Unique Rear Entry Helmet Makes Putting On Your Helmet a Snap

Putting on a helmet before a ride has always been a pain; but this unique rear-entry motorcycle helmet could change that completely. Could this be the future of helmet design, or is it just a novelty?

Whether you ride a cruiser, a sport bike, or an adventure bike there are a few annoyances about being a motorcycle rider that plague us all – and one of them is putting on your helmet before a ride.

You know the drill. Start your bike to let it warm up (because you know it’s going to be a minute); take off your glasses or sunglasses; put on some kind of hair cap or bandanna if you use one; close your eyes shove your head into the tight neck roll of your helmet; fiddle around with D-rings until you get them secured; put back on your glasses or sunglasses; put on your gloves (because there’s no way you could have ever secured the D-rings with them on); and now, two minutes later, you’re finally ready to ride.

 

Vozz’s unique clam-shell design allows you to snap the helmet on right over your head.

Let’s face it – putting on a helmet is a pain in the ass.

Now, shoving your head into a properly fitting helmet and strapping it on to go ride has always just been part of the deal. But what if it wasn’t? What if there was a much easier way to get your helmet on that took only seconds? Well this Australian helmet company, VOZZ, envisioned that, and the result is this unique rear-entry motorcycle helmet.

It looks unusual, but it’s a neat idea with several benefits:

  • Time: it takes only seconds to put on and take off
  • Safety: it doesn’t need to be pulled off after an accident, which could aggravate a spinal injury; it can be opened and removed easily
  • Aerodynamic: a wide neck opening is not necessary since you don’t pull your head through it, so the shell is rolled inward all the way to the neck which eliminates wind noise and buffeting
  • Convenience: you don’t have to remove glasses or sunglasses before putting it on
  • No more helmet hair: this speaks for itself

 

A look inside the Vozz helmet. Notice the profile of the chinbar; it’s rolled inward all the way to the neck, to eliminate wind noise and buffeting.

The rear-entry helmet is a novel idea, and seems to have a lot of benefits.

I’m a big fan of the helmet’s shape at the neck in particular; because the shell is rolled inward all the way to the neck, it provides a lot more protection around the bottom of the helmet than a traditional helmet would. And not just from impact, but from damaging wind noise and buffeting, which is a problem with every full-face helmet I’ve ever worn. And the convenience of putting it on and taking it off – well, you saw the GIF. It couldn’t get much easier than that.

But this solution has it’s own set of problems too. First of all, would it really be safe in a serious accident? And how would this design be tested for DOT or ECE certification when the entire certification system is designed to test traditional, solid-shell helmets? Also a rider was in an accident, how would EMTs know how to remove the helmet if they’ve never seen a design like this before?

 

One of the biggest benefits is safety; this helmet can be removed with minimal disturbance to the head and spine, as opposed to traditional helmets, which need to be pulled (or sawed) off.

With any new technology, there are questions to be answered and a learning curve involved, but regardless, I think this method of getting a helmet on and off is pretty awesome. VOZZ hasn’t made it’s way into the North American market yet, so we probably won’t see it any time soon; but the product video has gone viral, getting over 35,000 views in only two days, which means there is definitely some interest in it.

 

So what do you think – would you be interested in a helmet like this?

Chilly’s Blog – Fuel Injected Two Strokes Become Reality

2018 KTM 250XCW-tpi and Husqvarna TE250i become the first production two strokes to feature fuel injection.

 

2018 KTM 250XCW TPI

It is a beautiful summer day in the mountains of Idaho. We have been climbing all morning. We are near the summit. Ahead looms the last big climb that snakes its way to the summit and what looks like a sizeable bit of remaining snowpack. We are at nearly 9,000 feet and the last big push is going to be tough on a couple of the riders in the group.

I get to the top without issue, but have to hike back to the bottom to help one of the other bikes up. Once over the summit we encounter another group of riders coming from the opposite direction. Everyone starts to look vaguely familiar, all decked out in the latest Klim gear.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i

One rider in particular catches my eye. Funny how you can recognize an individual rider, even when he has helmet and full gear on. Sure enough, it is a magazine editor I know. As I walk over to shake hands, I can see he has the same look of surprise as myself. “What are you doing here” we both shout.

I quickly loose track of anything he is saying, because at the same time he is pointing towards his bike, the – 2018 Husqvarna TE250i. Here it is in the flesh! The thing we have been talking about for years is finally a glorious reality. I am offered a ride on the new fuel injected two stroke. Before the words vanish into the air, I hit the starter button and bolt off like a horse thief.

KTM 250XCW TPI Engine

This is it, the real deal. Two stroke fans have been waiting for this technology for years. Now it is a reality, almost. That is to say, the bike I rode was a preproduction bike just for the press intro. Husky’s sister company KTM tells me they will wait for actual production bikes before unleashing them to the media a few months from now.

KTM 250EXC TPI In Action (Euro model)

If you remember, there was a time a few years ago when we expected a BMW built Husky to be the first fuel injected 2t. I even talked with a factory rider who rode one about 4 years ago. At the time he said it had potential but was still a long way from being ready for the public. KTM didn’t invent oil or fuel injection, but they will get the credit for being first to put the two together in a production dirt bike.

So just how much of a game changer will it be anyway? We expect to see;

  • Cleaner emissions
  • Better  performance
  • No need to play with jetting
  • Oil injection – no more premix hassles
  • Sophisticated engine management software
  • PDS version for KTM, linkage version for Husqvarna, Xplor forks for enduro models
  • Green sticker?  Frankly while I think it could technically be possible, I don’t think California will ever go for it just on principle.

More KTM Action – Fuel Injection Is The Future of Two Strokes

As a rider I like the practical aspects. Better fuel range and oil injection opens up lots of riding possibilities that I would normally consider four stroke only, like exploring Baja backcountry. We could really be looking at a change in how buyers view two strokes.

All of this is on top of the fact that the KTM/Husqvarna two stroke enduro line up was all new for 2017. Performance, handing and weight all received upgrades. It is a very good package. This week I tested a 2017 KTM 250SX and was pleasantly surprised at how well everything worked. The bike was comfortable, powerful and easy to ride.

