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  • Feb 28 2013

    The Aerostich catalog is brilliant

    Aerostich has been making serious motorcycle clothing for 30 years—starting with their first Roadcrafter back in 1983.  The refinements they’ve made to the brilliant original design mean that the Roadcrafter is still our favorite motorcycle suit.  Today, Aerostich has a 300 page catalog full of parts and accessories—and the odd surprise.  It’s clear that the company has a sense of humor.

    Here are a few of our favorite easter eggs in the catalog (request a catalog here):

    Magnetic Baby Onesie

    Pop your tot in a magenetic suit and stick him to your tank. Tested to 140 mph!

    Lane Share Tool

    This is about giving brave civilly-disobedient riders permission to show those stuck in backed-up traffic there is a better way. Brilliant, right? Except it has been available for a year and so we’ve only sold about five of them. We’ve already cut the price twice, so it’s not even profitable to make them anymore. This thing took us years to develop and engineer. And it’s a blast to use. Everyone smiles.



    Sidestand Plate App

    Mr. Happy Puppet

    So your buddy pulls over in a cloud of smoke with a broken chain piled up in front of his engine sprocket and a busted crankcase. Or he throws his new scoot up the street in a cacophony of sparks and shredded parts. Whattya do? Look uncomfortably at your feet? Cringe with empathy? Hell no. You whip out Mr. Happy and lighten the mood with chirpy platitudes such as “Gee Bill, I’m sure we can find a guy to replicate that casting for big bucks.” Or “That’s OK, that bike was kind of ugly anyway, don’t you think?”

  • Feb 26 2013

    Voztec helmets to go on sale this year

    At speed, wind noise on a motorcycle can become nearly unbearable—we’ve been experimenting with a Windjammer helmet muff and various kinds of ear plugs, but unless you’re in still air behind a fairing, there’ll be some turbulent air under the helmet that–and not the shape of the helmet and vents—is the main cause of wind noise.  To see this for yourself, shrug your shoulders while on the bike—wind noise will decrease dramatically.



    Voztec’s design means it’s possible to extend the helmet shell further around the rider’s chin and neck, which reduces buffeting and wind noise. Less noise means less fatigue for the rider, who would be able to ride faster or for longer distances.

    It also makes it easier to remove in the event of an accident.  Current full-face helmets often employ systems like Stylo’s Eject, which use a bladder inside the helmet a paramedic can use to  push the helmet away from the riders head after an accident.  The Voztec could simply be dismantled after an accident.

    From Voztec, who hopes to be selling these by year’s end.

  • Feb 23 2013

    Indian’s brilliant app

    At the New York Motorcycle show, Indian showed us their new phone app, called Indian Rides.  It can overlay weather patterns and the restaurants on a map, and—importantly—display nearby gas stations.

    There is an Easter Egg in the app too–next to the Disclaimer and About tabs is an “Engine Sound” tab.  The screen shows the right handlebar of the next generation Indian, and twisting the phone unleashes a roar from the next generation of Indian Motorcycles.



    It’s a creative idea, and it’s nice to imagine firing one of those beasts down the road.

    Find out more at the Google Play Store or iTunes Store

  • Feb 22 2013

    Craig Vetter explains how to Live Better on Less

    Craig Vetter is best known for inventing and perfecting the Windjammer—a line of aftermarket motorcycle fairings he sold in the 70’s.  He also was an avid pilot and creator of the Hippo Hands handlebar muffs.  Today, he’s continuing his efforts to “Live Better on Less Energy” with his fuel economy contests.  He challenges participants to create fairings—with space for a rider and four grocery bags—that are slipperier than his best effort, which he calls “The Last Vetter Fairing.”

    “Back in the ‘80s I wondered what it really took to push a person down the road at 55mph. Nobody could tell me what we really needed. To find out, I put on fuel-economy contests between 1980 and 1985. After 5 years, we found you needed 8-10bhp. You had to make yourself small, you had to be streamlined, and you had to use the throttle judiciously. The bikes we used are in museums.”

