Tuesday, November 30

Klim Adrenaline GTX Boot Review

Designed to combat all elements of nasty weather, the Klim Adrenaline GTX Boots can take on all weather conditions. Boasting a rugged outer construction with Gore-Tex waterproofing and a comfort liner, the Klim Adrenaline is one of the most popular true adventure boots on the market. Second only to the Klim Arctic GTX Boot in terms of cold weather warmth and performance, the Adrenaline is a home run that is popular amongst riders from multiple realms: dirt riders, snowmobile riders, adventure riders and more.

Check out our Klim Adrenaline GTX Boot Review:



The exterior construction of the Adrenaline GTX is a combination rubber, leather and ballistic nylon materials for ruggedness and protection. Beneath that is a Gore-Tex membrane for complete waterproofing and breathability. Gore-Tex is more breathable than any other waterproof membrane available and the waterproofing is guaranteed for life. If the boot ever leaks, send it back to Gore and they will repair or replace for free. The interior of this boot is insulated by 600 Gram Thinsulate to provide excellent warmth and the liner is a moisture-wicking fabric that will keep your foot both comfortable and dry during active and aggressive rides.

The outsole of the Adrenaline is an extremely durable rubber sole that provides excellent grip while the insole is removable and lined with moisture-wicking fabric. There is a stiff durable board built into the sole to help distribute shock, protecting the foot in doing so. Another neat feature is the lacing system. Extremely low profile and off-set to the side to reduce damage from tunnel bolts, the flat laces have anchored lace loops for excellent cinching properties. They are also anti-moisture so there is little to no chance that will ice up if you're using these boots while snowmobiling The Adrenalines have been around for a few years and they're popular for good reason: they perform tremendously in all nasty weather conditions.

To see similar boots, visit our Dirt Boot section.

-RetroZilla

Monday, November 29

Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots Review

The complement to the Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Pants outfit, the Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots are part of the brand new Icon all-season all-weather waterproof Patrol series. Primed to combat all of the elements with aggressive style and functionality, the Patrol gear is the most technically advanced product that Icon has produced to date. With Icon's attention to detail in every piece of gear they release and their advanced technologies that go into their waterproof gear, the Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots are sure to be a big hit amongst the Icon sport touring loyalists.

Here is our Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots Review:



The Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots begin with a durable leather chassis that is bonded with a completely waterproof breathable membrane, blocking all precipitation from penetrating but allowing perspiration to escape away from your foot. This allows the foot to be completely comfortable and dry during the worst weather conditions. Brand new for Fall 2010 Icon Gear, there is a brand new sole system which features a slip-resistant rubber outsole, a footpeg arch to interface with the pegs, and a foam midsole for comfort. There is also an axialmetric steel shank built into the sole for durability and support. For protective measures, there is internal ankle armor cockpit and a reinforced toebox that is topped with shifter interface nubs to grip on to gear changes.

The speed lacing system is low profile and protected by a leather panel that covers the laces. This system is secured by a dual aluminum positive-lock buckle retention system that locks everything into place. You'll also find strategically-placed temperfoam injections for added protection. The feature set on the Patrol Boots is rounded out with the heat-resistant microsuede panel on the inside of each boot to prevent damage in the event of contact with the bike's pipes.

To see more, visit our Waterproof Motorcycle Boots and Sport Touring Boots sections at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Pants Video Review
Icon Patrol All-Weather Gear
Fall 2010 Icon Waterproof Textile Gear Guide

Friday, November 26

Dainese Xantum D-Dry Jacket Review

Built for sport touring in all seasons and all weather conditions, the Dainese Xantum D-Dry Jacket is built for high performance with great attention to style. 100% waterproof and breathable, the Xantum will keep you comfortable, protected and dry in all touring situations. Available in a men's version and as the Dainese Xantum D-Dry Ladies Jacket with a women's-specific cut, the Xantum is sure to be the newest staple in Dainese's full scope of touring gear.

Check out our Dainese Xantum D-Dry Jacket Review:



The Dainese Xantum is constructed from a high-tenacity polyamide fabric for exceptional abrasion resistance and features Dainese's proprietary D-Dry waterproof breathable membrane. The D-Dry membrane ensures complete protection from all outside elements but allows your body to sweat and breathe through the material to keep you comfortable and dry. Since this is a floating membrane bonded to the outer shell, there is a water outflow gutter system around the bottom hem of the jacket to prevent any water from getting through. Beneath that is a removable full-sleeved quilted thermal liner for temperature regulation. Taking this out and opening the chest intake vents combined with the large rear exhaust vent will allow you to stay cool in the hotter months.

The Xantum features CE rated protectors in the shoulders and elbows and pockets for CE back and chest protection to boost the safety elements. There is stretch material along the sides of the torso for comfort while elasticated stretch paneling at the backs of the shoulders allows for ergonomic movement in the riding position. The Xantum also multiple levels of adjustment, at the neck, waist, wrist, and with stylized sleeve volume adjusters that look cool and function very well. The outer pockets are completely waterproof and there are internal pockets for your most valuable cargo. Micro-reflective paneling keeps your visibility levels high at night and jacket-pants 360º connection zip allows this jacket to be part of a full suit with a pair of Dainese pants.