Dell Orto Throttle Body Handles The Fuel Injection

It makes me want one now! That is part of the problem. While the tpi models will technically be available as 2018 models, the quantity will be small, perhaps 2-3 per top tier dealer. Some dealers won’t get any at first. For practical purposes, this should almost be considered a 2019 model. It will be next year before they are widely available.

It makes the 2018 250/300 carbureted models sitting in the showrooms seem like wallflowers. But then again, they are a great bike on their own and already well sorted out. Maybe I will just avoid the inevitable first year teething problems and see if I can make a deal on what is available.

Stronger Charging Output For TPI Demands

Oh, you want to know how my first ride went? The bike ran really really good, even at high altitude. It seemed almost like a fuel injected four stroke in that sense, very clean running. Beyond that, I didn’t get enough time to give much else for credible feedback. Hopefully I can beg a ride on the KTM when it gets here.

Cheers Chilly

5 Best Looking Vintage Dirt Bikes

Some of the best looking motorcycles ever came from the fast moving era of the 1970’s as dirt bike technology skyrocketed upwards.

Who doesn’t like looking at old motorcycles? I waste far too much time on it. They are like puppies; you want to play with every one of them. Like puppies they are all cute, but none is cuter than your personal favorite. So I forgive you if my choices don’t match your own favorites.

Every teenager dreamed of being Marty Smith and riding the fire engine red CR

Today’s dirt bikes have one common characteristic, except for color, they all look very similar. A couple of years ago at the Baja Beach Bash, we pulled a prank on Destry Abbott. In the middle of the night, we took all the plastic off his Kawasaki and swapped it for a Honda. We were amazed at how close the Honda parts fit on the Kawasaki. Come morning, Destry had to search among the 60 bikes parked at the hotel to find his. Once he found it, he was still a bit confused because the of the uncanny likeness.

As technology drives design, it is understandable how similar today’s bikes are. But 40 years ago, the direction of technology was not yet set. Manufacturers were still finding their way, so aesthetic designs varied greatly. This era brought us some of the greatest looking bikes of all time.

  1. 1980 Honda CR125

When Honda introduced the red Elsinore line in 1978, overnight everything else seemed obsolete. Teenagers everywhere flocked to the local hardware store to buy cans of red paint. It didn’t matter what you rode, it looked faster in red. Combine that with images of the Marty’s (Smith and Tripes) and the red Honda represented everything an adolescent motocrosser could aspire to. Perhaps no bike has ever looked closer to a factory special than the 1980 Honda.

The Spanish marques such as Bultaco had a unique style of their own

  1. Bultaco Mk4 250 Pursang (1968-1971)

When it comes to pure artistic expression, this may be the most beautiful dirt bike ever. Bultacos of the late 60‘s were fast, durable and handled well. That is why today, 50 years later, they are still a hit with the vintage crowd. In an era before plastic fenders, the beautiful fiberglass body work of the “boat tail” model 68 was fragile and tough to keep looking good.

  1. 1977 Can-Am MX3  Black Widow

With a name like that, how could the Can-Am not make the list? New to the scene in 1974, the Canadian bikes made a huge impact in both enduro and motocross. Gary Jones, Jimmy Ellis and Marty Tripes swept the top 3 positions in the 250 nationals that first year. But time was not kind to Can-Am, lack of development doomed the brand. The MX3 was famous for being fast, but ill handling. More power and longer travel suspension were too much for the aging frame design.

The Can-Am made a big impact on the market, but failed to keep up with the march of technology

  1. 1979 Husqvarna 390 CR/OR

The European bikes were slow to adopt long travel suspension in the late ‘70’s. When Husky did, it came in a big way with the towering black and gold 390. Raced by icons such as Dick Burleson and Larry Roseler, the bike became one of the most enduring images associated with the marque.

The towering black and gold Husky was one of the most iconic bikes of the twin shock era

  1. 1981 KTM 495

The 495 KTM was proclaimed the fastest dirt bike in the world. One magazine test was enough to secure the KTM’s place in history. That story may or may not be quite accurate, but the legend is well cemented.  It is like saying the beauty queen is also a rocket scientist, who cares if it is really true.  With its number plate rear fender and white and orange livery, the KTM is a beauty. Is that color red or orange? Regardless, it looks great.

Alpinestars GP Pro Glove Breakdown – Real vs. Fake

What’s up, guys and gals? Aaron here from bikebandit.com. And I’ve got on two of one of the most popular gloves in the sport motorcycling world, the Alpinestars GP Pro. The difference? One of them I grabbed from here at BikeBandit. And the other I ordered off AliExpress for 60 bucks. Now, while they may look like the exact same glove, I’ll show you exactly why they aren’t and what the real differences are by actually cutting up both of them on camera. So stay tuned.

Welcome to another episode of:

Who da Fakie?

Where we expose who’s real and who’s fake. In today’s episode, we’ll show you who’s the real Alpinestars GP Pro and who’s just fronting. So get your gloves on, because it’s gonna be a fight.

Who da Fakie?

The Alpinestars GP Pro is one of the hottest gloves in sport riding with good reason. With full grain cowhide and goatskin construction, a kangaroo palm and hard armor and sliders throughout, this race gauntlet sees action in both MotoGP and World Superbike and gives you the top-of-the-line protection you need when you’re riding on the street or track. But when you have a product this popular, you’re bound to have people trying to knock it off too. So when we heard about some GP Pros for sale online for only 60 bucks, it caught our interest, especially because we heard so many people talking about how they could be the real thing or close to it, such as factory seconds, genuine gloves that failed quality control, or simply stolen merchandise.

So we figured the only way we can know for sure was by ordering a pair and doing a side by side comparison with a genuine pair from our inventory so you could see what you’re really getting. But, hey, anyone can do a simple side by side comparison. So we’re not going to stop there. In our quest to give you as much information as possible about the gear we sell, we’re going to actually deconstruct both pairs of gloves to show you what you’re really getting both inside and out. That’s right. We’re gonna chop up a $250 set of gloves on camera, because we want you to see what you’re actually paying for when you buy them. So with that said, let’s jump right into it.

