in addition to coming stock in many jackets and pants, SAS-TEC protectors are sold as optional knee and hip protection for various brands of riding jeans, including Draggin’ Jeans and Drayko Jeans. One of the earliest companies to address the new Level 2 classification for limb protection, SAS-TEC says all their standard protectors  already fall within Level 2 limits.*

Seesoft: If you’re looking for light and airy, Rev’It!’s proprietary Seesoft armor is where it’s at. Made of multiple layers of memory foam, it’s flexible, feather-weight, and has an excellent protection to weight/thickness ratio. Read our post about Seesoft Back Protectors to learn more about it.

 


 

*The new two-tiered setup of CE directive EN 1621-1 hasn’t taken hold yet in the same way the two back protector levels have. As it stands now, the Forcefield Net protectors are the only ones we know of that have been CE-certified to Level 2 standards by an independent testing agency. SAS-TEC’s entire standard line of armor (and D3O’s Xergo line) has been tested to meet Level 2 standards in their own lab tests, but have yet to formally earn the EN 1621-1 Level 2 stamp of approval.

**Chest protectors fall under a separate, single-level category: EN 1621-3.

 

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We’re Closed On Sunday, April 5th

Posted on: April 1st, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Sorry, we’ll be closed this Sunday, April 5th. Happy Easter!

Alpinestars Back Protectors

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

The new Nucleon KR-2i and Nucleon KR-R take Alpinestars back protectors to a new level of comfort and performance for street and track use. Using ‘molecular armor’ technology that hardens on impact to absorb force, the Alpinestars Nucleon series protectors are thinner, flexible, and perforated to make them lightweight and breathable. Both the KR-2i insert and the KR-R snap-in protector are CE-certified to Level 2 for back protection, so they transmit half the impact force of a CE Level-1 protector.

Alpinestars Back Protectors

Nucleon KR-2i

The KR-2i replaces the Bio Armor CE-Level 1 Back Protector Insert as the standard back protector upgrade for any Alpinestars jacket. The KR-2i earned a CE-Level 2 rating but with less weight and bulk than its predecessor, so adding it your jacket is a painless way to really beef up your daily protection.

The KR-2i comes in three sizes–the small size is for women’s jackets, the medium is for men’s jackets sized ‘medium’ and below, and the large protector fits jackets sized ‘large’ and above. The KR-2i fits older model jackets as well, and fits a variety of non-Alpinestars brand jackets. Bring your jacket in to try out the KR-2i and our other selection of back protectors and replacement armor.

Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2i detail

  • CE-Level 2 (EN1621-2:2014) certified
  • Constructed with lightweight and flexible polyurethane impact foam
  • Anatomically contoured for comfortable fit
  • Perforations and ventilation channels promote cooling and airflow

The KR-2i is $49.95 and available in sizes small (for women’s Stella products), medium, and large.

 

Nucleon KR-R

The Alpinestars Nucleon KR-R Back Protector is designed to snap into an Alpinestars suit or jacket and provide a higher level of protection for the spine, and with the addition of kidney and lumbar support. Like the KR-2i, above, the KR-R features molecular armor that hardens on impact when it’s called into action but is soft and light under normal circumstances. The KR-R also features an exo-layer of hard plastic for additional protection against impacts, and it exceeds CE-Level 2 requirements for force transmitted to the body. Still, it remains highly flexible and comfortable, and the kidney belt is height-adjustable for a personalized fit on different torsos.

Alpinestars Nucleon KR-R detail

  • CE-Level 2 (EN1621-2:2014) certified
  • Snap-on system for placement inside a suit or race jacket
  • Hard shell and memory foam for maximum protection and comfort
  • Kidney belt features waist adjustment sliders
  • Lined with wicking mesh for heat management

The Alpinestars KR-R is $149.95, and available in sizes extra-small through extra-large.

 

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Gloves From Rev’It: Cayenne Pro & Dominator GT

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

The Rev’It Cayenne Pro and Dominator Gore-Tex gloves are new to Rev’It’s lineup this year and new to Road Rider this week. Designed to meet the demands of hard-charging adventure and dual sport riders who push their gear to the absolute limit, these first-rate gloves deliver durable protection with premium fit. The Cayenne Pro gloves are perforated for the summer season, while the Dominator Gore-Tex gloves offer multi-season waterproof breathability. Check out these fantastic new gloves, below, and visit us to try them on.

Cayenne Pro

rev-it-cayenne-pro-gloves-black-sand rev-it-cayenne-pro-gloves-red-grey

Rev'It Cayenne Pro Gloves detail

  • Constructed with soft and strong, perforated goatskin treated with water-resistant coating for added durability
  • Stitched with Rev’It’s proprietary PWR Yarn, designed to hold under the most extreme stress
  • Polyurethane sliders on the pinky fingers, wrist, top of fingers, thumbs, and on the base of the palm
  • Unique closure system wraps across the top of the hand and interfaces with a Velcro wrist closure for an extremely secure fit with minimal bulk around the wrist
  • Outer stitching around the fingers ensures irritation-free comfort on long rides
  • MotoGP-derived hard knuckle protection backed with EVA foam

The Rev’It Cayenne Pro Gloves are $179.99.

Dominator Gore-Tex

Rev'It Dominator Gore-Tex Gloves Brown Rev'It Dominator Gore-Tex Gray Black

Rev'It Dominator Gore-Tex Gloves detail

  • Gore-Tex X-Trafit membrane adheres to the leather outer and soft inner lining for Gore-guaranteed waterproof breathability with slip-free dexterity
  • Top of hand constructed with goatskin treated with water-resistant coating; palm constructed with Pittards® WR100X leather which offers permanent water and sweat resistance, excellent softness, durability, and grip 
  • Extra-long visor wipe on pinky finger
  • Stitched with Rev’It’s proprietary PWR Yarn
  • Polyurethane sliders on the thumbs and on the base of the palm,
  • Unique closure system wraps across the top of the hand and interfaces with a Velcro wrist closure for an extremely secure fit with minimal bulk around the wrist
  • Outer stitching around the fingers ensures irritation-free comfort on long rides
  • MotoGP-derived hard knuckle protection backed with EVA foam

 

Rev’It’s Dominator Gore-Tex Gloves are $269.99.

 

 

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