Thursday, September 30

Firstgear HT Overpants for Fall 2010

Firstgear completely redesigned their ADV & Sport Touring pants for the Fall of 2010 and now have positioned themselves as a serious competitor against some of the top-tier European brands. Both the HT Overpants and the HT Air Overpants now have improved fit and articulation for long distance riding; they feature a touring fit as opposed to the box cut in models past. This is a vast improvement in comfort and flexibility. Depending on the riding you'll be doing and the climate in which you live, you can choose between the three-season Fall-Winter-Spring HT Overpants or the Spring-Summer-Fall HT Air Overpants.

First up is our video review of the Firstgear HT Overpants.


Built on a 600D textile chassis, the HT Overpants have a built-in waterproof breathable Hypertex membrane to get you through any sort of precipitation nature has in store. Adjustable CE rated armor is found in the knees for protection along with articulation for comfort and flexibility. There is also textile reinforcement in impact areas in addition to padded hip protectors for extra protection. The HT Overpants feature pass through pockets to access the pockets of your layer underneath and two thigh air intake vents. All openings feature rubberized YKK zippers to further the waterproofing. For resistance to pipe heat and wear, there is heat-resistant material reinforcement on the inner calves. The removable liner pant is a stylish standalone
destination layer with Fiberfill insulation for warmth in the cold months.

Next, we review the Firstgear HT Air Overpants.



Constructed for three-season warm weather riding, the Firstgear HT Air Overpants are a blend of 600D polyester and 250D mesh for abrasion resistance and excellent airflow in Spring-Summer-Fall riding. Like their cold weather counterpart above, they are constructed as an overpant with pass-through pockets to access your under-layer. The waterproof breathability is built-in to the zip-out liner that also acts as a standalone destination layer that can be worn off the bike. There is adjustable CE armor in the knees with hip padding for extra protection in addition to heat-resistant material on the inner calves for durability and protection. There are two front pockets for storage with a large 2/3 length side zip for easy access in and out of the pants.

Both these pants are a part of the exemplary Firstgear Fall 2010 line of product. There are several other ADV and Sport Touring pieces of gear that we'll be detailing in blogs in the future. So stay tuned.

To compare competitors of the HT Overpants, visit our winter motorcycle pants section. To see the competitors of the HT Air Overpants, check out our summer motorcycle pants section.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Firstgear Fall 2010 Gear Guide
Cold Weather Everyday Riding Gear Guide
Cold Weather Touring Motorcycle Gear Guide
Firstgear Kathmandu Gloves for Fall 2010

Wednesday, September 29

Spring 2011 REV'IT! Gear Sneak Preview


We have seen the 2011 REV'IT! Spring Line. We posted a thread on ADVRider.com today about the best of the new collection. We are still unable to show pictures, but wanted to make sure that folks had the opportunity to know whats on the horizon when making their fall purchases.

There are some exciting new mesh and  leather options as well as a fully functional 4-season ladies textile adventure outfit called the VENTURA Jacket and Pants.


To see the breakdown of the full line, check out the REV'IT! Spring 2011 Sneak Preview on ADVrider.com

More to come as we get pics and video to share.

BoochZilla

Alpinestars Boots for Fall 2010

For the Fall of 2010, Alpinestars has released several new boot options for the ADV & Sport Touring rider. Building on the strong foundation that they have developed over years and years of boot manufacturing, AStars has upgraded the features and functionality of existing boots and also constructed two pairs of completely new models.

Our first video review is of the Alpinestars Hydro Sport boots and Alpinestars ST Vented boots.




The Hydro Sport & ST Vented Boots share similar features. Both boots are built based on the Alpinestars S-MX 5 boots; at the clamoring of touring riders, Alpinestars streamlined the old design and removed the external hard parts that were bulking them up. Both boots are an external leather construction with PU impact reinforcements: a PU shin plate, an internal toe counter and shift pad, and an external PU heel counter. They have dual density ankle cups, a PU ankle slider and a shank in the sole for added protection. The difference? The Hydro Sport boots are completely waterproof breathable via the Drystar membrane while the ST Vented boots are perforated for warm weather riding. These are both very versatile touring boots.


Next, there is the updated and redesigned Alpinestars Ridge Boots and the hot-off-the-press Alpinestars Roam Boots.



