Introductory Title

Introductory Title

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

CHANGE ME

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Moto GP Standings

Here are this week's standings

Pos Rider Prediction
1 Robert Buchmann 2
3 Wesley Pestana 4

Conclusionary Title

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How to Choose the Best Womens Leather Motorcycle Jacket – for Looks, and Safety

How to Choose the Best Womens Leather Motorcycle Jacket - for Looks, and Safety

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

womens leather motorcycle jacket

Safety is the number priority for every motorist. A great leather jacket will keep your body warm as you ride. A part from their ability to clean easily, leather motorcycle jackets are ideal for keeping you safe and are long lasting. But finding the best womens leather motorcycle jacket can be a daunting task owing to the fact that there are so many types and versions available nowadays. Additionally, you need to consider numerous aspects to choose the appropriate jacket for you.

Here is a comprehensive review and a buying guide that focuses on the best women’s leather motorcycle jacket, tips on how to choose the right motorcycle jacket, and the benefits of wearing a motorcycle jacket.

Women's Leather Motorcycle Jackets Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Milwaukee Leather LC2700 Motorcycle Leather Jacket Plain Sides Overall
2. True Element Womens Premium Braided Motorcycle Leather Jacket Versatility
3. MBJ Womens Faux Leather Zip Up Moto Biker Jacket With Stitching Detail Simplicity
4. LL Womens Hooded Faux Leather Jacket Value for money
5. Tanming Women's Faux Leather Moto Biker Short Coat Jacket All seasons

Top Choice: Milwaukee Leather LC2700 Motorcycle Leather Jacket Plain Sides

An elegant jacket for women who are not willing to sacrifice their style and fashion when buying a protective jacket.


How to Choose the Best Women's Leather Motorcycle Jacket With Fringe

It is not a question, anymore, regarding the growing trend of the motorcycle culture, over the past few years. While it was thought out to be a men’s thing, women are joining the bandwagon at a high rate. Before jumping onto that bike, it is important you ensure that you have the right motorcycle jacket.

Here are some of the important aspects to consider when choosing the best women’s motorcycle leather jacket.

Styles

You will come across different styles of motorcycle leather jackets. Thus, it is advisable to look for the appropriate style. You can choose between adventure, sport/street, racing, and cruiser styles. The term of use informs the style that you will choose. For instance, the cruiser jacket is ideal for long-term use, as it is made from a high-quality leather material, and it is comfortable. The beauty of motorcycle apparel is that there are always a wide variety outfit options that would look good in your wardrobe, I mean, just look at these safe yet sexy motorcycle pants for women. In case you were wondering about the safety of riding in jeans, if you get the right pair of motorcycle jeans, you'll be fine.

As if you need an excuse to add another pair of boot's to your already extensive collection of footwear, I thought it might be a good idea to relate the concept of safety and style to the importance of looking good and riding better. Women's motorcycle boots are often an overlooked piece of gear but I can assure you - when it comes to safety, nothing should be overlooked.

Armor/Padding

You need a motorcycle jacket that can protect you against all forms of accidents. Jackets with extra padding around the elbow and shoulder areas are much more comfortable and safer in case of an accident. Such jackets are ideal for long-distance rides. If safety is your number one priority - I've put together an extensive review of the safest motorcycle jackets.

Ventilation

Choose a jacket with the appropriate venting, as it prevents excessive sweating especially during hot rides. Moreover, proper ventilation reduces heat exhaustion when riding thereby, keeping you safe and comfortable even for long distance riding. If you live and ride in hot weather you'll want to check out our guide on the the best women's summer motorcycle jackets.

Reflectivity

Getting a motorcycle jacket that has reflective ability especially at night adds on to your safety. Reflective motorcycle jackets enhance visibility at night and this may be something you should consider.

Liners

Different types of motorcycle jackets have diverse types of liners. Removable liners are quite versatile. Jackets with liners are a bit warm; hence, you can wear them during any season of the year.

Perfect Fit

Motorcycle leather jackets come in different sizes. It is advisable to look for the size that fits you well, as it enhances comfort, and does not feel distractive while riding.

womens leather motorcycle jackets with fringe

Benefits of Wearing a Leather Motorcycle Jacket

If you look at it from the first glance, it would appear that a motorcycle jacket is worn just as fashion, or just as a part of motorcycle culture, but there is more to wearing such a jacket than the appearance.

Here are a few of the reasons why it is advisable for every woman motorist to wear a motorcycle jacket:

Comfort

A motorcycle jacket is designed to offer every wearer much comfort and freedom while riding. It does not have any restrictions that may cause any form of disturbances, at all. Thus it is ideal for short and long distance rides.

Protection

Regardless of how experienced you are in riding, you can get an accident any time. Wearing a leather motorcycle jacket comes in handy in such times. It offers you protection against scratches, burns, cuts, and abrasions in case of an accident. Most motorcycle jackets have an extra padding around the shoulder and elbow areas to offer you the necessary cushions in case of falls.

Protection Against Elements

It can be quite disturbing to ride in the rain, or scorching sun. In addition, while riding, you are exposed to numerous hazards such as dirt, bugs, and gravel. With a motorcycle jacket, you get protection against such elements and harsh weather. I've already shared some links up above to help you identify jackets for hot weather, but if you plan on doing some cold weather riding you might want to read about protecting yourself against windchill.

Women's Leather Motorcycle Jacket Review

1. Milwaukee Leather LC2700 Motorcycle Leather Jacket Plain Sides

womens leather motorcycle jackets womens leather motorcycle jackets with fringe

An elegant jacket for women who are not willing to sacrifice their style and fashion when buying a protective jacket.

The Milwaukee Leather LC2700 Motorcycle Leather Jacket tops the list of the best women’s leather motorcycle jackets for its comfortable and highly protective features. It is designed to fit and flatten any female shape appropriately.

The jacket is made from high quality milled cowhide, which gives it it's simplicity in cleaning and ability to retain warmth. It is water-repellent, making it ideal for riding in the rain. It comes with exterior pockets that you can use to store your items while riding.

  • The jacket is water resistant.
  • Has a crossover front closure for keeping warm during cold weather
  • The 1.2 MM milled cowhide leather adds extra warmth to the wearer, and is easy to clean and care.
  • Comes with 2 exterior zipper pockets.
  • Smaller sizes can have tight sleeves that might hurt your arms
  • It is quite heavy on the shoulders
  • Expensive

2. True Element Womens Premium Braided Motorcycle Leather Jacket

womens leather motorcycle jacket womens leather motorcycle jackets

A versatile motorcycle jacket that you can wear during any weather – it is good for both long and short-distance rides.

If for any reason, perhaps cost, you do not find the Milwaukee LC2700 Jacket above appealing, the True Element Premium Braided Leather is the perfect motorcycle jacket for you. It strikes a perfect balance in terms of looks, affordability, comfort, and durability.

Made from top grade pebble grain cow leather, the jacket is long lasting. It comes with a thermal liner that you can remove depending on the temperatures.

  • It comes with a thermal insulation liner
  • Made from thick pebble grain cow leather for durability
  • Can be used even when not riding
  • Its design makes it extremely comfortable for long distance rides.
  • It can feel heavy
  • Its design necessitates you keeping the arms at the sides
  • A few customers feel that it does not leave any room for movement

3. MBJ Womens Faux Leather Zip Up Moto Biker Jacket With Stitching Detail

womens leather motorcycle jackets with fringe womens leather motorcycle jacket

An affordable womens leather motorcycle jacket that will give you a simple yet classy appearance at an affordable price tag.

The Women’s Faux Leather Zip Up Moto Biker Jacket is a simple yet elegant piece that comes with a full-length zipper for ease of wearing. Its shell is made of 100% polyurethane, while the lining is 100% polyester.

The detail stitching, available at the back and front sides gives a stylish appearance. It also comes with front pockets for convenience and comfort. The material of the Women’s Faux Leather Jacket allows for hand wash.

  • It is available in many colors
  • It is affordable
  • Comes with a zipper opening
  • Many users have complaints about its size – only perfect for users with small body build
  • Not ideal for dry cleaning
  • The faux leather may peel off with time

4. LL Womens Hooded Faux Leather Jacket

womens leather motorcycle jackets womens leather motorcycle jackets with fringe

A warm and comfortable motorcycle jacket that can be worn during the cold weather – its medium weight is ideal for short and long distance rides in the cold, as it does not feel heavy to the wearer.

The LL Womens Hooded Faux leather Jacket is the best motorcycle jacket for cold weather, as it comes with a hood. It has a lining made of 100% polyester for comfort. It is medium in weight and does not feel cumbersome while wearing - so that you can use it for long distance rides. The zipper closure is designed to offer you the best protection when riding and is a comfortable fit. The zipper details are exposed for easy of reach while riding.

  • Highly comfortable
  • Great quality
  • Available in various colors
  • Great material
  • Fits well
  • Affordable
  • The size of this jacket may run small
  • Dry cleaning is not advisable
  • Not ideal for people with small-sized feet

5. Tanming Women's Faux Leather Moto Biker Short Coat Jacket

womens leather motorcycle jacket womens leather motorcycle jackets

A multipurpose motorcycle leather jacket that can be worn for any occasion – it gives the flexibility for use during different seasons

Motorcycle jackets are great for riding but not every jacket will give you the freedom to wear it for any occasion. However, the Tanming Women's Leather Jacket offers you that flexibility. It is made of 100% polyester (for the lining) and polyurethane (for the shell). It comes with a slant zipper design, and features a slim fit short pattern with multiple pockets.

  • The fully lined design enhances the jacket’s comfortability
  • Ideal for different seasons – autumn and spring
  • Easy to match with skirts, shorts, and pants
  • Can be worn for any occasion
  • Breathable
  • Fits well
  • The faux leather may peel off with time

Our Favorite Jacket

From the review, the Milwaukee Leather Jacket scores high when compared to the other four best womens leather motorcycle jackets reviewed for its comfortable, durability, and highly protective features. Its design balances style, fashion and the ability to protect the wearer.

womens leather motorcycle jacket

Related Posts

Summer Time – the 5 Best Motorcycle Jackets for Hot Weather

Summer Time - the 5 Best Motorcycle Jackets for Hot Weather

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

best motorcycle jacket for hot weather

Mesh motorcycle jackets are the modern way to provide protection and comfort in hot weather. Leather dominates the motorcycling market, but synthetic textiles are becoming increasingly popular. The best mesh motorcycle jacket for hot weather is lightweight, strong and abrasion-resistant, offering air flow that leather will never duplicate.

Best motorcycle jacket for hot weather Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Tourmaster - Sonora Air Summer Touring
2. Joe Rocket - Velocity Style
3. Joe Rocket Syndicate Summer Sport Riding
4. Viking Cycle – Asger Tight Summer Budgets
5. Bilt – Blaze Desert Conditions

Top Choice: Tourmaster - Sonora Air

The Sonora Air offers dependable protection for long rides in unpredictable weather conditions, especially unrelenting heat.

1. Tourmaster - Sonora Air
Best For

Summer Touring

Our Rating
2. Joe Rocket - Velocity
Best For

Style

Our Rating
3. Joe Rocket Syndicate
Best For

Summer Sport Riding

Our Rating
4. Viking Cycle – Asger
Best For

Tight Summer Budgets

Our Rating
5. Bilt – Blaze
Best For

Desert Conditions

Our Rating

What Makes a Good Summer Motorcycle Jacket?

Just about everyone wears a jacket to ride when temperatures are cool. But as the dog days of summer approach, many riders shed their jackets in an effort to stay cool. It’s understandable, and I confess I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past on short trips to the store. However, our choices are no longer limited to tempting road rash or sweating during summer rides. When looking for the best motorcycle jacket for hot weather, you want one that will keep you cool in the heat and safe in a tumble.

Choosing the right jacket for you depends on a few things. We all have our own individual budgets, tastes and needs. Still, you should insist that your new jacket is made from quality materials, so that your investment will last for multiple riding seasons. It should also suit your eye, so that you will actually wear it. Most importantly, it should protect you in case of an accident – at the speeds you intend to ride.

Best motorcycle jacket for hot weather

The Armored Mesh Motorcycle Jacket

In the early days, motorcycle jackets were almost always leather, and for good reason. It is hard to beat the abrasion resistance of natural leather, but modern synthetic textiles offer similar toughness with the added benefit of breathability. These jackets incorporate strong synthetic materials that are woven into a mesh fabric. The mesh allows air to pass more freely than leather, maximizing air flow to cool the rider. Materials with fibers that measure a minimum of 600 dernier offer the best protection.

And that protection matters. Studies of the effectiveness of protective motorcycle clothing show a 43 percent reduction in soft-tissue injuries and a 63 percent reduction in extensive injuries among riders who were wearing protective garments during a crash. Jackets made from abrasion-resistant synthetic materials reduce major and minor torso injuries by a combined 88 percent. The best mesh jacket for hot weather protects and breathes in equal measure, so there’s no reason to ditch your jacket when temperatures rise.

The Importance of Armor

Motorcycle jackets should not simply be made from quality materials. They should also incorporate additional padding in the places riders impact most often in a crash. The best armor will be CE-approved, which means it passed European safety standards during testing. CE-approved armor is stamped with an EN number, signifying it is meant for motorcycling. The armor for each body part has its own EN number (source). Armor without this rating should not be used for high-speed sport riding, but it is still better than wearing only a T-shirt.

