THOR phase and ride 2 jackets, ZIP-TY Kx500 low-boy pipe/ims tank, SOUND FACTORY motomp3, RIDE FACTORY haulingas quick-fill, THOR force protector.RIDE FACTORY haulingas quick-fill
A few months back, Ride Factory Mfg. sent us its Haulingas quick-fill device for some DR battering. Like much of the desirable swag, the Haulingas was swiped up as fast as it arrived. After a couple of months of abuse, we decided the Haulingas rated a DR Tested mention. The device almost eliminates the tricky balancing act of holding steady a heavy five-gallon jug while watching so you don’t overfill your tank. What gave us the most satisfaction is its thread-pattern compatibility with all types of large-diameter five-gallon gas cans and the “snout” fits into most any OEM tank. No need to open the gas can’s breather vent now; just insert the tip into the tank and press down. The spring-loaded anodized sleeve slides back, and the gas flows as the air vents into the gas can. Seconds later your tank is full. The Haulingas Quick-Fill System is machined out of T6 aluminum and partially anodized red for a more durable finish. Although quick-fill systems usually are associated with off-road racing, we found the $149.99 Haulingas to be as useful at the motocross track-so just leave it on your can all the time.
Ride Factory Mfg.: 818/796-1612; www.haulingas.com
DR Rating: quality & function 9
DR Rating: Price 8THOR force protector
Safety is one of the hottest topics in the world of motorcycle riding, especially when riders continue to push the envelope, jumping higher and farther. Thor designers decided to use a little roadrace technology when they created their new top-of-the-line chest protector for 2003. It’s called the Force Protector, and it features a new spine protection system that other companies will likely copy. It may look a little odd, but the two-piece back panel is moved away from the spine and is filled with foam. The foam is completely removable for washing, and it doesn’t jeopardize the strength of the overall chest protector. Other features include three-way-adjustable straps for small, medium and large riders, plus mesh-suspended shoulder pads made of molded polypropylene. Another unique feature is a little foam piece located near the sternum designed to add more cushioning effect in the event of a crash.Overall, the fit is comfortable, and the adjustable system easily allows it to fit riders from 140 to 220 pounds. The Force is not restrictive, and it makes riders feel as if they are well protected. The only thing we didn’t like is the foam flap at the bottom of the back plate. It seems flimsy and tends to curl under. If Thor could build in a little more rigidity without taking away the cushioning effect, the Force Protector would have rated a little higher. Another item to note is this chest protector does not include bicep pads, either fixed or removable.The Thor Force Protector is available in seven color combinations for a retail price of $129.95.
Thor: 619/448-8467; www.thormx.com
DR Rating: 8.5SOUND FACTORY motoMP3
They say music soothes the savage beast-but what about the motocross or off-road rider?For those who dance to the beat of a different drummer, MotoMP3 may very well be the answer they’ve been waiting for. You know the drill: You’re out practicing or trail riding and you find yourself humming your favorite tune. The MotoMP3 player is the first unit that is totally isolated on the helmet. The player itself measures 67mm by 45mm by 13mm and attaches to the back of a lid using the handy mount provided with the kit. The speakers secure inside with small hook-and-loop fasteners. To use the unit, the music buff needs to be a little computer savvy and have some knowledge of what an mp3 is. In a nutshell, an mp3 is a compressed computer file. Most people find mp3 songs via the Internet on music-sharing sites. It is possible to extract files from CDs, although you will need basic software to convert them to mp3s. As for hardware, you need to use a PC-platform computer with Windows ’98 or newer and at least a one-gig hard drive with a minimum of 64 megabytes of RAM. We were a little bummed to find out we can’t use a Mac-based computer to download files to the MotoMP3 unit. The company provides the software to set up the player as long as you have the right hardware. If you have any questions, check out MotoMP3′s web site-it offers a lot of information and insight about the unit.Once we had the unit set up, we loaded our tunes. It holds up to approximately 60 minutes of music. A few tricky keystrokes are required to adjust all of the levels, but after a few outings, it starts to become simple. The volume is adjustable via buttons on the unit attached to the helmet, although we had the thing pinned the entire time. The volume is loud enough to hear the music but not so loud that it blasts out everything around you. Let’s put it this way: If you are riding a big four-stroke with an aftermarket exhaust, you can still hear the bike very clearly. The volume is enough for you to get into a tune, but you’ll still be able to hear someone yelling at you for taking the wrong line. The unit is great for trail riding and practicing motos. The single AAA battery gave the MotoMP3 roughly eight hours of life.The complete kit including software and a carrying case goes for $199.99.
