Motorcycle Riding Gear And Accessories - Dirt Rider Magazine Online

The problem with gear today is that almost all of it looks great. The hard part is determining what works and what doesn't. That's why I'm here: to beat the crap out of pretty gear and tell you what's up.Speaking of pretty, have you seen this new Alloy set for 2005? Alloy is once again on top in the style game. The colors are bright, the lines bold and the logo, well, it looks good plastered all over the gear.The Viper jersey is 100 percent polyester with fade-free sublimated graphics. Every gear company has this construction combo in its lineup because it feels good, is attractive and lasts. I'm pleased to say Alloy's bulky rubber logos are absent from the Viper, replaced by lightweight, sonic-welded details. This jersey fits dreamily when riding thanks greatly to the "Hi Rise" comfort neck, spot-on sizing and micromesh underarms. It is available in adult S-XXL in seven colors and retails for $49.95.Adding to the ensemble is the SX-1 pant. What this pant does well is take abuse. The base fabric (texture-weave ballistic nylon) is more than adequate to protect your hide from all but the hairiest get-offs. Mine suffered its share of high-speed corner wash-outs without so much as losing a stitch. Pants that can slide are great, and this does it well. Unfortunately, that durability comes at a cost. The pant fits loosely in the knees and thighs. Alloy could ditch the bulky rubber treatments and still have a durable, fashionable product (like its Viper jersey!). The SX-1's ventilation system is great-in theory. If the intake vents above the knees didn't pinch shut when braces or large pads are worn, then the pant would breathe more easily. The SX-1 is available in adult sizes 28 to 38 inches and youth sizes 22 to 28 inches. Seven color combos retail for $139.95; youth, $119.95.The Atom glove's precurve is noticeable and effective, and the silicone treatments in the palm offer a confident connection to your bike's grips. The direct-inject rubber "armor" isn't thick enough to protect against anything substantial, so I think the glove could lose them. Airprene and mesh panels on the top provide good ventilation, and the flex points are right on. The $39.95 Atom comes in seven colors and adult sizes S-XXL and youth ($34.95) sizes S-L. -Jesse Ziegler

|||| |---|---|---| | Gear| Max.| Rated| | Style| 20| 18| | Comfort| 10| 8| | Function| 50| 45| | Wash/care| 10| 9| | Price| 10| 8| | Total| 100| 88| 714/692-93O1; www.alloymx.comGodfrey EntertainmentTravis and the Nitro Circus 2 DVDWhen I met Travis Pastrana in 1994, I wouldn't have guessed that this extremely polite and outgoing kid would become arguably the most well-known motorcycle competitor in the world. Pastrana has had great success in motocross, including the 2000 AMA 125 MX Championship, but he is best known for his incredible freestyle accomplishments and crazy stunts. This second installment of his Travis and the Nitro Circus DVD shows just how loony he really is. Pastrana is an adrenaline junkie who appears to have complete disregard for his or his friends' well-being. While I would not want my children or friends to attempt any of the ridiculous stunts in this movie, I found it incredibly entertaining, though it is truly disturbing to see what some people are willing to do for a rush or a camera. If you liked the MTV "Jackass" series or movie, you will probably enjoy Pastrana and his gang making Johnny Knoxville and company look nohow.The list of crazy stunts is long and varied well beyond freestyle MX. There is some great footage of Austria's Erzberg Rally, one of the toughest off-road events in the world, in which riders traverse some of the steepest, rockiest hills imaginable. Most of the competitors don't even finish the event, but Pastrana ran at the front and actually finished. Snowmobilers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and BMX riders also get a chance to go well beyond their limits, but none compare to the streetbike rider who attempted a flip into TP's foam pit. Let's just say he hit it a little too fast.Of course, Nitro Circus 2 offers a lot of freestyle footage, including some truly unique and interesting scenes, such as great on-bike camera stuff and BMX "flatland"-style tricks performed on wood platforms and a wall. You can also witness top female MXers Sarah Whitmore and Tara Geiger learning to do backflips. They begin on a pool diving board, where their form seems to indicate it will never be possible, but after a few ugly crashes into the foam pit, Geiger successfully pulls off a backflip with a minibike onto a dirt landing. Suggested retail price of the film is $24.95. -Sean Finley

