Simpson Street Bandit Helmet

BY Road Rider MCA - June 28th, 2016

A little bit of Lord Vader, a lot of The Stig, the Simpson Street Bandit Helmet makes a bold statement in all black. The Street Bandit is a direct descendent of the original Simpson motorcycle helmet, the RXM-1, and its distinctive shell has Simpson’s racing heritage molded into every shadowy angle and line.

The Street Bandit hits on the key points of 21st-century motorcycle safety while staying true to that throwback look. It’s Snell-rated for safety, featuring a strong and light fiberglass shell with a drag-inspired, aerodynamic shape. Always-open vents on the chin and closable vents on the forehead provide good ventilation, while it has a chin area/breath box that is longer and roomier than those of the Simpson M30 and Simpson Outlaw Bandit motorcycle helmets. This more elongated shape at the front gives you that fresh-air feeling around the face when riding in hot climates.

The shield is sturdy and thick, and uses a rather simple mechanism and gasket seal. Although basic, the shield does the job and provides three levels of detente including a crack mode to prevent shield fogging.

The Street Bandit isn’t the helmet to choose if you’re all about the bells and whistles, but if you like that retro style and are looking for something unique and pretty darn cool looking, bingo. The Simpson Street Bandit is available to try on and check out in person at Road Rider. We’ll see you soon.


Simpson Street Bandit Helmet Features

  • Aerodynamic, fiberglass shell
  • Snell rated for safety
  • Wider eyeport for improved field of vision
  • Ram air vents on the chin
  • Two closeable forehead vents
  • Includes two sets of cheek pads for customized fit
  • The Simpson Street Bandit is available in gloss black, matte black, and white
  • MSRP: $299.99






Simpson Motorcycle Helmets

BY Road Rider MCA - June 27th, 2016

Simpson is a name synonymous with motorsport racing, trusted by top riders in NASCAR, IndyCar, and NHRA. Founded in Texas in 1958 by 18-year old drag racer Bill Simpson as Simpson Drag Chutes, the company went on to revolutionize personal protection for professional drivers with their fire suits, helmets, and other safety accessories.

When Simpson’s first helmets arrived on the scene in 1979 they gave other popular helmet brands of the time a run for their money. The RX-1, and its motorcycle-specific counterpart RXM-1, offered innovative features and a very cool new look that remains entirely exclusive to Simpson, even today.


Simpson Motorcycle Helmets

The RXM-1 was an instant hit, and since then the distinctive Simpson shape has stuck around in various incarnations as the choice of many racers and riders. The RXM-1 soon morphed into the Model 30, and more recently appearing as the Street Bandit.

Road Rider stocks the Simpson Street Bandit and the M30 helmets. Simpson motorcycle helmets are available in black, matte black, and white. Stop by or give us a call at (408) 227-6936 if you have questions about our Simpson helmets or would like to check current availability.


Simpson Street Bandit

The Simpson Street Bandit is the newest iteration of the classic Model 30 helmet. The Street Bandit is Snell certified for safety, and includes two sets of cheek pads to help refine your fit. Click here to go to our Simpson Street Bandit Helmet profile page.

Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Street Bandit Helmet White RRPP
Price: $299.99


Simpson M30 Bandit

Simpson’s M30 Bandit is a new Simpson design that weighs in at only 3 pounds. The Free Stop shield system allows you to position the shield at any height. This minimalist lid gives you that Simpson look in a small and light package. You should note, however, that the M30 is very flat at the front and fits closely against your mouth, nose, and face, and may pose a fitment problem for some riders.

Simpson Motorcycle Helmets M30 Helmet RRPP
Price: $399.99






Video Of The Week: I Am A Helmet Man

BY Road Rider MCA - June 27th, 2016

Welcome to Road Rider’s Video Of The Week!

“I am a helmet man. And, also, I know that I only live once,” says Michio Arai, president of Arai Helmets, in this week’s video.

‘Mitch’ Arai is the son of Hirotake Arai, who founded Arai Helmets in 1926 as a hatmaker-turned-helmet-maker. Hirotake, a life-long a motorcycle rider, began developing motorcycle helmets in the 1950s. He was initially motivated by a desire to protect himself and his friends–personal experience showed him that there was a critical need for head protection in his sport. So began one of the world’s most revered motorsports helmet companies. Michio Arai, along with his son Akihito, carries on Hirotake’s dedicated work today, tirelessly focused on developing the best possible protection for our heads.

