New! AMSOIL Dirt Bike & Bel-Ray Thumper Oils

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

AMSOIL Dirt Bike and Bel-Ray Thumper engine oils are now in stock to keep you pushing the edge of your performance on the track or trail.

AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Engine Oil

  • Delivers confidence in clutch feel
  • Superior protection against gear, bearing, and piston wear
  • Maximizes horsepower
  • Helps extend clutch life
  • Weight: 10W-40; 10W-60; 10W-60
  • Type: Full Synthetic

AMSOIL is the Official Oil of Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, AMSOIL GNCC and the AMA Amateur Nationals, and AMSOIL’s dirt bike oils have been formulated with the help of pro rider feedback to provide excellent clutch durability and consistency ride after ride, from start to finish, thanks to a high level of friction durability.

From “In an extreme simulated-start test, AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil continued to deliver consistent clutch feel following 32 simulated race starts, while a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-branded oil demonstrated inconsistent clutch-lever action and poor clutch feel after 16 starts. The clutch plates lubricated with AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil remained clean and in good overall condition, while the plates using the OEM oil revealed discoloration and wear.”

For technical data visit:

Bel-Ray Thumper Racing 4T Friction Modified Engine Oil

  • Superior anti-wear properties for reduced cylinder and ring wear and longer bearing life
  • Superior deposit control prevents varnish formation and keeps ring lands and grooves free of carbon build-up
  • High viscosity provides shear stability for superior lubrication and film
  • Reduced friction equals more horsepower
  • Weight: 10W-40; 10W-50
  • Type: Mineral

Bel-Ray’s Thumper Racing Oil is exclusively for use in engines on 4-stroke motorcycles with a separate engine and gearbox (most Honda offroad bikes). Bel-Ray’s friction modifying additives provide excellent lubrication for this specific application.

For technical data visit:



Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

The Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera is the only action camera currently available with built-in Bluetooth audio input capability, it was webBikeWorld‘s Action Camera of the year for 2014, and it is our top choice camera for motorcyclists who already ride with a Sena headset like a 20S, SMH10, or SMH5, or plan to purchase one in the future. Here’s why, in a nutshell:

Bluetooth Audio Input

When you pair the Prism to your Sena helmet headset, you can record live audio while your riding that is transmitted wirelessly to the camera. You can provide on-the-fly commentary and the audio quality in your video will be as good as the sound quality you’ve come to expect from your headset, with low wind noise and excellent clarity.

Let’s compare the audio recording on the Prism with that of a GoPro. Sound recording of GoPro cameras is made by a tiny microphone on the camera, so it’s muffled by the housing and subject to ambient noise when recorded live. Bluetooth recording is possible only on the newest Hero4 cameras and only with the addition of the Sena Bluetooth Audio Pack accessory.

On-The-Go On/Off Control

With the Prism, you can turn the camera on and off using the Jog-Dial on your Sena headset, so you don’t need to run the camera continuously while you ride. According to Sena, a firmware update will enable 20S users to use voice commands to turn recording on and off.

Mounts called the Prism’s ball and socket mount design the best they’ve seen, and say its stability helps to reduce turbulence in recordings. The Prism also comes with an equally unmatched abundance of mounts, including high-quality helmet mounts, a suction cup mount, and handlebar mount.

Check out the Prism’s complete list of features, below.




Video Mode
  • Resolution: 1080p/30 fps; 720p/30 fps; 720p/60 fps; 480p/120 fps
Photo Mode
  • Resolution: 3.5MP (3:2); 3.2MP (4:3); 3.0MP (16:9); 5.0MP (16:9)
  • Burst Shot: 10, 5, and 3 picture bursts
  • Time-lapse mode: one picture per  1, 3, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds
  • Field of view: 140 degrees
  • Sensor: 3.5  megapixel CMOS
  • Aperture: f/2.0
  • Bluetooth Version 4.0
  • Internal microphone with wind noise reduction
In the Box
  • Camera
    • Dimensions: 63.0 mm x 44.0 mm x 23.0mm (2.5in x 1.7 in x 0.8 in)
    • Weight: 100 grams (3.53 ounces)
  • Waterproof housing: waterproof to 1 meter/3.28 feet
  • Helmet clamp mount
  • Helmet surface mount
  • Top surface mount
  • Handlebar mount
  • Suction cup mount
  • Rechargeable 1100 mAh lithium ion battery
    • Recording time: 2 hours
    • Charging time: 3.5 hours
    • Battery weight: 25 grams (0.88 ounces)
  • Micro USB/USB power and data cable
  • Lens cap
  • Not included: accepts Micro SD card (class 10 or higher) up to 32GB for external storage


The Sena Prism Action Camera is $399.00.