Both the Ridge and the Roam boots are designed for all-season all-weather sport touring, constructed with a synthetic leather upper and lightweight textile panels for airflow. Both boots are fully waterproof breathable utilizing the Drystar membrane proprietary to AStars. The structured shank built into the vulcanized rubber sole is extremely rigid in the the rear of the foot for support but flexible in the front of the foot for comfort. The footbed used is anatomic and removable with multiple densities of EVA padding throughout for unbridled comfort. Essentially the same boot construction for both, the Ridge boots are 3/4 cut while the Roam boots come slightly higher up the shin. These boots are both all-around great everyday all-weather riding boots.


Be sure to check out all the Fall 2010 Alpinestars gear at RevZilla.com. To see other boots that compete with these, visit our Touring Boots page.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Tuesday, September 28

Gerbing's Heated Gear HD Video Review

Gerbing's Heated Gear is now in stock and shipping from RevZilla.com. Since 1976, Gerbing's has been producing premium heated motorcycle gear, ever refining their technologies and improving the quality of their gear. A recent contract with the Department of Defense led to Gerbing's newest innovation yet: microwire. Prior to this invention, copper wire was used ubiquitously in the heated gear world. Microwire, hundreds of hair-thin stainless steel fibers encased in teflon, is woven throughout every piece of heated gear that Gerbings manufactures.



The significant factors here are what microwire offers over copper wire or other technologies: it is up to 50% lighter than other heated gear and it heats almost instantly. A big caveat for the US Military was the need for gear that heated up rapidly; copper wire simply took too long to get warmed up. Within an astonishing four seconds, Gerbing's heated motorcycle gear is hot and ready to keep you toasty.

Below, you can see our Gerbing's Heated Motorcycle Gear Buying Guide which should break down the basics for you:


Most riders start with a pair of heated gloves or a heated jacket liner; the tendency is to fall in love with the stuff at that point and expand out to the rest of the Gerbing's line. For that reason we generally recommend starting off with the Dual Temp Controller as opposed to the Single Temp Controller even if you're only picking up one piece of apparel to start. It affords you a great deal more versatility in the long run.

Check out the full line of Gerbing's Heated Jackets, Gloves and Pants by visiting RevZilla.com. We also have several other Gerbing's videos available at RevZillaTV including a Gerbing's connection guide and Gerbing's sizing guides. You can compare to other extreme cold weather gear by visiting our Heated Motorcycle Gear section.

Stay tuned for more on the RevZilla Blog about Gerbing's Heated Gear.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Monday, September 27

Hi-Viz Motorcycle Gear Guide

Attention all commuters and riders wanting to be seen on the roadways: our Hi-Viz Motorcycle Gear Guide has arrived. In this video gear guide, we feature six helmet options, seven jacket choices, and three vests to be worn over top of protective gear. High-Visibility Motorcycle Gear continues to grow in popularity as riders become more conscious of the dangers of riding. Hi-Viz gear is a great choice for the commuter, the urban rider and the long-distance tourer. Check out our picks for the top tier of hi-vis gear.



Hi-Viz Motorcycle helmets are available from many brands with that number growing as each wave of helmets comes is released. Our favorites come from Nolan, Arai, Icon and Scorpion. There are modular options, such as the Scorpion EXO-900 Transformer and the Nolan N43 Helmet, in addition to a dual sport choice in the Arai XD-3 helmet. Two touring choices, the standout Arai RX-Q and the Arai Vector, and one sport helmet designed for riding in the tucked position, the Icon Alliance Hi-Viz, rounds out our picks for the best hi-viz helmets.




The best-selling full hi-viz Olympia Airglide 3 jacket is our first choice for hi-viz motorcycle jackets. The Airglide 3 is available in two high-visibility options, a full neon yellow construction and the "toxic" version which is hi-viz yellow with fire red accents. The outer shell is constructed from 500D Dupont Cordura with ballistic mesh panels to flow air in hot weather. The jacket also features a two-stage built-in liner jacket; the outer layer is waterproof and breathable while the inner layer is Thermolite insulated. These windbreakers can be worn together or individually inside or without the outer shell providing a great deal of versatility and bang for the buck in this hi-viz choice.