Motorcyclists are far less likely to be hospitalized after an accident if they are wearing a jacket with suitable armor. The jacket material must resist ripping or tearing – to prevent flesh from doing the same. But the importance of armor cannot be overstated. Armor situated over the elbows, shoulders and back disperses the force of an impact, greatly reducing the amount of force that is transferred to the rider.

Check out the video below - about the GEAR study for more on the effectiveness of safety clothing and body armor, and take some time to read the study for yourself. It’s a sobering look at the consequences of ignoring protective gear. That gear doesn’t have to make you sweat in the summer, though. The following summer motorcycle jackets really can keep you safe while looking and feeling cool.

Summer Motorcycle Jacket Review

1. Tourmaster - Sonora Air

tour master sonora air jacket tourmaster sonora air jacket

The Sonora Air offers dependable protection for long rides in unpredictable weather conditions, especially unrelenting heat.

Summer is synonymous with vacations, and hot-weather touring is a fact of life for those who prefer to vacate on two wheels. My favorite jacket for longer hauls is TourMaster’s Sonora Air, which has the shorter, three-quarter length that touring riders often prefer. The Sonora Air is made mainly of 600-denier Carbolex ballistic nylon, but it incorporates 1680-denier ballistic polyester in the usual impact areas. The removable armor pads and triple-articulated back protector are all CE-approved.

With tough fabrics, quality armor and reflective piping, the Sonora Air is plenty safe, but it doesn’t compromise comfort. A two-stage liner offers a waterproof layer and a thermal layer for multi-season versatility, each usable alone or in tandem. There are multiple Velcro straps that cinch the jacket around the torso and arms to keep any excess material from flapping in the wind. The nearly full-coverage mesh allows considerable air flow, which is negated with either liner installed.

The Sonora Air offers dependable protection for long rides in unpredictable weather conditions, especially unrelenting heat. The armor is protective yet basic, and the back protector is upgradeable. The mesh materials are tough where they need to be and light where they don’t. The Sonora Air’s usefulness year-round depends the coldness of the winters, but it is a winner for long hauls in three seasons, especially in the middle of a hot and humid summer.

  • Extremely breathable
  • Extra tough in usual impact zones
  • Adjustability that actually works
  • Great sizing options for tall riders
  • Three-season capable
  • Removal and installation of liners is complicated
  • A bit heavy for a mesh jacket
  • Zippers require a light touch

2. Bilt – Blaze

bilt blaze mesh motorcycle jacket bilt blaze mesh  jacket

In the hottest climates, the air flow this jacket provides makes riding possible at all. Any level of protection when the pavement is hot enough to melt a tire is a bonus.

This mesh jacket from Bilt offers a fair amount of protection at a fair price, with some of the best air flow available in any summer riding jacket. It has 600-dernier synthetic panels, which are only in the impact areas. The rest of the fabric is a less-impact-resistant but breathable synthetic mesh. There is a memory foam back protector, but only the shoulder and elbow pads are CE-approved.

Bilt included some thoughtful comfort touches on the Blaze jacket. Neoprene-lined cuffs are rarely seen in this price range, and memory foam padding conforms to body movements easily. The cooling air that rushes through the free-flowing mesh on the Blaze is a godsend when temperatures soar to triple digits.

The Blaze is outperformed by some of its competitors when temperatures begin to cool, though. It lacks a liner to temper the blasts of air, so it is a one-season jacket that offers adequate protection in all but the most serious spills. But in the hottest climates, the air flow this jacket provides makes riding possible at all. Any level of protection when the pavement is hot enough to melt a tire is a bonus.

  • Unhindered airflow
  • Moderately priced
  • Adequate protection at modest speeds
  • Unexpectedly comfortable
  • Gets the job done in the highest temperatures
  • May not be useable after a crash
  • Modest protection, especially of the back
  • Left-handed zipper is awkward to operate

3. Joe Rocket - Velocity

joe rocket velocity mesh jacket joe rocket velocity jacket

Joe Rocket is one of the most recognizable names in motorcycle safety apparel, and products like the Velocity jacket are the reason why

The Velocity mesh jacket allows air to flow freely between its fibers, keeping you cool in almost any heat. The elbow, shoulder and back pads are all contoured for comfort, and there is an added unobtrusive rib padding to prevent bruising.

Other creature comforts include adjustability at six different points, articulated sleeves and an extended back section with a large reflective mesh panel. There is a removable waterproof liner that disconnects easily and also blocks the wind, making it feasible to use the Velocity in spring and fall, depending on the climate where you live.

The padding may be comfortable, but it is not CE-rated (though the back pad is removable and replaceable with CE spine protection). It does provide protection in case of a fall, but it doesn’t compare to new-generation CE-rated armor. Then again, the Velocity is not meant to compete with racing leathers. As a comfortable means to protect your torso from impacts, it does the job and lets cooling air flow at the same time. It is also a personal favorite in the style department.

  • Several different colorways
  • Looks sleek and modern
  • Provides adequate protection
  • Air flow is without hinderance
  • Three-season use with waterproof liner
  • Waterproof liner eliminates airflow
  • Lackluster zipper does not withstand abuse
  • Better armor would be worth a modest price hike

4. Joe Rocket Syndicate

Best Leather Motorcycle Jacket for Summer Touring

joe rocket syndicate joe rocket syndicate jacket

I like if for its obvious toughness and versatility, and it is the mesh jacket I’d choose if I had the benefit of knowing a crash was imminent.

Summer motorcycle jackets often either sacrifice protection for comfort, or offer decent protection at the price of sweating buckets. Joe Rocket’s Syndicate jacket is an attempt at meeting somewhere in the middle. The syndicate has 1.2-mm leather in all the impact zones, but uses a breathable high-tenacity nylon mesh where wind impacts the arms and torso. The result is uncompromising abrasion resistance with airflow unavailable in most leather jackets.

Besides its tough leather impact areas, the Syndicate offers protection in the form of CE-certified armor in the shoulders and elbows. The spine pad is removable, and its pocket can accept most modern CE-approved back protectors. Reflective stripes line both the front and back, and there is an 8-inch zipper at the waist for attaching riding pants.

It’s a protective jacket, but the Syndicate wouldn’t be the best leather motorcycle jacket for hot weather if it didn’t also provide for excellent air flow. The nylon mesh lets air in and out easily, and the removable liner vest adds some versatility for when temps start dropping. This isn’t the coolest jacket on the hottest of days, but such is the price of leather. I like if for its obvious toughness and versatility, and it is the mesh jacket I’d choose if I had the benefit of knowing a crash was imminent.

  • Comfort of mesh with protection of leather
  • More affordable than most leather jackets
  • CE-rated pads (elbow and shoulder)
  • Decent airflow and mobility for a leather jacket
  • High-quality (YKK) zippers
  • Gets hot in warmest climates
  • Sleeves can be tight if you’ve got big guns
  • Need to upgrade back protector for safety

5. Viking Cycle – Asger

Best for the Money Summer Motorcycle Jacket

best summer jacket for motorcycle best motorcycle jacket for summer

Comfort is king in the summer jacket market, and that is where the Asger makes its bones.

The Viking Cycle Asger provides ample protection, storage and breathability at a price point most riders can swing. It has more storage than any other two typical summer jackets and a removable, quilted polyester liner to extend its usefulness into the cooler months. The tough tri-tex liner is waterproof and freely breathable.

The shoulder, elbow and spine pads are all CE-certified, which is unusual for any summer jacket. To find that level of protection at an entry-level price point is remarkable. The external placement of the added torso and shoulder pads is a matter of taste, but they’d be appreciated if they were needed.

Comfort is king in the summer jacket market, though, and that is where the Asger makes its bones. Simple, three-position adjustability keeps flapping and shifting to a minimum, and zippered vents enable increased air flow on the hottest days of summer. One caveat: The quality of the zippers is a low point on this jacket. Viking had to save money somewhere to price the Asger so competitively, and the zippers were obviously that place.

  • Waterproof summer jackets are rare
  • Extra breathability from front and rear vents
  • Ample padding, some of which is CE-rated
  • Generous storage space
  • A lot of bang for the buck
  • Tri-tex is 600 dernier – tough enough to protect, but just once
  • Zipper quality is lacking, regardless of price point
  • Jacket is shortish from top to bottom, but not overly

The Best Motorcycle Jacket for Hot Weather

A motorcycle jacket is such a personal thing to a rider. Each of us brings our own needs and our own tastes to the table. But we wear our jackets to keep safe, and safety should always be at the fore in our decision making. That’s why the TourMaster Sonora Air is my go-to jacket in the heat of summer.

The Sonora Air provides CE-rated padding, which outperforms the non-rated pads on this list when the chips are down. It also has extremely tough 1680-dernier ballistic polyester in the impact zones and durable Carbolex lining everywhere else. Its competitors use either 600-dernier mesh throughout or leather where it counts. The TourMaster is quite breathable, and useable year round for many riders.

Depending on your own needs, the Sonora Air may not address a specific enough problem. The other jackets on this list provide solutions to exacting issues, such as extreme heat or aggressive sport riding. The Sonora Air doesn’t offer the most air flow and it isn’t the most protective, but it solves the most problems and asks the fewest compromises.

best mesh motorcycle jacket for hot weather

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How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Radar Detector and Not Get Busted

How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Radar Detector and Not Get Busted

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

Best motorcycle radar detector

If you ride a motorcycle, it’s very likely that you’ve taken it out for a ride and found yourself going waaaay above the speed limit at some point. You twist the throttle and get lost riding down an empty highway or along a curvy mountain road. Then one day you’re too late seeing that highway patrolman. You look down at your speedometer and your heart sinks. I know that feeling way to well, which is why I've put in some effort to help us both identify the best motorcycle radar detector.

So, what to do? You can vow to slow down, but speeding isn’t always intentional. Sometimes you’re just not paying as close attention to your speed as you are to the ride itself. That’s exactly why I mounted a motorcycle radar detector on my bike this weekend - and if you don't trust me, give this a read.

Everybody knows I’m a gearhead, so it’s no surprise that when I decided I needed a motorcycle radar detector, I researched just about every one available. It was pretty easy to narrow down my search to what I believe are the top five detectors, offering the best features and receiving high marks in independent reviews. While any of these detectors would likely serve your purpose, one stood out as a clear winner to me. The criteria I used to compare the detectors included which bands were covered, ability to screen out false alarms, type of indicator, user- and glove-friendly design, and type of mount.

Best Motorcycle Radar Detector Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 3. 0 Radar Detector Overall
2. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 2.0 Radar Detector Value
3. Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Versatility
4. Escort Redline 0100025-1 Radar Detector Long Range
5. Radenso Xp Radar Detector Budget Car Radar Detector

Top Choice: Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 3. 0 Radar Detector

This radar detector has to be the seen as the best detector specifically designed for motorcycle use. It is fully featured and will keep those pesky speeding tickets far away.

1. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 3. 0 Radar Detector
Best For

Overall

Our Rating
2. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 2.0 Radar Detector
Best For

Value

Our Rating
3. Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector
Best For

Versatility

Our Rating
4. Escort Redline 0100025-1 Radar Detector
Best For

Long Range

Our Rating
5. Radenso Xp Radar Detector
Best For

Budget Car Radar Detector

Our Rating

Types of Detectors and How They Work

Two main types of speed detection devices exist today: RADAR which use radio waves, and LIDAR which use light waves. Both work similarly, aiming a beam of radio waves or light waves toward a moving object and detecting speed based on how long it takes for the radio or light waves to bounce off the selected object and be received by the detector. Radar detectors are still the most common detectors in use, but LIDAR detectors are far faster and more difficult to pick up because of the focused beam of light emitted. Most radar detectors today detect both radio and LIDAR waves.

How Radar Guns Are Used

Let's take a look at the different classes of radar guns:

Constant On

easiest to detect by a radar detector, as a constant signal is emitted like a calling card from the gun.

Instant On

Challenging to detect, and only detectable if your detector picks up the radio signal being shot toward a vehicle near you. With Instant On, the officer waits until the last second to fire the gun toward a selected target, allowing no time to pick up the signal, so if you’re at the front of the line, you’re toast.

Quick Trigger

Similar to Instant On, but the officer turns the gun on and off quickly. Quick Trigger is difficult to detect in the same way that Instant On is, and again, if you’re at the front of the line? Well, see above.

Pop

Transmits a pulse of radio waves every 67 miliseconds making it almost impossible to detect; but, information derived from a POP burst is non-evidential and cannot be used alone to issue a citation.

Typical Bands Used

X-Band

Easy to detect as far away as 2-4 miles.

Range: 10.5 - 10.55 GHz

K-Band

Detectable from 1/4 to 2 miles away.

Range: 24.05 - 24.25 GHz.

Ka-Band

Most commonly used band for law enforcement. Includes Ka Wide-Band and Ka Super Wide-Band.

Range: 34.2 to 35.2 GHz.

Things to Consider

Mounting Options

Mounting a radar detector intended for a car to your bike can be a challenge as the most common option is a suction cup mount designed to be attached to a car’s windshield. Even if you wanted to attach something to your bike using a suction cup, it’s likely that the bike’s vibration would cause the eventual loss of suction in the cup--and the loss of that nice little gadget that was attached.