Mount and Balance Mondays

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Half-Price Mount & Balancing

Every Monday, All Day

This Monday, January 12th through Monday, March 2nd Only


The half-price Monday special applies to tires purchased at Road Rider and elsewhere. Call our Tire Shop at (408) 227-6936 for more information about our services, tires for your bike, or to check current stock and availability.


Tire Shop Ride-On Baxley-Sport-Chock Pit-bull-ss-stand-360x360

Road Rider
Tire Shop

Road Rider’s experienced tire shop technicians provide mount and balance services seven days a week. Remove your wheels at home or ride your bike in and borrow our stands and tools to get the job done. Don’t have the time? Let the pros at Superbike Performance Center or Sporttech Cycles handle it for you. They’ll work with us to get you back on the road with no hassle.

Tire Sealant & Balancer

Ride-On tire sealant works in tubes and tubeless tires, providing a self-sealing layer that contains fibers that are six times stronger than steel. It evenly coats the inside wall of the tire, plugs porosity leaks that cause gradual deflation, and fills punctures while you ride. It’s also constantly balancing your tires using centrifugal force. Ask your RR tire technician to add Ride-On to your mount and balance for an additional $10 per tire. Sorry, the half-price special on Mondays does not apply to the cost of Ride-On application.

Pit Bull

Pit Bull Motorcycle Stands are made in the USA and lifetime guaranteed. Zinc plated and made of a thick-gauge, high-grade steel with heavy-duty welds, the Pit Bull name is synonymous with reliable durability in paddocks and garages everywhere.

Sport Chocks

There’s no wheel chock as strong and as sturdy as a Baxley. Proudly made by Baxley in Alabama, these powder-coated steel sportbike chocks are perfect for the garage or the back of the truck. They’re rock solid but surprisingly lightweight.



Bell Custom 500 Helmet

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

Throughout the 1930s, Roy Richter was racing and building cars in the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell, California. Over the years he would win a few races, his cars would win many, and in 1945 he purchased Bell Auto Parts. The following year, Swede Lindskog became the second of Roy’s close friends to be killed in an auto accident. It changed everything for Bell, and everything for the business of personal safety equipment.

Bell Helmets was officially born in 1956, two years after Bell Auto Parts started selling their first helmet, the “500”. Throughout the years Bell has been a driving force for innovation, pushing the business of keeping people safe forward and onward.

Today, the 500 is made with twenty-first century technologies, but it still retains all the heritage of the original. The Custom 500- “Not retro. Original.”

Bell Custom 500 Helmet

  • Custom-quilted liner
  • Fiberglass shell
  • Five-year warranty
  • A variety of shields are available and can be snapped onto the integrated visor snaps
  • Padded chin straps with D-ring closure

Bell Custom 500 Special Edition

  • Leather D-ring pull tab

Bell Custom 500 Carbon

  • Composite Carbon shell
  • Leather D-ring pull tab
  • Leather goggle strap


  • Available in XS-2XL

May the New Year Bring You Riding Jeans

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Riding jeans really took off in 2014, and with many new brands on the market and established brands getting in on the action with additional cuts and styles, there are more options to choose from than ever before. They are better than ever before, as well; in many cases riding jeans are prepped for knee and hip impact protectors, provide a larger area of coverage from road rash, and use new aramid blends for a higher level of abrasion resistance. Today, the many riding jean styles are caught up to everyday street style, so you can wear the pair that matches your look twenty-four-seven and blend right in. With all the improvements in function, fit, and fashion coming together to change the way we dress for the ride, 2015 is shaping up to be the Year of the Riding Jean.

At Road Rider, we added new styles and brands throughout the year so every rider can find a style and fit they feel comfortable in. We now have over a dozen styles of riding jeans, so read up on some of our offerings, below, and visit us to try ‘em on.


Motto Wear


  • Abrasion Resistance: DuPont Kevlar at seat, knees, and sides of thighs
  • Armor Pockets: Built-in mesh pockets with Velcro closure at knees; Velcro tabs at hips
  • Impact Protection: Purchase includes a set of CE-certified SAS-TEC knee protectors; optional hip protectors sold separately
  • Price: $129-$169

Motto Wear jeans are designed for riders, by riders. Pick up any pair and you will feel the softness, toughness, and quality that set these jeans apart. Motto Wear jeans are made with a unique Swiss-developed denim that is soft but heavy, and has a high tensile strength for additional security. We carry four men’s styles–Gallante, City X, Raiser X, and Debonair–and one for women–the Kira X. All Motto Wear jeans are cut for comfort and feature modern washes and detailing.