The REV'IT! Dragon Jacket in black & neon yellow is our bestselling hi-viz accented jacket. Offering a more subtle high-visibility option, the Dragon has four-season versatility that will truly shine in Fall-Winter-Spring riding. The waterproof breathability in the Dragon is found in the detachable Hydratex liner jacket that can also be zipped out and worn as a standalone destination layer. Under that layer is another detachable thermal liner for added wintertime insulation. With a brawny 750D PWRShell construction, 1000D Cordura reinforcements and Knox CE protection in shoulders and elbows, the REV'IT! Dragon does all everything you'd expect from an all-season all-weather jacket:
keep you warm, dry, and protected no matter what the conditions.


The Olympia AST Jacket and Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket are also great options for four-season touring. They are both 3/4 length with waterproof breathable membranes built into the outer shells. For this reason, we see this as an excellent option for the rider in the Pacific Northwest where it stays cool most of the year and you see heavy precipitation. There are several large ventilation panels on both jackets and each has a removable thermal standalone liner jacket. With the vents open and the liner out you will get some good ventilation; it just won't flow as much air as gear with removable waterproof breathability. Olympia pioneered hi-viz motorcycle apparel and Firstgear isn't far behind as their R&D catches up.


The Firstgear Rush Mesh jacket and the Dainese Shotgun jacket are going to be the ideal hot weather hi-viz options in this guide. The Rush Mesh has a full-sleeved water-resistant windblocking liner that can be removed when the mercury rises; couple this with the 250D polymesh outer shell and you will have plenty of airflow and visibility in extremely hot conditions. The Dainese Shotgun jacket is arguably the most stylish of the entire lineup with Dainese claiming that you will not find a more comfortable summer jacket on the market. With stretch fabric and tons of mesh paneling, including 3D mesh that creates air channels for added flow, you will absolutely be comfortable and cool wearing this in the summertime.


The brawniest of our hi-viz motorcycle jackets is the Olympia X-Moto jacket, an all-season all-weather beast of a jacket that we've featured in several of our guides as a top pick for extreme ADV touring. The jacket features a sporty two-stage waterproof breathable liner that acts as a standalone destination layer within which is a removable Thermolite inner liner. With a hefty exterior constructed of Cordura including 2000D reinforcements and CE rated armor, you have all the protection you need for touring or dual sporting. There is also a removable integrated hydration bladder and an zip-off expandable storage pocket on the lower back. The Olympia X-Moto: excellent versatility,
high-visibility and built for all-season all-weather adventure riding.


If you don't want to buy an entirely new jacket but need to be seen when you're on the bike, there are three great hi-viz motorcycle vest options. The Olympia Nova Vest, available in neon red and yellow options, has a good deal of adjustability to fit over your motorcycle jacket in addition to mil-spec brightness and a see-through ID chest pocket. Two Icon vests round out our lineup: the Icon Mil Spec Mesh Vest and the Icon Mil Spec Field Armor vest. The Mil Spec Mesh vest has a removable ID holder with multiple reflective panels throughout and is a stylish choice to zip over your jacket. The Mil Spec Field Armor vest provides both high-visibility and added protection with the impact-absorbing
plastic back armor and reinforced rubber chest armor.

These are our picks for the best of the best in Hi-Viz Motorcycle Gear. There are helmets, jackets and vests to choose from for the maximum level of visibility and safety when you're on the road.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Friday, September 24

Firstgear Fall 2010 Gear Guide

Brand new for the Fall of 2010, Firstgear has released an abundance of new motorcycle apparel. Last year they focused on jackets, including the TPG line; this year, the focus is on motorcycle pants and their one-piece commuter suit. They've also produced a group of upgraded gloves. All of this gear offers massive improvements over previous iterations with upgrades in fit and articulation, better materials, and more sound design across the board.

Here is our Firstgear Fall 2010 Gear Guide.



The first major standout to us in the new lineup are the Firstgear TPG Escape Pants. Originally released in 2008 as part of the then brand new Firstgear TPG line, the Escape pants did not have the same level of R&D or thought put into them as a exceptional product like the Firstgear TPG Rainier jacket did. The pants weren't properly articulated for comfort or movement, they had a very boxy fit to them and they didn't have d3o molecular-level armor. This year's model is completely restyled and redesigned for long-distance touring and touts the addition of d3o armor in both the hips and knees. Even the standalone liner pants offer completely upgraded style over the previous iteration.