Sound Factory: 866/MP3-MOTO; www.motomp3.com
DR Rating: 8.5THOR phase and ride 2 jackets
Riding when the temperature drops can be fun or miserable. It mostly hinges on whether you stay warm and dry or become cold and wet. One of the main ingredients in happy cold-weather riding is a jacket. To satisfy this need, Thor has introduced two models: the Phase and the Ride 2. Each is aimed at slightly different uses.The Phase is a hard-core trail/racing jacket. It’s lightweight, converts into a vest and has a clear pocket for identification or map stowage (you still must take the stuff out to read it) and a rear pouch for spare goggles or snacks. For creature comforts, the collar is nicely padded, and a drawstring allows you to cinch down the waist to keep heat in and cold out. We liked how easy it was to remove the sleeves and put them back on. We would have liked to use the pockets for hand warming and as a built-in means of stowing the jacket should the temperature increase. The Ride 2 struck us as an ideal dual-sport jacket for cool spring days. We felt it was too bulky and loose for serious trail riding or racing. But the huge swath of reflective material on the back to help motorists see you (which we really like) would be perfect for those pavement spells. The Ride 2 features waterproof construction and sealed seams to keep moisture on the outside from seeping in. A removable fleece vest helps hold off any chill and can be stowed in a fanny pocket. But a full liner with sleeves to the vest-to give your arms an extra layer-would have been the best as far as we’re concerned. The jacket does have plenty of venting to cool you off when the speed goes down or the temperature climbs. Our biggest issue with both the Phase and the Ride 2 was sizing; they’re too small! We are usually able to wear a chest protector under an XL-sized jacket with room to move about, yet we could fit into both jackets with only a jersey on. They were more like a M-L. The suggested retail price for the Phase is $99.95, and for the Ride 2 $149.95.
Thor: 619/448-8467; www.thormx.com
DR rating: phase 7
DR rating: ride 2 7.5ZIP-TY RACING KX500 low-boy pipe/IMS tank
Think “KX500″ these days and the image of desert racing usually pops into your mind. Of course, with the stock motocross fuel tank you won’t get very far, so for years the aftermarket has been providing big tanks so insane green-desert-sled pilots can hurtle across the great wide open for hours on end. But they’ve had to do so while straddling wide tanks that don’t do much for keeping the weight down low or easily changing directions. Enter Ty Davis. As a former KX500 rider and a top-notch dez guy, he knows a thing or two about big tanks and good ergos. Working with IMS, Davis developed a large-capacity tank (which allows you to run KX250 shrouds) and a low-boy pipe to let the weight stay down low. Davis also did some surgery on the KX’s seat, shaving 10mm off the rear section and adding about the same amount to the middle where a valley exists on the stocker. This modification does help modernize the feel of the archaic design, but it was the tank and pipe we were most interested in since they are what you can obtain. The Zip-Ty tank feels like the stock KX500 tank yet holds way more gas. Its biggest advantages are apparent immediately: The bike is comfortable to sit on, and you can actually get forward to weight the front end and make the KX carve in the corners. The modern-looking, ceramic-coated pipe still allows the bike to produce arm-yanking horsepower even as it stays low and out of the way of the slender tank. All of Zip-Ty Racing’s two-stroke pipes come with the coating to increase their longevity. A little Scotch-Brite action and it is back to near-new appearance. For riders looking to update the looks and handling of their big-bore Kawis, these are the perfect additions. The tank retails for $225 and the pipe for $249.95.
Zip-Ty Racing: 760/244-7028; www.ziptyracing.com
DR Rating: 8.5