Motto Wear Debonair 2 Motto Wear Debonair Motto Wear Kira X 2 Motto Wear Kira X

Motto Wear Gallante 2 Motto Wear Gallante Motto Wear Raiser X 2 Motto Wear Raiser X

Motto Wear City X 2 Motto Wear City X




  • Abrasion Resistance: Dyneema/DuPont Kevlar blend at seat, knees, and sides of thighs
  • Armor Pockets: None. Protectors can be affixed to the Kevlar/Dyneema lining using double-sided Velcro*
  • Impact Protection: SAS-TEC CE-certified protectors sold separately
  • Price: $149-$179

Drayko jeans use a unique woven blend of DuPont Kevlar and Dyneema, a light, extremely strong material used in military personal armor. This blend creates a riding jean with an unmatched weight-to-strength ratio, and Drayko jeans meet and exceed the CE requirement for burst, tear, and road abrasion resistance. Based on the CE system of measuring road abrasion resistance per second, Drayko jeans are the only jeans that tested at 4.4 seconds, which is double that of the best of other brands of riding jeans and triple that of many others.

Renegade Indigo 3 Renegade Indigo 6 Renegade Black 1

Womens Drift 3 Womens Drift 2 Womens Drift 4





  • Abrasion Resistance: DuPont Kevlar at seat and knees
  • Armor Pockets: Outside-access protector pockets at knees and exterior polyurethane knee sliders
  • Impact Protection: Purchase includes a set of CE-certified D3o knee protectors
  • Price: $160

The Icon Overlord jeans feature D3o knee protectors in interior pockets that can be easily accessed from the outside and are height adjustable. Icon doubled down on the knee protection, and added polyurethane sliders to the knees’ exteriors. Elasticized panels above the knees give the Overlord jeans a bunch-free, flexible fit.

Icon Overlord Jeans Icon Overlord Jeans back




  • Abrasion Resistance: DuPont Kevlar at the seat and knees
  • Armor Pockets: Built-in mesh pockets knees
  • Impact Protection: Alpinestars CE-certified Smart Guard Knee Armor sold separately
  • Price: $169

Alpinestars Outcast Tech jeans are a modern fit, straight leg, dark wash style that will work as well on on casual Fridays as on your weekend rides. The knees contain mesh pockets for CE-certified protectors, like Alpinestars’ soft and thin Smart Guard Knee Armor.

Alpinestars Outcast Tech Jeans Alpinestars Outcast Back




  • Abrasion Resistance: Fully lined with DuPont Kevlar to below the knees
  • Armor Pockets: Built-in mesh pockets at knees and hips
  • Impact Protection: CE-certified SAS-TEC protectors sold separately
  • Price: $119

Scorpion’s new Covert riding jeans are modern all the way, with a look and fit that will give your #1 pair of everyday jeans a serious challenge for the starting spot. They are lined from the knees to the ankles with a light mesh to promote airflow and reduce irritation on the bike. They also feature mesh knee and hip armor pockets, so you can easily add and remove CE armor and ride knowing it’s going to stay in place when you need it.

Scorpion Covert Scorpion Covert Back


Fast Company Draggin’ Jeans


  • Abrasion Resistance: DuPont Kevlar at seat and knees
  • Armor Pockets: None. Protectors can be affixed to the Kevlar lining using double-sided Velcro*
  • Impact Protection: SAS-TEC CE-certified knee and hip protectors sold separately
  • Price: $119-$129

Fast Company Draggin Jeans are the original Kevlar® riding jeans, and still made in the USA. They feature heavy-duty denim and stitching, and have the most traditional fit and color of any of the jeans listed here. If like your Levi’s old school, try some Draggin’ Jeans.

Draggin Classic Blue Draggin Classic Black Draggin Women's Modern Fit Draggin Relaxed Blue

*Ask a Road Rider gear specialist to show you how this works.



What’s Your Style? Icon Bags

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Squad 3 Backpack

We like our backpacks to stay put when we’re tucked in on the freeway, and we like the Icon Squad 3 because it stays right where it needs to be. The padded chest panel of the Squad not only keeps the sleek backpack close and distributes the weight around your torso, but it contains an inner zippered pocket with a headphone port where you can conveniently store your phone or iPod and some cash. The main back panel has a pouch for a CE-rated back protector and has padded channels to keep the weight of the pack off your spine. There’s even more to this awesome do-it-all pack, but you’ll have to see for yourself. Check it out and try it on at Road Rider.