New for Fall 2010 is the Firstgear Expedition Suit, a brilliant piece of gear for the rider who wants all the features of a one-piece riding suit without having to shell out a thousand bucks for it. The Expedition is a completely waterproof breathable oversuit that will keep you warm and dry whether you are ripping trails off-road or simply commuting to work. The input of a lot of the features of the TPG line of Firstgear apparel translates to remarkable functionality at this price point. The massive quantity of vents in this suit provide maximum ventilation for true four-season functionality. There are YKK zippers throughout the suit with waterproof pockets and the main connection zipper is a Scuba-level RiRi zipper.
Firstgear hit it out of the park with the Expedition.


Three other pairs of pants are brand new for Fall 2010 from Firstgear. The Firstgear HT Overpants & Firstgear HT Air Overpants both have far superior fit and articulation than previous models just like the TPG Escapes. They are lighter and more flexible than previous models and are built as a touring fit for long-term comfort. The HT Overpants are three-season Fall-Winter-Spring riding while the HT Air Overpants are three-season Spring-Summer-Fall riding. The HT Overpants have a waterproof breathable membrane in addition to a removable zip-out liner pant that can be worn as a destination when you hop off the bike. The HT Airs have the waterproof breathability built into their destination liner pant.


For maximum performance in hot weather, the new Firstgear Mesh Tex Pants are a great option for sport touring. The previous model of the Mesh-Tex Pants were styled after a leather track pant, which meant uber-snug and very untenable for long-distance riding. These pants are cut more generously, touring-style, with a high waist and comfortable articulation. Constructed from durable 250D polymesh for maximal airflow with adjustable CE rated knee armor, the Firstgear MeshTex pants also have heat-resistant reinforcements on the inner calf on each side. These pants are designed to keep you cool and protected in warm weather riding and are a massive upgrade over former versions.


Firstgear also came out with six new gloves for this season, three of which are available in women's specific cut and fit. Every glove is redesigned with better articulation, comfort and protection over their predecessors. Two of the standouts are the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Glove, a cold weather waterproof breathable gauntlet, the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Air Glove, a lightweight mesh, leather and textile summertime glove. We're also pumped about the Firstgear Navigator Gloves, full Goatskin leather construction with a waterproof breathable membrane built as an all-season glove. Our favorite glove in the new lineup is the Firstgear Kathmandu Glove, an ADV touring style waterproof breathable textile glove.

We have full HD video reviews of the entire Fall 2010 Firstgear Gear lineup that can be seen at RevZillaTV or on the individual product pages at RevZilla.com. Firstgear took a giant leap forward these year with their new ADV touring gear and we are impressed to say the least. All of this gear is certain to go head-to-head with other leading brands on the market. Stay tuned for more details on new Firstgear apparel.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Thursday, September 23

Super Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide

In the next segment of our Helmet Buying Guide series, we sort out what we consider the upper echelon of lids. All of the helmets in this guide have very pointed applications in that you will find the most extreme uses, be it racing, extreme dual sporting or serious hyper-mile touring. These helmets are $500 and up and feature the most space-age materials and technologies currently available.


Lids in our Super Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide are made by AGV, Arai, Shoei, Bell & Shark. This level of functionality may be over the top for most riders so don't miss our Everyday Riding & Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guides as well.


First in our run of Super Premium lids is the AGV GP-Tech 5 Continents helmet was worn by MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi. The GP-Tech 5 is a carbon & kevlar construction that is lightweight and extremely aerodynamic with ventilation channels hollowed straight into the helmet's shell for superior airflow. The Racer-X visor that comes stock is anti-fog/scratch polycarbonate with a tear-off system and is easily changeable with no tools. The CoolMax moisture-wicking liner is fully removable and washable. The AGV GP-Tech helmet is available in solids, graphics and a Marco Simoncelli version as well. With two MotoGP pros wearing this lid, you know AG Helmets has done something right. It is a intermediate to long oval fit.


Bell Helmets, previously featured in our Premium Helmet Guide with the Bell Vortex, has made a major impact in 2010 with their new line of helmets. The Bell Star helmet, a Snell 2010 race helmet, is no exception. The Star uses the Bell Tri-Matrix composite which is kevlar, carbon fiber & fiberglass resulting in an extremely lightweight yet resilient lid. The ventilation is adjustable using the FlowAdjust system which creates great venturi airflow keeping your head cool and dry. With the built-in rear wing, the aerodynamics are extremely stable. Available in solid colors and a boatload of dope graphic options, the fit on the Star is ideal for an intermediate oval head but with the contour cut cheek-pads, it fits just about everyone well.