To start things off, the white and red gloves are a pair of genuine Alpinestars GP Pros we pulled out of our inventory. And the black gloves are a pair we ordered from AliExpress for $60. Just FYI, the black ones took three weeks to ship from China, which, as far as I’m concerned, is fail number one, just saying. But, now, let’s go ahead and compare them.

When the gloves arrived, the black ones, the $60 pair, actually arrived in slightly nicer packaging, which was odd. The hang tags on each pair were identical in appearance. But the genuine one was in much better condition as you can see here. Now, moving over to the gloves, one very important thing that may not come through on camera but is apparent in person is that the black gloves are clearly not made of leather, but, instead, some kind of imitation leather. If you only had the black pair in front of you, you might be fooled. But when comparing them side by side to the genuine glove, the difference in materials is clear. These feel less substantial and are a little softer and stretchier than the white pair. In addition, they don’t even smell like leather, while the white ones smell strongly of natural hides.

White Glove:I’m obviously the real glove. I fit right, act right, and my stitch is as tight. And something else, my leather is real. Unlike that nasty pleather she’s got on. How dare you call me a fake!

Black Glove: Oh, hell, no. Who you calling pleather? Ain’t nothing fake about me, girl. Everybody knows I’m the real deal. You’s the fake.

White Glove: That is not what your man said. Audience: Aaron! Aaron!

Now, let’s look at the stitching. Look at the palm of each glove side by side. When you look at the stitching and the fingers of each glove, the difference between these gloves becomes very obvious. The fingers of the white glove are straight and uniform, while the fingers in the black glove are crooked and warped. This is the single, most obvious sign that these are not a genuine Alpinestars product at all.

But look closely at other parts of the stitching too. You can see that the stitches on the white glove overall are tighter and more perfectly aligned, while the stitches on the black glove look larger, more hastily done, and just aren’t even straight. There are also several loose threads in the black gloves. Now, in fairness, there were some loose threads in the white gloves too, but to a far lesser extent.

Now, let’s check out the fit. And keep in mind these are both brand new gloves. So there’s been no chance for either one to get broken in. When I put the white glove on, it feels snug and anatomically correct. And the pre-curve-in, it feels the way it should. When I put the black glove on, however, the fit is immediately more awkward. There’s a lot of room left in the fingertips, and the thumb area is particularly baggy.

Yeah, excuse me, yes. Okay, I have a question for the fake one. Yes, okay. Who are you trying to be? No, really, who are you trying to be? You know you fake, okay? You know you fake.

White Glove: That’s what I’m saying.

Black Glove: Excuse me.

White Glove: I know I was the real one.

Black Glove: That [inaudible 00:04:22] don’t mean nothing.

White Glove: That’s what I’m saying. I know I ain’t the fake.

Black Glove: Who is you? You don’t know me, girl. You fake.

White Glove: No way. I ain’t no fake. That’s what I’m saying.

Now, let’s look at the external hard armor on each glove. Side by side, you can see that the shapes of the armor on both gloves appear to be identical. But the look and feel of the material is actually different. The armor on the white gloves is denser and seems more shock-absorbent while the armor on the black gloves is more brittle and has a more plasticky feel to it. They also make a different sound when you tap on each one. Also note that while the molds are a close copy, they are not exact. You can see the difference here in the bridge on the center of the knuckle armor.

Now, let’s look at the perforation and expansion panels. The white gloves have a more precise and uniform perforation pattern, while the holes in the black glove aren’t as cleanly cut. In addition, there were a number of holes where the material wasn’t completely punched out. Now, taking a look at the expansion panels, you can see a clear difference here. While there are the same number of folds in each one, the panels are tight and uniform on the white ones and looser and sloppier-looking on the black ones.

Now, let’s take a look at the logos and the paint. You can see here that the logos on each glove are virtually identical. There’s no real notable differences here. But take a look at the paint underneath the clear injection molding on the wrist cuff of the black glove. You can see where some part of the manufacturing process actually damaged the paint in multiple places.

Now, we’ve shown you all the places the black knockoff gloves and the white genuine gloves differ on the outside of the glove. But that’s only half the story. It’s on the inside of these gloves where we’ll see how these two gloves really differ. So let’s get to the fun part and actually cut these things apart.

The foam located in these impact areas, which is used to protect your hand if you crash, is completely different in each of the glove. On the knockoff, it looks like the kind of cheap foam you would find inside a packaging or shipping container, whereas the foam, the EPS foam on the Alpinesports gloves, is much denser and can definitely take a lot more of an impact.

Okay, what we’re looking at here is the palm of each glove. Now, again, the palm of the knockoff glove is clearly not leather, but, instead, some kind of imitation leather. And you can really feel that when you have them apart. This is actual kangaroo hide on the Alpinestars glove. The most notable difference between these two is [inaudible 00:06:25] complete lack of this aramid or Kevlar fiber on the knockoff glove. They didn’t even make an attempt to imitate that or put that in there, because they know, most likely, you’re not gonna see that. Whereas on here, the entire thumb is covered with that protective fabric.

So what we’re looking at here is the top of each glove. Now, the first thing I wanna show you is the foam that goes underneath each knuckle protector. On the knockoff glove, it’s just a flat cheap piece of foam. There’s really not much to it. But on the Alpinestars glove, the genuine one, you can see it’s got these ribs here. And it’s a lot more molded to the contours of the knuckle. Now, here’s the interesting thing. When you flip under the knuckle protection itself, you can see really big differences in the construction. On the knockoff glove, it’s just a really simple mold. There’s not really much to it. But on the Alpinestars glove, you can see there’s these ribs to provide additional impact absorption. You would never see that unless you had completely taken these gloves apart like we did.

And now ladies and gentlemen, our test results are in. The test results please. Our tests reveal with 99.9% accuracy, the black glove is definitely not the real Alpinestars glove.