Icon Squad 3.0 Backpack Icon Squad 3.0 front

Primer Tank Bag

Icon’s Primer Tank bag is an ideal little magnetic pack for sportbikes. The dome-shaped Primer fits more than you’d think, but works fine for those times when you’re just carrying around your cell phone and wallet. Use the exterior compression strap to cinch down a spare layer like a jacket liner.

Icon-Primer-Tank-Bag-2-540x349 Icon Primer Tank Bag Icon Primer Tank Bag 3

Urban Tank Bag

Icon’s muy grande Urban Tank Bag is a home run for riders who need substantial storage but don’t want to wear a backpack. This magnetic tank bag is roomy and durable, and can even be used as a backpack and helmet carry when you hit the streets on foot. A grippy neoprene pad on the underside will keep your tank protected, and when the bag is converted into backpack mode, the pad unclips and becomes a helmet cradle so you can tote your lid around.

Icon Urban Tank BagIcon Urban Tank Bag 2Icon Urban Tank Bag 3

Old Skool Backpack

The Old Skool is a cooler version of that trusty old Jansport you once used to lug around all your textbooks. It has straps and a main compartment that holds things. But Icon is for bikers, so they’ve added a sternum strap, a nice Icon logo, and external pockets, just for you.

Icon Old Skool Backpack Icon Old Skool front


Helite Airnest Personal Airbag Vest

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Road Rider is now carrying the Helite Airnest Vest. Pretty neat stuff. As one reviewer said, “These will revolutionize motorcycle safety.” For a pretty inconspicuous black vest, it packs some MAJOR crash protection. It even contains a CE-rated Knox back protector. Check it out!

Helite Airnest 2

Helite Airnest 4



HJC CS-R2 Helmet

Posted on: December 12th, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

We want everybody who comes to Road Rider looking for a helmet to leave with a safe, high-quality helmet that they love. At around a hundred bucks, the HJC CS-R2 helps make that possible, and presents quality and safety at a price that everyone can handle.

The CS-R2 offers good ventilation and a lot of airflow for a helmet at this price. It’s comfortable, and has a fully removable and washable liner system. The CS-R2 comes with a clear visor, but it can be upgraded to any HJ-09 tinted shield, available in an array of colors and tints. HJC even made a CS-R2 graphic for everyone; you can pick from over two dozen color options.

HJC CS-R2 Helmet

  • Advanced Polycarbonate Composite Shell
  • Aerodynamic shell with large eyeport opening for greater visibility
  • Adjustable forehead and chin vents
  • Two rear exhaust vents
  • Chin bar vent helps to diminish shield fogging
  • Plush, removable and washable Nylex® interior lining
  • Rapid Fire™ Shield Replacement System for quick, secure, tool-less shield removal and installation
  • Aerodynamic, flush-mounted shield fit for reduced turbulence
  • HJ-09 anti-fog, scratch-resistant face shield blocks 95% of UV radiation
    Optically correct 3D shield design


  • Available in sizes XS-2XL
  • Available in various solid and graphic color options

10 Percent Banner



Rainy Day Reads: Great Motorcycle Books

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

Consider giving a book a home this winter. Besides bringing joy and inspiration into your life, moto-book ownership offers many rewards. A book can give you a glimpse into the minds of the world’s top racers, transport you to a dusty barn hiding a vintage treasure, or offer you a chair in the Chopper Shaman’s workshop. Though they can often be hard to put down, moto-books require little maintenance and are fine when left on their own for long periods of time. So visit our bookshelf and drag a knee down the reading rainbow on a rainy day with one of these exciting reads.



By Dave Nichols, with Andrea “Bambi” Cambridge

Published by Motorbooks (2010)

‘Indian’ Larry DeSmedt was an extraordinary man and a celebrated custom bike builder made widely famous by Discovery Channel shows, most notably the Biker Build-Off series. Larry’s storied life ended suddenly when he was killed in a stunt accident in 2004, but his legend was already very much alive by the time of his death. Larry had become known as much for his heart and soul as for his incredible artistry and skill.

Indian Larry, Chopper Shaman is written by Dave Nichols with the help of Larry’s widow, “Bambi” Cambridge, and details Indian Larry’s life through accounts by his closest friends, business partners, and loved ones. It covers his story from youth through death–one of rebellion, addiction, and irrepressible creative drive. The book features dozens of color photos and showcases his world-famous bikes in jaw-dropping, multi-page spreads.