    “But, we didn’t change motorcycling. The bikes were too uncomfortable — they were just designed to win the contest. That’s where I learned that Bucky Fuller didn’t have it completely right. We did more with less, and it had no effect at all on motorcycling. What I’m doing now, with the newest generation of fuel-economy contests, is learning to live better on less energy. I’m hoping the result is dramatic changes in motorcycle and car design.”

    “The worst condition you’re likely to face in this country is going about 75mph into a 30mph headwind. I started from scratch to design a motorcycle that would do just that, while carrying four bags of groceries and being extremely comfortable. It’s based on a Honda Helix. It’s everything I wanted it to be. After I got it figured out, I started having contests to have people challenge me to burn the least gas. This year will be the third year of contests. The Quail Challenge this spring is integrated with a charity ride through the most beautiful parts of California and is lead by a CHP officer. He leads, and about 6 or 7 of the fifty riders in the group are in the fuel-economy challenge. I’m in the ride too, and if the challengers drop behind me they’re out of the contest — that’s how I make sure they’re not sandbagging for better fuel economy. There is also a contest in Ohio. Electric competitors must add in the same road tax as I pay when calculating their fuel costs — the winners are judged on who had the least fuel costs.”

    “If you’re interested in participating, Send me an email (address is at craigvetter.com), but all you have to do is be there. The next challenge is in California— This is a charity ride . Pay the Quail officials (email: cferrante@quaillodge.com). You fill your tank up and my wife will check to be sure you can carry four bags of groceries. If you cannot carry the groceries, you can still ride with us, but you can’t compete for fame and glory.”

    “What I’ll say is this. Get yourself a second-generation Ninja 250 for between $700 and $1200, buy the nose kit from my website, make the rest from lightweight plywood and paper. You can do this. My web page shows you how.”

    Find out more at craigvetter.com

    From Hell for Leather Magazine

  • Feb 21 2013

    The 2013 BMW R 1200 GS starts at $15,800

    The 125 bhp 2013 BMW R 1200 GS is based around new, partially liquid-cooled Boxer engine, and is the first ever adventure motorcycle to have semi-active suspension.  The GS comes on Metzeler Tourance Next tires, which were developed alongside the GS for big, powerful adventure touring bikes.

    There are, of course, upgrades—another $800 gets you cruise control and heated grips, and the top package includes an on-board computer, tire pressure monitors, and stability control.  Full details below:

    Base Package – $15,800:

    Integral ABS (Disengageable)

    Aluminum Engine Guard

    Center Stand

    Power Accessory Socket

    White Turn Signal Lenses

    LED Rear Light

    On Board Computer (new)

    Height Adjustable Rider Seat, Front and Back (new)

    Longitudinally Adjustable Passenger Seat (new)

    Stepless Adjustable Windshield (new)

    Pillion Rider Foot Rests Removable for Off-Road Riding (new)

    Standard Package – $16,600 (All Base Package Features & the Following):

    Heated Grips

    Cruise Control

    Saddle Bag Mounts

    The Premium Package – $17,990 (All Base Package Features & the Following):

    Touring Package – $1,450:

    – Dynamic ESA (new)

    – On Board Computer Pro (new)

    – GPS Preparation (new)

    – Chrome Exhaust

    – Heated Grips

    – Hand Protection

    – Saddle Bag Mounts

    Active Package $740:

    – Enduro ASC and Riding Modes (new)

    – Cruise Control (new)

    Premium Plus Package – $18,870 (All Base Package Features & the Following):

    Comfort Package – $620:

    – Heated Grips

    – TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor)

    – Hand Protection

    – Saddle Bag Mounts

    Dynamic Package – $2,100:

    – Enduro ASC and Riding Modes (new)

    – Dynamic ESA (new)

    – LED Headlight (new)

    – On Board Computer Pro (new)

    – GPS Preparation (new)

    Cruise Control (new)

    Source: Asphalt and Rubber