Oh, whatever, Aaron. Your test is wrong. Ya’ll stupid. You ain’t seen the last of me. I may be fake. But I look good. Okay, honey?

Whatever girl. Bye-bye. Move on with your life. No way. No. I told you that I was the real one. No way. [inaudible 00:07:59].

Now, that we’ve gone through both of these gloves completely inside and out, here are my overall thoughts. First of all, I’m actually impressed with the amount of effort and attention to detail that went into making these knockoff gloves. At a glance, they look identical. And it actually took some people in our office several minutes to figure out which one was which. Most people would never know the difference. And if all you cared about was looks, you’d be perfectly happy paying $60 for these knockoffs.

But here’s the problem. What you’re really paying for when you buy motorcycle gear is not just looks. You’re paying for it to save your ass in a crash. And when you take into the account the fact that these knockoffs are fake leather, the stitching is inferior, and the armor is a totally different material, the idea of these things meeting the asphalt at 80 miles per hour suddenly seems like a really bad idea.

For me, if there’s anything that stood out the most while doing this comparison, it was that I came away with a genuine appreciation for the level of engineering and quality control that goes into making a pair of real Alpinestars gloves. I know that $240 may seem like a lot to pay for a pair of gloves. But when you see firsthand the quality of the materials and the level of craftsmanship that goes into making a single pair of these gloves inside and out, it suddenly seems completely justified.

So look, if all you’re going to do in your gloves is show off at a bike night, these knockoffs will definitely do the trick for you. But if you want something that will actually protect you in a high speed crash, the real thing is what you’re going to want on your hands. No question about it. Ultimately, only you can decide how much protection you want to ride in. But make no mistake about it. Sixty bucks is not going to get you a real pair of Alpinestars GP Pros. These are definitely fake. So don’t be fooled. The best is expensive. But it’s worth it. Just ask anyone who’s actually crashed a motorcycle in good quality gear and walked away.

Well, that’s all for today, folks. We really hope you enjoyed our video. And if you did, please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. And remember to check out bikebandit.com for great deals on all your motorcycle gear. Thanks a lot for watching. And we’ll see you next time.

2013 Dunlop Sportmax Q3 Tire At BikeBandit.com

Meet the all new Dunlop Sportmax Q3, the next generation successor to the highly praised Sportmax Q2. The Sportmax Q3 delivers next-generation sport performance thanks to Dunlop’s new carbon fiber technology and more. This is a remarkably effective high performance sport tire that was designed, tested, and manufactured in America.

One thing about Dunlop that’s kind of special for people riding here in the U.S. is that with our design capabilities in the United States, and our testing in the United States, and our manufacturing in the United States, we’re focused on the way people ride here. So at Dunlop we’re able to take that expertise we have in our race tires that we go into the aim and spec tires and put that same technology into the street.

The Sportmax Q3 is manufactured in Dunlop’s Buffalo, New York plant, and was developed at the Dunlop proving grounds in Huntsville, Alabama. Based on decades of experience in producing race-winning tires, Dunlop enjoys a performance heritage that’s second to none. And with these race-tire building capabilities now in place in the Buffalo plant, Dunlop engineers have the freedom to create the Sportmax Q3, the next-generation sports tire that’s equally at home on the street and the track.

Now we’ve got license to build many many more things, and we have that capability in the plants. It gives us much more freedom, design freedom, to go and advance those technologies even further, make Entech 2 and put that on the race track and ultimately on the street.

The biggest breakthrough with the Sportmax Q3 is Dunlop’s new carbon fiber technology or CFT, a carbon fiber reinforcement element in the tire sidewalls.

So with sport tires, obviously everybody is looking for performance and value for what they’re getting out of the tire. In the case of the Q3, we have exciting new technology for the side wall of the tire, where we have carbon fiber built into the apex of the tire. And this gives a lot of performance advantages that we’re going to be able to bring to the market.

CFT helps the Sportmax Q3 exhibit exceptional cornering stability, especially at high-lean angles. The Q3 also features a new tread pattern utilizing Dunlop’s famous cosecant curve design, now with fewer grooves that are longer in length. I t looks more like a racing GPA than ever before. Yet extensive testing proves these longer length grooves enhance wet-weather performance by routing water away more effectively from the contact patch. The new Sportmax Q3 also incorporates Dunlop’s intuitive response profile design for phenomenal steering and handling characteristics. The Sportmax Q3 aslo features MT multi-tread technology that uses a tough cool-running, long-wearing compound in the center of the tread to provide enhanced straight line stability, excellent traction under acceleration and longer tread life, plus lateral grip compounds on the left and right sides of the tire face, for enhanced traction at various lean angles. For the Sportmax Q3, Dunlop engineers selected lateral grip and long-wearing compound specifically formulated for maximum sport bike performance. The lateral grip compounds in the Sportmax Q3 were derived directly from Dunlop’s road racing compounds. Dunlop engineers also worked to optimize tire carcass construction in the front and rear Sportmax Q3 tires to create a very consistent contact patch.

You know, we looked for everything that you could imagine, from dry grip, wet grip, turn-in, bump compliance, things like re-band dampening, impact dampening, how a tire settles down. When we evaluate we isolate each of those categories. And what we’re trying to do with Q3 is take the whole, the whole sum of all those categories, which is probably 15 or so individual items that we look at, and we want to blend it all to make one marvelous tire.

By delivering new, elevated levels of performance in wet and dry conditions, on the street as well as at the track, the Sportmax Q3 establishes an entirely new benchmark for sport tire performance.

Top 10 Most Memorable 1970s Motorcycle Commercials

 

The 1970s was a decade of cool motorcycles, corny commercials, and jingles that were catchy as hell. Reminisce with us as we take you back to a simpler time, with the ten funniest, corniest, most memorable motorcycle commercials of the decade!

 

10) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll”

Of all the motorcycle manufacturers commercials of the decade, Kawasaki has to win top honors in the category of “most bizarre.” This commercial features a montage of clips that are so weird, but so hilariously entertaining, it is impossible to forget. 