In life, Larry’s story touched thousands of fans and fellow riders who have travelled their own roads through alienation, loss and hardship to find redemption and happiness. This beautiful book is engaging from start to finish, and a fitting tribute to the wide world of Indian Larry.

Indian Larry Cover Indian Larry Inside Indian Larry Back Cover Indian Larry Inside (3) Indian Larry Inside (2)

Nichols, Dave and Andrea “Bambi” Cambridge. Indian Larry, Chopper Shaman. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks, 2010.


By Neil Spalding

Published by Haynes (2nd Ed. 2010)

Once you fall down this fascinating rabbit hole, you won’t be able to stop reading. MotoGP Technology is a colossal book, in size and in scope, and one you’ll treasure for years to come. It’s the most complete book on the daunting subject of premier class bike mechanics, and anyone with an interest in racing will enjoy it–regardless of your level of technical know-how. It covers everything from brakes, electronics, riders, aerodynamics, engines, to the many, many challenges teams face in their quest to shave milliseconds off the best lap times in the world. Spalding’s writing is smooth and, despite the complex topics, easily digestible.

The second edition was published in 2010 and covers the 990cc GP bikes of the 2002-2007 era as well as the current 800cc machines. Bikes detailed include Honda’s RC211V and RC212V, the Yamaha M1, Ducati Desmosedici, Suzuki GSV-R, Kawasaki ZX-RR, and also bikes from Team Roberts, WCM, Aprilia, Moriwaki and Ilmor.

With MotoGP Technology as your race-season companion, you’ll quickly gain an advanced understanding of what makes these bikes and their riders tick, and in doing so, enrich your own enjoyment of the race and admiration for the competitors.

MotoGP Technology Cover MotoGP Technology Inside MotoGP Technology Back Cover MotoGP Technology Inside

Spalding, Neil. MotoGP Technology, 2nd Edition. Sparkford, England: Haynes, 2010.


By Norm DeWitt

Published by Motorbooks (2010)

For anyone with an interest in the motorcycle racing of today or yesterday, Norm DeWitt’s Grand Prix Motorcycle Racers: The American Heroes is a must read. The story starts appropriately when Kenny Roberts dropped a knee on the international racing scene in the late ‘70s, and ends with the most recent American World Champion, Nicky Hayden. The book primarily focuses on celebrating the achievements of the seven American World Champions: Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Kenny Roberts, Jr., and Nicky Hayden. It also includes chapters on American racers who never quite made it to the international top spot but had exceptional careers–riders like Randy Mamola, Colin Edwards, and Doug Polen.

DeWitt carries the reader rapidly along with fascinating anecdotes, and the book is filled with tales that convey the intensity of the riders and championships they battled for. If you grew up following Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson, DeWitt’s riveting account will bring you back to a golden era of racing in the ‘80s. If you follow current AMA or MotoGP racing, the Grand Prix story will give you a richer understanding of what racing is today. The heroes of American racing helped transform the sport during a time of incredible advancement in technology and technique, and they remain the superstars that inspired today’s champions to drag an elbow.

Grand Prix Motorcycle Racers Cover Grand Prix Back Cover

DeWitt, Norm. Grand Prix Motorcycle Racers: The American Heroes. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks, 2010.


By Peter Egan

Published by Motorbooks (2009)

When Peter Egan was learning how to fly airplanes, he rented a Cessna 150. A friend asked him, “Isn’t that like the Chevy Vega of airplanes?” “There is no Chevy Vega of airplanes,” Egan said, “Anything that flies is better than a Vega.” “That’s more or less how I feel about bikes,” he told the interviewer as he recounted the story. The exchange tells a lot about Egan, because as much expertise as he has on his subject, motorcycles, he has love enough for them all.

Peter Egan is one of the world’s finest moto-journalists, and Leanings: The Best of Peter Egan From Cycle World Magazine, is a collection of his columns that ran in Cycle World from 1977 to 2002. Each column is preceded by a short retrospective commentary by the author. The entries are funny, endearing, delightfully written, and cover topics that span the diverse world (literally) of motorcycling. As you read his stories of adventures in restoration, travel, challenge, and cycle-obsession, you’ll enjoy the ride and find a great friend in the process.

Leanings Peter Egan Leanings Back Cover

Egan, Peter. Leanings: The Best Of Peter Egan From Cycle World Magazine. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks, 2009.


By Neil Peart

Published by ECW Press (2002)

I’ve heard it said that for many of us, our deep love of riding comes from a place inside where we find peace in the catharsis of doing nothing, forgetting everything, and focusing only on the bike, the road, the movement. Neil Peart found that literally moving through time was the only way to become whole again after being completely torn apart by tragedy.