Power

As mentioned above, mounting the radar detector can be a big problem if the detector of your choice isn't really designed for a bike. But even if it isn't easy, it wouldn't require a engineering degree to build or DIY your own makeshift mount.

What might require a bit more knowledge and technical know-how, would be powering your radar detector. Radar detectors designed predominantly for cars can require a complex setup, whereas bike-specific radar detectors can plug directly into your 12V power supply which makes them much more suitable for your biking needs.

Alarm Type(s)

Both audible and visual alarms are available on each of the five units I’ve selected. Some detectors have alarms that tell you which band is being picked up, and indicate the general direction of the source with arrows. The best detectors will allow you to filter out false alerts either manually or, best-case, automagically.

Keep in mind that visual alarms may require you to take your eyes off the road in order to determine the type of alert and transmission location; and audible alarms may or may not be loud enough to hear over the rumbling of your speeding steed. Hence, the best radar detector for bikes will have some means of transmitting a visual alert in your periphery, or an audible alert in your helmet. Some also come with a headphone jack so you can easily plug a set of standard earphones into the detector.

Ease of Use

If you wear gloves while riding (ATGATT), you’re going to want large buttons on your detector. And regardless of what you wear, you’re going to want to be able to see the radar detector’s screen without having to contort your body unnecessarily. Ease of use also goes to whether the detector is pretty much plug-and-play, or you need a Ph.D to set it up. Some radar detectors would challenge even the greatest minds.

Sensitivity

It’s nice to have a radar detector that allows you to adjust the sensitivity. If you’re riding down the highway, you’re going to want to be alerted to pretty much any signal out there. If you’re riding down the main strip in town though, you’re probably going to want to crank that sensitivity way down, since all kinds of signals are being transmitted from things like automatic door openers and proximity alarms on that car in the lane next to you.

False Alert Filtering

Along with the ability to adjust your radar detector’s sensitivity, it’s also nice to have the ability to filter out false alerts. The best motorcycle radar detector will store each alert, and after three exposures to the same signal in the same spot, the detector will filter out that particular alert so you won’t be bothered by it anymore.

Price

Radar detectors range anywhere from less than $100 to well over $2000. All the units I’ve selected are between $250 and $600. One can argue that the cost of even the more expensive models is insignificant relative to the expense and hassle of multiple speeding tickets, associated court costs, and increased insurance rates.

radar detector for bikes

Motorcycle-Specific Considerations

When it comes to radar detectors, the options on the market can be overwhelming. When I did my research finding the most appropriate one for my hog, I found a number of important considerations regarding motorcycle specific considerations. These are the things I found most important to think about before buying the wrong thing.

  • Is there a motorcycle-specific mount, or will you be cobbling something together with duct tape and twist ties?
  • Is a wiring harness available to direct-connect the detector to your bike, or can you plug it in to an auxiliary USB or 12V port mounted on your bike?
  • Is the radar detector waterproof?
  • Can you set up the detector to send audio alerts to your helmet?

Bike Radar Detector Review

1. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 2.0 Radar Detector

Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 2.0 Bike Radar Detector

The Adaptiv Technologies TPX 2.0 Radar/Laser Detector is the best budget plug-and-play option for motorcycles.

The TPX 2.0 is the a radar detector designed specifically for motorcycle use. It is weatherproof and connects directly to your battery with heavy-duty weatherproof cables. The motorcycle-specific mounting system allows you to easily remove the TPX when you park your bike? The TPX radar detector has five top-mounted buttons which are easy to locate and press even when you’re wearing gloves, and the buttons are backlit, which improves nighttime operation. The LCD display is located on top of the unit and angled upward, making it easier for the rider to check alerts with a quick glance.

  • Weather and shock proof
  • Great visual alert add-on
  • Large, back-lit buttons
  • Motorcycle-specific mounts
  • No GPS

2. Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 3. 0 Radar Detector

Best Radar Detector for Motorcycle Use

Adaptiv Technologies Tpx 3.0 Bike Radar Detector

This radar detector has to be the seen as the best detector specifically designed for motorcycle use. It is fully featured and will keep those pesky speeding tickets far away.

The TPX 2.0's big brother. This radar detector is also designed specifically for motorcycles and thus can withstand the vibrations, shock and water that comes with riding a motorcycle.

Unlike the 2.0, this radar detector comes with a GPS and database which is updated monthly (for free). The oversized buttons make it easy to use, even with your gloves... It is fully featured and can detect all the radar and lidar bands effectively - Definitely the best radar detector for motorcycle use.

  • Weather and shock proof
  • Great visual and audio alerts
  • Large, back-lit buttons are easy to push
  • Specifically designed for motorcycles
  • GPS Support
  • A bit pricey

3. Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector

Best Radar Detector for Car and Motorcycle

Escort Passport 9500ix best motorcycle radar detector review

This is the best overall performer of the five and does offer a headphone jack and 12V power cord.

The Escort Passport 9500IX is the best overall performer of the five radar detectors I selected and comes closest to a good fit for use on motorcycles of any of the detectors designed for cars. Although it doesn't come with a specific mount, these can be purchased, and this detector can be powered by your motorcycle, and includes a headphone jack.

It offers red light and speed camera detection as well as radar and LIDAR, and picks up POP bursts better than any of the other detectors here. Its best feature is the built-in GPS which works with an Autolearn function to identify and suppress false alerts. Sometimes, however, the Autolearn function gets a little carried away and treats real police radar as a false alert.

  • GPS
  • Automatically adjusts sensitivity based on speed
  • Headphone jack allows you to use the Passport on your motorcycle
  • Power cord plugs into 12V port
  • No motorcycle-specific mount included
  • Not waterproof
  • Expensive

4. Escort Redline 0100025-1 Radar Detector

Best Long-Distance Detector

Escort Redline 0100025-1 Radar Detector radar detector for bikes

While the Escort RedLine may not filter out all the bank alarm systems, home security signals, and garage door openers you might encounter in town, its ability to detect signals as far away as fourteen miles makes it the best detector out on the open road.

This is one of the most sensitive radar detectors on the market and provides the longest range for every signal out there. It includes full X, K, and SuperWide Ka radar capability and front and rear laserdetection. The Safety Warning System is one of my favorite features, alerting users to highway maintenance and construction, weather hazards, and slow-moving vehicles.

The TotalShield RF Technology makes the RedLine all but invisible to radar detector detectors. However, reviewers have noted that the RedLine is also quite “chatty” because its filtering system is suboptimal, leading to annoying, ongoing alerts.

Overall, this is a great radar detector, but doesn't fit well for use on a motorcycle.

  • Detects radar and laser signals as far as 14 miles away.
  • Superior Hill/Corner detection
  • Full band detection
  • Safety Warning System
  • Detector is heavy, causing mounting hardware to fail.
  • Detector is “chatty”—filtering system is suboptimal.
  • No motorcycle-specific mount
  • Not waterproof
  • No easy way to power unit on bike

5. Radenso Xp Radar Detector

Radenso Xp Radar Detector best radar detector for motorcycle use

This is probably the best radar detector under $400 with impressive sensitivity to police radar, even in a K-band polluted environment.

This is an excellent mid-range unit with a lot of features for less than $400. Many reviewers consider this to be one of the quietest radar detectors out there because of its ability to accurately filter out false alerts. It has optional X, K, and Ka sensitivity reduction at low speeds and is fully customizable. There’s a beginner mode which allows you to get up and running quickly, but the expert mode allows you to unlock a huge array of options. And Radenso offers free lifetime database and firmware updates.

However, there is no easy way to use this radar detector while riding your motorcycle - and without serious hackery, is not a good fit.

  • GPS Lockout
  • BSM (Blind Spot Monitor) filtering
  • Bright display is easy to read but not overbearing at night
  • Shorter range than other radar detectors
  • No motorcycle-specific mount
  • Not waterproof
  • No easy way to power unit on bike

The Best Motorcycle Radar Detector

Two of the five radar detectors fell off the list pretty quickly once I took a serious look at them and considered how they’d work on my motorcycle. The Adaptiv Technologies TPX models and the Escort Passport 9500IX were really the only two contenders for the title of best motorcycle radar detector. And while I was sorely tempted by the superior functionality of the Passport, I chose the TPX 3.0 because it has adequate functionality and is designed with motorcycles in mind. I've since had the detector set up and installed on my bike and was off on a ride in less than an hour, with a bit more peace of mind.

what's the best motorcycle radar detector

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How to Choose the Best Oakley Goggles for Riding

How to Choose the Best Oakley Goggles for Riding

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

Oakley goggles

I love my Oakley MX goggles. There are a lot of great eyewear brands out there that promise quality features but few of them deliver. Oakley is a mammoth company that owns popular brands including Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley. They design, manufacture, distribute and sell several brands in popular shops worldwide – and more than a few of their pairs have found a spot in my house (once you get your first pair, they become irresistible – you’ll see).

Motorcycle goggles are an essential piece of riding equipment that protects the eyes and honestly, it’s not something you should skimp on. Whether you’re wearing a full or open-face helmet, Oakley goggles are a reliable piece of protective gear. Here’s everything you need to know before choosing the best Oakley goggles for your needs.

Oakley MX Goggles

Best Oakley Goggles Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Oakley Mayhem Pro Mx Goggles Style
2. Oakley Airbrake Heritage Mx Goggles Wide field of vision
3. Oakley Mx O Frame Motorcross Goggles Value Buy
4. Oakley Crowbar Mx Nemesis Goggles Comfort
5. Oakley L-Frame Graphic Motocross Goggles Versatility

Top Choice: Oakley Mayhem Pro Mx Goggles

Affordability is always a plus. Oakley has a range of goggles available for riders who already spent the bigger part of their budget on other motorcycle gear and equipment.

1. Oakley Mayhem Pro Mx Goggles
Best For

Style

Our Rating
2. Oakley Airbrake Heritage Mx Goggles
Best For

Wide field of vision

Our Rating
3. Oakley Mx O Frame Motorcross Goggles
Best For

Value Buy

Our Rating
4. Oakley Crowbar Mx Nemesis Goggles
Best For

Comfort

Our Rating
5. Oakley L-Frame Graphic Motocross Goggles
Best For

Versatility

Our Rating

The History of the Oakley Company

Just a short bit of history to highlight the success of Oakley over the years. After all, I can’t tell you it’s a successful brand without telling you why. Back in 1975, the founder of Oakley James Jannard started the company out of his garage. Despite a humble beginning with just $300 investment, the Oakley brand has grown to the massive company it is today and holds hundreds of patents for performance gear, materials and eyewear. Today, Oakley creates several eyewear ranges for motorcycle riding and in particular, motocross and dirt bike riding.

Choosing the Perfect Pair of Goggles

Safety

The first thing that should come to mind when you think about goggles is the safety factor. Motocross is a rough adventure, and off-roading is a crazy ride that drives your wife crazy because you’re bound to return home with more than just a few scrapes and bruises. Goggles will protect your eyes from the many objects that fly at you while riding, whether it’s dust, rain, wind, insects or rocks that are sent your way by other riders on the trail. When choosing a pair of goggles, look for a pair that is sturdy and offers impact protection.

Another thing to look out for: protection against the sun. Goggle safety extends beyond just protecting the eyes against physical objects. Although we love a spot of sunshine while hitting the road, too much sunshine could be a problem. Motorcycle goggles protect the eyes from bright sunshine that could harm your eyesight and even cause accidents due to obstructed vision.

Here’s a thorough list of just some of the eye injuries that can occur if you fail to wear protective eyewear, especially when you have an open or half-face helmet on. None of them are pretty. In fact, they can be extremely painful, harmful and often expensive to treat.

Size

Whether you’re wearing an open or full-face helmet, motorcycle goggles need to fit well under the helmet. Too big and they could cause pressure around the eyes and on the bridge of your nose. Too small and they could shift around while you ride or cut into your eyes in an accident. Some helmets even have grooves cut into the helmet so that the goggles fit better.

Comfort

The need for eyewear protection is something you can’t escape, so you might as well go in for comfort. Many motorcycle goggle pairs are padded with sweat-resistant and moisture-wicking material for extra comfort on rides – something that you’ll definitely appreciate once you hit the long road on a hot summer day! Similarly, a pair of motorcycle goggles with good vents for airflow will increase comfort while riding.

Customization

Visors do come with tinted options but if you want a real customized eyewear experience, get an Oakley pair of motocross or dirt bike goggles. Oakley has a wide range of lenses that comprise different materials. Features such as UV protection, anti-fog treatment and impact protection are just a few of the options that your Oakley goggles can offer. Choose orange or yellow lenses for better vision on dreary days, and clear lenses for easier night-time riding. Interchangeable lenses also allow you to insert prescription eyewear.

Budget

This is a big point for many people, and understandably so. Motorcycles are an expensive hobby – from buying the actual bike to acquiring protective gear and accessories, you might very well use up your monthly grocery budget on making your motorcycle look amazing. My philosophy: instead of buying a cheap piece of gear ten times over, get the proper piece of gear from the start and make sure that you’re spending your hard-earned money on a pair of goggles that you actually want. If the item is beyond your budget, try borrowing a pair of goggles from a friend until you can save up the amount you need. In the meantime, set up a savings plan to budget for your big purchase. Or maybe you could ask for an advance on your birthday gift? (nudge, nudge!)

oakley motocross goggles

What to Look for in Oakley Motorcycle Goggles

Many riders that are daily commuters or take short rides often don’t see the need for an extra level of eye protection. However, dirt biking and motocross riding (even with full helmets) require a level of extra protection. Oakley motorcycle goggles provide a high level of protection for precisely these purposes, without compromising on comfort.