Currently being worn by Randy De Puniet on the MotoGP circuit, the Shark RSR 2 helmet is the choice for the racer with the long narrow oval head shape. The RSR2 is constructed with a blend of carbon fiber & kevlar composited fibers and has a ventilation scheme and spoiler situated for riding in the tucked position. The EPS liner is built with multiple densities to provide maximum shock absorption in the event of a get-off and comes in two sizes to provide optimal fit. The ventilation scheme provides excellent airflow for on-track riding with large intake and perfectly-placed venturi side exhaust ports. The liner is fully adjustable, removable and washable utilizing CoolMax & Sanitized fabrics. This Shark helmet is DOT & ECE approved.


The definitive race helmet of the 2000s, the Shoei X-11 led the pack since its inception in 2003. With upgraded Snell 2010 certification and some major improvements in design, the Shoei X-12 helmet took the reins this year and is truly a next generation pro-level helmet. The X-12 utilizes the strong and light AIM+ shell which comes in five shell sizes to create the most accurate fit possible. The Aero Edge 2 Spoiler has been streamlined more so than the X-11 to reduce down force and improve aerodynamics. The brand new CW-1 shield is a wider periphery than previous visors and has a spring-loaded quick-release mechanism for snug fit and swift shield changes. The Shoei X-12 is an intermediate oval shape.


The last race helmet in this bunch, the Arai Corsair V helmet succeeds the RX-7 and boasts a veritable laundry list of improved functionality. The new fiberglass & kevlar shell features a Hyper-Ridge along the bottom which improves shell strength and widens the opening for easy on/off. The ventilation scheme is completely redesigned and flow a remarkable amount of air on the track at speed. The Arai SAI shield system is 5mm longer on each side for an exceptionally larger field of vision. One of the coolest features is the 5-way adjustable AirWing that allows for customizable aerodynamics that, to be honest, is second to no helmet on the market. The Corsair V is Snell 2010 certified and has an intermediate oval shell shape.


For long distance touring helmets in the Super Premium range, there is no competition for the Arai RX-Q Helmet. They basically took the Corsair V race helmet and made the necessary design adjustments to create an optimized touring helmet. It utilizes the same wider-eyeport face shield as the Corsair V in addition the same shell construction materials. The guts have been improved over the Quantum 2 helmet that it replaces, with newer multi-density cheek pads for an optimized fit. The shell shape is an intermediate oval with a smaller and more aerodynamic shape over its predecessor. The five unique shell sizes ensure that every size of this helmet will be the ideal fit. The RX-Q is a Snell 2010 certified race helmet built for the street.


There are very few dual sport helmets whose functionality escalates them into the Super Premium realm. One of these helmets is the Shoei Hornet DS, a Snell 2005 ADV touring helmet. It uses the same materials as the X-12 in shell construction, the lightweight AIM+ shell, and has an extra-wide off-road style eyeport. The Hornet DS is exceptionally versatile and can be used three ways: with the visor and shield, with the visor and no shield, or with the shield and no visor. The 5-layered comfortable cheekpads are fully removable and have a channel for eyeglasses or goggles. Like the majority of Shoei Helmets, the Hornet DS is an intermediate oval head shape. It is DOT & Snell 2005 certified.


The top of the dual sport food chain is the Arai XD-3 Helmet. The fiberglass composite is stronger and lighter than previous iterations of this helmet and Arai used softer yet thinner materials in the liner for better comfort. The Twin-Cam Shield Pivot System provides a great deal of versatility with a face shield capable of use under the peak that is adjustable for aerodynamics depending on riding position. There are multiple optimized intake and exhaust vents designed to flow significant amounts of air and chinbar venting for shield de-fogging. Arai has been making dual sport helmets for a few years now and the XD-3 is the result of a great deal of R&D. It is an intermediate oval shape with Snell 2010 certification.

If these helmets are overkill for your riding style, check out our Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide & Everyday Riding Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Wednesday, September 22

Alpinestars Durban Gore-Tex Suit Review



After years of R&D and manufacturing for both the street riding & off-road realms, Alpinestars has taken all of their laborious effort and put it into their new Tech Touring Gear. Built on a 600D shell with a removable Gore-Tex Paclite waterproof breathable membrane and loaded with SuperFabric and ripstop reinforcements, the Alpinestars Durban Gore-Tex Jacket & Alpinestars Durban Gore-Tex Pants are the pinnacle of Alpinestars textile gear to date.