In 1997, the Rush drummer and author of Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road lost his teenage daughter in a car accident. Still reeling from the devastating loss, his heart-broken wife passed away just ten months later. Peart did the only thing could to live through his inconceivable grief–he took to the road on his BMW R1150 GS. A limitless trip without a destination turned into multi-year ramble across Canada, up to Alaska, and down through the United States and Central America.

As it turns out, Peart is a great writer, and in Ghost Rider he carries us along on his journey as he comes to terms with his incredible losses, and eventually returns to rebuild a life for himself. It’s a poignant, thoughtful book, and a quiet one, and gives the reader a small sense of the healing and peace Peart found in his journey.

Ghost Rider Cover Ghost Rider Back Cover

Peart, Neil. Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road. Toronto: ECW Press, 2002.


By Tom Cotter

Published by Motorbooks (2009)

You’ll keep a keen eye on the dusty corners of garages after you read forty tales of some of the most enviable motorcycle finds in the world in this selection. Tom Cotter scoured the world’s collector circles for the forty best stories of motorcycle ‘barn’ finds and brought them together for The Vincent In The Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archeology. The book features stories of uncovered treasures from premier collectors like Jay Leno and Dale Walksler, as well as tales of true chance finds discovered by unwitting motorcycle enthusiasts.

Cotter’s collection includes the bizarre story of the Bay Area’s ‘Madman of Marin County’, George Disteel. After Disteel’s son died in a motorbike accident, Disteel began hoarding Vincents, Nortons, and other bikes and storing them in the many barns and sheds on his properties. After the eccentric Disteel died and authorities discovered the surprising extent of his properties, witnesses described scenes that included finding as many as twenty Vincents in one spot. The Butterfield Auction House was hired to sell the recovered bikes and all were sold, both running and non-running. One Vincent Black Shadow was sold to Arlen Ness for just under $2000, which he restored and later sold.

Look for Cotter’s other book, The Harley In The Barn,  also available at Road Rider. Before turning his sights on motorcycles, Tom Cotter, a motorsports industry veteran, wrote The Cobra In The Barn and The Hemi In The Barn.

Vincent In the Barn Vincent In The Barn Back Cover Vincent In The Barn Inside Vincent In The Barn Inside (1)

Cotter, Tom. The Vincent In The Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archeology. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks, 2009.


By Rick Broadbent

Published by Bantam Press (2009)

Our fascination with sport goes way beyond the winning or the losing; it goes deeper than an interest in who finishes first or scores the most points. It’s about all of the human drama that goes along with the quest to be number one–about fiercely dedicated competitors pitted against one another, their struggle and triumph, and their inevitable heartbreak and pain. Ring Of Fire: The Inside Story of Valentino Rossi and MotoGP, is a book about those things, and it’s absolutely captivating.

Rick Broadbent is a man from the paddock, a journalist with years of insider’s stories to tell about the very real riders behind those triple-digit speeds. Though the name implies it’s a book about Valentino Rossi, Broadbent intertwines the exciting story of Rossi’s ascent to legendary status with the story of one of his boyhood heroes, Mike ‘Mike the Bike’ Hailwood, who followed his calling and returned to win the Isle of Man in 1978 after an eleven-year absence from motorcycle racing. But Broadbent doesn’t stop there, and Ring Of Fire is filled with many behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Rossi’s competition, the old guard–Max Biaggi, Sete Gibernau–and the up-and-coming–John Hopkins, Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Jorge Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa.

Ring of Fire Ring of Fire Back cover

Broadbent, Rick. Ring of Fire. London: Bantam Press, 2009.




Waterproof Gear Guide

Posted on: December 6th, 2014 by Road Rider MCA No Comments

If you’re in the market for some new gear, you may find all the different kinds of waterproofing materials and choices out there baffling. Who hasn’t wondered, why is this jacket $800 and that one is only $200? Are all waterproof and breathable membranes created equally? Will these pants be all steamy inside like my plastic yellow rain suit from the hardware store?

Manufactures like Alpinestars, Tour Master, Firstgear, and Rev’It! put a huge amount of time and effort into waterproofing our gear so cost and performance intersect at just the right point. The better we understand how they do it, the harder we’ll be putting our dollars to work when we finally choose our gloves, pants, boots, and jackets.

What Do You Need? What do you want?

