The Shark D-Skwal Helmet - Fun-Looking Helmet

There’s some funky helmet designs out there from superheroes to Star Wars characters, so in the scheme of things the Shark D-Skwal with the Saurus graphics isn’t too outrageous. It’s a perfect mix of cool looks and a hint of restraint – I love it!

The Shark D-Skwal is the most fun-looking motorcycle helmet I’ve had in years, but it dinosaurs or the apocalypse don’t really do it for you, the Shark D-Skwal helmet does come in various colors and graphics.

Under the graphics, the Shark D-Skwal helmet is a mid-range product, offering a good amount of features. The Pinlock visor is large, giving a good wide aperture, and guaranteeing the visor won’t fog up; it attaches to the helmet with a push/pull quick-release mechanism, which helps with cleaning everything properly.

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Rating: 3.00/5 (10 votes cast)

The New Shark Ridill Full-Face Helmet

New from Shark Helmets is the Ridill a top quality full face helmet that won’t cost that much. As expected, you’ll find all the great features like Micro-Lock Buckle system allowing for quick removal of the chin strap. It also accommodates for riders who wear glasses with a much larger interface between the glasses and helmet.

Also included in addition to the anti-scratch UV380 label sun visor is the quick release visor system with 2.2mm ultra flexible and resistant visor with the original customizable pin-lock visor adjustability. Although probably one of the best features is how light the Shark Ridill helmet is, weighing in at only 1550 grams.

The outer-shell is manufactured from injected thermoplastic resin, and the inner-lining is washable.

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Rating: 3.00/5 (8 votes cast)

The 2017 Arai RX-7V Motorcycle Helmet

Arai’s stunning retro paint options are somewhat appropriate – their motorcycle helmets are living in the past technically as well as visually.

It has been a year since I’ve worn an Arai. I’ve tested a number of other brands’ offerings at different price levels, and I prefer just about all of them to the Arai RX-7V. Going back to the Japanese firm’s top helmet revealed they’ve not really improved much: they’re still heavy, still noisy, the visor mechanism is even more annoying and fiddly unless you dedicate a week to learning to use it.

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Rating: 2.83/5 (6 votes cast)

Keep Your Riding Gear in Shape - Especially Your Helmet

The helmet is the most important piece of riding gear. It’s designed to last between five and seven years, before the outer shell gets too brittle and the expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner loses its ability to absorb impacts. Here’s how to keep your motorcycle helmet in top condition and make it last as long as possible.

If it’s been dropped or knocked, it may be cracked. If the exterior is scuffed, check the EPS behind it hasn’t collapsed. There’s not point working on a helmet that’s too badly damaged to wear.

Soak any dried-on filth or flies with wet kitchen paper-towels, then wash with a soft, clean sponge. Don’t use any solvent-based cleaner or degreasers. Dish-washing liquid is fine as long as you rinse it off well to remove any detergent.

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Rating: 2.80/5 (5 votes cast)

The Kriega Urban Messenger Bag - Fashion and Functionality

The Kriega Urban Messenger bag combines fashion with functionality. It’s easy to put on and take off, even when fully kitted up. It looks great on the motorcycle, is hard wearing and also has a completely waterproof main compartment, meaning I don’t have to worry about my stuff getting drenched if I get caught in a storm.

The shoulder strap is easy to adjust and is very comfortable, and can be worn on either shoulder depending on the preference of the rider. There is also a detachable waist strap that will stop the bag from flapping around behind you at speed, however I hardly ever use it as the weight of my notebook keeps the bag in place very well.

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Rating: 5.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III - Leading Edge of Tire Technology

Pushing a motorcycle to its limits, or even its perceived limits, depends on the confidence you have in the machine, and to perhaps an even greater extent, the tires. Most sporting road riders will choose the ‘stickest’ tires they can get, whether their riding ability is good enough to actually use that ‘stickiness’ or not. ‘Confidence is everything’ they say, and that’s pretty much spot on.