But the most memorable part of this commercial has to be the jingle, “Let the Good Times Roll,” which Kawasaki used throughout the 1970s. The jingle was recorded by the Ron Hicklin singers, a group of contract singers from the LA area. You may not know the groups name, but you know their voices; the group is most well known as the real singers on the background vocals on The Partridge Family’s recordings, and they recorded countless commercials from the 60s to the 80s. They just don’t make jingles like they used to, do they?

 

9) “What’s Today, Butterfly Nets?”

This 1978 summer camp (is summer camp even a thing anymore?) commercial shows a bunch of bored kids who are totaly over the usual camp activities…until a dorky camp guide has a truckload of Honda dirt bikes delivered, that is. The kids have a blast, and as you would expect from a 1970s commercial, all break out into song around the campfire at the end. Classic.

 

8) Suzuki “Bigfoot” Commercial

Like many commercials of the 1970s, this one is silly and good-natured, but tells you almost nothing about the products themselves. Not that it mattered; enjoying being out in the mountains on motorcycles with your buds is the message here, and Suzuki sure did make it look fun.

 

7) Honda Bank Robbers

If there’s one essential tool a bank robber needs besides a gun and a mask, it’s a reliable getaway vehicle, right? Better make it a Honda! Great plan…but these robbers are in for a bit of a surprise. 

This 1975 commercial was an ad for the “new” CB360 that came out in 1974 as a torquey, 6-speed, 2-cylinder alternative to the more popular four-cylinder CB350F and CB400F.

 

6) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll,” Part 2

If you were entertained by the previous “Let the Good Times Roll” commercial, I’ve got you covered; this one has the same catchy jingle, but even more bizarre clips than the first one. I knew Kawasaki always kind of marched to the beat of their own drum, but damn!

 

5) Good Things Happen on a Honda

This commercial is heartwarming in a corny way, showing the random “good things” that happen to you when riding a Honda; this followed in the path of the extremely successful “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign of the 1960s. 

But the most memorable thing about this commercial are the faces you’ll see in it – a then-unknown John Travolta plays the delivery driver, and the late Cliff Osmond plays the dad in the station wagon.

 

4) “This is a Joyous Occasion”

This one will bring a smile to your face. In this commercial, the town reverend gets a motorcycle as a gift from churchgoers – a Honda motorcycle, which he can use as an “economical” way to visit the congregation.

Surprisingly, he immediately begins romping around town popping wheelies and going over jumps, as one churchgoer says “you ridden before, reverend?” Well, maybe just a little – the “reverend” in the commercial is none other than off-road racing legend, Malcolm Smith!

 

3) What Do We Do Until The New Yamahas Get Here?

This 1976 Yamaha commercial features a cadre of bumbling motorcycle cops that remind me a lot of the clueless goons from old Looney Tunes cartoons. The police chief is played by someone you’ve probably seen countless times, but may not know his name, prolific character actor David Huddleston.

 

2) Kawasaki “Let the Good Times Roll,” Part 3

I swear, Kawasaki’s advertisers must have been experimenting with some “stuff” back in those days, but I’m glad, because I seriously can’t get tired of these wacky commercials. This one is even weirder than the first two!

 

1) The Kawasaki 100 Gets the Ladies

This commercial is bizarre, even for Kawasaki; in fact, the first time I saw it, I thought it was a parody of 1970s commercials, not an actual 1970s commercial. But it’s wacky, overtly sexist, and so campy I couldn’t get it out of my head, and that’s why it’s my pick for the most memorable motorcycle commercial of the 1970s. You’ll never see commercials like this again, that’s for sure!

 

Do you remember any wacky, heart-warming, or hilarious motorcycle commercials from back in the day? Share them in the comments below!

 

Recall: Polaris Recalls 2015-16 Slingshots For Defective Headlights

 

RECALL Subject : Headlights May Shut Off While Riding
Report Receipt Date: NOV 20, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V777000
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM , EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 9,182
All Products Associated with this Recall: Manufacturer: Polaris Industries, Inc.

SUMMARY: Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Slingshot motorcycles manufactured April 21, 2014, to October 22, 2015, Slingshot SL motorcycles manufactured April 28, 2015 to October 23, 2015, and Slingshot SL SE motorcycles manufactured December 15, 2014, to October 22, 2015. In the affected motorcycles, the headlight relay may fail and result in a loss of headlights.

CONSEQUENCE: A loss of headlights can reduce driver visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Polaris will notify owners, and dealers will replace the single headlight relay with a circuit that uses two headlight relays, free of charge. The recall began on December 3, 2015. Owners may contact Slingshot customer service at 1-855-863-2284. Polaris’ number for this recall is SLI-15-05.

NOTES: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motorcycle Acronyms You Should Know

When you’re buying motorcycle gear or parts, you run into a lot of acronyms, and they can get pretty confusing (some people don’t even know what OEM stands for, and that’s half our site!) To inform your buying choices, we put together this guide to what they all mean.

 

ABS: Anti-lock Braking System. An electronic safety system that prevents wheels from locking up under braking, by using wheel speed sensors to detect when a wheel is about to stop spinning and reducing brake pressure accordingly. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety states that motorcycles equipped with ABS crash 31% less than the same motorcycles not equipped with this feature.

bmw motorcycle absDiagram of the ABS system on a BMW motorcycle.

 

Ah: Amp-hour. A unit of electric charge frequently found in automotive batteries (defined as the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one amp of current to flow for one hour.) In other words, a unit used to measure how long a battery will last.

AMA: American Motorcycle Association. The nations largest and most well-known member-based motorcycle organization, the AMA advocates for riders by representing their interests in government legislation, and also sanctions a wide range of motorcycle-related events and races. (BikeBandit is an AMA partner, and if you’re an AMA member you get 5% off your order!)

ATGATT: “All The Gear, All The Time.” An acronym used by motorcyclists to describe riders who gear up fully – full-face helmet, armored jacket, armored gloves, boots, and possibly even armored pants – every time they ride. You never know when or where a crash will happen, so ATGATT is good advice that we recommend to all riders!