The new standard of the Dainese all-season all-weather lineup has arrived in the form of the Xantum, sure to be a hit amongst sport touring riders. To see similar gear, visit our All Weather Motorcycle Jackets section.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants Review
Dainese Cage Leather Jacket Review
Dainese New Drake Air Pants Review

Thursday, November 25

Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex Boots Review

Built for all-season all-weather sport touring, the brand new Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex Boots are a stylish and functional mid-calf boot to take on all of Mother Nature's ill wills. We know what to expect from Dainese at this point: protection, comfort and style in the same package. These gloves will perform no matter what the weather conditions.

Here is our Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex Boots Review:



A full cowhide leather exterior with elasticated suede inserts is the upper construction of the Dainese Nighthawk Boots. Beneath this rugged exterior lies the Gore-Tex waterproof and windproof membrane to combat all foul weather situations. Gore-Tex offers the most breathability of any waterproof membrane that is available, keeping all wetness out, but allowing your perspiration to escape through, keeping you not only dry but cool and comfortable as well. Gore-Tex is also guaranteed waterproof for life; if it ever leaks, Gore-Tex will replace or repair it for free. The Nighthawk features a Skywalk sole, a premier rubber sole not frequently seen in the motorcycle industry: durable, flexible, non-slip, and extremely comfortable.

For protection, there is a thermoformed plastic insert to protect the tibia in addition to medial and lateral hard nylon ankle guards. The toebox is reinforced with thermoformed inserts and there is a TPU gear shifter guard. There is slight perforation in strategic regions of the boot that flows air but retains the waterproof elements of the Nighthawk. Inside, the foot and leg remain comfortable in all conditions thanks to the moisture-wicking comfort nylon lining. The closure is a single velcro cuff with a zipper that is fully backed by a waterproof gaiter. The Nighthawks also feature reflective ticks for night-time visibility. Overall, a standout choice for the all-season all-weather sport touring motorcycle rider.

To see the competition, visit our Sport Touring & ADV Boots section and our Waterproof Motorcycle Boots section.

-RetroZilla
Alpinestars Boots for Fall 2010
Sidi Adventure Rain Boots HD Video Review
Alpinestars Scout Waterproof Boots Review

Wednesday, November 24

Shift Vertex Jacket Review

Relatively new on our radar at RevZilla.com, it hasn't taken long for Shift Racing to seriously impress us with their street and race gear. The top of their racing lineup, the Shift Vertex Leather Jacket, maintains their attention to style details combined with technologies that provide serious motorcycle protection. The Vertex is essentially the top half of a two-piece race suit, built in the same style as the Shift Vertex Race Suit, a one-piece track suit. The Vertex Jacket also pairs up well with the track-ready Shift Vertex Gloves, full gauntlet race-legal gloves.

Here is our Shift Vertex Jacket Review:



The Shift Vertex Jacket features premium 1.2-1.4mm perforated and non-perforated cowhide leather for abrasion-resistance and airflow. There is CE rated shoulder and elbow protection that can be removed if you so desire, and a foam back pad that can be upgraded to CE Rated protection for serious track and street riding. The aerodynamic back hump features intake ventilation and exhaust ventilation to keep the air flowing when in the tuck position and also assists with stability and added protection. Along the inside of the arms, there is KorMax stretch Aramid paneling that allows for stretch and flexibility, and also flows air. At the backs of the elbows and shoulders, Shift utilized leather accordion stretch paneling to maintain comfort in aggressive riding conditions.

In addition all the perforation discussed previously, there are also two air scoops at the shoulder that will help channel air through the jacket. Every seam on the Vertex is safety stitched, meaning there is no fear that the seams will come apart in a slide situation. There is also temperfoam padding in strategic impact areas to further the armor. The cuffs feature AutoLock zippers that can not be opened when in the closed position, which is a safety and convenience feature. The collar features vented airprene comfort inserts which hug snugly to the neck and are extremely comfortable. For cold weather versatility, the Vertex has a completely removable and washable quilted thermal vest liner. And for track functionality, there is a 360º pants-connection zipper and a short zip and jeans loop for convenience.

We're extremely excited to have the Shift line as part of our offering at RevZilla and with each new piece of gear we see of theirs, we have been steadily impressed. Check out similar jackets in our Leather Motorcycle Jackets section.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Shift Kicker and Shift Fuel Riding Shoes Review
Shift Racing Jacket Reviews
New Motorcycle Gear for August 2010

Tuesday, November 23

Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Jacket & Pants Review

The Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants provide the all-weather all-season weatherproofing that is necessary for long-distance touring rides. They also are made in the classic Dainese vein: motorcycle protection meets high style. Let's face it, Dainese is basically the Armani of the motorcycle world. You'll be protected and comfortable, with the fashion to match.

Check out our Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Jacket and Pants Review:



The outer shell of the Bruce Jacket and Pants is a high-denier Cordura Comfort fabric that offers high abrasion resistance. Bonded to that shell is a Gore-Tex membrane, completely waterproof and windproof, and providing the highest level of breathability of any waterproof membrane on the market. The shell is also treated with durable water repellent which ensures that water will bead up and roll off and dry extremely quickly. The main connection zipper on the jacket is protected by a double waterproof strip with a rain gutter system to keep water out. Within this outfit is CE rated protection in the shoulders, elbows and knees, and there are pockets in the chest and back to house CE rated protection. There are additional foam pad protectors in the hips for protection.