Size

Choose a pair of Oakley’s that fits well under your helmet and doesn’t restrict your peripheral vision.

The Frame

Oakley has specially crafted frames such as the O Matter frame that is lightweight and flexible.

Straps

The Oakley O Matter patent includes strap connections to help control goggle pressure around the eyes and head.

Lenses

Oakley offers special lenses and materials to provide UV and blue light protection. Some pairs come with switch-lock lenses that make it easy to change between lenses, and some Oakley’s even have features like allowing you to see slight changes in dirt conditions - the perfect feature for off-road and motocross riding, right?

Nose Guard

Some Oakley pairs come with a removable nose guard that can be attached for extra comfort.

Oakley dirt bike goggles

Oakley Goggles Review

1. Oakley Crowbar Mx Nemesis Goggles

oakley crowbar goggles oakley crowbar mx goggle

Are you clumsy? I am, which makes this shatterproof, impact-resistant pair of goggles a great choice.

Here’s the perfect example of a motorcycle goggle that was created with trademark Oakley features. The lenses are clear and offer a fantastic wide view. The O-Matter frame is made with a type of nylon-infused plastic that makes it more flexible, allowing the frames to better absorb impact and adjust to temperature changes without cracking – pretty much ideal for any weather condition.

I don’t know about everyone else but I’m clumsy. I don’t need to be on a bike, or even near a bike, to drop a nice pair of goggles and have them snap, break or smash. For obvious reasons, I always opt for a pair that is impact-resistant and strong enough to withstand heavy wear and tear.

  • UV-A/B/C protection
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Good price
  • Big lens size

2. Oakley Mayhem Pro Mx Goggles

oakley mayhem mx goggles oakley mayhem pro mx goggles

Affordability is always a plus. Oakley has a range of goggles available for riders who already spent the bigger part of their budget on other motorcycle gear and equipment.

Remember we told you about the removable nose guard? This is one of the pairs that features a nose guard to make wearing goggles over the long term that much more bearable. Summer is coming and these would be a great option for Oakley motocross goggles that offer ultimate protection and comfort.

Oakley’s Mayhem Pro range is favoured by professionals due to the inclusion of another patent Oakley product, namely Prizm MX lenses. Basically, the lenses are made with special technology that maximizes contrast and controls light transmission in various conditions. For motorcyclists, this means that Prizm highlights shades and light to improve depth perception and road texture recognition. If you don’t think that’s useful, you probably haven’t spent enough time out on the trails!

  • Prizm lens technology
  • High impact resistance
  • Removable nose guard
  • Better depth perception
  • Expensive

3. Oakley Airbrake Heritage Mx Goggles

oakley airbrake heritage airbrake heritage

The Plutonite lenses from Oakley ensure that the lenses block out blue light while offering maximum UV protection from harsh sunlight.

Another pair of Oakley goggles fit with Prizm lenses, this pair of Oakley dirt bike goggles includes a high-impact Plutonite lens. What is Plutonite, you ask? Another Oakley patent, one that uses a high grade polycarbonate material to create strong lenses that are UV-protective. They also block out blue light and offer shatterproof properties for maximum durability.

A wide field of vision is a great asset for wild rides where you need to notice every little tree stump and branch sticking into your way. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as having an extremely limited field of view so rather go all in and buy the gear that will give you what you need.

  • Easy lens changing
  • Blocks out blue light
  • Wide field of vision
  • Poor anti-fog coating

4. Oakley Mx O Frame Motorcross Goggles

oakley o frame googles oakley o frame mx googles

Affordability is always a plus. Oakley has a range of goggles available for riders who already spent the bigger part of their budget on other motorcycle gear and equipment.

Despite the high quality of Oakley goggles, there are still great options available across all price ranges. These babies come with a clear lens and a carbon fiber construction, using the signature Oakley O Matter frame. The anti-fog treatment holds up well in hot weather and the lenses are also scratch- and impact-resistant.

Why not level up your off-roading with these goggles? The clear lenses are perfect for night-time riding and as long as your bike is geared with some extra lights, they could be the perfect companion for off-roading in the dark. Maybe you could head to the tracks right before the sun comes up and switch out the lenses for a tinted version as the day breaks.

  • Clear lens
  • O Matter frame
  • Great price
  • Three lens tints available
  • Sizing runs small

5. Oakley L-Frame Graphic Motocross Goggles

oakley graphic Oakley L-Frame Graphic Frame MX Goggles

Slip these goggles over your prescription eyewear with no trouble at all – perfect!

Anybody out there wear glasses? Here’s a pair of goggles that fit over prescription eyewear. Corrective glasses are no longer a reason to stop riding – simply slip these goggles over your glasses and hop onto your sweet ride. The liner is made of moisture-wicking fleece and offers great comfort, even when the goggles are worn over glasses.

The goggles are quite large to make sure that they fit well over glasses so make sure to fit these with a helmet before buying them. The lenses are strong and impact-resistant, with a silicone strap that’s non-slip for the most secure fit you could wish for.

  • Fits over prescription eyewear
  • Inner liner foam
  • Affordable
  • No nose guard

The Best Oakley Goggles

There’s a fantastic selection of Oakley dirt bike goggles available for riding. The Oakley goggles are multi-purpose and can be used for other activities like casual riding, touring and even snow-mobile riding – yet another great reason to invest in a good pair that is sure to last. Our vote for the best Oakley MX goggles is the Oakley Mayhem Pro.

The Prizm lenses offer superior features like added road perception and increased depth awareness, things that can really make the difference between simply enduring and actually enjoying your off-road or motocross ride. The price is reasonable for the quality and in terms of getting the best product tailored for MX and off-roading, this pair of goggles ticks all the right boxes. Well, what are you waiting for?

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An Experts Advice: How to Buy a Used Motorcycle

An Experts Advice: How to Buy a Used Motorcycle

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

How to Buy a used motorcycle

There is nothing quite like the feeling of purchasing a motorcycle. The anticipation of open roads and adventures can make even the most jaded old biker feel all warm and fuzzy. However, few things in life are as deflating as the realization that you bought the wrong bike. We've pulled together some expert tips that will help your quest and guide you further on how to buy a used motorcycle.

Your new ride does not have to be a lemon to become a disappointment. There are many factors that affect whether a used motorcycle is a good buy or not. We’ll go over those issues as we take you step by step through your next used motorcycle purchase.


Step 1 - Select Your Bike

If you begin your search by scanning a used-bike website, you are sure to find a deal that seems too good to be true. However, even if the bike is as clean as advertised, the odds are slim that said motorcycle will suit your needs. One of the most common mistakes new riders make is purchasing a bike simply because the price is right.

where to buy a used motorcycle

It takes time and dedication to maintain a motorcycle, and those hours go by much more smoothly when you are proud of what you own. That pride only comes with owning a machine that answers your call whenever you need it. Modern street motorcycles fall into different classifications. Dirt bikes are designed for different types of riding. When you are honest about your needs, you can settle on a category that will address most if not all of them.

Pro Tip

Motorcycle models can develop quite devoted followings. Fans of these machines gather on internet forums to ask and answer questions about mechanical issues. Seek out these websites for the model you’ve selected, and search them for common mechanical issues. You’ll discover how often you can expect the model to require service and how difficult it is to perform that service. You may even find PDFs of repair manuals on these websites.

After several regrettable motorcycle purchases, I have learned to make a list of everything I plan to need my next bike to do. I usually have several bikes at one time, so that affects which needs go on the list. Ask yourself questions, such as:

  • Am I going to commute on this bike, and, if so, how far?
  • Will I often carry more than a couple items on this machine?
  • Will I be traveling for more than just day trips?
  • Will this machine ever be used for track days?
  • Will most of the riding be one-up (single rider) or two-up (with a passenger)?
  • How experienced am I really, and how practised are my skills?

Let your list be your own. It will help you whittle your options down to one or two types. From there, you can further isolate your best choices down to a few models. Do your research and look up service and performance specifications for each bike that interests you. Eliminate any bikes from consideration if they do not conform to your list. Remember, any consolations you make to style over your own needs will invariably come back to annoy you for as long as you keep this bike.

Pro Tip

Use the search function on parts websites to look for common replacement parts and check their availability and cost for the machine you are thinking of purchasing. Motorcycles less than 20 years old should have both OEM and aftermarket parts readily available, but not all of them do. Costs often depend on country of origin as well as production runs. If the model lasted only a year or two, you can bet that parts will be hard to find.

Step 2 - Let the Search Begin

Once you’ve reduced your options to a select few, begin looking for any one of them. Search locally to avoid expensive shipping fees. Look in your local classified ads and on websites such as Cycle Trader. Also, check your local dealerships for trade-ins. You may pay more at a bike shop, but you can usually trust that the machine will be in tip-top condition.

As you search, don’t be afraid to expand your model choices. If, for example, you find an ADV from a manufacturer other than your top choice, do not necessarily ignore it. If the bike addresses all of the needs on your list and the deal seems sweet, investigate. You just might find that your assumptions about that other brand were wrong.

Pro Tip

Just because a bike shares a class with your favorite selection, that doesn’t mean both bikes solve the same needs. For example, a KTM EXC500 is an elite dual-sport bike. It’s basically a motocross machine with lights. However, like a true motocross racer, the EXC has top-end service intervals that repeat several times before some its competing dual-sports need their first one. If you want a street-legal motocross bike, it’s hard to beat an EXC. If you’re commuting 30 miles one way, though, there are better options. That’s why you do your research.

One Love

Step 3 - Analyze the Advertisement

To an extent, you can assess the general condition of a used motorcycle through pictures and an honest description. Look out for motorcycles with obvious replacement parts and missing body work. Terms like street fighter are sometimes code for a wrecked motorcycle. Fairings and windscreens are expensive, and a few people will remove these parts to achieve a look, especially when many factory options are available that offer the same style.

Terms like garage-kept, professionally maintained and low mileage indicate that a machine will command a premium price. These claims should all be backed by proof. Indoor storage will be evident (more on that in a moment). Professional maintenance claims should include corroborating paper work, and it is customary to include a picture of the odometer.

Recently installed wear items are time and money savers. Look for things like new tires, new battery, new brake pads, fresh oil and renewed filters. A lack of any of these things is not necessarily a deal breaker, but the cost of the bike should reflect the need to replace these parts. At the very least, replacement of any of these items is a cause to haggle.

Buying a used motorcycle

A Word On Pricing

Motorcycles are almost never as expensive as they are when they are new. Most models fall precipitously in value the moment they leave the dealership. In general, those prices continue to fall for about 20 years, at which point they tend to rise again for well-kept machines. In the US, only unpopular models or abused ones will fall far below the $3000 mark. Expect to pay at least this amount for a never-laid-down bike.

The drop in value of a bike depends greatly on the segment to which it belongs. Cruisers, sport bikes and dual-sport bikes lose approximately 35 percent of their value in year one of ownership. Dirt bikes lose almost half their value in that same time.

Those street bikes continue to lose value each year (in differing increments), with only cruisers retaining half their original value by their fifth year. Sport and dual-sport bikes can retain better than 40 percent of their value in year five, but dirt bikes will be worth only one third of their original cost. These reductions in value reflect the way in which owners typically use these machines. Harder riding means a shorter lifespan for all moving parts, and off-road use is invariably rough on exposed parts.

Ultimately, a bike is only worth what you are willing to pay for it. Websites like Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides can help you get a general idea of what people tend to pay for certain machines. They are free to use, but they are not as reliable for motorcycle values as they are for cars and trucks.

Pro Tip

Insanely low prices should only accompany bikes that need tremendous overhauling. If an operational motorcycle is going for a project-bike price, alarm bells should sound in your head. Having realistic expectations can save you considerable money and headaches.

Step 4 - Set Up An Inspection

Most used-bike purchases go off without a hitch, but worst-case scenarios do occur. Protect yourself from malicious sellers. If the motorcycle is located in an area with which you are unfamiliar, request that the seller meet you during daylight hours in a public location. Inform the seller that you will not bring cash to the initial inspection. You may get a reply such as, “I have other people who are interested.” Respond by saying, “That’s okay. I have other bikes I’m interested in.”

If the seller refuses to meet you in your chosen location, or if you are still uncomfortable, pass on the bike. It’s better to miss out on a great deal than to risk getting into a bad situation. A seller may have more trouble moving a dirt bike to a public location than a street bike, but you should still keep to this rule. The right bike will appear eventually.

Pro Tip

Some local police stations have designated areas for used-vehicle transactions. A store parking lot is another suitable meetup place, but the safest by far is the one provided by police. If your local law enforcement provides this service, seriously consider taking advantage of it.

Step 5 - Kick the Tires

The inspection process should begin with a walkaround. Inspect the bike as you would your own before any ride. Look for safety issues like under-inflated tires and loose body work. Check the oil and brake fluid levels. Both should be clean and neither should smell burnt. Oil that smells of fuel indicates a mechanical failure, likely worn piston rings.