 

atgattATGATT.

 

not atgattNot ATGATT.

 

ATV: All-Terrain Vehicle. Also known as quads or four-wheelers, these off-road specific recreational vehicles range from outdoors workhorses like the Honda Foreman series to race-ready machines like the Yamaha Raptor. Some ATVs have six wheels, and three-wheeled version were popular until they were banned in the late 1980s. (Shop our huge ATV parts and accessories section here.)

 

motorcycle acronyms ATVA sport ATV, gettin’ some in the dirt.

 

CARB: California Air Resources Board. The agency responsible for clean air in California – and why we cant buy all the cool exhaust systems here that the rest of you guys can. (Did you Know? California is the only state that is even allowed to have its own clean-air agency, having been grandfathered in when the federal Clean Air Act was passed; the other 49 states must abide by federal standards set by the EPA.)

CCA: Cold Cranking Amps. This is the unit most widely used to measure the cranking power of vehicle batteries (defined as the amount of current a lead-acid battery can provide at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds, while maintaining at least 1.2 volts per cell.) Buyers of powersport batteries, especially for performance applications, tend to favor the smallest/lightest batteries that provide adequate CCAs to crank a given engine.

CE: Conformitee Europeene. A marking that signifies conformity to European Union standards. Motorcycle armor is considered “CE Rated” when it conforms to EU standards of impact protection. You see references to CE ratings often in reference to sport motorcycle gear and protective armor. (Note: CE rating is a self-certification scheme; conformity is declared by gear manufacturers themselves, and not by a testing agency.)

dB: Decibel. The standard for measuring volume of sound. You often hear this in reference to motorcycle exhausts, particularly aftermarket versions. Cities and states often have laws limiting how loud motorcycle exhausts can be in decibels, and these laws vary widely.

DOT/USDOT: (U.S.) Department of Transportation. Tasked with enforcing various aspects of transportation, this is the agency in charge of testing and categorizing vehicles, components, or gear as being legal for use on public roads. States have their own DOTs as well, which is why what is “street-legal” can vary so much from place to place.

ECU/ECM: Engine Control Unit/Electronic Control Module. The “brain” of a motorcycle; the computer that controls various aspects of your bike such as ignition, timing, and fuel control. Adjustments to fueling when modifying intakes or exhausts are done to the ECM with a custom program (AKA a “map”) or an add-on module like a Dynojet Power Commander or a Bazzaz Fuel Controller.

EFI: Electronic Fuel Injection. A fuel delivery system that has almost completely replaced the carburetor, using small nozzles controlled by a computer (the ECU or ECM) to atomize fuel and inject it directly into the combustion chambers. EFI systems must be tuned with a computer or electronic module, as opposed to manual tuning of jets with a carburetor.

 

motorcycle acronyms EFI diagramA simplified diagram of the EFI system in a motorcycle.

 

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency. The powerful federal agency tasked with all things environmental, their involvement with the motorcycle world is limited mostly to noise limits, emissions standards, and certification of exhaust equipment. They set a federal limit of 83 decibels for most motorcycles manufactured after 1983 (though local and state agencies, many which have no set noise limits of their own, rarely enforce it.)

EVA: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate. Also known as “foam rubber”, EVA is a strong, waterproof polymer known for its softness and flexibility. It is often used for shock absorption in motorcycle gear, such as in the footbeds of motorcycle boots. Interestingly, melting adhesives (i.e. hot glue sticks) are also made of EVA.

EXUP: Exhaust Ultimate Power valve. A system found in the exhaust system of motorcycles that expands or contracts the diameter of the exhaust with a butterfly valve to match engine speed. Adjusting the exhaust diameter optimizes backpressure for given engine speeds, enhancing low to mid-range performance, and ensuring a more linear power output. The EXUP moniker was given by Yamaha, the first to develop the system, though Honda, Suzuki, and Triumph all now use variations of the same system.

 

motorcycle acronyms EXUP yamahaClose-up of the servo and butterfly valve in a Yamaha EXUP system.

 

GPS: Global Positioning System. An electronic system that uses signals from a network of satellites to triangulate its own position in real time, with very high accuracy. Only a few years ago this was something motorcyclists could only dream about, but today there are a number of motorcycle specific units that make finding directions on a motorcycle effortless (if having “destinations” is your thing!) Check out Motorcycle GPS systems here.

 

motorcycle acronyms GPSA GPS system can help you find your way, on and off-road.

 

HD: Hi-Definition. Most commonly found in reference to video camera equipment and televisions, HD is simply video of higher resolution than standard-definition. Although there is no set standard for what “HD” actually is, generally 720p is the minimum, while 1080p is becoming the standard. Action cameras such as the GoPro Hero line record in HD. (Also used to refer to “Harley-Davidson” (obviously) and “heavy duty.”)

HUD: Heads-Up Display. A means of displaying information by projecting it onto a clear screen that a rider can see through without taking his eyes off the road. Its still an emerging technology, but the motorcycle market has some exciting HUD products coming soon; check out this full article on HUD Motorcycle Helmets.

 

motorcycle acronyms HUDA concept drawing of a HUD system in a motorcycle helmet. It doesn’t look like this yet, but it will soon!

 

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display. A flat panel electronic display. In the motorcycle worlds, most commonly used in the gauge clusters of motorcycles and in small electronics. LCDs use very little power, and are commonly found in battery-powered applications.

LED: Light-Emitting Diode. A type of tiny electronic light, made popular in recent years through its use in headlights from auto manufacturers like Audi. LEDs have been used since the 1960s, but advances in technology have made them much more powerful and robust today. LEDs light up instantly, use very little power, and have extremely long lives. They are now used by a number of auto and motorcycle manufacturers as daytime running lights and tail lights, and are finding use in many other applications, such as compact flashlights.

 

motorcycle acronyms LEDMore and more autos and motorcycles are using LEDs as lighting. (2012 Yamaha R1 shown.)