Let's talk temperature versatility on this outfit. When it's cold outside, the removable quilted thermal liners in the jacket and pants will provide good insulation. There is also a thermal collar to insulate your neck. When the mercury rises, you can quickly remove both the liners and open up the ventilation panels. There are vents on the chest and thighs that will flow a good amount of air while riding. For ergonomics, there is accordion stretch paneling at the backs of the arms, fronts of knees, and the shoulders that wraps under the torso for ease of movement. Micro-reflective paneling throughout the jacket and pants ensures night time visibility while multiple adjustment zones, including wrist, waist (on jacket and pants) and neck means you can achieve the perfect touring fit.

Designed for the stylish long-distance sport touring rider, the Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Jacket and Dainese Bruce Gore-Tex Pants will keep you covered no matter the conditions. To see similar gear, visit our All Weather Motorcycle Jackets and All Weather Motorcycle Pants sections.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Dainese Cage Leather Jacket Review
Cold Weather Touring Motorcycle Gear Guide
REV'IT! Legacy GTX Jacket and Pants
REV'IT! Defender GTX Jacket and Pants

Monday, November 22

Icon Overlord Leather & Icon Overlord Textile Jacket Reviews

Brand new for Fall 2010, Icon has released the Overlord series of gear for the aggressive street and sportbike rider. To complement the Icon Overlord Gloves, there is the the Icon Overlord Leather Jacket and the Icon Overlord Textile Jacket. Both jackets feature Icon's brand new Attack Fit, which is an aggressive pre-curving for intense street riding. The leather version utilizes the most premium grade materials that Icon has used to date and the same can be said for the textile counterpart. The textile is built using the same pattern design and engineering principles as the leather, but the materials used offer a significantly lower price point.

Check out our Icon Overlord Leather Jacket Video Review:



The Icon Overlord Leather Jacket is built with Icon's premium Brazilian cowhide to form a 1.2-1.4mm high-grade leather chassis and designed to perform in multiple seasons out of the year. The leather is a blend of perforated and non-perforated for optimal airflow with tightly-woven mesh panels at the front of each shoulder. There is an additional mesh exhaust panel at the back of the neck with perforated leather in the mid-back to keep the air flowing. To extend the seasonality, there is a removable quilted vest liner to maintain insulation in the colder temperature ranges. Utilizing Icon's new Attack Fit, the Overlord is designed to be in the 3/4 or tucked position. To work in conjunction with the pre-curving, there are elasticated stretch panels at the backs of the elbows and backs of shoulders for ease of motion, in addition to stretch panels down the inner arms for airflow and a comfortable fit.

The Overlord Leather uses Icon's proprietary CE rated field armor in the shoulders and elbows and a dual-density foam back pad. This back protection can be upgraded to the Icon Stryker CE Back Protector to further your armor. Icon's attention to detail can be seen with subtle touches like the YKK Autolocking zippers at the wrist cuffs. When these are placed in the open position, the cuffs easily slide open, but when in the locked position, there is absolutely no way to open the cuffs, meaning they'll never fly open from the rushing wind. There is also a full 360º zip to connect this jacket to a pair of motorcycle pants. A great choice for the aggressive sportbike rider with an eye for style, the Icon Overlord Leather Jacket is sure to please the Icon loyalists.


Next is our Icon Overlord Textile Jacket Review:



Utilizing the same R+D and engineering as the leather counterpart, the Icon Overlord Textile Jacket is a water-resistant multi-season sportbike jacket that will keep the air flowing in the warm weather and keep you warm when the temperatures dip in the early Spring and late Fall. Built on the foundation of a durable nylon chassis, the Overlord Textile has ballistic fighter mesh panels in strategic areas, front intake vents with complementary exhausts in the back. There is stretch paneling on the inside of each arm that will help with airflow but also provide a comfortable and expandable fit. Both the backs of the elbows and backs of the shoulders feature elasticated stretch paneling that work to maintain the comfort of the jacket in the attack position.

Icon's CE Rated Field Armor is in the shoulders and the elbows, and the dual-density foam back pad can be upgraded to the Stryker CE Protector. The removable thermal vest liner helps when the temperatures are slightly cooler at the edges of the season. Coming in at $200 less than the leather version of this jacket, the Icon Overlord Textile Jacket is available in six colors and is a definite match for the urban sportbike rider.

Don't miss the full line of Fall 2010 Icon Gear. Also, check out our full run of leather motorcycle jackets and textile motorcycle jackets at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Icon Overlord Long and Short Gloves Review
Fall 2010 Icon Motorcycle Jacket Guide
New Fall 2010 Icon Alliance Helmet
Icon Airframe Helmet Review

Friday, November 19

REV'IT! Everest GTX Jacket & REV'IT! Everest GTX Pants Review

Consider this just something to whet the appetite. Due for tentative arrival in Spring 2011, the REV'IT! Everest GTX Jacket and REV'IT! Everest GTX Pants already have throngs of Adventure riders psyched for what's to come. Made in cooperation with Gore-Tex, the Everest outfit is the most technically advanced adventure touring product that REV'IT! has made to date, essentially indestructible and immune to the worst malice that Mother Nature can exact on a motorcyclist. We had the chance to get a super early sneak peek at this gear back in August but held off on a review, knowing that there'd be some changes before production. But we got our hands on the finalized product and gave it the RevZillaTV treatment. The REV'IT! Everest GTX outfit is everything it is touted to be.