Designed as an all-season all-weather impenetrable ADV touring outfit, the A*Stars Durban goes head-to-head with the apex pieces from other manufacturers. Alpinestars is mostly recognized as a leading racing gear manufacturer, and it is little known that they have been producing technical off-road apparel since the mid-1970s.

In the impact areas, the shoulders, elbows and knees, you'll find SAS-TEC armor. Exceeding the CE rating scale, SAS-TEC provides molecular-level protection from impacts. This translates to lightweight armor that is soft and flexible to the touch for comfort but becomes absolutely rigid upon impact and disperses energy across the armor.


SuperFabric, another futuristic technology, can be found as reinforcements in all impact areas. This material is comprised of tiny laser-welded ceramic plates that are heat-resistant and provide 14x the abrasion resistance of Kevlar. In a get-off situation, if you slide, this material will not burn through and will keep you that much more protected than any other fabric.

The Paclite Gore-Tex membrane that exists as a removable membrane is one of Gore-Tex's lightest yet most durable waterproof breathable technologies. Gore-Tex produces the most waterproof and breathable garments on the market, providing 2x the performance of other manufacturers.


Further versatility comes with the 2-Liter pouch for a hydration system and the large rabbit pouch at the small of the back. The sleeves of the jacket are detachable in the event that you want to wear just the vest over a compression suit and they fit conveniently into the back pouch.

The attention to detail on this ADV suit is remarkable as well. With the tightly woven micro-velcro for comfort, the spring-loaded snaps and YKK zippers that exist throughout the garment, Alpinestars really went all-in on this outfit. There are waterproof pockets throughout, connection system for a Bionic Neck Support, a removable bib system, and multiple
large intake and exhaust panels.


This suit should be on every serious ADV rider's radar when it's time to make a new investment. Check out the competition by visiting Extreme ADV Motorcycle Gear at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Related:

Tuesday, September 21

Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide

Next up in our Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide series is Premium motorcycle helmets. In this segment, we cover helmets that range from $250-$500. These helmets typically begin to incorporate some space-age technologies and are built for specific applications. You'll find race helmets, modular helmets, dual sport helmets, and long distance touring helmets. The materials used are of higher quality than Everyday Riding Helmets with the research, development and testing being more extensive. Check out our video guide below and more details about these individual helmets below.


This range of helmets is produced by manufactures like Shark, Icon, Shoei & Nolan. Lids in our Premium Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide will generally meet a higher safety certification (Snell, ECE 2205, etc) than everyday riding helmets.


The Nolan N103 N-Com Helmet is first up in this bucket of helmets. It is a premium modular helmet constructed for easy integration with Nolan's N-COM communication system. Standing behind 30 years of helmet-making experience, Nolan Helmets designs and manufactures all of their helmet components in-house in Bergamo, Italy. The chassis of the N103 is an aerodynamic polycarbonate shell with a Lexan faceshield that offers tool-less quick changes. Nolan is known for their modular helmets and they do it as good if not better than everyone out there. The N103 is a round oval head shape which is important to keep in mind.


Our dual sport helmet in the group is the Icon Variant helmet, an addition to the Icon lineup in early 2010. More of a street helmet than an off-road helmet, the Icon Variant is aggressively sport styled and offers a great deal of versatility with superior airflow and extra attention spent on design. New for Fall 2010, the Icon Variant Speedmetal is the newest graphic pattern and sure to be a big hit in Icon Fall 2010 Gear lineup. The extra wide eyeport is one of our favorite features of this helmet. It is a long oval head shape and meets All-World Standard, which includes DOT & ECE safety specifications.



The Shark Evoline Series 2 helmet has been an immensely popular modular helmet in 2010. Shark made some subtle yet significant improvements over the first run of this helmet and the outcome is a helmet that offers great value and versatility. It is the only helmet in our modular selection that can be ridden full-face or open-face without having to remove any parts. The chin bar simply rotates up and around and rests on the back of the head. It has a dropdown sun visor for convenience when riding in the open-face configuration. The Evoline is a round oval head shape and meets DOT & ECE safety standards.