Turn on the ignition and crank the engine. It should start smoothly, without any harsh mechanical noises. If the bike has a temperature gauge, note the reading. The bike should warm up quickly, but it should never be hot. If it was already warm when you arrived, be wary. Some mechanical issues only present themselves when a bike is cold, which can make for hard starting.

Rev the throttle, checking its operation for smoothness. The engine revolutions should rise steadily, without any abruptness. Close the throttle suddenly to ensure a quick fall back to idle. Once you are satisfied with the way the engine runs, shut off the ignition and go over everything again – only much more closely this time.

One Love

Step 6 - Make a Closer Inspection

If the bike was advertised as garage-kept, this is where you’ll find out how valid that statement was. Start with the tires. Inspect them for tread depth, then look at them closely for cracking and checking, which can indicate that the bike has sat idle for an extended time. Check the chain for rust, then check its tension. Roll the bike to inspect several points of the chain. Here's a great guide that will help you to understand how one should care for the motorcycle chain.

Check the condition of the brake lines, then ensure that there is adequate brake pad remaining. There is normally an opening in the caliper that allows you to see the pads. Take a moment to inspect the condition of the forks and fork seals. A film of oil on the surface of the fork tube indicates a cracked seal.

Pro Tip

Small black specks that won’t wipe off the fork tubes are proof that the forks were neglected at some point. The chrome on fork tubes is very thin, and accumulated rust must be removed immediately. Once blisters form on the chrome, the spot becomes permanent. If the blisters are within the travel of the tube through the fork seal, they will cut the seal and cause a leak. Garage-kept bikes rarely ever have this problem, which can only be corrected with renewed fork tubes.

Step 7 - Test Ride

Refusal to allow a test ride should not just give you pause, it should eliminate that bike from consideration. The seller will have the vehicle that brought you to the meeting location as well as your identification, so you won’t be hard to track down if you take off with the bike. Not allowing a test ride is an easy way to hide mechanical issues, some of which must be felt to be diagnosed. Some engine problems only become apparent when a bike is under a load.

That said, we are not going racing. A slow and expert takeoff will let you get accustomed to the clutch, and it should ease the seller’s mind. As you go, shift early and often. Feel for a light click through the gear box. Take the machine up through all its gears and back down again. If you’re thinking this may be the bike you want, be sure to get up to highway speed. Pick up the RPMs and feel for any hiccups in acceleration.

Test ride used motorcycle

Examine the steering carefully. Be sure that the bike turns proportionally to the amount of input you make and that it tracks into curves properly. Also check for solid and noiseless brake operation. You should progressively feel more grab as you gradually squeeze the levers harder. Diving in the front end may indicate worn fork springs, while diving to one side is a sign of a blown fork seal. If you are satisfied with the bike’s condition, return to the meeting location.

Pro Tip

Avoid purchasing the bike if the seller will not allow you to reach highway speeds. A bent frame may only become apparent once the machine reaches a certain speed, which is often more than 50 mph. At whatever speed it occurs, the bent frame will cause a wobble, which only worsens as speeds increase. Eventually, tank slap will occur. This is a deadly condition, and it is one that renders a motorcycle totaled. Only the most unscrupulous seller would try to pass off a bike like this to an unsuspecting buyer, but it happens.

Step 8 - Final Inspection and Offer

Park the bike once more and look around for any changes since you left. Look all around the engine specifically for oil that may have appeared. Allow the engine oil a few minutes to drain into the pan, then check it again. Its color and odor should be unchanged from before. Check all the controls one final time. Turn the handlebars all the way from left to right with the turn signals on, making certain that their rhythm doesn’t alter. Now that you’re satisfied, it’s time to talk cash.

We’re not going to prescribe to you how you should go about discussing your finances, but you should make an honest assessment of the asking price and the motorcycle. If the price is at or near book value, you should expect reasonably low miles (less than 3000 miles per year of life), a track record of professional services, and lifetime indoor storage. A lack of any of those things, or the need to replace wear items, tells you it’s time to negotiate.

Pro Tip

To ensure a garage-kept bike has actually been kept in a garage, inspect a place on the machine that people rarely clean. For example, pop off the seat and inspect the area beneath. Look for a semi-exposed bit of frame and feel underneath it. Check your fingers for the telltale dirt and grime that only seems to accumulate outdoors. Also, look for any signs of rust on any exposed metal or insect nests. Those things won’t normally occur on a bike kept indoors.

How to buy a used motorcycle

Step 9 - Make the Purchase

Know the laws in your state regarding vehicle sales. You should at the very least receive a bill of sale and a signed title. Most states require the sale documents to be notarized, but sometimes that responsibility falls only on the buyer. The seller will likely insist on cash, which is fine. Just be sure to make the transaction in a safe location. And do record your buying price honestly. Any money you save in taxes won’t be worth the fraud charge for fudging the selling price.

Pro Tip

If money is an issue and you wish to avoid paying for collision and comprehensive insurance, pay the bike off in cash immediately. Rather than save up the money, I prefer to take out a signature loan at my local bank. These loans usually cannot exceed $4000, so you will be limited on the bikes you can purchase. On the plus side, they are unsecured loans. With interest, the note is around $100 per month, and there is no insurance requirement. I have used this method to purchase several used motorcycles and to improve my credit simultaneously.

Conclusion

Rip-offs and robberies are not common. The real danger in buying a used motorcycle is usually more in the likelihood of developing buyer’s remorse, which typically results from buying the wrong bike. So, take as much care in the early stages of your purchase as you do in the actual inspection process. Be absolutely certain your target bike will be one that does the things you need your bike to do, and you will never regret having to remove road grime from her surfaces or make necessary repairs. You can also go one step further and put yourself in the seller's shoes - he or should would very likely have cleaned all the potential problem areas making your inspection a bit more difficult.

There we have it. Our step by step guide on how to buy a used motorcycle. For those with their minds still not settled, check out the following video for extra tips on how to spot that lemon:

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Trinity Mt3 Trailer Review

Trinity Mt3 Trailer Review

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

trinity mt3 trailer for sale

It’s time to talk trailers. There are a few ways of getting your baby from point A to B. In this post we take a deeper look into one of the best trailer's on the market, stick around and find out what makes our top choice in this Trinity MT3 Trailer review.

As the weather begins to warm up across the country, it’s increasingly tempting to hop on our bikes and set off on an adventure under sunny skies. That fresh spring fragrance, clean roads that are free of ice, a warm breeze that won’t freeze your fingers… we can’t wait! For those who are lucky enough to live in a place that’s warm year-round, well, give us our moment.

But regardless of where you live, spring and the coming summer season herald a time of off-road circuits, breakfast runs and of course, summer vacation. While these activities don’t necessarily require a trailer, having one makes things much easier. It’s not always convenient or practical to ride your motorcycle everywhere but with a sturdy trailer like the Trinity MT3 motorcycle trailer, you don’t have to worry about that.


Why Buy a Trailer?

If you think about it, a trailer makes a lot of sense. You might be heading off on holiday with your family, pets and baggage included. It certainly wouldn’t be feasible to pack everyone and everything on a few motorcycles and hit the road. With a trailer, you can drive with your family in the car and your motorcycle can tag along silently behind you – there’s no need to sacrifice your leisurely riding time or your family’s comfort.

Trailers are also an ideal solution for things like transporting more than one bike at a time. Off-road enthusiasts often transport their bikes to the start of off-road trails and a trailer makes this so easy to do. A double or triple trailer like the Trinity MT3 means you can share the costs with friends and load the bikes together. This encourages shared transportation to the starting point and definitely adds to the experience of enjoying the value of community and fellowship with other motorcycle fans. Although trailers are a convenient method of transportation there are potential risk's involved that you should be aware of so make sure your safety checks are in place.

Trinity MT 3 Trailer Review

Trinity MT3 Trailer Trinity MT3 3 RaTrailer

As convenient as motorcycle trailers are, they usually require a significant financial commitment. You can always shop around for a budget option but you get what you pay for – cheaper trailer models will surely compromise on quality features. That’s not the case with this Trinity trailer. It’s affordable and you really feel that you get your money’s worth with its great features that aren’t always included in other models.

The Trinity, like its namesake, can take up to three motorcycles at a time and can handle a combined weight of up to 2000 lb. Putting your motorcycle on a trailer – your sweet baby, your precious set of wheels – is no small feat. You want your trailer to be safe and secure, whether loading one or more motorcycles. It needs to be sturdy and versatile enough to hold any kind of bike, from cruisers and dirt bikes to your Harley and touring bike. This is where the Trinity MT3 trailer comes in: the trailer rails are detachable and can be moved around to fit various motorcycles or even to carry gear.

trinity mt3 trailer for sale

Features and Benefits

Quality materials: The Trinity MT3 motorcycle trailer is constructed of rust-resistant steel, perfect for every weather condition. Aluminum tread plating helps ensure that the platform can bear a large load. The wheels are also aluminium, which makes them lighter than steel without limiting important factors such as traction. Aluminum wheels usually cost extra to add to a trailer but the Trinity MT3 includes them right from the start.

Easy to handle: The trailer is great both in terms of handling your motorcycle well and in the sense of being easy for you to manage. The Trinity moves smoothly and rests on a torsion axle that keeps it steady and responsive to controls. The trailer is lightweight enough to manoeuvre on the road – and off the road as well.

The empty trailer can be moved around easily and stored in your garage without extra effort. The tailgate can be folded on the trailer deck to take up less space and the trailer is strong enough to be used as a storing platform for things such as your working tools and other household items. Wide rails and integrated chocks make it easy for even a single person to load motorcycles onto the trailer without assistance. The centre rail can take a bike measuring up to 105”, while the side rails have a maximum length of 97”.

trinity 3 rail motorcycle trailer mt3

Adaptable: The trailer rails can be removed quite easily. The Trinity MT3 measure 5’ x 7’ when the rails are removed and can thus be used as a multi-purpose utility vehicle for transporting items other than a bike.

There are a few questions to ask when considering the purchase of a motorcycle trailer. Your intended use, the size and weight of your bike/bikes, and your ability to load the bike onto the trailer by yourself are important to take into account. The Trinity MT3 motorcycle trailer can answer all of these questions, regardless of the requirements you might have. It definitely gets our stamp of approval for one of the best trailer options available today.

An excellent all round trailer - the rails can be removed to customize for your situation and even convert to a general purpose utility trailer

  • Easy to store
  • 13” inch aluminum wheels
  • Radial tires
  • Attachable loading ramp
  • Wide-channel rails and integrated chocks
  • Versatile
  • Safety chains are cables with loops
  • Not reflective

Trinity MT 3 Trailer Alternatives

Mx South Drop Tail Trailer

drop tail trailer drop tail motorcycle trailer

This trailer is a good option if you have space limitations and need to store it in the upright position, which is a feature that the Trinity does not. The drop tail system on the trailer is convenient and easy to work with, while the auto lock feature ensures that motorcycles are kept in place even throughout bumpy rides. It’s a bit heavier and more expensive than the Trinity MT3 model but is another convenient multi-purpose trailer that can fit up to two bikes or an all-terrain/utility vehicle.


Goplus 600 Lbs Motorcycle Carrier

Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier goplus 600

I'm sure you've heard a story from a friend who has an uncle who know's a guy that claims motorcycle carriers are not safe... Well, just to set the record straight, motorcycle carriers are perfectly safe as long as you follow the guidelines and limitations. That being said, this model differs significantly from the Trinity model: it has a maximum load of 600 lbs. and can only handle a single motorcycle. Like the Trinity MT3, it’s composed of stainless steel and has a stabilizing wheel chock. Additional release locks help secure the bike for bumpy rides and the trailer attaches easily to your vehicle. The Goplus trailer is a great option if you are just starting out with motorcycling and don’t have the biggest budget left after purchasing all your awesome riding gear.


Black Widow MCC-600

Black Widow MCC-600 black widow motorcycle trailer

Another trailer with a one bike capacity, the Black Widow MCC-600 trailer is ideal for off-road, cruiser and sports bikes. In comparison to the MT3, it takes a load of up to only 600 lbs. but comes at a much lighter price. This is a good mid-range option that might require some DIY skills for assembly and installation. A reverse anti-tilt bracket, seven-position adjustable wheel chock and heavy duty steel make it a sturdy bike trailer.


Conclusion

As you can see, there are other options available on the market depending on your requirements. As far as larger trailers go, the Trinity MT3 motorcycle trailer is our top choice for carrying more than one motorcycle. Its multi-purpose features – it can even carry an ATV when the rails are removed – make it an attractive piece of equipment that is sturdy, strong and easy to use. The price is fair for high-quality features such as aluminium wheels, integrated chocks and radial tires. Find out more about the Trinity MT3 features here and let us know what you think about this Trinity MT3 trailer review by commenting below.

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Motorcycle Crashes & Helmet Safety

Motorcycle Crashes & Helmet Safety

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

Motorcycle Helmet Safety

It might seem like a lackluster topic but we’ve done our very best to bring you an interesting overview of everything you need to know about motorcycle helmet safety. After all, the information is relevant to your safety and pertinent to every single ride you take on your motorcycle.

The history of helmets and the creation of helmet safety standards over the years will really make you value the effort that has been put into the seemingly simple piece of gear that you casually slide over your head before racing off.