Check out our REV'IT! Everest GTX Jacket and Pants Video Review:



The REV'IT! Everest GTX is arguably the most technically advanced jacket and pants they've ever released. The Everest uses GORE-TEX Pro Shell 3-Layer technology in its construction, which receives the highest waterproof breathable rating of any Gore engineering. The waterproofing is guaranteed for life and if any of this garment ever leaks, Gore-Tex will replace or repair it at no cost to you. The Pro Shell 3-Layer membrane utilizes heavy duty DuPont Cordura and Stretch Cordura in addition to Armacor which is a Cordura/Kevlar weave that is typically seen only in military application. Armacor is lightweight, soft to the touch, and incredibly abrasion resistant. It features a ripstop weave which prevents any puncture from tearing further and can be found in all impact areas of this garment.

So how do you keep a garment completely waterproof but also provide ventilation for hot weather riding? That's been a struggle with all-weather motorcycle gear for a long time. Until now. The Everest utilizes the brand new Gore-Tex LockOut zippers for intake ventilation at the chest and at the upper legs.  The LockOut zippers essentially work like the heaviest duty zip-lock bag you could imagine. Unlike traditional zippers with teeth, the LockOut zips are completely waterproof, utilizing a dual channel rubberized system to close. Easy open and easy close with 100% waterproofing in addition to being self-healing, which is to say that if they ever come apart, they will right themselves back on track. Waterproofing problem solved. Every other zipper on the garment is 100% YKK and all the snaps are spring-loaded.

The outer shell is treated with a TFL Cool treatment for heat reduction. TFL Cool essentially blocks the garment from heat absorption by 30% which could be up to 75º F of heat reduction. Both the jacket and pants use the REV'IT! Exkin Air liner which is plush and comfortable, and provides 400% the insulation of DuPont Thermolite at 1/2 the weight and 1/2 the thickness. The Exkin is lined in high-sweat areas with moisture-wicking fleece to keep you dry and comfortable. When it's hot out, pull out the liners, open up the Lockout intake vents and the exhaust panels, and you'll be flowing plenty of air to keep you comfortable. There is also a CoolMax removable thermal collar that is antibacterial and moisture-wicking and can be taken off for added hot weather functionality.

Moving into the armor of the Everest. There is SaS-Tec molecular-level armor in the shoulders, elbows and knees with soft padding in the hips and back. Both the hips and back are shaped to house SaS-Tec protectors. If you don't know about SaS-Tec, it is extremely flexible and comfortable within the garment, molding to your body when body heat contacts it. However, upon impact, it becomes absolutely rigid and disperses the energy of impact across the surface area of the armor piece. Other companies are making molecular-level armor in this style, but we think SaS-Tec does it the best. The US Military seems to think the same thing, since it is this armor that is used in the soles of the soldiers who work on bomb diffusing teams in the Middle East. It's some serious armor.

The jacket and pants can be connected via the full length connection zipper for a complete suit. REV'IT! uses their GTX laminated reflection panels in this outfit, in all the important areas. There are multiple regions of adjustability, including the cuffs, waist, upper arms, under arms, hips, and ankles. The Everest has stretch material in the elbows, at the small of the back, and in the knees for an ergonomic and comfortable fit over long-distance touring rides. There are waterproof stash pockets to store important cargo, handwarmer pockets, and inner pockets. Finally, the collar is five-way adjustable and features a hook-and-loop lockdown system for when you want to ride with the collar open in warm weather.

There is much more to be said about this garment, but let me put it simply: this is arguably the most rugged and bombproof piece of gear we've ever seen at RevZilla. It will suit the seriously demanding Adventure Touring rider's needs and exceed expectations across the board. We are thrilled about its release this Spring and think it will be extremely popular in the most hardcore ADV touring crowd.

-RetroZilla

Related:
New REV'IT! GTX Gore-Tex Gear Guide
REV'IT! Defender GTX vs. REV'IT! Cayenne Pro
REV'IT! Legacy GTX Jacket and Pants

Thursday, November 18

Shift Fuel & Kicker Riding Shoes Review

We've said it before but we can't emphasize it enough: we are extremely impressed with what Shift Racing does from a style standpoint. And the fact that they are able to integrate serious protective elements into their gear really puts the pressure on their competitors to up their game. With the full high-top Shift Kicker Shoes and the Shift Fuel Street Shoes, they have provided all sport riders out there with non-clunky protective riding shoes that really stand apart from the rest but are subtle and stylish enough that you can wear them around town under a pair of jeans without anyone knowing you've got protective moto gear on.

Check out our Shift Fuel Street Shoes Review:



The Shift Fuel Street Shoe is the bestselling item from Shift, period. Staying true to the Shift theme, the Fuel is a great looking riding shoe that offers tremendous value at the $99 price point. At first glance, you'd think it was a sneaker, but the Fuel has all the protective and performance elements of a motorcycle shoe. The outer construction is a mixture of split grain and synthetic leather while the interior is constructed of breathable wicking materials to allow your foot to breathe and not get clammy on long rides. The Speed-lace system, which is secured by an adjustable velcro strap, allows for quick and easy on and off by simply pulling the laces from the top eyelet. The low profile of the laces also helps to prevent getting snagged on your bike at all.