This week we take a bit of a serious turn in Video Of The Week, with allusions to head-crushing forces and lacking the sweeping vistas and twisty roads of our regular fare. But we were so inspired by last week’s Helmet Tech Talk With Arai that we want to keep the message going about the special culture, processes, and principles at work at Arai on every handmade helmet.

We encourage you to pop over to the @AraiHelmetAmerica YouTube page to watch the rest of the Arai web series, along with some other videos featuring top professional riders who wear Arai every day.

You can also read our article Arai Helmets: Committed To Crafting A Better Helmet for more detailed information about the features and materials that set an Arai helmet apart.

Click here to browse our selection of Arai helmets.









Closed On Monday, July 4th

BY Road Rider MCA - June 27th, 2016

Road Rider will be closed on Monday, July 4th. Happy Independence Day!






Sidi ADV Boots Showdown: Sidi Adventure vs. Canyon vs. Deep Rain

BY Road Rider MCA - June 23rd, 2016

Sidi has an impressive catalogue of motorcycle boots suited for any feat performed on two wheels, from the Crossfire, tested at the highest levels of motocross competition, to the Mag-1, worn by some of the fastest MotoGP riders on the planet. But Sidi puts the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail into boots designed for those of us with different goals in mind.

One of Sidi’s most successful categories is their line of adventure boots. As our taste for boots that can smoothly transition from asphalt to offroad grows, so does the selection of Sidi ADV boots. The Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex, the Deep Rain, and the Adventure Rain are three top Sidi adventure riding boots, and they are all fantastic multiple-personality Sidi ADV boots that you’ll find it hard to choose between.

But that’s what we’re going to try to help you do with this Sidi ADV Boots Showdown. Read on to find out which of Sidi’s top adventure/dual sport boots is the right choice for your needs and your riding style.


Sidi ADV Boots Product Comparison:

The Canyon is priced smack-dab in the middle of two other very popular adventure-touring oriented boots from Sidi–the Adventure and the Deep Rain. It’s a relatively small jump up or down in price from the Canyon to one of the other two, so you might be wondering, which of Sidi’s three leading lugged-sole boots is right for you?


Version 2



Sidi Adventure Rain

Sidi Adventure Rain Boot RRPP

Price: $395

The Adventure comes in two different versions, the Adventure Rain and the Adventure Gore-Tex. While the Canyon comes standard with a premium Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, the Adventure Rain and Deep Rain boots feature a proprietary ‘Rain’ membrane. Priced at $395, the Adventure Rain is just $45 more than the Canyon, so that’s the one we’ll be talking about.

The Adventure was built for riders who don’t stop at pavement’s end, and it packs an incredible amount of offroad-derived protection into a boot you could still rock on the daily commute.

The Adventure shares the same lugged sole as the other two, but it’s significantly beefier in all other aspects. It’s the tallest of the group, with hard plastic protection on the shin and heel, and hinged TPU ankle bracing. The big, durable Cam-Lock buckles, also on the Deep Rain, lend themselves better than the Canyon’s mini buckle to use in rugged, muddy conditions, and provide much-needed stability and support for offroad riding.

Traversing trails and city streets on foot comes easy in the Adventures, but the extra protection, added height, and subsequent heftier weight undoubtedly bring with them some sacrifices in the comfort department.

Road Rider currently stocks Sidi Adventure Rain and Adventure Gore-Tex boots. Check out a full description of the Sidi Adventure Rain Boots here.


Sidi Deep Rain

Sidi Deep Rain Boots RRPP

Price: $295

Sidi’s Deep Rain is the only boot of our three that features a Technomicro upper rather than a genuine leather construction. Technomicro is Sidi’s synthetic leather of choice, and is used in Sidi track boots because of its resistance to fatigue, wear, and abrasion, and for its light weight and durability. It’s also featured in many Sidi touring boot models, and is naturally water-resistant and breathable. While the synthetic Deep Rains won’t break in quite like the genuine leather Canyons or Adventures would, they are strong, lightweight, and priced at just $295.

