Monday, July 28

HJC CL-X7 Helmets: Value & Style

A Dirt-Cheap Helmet!? Nope, We Prefer to Call It a Value-Oriented Offroad Helmet.

HJC has long been known as a great resource for an inexpensive helmet that still maintains a high level of quality. The newly announced successor to HJC’s CL-X off-road helmet lineup has just been released in the form of a fully revised, highly stylized lid.

The HJC CL-X7 Helmet features a new shell design with a new peak and more efficient ventilation system. The interior has a removable, washable, SuperCool antibacterial liner that will help you stay clean and comfortable. Glasses grooves in the eyeport are a convenient feature for my fellow four-eyes. The best part about this helmet, though, is that it has Snell M2010/DOT-218 approval for sizes XS-2XL. This translates into an incredibly safe, race-ready helmet. If you aren’t interested in a basic black or white helmet, the CL-X7 is also being introduced with a bunch of great graphics.

HJC CL-X7 Helmet Review:

For those of you who are fans of reality TV families that happen to have made a fortune by selling hunting equipment, the HJC CL-X7 Dynasty graphic is calling. The orange, green and camo pattern would look good on anything from a KTM to a KLR. Add a little down-home flavor to your lid and add a little sweet tea to your HydroPack with the CL-X7 Dynasty.

The HJC CL-X7 Pop N’ Lock graphic brings me back to my time spent on the streets of Brooklyn working on a break-dance crew in the mid ‘90s. We had it all loud colors, sick beats, shell-toe Adidas and huge piece of cardboard to bust a move. Noooice!
OK, that didn’t actually happen, but the CL-X7 Pop N’ Lock helmet brings all the flava of my favorite era in rap and represents. I think that’s what people said back then.

The HJC CL-X7 El Lobo graphic is what happens when you get lost in the wild for too long. That overnight trip you planned turned into a nightmare when the pack raided your camp. Your team was forced to spread out so there would be too many tracks to follow them all. Unfortunately, the pack chose your trail. Hunted for days and armed only with a pocket knife roped to the end of a stout stick, you made an example of the alpha male. The others turned tail and ran. That’s kinda what it’s like wearing the CL-X7 El Lobo. Kinda.

So overall, the new CL-X7 is a pretty great piece at a low investment. A lot of features and fun graphics make this a strong contender in the entry-level dirt helmet market.

Arai Signet-Q Pro-Tour Helmet: Innovating Again

One of the hardest things to do after a great success is to follow it with an equally innovative idea. It’s hard enough to do it once, but twice? That is no small task. However, that is exactly what Arai is looking to do with their new Signet-Q Pro-Tour Helmets.

New for this year is the Arai Signet-Q Pro-Tour Helmet, which keeps the same head shape and dimensions as the original, and will ship with the added functionality of a pre-installed Pro Shade system. The advantages of the external Pro Shade are more than a few in numbers. First, it is easy to operate and requires minimal effort to utilize. Simply make a subtle head nod and the shade moves into position when the light outside becomes a drain on your eyes. Even if you prefer a clear faceshield, the Pro Shade can simply be lifted into its upright position to act as a visor against the sun or if you are riding in a less illuminated are/time of day. In the end, however, the most important function of the Pro Shade would be that it allows for the helmet to retain a Snell safety rating as it does not alter the shell structure to accommodate visor internally.

With an upgraded Eco-Pure liner for extended freshness and speaker pockets designed to better house communication accessories, the new Arai Signet-Q Pro-Tour helmet is focused on continuing to provide the best motorcycling experience in the market for riders with a long-oval head shape.

- Juice
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Arai Defiant Pro-Cruise Helmet: Bold Moves

Definition: Boldly resistant or challenging… word: Defiant. It is inherent in the name. To be out there, unabashed, and breaking the conformity so rooted in “they way it has always been.”

The new Arai Defiant Pro-Cruise Helmet is fresh off the press and information is forthcoming, however, the word on the street is that it will be hitting the stage for Fall 2014 and bringing with it an interesting change in the way that we see the helmet itself. First and foremost, the new line will come with a Pro Shade system already installed. The benefits of this are numerous for certain. The Pro Shade can be dropped with minimal involvement of your hands. All that is required is a subtle nod of the head and you instantly reduce the ambient light of the day and ease the strain on your eyes. However, the greatest advantage of the Pro Shade is that it does not require an alteration to the helmet itself to make room internally for the visor to be housed. In turn, the system allows for helmets to retain a Snell safety rating. 

In addition to the inclusion of the Pro Shade system, the new Defiant Pro-Cruise will arrive with an exclusive Eco-Pure liner. This item allows for the interior to remain fresher, longer than the original option and will also become standard on these helmets just as the Pro Shade. Combine that with ear pockets that have been designed to better accept speakers and a Pin Lock lens that comes standard, and this quickly becomes a helmet with vastly increased functionality.

Large improvements necessitate great strides. In looking at the new Arai Defiant Pro-Cruise Helmets that sentiment can be seen throughout. The inclusion of the Pro Shade system and similar advancements to the helmet henceforth is new to the game, yet not out of character for a helmet built on changing what is expected.

- Juice
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Alpinestars Tech 8 RS & Tech 8 RS Vented Boots: Upgrading an Upgrade

Moving from the realm of novice to pro often comes with a jump into a different tier of equipment. Whether you are working with computers, cars, paintbrushes or paddle boards, the differences between good and great can be tiny, but profound.

In the case of motorcycle boots these features can be seen in the Alpinestars Tech 8 RS Boots. With an inner-sleeve constructed of leather and 3D mesh, it offers a comfortable option that at the same time incorporates adjustable shock absorbing gel inserts to protect your heel. In addition, a removable anatomic footbed allows for even more comfort when you are putting the boots through their paces. With all of the comfort in mind, however, do not think for a second that these boots are not built to protect. With beefy, reinforced lateral flex zones, extended internal protection plates, and an upgraded buckle system, the new Tech 8 RS boots keep you locked in and armored up for the most ardent of usage.

For the hotter days and warmer climates, the same boot is also offered in a perforated options. The Alpinestars Tech 8 RS Vented Boots afford all of the same protection and comfort as the Tech 8 RS, however, they are geared to keep your feet cooler as you take on the trails.

If you are looking to step up your moto game and push yourself to the max, upgrading to a professional level piece of gear might be in our future. For offroad motorcycling the Alpinestars Tech 8 RS and Alpinestars Tech 8 RS Vented Boots offer a great option in that regard.

- Juice
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Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots: Stepping Up

The first step is getting in the game. That is all. Lace in, buckle up, and kick it off right with the Fall 2014 line of Alpinestars offroad boots.

As an entry-level option into the world of top-flight offroad gear, the Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots provide riders with many great features for a cost that is substantially less than its older brothers with the Tech 7 and Tech 8. Built from light, innovative microfiber material with action leather in the toe box, the redesigned instep and and achilles flex zones provide increased comfort amid the array of defensive mechanisms and stability plates. Additionally, a bio-mechanical pivot provides functional support while the TPU injected foot shell and metal shank stand up against uncomfortable collisions that are common while offroading on the bike.

Getting the right gear for the right kind of riding is key. For offroad motorcyclists looking to armor up at an affordable price, the new Tech 5 Boots from Alpinestars are a great place to start the journey.

- Juice
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