For protection, there is medial and lateral hard plastic ankle protection that will keep you safe from impact and offers abrasion resistance beyond the leather itself. The reinforced toe box protects the front of your foot while the injected rubber inserts atop the toe box aid in protection and grip when shifting. The molded and bonded polyurethane outsole provides a great deal of comfort and will allow you to walk in these shows all day when you get off the bike. Bringing to the table the perfect mix of comfort, style, and protection, the Shift Fuel Street Shoes are a bestseller for a reason.


Next is our Shift Kicker Shoes Review:



Essentially the big brother to the Shift Fuels, the Shift Kicker Shoes provide style, comfort, and safety into a motorcycle riding shoe that could easily pass as a sneaker. With a full genuine and synthetic leather chassis, multiple protective and reinforcement elements, and a load of creature comforts, the Shift Kickers will quickly become your favorite riding shoes. Upgrading from the standard adjustable velcro lace cover, the Kicker uses a ratcheting alloy buckle closure system to protect the laces and provide a secure fit. The laces themselves are the Shift Speed-lace system that allows for quick tightening, easy on/off, and their low profile protected by covers significantly reduce the chance of getting them caught on any parts of the bike.

For safety, there is hard plastic medial and lateral ankle protection, a reinforced midsole for strength on the pegs, a reinforced toe box, and an extremely subtle injected rubber patch over the toe box for strength and grip while shifting. The sole is molded, bonded and non-slip for superior traction properties and exceptional resilience and comfort. Lastly, the interior of the shoe is breathable and moisture-wicking so on those long rides there is no chance of your foot getting unpleasantly clammy.


Shift Racing has just recently come into our lineup and we're super excited about what we're seeing so far. From their jackets to their gloves to their shoes, the attention to detail from both a stylistic and performance standpoint really is first-rate. Stay tuned for more about Shift as we roll out more video reviews. To see our full selection, visit our Motorcycle Riding Shoes section at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Shift Racing Jacket Reviews
New Motorcycle Gear for August 2010
Puma Testastretta II Boots Review
Puma Flat v2 Boot Review

2 Wheels 2 ... Everywhere ! Thanksgiving

Next week we Americans celebrate our iconic holiday of Thanksgiving. Yes my Canadian friends, I realize that you had your Thanksgiving last month. I suppose that’s because it’s already the dead of winter in the Great White North, what with blizzards, meters of snowfall, and polar bears walking the city streets. But I digress. Thanksgiving is traditionally the time to express thankfulness and gratitude for all the many blessings of family, friends, relationships, bountiful harvests, or just about anything else for which you happen to be grateful. As motorcyclists, we too have much to be thankful for. I thought I’d take this chance to go public with my 2010 list of motorcycling specific items for which I plan to give great thanks. And perhaps celebrate with a nice glass of wine (or several.)

The past couple of years have not been the easy, if you know what I mean. Being a motorcycle dealer in the best of times is a pretty tough deal. A great number of us probably know of a dealership or two that didn’t make it. Heck, there were whole motorcycle brands (Buell?) that didn’t make it through this economic downturn. And yet, there were dealers who somehow, through good management, foresight, karma, luck, or who knows what, are still here to serve our needs. Their stores are still open for our Saturday visits. They are delighted to have us come by and swig down their free coffee, distract their sales staff with our questions and inane conversation, and (oh yes!) sell us their particular brand’s latest object of our affection. And make no mistake there are lots of new “objects of affection” coming from the manufacturers. Especially the ones that are still true believers in our obsession with motorcycles. Have you seen what’s coming from Triumph, BMW, Yamaha and Kawasaki for 2011? Geez, even Suzuki (who didn’t bother themselves with a 2010 product line up in the US) has new Gixxers in the pipeline! Thank you motorcycle dealers for keeping the faith and still being here for us!

Highway departments and the various State Departments of Transportation don’t usually get much of our respect. No question, a great deal of this is well earned. Broadly speaking, the state of repair of this nation’s highways is not something that warrants any special thanks. However there are a couple of dynamics that give me reason to consider the glass half full. First there is the further proliferation of HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle – for those of you not living in urban areas) lanes that are open to motorcyclists. That’s good news that further leverages the efficiency that motorcycling brings to those of us who commute by bike. There’s another enhancement which, in my mind may even be better yet. Toll roads without toll plazas/booths! OK, they’re toll roads, right? And we inherently hate and avoid them whenever possible. I get that. But sometimes toll roads are simply one of life’s necessities. Stopping a motorcycle at a booth to fumble for coins (in the dark or in the wet or when bundled up for chilly weather) is a nuisance unimaginable to motorists in (dare I say?) cars. Transponder systems, like EZ Pass here in the Great Northeast, are better but they still slow or even stop all the traffic. But wait, the future is here now in some areas. Yes they’re still toll roads, to be sure, but with no toll booths, no slowing traffic, no wild merging or lane cutting immediately before and after and no ticket takers. Just cameras that capture your license number and, a few weeks later a bill arrives in the mail. Roads like the Northwest Tollway outside Denver have it now and it’s expanding. It just makes life easier for motorcyclists whose fate it is to travel toll roads. Given time, more of these are gonna come your way and for this I am grateful in 2010!