|||| |---|---|---| | DVD| Max.| Rated| | Originality| 20| 18| | Cinematography| 20| 15| | Suitability for kids| 20| 5| | Entertainment| 40| 40| | Total| 100| 78| www.godfreyfilms.comBaja DesignsSingle HID Race Light SystemHaving a good light makes night riding possible; having a great light makes it fun. The Baja Designs Single HID Race Light System is a great balance between awesome light and affordability.The light is small enough so you don't have to remove it for day riding, yet it is almost as good as a full race system. The kit comes with clamp-on holders that attach to the fork legs, and the light clips into position through rubber mounts. It takes about 10 minutes to install the entire assembly, and then only 30 seconds to put it on and take it off. It requires 100 watts of power to run the light as well as the right wiring, regulator, rectifier and battery. We put ours on an XR650R with an electric start kit, so we only needed to have the stator rewound ($120) to ensure the battery kept its charge.The light has a single switch, and it takes a few seconds to get up to full brightness. Then it is blinding for anyone in front of it. The spread of the semi-flood pattern is perfect for motorcycles. The throw of light gives a clear view starting just off the sides of your handlebar and piercing to almost 200 feet-at idle! There is a noticeable weight increase on the bar, slightly more if you have the battery attached to the light frame, but it isn't bad. The carrier has a giant adjustment knob that allows it to be set at the height you desire.Our light never so much as flickered in more than 1000 miles of use. A fitted plastic cover is available to protect the glass lens. At $810 to $885, the system isn't cheap. But if you look at it as doubling your riding time, then it's a smoking deal! -Jimmy Lewis

|||| |---|---|---| | Hard Parts| Max.| Rated| | Installation| 20| 20| | Function| 50| 49| | Durability| 10| 10| | Design| 10| 10| | Price| 10| 8| | Total| 100| 97| 76O/56O-BAJA (2252); www.bajadesigns.comFox RacingV3 Pro PilotFox revamped its top-of-the-line Pro Pilot helmet to create the V3 Pro Pilot, and over the last several months the V3 has become one of my favorite lids. Its removable liner allows plenty of room for my big ears, and I like the way it absorbed perspiration. Due to the seven-port venting system, it took me much longer to completely sweat out the liner compared with other helmets. The V3 ventilates so well that in cold weather I had a hard time keeping warm. The eyeport is super wide, and any goggles fit easily. I really liked the chin bar placement as it allows plenty of room for my proboscis. The only thing I struggled with was the chin strap; it is extremely flimsy, making it hard to buckle and unbuckle. But on the flipside, the strap feels soft on the neck and doesn't rub you raw. The V3 is super light, weighing in at slightly more than 2.7 pounds. A helmet case and an extra visor make the $375 cost even more of a bargain. -Corey Neuer

|||| |---|---|---| | Gear| Max.| Rated| | Style| 20| 20| | Comfort| 10| 10| | Function| 50| 48| | Wash/care| 10| 9| | Price| 10| 10| | Total| 100| 97| 888/FOX-RACE (369-7223); www.foxracing.comPlatinum 1 DesignsTime Bomb HourmeterMost hourmeters use electromagnetic induction (a wire wrapped around the spark plug wire) to detect a running engine's ignition pulses. An internal clock keeps track of the pulses, and a digital readout shows how many hours the engine has worked. We used the $38.95 Time Bomb on our 24-Hour test mules, and none of the units so much as hiccuped.Installation is simple: Remove the tank and wrap the pickup around the spark plug wire then route this wire to the steering head and mount the unit. A precut piece of double-sided tape handles the adhesion duties. Push the wire into a slot on the back and trim the excess. It doesn't require battery replacements and displays the accumulated time to tenths of an hour. This is an invaluable tool to keep your bike maintenance on schedule. -Bryan Nylander

|||| |---|---|---| | Tools| Max.| Rated| | Function| 50| 50| | Portability| 10| 10| | Durability| 20| 20| | Design| 10| 10| | Price| 10| 9| | Total| 100| 99| 951/328-9OO9; www.platinum1designs.comProgrip7o12/6o12/4o1o pro lineTesting racewear these days is often more about fashion than function-it has to look as good as it works. ProGrip has long been one of those companies with gear many Americans viewed as too Euro to be caught dead in-until now. With the release of its '05 Pro line, the company may have discovered the flavor to sate the finicky American taste. Topping off the outfit is the 7012, a $44.95 lightweight, breathable polyester jersey with sublimated two-color printing, a V-neck and ventilated panels on the inner/underside of the sleeves and the front of the jersey to keep you cool but not exposed.The matching 6012 pant uses Kevlar and Cordura plentifully along with soft rubber logo panels with natural cowhide panels on the inner knee and shin and no less than six front air vents to aid ventilation on the $149.95 pant. Both the 7012 and 6012 are available in two colors, red/blue and blue/yellow, with the jersey adding white to the mix. The 4010 glove received additional padding in the palm and on the outside of the thumb this year and is $34.95. It comes in five colors: yellow, Titanium, red, blue and green.The sizing is accurate and the legs were roomy for knee braces. I never noticed the venting on the pant. With knee braces, socks and my riding shorts, my legs are covered already. However, my limbs never experienced any distress, so the vents were probably working well-we'll call this a draw. The jersey fit over my body armor with ease yet wasn't baglike without the protective gear. The venting worked well, avoiding the dirt loads let in by overly porous garments. The gloves fit snugly, with no squirming or bunching of material in the palms, and overall the entire outfit worked as advertised. The items were comfortable all day, even when soaking wet-not all gloves can boast that.The pant's zippered pockets are impractical for anything and the pant's belt never really closed well though the snap and zipper always worked. The real downer of this gear is its limited variety with only two color options for the jersey and pant-that was the biggest gripe I could find. -Bryan Nylander