Brand new for 2010, the Shoei RF-1100 Helmet has been a smash hit due to its tremendous upgrades over the RF-1000 and the reasonable price point for Shoei functionality. The RF1100 meets Snell 2010 certification, has an improved ventilation scheme in addition to a spring-loaded shield mechanism that creates a seamless airtight seal at the top gasket. It is built for spirited road riding in a slight tuck as this position optimizes the helmet's ventilation and overall performance. This helmet has a very low profile, sleek design, and is an intermediate oval shape. It meets Snell 2010 & DOT safety requirements.



The HJC RPS-10 helmet debuted in the Fall of 2010 after two and a half years of research and development with MotoGP rider Ben Spies, who currently dons this helmet on the circuit. This helmet is the HJC response to the RF-1100; built for an aggressive street-riding (or race) position and offering massive upgrades over the helmet it replaces, the HJC FS-15. Extremely lightweight at only 3.3 pounds with a six-way adjustable ventilation system at the top of the head, the RPS10 is aerodynamic with great ergonomics. The new HJC-20 shield has a one-touch open/close mechanism for tight seal and easy operation. It is Snell 2010 certified and has a round oval shape.


The Shoei Qwest helmet literally just came out within the last week and is built as the long-distance touring version of the RF-1100 to compete with the Arai RX-Q. The ventilation scheme has been moved higher on the head to perform in an upright riding position. The Qwest has a Snell 2010 certification and utilizes the Shoei AIM+ shell construction. The fit is a slightly rounder oval than the traditional Shoei intermediate oval and accommodates more riders in addition to easy integration of a bluetooth communication system. The balance and weight distribution make it comfortable for long-term rides.



The Icon Airframe helmet flows as much if not more air than any helmet in our premium lineup. The laser-drilled air channels are cut at a 45ยบ angle and flow air through the EPS liner for exceptional ventilation. The Airframe is DOT, ECE & Snell 2005 certified and has a dual-density EPS which greatly cuts back on the chance of head injury in the unfortunate event of an accident. As with all Icon Helmets, the Airframe is a long oval shape. For the great amount of air this helmet flows, it is also exceptionally quiet at highway speeds. Also, the Hydradry liner wicks moisture away from your face for added comfort.



The last helmet in our Premium Motorcycle Helmet Guide is the Shark RSI Helmet. Shark Helmets are known for providing an exceptionally quiet ride. Wind tunnel tested for aerodynamics with a built-in rear spoiler, the RSI is meant to be ridden in an aggressive tucked position. The shell is multidirectional composite fibers reinforced with carbon & aramid with a multi-element internal shock-absorber for safety. The integrated internal ducts direct the airflow for remarkable venturi effect ventilation. The RSI is built for a long oval headform and meets DOT & ECE safety specifications.

We hope this detailed guide provides a nice glimpse into the options in Premium Helmet range. Don't miss our Everyday Riding Helmet Guide and stay tuned for our Super Premium Helmet Guide which will be released shortly.

-RetroZilla

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Monday, September 20

Everyday Riding Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide

The next chapter in our Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide series arrives today. In this guide, we discuss Everyday Riding helmets. These helmets come from an array of manufacturers and many of them offer great bang for the buck. The price range for these helmets is $80 to $250 and they generally fit a wide array of head shapes. They are an excellent option for a beginner rider or as a passenger helmet. Check out the video and look further down the page for more detailed information.


Featured in this video are helmets from Bell, Icon, Scorpion, HJC, SparX & GMax. All of these helmets (all helmets at RevZilla.com, in fact) meet DOT specifications, a requirement for all on-road lids in the United States. Here are details on the helmets in our Everyday Riding Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide:


SparX Helmets are a relatively new helmet manufacturer based out of Southern California. Their staple helmet, the SparX S07, offers a great deal of functionality for an entry-level everyday helmet. The SparX quest is to offer technologically innovative high-end features at a very affordable price point. Every review of this helmet on RevZilla.com has been glowing with praise for the helmet's comfort, airflow, and level of quiet at highway speed. SparX helmets fit a medium oval head shape, and offer a five-year warranty with a crash replacement policy.