BMW introduced ABS to motorcycles in the mid 1980s. It was pricey, didn’t work so well in some situations, and some of the early systems had a few, shall we say, “issues” with durability. No so today. The way that ABS (or for that matter traction control and other cool electronic systems like “quick shifters”) is proliferating throughout the motorcycle industry is a great technological miracle of our age. I personally know riders whose bacon has been saved by ABS and I’d bet that you do too. The population of ABS bikes has grown enough that statistics can be compiled showing the ABS contribution to overall motorcycle safety. And it has contributed. I am profoundly grateful to the manufacturers for offering this feature on an increasing number of bikes. And I am grateful to all of the underappreciated egghead engineers who dreamed this stuff up in the first place! Cheers and thanks to all of you!

Watch the Weather Channel almost any day now and you’ll see them. Great blue arrows originating in Alberta (it’s in Canada, where they already had Thanksgiving. See the first paragraph) and symbolically sweeping frigid air masses into the Northern portions of the United States. For those of us living in the northern tier (I am one) this fall season historically meant putting the bikes away for the duration. “Drag out the battery tender!” “Where’s the StaBil?” “Damn, the season’s over and all we can do is count the days till March (Or April. Or May.)” But wait. Maybe that’s no longer true. We live in the era of heated “stuff.” And for this I am profoundly thankful. Everything from heated grips (now available on lots of bikes as factory equipment) to heated seats (also available as original equipment – eh Gold Wing guys?) keeps us riding when the temperatures fall. Likewise, I am eternally grateful that Gordon Gerbing, toiling away in his little shop in Washington, got the whole heated garment thing so absolutely right that we can now ride year round should we choose. Gerbing’s gear can keep every part of your anatomy, from fingers to toes to neck, toasty warm in even the most foul weather. Those near-hypothermia experiences from my college riding days are just now “fond” memories. At Thanksgiving 2010 I give thanks for the ability to ride year round with my heated “stuff.”

That’s it, my 2010 motorcycling Thanksgiving list. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. (By the way, feel free to comment and add your own items!) In any case I hope that next Thursday you’ll take a moment to reflect on your riding year, your experiences, and magic you enjoy as a motorcyclist. Whatever is on your list, give thanks because what we all enjoy on our bikes is surely a special gift! Ride safe!

Jack Broomall is a lifelong motorcyclist and a friend of RevZilla. His motorcycle adventures have taken him across the North American continent several times, to Alaska, the Alps, the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. He is a member of the Iron Butt Association and also owns a number of motorcycle Land Speed Records at the Bonneville Salt Flats where he is a member of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club. He has been known to do occasional restorations of his favorite bikes from the 1970s and enjoys track days as well. Jack writes his “2 Wheels 2..Everywhere!” stories about the motorcycling life on a monthly basis or whenever the mood strikes.

Wednesday, November 17

Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Pants Video Review

Answering the call of the sport touring rider seeking all-season all-weather waterproof gear, Icon released the Patrol series for the Fall of 2010. With this line, all the Icon sport touring loyalists that don't want to leave their bikes in the garage on foul weather days will be extremely pleased. The Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Icon Patrol Waterproof Pants will effortlessly combat all modes of precipitation that Mother Nature may have in store at any given time. Combined with the Icon Patrol Waterproof Gloves and Icon Patrol Waterproof Boots, you have a top-to-bottom fully waterproof and breathable outfit to get you through any riding conditions that by far represents Icon's most technically-advanced garment to date.

Here is our Icon Patrol Waterproof Jacket and Pants Video Review:



Constructed from a high-denier nylon textile fabric with heavyweight ballistic nylon impact reinforcements, the Icon Patrol Jacket and Pants have a built-in waterproof breathable membrane and a completely seam-sealed chassis. For protection from impact, there is removable Icon CE Rated Field Armor in the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. There is also a dual density back pad that can be upgraded to Icon's Stryker CE Back Protector for added armor. There is a removable Thermolite quilted liner that can be quickly removed when the mercury rises. For temperature versatility, there are multiple intake and exhaust vents which can be opened during the hotter seasons and vent directly to the skin when the liner is out.

Both the jacket and pants utilize 100% water-resistant YKK zippers in addition to magnetic storm flap closures on all main entry points. These magnetic closures are something we'd seen in beta form for a couple of years, but this is one of the first truly successful applications we've seen and it's pretty epic. Running along the main storm cuff of the jacket and the full-length side zippers on the pants, the magnetic flaps whip themselves into place and the connection is instantly made. Between the jacket and the pants there are 18 total cargo storage pockets in addition to a removable pocket for a hydration system (the system can be purchased separately). For visibility, both the jacket and pants are inserted with strategically placed 3M Scotchlite paneling.

Small details like the double-reinforcement stitching in high-wear areas just shows how much detail Icon put into this outfit. The jacket is available in four colors, and the pants in two, and both come in a hi-vis yellow color that meets US Military specifications. One detail to note on the pants: they are sized and designed to be worn as overpants. Be sure to consult the size chart and understand that if you buy your normal size, they will fit large enough to accommodate a pair of jeans or a base and mid layer. If you plan on wearing the pants commando, make sure to order a size down. Also, since they are designed as overpants, they do not have a thermal liner. Make sure to take that into consideration when figuring out exactly how you'll utilize them.

Icon has hit another home run this season with their Fall 2010 line. Urban sport riders and stylish-minded touring riders will be pleased with the brand new Patrol line of all-weather gear. It will get you through the harshest of weather conditions and look good doing so. To see all the new product, check out the full Icon Fall 2010 gear lineup. To compare with other gear, check out our Textile Motorcycle Jackets and Textile Motorcycle Pants sections at RevZilla.com.