 

LiFe-PO: Lithium-Iron Phosphate. A modern type of battery used in high-power applications, such as in electric vehicles and power tools, and also as a performance replacement for traditional lead-acid batteries. LiFe-PO batteries are long-lasting, stable, powerful, and very lightweight, though they are significantly more expensive than comparable lead-acid batteries. Check out this full article on the Advantages of Lithium Motorcycle Batteries.

MSF: Motorcycle Safety Foundation. A national organization that provides information on and facilitates rider training and licensing. Best known for providing the Basic RiderCourse (often referred to as “BRC”), an introductory course to motorcycling that, in many states, can be done in lieu of a normal DMV exam.

OBD/OBDII: On-Board Diagnostics. An electronic system that allows a motor vehicle to self-diagnose. When a vehicle “throws codes” (DTCs, or Diagnostic Trouble Codes) it is a result of the OBD system diagnosing itself as encountering some problem. This is mostly an automotive standard, but many motorcycles also use the OBD system, allowing them to be diagnosed with an automotive scan tool.

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer. The manufacturers of production motorcycles and factory replacement parts. Parts produced by the manufacturers themselves are known as OEM, factory, or stock parts, compared to companies that produce parts only, which constitute the aftermarket.

OHM/OHV: Off-Highway Motorcycle/Off-Highway Vehicle. Any motorcycle or vehicle that is designated as being for off-road use only; not street-legal. Dirt bikes, ATVs, and most UTVs fall into this category. Also refers to open areas designated for use of these vehicles (OHV areas.) Parts and accessories for these vehicles are typically not street-legal and can vary widely, so check your local regulations when shopping for them.

PSI: Pounds per Square Inch. A measurement of pressure; in the motorcycle world, its most commonly used in reference to tire pressure. Tires have a recommended PSI range printed on the side, and you can adjust the tire pressure within that range to optimize for grip, handling, mileage, or riding with passengers. (In other parts of the world where the metric system is used, the bar – equal to one unit of atmospheric pressure on earth at sea level – is used instead.)

 

motorcycle acronyms PSIA tire pressure gauge, measured in PSI.

 

TCS: Traction Control System. An electronic safety system that uses sensors to monitor wheel speed, acceleration, and/or lean angle to predict wheelspin, and interferes by reducing power to prevent a loss of traction. These systems are increasingly found on higher-end sport and touring bikes, and can also be added to existing bikes with aftermarket modules like the Bazzaz Z-Fi TC Engine Management with Traction Control module.

 

motorcycle acronyms TCSThe traction control system in a BMW S1000RR.

 

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring System. An electronic system that uses sensors mounted inside wheels to constantly monitor tire pressure. TPMS systems can be added to most motorcycles as an aftermarket accessory (though some high-end BMWs and Triumphs can have them fitted from the factory.)

 

motorcycle acronyms TPMSTPMS systems are useful and can be installed on virtually any bike, like this one from Show Chrome.

 

TPR: Thermoplastic Rubber. A flexible polymer blend often found in motorcycle gear, used for its combination of the flexibility and durability of rubber, with the ease of processing of plastic. Found anywhere from knuckle protection and sliders to zipper pull tabs.

TPU: Thermoplastic Urethane. A strong, abrasion-resistant, flexible, and oil-resistant type of polyurethane plastic used in many types of motorcycle gear, such as shoulder and knee sliders in motorcycle jackets and pants, and hardened knuckles in armored gloves.

 

alpinestars-archer-glovesThese Alpinestars Archer X-Trafit gloves have TPU in the knuckles. Many armored sliders on motorcycle gear are made of this material.

 

USB: Universal Serial Bus. An industry standard of cables and connectors used in electronics. Most electronic motorcycle devices (cameras, navigation systems, etc.) use USB cables to charge and to transfer information, and USB charging ports can even be added to motorcycles as an accessory.

UTV: Utility Task Vehicle. Also commonly known as side-by-sides, UTVs are small two or four-person off-road utility vehicles. UTVs are similar to ATVs, but are distinguished by their typically larger size, steering wheels instead of handlebars, and most notably, some type of rollover protection integrated into the frame. Shop our UTV store with thousands of UTV parts and accessories here.

 

motorcycle acronyms UTVA Polaris RZR UTV.

Know of any important motorcycle acronyms we missed? Throw ’em in the comments!

Ride Report: KTM Adventure 1190

When you take the fastest-growing segment of the motorcycle world, and combine it with the fastest growing motorcycle brand in the world, you know there are going to be some pretty high expectations – and the new KTM Adventure 1190 from the orange Austrian giant doesn’t disappoint!

In the fastest growing segment of the motorcycle industry over the last several years – the ADV/Touring segment – you can expect for there to be some stiff competition from manufacturers around the world. The venerable BMW GS models are a staple of the segment, but the market has a number of offerings now, from the simple, reliable Kawasaki KLR650 to the sexy (and pricey) Ducati Multistrada.

Of all the brands making ADV bikes, KTM is the most off-road oriented. KTMs have dirt racing in their DNA, and its only recently that they started making street machines; the 1190’s predecessor, the 990, was peerless in the dirt, but left some things to be desired on the tarmac.

 

ktm adventure 1190 bikebandit review The handsome KTM in front of BikeBandit headquarters, begging to be ridden hard (and it was.)

 

But this bike changes everything. It not only raises the bar in the ADV segment, but redefines KTM as a company, cementing their arrival as a motorcycle industry giant and not just a “dirt bike company.” The 1190 is truly a do anything, go anywhere machine; as fast as the Ducati Multistrada, as user-friendly as the Yamaha Super Tenere or BMW GS, and still as ready to play in the dirt as the legendary 990 it replaced.

There’s a reason the press is raving about the new KTM 1190 – its an outstanding machine that all of us, from dirt racers to street riders, absolutely loved riding.

(Plus…its orange. At BikeBandit, we like orange.)

 

Notes from BikeBandit CEO, Ken W.

Here are some of my thoughts on the KTM, but bear in mind this was a street-only ride. Overall I’m pretty familiar with the KTMs, having owned two 990s (a 2007 and a 2011); and also with their main rival, the BMW R1200GSA, having had two of those (a 2008 and a 2010.)