HJC Helmets have been a mainstay of the motorcycle industry for close to 40 years; they have been the top-selling helmet brand for the past ten years. Within our everyday helmet lineup, HJC has the most pronounced round oval shape, meant to fit a globe-shaped head. We feature the HJC FS-15 in this video which comes in right below the $200 price point and is an extremely popular helmet that we carry. It is lightweight with superb airflow and offers a great SilverCool wicking & washable interior. If you have a round-shaped head, this is an excellent option.




Similar to SparX, Scorpion Helmets are relatively new to the game. They broke into the market within the last five years and have received a warm reception as word spreads and their popularity grows. They offer a helmet for every riding style with their everyday riding lid being the Scorpion EXO-750. This helmet is the top of the heap for this bucket. A laundry list of features including an intermediate oval shape, venting for aggressive riding position, an AirFit pump system for a perfect fit, a wicking washable liner and a lightweight quiet shell all add up to the most feature-rich helmet in this price range.



Bell Helmets muscled their way back into the motorcycle world this year after years of being out of the motorcycle lid game with three outstanding releases. The Bell Vortex is the only helmet in our everyday lineup that provides Snell 2010 Certified protection. It shares many of the same features as their $550 Bell Star Race Helmet, but at a much lower price point. The polycarbonate alloy shell is lightweight, the Velocity Flow Ventilation system provides excellent airflow, and the liner is antimicrobial, removable and washable. And that's just the tip of the iceberg on the Vortex feature set.



For the more aggressive sportbike crowd, the Icon Alliance helmet touts not only Icon's excellent attention to graphical detail but also extensive R&D and technological innovations. The new Alliance, an upgrade over the Alliance SSR, has many improvements over the previous iteration. The EPS liner has been redesigned to a more long oval shape for riders' comfort, ventilation channels have been repositioned and enlarged, additional vents have been added, and Icon's ProShield has been integrated. A massively upgraded helmet at a very reasonable price point, the Icon Alliance is a standout in this everyday riding group.


At the other end of the spectrum, GMax helmets span from $70 thru $130 and offer excellent functionality with great comfort and fit. GMax is currently the fastest growing helmet manufacturer in the states, with helmets ranging from street to dirt and beyond. WebBikeWorld named the GMax GM68S Helmet (now the GMax GM68) the helmet of the year for 2007. These helmets provide great bang for the buck and operate well as an everyday riding helmet, a passenger helmet, or a helmet for a beginner rider.

Be sure not to miss our upcoming helmet guides, including Premium & Super Premium Motorcycle Helmets.

To check our full selection, visit Motorcycle Helmets at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

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Thursday, September 16

Shoei Qwest Helmet Review

Highly anticipated and long-awaited, the Shoei Qwest Helmet arrives as a direct competitor with the Arai RX-Q. Shoei is positioning this helmet as a long-distance touring version of the mega-popular Shoei RF-1100 Helmet. They re-positioned the ventilation system to accommodate an upright riding position and changed the ergonomics of the fit to create a helmet that any long-distance tourer will appreciate. Check out our full HD review of the helmet below:



As mentioned above, the shape of the Shoei Qwest Helmet is different than the RF-1100. It is slightly rounder and more along the lines of the RX-Q. In doing so, this helmet is able to accommodate a wider array of riders and also provides ample space for the mouthpiece of a bluetooth communicator, keeping in mind that many touring riders love those. It also is a full 1.2 dB quieter than the RF-1100 when riding at highway speeds. This comes as a result of the repositioning of the ventilation, which, as I said, is designed to flow the most air when riding upright. The difference in noise-level and how much quieter this lid is becomes quite noticeable when hitting highway speeds.

Four different shell sizes are utilized for a total of seven helmet sizes (2XS-2XL) for precise fit and maximum compactness. It weighs in at an average of 3.6 pounds which is relatively light for a helmet designed for long distance touring. The AIM+ shell fuses a blend of Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber & Dyneema together for lightweight performance coupled with remarkable strength. It utilizes the same shield as the RF-1100 and X-12 as well which is the CW-1, a mist-retardant anti-fog shield that features tool-free quick release and spring-loaded detents for a firm seal against the top gasket providing superior rain protection.

The Qwest has great balance and weight distribution. The ergonomics and aerodynamics are well thought-out. It flows a great deal of air for the touring rider and, well, it's a Shoei helmet so you know what to expect. This helmet is going to be an absolute home run.

Check out the competition by visiting our Touring Helmets page at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

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