Before you start comparing waterproof gear you need to think about what you’re looking for. Are you the kind of rider who doesn’t even blink at the thought of riding through torrents and monsoons? Or do you just want something that will keep you dry when you’re caught in the inevitable surprise rain shower? Do you have separate winter and summer jackets, or do you want something that you can wear comfortably all year long? And finally, how much do you want to spend?

Once you’ve identified what’s important to you, let’s look at the three main kinds of waterproofing systems you’ll find when you’re gear shopping.


Motorcycle gear typically uses a waterproof and breathable membrane system to keep the rain out. Aptly named ‘membranes’, these materials act like your own skin and contain microscopic holes that are large enough to allow sweat vapor out, but not large enough to let rainwater in. In many cases, the waterproof and breathable membrane is independently ‘floating’ between the durable exterior material and the soft interior lining (1). In jackets, the membrane may instead take the shape of a separate, removable liner (2), or be bonded onto a heavier material to create a single layered shell jacket (3).

1. Floating Membrane System

While waterproofing can take different forms in jackets, nearly all gloves and boots utilize the floating membrane method of waterproofing, in which the membrane ‘floats’ between the jacket’s heavy outer material and its inner lining. Jackets with a floating membrane offer a very affordable way to stay dry, but can be rather warm when worn outside of the cold season, and may not stand up to extreme weather situations. For a more complete understanding of waterproof and breathable membranes, be sure to read the section on different membrane brands at the bottom of this page.


  • Convenience- The waterproofing is built right into the jacket, so you don’t have to deal with zipping in a removable liner.
  • Price- Jackets utilizing this method can be reliable without being very expensive.


  • Saturation- Though your body will stay dry, the outer material of your jacket, gloves, boots, or pants may become saturated with water (see Water-Repellant Coatings and the section on how to care for your waterproof gear, below).
  • Poor Warm Weather Performance- Even though a membrane is breathable, things will get a little warm inside, especially if your jacket contains a cheaply-made membrane that doesn’t breath as well as a better quality one would.
  • Poor Ventilation- In most cases, ventilation zippers on this type of jacket do not provide direct airflow into the jacket’s interior and onto your body.* The air actually flows onto the membrane, where it carries built-up moisture and hot air out through the rear exhaust vents.
  • Reliability- Inexpensive jackets of this variety have been known to leak in extremely wet situations. If you  ride rain or shine, it’s a good idea to always pack an emergency rain suit for prolonged, heavy downpours.

Examples: Tour Master Transition 3 Jacket, Alpinestars Andes Drystar Jacket, Rev’It! Voltiac Jacket, Joe Rocket Ballistic Revolution, and most waterproof gloves and boots. *The Firstgear Kilimanjaro is an example of a jacket with a floating membrane that does provide direct airflow.

2. Removable Waterproof Liner

If you want better multi-season performance, you may want to consider a jacket with a removable waterproof liner. The liner usually zips or snaps into the interior of the jacket, so you can simply remove it when you don’t need the waterproof feature.


  • Heat Management- When temperatures rise you can quickly ditch the waterproof membrane.
  • Ventilation- The zippered vents will provide direct airflow to the interior of the jacket when the waterproof liner is removed. Four-season jackets of this kind often provide an abundance of effective ventilation panels and zips so you can more comfortably ride in warm weather.


  • Inconvenience- Some riders don’t like dealing with the snaps and zippers of removable liners. Since most jackets come with removable thermal liners as well, dealing with two liners can be a chore until you get the hang of it.
  • Saturation- As with floating membrane jackets, the outer material is not waterproof and can become saturated.

Examples: Rev’It! Sand 2 Jacket, Rev’It! Neptune GTX Jacket, Tour Master Sonora Air

3. Waterproof Shell

The main construction of a waterproof shell jacket is made from a durable material, such as nylon, with a waterproof membrane laminated or bonded right onto it. Shell jackets are less common in the motorcycle gear market but nevertheless have a committed fan base because of their simplicity, multi-season versatility, and lightweight design. This style of jacket will have taped, waterproof zippers that provide direct airflow through the shell to the rider’s body.


  • Simplicity and Light Weight- No waterproof liner necessary, it’s just one waterproof and breathable layer. The bonded construction of the material minimizes bulk and weight.
  • Ventilation- Taped, heat-sealed seams on all the ventilation zippers keep the rain out, but provide plenty of airflow straight through the interior of the jacket when you need it.


  • Price- Creating a truly waterproof shell isn’t easy. Zippers and seams are all potential weak points where rain could penetrate if they fail, and the multi-season advantages of this jacket style demand the use of a high-quality, highly breathable membrane.

