While raindrops on kittens, and roses tied up with strings are nice, you can’t use them on a motorbike. Since today is my birthday, I’ve channeled my inner Julie Andrews and am posting about some of the moto related stuff I like or would love to try out.
Here are a few of my favorite motorcycle things:
(Warning, I may have thrown in a few affiliate links. Feel free to click on them. It just may just earn me enough to buy me a Pumpkin Spice Lager, since it’s that season)
Icon Alliance/Airmada – The Medium size fits me like a glove from Icon. I originally heard about the Alliance from ye olde Wes and Sean in their RideApart days. I bought one, and it’s been a great purchase. The wicking liner, and the venting are great. A big improvement over my previous Joe Rocket and Speed & Strength helmets at the same price point.
The Airmada supposedly vents better than the Alliance, and will be my next helmet purchase. The new Icon Airframe looks super legit too, but I balk at spending that much on a helmet. Same thing with Arai. I’d like to own one, but spending $450 and up doesn’t make sense to me.
RS Taichi 409 Gloves – I’m 5 months into my second pair now. I bought the first ones at the urging of my riding buddy Jose while at MotoLiberty here in Dallas. They were a bit more than I was planning to spend, but I went with it. Fantastic choice. Great short cuff gloves, that have great feeling and feedback, and retain their shape well with nearly a year of daily wear. The only drawback to them is the perforation in the palm area starts to tear after a while, due to tugging them on a few times a day. If you don’t wear them daily or are not on the bike several times a day like I am, these should last you a few years. I even had a get-off with them in February and could see where the palm sliders did the job. My hands were just fine.
That’s more than I could say for my ribs.
Gloves are an item for me that I need to fit a certain way. Lots of gloves either leave way too much length in the pinky, or not enough in the thumb area. I have no idea how folks can buy gloves online and hope they fit. Maybe I have odd shaped hands. I want to try Racer gloves as I keep hearing great things about them.
Sidi On-Roads – These have to be some of the most stout, overbuilt touring motorcycle boots I’ve worn. The first pair I got were second hand and absolutely beat to death. The velcro was done, and the soles were worn down. The uppers were still solid, and the boots were mightly comfy. I liked them so much, I got a new pair.
The On-Roads stay decently cool in the summer, and warm in the winter due to the GoreTex construction. Are they waterproof? I’ve stood in 6 inches of water in these during a flood here in the Dallas area, and my feet stayed dry. I also had a get-off while wearing them and my feet were fine. The boots took the brunt of the action, and the sole mostly separated from the upper in the wreck. My toes were a bit bruised, but nothing was broken. Yas they are expensive, but they just may be the best all-around moto boots made recently. You can walk them, and they are all-day comfortable. They look like a high-quality boot. They do coast twice as much as my Icon Reign boots, and look like it.
The On-Roads have recently been replaced by the All-Roads, which look like a solid replacement. Then my current pair wears out, I’ll be looking for those as a replacement.
Gaerne GP 1 racing boots – These are my serious riding boots. Since I have small feet, and like my serious riding gear to fit tight, I got these on a closeout deal. Normally these are about $300 boots. I paid roughly half that, which is a true steal. Gaerne is more known for their off-road boots. Their road boots seem really sild, and fit my feet well. You know these are serious boots when you have them on. The only drawback is the squeaking. These are really squeaky boots.
Alpinestars Supertech R – These are supposed to pretty much be the gold standard in racing boots. I’ve never tried on a pair, and want to test out how the whole boot within a boot system works.
RideSmart Motorcycle School – I’m all for motorcycle related instruction. I’ll be doing my first track day with them, due to a wonderful birthday gift from the GF. I’m looking to improve my overall riding skills, and getting move comfortable with higher lean angles. RideSmart has deals for first timers like myself for the track day and leather rentals. If you’re in Texas, check them out.
California Superbike School – I wish these guys would come to Texas at some point. This may be the best known riding school in the U.S. Based in California, they take the show on the road throughout the year. The prices are reasonable for what you get, but that doesnt make traveling halfway across the country to do it any easier. Especially when RideSmart does their thing here in Texas under an hour away from me. I’ll do CSS one day.
Yamaha R1 – The new R1 really does it for me. It looks like the bike Rossi and Lorenzo ride, and supposedly it has fantastic handling and feedback. I’ll own one someday. Let someone pay a bit of depreciation first.
Honda RC51 – The bike that took Ducati’s game to them and beat them at it. Good examples of the SP2 can be found at reasonable prices. This is a bike that just draws me to it. I like bikes with a twist or something out of the ordinary.
Triumph Sprint ST – My daily ride. I’ve done over 40K miles on the 955 generation. The weak points are the ticking time bomb of an ignition barrel, and the fairings. The issue with the fairings is that this bike wasnt brought over here in any volume, and finding replacements on Ebay is nigh impossible. That leaves you with the OEM parts you can special order at special prices.