|||| |---|---|---| | Gear| Max.| Rated| | Style| 20| 15| | Comfort| 10| 9| | Function| 50| 48| | Wash/Care| 10| 9| | Price| 10| 9| | Total| 100| 90| 8OO/461-1226; www.progrip.comAcerbisImpact Roost DeflectorMost of the Acerbis chest protectors provide very good protection but are slightly on the bulky side-definitely not stylish by today's standards. So in trying to break that mold, the Italians invented the $149.95 Impact Roost Deflector. Not really in the crash-protection range, this lightweight goodie was designed to keep the roost from pecking your skin, and it just barely does that. The heavily styled pieces of plastic are tied together with very rubbery attachments that connect around the waist with elastic straps. The fit is adjustable, but it always seems loose, especially the back plate. The padding on the front and back plate is also minimal. There is some foam padding under the shoulder pieces, but it isn't the typical suspended netting found on a lot of front-and-back chest protectors. The trick part of the protector is a round dial in the center of the chest plate that adjusts the shoulder tension with a simple turn. We ran this at near-full tight all the time to try and keep the protector centered. Once it was set, we never played with it.One problem is that there are a lot of uncovered plastic edges on this protector-some a bit sharp. They poke and wouldn't offer the best protection in a crash. There are a lot of areas left exposed to roost, especially around the sides of your chest. And there isn't much covering the lower back. Acerbis used to make a similar protector called the Proton that was much more simple yet covered a lot more. As you can imagine, the Impact isn't as happy under a jersey. If I were going to take the time to put on a chest protector, I'd choose one that protected me a bit more. -Jimmy Lewis

|||| |---|---|---| | Gear| Max.| Rated| | Style| 20| 15| | Comfort| 10| 3| | Function| 50| 25| | Wash/care| 10| 9| | Price| 10| 7| | Total| 100| 59| 8OO/659-144O; www.acerbis.comScotts Performance productsBillet Shark FinMost stock rear disc rotor protection is plastic at best and stands little chance of defending your brake from rocks. I've actually broken the tabs off my Honda XR400R's swingarm with a bolt-on shark fin; and when I finally snapped my caliper carrier (don't ask, it involves sliding backward down a hill!), I needed a fix. This $129.95 Scotts billet unit integrates the carrier and shark fin into one strong piece that's so cool looking I hated to put it where it would only be abused. It was simple to replace the caliper pins and reinstall the caliper. On the XR400R the axle is completely enclosed as opposed to the half-circle coverage of the stock carrier. This won't matter as I usually remove the axle from the wheel during tire changes anyway. I'm happy to report that this shark fin has hit plenty of rocks and is still straight and hasn't let the disc take any damage. -Jimmy Lewis

|||| |---|---|---| | Hard Parts| Max.| Rated| | Installation| 20| 19| | Function| 50| 49| | Durability| 10| 10| | Design| 10| 10| | Price| 10| 9| | Total| 100| 97| 818/248-6747; www.scottsperformance.com1X InternationalChain BreakerA chain breaker can be the make-or-break tool on a ride. The 1X International version is machined from hardened steel and doesn't take up much room. Activated with a 10mm wrench or socket, it has helped us break top-line O-ring chains with ease, no grinding necessary. It takes only minutes to use and fits easily in a fanny pack; our biggest concern is losing it. It's only $19.99 but may be worth 10 times that when you really need it. -Jimmy Lewis

|||| |---|---|---| | Tools| Max.| Rated| | Function| 50| 50| | Portability| 10| 10| | Durability| 20| 20| | Design| 10| 10| | Price| 10| 10| | Total| 100| 100| Precision Concepts: 951/894-6117; www.1xinternational.com