-RetroZilla

Related:
Icon Patrol All-Weather Gear
Fall 2010 Icon Motorcycle Jacket Guide
Fall 2010 Icon Waterproof Textile Gear Guide
New Fall 2010 Icon Alliance Helmet

Tuesday, November 16

AGV AX-8 DS Helmet Video Review

Ready to shake up the dual sport motorcycle helmet market, the AGV AX-8 DS Helmet is here and ready to take on the heavy hitters. At an astonishingly light weight of 1490 grams (or 3lbs, 4.2oz), the AX-8 DS is nearly a half-pound lighter than the Arai XD-3. The aggressive looks alone are something that will appear to many riders as this helmet straight-up looks like it came from the future. Utilizing many features of AGV race helmets and combining them with elements of AGV dirt helmets, the AX-8 DS is a truly innovative helmet in terms of features and functionality. This helmet is set to make some serious waves in the DS and enduro markets as AGV Helmets enters the ring.

Here is our AGV AX-8 DS Helmet Review:



The AGV AX-8 DS Helmet is constructed using a Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass and Kevlar blend for superb resilience and extreme light weight and features a double density EPS liner. The helmet uses AGV's Integrated Ventilation System which is also found on the top-tier AGV GP-Tech Helmet. This system is hollowed ventilation channels that are drilled through the EPS for the best possible airflow. With six total intake vents and six exhaust vents, the Venturi Effect is in full force, creating a vacuum that sucks air through the helmet to keep you cool. The cut of the helmet features a low profile and a chin that comes lower than traditional dualsport lids, keeping it more in the vein of a classic dirt helmet. Also, the eyeport offers an extra wide periphery with
its dualsport-styled large shield.

The guts of the AGV AX8 DS are made using CoolMax & Dry-Comfort fabrics. The entire interior lining is removable and washable, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial. This keeps your face cool and dry, and prevents the insides of the helmet from getting funked up. The chin curtain and breath diffuser mouth piece are completely removable as well. The rubberized mouth piece is easy to clean as well. Another really great feature of the AGV AX-8 DS Helmet is the fact that the peak and shield can be removed independently from each other. Oftentimes we see dualsport helmets that require removal of the peak in order to take the shield off. The AX-8 DS eliminates that inconvenience by mounting the peak and shield at two different parts of the helmet.

The AGV AX 8 DS Helmet is DOT and ECE 22.05 certified. What really stands out to us with this helmet is just how light and balanced it is, the aggressive lines and look of the helmet, and the great amounts of air it flows. The AX-8 DS is a serious competitor to the Arai XD-3 Helmet and Shoei Hornet DS Helmet as it muscles its way into the class of dual sport helmets.

-RetroZilla

Related:
AGV AX-8 DS Helmet: New Enduro Helmet
Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide
Dual Sport and Enduro Helmet Buying Guide

Monday, November 15

Drift HD170 Camera Review

The game-changer of motorcycle riding cameras has arrived and it is in the form of the Drift HD170 Camera. The HD170 is the first full HD riding camera to offer a 1.5" color LCD screen combined with a wireless mountable/wearable remote control and a rotating 170º wide angle lens. Drift was getting close to this level of innovation with the X170, a very similar camera features-wise that only shot with a resolution of 720x480. With the integration of full 1080p HD video in addition to 720p functionality, the Drift HD170 Camera offers the best features and functionality of any action sports cam we've seen to date.

Check out our Drift HD170 Camera Review:



The aspect that really stands out to us the most in the Drift is how easy it is to actually operate. Some other cameras that have come out in the HD wave are extremely difficult to operate, sometimes making it hard to know if you're recording or not. Also, once you hit record on these other cameras, there's no turning the cam off mid-ride. With the Drift's easy setup and included remote control, you can wear the remote on your wrist or mount it somewhere you can access it easily so that you can turn the camera on and off as you please. No more filming the boring parts of the ride that you don't need; now you can edit as you go. The HD170 also features a rugged rubberized construction that is waterproof up to 0.5 meters. Anthony recently road-tested the camera on an Arizona GS ride, the highlights of which we'll show further in this post. He rode through rain and the Drift continued recording without issue, and when he crashed on a dirt road, totaling the GS, the HD170 (mounted to the turn signal) was completely unharmed.

The 170º wide angle lens is not so wide that you get the crazy fish-eye effect as you see with so many other action cameras, but it is wide enough that you can see everything you'd want within the field of view and provides crisp and clear image quality. The lens can also be rotated so that no matter how you choose to mount the camera, you can spin the lens so that it is shooting upright. Full 1080p and 720p video modes are available, and the HD170 takes 5mp photos that can be shot singly or in a three-shot burst mode. To mount, the HD170 comes with a handlebar grip mount, a goggle mount, a helmet grip, a head strap, a velcro strap, and a universal mount that fits into the bottom of the camera. There is also a third-party manufactured suction cup device sold separately if you'd prefer that method.

Complete Box Contents
The HD170 also features a built-in microphone and speaker with the option of the Drift HD170 External Microphone connected via the USB port. It is recommended for use with the Drift HD170 Rear Silicon Cover to maintain waterproofing. This same USB port connects to your computer both to download the footage that you've shot and charge the battery. Speaking of batteries, the length of the lithium-ion that comes stock is roughly four hours. The Drift HD170 Long Life Battery that will increase recording time by 1.5x. For every 1GB of memory you have -- and the HD170 supports up to a 32GB card -- you can record 15 minutes. Basically, you'll run out of battery charge before you run out of memory if you have the largest SD card. Finally, there is an HDMI port that comes with a supplied cable so that you can playback all of your footage on your HDTV at home. Pretty convenient.