Like the Adventures, the Deep Rains tower almost three inches over the Canyons, providing critical upper shin coverage for adventures off the asphalt. The Deep Rains also have a TPU hard heel protector. In all other areas of protection, the Canyons and Deep Rains are comparable.

Road Rider currently stocks the Sidi Deep Rain boots. Check out a full description of here.


Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex Boots

Sidi Canyon GTX Boot Detail RRPP


The Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex boots are the most road-oriented of these three Sidi ADV boots.

With a shorter height and no external TPU hard parts, they are more in line with a traditional touring boot style. They are lightweight, super comfortable, and look great around town. Still, the Gore-Tex membrane, grippy lugged sole, and secure fit make them versatile and rugged if things get a little dirty.

The Canyons feature a small micro buckle to keep your foot securely strapped down. Reinforced heel and toe boxes, internal ankle sliders, and a rigid shin protector round out a comfortable, reliable all-weather option for ADV riders.



Protection: No question here, the Sidi Adventures take the cake when it comes to protection. With hinged ankle bracing and TPU hard parts, they skirt the line between street and offroad categories, and are ideal for 50/50 street and offroad use.

Waterproofing: Unsurprisingly, the Canyons run away with this category thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane. However, the Deep Rains deserve an honorable mention because they have Technomicro on their side. Synthetic leather is naturally water-resistant and won’t break down or deteriorate in water like leather will. If you do opt for the genuine leather Adventure or Canyon, we recommend using a waterproofing agent like NikWax to help prevent saturation and protect the life of the leather.

Comfort: If comfort is your goal, go the way of the Canyon. Its shorter height, full leather upper, and highly breathable Gore-Tex membrane make it the most well-rounded of the three for standard touring and commuting use, and the most comfortable on the bike, and off.





Klim K Fifty 1 Jeans

BY Road Rider MCA - June 20th, 2016

With the Klim K Fifty 1 Jeans, you’ll be rolling in casual denim comfort all day, and with the backing of impact and abrasion protection to get you there and back safely on your motorcycle. The K Fifty 1 jeans are regular fit, straight leg riding jeans that work as well on casual Fridays as they do on your daily commute and weekend rides.

Though the K Fifty 1s look like a normal pair of everyday jeans, Klim loaded them up with protection features, including removable D3o armor at the hips and knees, and a Poron XRD tailbone protector. The main construction is woven from an extra heavy-duty Cordura denim throughout and reinforced with Kevlar in key slide zones. All that impact protection, Kevlar, and the Cordura exterior provide a formidable level of crash protection. Paired up with Klim’s legendary, rugged build quality, and that makes for a bomb-proof pair of jeans you can rock any time.

Klim jeans are available in tall lengths in select sizes, and waist sizes from 30 through 42. Sizes do run large, so expect to fit at least one size smaller than normal.

Klim K Fifty 1 Jeans Features

  • Constructed from heavy-duty, abrasion- and tear-resistant Cordura denim
  • Lined with Kevlar aramid in slide zones
  • D3O integrated and removable hip and knee armor
  • Knee armor is adjustable
  • Poron XRD impact foam tailbone protection
  • Full mesh comfort, wicking liner
  • Waist belt loops
  • Flat-felled seams for maximum comfort and anti-chaffing
  • 5 exterior pockets
  • Stone washed finished with whisker treatment
  • YKK fly zipper
  • Available in sizes 30-42 and tall sizes 32-38
  • MSRP: $289.99 (tall sizes $299.99)





Sidi Deep Rain Boots

BY Road Rider MCA - June 17th, 2016

The Sidi Deep Rain Boots are a whole lot of adventure boot for a great price, offering an incredible value for a quality Sidi boot you can trust to last for years of hard riding. 

You might be looking at the Deep Rains and thinking they look a bit like the Sidi Adventure Rain boots, and you might be right. With the same height, same sole and tread, and same buckles, there are certainly many similarities between the two. The Deep Rains, however, will run you $100 less, and beyond that, some key differences between the Adventures and the Deep Rains, primarily the level of protection, will make one model ultimately a better fit for your riding style. 