Example: Rev’It! Poseidon GTX Jacket

Demystifying Brands: Waterproof and Breathable Membranes

A big part of what determines the price of a waterproof product is how much the manufacturer spent acquiring and preparing the membrane. Though we haven’t conducted a systematic comparison of all the different membrane materials we discuss below, it is safe to say that membranes that perform better are more costly, and we’ve found that to be true in our own experiences. Companies like Alpinestars, Dainese, and Rev’It! will use more costly materials in their high-end products and use generic or less expensive membrane materials in their value-oriented and mid-range gear.


Gore-Tex, of course, is considered by many to be the most breathable waterproof membrane material available, and for that reason Gore-Tex gear comes at a premium price. The material itself is guaranteed waterproof for life by it’s manufacturer, W.L. Gore and Associates, and W.L. Gore still refuses to commit their brand to a product that isn’t of the highest quality, so you know you’re getting a great product when the Gore-Tex name is attached.

Examples: Rev’It! Neptune GTX Jacket, Rev’It! Poseidon GTX Jacket, Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex Boots, TCX Airtech Gore-Tex BootsAlpinestars Web Gore-Tex Boots, Olympia GT Weatherking Xtra Gloves

Drystar, Hydratex, D-Dry

Drystar is Alpinestars’ premium proprietary membrane material, not to be confused with their plain ol’ non-branded membrane used in products they label with ‘WP’. You should find that an Alpinestars product with Drystar in the name performs better than one with just ‘WP’ in the name (for example, the Andes Drystar Jacket vs. the Gunner WP Jacket). Alpinestars products that are labeled with the plain ol’ WP are generally on the value-end of the gear line, and Drystar is used in their mid-range products, while Gore-Tex is used in their most technical gear.

Likewise, Hydratex is Rev’It’s premium proprietary membrane material like D-Dry is Dainese’s. Hydratex and D-Dry are found in the companies’ mid-range gear, while they reserve Gore-Tex for their top-of-the-line products.

Examples: Alpinestars Andes Drystar JacketAlpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves, Rev’It! Zoom H2o Gloves, Rev’It! Tornado Jacket


HiPora is a waterproof and breathable membrane material that is used widely in gloves and boots and occasionally in jackets, and is sourced by a variety of manufacturers.

Examples: Tour Master Solution WP Boots, Cortech Scarab Winter Gloves, Cortech Vice WP Boots

Water-Repellant Coatings

Water-repellant coatings are usually applied to the outer shell of a jacket featuring a waterproof and breathable membrane system. The coating causes water to bead up and run off, and this prevents the jacket’s outer material from soaking up water.

When a coating is used in concert with an inner membrane, the coating will prevent the jacket’s outer material from becoming saturated with water, and this helps maximize the garment’s breathability when you’re riding in the rain. However, waterproof coatings wash and wear out over time and every saturation shortens their lifespan. Fortunately, with the right product you can maximize the longevity of the coating and rejuvenate it when necessary.

How To Maintain Your Water-Repellant Coating and Protect Your Product

Jackets- Dirt buildup impairs your jacket’s ability to let air pass through the fibers, so when you wash your jacket, use a special cleanser like NikWax Tech Wash to help maintain maximum breathability and restore the water repellant coating. For older or more worn jackets, you can reapply a fresh coating yourself in your washing machine with NikWax TX Direct.

Boots- Exposure to a lot of water will damage leather, and leather boots with a waterproof membrane are no exception. Protect leather boots from the rain by applying a home waterproofing product like NikWax Fabric and Leather Proof.

Gloves- Treat your leather gloves with a waterproofing product like NikWax Glove Proof or Fabric and Leather Proof to prevent deterioration caused by exposure to water. For textile gloves with no waterproof coating, use TX Direct Wash-In to help water bead off.

The Gear

Rev'It! Poseidon

Rev'It! Poseidon

Rev'It! Neptune


Rev'It! Sand 2

Sand 2

Rev'It! Tornado


Firstgear  Kilimanjaro


Alpinestars Andes


Rev'It! Voltiac


Tour Master Transition 3

Tour Master
Transition 3

Tour Master Sonora Air

Tour Master
Sonora Air

Joe Rocket Ballistic Rev

Joe Rocket
Ballistic Rev

Alpinestars  Web


Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex

Adventure Gore-Tex

TCX Airtech


Cortech Vice WP

Vice WP

Tour Master Solution

Tour Master

Alpinestars  Archer


Olympia Weatherking


Rev'It! Zoom


Alpinestars Valparaiso


Cortech Scarab