Check out the video from Anthony's Arizona GS Ride. Be sure to watch it in HD.



Like I said, we see the innovations of the Drift HD170 as game-changing to the world of action sports cameras. It's only a matter of time before other manufacturers follow suit.

Record your rides in full HD glory.

-RetroZilla

Related:
2 Guys on 3 Bikes: RevZilla's Arizona GS Adventure
Drift HD170 Action Camera Now in Stock

Friday, November 12

Shift Racing Jacket Reviews

A relative newcomer to RevZilla, Shift Racing has already impressed us with the products they're putting out. Recently, we shot video reviews of a bunch of Shift gear that you can see over at RevZillaTV. In this post we'll be highlighting some new jacket offerings from Shift. One jacket is built for hot weather riding with some cooler weather versatility, the Shift Air Avenger Jacket; one is constructed for multi-season sport riding, the Shift Fuse Hybrid Jacket; and the last one is a waterproof option built for all-season and all-weather touring, the Shift Triton Storm Series Jacket.

First up is the Shift Air Avenger Jacket Review:



Utilizing three premium grade mesh fabrics with variable levels of abrasion resistance and ventilating qualities, the Shift Air Avenger Jacket has been rebuilt from the ground up. The Air Avenger is a true summer-weight jacket that utilizes a full-sleeved removable quilted thermal liner with an extended collar to stretch the seasonality through Spring and Fall. The first thing that jumps out about Shift gear is their extremely unique styling; their slick designs are daring and resemble nothing we've seen in the industry. The Air Avenger has medium-gauge mesh in the mid-chest and back, thicker mesh in areas that are more prone to contact with the ground, and wider mesh to flow the most air in regions that have limited chance of impact. The Air Avenger
also utilizes thermoplastic rubberized vents and logos to
keep even more air flowing.

For protection, the removable CE rated shoulder and elbow armor is complemented by molded external padding down the front of the chest and the back. The back features a pocket for a CE rated back protector to boost the protective elements of the Air Avenger. It also has ballistic nylon reinforcements in impact areas to further the abrasion resistance. The Air Avenger is articulated for riding in the sport position, has strategic reflective paneling for increased night visibility, and ergonomic zipper pulls for convenience. Custom fit is achieved through the waist and wrist adjustability while the internal chest pocket allows you to keep your precious valuables close to you. Overall, we think this is a great bang-for-the-buck product from Shift.


Next is our Shift Fuse Hybrid Jacket Review:



The forward-thinking Shift Fuse Hybrid Jacket utilizes a mix of leather and textile to create a garment that is extremely abrasion resistant and protective (leather) but also lightweight (textile). 1.2-1.4mm premium grain leather exists on the shoulders, elbows and back in all major impact areas to provide utmost abrasion resistance. The rest of the coat is a full textile construction to keep the weight of the jacket low and comfort levels high. The jacket is articulated to be comfortable when you're in a sport riding position and accordion stretch panels in critical areas add to this comfort. There is also adjustability at the side waist to customize the snugness of the jacket.

CE rated shoulder and elbow armor keeps you protected with the option of adding a CE rated back protector to the built-in integrated pocket. In crucial areas, the leather is actually double layered to increase the protection and down the back, you'll find leather-wrapped molded back pads to further the protection. The removable quilted thermal vest liner helps to extend the seasonality of this jacket while the neoprene paneling in the neck adds to the creature comforts. Again, the style of this jacket is completely unique and sets it apart from other sportbike and stunt specific gear that we've seen thus far.


Finally, our Shift Triton Storm Series Jacket Review:



Brand new for 2010, the Shift Triton Storm Series Jacket represents one of Shift Racing's all-season all-weather touring jackets. Built upon a 600D polyester shell with ballistic nylon reinforcements in impact areas, the Triton utilizes a waterproof seam-sealed mid-liner to keep you completely dry through all precipitation conditions. Waterproof zippers and zipper vents further the waterproofing of the Triton. For all-season warmth, there is a removable full-sleeved quilted thermal liner which can be taken out when the mercury rises, combining with the zippered intake and exhaust vents to keep you cool in hot weather.   Removable CE rated shoulder and elbow armor and a pocket for a CE back protector fortify against impact and
are further aided by the injected foam pads on the back of the jacket.

The Triton is an articulated touring fit with adjustability in the forearm, bicep, waist and wrist to maintain a comfortable tailored fit. Reflective piping is added to multiple seams for night-time visibility and every zipper pull is built for ergonomics and ease of use with gloves on. There is also accordion stretch paneling in high-flex zones to maintain comfort and pliancy when hitting the riding position. Finally, a short connection zip and a jeans loop will allow this jacket to seamlessly connect to a pair of pants. An all-around great four-season jacket at the right price point.

Stay tuned for more reviews of Shift Racing products. We're pleased to bring them into our lineup at RevZilla.com and are extremely happy with what we've seen from them so far. Check out all of our Motorcycle Jackets to compare and contrast.

-RetroZilla

Related:
New Motorcycle Gear - August 2010
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