My first impression: this engine is amazing! It becomes a different machine around 7K RPM. You can definitely feel that the engine came from the road racing world. I put it in Sport mode immediately, and was impressed just as fast. With the traction control off, it could hold a wheelie into 4th gear – impressive!

On the long road to Texas, I found the seat to be comfortable, the windscreen useful and easy to adjust, and the electronics easy to use, even at speed. I wish it had electronic cruise control like the BMW does though, and the bike did wander a bit at high speeds (135mph+) with the KTM saddlebags attached.

 

ktm adventure 1190 bikebandit review cockpit The cockpit of the KTM; lots of options here, from traction control to heated grips.

 

In Texas hill country, we really started to have some fun. Spent the whole day ripping through twisties and long sweepers, and got the bike all the way up to its top speed of 151MPH. The new slipper clutch is an amazing improvement, especially railing it into a corner, and the front brake and monobloc calipers are phenomenal with great feedback and solid feel. The ABS is awesome; I usually disable it, but I left this one on. The lean sensitive ABS is the coolest electronics enhancement I have seen to date a it actually works! The bike handles very well overall, but the stock tires on the bike really didnat measure up to the rest of the bike.

 

texas state troopers pulled us over But officer, we’re professionals doing a performance test on these bikes. We swear!

A few more small things:

  • The stock KTM saddlebags seem a little flimsy, and like they might break in a tip-over. Luckily, I didn’t get to test that.
  • The pegs are small, you’ll need larger ones for off-road riding
  • The traction control works well, but the bike is more fun without it – it’s a wheelie machine!
  • We got 43MPG just cruising, and 34MPG when we were hammering on it. With the 6.1 gallon tank, you can go over 250 miles on a tank; that’s some serious range!
  • Overall impression: Thank you sir, may I have another? (Preferably the “R” version…)

(I also want to give props to the folks I got to ride through Texas Hill Country with, from Tucker Rocky Distributing, the makers of Speed & Strength, First Gear, and distributors for Arai Helmets in the US. The trip was a blast!)

 

Notes from Acquisition Manager, Jake S.

 

ktm adventure 1190 bikebandit review taking a corner Playing with the KTM in BikeBandit’s backyard.

Hits:

  • Amazing Traction Control: Both on road and off. I blipped the throttle around a dry 90-degree gravel road and with street tires, and surprisingly, the 1190 hooked up. 15 years of off-road throttle control training, defeated by a computer.
  • Suspension: The suspension felt great leaned over on the road. But what impressed me more was going through a choppy pot-holed dirt road; the bike absorbed what it could and always felt in control.
  • Power: The bike is very smooth off the throttle, no doubt dampened by traction control (No wheelies, BOO! Traction, hooray!) The bike pulls hard above 7000 RPMs, similar to an inline-4, but with a meatier midrange. The exhaust is so quiet that you get up to speed without realizing how fast you are going.
  • Clutch: Typical KTM – buttah!
  • Chassis: I never understood Adventure riding until I got on this bike. The bike admittedly feels a bit unrefined on the street, however jump onto a dirt road and stand up…then it all makes sense. I would be just as happy riding this bike in the canyons as I would on a fast dirt trail. If you find yourself in the saddle of this pumpkin, just plan to do a little of both. For my 6’4″ lanky frame, I was very comfortable both sitting and standing.

Misses

  • Seat: For how much power the bike has, I was looking for a bigger seat back to hold me on the bike under hard acceleration. However the seat was plenty thin for stand up style off-roading.
  • Footpegs: While easily replaceable with an aftermarket solution, I was expecting wider pegs on an adventure bike. These felt like standing on rebar.
  • Notchy Shifter: I never had an issue finding a gear, but every shift was met with a clunk that made me feel a lack of refinement.
  • Tires: Street tires will only get you so far off road. Something a little more off-road oriented would increase the capability.
  • Ground Clearance: you are going to want a bigger skid plate. Pay attention to what you are rolling over; this is not Ryan Dungey’s 450SX.

 

Notes from Content Writer, Aaron C.

 

ktm adventure 1190 bikebandit review LC8 engine My favorite part of the bike, hands down – the magnificent LC8 engine. This alone is worth the price!

 

While the rest of the crew that rode this bike all have a lot of dirt riding experience, all of my riding has been limited to the pavement. So knowing that the KTM had an off-road heritage, I was expecting something a lot more rugged and maybe a little rough to ride. 

But the KTM couldn’t have been more refined in my opinion; it was absolutely perfect on the street. The seating position, the clutch, the magnificent engine…everything about the bike was well thought out, solidly built, and comfortable to ride. My sport bikes tend to be the type that you’re sick of riding after a few hours, but I felt I could easily ride across the country on this bike. And it was anything but heavy; the bike feels much smaller and more nimble once you’re moving.

My favorite part about this bike is, hands down, the engine. I have literally never ridden any combustion engine with such a perfect torque curve; it pulls hard instantly at any RPM, in any gear, and doesn’t lose steam in the top end like so many V-twins tend to do. The tall windscreen and bulky saddlebags notwithstanding, the 1190 is a fast bike. Very fast.

This is the kind of bike I think you could live with for a long time. Something that could do anything with you, from commuting to work, to going on a road trip, shredding asphalt through some twisties, or doing a lot of exploring off-road. I’ve heard the press call it the best “all-around” bike there is. I really can’t find anything wrong with that statement. The 1190 is that good.

 

Notes from Product Information Manager, Troy S.

 

ktm adventure 1190 bikebandit review Product Info Manager Troy takes the KTM for a spin. Not a bad way to get away from the desk!

 

  • First off, the bike is badass!
  • Looks big, but feels smaller than it looks.
  • Deceivingly fast, but also works well at low speeds.
  • Silky smooth motor!
  • Love the seating position; feel like I could ride all day!
  • Left a smile on my face!

What do you think of the new KTM 1190, and of the developments in the ADV/Touring market as a whole?