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The History of Motorcycle Helmets

Let's take a look at the history of the Motorcycle Helmet:

Way Back When

In order to fully understand the development of motorcycle helmets over the years we need to travel back in time, in fact all the way back to the 1900s. This was the age of simplistic gear made from quality leather – you know the look. It’s what many today would refer to as ‘vintage’. In fact, the retro leather headgear style is being revived with modern-day options like a Vintage Leather Motorcycle Helmet, complete with goggles and ear mufflers.

Although helmets certainly weren’t a requirement back then, they were worn primarily to keep hair out of the eyes while riding and of course were a stylish accessory. But if we have to be honest, these leather helmets didn’t offer much in terms of protection and concussions were a regular part of any rider’s life.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

Lawrence of Arabia

You might have heard about Lawrence of Arabia. It’s an older film from 1962 that fantastically portrays the story of British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence and his role in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the World War 1. Now you’re probably sitting there and wondering what the heck this has to do with motorcycle helmets.

In 1935, Lawrence of Arabia’s life came to a tragic end when he fell off his motorcycle and sustained serious head injuries that proved to be fatal following a six-day coma. He was not sporting a vintage leather headpiece and wore only goggles. His death was a turning point in history and the events of his crash encouraged his primary physician Hugh Cairns to publish the medical report “Head Injuries in Motorcyclists. The importance of the crash helmet” (yes, this is the original 1935 report!)

Lawrence of Arabia on a Motorcycle

Cairns eventually persuaded the British government to make safety helmets mandatory for military riders – Lawrence had suffered the same fate as many military messengers who died while racing back and forth with important information, all sans helmets. Soon after, wearing a helmet became civil law in the United Kingdom and from there spread across the world.

The Evolution of Motorcycle Helmets

The first helmets barely resembled the ones that are popular today. The 1950s saw the creation of helmets akin to the shape of a pudding bowl: a rounded shell with slight ear coverings. Although these helmets were made from a fiberglass shell with cork lining and even had a chin strap, there was no protection for the eyes and riders were left exposed to the dangers of frontal impact.

DOT Helmet Safety Standards

In 1966, the United States introduced the Highway Safety Act requiring all states to have mandatory helmet laws. By 1975, all states had implemented laws requiring riders to wear helmets except for California.

By this time in the mid-1970s, full-faced helmets that included eye protection had become the norm. Helmet composition materials were increasingly better quality and safety standards had been introduced by the US Department of Transportation. Helmets were proving increasingly effective in saving lives. Motorcycle fatality rates were as much as 40% lower with the introduction of universal helmet laws but sadly, this all changed.

The mandatory laws that had proved so successful in lowering death rates as a cause of motorcycle accidents was revoked following widespread appeals. Today, motorcycle helmet laws exist in less than half of the fifty states with many states having laws directed only at younger riders – and this despite the great developments that have made motorcycle helmets not only aerodynamic and comfortable to wear, but also cool-looking and absolutely essential for providing protection in collisions. You can also read about the latest state laws regarding motorcycle helmet use.

The Different Helmet Safety Standards

Motorcycle safety standards for states where laws do exist are commonly denoted on the helmet by a sticker that is visible at the time of purchase. Different standards of motorcycle helmet safety have been developed and it is important to understand the key differences and resulting implications of each. The requirements heavily influence the design of the various motorcycle helmets. Here’s what you need to know:

The Basics

Typical modern motorcycle helmets share six basic components:

  • Rigid outer shell
  • An inner liner that is thick and soft to absorb impact
  • Padding
  • Visor/face shield
  • Ventilation system
  • Retention system (chin strap, double-D ring snap, etc.)

Motorcycle helmet standards generally evaluate features including ventilation, weight, fit, appearance, comfort and safety, with the aim of creating headgear that can withstand the highest number of potential accident scenarios. In short, the helmet standards conduct different tests to measure liner velocity and G-force by sliding the helmet down a rail where it strikes an anvil – but more about the testing standards later. For reference, you can check the safety standards of your helmet by inputting the relevant information on the helmetcheck.org site.

DOT

DOT helmet standard

DOT is an acronym for Department of Transport and is the helmet safety standard approved by the United States government. DOT standards are especially strict when it comes to the helmet’s retention system, field of vision and penetration resistance. The DOT standards were most recently updated in 1988. The DOT safety standard carries out randomized helmet testing carried through individual contractors; thus, helmet manufacturers are trusted to carry out the test and certify helmets on their own.

It is the only standard that does not test for visor standards while both SNELL and ECE perform penetration tests on the visor. The official DOT guidelines for the latest safety standard FMVSS No. 218 are available online for anyone to peruse.

SNELL

Snell helmet standard

As with Lawrence of Arabia’s death that prompted the implementation of helmet laws in the UK, the death of William “Pete” Snell led to the creation of the Snell safety standards. Snell died in an accident in 1956 when his helmet did not offer sufficient protection against the crash. Following his death, the non-profit Snell Memorial Foundation established the first safety standards for helmets. The SNELL standard has since been renewed several times, with the most recent safety rating being the Snell M2015 standard. The Snell testing standard is voluntary and thus often results in a higher retail price for SNELL-certified helmets.

Snell safety standards focus on features such as stability, ease of removal in emergency and low energy transfer in high impact situations. It is the only safety standard where helmet technicians examine internal helmet components for weakness and test for the weakest point of a helmet through individual inspection of each model. It is also the only standard to test for ease of helmet removal. Watch the Snell Memorial Foundation’s helmet standards video to see why they matter and for more background information.

ECE R22-05

ECE helmet standard

This standard is more international and required by over 50 countries worldwide. ECE safety standards focus primarily on the optical quality of face shields and shell rigidity. However, these standards are generally tested at motorcycle crash speeds that are much lower than in the US as the average driving speed in Europe is much slower – this is a key difference that reflects in the testing method, in which the anvil used for testing exerts much less energy on impact.

The ECE standard is the only one to test for reflective illumination, chin strap abrasion and inadvertent release of retention systems. It does not have a penetration test, while both SNELL and DOT standards require strict penetration tests.

SHARP

Sharp helmet standard

(Safety Helmet Assessment Rating Program) is the new kid on the block. This safety standard does not certify helmets but rather assigns star ratings to helmets that have already passed ECE certification. It is meant to serve as a rating enhancement and indicates a helmet’s ability to manage energy levels under impact. SHARP safety standards are applicable to European helmet models and while being useful, they should not be the sole determining factor if you are purchasing a helmet in the United States.

Helmet Manufacturing Processes

The DOT, SNELL and ECE certifications share similar common standards:

  • Peripheral vision from mid-line must be at least 105 degrees. ECE specifies an additional downward angle of not less than 45 degrees, while SNELL requires a minimum 30 degree downward angle.
  • SNELL- and ECE-approved helmets require maximum peak acceleration energy of 275 g’s while DOT has a 400 g’s maximum. SNELL specifies 264 g’s and 243 g’s for size M and O helmets respectively.
  • DOT, SNELL and ECE safety standards require cold, hot and rain/wet impact tests with each specifying different temperatures and exposure times.

Many helmet manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that at least one of the various helmet safety standards are met and often exceeded. This ‘how it’s made’ video provides a nice overview of the typical helmet manufacturing process. Here are the manufacturing processes of companies that deliver high-quality helmets ascribing to either of the three standards or in some cases, all three as well as SHARP ratings:

After this labor-intensive step, liners and cheek pads are inserted using 3D shaping technology to ensure the best fit and ultimate protection for riders. The helmet goes through a final assembly step to ensure that ventilation shields, EPS liners and interiors are perfectly inserted to comply with quality control standards. Take a closer look at the and the role it plays during the painting process for more information.

Case Example: Mt Helmets

MT Helmets is an internationally renowned motorcycle helmet manufacturer launched in 1968. The Spanish company operates in more than 95 countries today and helmets are DOT and SNELL certified, ECE approved and rated 4- or 5-stars according to the SHARP rating scale. The manufacturing process is extensive and highly detailed to ensure continuous quality helmet production.

The manufacturing process begins with injecting shell moldings. MT helmets use a variety of materials across the different helmet ranges including carbon fiber, tri-composite, thermoplastic and polycarbonate materials. Next, the logo and outer design processes are done although these vary between models.

Inner foam padding is laser-cut to ensure a contoured fit and anti-allergic inner fabrics are inserted for optimal comfort. Ventilation openings and visors are attached last - there are openings for both air input and air extraction, and the visor has a Pinlock® insert to absorb moisture and prevent fogging. Take a look at the 2018 MT Helmet catalogue to find out more about the materials and designs of specific helmets.

Case Example: HJC Helmets

HJC is another popular brand that produces DOT- and SNELL-certified helmets for the American market. The company originated in Seoul, Korea and has been manufacturing helmets since 1971. A bit of fun information for the next motorcycle pub quiz you attend – they are the official licensed retailer for Marvel and Star Wars merchandise-themed helmets.

The HJC helmet manufacturing process starts at the R & D building where helmets are designed and prototyped using auto-CAD and 3-D modelling. From here, prototypes are optimized for production until designs are approved and sent to the factory production line. HJC has their own ‘wind tunnel lab’ that allows for prototype helmets to be tested at high speeds. This allows engineers to optimize helmets for stability, minimum vibration and tolerable noise levels at varying angles.

Composition materials are placed over helmet molds to be shaped into mostly fiberglass shells through alternating heating and cooling processes. From here, raw shells are sent to the painting area where they are primed and painted. Deformities are corrected and graphics are added once the paint is dried.

Clear coats are applied as a finish and helmets are checked individually for uniformity and rigidity. EPS liners are then installed, as well as internal visors, interior padding and face shields. Final inspection is done and the helmets are eventually boxed and shipped off to their respective new owners. Phew, hard work! You can also read more about the detailed process and see photos of the HJC manufacturing plant.

Case Example: SHOEI Helmets

SHOEI is a premium Japanese motorcycle brand founded in 1959 that produces SNELL and DOT standard safety helmets. The sophisticated handmade manufacturing process of SHOEI helmets involves more than 50 people for every helmet. The manufacturing process begins with shell molding to produce a lightweight shell that is strong yet elastic.

Laser cutting is used to shape helmets and create optimal eye and ventilation openings. Helmets are inspected throughout the various processes to ensure that weight and material thickness standards are met. The painting and graphics application process is impressive: decals are hand-applied and a minimum of five paint layers are applied before further processes take place! Doesn’t that make you feel special?

After this labor-intensive step, liners and cheek pads are inserted using 3D shaping technology to ensure the best fit and ultimate protection for riders. The helmet goes through a final assembly step to ensure that ventilation shields, EPS liners and interiors are perfectly inserted to comply with quality control standards. Take a closer look at the Shoei helmets production quality and the role it plays during the painting process for more information.

Helmet Testing Procedures

The DOT, SNELL and ECE helmet safety standards again share some similarities in the testing process. Helmets are fitted with a headform and impact attenuation is tested by dropping helmets onto a rigid surface in the shape of an anvil at different velocities. The shock that is transmitted through the helmet is then measured to determine impact absorption and headform deceleration. There are also penetration, retention and peripheral vision tests carried out to determine visor safety, field of view and inner material composition safety. However, there are also stark differences that must be noted between the various tests.

The DOT FMVSS 218 safety standards are strict and among the most rigorous impact testing standards available. Helmets are tested using a hemispherical anvil and must be able to withstand two strikes in each of four helmet locations. However, there is no governing body to ensure that helmets are tested according to standards. Independent manufacturers and contractors randomly test helmets and hope to pick up major defects through this testing process.

ECE helmets must be tested by an independent lab before they can be put on sale with an ECE-certified sticker. Helmets are tested against anvils using eight different headforms to accommodate a wide range of variables and safety features. However, ECE tests are carried out using a smooth anvil known as a curbstone. This type of anvil delivers a lower energy blow than other anvils used to test SNELL- and DOT-approved helmets. ECE safety standards also require helmets to be tested only at fixed points, while DOT and SNELL testing states that helmets can be struck at any point within a range to test safety and rigidity. All of the best motocross helmets are at minimum DOT and ECE approved.

SNELL M2015 uses perhaps the most forceful anvil for testing (an edge anvil) in addition to flat and hemispherical anvils, while demanding a low 275 g maximum energy transfer after two blows for each anvil. This testing is optimized for high impact situations such as racing and SNELL-approved helmets often undergo a deconstruction process to ensure that internal liners and other components are strong and durable. Snell-approved helmets have a standard positional stability test to ensure helmet stability during impact – it is the only standard to carry out this test. Due to the voluntary nature of SNELL testing, helmets that are SNELL-approved will often cost significantly more than other helmets.

SHARP standards use color-coded zones to indicate safety ratings for five different impact points on a helmet. Star ratings are applied to determine overall safety and a helmet’s ability to deflect the energy force of impact. However, there is some controversy over the fact that the curbstone and flat anvils used to simulate energy levels in testing are lower than those of the anvils used for DOT and SNELL testing. The SHARP crash helmet testing video can be viewed for some visuals.

Read more about the technical specifications and methods of helmet testing here.

Which is the Safest Helmet to Buy?