Technomicro Upper

To keep costs down during the build, Sidi used their Technomicro synthetic leather in place of genuine leather. Though some riders will prefer the worn-in feel of real leather, there are a few advantages to owning a synthetic boot. Sidi’s Technomicro is lightweight, durable, and highly abrasion resistant. It doesn’t degrade in wet conditions and with wear like natural leather does. This makes it a great material for use in motorcycle boots, and it’s why Sidi only uses Technomicro in their racing boots. 

Waterproof ‘Rain’ Membrane

Sidi utilized their proprietary ‘Rain’ membrane instead of the more premium Gore-Tex option in the Deep Rains. That said, the $395 Adventure ‘Rain’ model features the same membrane; you’ll have to jump up the Adventure Gore-Tex ($550) if you want that Gore lifetime guarantee. For most riders who don’t ride through typhoons or wade streams on the regular, the proprietary membrane will fit the bill and provide reliable waterproofing for years to come.

Where Gore-Tex does win points with the average rider in California is in breathability. Gore-Tex is extremely breathable, which makes it a bit more pleasant to wear than other membranes when you’re hot and sweaty. If you’ve got to have Gore-Tex, be sure to check out the Sidi Canyon Gore-Tex boots, as well as the Adventure Gore-Tex.


Sidi Deep Rain Comparison RRPP


Buckles And Hard Parts

The Deep Rains come equipped with two of Sidi’s motocross-derived Cam-Lock buckles. They are tough, easy to use, and hold the foot and ankle firmly in place. The Deep Rains opt for a Velcro-only closure around the calf. They feature reinforced toe and heel boxes, ankle sliders, and a heavy shin protector.

In contrast to the Deep Rain’s fairly basic exterior, the Adventure boots have a lot of TPU reinforcement, along with a hinged brace that helps to prevent side to side ankle movement. All that hard plastic protection is great for offroading with a heavy bike, where tip-overs are par for the course. That said, where the Adventures are very offroad oriented, the Deep Rains are well-rounded, offering a nice balance of protection and comfort for commuting, touring, and light adventure riding.


Sidi Deep Rain Boots Features

  • Technomicro synthetic leather upper
  • Built-in waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Trockenfuss quality sweat-wicking liner
  • Bonded, non-slip lug sole
  • Nylon insole and removable arch support
  • Replaceable Cam Lock buckles with memory retention straps and Velcro upper closure
  • Rigid, shock resistant, anatomically shaped heel for maximum protection
  • Split-grain leather inner anti-wear/ heat panel
  • Larger reflective panel above the riders heel
  • MSRP: $295.00




Road Rider Is Your South Bay Source For VP Fuel

BY Road Rider MCA - June 16th, 2016

Road Rider is the South Bay’s #1 source for VP fuel. You’ll always find a selection of the top VP Racing Fuels at Road Rider, so you can grab your fuel and get to down to the business of going fast.

We stock the most popular fuels for motocross, road racing, flat track, drag racing, and other high-performance applications, and are committed to offering competitive prices on our race fuel. If you have a question about stock on hand, availability, or pricing, give us a call at (408) 227-6936!

We are located just one mile away from 408MX motocross track and 20 minutes away from Metcalf Motorcycle Park. Whether you’re riding local or heading out for the weekend, stop by Road Rider to conveniently pick up the fuel, gear, and accessories you need to hit the track or trail. We also carry riding gear, fuel jugs, hoses, ramps, chocks, podium stands, grips, protective gear, handlebars, maintenance supplies, and much more.

We currently maintain a regular stock of the following VP Racing Fuels:

M5 Methanol


Not sure how to select the right fuel for your application? is a great resource, but you can also check out this helpful article from Motocross Action Magazine: Guide To VP’s Motocross Racing Fuels.

Not sure where to ride?

For dirt riding venues and parks, click over to our article Offroad Riding And OHV Parks Of Northern California.

For road racing tracks and track day providers, click on Race Tracks And Track Days Of Northern California.





Video Of The Week: Ride With Norman Reedus (in Santa Cruz!)

BY Road Rider MCA - June 15th, 2016

Welcome to Road Rider’s Video Of The Week!

This week’s video is very special one, and for so many reasons. Not only does Ride With Norman Reedus feature some of California’s most scenic and iconic riding roads, some absolutely drool-worthy bikes and gear, and Norman Reedus, the actor who plays everybody’s favorite rebel hero from The Walking Dead, but it even features some familiar local voices.