If confidence plays such a big part in a rider’s tire choice, it usually comes in part due to the ‘name’ the tire brand has. Pirelli has been in the tire game for over 100 years, and really, brand names in tire technology do not get much bigger than Pirelli. I can go back to when I started riding big bikes, when the Pirelli Phantom, especially the Silver Dot Phantom was the tire to have. The Italian company has produced pretty good sporting road tires since then, and the Diablo Rosso III I have tested is probably one of the best sports road tires I have ever used.

Rosso means red in Italian, and as the national motor racing color for Italy is the color red, then it matches the ability of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. It’s not a race tire though, it was never designed to be. Like the original Rosso from about 17 years ago the Diablo Rosso II, the Diablo Rosso III is primarily a supersport road tire, capable of doing a track day. In the hands of a professional racer it’s probably capable of much more than that.

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Rating: 4.00/5 (1 vote cast)

ECU Firmware and Remapping

The ECU is the motorcycle’s brain and it controls all of its electronics functions, so remapping it allows us to access this brain and turn off and on various functions. Modern motorcycles are rammed full of emissions equipment and using special software we can download the ECU’s memory, alter it, and then reload it back into the motorcycle.

On something like a modern Suzuki or Kawasaki we can turn off emission equipment, remove any speed or performance restrictions and even unlock software such as traction control or launch control that it as loaded in the ECU, but the manufacturer has disabled its use on that specific model.

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Rating: 2.20/5 (5 votes cast)

Aluminum Skid-Plate for Adventure Bike

Most stock plastic skid plates slide over logs and deflect tiny rocks as needed – until I needed mine to deflect a small jagged boulder on top of a hill in Hua Hin. As my front tire rolled over a nasty stone and stood it end on end, the rock crashed through the plastic skid plate, tearing it in half, smashing into my oil pan, almost puncturing it, and breaking my O2 sensor. Not a good way to start a weekend adventure riding.

A chink in the belly armor on an adventure bike can be detrimental. Hepco-Becker’s skid plate for the Triumph Tiger 800 is attached with four rubber mounts and two solid bolts. The four very beefy impact-isolating dampers included are a massive improvement over the weak stock rubber mounts. The stock mounts are designed to shear upon impact in a sacrificial seppuku to protect the oil pan but do so far too easily.

To my knowledge, only one other manufacturer supplies new rubber mounts, but at a 68% premium over the Hepco-Becker skid plate’s cost, and theirs is not even welded.

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Rating: 2.50/5 (4 votes cast)

Variable Valve Timing on Sportbikes

With Suzuki all set to launch their new GSX-R1000, a lot is being made of the fact that it uses variable valve technology taken from the firm’s MotoGP bike. While this is the first variable valve technology hs been seen on a 1000cc sportsbike, the technology itself is far from new. In fact, technically the ability to alter the valve’s opening times dates back to steam engines! But today we will simply concentrate on motorcycles…

The first motorcycle to have variable valve technology was the Honda CB400, which used a version of the firm’s car-derived Vtec system. While this motorcycle failed to make it on the global market, the same technology first came to most riders’ attention with the launch of the Honda VFR800 Vtec.

Plagued by an overly abrupt transition from two to four-valves, the Honda Vtec system wasn’t well received and despite the fact that Honda soldiered on with it, other manufacturers decided to hold off. Then, in 2010, Kawasaki unveiled its own take on variable valve timing when the 1400GTR gained a far more sophisticated form of the technology.

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Rating: 2.50/5 (2 votes cast)

The Tire Profile - What you need to Know

The profile of a motorcycle tire is another typical prominent feature for a motorcycle tire. With the round profile, once you counter steer the motorcycle into a corner, it will stay leaned over in the corner till either you lean more or pull it out of the lean.

Once the motorcycle is leaned over in the corner, it is the rear tire that actually steers the motorcycle. The smaller the radius of the profile, the faster the tire will respond in corners. The wider the profile the more stable it is in straight up riding and slower it is to respond in corners. It will be good to remember that usually motorcycle tires need a 200 to 250 kilometer break in period as they expand by some 6 to 8 percent both due to the heating cycles and usage under inflation.

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Rating: 3.25/5 (4 votes cast)


How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

  •  Never
  •  Once
  •  Twice
  •  Three times
  •  Four times
  •  Five times
  •  More than 6 times
  •  More than 10 times
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