How to Identify a Safe Helmet

Unfortunately, certification stickers are easy to attach to helmets that haven’t been put through a helmet safety standard test and fake certified helmets are widely available. However, there are a two major things to look out for that will ensure a helmet has truly been certified:

  • Weight: non-certified helmets will typically weigh less than 3 pounds
  • Labelling: helmets that have been certified will have labelling on the interior

The Safest Helmet

Firstly, it’s safe to say that wearing a safety approved helmet – be it DOT, SNELL or ECE certified – already puts you at a significantly lower risk of injury than riding without one. Data from the 2016 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety fatality statistics shows that in states where no helmet use law was instituted, 72% of riders that were fatally injured were not wearing a helmet.

Information from the 2015 Governors Highway Safety Association data indicates that motorcycle fatality rate is 26 times higher than that of passenger vehicles. Putting it simply: you can’t afford to go riding without a helmet! One of the primary risk factors identified in motorcycle fatalities is the lack of helmet use, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration facts from 2008 stating that helmets decrease the risk of dying in a crash by as much as 37%.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the best helmet safety standard with many accusations that none of these tests are able to duplicate real-world scenarios to the fullest. SNELL helmets are often regarded as too rigid for low impact accidents, while DOT certifications are doubtful since not every batch of helmets is tested. ECE-certified helmets are thought to be weaker as they are tested only at fixed points, making the test easy to dupe by reinforcing said points.

A helmet that is SNELL, DOT and ECE approved with a SHARP 4- or 5-star rating is the safest helmet you can buy by all standards – some brands that produce helmets with multiple safety standard certifications for sale in the United States include Shoei, Bell, Nolan, Shark and HJC. A full-face helmet is the safest choice and aspects such as ventilation, noise cancellation, weight and interior components should be considered when selecting the safest helmet for your head size. Helmet fit is also imperative when purchasing the safest helmet. You might even be surprised to hear that many bluetooth motorcycle helmets meet all the above criteria and we've put together a great review of the best bluetooth motorcycle helmets. If you already have a safety certified helmet, you can still add the bluetooth option with a set of helmet speakers without affecting the safety of your helmet.

Helmet Sizing and Fit

As mentioned, helmet sizing and fit is essential to ensuring that the helmet you choose is safe for your specific requirements. A helmet that is too large or loose will come off in an accident, while helmets that are too tight could make it difficult to remove in case of emergency. Heads are like fingerprints; unique in size and shape. To determine the size of your head for helmet fitting, measure from above the eyebrows and around the head, fitting the measuring tape around the furthest point at the back of the head.

If you fall between sizes, rather opt for the larger size. Always check for helmet measurements and size equivalents as helmet sizes often differ between models and brands. A helmet should not be able to move around on your head and should sit squarely. The helmet should fit snugly but not too tight, with no visible gaps at the top, sides or bottom. A helmet should sit as tightly as comfortable when bought as it will loosen up over time.

The chin strap should be tight enough that only two fingers can fit between the strap and head. Test the chin strap by looking down towards your chest and checking if the back of the helmet can be moved upwards. Press on the chin piece to make sure that the helmet and face shield will not touch your nose or chin at high speeds. Red spots on your forehead and head pain are a good indication that the helmet is not the right fit for your head size and shape. If you still aren’t sure that you’re fitting the helmet correctly, check this.

Conclusion

We hope that by this time, we’ve convinced you of the absolute dire need to wear a certified motorcycle helmet at all times while riding! Although the various safety standard tests share similarities and also have differences, it’s safe to say that the tests are a good indication of motorcycle helmet safety. Fake certified helmets are a danger to your protection while riding and certainly aren’t worth the cheaper price you might pay – make an investment in a proper helmet that will decrease the likelihood of fatal injuries. Have a look at our guide to great helmets here. For more facts and figures regarding the success of helmet safety, check out the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety page and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection website.

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Motorcycle Chain Lube – the Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Your Chain

Motorcycle Chain Lube - the Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Your Chain

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

motorcycle chain lube

It can be a messy chore but learning how to clean, lubricate, and maintain your motorcycle chain, will save you future time and money. This is why I want to share my knowledge on how to love your bike with motorcycle chain lube.


The sole purpose in life for a motorcycle chain is to take power from the engine and deliver it to the back wheel. It does its job incredibly well, and without it, all you have is a very expensive and cumbersome rocking horse.

how to clean a motorcycle chain

Back in the days of the dinosaur, final drive for motorized bicycles was a leather belt. This idea was borrowed from the industrial manufacturing equipment of the era and was fine for foot-traffic type speeds.

chain lube

The moment motorcycles began to get faster the chain became essential equipment. It didn't slip, stretch or snap like its predecessor, and the leather belt went back to holding up trousers.

Today, chain drive is the most popular type of final drive system in the world for two reasons. Firstly, under normal circumstances, a chain is pretty much indestructible, and secondly, compared to shaft and Kevlar belt, it's cheap as chips.

bike chain oil

There is another reason too, concerning the amount of power lost in the transfer of energy from the engine to the wheel. A chain transfers around 97% of its payload, making it by far the most efficient type of final drive you can get.

Before you go trading in your BMW though, like everything in life there's a downside, and that is, chains can be messy as hell and need regular maintenance.

In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at the humble motorcycle chain and the reasons and methods of keeping it in A1 condition. Here's a quick breakdown of our running order.

Estimates show that the average Joe is so unenthusiastic about lubing their chain regularly - sadly they get only a third of the mileage of a lubed chain's capability.

The History and Engineering Behind the Drive Chain

As to who invented the world’s favorite final drive; the jury’s out. Traditionalists say Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century sketches clearly show the design for a roller chain.

motorcycle chain oiler

On the other hand, industrialists gave the honor to Hans Renold in 1880. His company is now one of the most well-known chain manufacturers in the world, so I'd say we have a winner.

You've got three types of roller chain:

The first is the non-lubricated, everyday bicycle or scooter chain. The design of this chain hasn't altered for over a century and its uses, include all types of low-power transfer applications.

Second is the O ring chain, as the name suggests, this has a rubber O ring placed in between the inner and outer plates of every link. At the manufacturing stage, grease is vacuum packed inside, the two parts compressed, and the rivets peened over. This process makes the O rings spread, trapping the grease inside.

This type of chain gives vastly superior wear performance over the standard version. The increased tensile strength and high-speed capability make it ideal for motorcycles.

Compared to the common roller chain, it's light years ahead, but the O ring isn't infallible. The tiny seals can keep the grease in and perhaps more importantly, keep dirt, grit, and crud out, but they need work to keep them in top-notch condition.

As good as the O ring is, it's always possible to enhance the design, hence the arrival of the X ring. As with the O ring, this places a rubber seal in between the plates, but yes, you guessed it, it’s X- shaped.

motorcycle chain oiler

This X- shaped seal dramatically reduces the friction caused by the O ring, by significantly lessening the contact area between the plate and seal. Less friction equates to higher performance, which is why owners of top-shelf sports bikes tend to favor it.

The X-ring is not without its particular problems, as it requires more frequent maintenance and the seals are prone to corrosion from solvents.

Interesting Chain Fact

The Harrier Jump Jet, the world's only successful vertical takeoff and landing jet fighter, uses motorcycle drive chain. To enable that incredible vertical capability, twin vector thrust nozzles in the front and back of the plane have to work in exact unison. What did they use on the $24m dollar jet to synchronize them? Yup, 50 bucks worth of bike chain. (Source)

Why You Need to Keep it Clean and How

Contrary to popular belief, buying an O or X-ring chain does not exempt you from lubing your chain. Before we even reach that stage though, if you want to get the max from your final drive, you have to clean it regularly.

Due to their location, chains pick up all kinds of nasty crud off the road, and the finer particles can find their way into the moving parts and act like grinding paste.

Now technically, this doesn't happen so much with an O or X-ring chain, but it's still a good idea to clean your chain. Forget scratching down your favorite back road, even on your regular commute. Chains get hot, and excess heat is the enemy of moving parts. A serious build-up of road grime (especially in the winter) can hinder heat dissipation and contribute to wear.

When I suggest you ‘regularly clean it' I don't mean every other weekend. Adding it to your maintenance regime whenever you do an oil change is about right if you're on a road bike. If you constantly hit the motocross track or enjoy the longer and dirtier enduro rides your chain maintenance would likely fall into your post ride cleaning routine. Although it sounds like a straightforward job, there are a couple of real big NO-NO's to observe.

Never do anything relating to your chain with the engine running. Sounds obvious, huh, type ‘fingers caught in motorcycle chain’ into your search engine, then put the ignition key on the workbench!

The second on our ‘Don't do It' list concerns the use of cleaning fluid. Using gasoline, acetone or anything similar will degrade your seals, allowing the liquid to get behind them and dissolve the packed in grease.

Either use a specific chain cleaning fluid or kerosene and give the chain a good soaking. There are several useful chain cleaning tools on the market, and these will allow you to keep your fingers clear, scrubbing the chain as you rotate the back wheel by hand.

Chain Care Quick Guide

Step 1

Get your gear ready. This step includes cleaning fluid, brush or chain cleaning tool, clean rags, and motorcycle chain lube.

Step 2

Get the back wheel off the ground, either by its center stand or using a jack. Do not put the bike on the side stand and lean it over towards you. I’ve seen this done on the dirt and I’ve even helped someone change a tire doing it. It’s not advisable unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Get this maneuver wrong, and you'll have a few hundred pounds of bike giving you a lap dance.

Step 3

Give the chain a good dousing with cleaning fluid and scrub the bejesus out of it with a brush or chain-cleaning tool. If you’ve got a dirt bike with a non-sealed chain, get the pressure washer on it. Just remember though, to put a bung in the silencer. A pressure washer is not advisable on road bikes, not so much because of the chain, but because the electrics aren’t as robust and waterproofed as that of a dirt bike.

best chain lubricant

Step 4

Clean the chain by holding a rag around the bottom chain run and slowly rotate the back wheel, so the chain moves away from you.

Step 5

Lube that sucker. If yours is a non-sealed chain, then lube it. If you’re running an O or X, concentrate the lube towards the inner and outer plates of the link. In both cases, don't overdo it and on your first post-lube ride, check your tire for ‘fling.'

bike chain lubricant

The Great Debate - Wd-40

best chain lube

No chain cleaning article would be complete without dipping into the WD40 debate. Some say it’s the best thing since rear suspension, while others say its devil's spittle that will rot your O rings.

Here's the bottom line, chain seal manufacturers use a type of rubber called Buna-N. Buna-N is a nitrile rubber, which is resistant to aromatic hydrocarbons, namely oil and grease, etc. Guess what the main constituents of WD40 are? Yup, that's right, aromatic hydrocarbons. So yes, you can use it to clean your chain, no, it won't rot your O rings, but my advice is, don't use it as your only lubricant.

Just in case you think I've got shares in the company; a gallon of WD40 is around $25, a gallon of kerosene and a squirt bottle comes to about $3.50!

Anyway, back to business, when the chain looks gunge free, dry it off thoroughly by running it slowly through a clean rag. Always hold the cloth around the bottom run of chain and rotate the back wheel slowly clockwise, (for left side chain drive) to avoid pulling your fingers into the sprocket.

If you think this is a bit too much like hard work, consider this. For lubricant to stick correctly, it needs a clean, dry chain. A clean well-lubed chain will last approximately three times longer than its unloved counterpart; it’s as simple as that. So you can see why getting your hands on some motorcycle chain lube is a must.

Time for a Check Up

When cleaning your chain, it's also the best time to check that everything is in working condition. Dirty sprockets hide all manner of horror stories. Ranging from chipped teeth from taking in a stone, hooked teeth from too much right hand, or just badly worn teeth due to a cheap ass aftermarket sprocket.

Make sure you carefully inspect the chain for signs of excessive wear too. Your owner’s manual (or chain manufacturer's literature) should give you specific instructions on what to look for wear and tear wise.

This procedure usually involves, measuring a set number of links and if the measurement exceeds the recommended length, then the chain has stretched and should be replaced.

Don't panic if you haven't got either of the above, as with everything to do with your bike, there's an old-school way to do everything. So, go to the back of your bike, and grab hold of the chain at approximately three o'clock. That’s the position on the sprocket by the way, not halfway through the afternoon!

Try pulling the chain away from the sprocket, if it moves enough to expose approximately half a tooth, then its time to wave goodbye. There is another method which involves removing the chain altogether and holding it with the rivets/rollers facing up and seeing how much the chain curves, but maybe this one's a bit too old-school.

Take note; if you ignore a severely slack or worn chain, you are risking it jumping a cog or worse case scenario, jumping the sprocket altogether. The former will chew up the teeth while the latter will lock your back wheel, causing all manner of mayhem.

Why You Need to Lube Your Chain

Once again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but the whole point of this article is to give you the reasons behind the everyday things we take for granted. By doing this, we get out of the ‘I can't be bothered,' mentality because it's important to understand the point of the task.

The basic roller chain has five components:

The outer plate (1), the inner plate (2), Pin (3), Bushing (4) and Roller (5)

motorcycle chain lubricant

As is typical with moving metal parts, friction causes heat and heat results in expansion. So if friction is the enemy, then lubrication is our best friend.

If you think spraying grease through a tiny tube is messy work, then spare a thought for your biking predecessors. The best way to lube your chain in the bad old days involved removing it from the bike, heating up a tin of solid grease until liquid, and immersing the chain. It was dangerous, smelly and very messy.