Be sure to click on the link below to stream this week’s video free on!

As part of the inaugural episode of his new AMC tv show Ride With Norman Reedus, real-life moto enthusiast Reedus and his friend Imogen head north from LA on the Pacific Coast Highway, capturing some highlights along the way, including a chat with Roland Sands, a visit to Nitt Witt Ridge, and an appearance on the Motorcycles and Misfits podcast.

Motorcycles And Misfits

Motorcycles and Misfits is a weekly motorcycle podcast recorded at the Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz. We’ve posted how much we love what’s going on over at Re-Cycle before, but for those who aren’t familiar with the group, Re-Cycle’s mission is a simple and honorable one: “To  get old motorcycles back on the road and teach people how to fix them.”

Motorcycles and Misfits is produced by Re-Cycle founder Liza Miller and supporting members of the Re-Cycle Garage crew. Riders from all over the world have discovered that following the Misfits is #1, a ton of fun, and #2, a great way to pass time when not motorcycling. You might learn a thing or two about wrenching on your own ride, be inspired by stories of two-wheeled adventure, and hear from minor and major celebrities alike speaking about their passion for bikes and bike culture.

Interested in learning more about the Re-Cycle Garage? Follow them on Facebook here (@recyclesantacruz).

Click here to go to the Motorcycles and Misfits podcast webpage, which also contains, links to the podcast’s Soundcloud and YouTube channels.

Watch the video!

We can’t embed this episode of Ride With Norman Reedus, but click on the image below to stream it and future episodes on Enjoy!

Ride With Norman Reedus airs Sunday nights on AMC.

Watch it here:

Ride With Norman Reedus Episode 1






Arai Helmets: Committed To Crafting A Better Helmet

BY Road Rider MCA - June 13th, 2016

Here at Road Rider, we are asked time and time again, “What’s so special about an Arai helmet?” If you ask us, we’ll tell you what’s different about Arai helmets has as much to do with things you can see and feel as with things you can’t. We’ll tell you about Arai’s one-of-a-kind experience, that you’ll know the comfort difference when you try one on yourself. We’ll tell you Arai helmets are chosen by professional riders because they believe they offer the best protection for their heads, and that the Arai family continues to be completely uncompromising in their mission to provide “protection above all.”

Arai’s commitment to developing the best helmet possible is at the very core of the family business, and Arai has never relied on marketing to sell the world on the Arai difference. Each Arai helmet is handmade in Arai’s factory near Tokyo by a team of experienced craftsmen. Each helmet shell is tested twice, and every part of each helmet is inspected at every stage of manufacture by the craftsmen, most of whom have been with Arai for over ten years.

“If your family’s name – and your family’s honor – are on the front of your helmet, how many corners would you cut? How many shortcuts would you take?” -Arai 

In an interview with Transworld Motocross a few years back, the author, Don Maeda, asked Michio Arai about the competition between helmet manufacturers when it comes to sponsoring big-name racers. Mr. Arai, son of Arai founder Hirotake Arai, told the author, “Arai takes a stand. We will not pay big money for someone to wear our helmets. All of our racers wear our helmets because they like them, and they want to be protected… We concentrate more on research and development than paying people to wear our product…”


Arai Helmet Safety

The truth is, there are many helmets on the market that share Arai’s third-party safety credentials and some of them are even fairly inexpensive. But Arai goes much further in the development stage of their helmets than the point required to pass laboratory tests. Arai has always designed their helmets to best deal with impacts in the real world, with the knowledge that every accident is unique, uncontrolled, and unpredictable. To this end and as a result of decades of research and experience, all Arai helmets retain these three primary characteristics: roundness, smoothness, and strength.


R75 – Roundness And Smoothness

Roundness and smoothness are indeed integral to diverting and reducing impact energy in real accident scenarios in the most efficient way. These realities are the reasons for what Arai calls its R75 standard. R75 stands for “radius with a minimum of 75º”, and that strict adherence to maintaining 75º of roundness enables Arai’s helmets to glance off objects that we encounter in the real world better than the oftentimes angular and pointy shapes of other helmets.