Whether you spray it or boil it though, the result is the same. Lubricant creates a protective barrier that helps prolong the shelf life of your chain considerably in several different ways.

Firstly, it reduces friction between the moving parts; this lessens wear, which in turn lowers operating temperatures. It also prevents surface corrosion and lastly, helps keep out contaminants. By contaminant, we mean the 101 different kinds of crud kicked up from the road that tries to get in-between the moving parts.

So from all of the above, you can see just how vital that tin of squirty goo really is. Now I know what you're going to say, ‘if I go to the expense of buying an O or X-ring chain which has the grease already sealed in, I can forget lubing, right?’

That's a good question, and many bikers think they don't need to, but they’d be wrong. The seal, be it O, X or any other letter of the alphabet, only seals grease into the pins. That still leaves the inner and outer plates, plus the rollers that need lubricating.

How to Lubricate Your Chain

Get your back wheel in the air, just high enough to spin the wheel. If you can't, you'll just have to move your bike forward a foot at a time.

We've already looked at the ins and outs of cleaning your chain - so having done that the best way to lube it is after a run around the block. Once again, this isn’t cast in stone, but a warm chain lets the lube really get into the nooks and crannies.

Rotating the wheel slowly by hand counterclockwise (remember the trapped finger thing!) spray the motorcycle chain lube onto the lower chain run. Moving the wheel c/clockwise means the lubed part of the chain wraps around the sprocket helping push it right in.

Auto Chain Lubing Devices

These are ingenious devices that attach to the back end of your bike and take care of all your lubing requirements, by drip-feeding oil directly on to the chain as you ride.

A quick search of the web will rapidly establish just how effective auto chain lubes are, apparently extending the life of your chain dramatically. Just bear in mind that the evidence for this mostly comes from auto lube device manufacturers, so as with everything in life, read up then make up your own mind.

That Covers it

And that, fellow bikers, is that. We've covered the reasons behind cleaning and lubricating your chain and the methods of carrying it out. None of it is rocket science, but you do need to take care, be methodical and get all your kit ready before you begin. Yeah ok, it can be a bit messy but embrace the suck, don't forget, a correctly lubed chain is a happy chain, so enjoy.

As with all our articles, if we’ve missed anything out, you want to tell us we’re great, or even give us a verbal slappin’ or if you've found another type of motorcycle chain lube you think we should test, the comment section awaits.

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Riding With the Best Kidney Belt – Everything You Should Know

Riding With the Best Kidney Belt - Everything You Should Know

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Jun 11, 2019

Kidney Belt

Here’s a fun fact: the waiting list for kidney transplants is long enough that you can expect to wait for up to 5 years (and in some cases even longer) to find a matching kidney. Now, that’s not a scenario anyone wishes for. There are some easy steps to take in keeping your kidney healthy: hydrating, healthy eating, regular exercise,but, one of the easiest ways to secure your kidney is by wearing the best kidney belt - and since it’s so hard to find a new kidney, why would you take the risk of not looking after it.

Best Kidney Belt Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt Overall
2. EVS Sports Celtek Kidney Belt Comfort
3. Troy Lee Designs 3305 Kidney Belt Advanced Riders
4. Fox Turbo Belt Entry Level Riders
5. Bohn Endurance Kidney Belt Price

Top Choice: Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt

Are you hell bent on taking on the toughest trails and tracks you can find? You probably shouldn’t be riding without a kidney belt…

1. Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt
Best For

Overall

Our Rating
2. EVS Sports Celtek Kidney Belt
Best For

Comfort

Our Rating
3. Troy Lee Designs 3305 Kidney Belt
Best For

Advanced Riders

Our Rating
4. Fox Turbo Belt
Best For

Entry Level Riders

Our Rating
5. Bohn Endurance Kidney Belt
Best For

Price

Our Rating

Why You Need A Kidney Belt

We’ll start off with a brief description for those of you who haven’t heard of a kidney belt before. Basically, it’s a wide band that’s made from reinforced material. It’s meant to be wrapped around the lower torso and extends upwards and downwards over the lower torso to protect vital internal organs. Aside from motorcyclists, it’s often worn by manual workers, weightlifters and recovering medical patients.

Kidney belts, like other protective motorcycle gear worn underneath the clothing (chest protectors, knee braces and elbow pads) are elusive – you’ll hardly see someone racing off, proudly showing off their kidney belt. However, it’s a really important piece of gear that you should consider adding to your collection.

Even if you don’t get involved in a motorcycle collision, your body feels the strain of riding a motorcycle. Poor posture, sharp movements and bouncing due to rough roads are just some of the factors that can result in lower back injuries and pain. You’ve probably woken up with a stiff, sore or burning back following a long day of riding over rough terrain. That’s your lower back, where the lumbosacral spine is located, expressing its discontent.

kidney protection

Accidents pose an even bigger danger to your back and vital organs. In fact, one study in Brazil showed that out of 129 patients admitted to the ICU, the main cause of trauma with 30% prevalence was motorcycle accidents. Acute kidney injury was a frequent and fatal complication following trauma in a majority of the cases.

This is where the kidney belts come in: they can be used for added protection and to provide support for a better posture while riding. Kidney belts wrap firmly around the lower waist without restricting breathing and force a straight upper body. It’s downright difficult to slouch while wearing one.

Many of the vital organs are surrounded by fatty tissue, making them extremely vulnerable to impact and jerky movements. There’s a sort of stigma surrounding kidney belts – they are reportedly for old people. I think the cool kids on the block would rather lose a kidney than be seen wearing one (that used to be me – more on that later).

Here are just a few instances where the protection and support of a motorcycle kidney belt for riding could help:

  • Racing along dirt tracks and trail rides
  • Reducing the internal bounce when hitting jumps
  • Sharp turns and sliding (these happen all the time, as any rider knows…)
  • Hitting a rock, root or uneven stretch of pavement (this also happens anywhere, even when just touring)
  • Accidents (even a minor collision could cause kidney bruising)
kidney belts for sale

Now, you’re probably wondering if it’s really necessary to wear a kidney belt. After all, there are a lot of riders who seem to overlook it. It can be uncomfortable wearing a kidney belt all the time but in terms of safety, it’s hard to dispute the protection and posture correction that it offers. Choose a motorcycle kidney belt that sits properly and you’ll get used to it quite quickly. Our verdict is yes, especially if one or several of the following apply:

  • You live in a wet, icy area (pavement is hard, but ice is harder)
  • You often partake in off-roading, motocross or enduro rides
  • You are prone to back problems/have previously had back injury
  • You are going for long rides over several days
  • You are a racer (in fact, kidney belts are mandatory for racing!)
  • Your back is regularly stiff, sore or painful after rides
  • You regularly ride on back roads and/or roads that are not well maintained
  • You ride at high speeds on the highway
  • You want to protect your internal organs
Motorbike Kidney Blet

What to Look for in A Motorcycle Kidney Belt

Kidney belts need to meet a few specifications to ensure that they’ll keep you safe on and off the motorcycle. Here’s what to look out for:

Materials

The kidney belt needs to be made of a strong, durable material for maximum protection. Foam padding is preferable, as is an interior material that’s moisture-wicking since wearing a thick belt can really heat things up (hello, ventilation!).

Keep in mind that the kidney belt shouldn’t be too bulky. A lightweight belt would be a better option to prevent extra weight and potential strain while riding.

Fit

Look for a kidney belt that’s adjustable and fits well around your lower back and sides. The belt needs to fit comfortably without restricting breathing or limiting movements while riding.

Make sure that the kidney belt has a retention system that’s easy to use and adjustable. It would be good to have a double- or even triple-strap system to make sure that the belt fits snugly, especially if your style is closer to that of racing.

There are a lot of riders who have back injuries and are forced to wear a kidney belt every time they ride. In fact, you probably know a lot of people who wear kidney belts but just haven’t realized or noticed that they wear one. If you’re really concerned about the comfort aspect of wearing a motorcycle kidney belt, ask around and hear from a friend what it really feels like to wear one all the time. Maybe they can even give you a few tips about which is the best kidney belt – don’t forget to share your info with other riders down in the comments below!

kidney belt for motorcycle riding

Best Kidney Belt Review

1. Leatt 3DF 3.5 Kidney Belt

kidney belts for sale kidney belt for motorcycle riding

Are you hell bent on taking on the toughest trails and tracks you can find? You probably shouldn’t be riding without a kidney belt…

Bigger size? Here’s a belt that’s extra wide and expandable. I’m not a big guy – well, in physical form at least (in my head I’m much bigger). But I’ve had a good amount of trouble finding gear that fits friends who are bigger in size and they usually end up getting a keychain from me. This is a kidney belt for motorcycle riding that fits every size.

It’s tested for impact resistance and is padded with 3D foam for ventilation, as well as increased protection. For ultimate safety, this is one of the few kidney belts certified for its lumbar impact protection feature. This is probably the best choice if you’re hell bent on taking on rough trails, motocross tracks and hard falls.

  • Extended sizes
  • Interior foam padding
  • Impact tested
  • CE certified
  • Price

2. EVS Sports Celtek Kidney Belt

motocross kidney belt mx kidney belt

A kidney belt costs less than buying a new kidney. WAY less. Don’t take a chance.

This is a good value buy if your budget is running a little tight. Luckily, the lower price with this belt doesn’t reduce its effectiveness as a protective piece of gear for motorcycle riding. There’s a dual pull Velcro retention system for a secure fit and hex-foam for better airflow. The lower spine area is reinforced so this is especially suitable for riders who are concerned about back injuries.

It’s nice to get a decent piece of gear at a reasonable price. It’s even nicer to buy a piece of gear that’s well-priced AND multi-functional. This kidney belt for motorcycle riding will serve equally well for weightlifting (any bodybuilders out there?) and other activities where the back needs support.

  • Ergonomically designed
  • Strong lower spine panel
  • Dual-pull Velcro system
  • Great price
  • Sizing runs small

3. Troy Lee Designs 3305 Kidney Belt

mx kidney belt kidney protection

Motorcycle gear is not the place to be a penny-pincher. You are what you wear!

Troy Lee is well known for creating quality sports apparel. Their kidney belt is well-designed and incorporates rubber and molded foam for good protection against impact and collision. The ‘Shock Doctor Technology’ used supports the lower back and kidney area well – a piece of equipment that’s expensive but will serve exceptionally well for its intended purpose.

I’m a strict budget man but buying proper gear is not the place to save. I’ve had a few hard falls – you probably have, too – and you really do feel the pain for days afterwards, especially in the organs. After my last big off, my parents bought me a kidney belt (do my parents love me more than my wife??) and I actually wore it because I just did not want to feel that internal discomfort again. I’m a wild guy, falls are inevitable – but the next tumble was much better and didn’t hurt my organs. Kidney belts work. I’m not the cool kid on the block anymore, but I still have kidneys.

  • 3-strap retention system
  • Shock Doctor Technology
  • Hex-mesh for ventilation
  • In the higher end of the price range

4. Fox Turbo Belt

leather kidney belt best kidney belt

Kidney belts are not clingy riding partners. They should at least give you some flexibility and space for movement.

Fox went for comfort when they created this belt. There’s a big emphasis on flexibility and adaptability: the torso panels are flexible and anatomically refined to move with the body as you shift and move while riding. They were extra thoughtful in the design and made sure that the belt fits easily into racing pants for motocross riders. There’s a three-strap retention system for a tighter fit and the rubber back support is contoured for extra comfort.

If movement is really important for you, this would be a good choice for a motocross kidney belt. The belt will move with you as you veer around corners and should you fall, the belt will be there to protect the most vital organs and soften the blow.

  • Full mesh body
  • Flexible
  • Biofoam ventilation
  • Narrow belt

5. Bohn Endurance Kidney Belt

motorcycle kidney belt motocross kidney belt

Things that drive me crazy: riding in rainy weather, cars that don’t look out for motorcyclists and gear that doesn’t fit right… actually, anything that doesn’t fit right.

Bohn seems to know that fit is important so they’ve added supplementary elastic straps. I hate a piece of gear that doesn’t fit right. Actually, I hate anything that doesn’t fit right – even socks. A seam that’s not lined up right is scratchy and when things in pairs aren’t the same size… drives me crazy. And that drives my wife crazy, and that’s no good.

This belt might not cater for larger sizes as it only fits up to a 34” waist but if you fall within this range, this belt will fit quite well. The material comprises a metal mesh for added stability and is lightweight at 1.35 pounds. You really don’t want to add more weight with all the other gear that you’re piling on so this is a nice breezy option for long rides.

  • Metal mesh reinforcement
  • Great for long rides
  • Affordable
  • Not machine washable
  • Doesn't Fit Large Waists

The Best Motorcycle Kidney Belt

The Leatt kidney belt gets our vote for the best kidney belt available online. In comparison to other belts, it doesn’t have a size restriction and seems to offer the most versatile fit. The materials used are strong and offer good resistance to impact, while the safety certification for lumbar impact protection really stands out – after all, the main purpose of a kidney belt is to protect the vital internal organs and support the spine while riding.

Although it’s definitely amongst the more expensive belts available and costs more than other riding gear, we’ll leave you with the reminder that vital organs are priceless and that’s not even mentioning the years that you’ll wait for replacement parts. Be responsible and take the appropriate measures to stay safe on your ride, it’s the cool thing to do. Being safe is the new wild.

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