Arai is the only company that holds up the idea of minimizing impacts through glancing as integral to the design of every Arai helmet. They don’t have to, because it isn’t something that is addressed in Snell safety tests, but there is real data to back up the safety advantage roundness provides. In fact, Arai could make a visually impressive helmet with sweeping lines and a teardrop shape, but that’s not what’s going to keep us safer on the track and on the road. That’s how Arai operates–with an absolute and total commitment to craft the finest helmet possible, with no compromises, and to serve the purposes it was intended in the best possible way.


Shells – Strength

Every Arai helmet has a fiberglass shell, handmade with special resins and Arai’s exclusive Super Glass Fiber. Born from technology originally developed for aerospace and defense applications, Arai’s Super Glass Fiber is extremely strong and light, and used in all three types of Arai shell constructions.

Peripheral Belting-Structural Net Composite Shell (PB-SNC²)

Helmets: Corsair X

Arai’s most advanced process, PB-SNC² shells are extremely light and strong, and were originally designed for Formula-1 racers. “Peripheral belting” refers to a reinforced belt above the shield that provides enhanced structural integrity while maintaining light weight and compact shell size. The Structural Net Composite is made from a net of fiberglass strands that bond shell layers together more evenly, further reducing shell weight and providing a lower, more comfortable, center of gravity.

Super Complex Laminate Construction (ScLc)

Helmets: RX-Q, Signet-Q, Defiant

The fiberglass used in ScLc shells is 40% stronger than standard fiberglass in extension and bending resistance. A layer of an extremely strong and very light chemical fiber material is sandwiched between two layers of this fiberglass laminate.

Complex Laminate Construction (cLc)

Helmets: Vector 2, XD-4, VX-Pro 4

The two Super Fiber Laminate layers of the cLc shell have a middle layer made of a strong composite material that is not quite as light as the ScLc chemical fiber.


EPS Liner

Arai’s one-of-a-kind EPS (expanded polystyrene) shell liner is comprised of multiple densities of material, molded into a single piece. Because their liner is fused, rather than made up of multiple pieces of EPS that are glued or fitted together, the individuals cells of foam are better supported by neighboring cells for the best possible energy absorption.


Arai Helmet Comfort

In our experience, the vast majority of Arai riders become lifetime converts the very first time they ride with their very first Arai. For Arai, delivering premier comfort is an important part of delivering the very best helmet to those riders who put their trust in the brand.

While being incredibly strong, Arai’s helmet shells are very small and typically weigh less than a comparable helmet. As a result, they are minimally burdensome and feel very well balanced – less like a bobble-head and more like your own head. They feature a reinforced lower perimeter that not only further strengthens the shell, but provides a lower center of gravity that reduces rider neck fatigue.

In addition, all Arai full-face helmets feature unique brow vents in the visor that channel air directly to the forehead. The brow vents on the Corsair X, RX-Q, Signet-Q, and Defiant helmets also channel air back to the temples and around the ears. Brow vents provide airflow, ventilation, and fog reduction through the front of the helmet and do not require cutting vents through the forehead of the shell. Such vent cutting weakens a key impact area of the shell and is something Arai will never do. Chemical anti-fog agents used by on the visors of other manufactures wear off over time and can be damaged by cleaning agents.



Achieving the best possible fit is key to maximizing both safety and comfort. To provide the best and safest fit possible, Arai’s cheek pads and temple pads now feature peel away layers. When the correct shell size around the head is selected, the peel away pads provide additional space when needed for comfort in key areas around the face.


Internal Shell Shapes

In years past, Arai became known for offering different helmet models with distinctively different shell shapes. Today, all Arai helmets sold in the North American market, except for the Signet-Q, have what Arai calls an ‘intermediate oval’ shape, though the shell shapes vary slightly within that general intermediate shape. This means most Arai helmets today have a more neutral shape and fit most heads comfortably. The exception is the Signet-Q, the ‘long oval’ helmet in the modern Arai lineup. The Signet-Q is slightly narrower on the sides and longer from front to back than the now discontinued long oval Arai Profile.


Arai encourages you to visit your local shop and try on different Arai models to find the one that fits you best. Road Rider has the selection, knowledge, and commitment to help you choose the helmet that’s just right for you.


Learn more:

Miles, Matthew. On The Record: Michio Arai, President And CEO, Arai Helmet Ltd.,,