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The Early Years of Motocross Museum



I'll admit I'm a little young to appreciate the awesomeness I was beholding earlier this week so, after speaking with a few senior riders I felt inclined to post what I came across at The Early Years of Motocross Museum.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tom White, as it was his establishment, and he was a very gracious host. As many of you know, Tom started out as a dirt tracker, racing against some of the greats, but really started kicking ass once he got on a Harley (which I was lucky enough to capture in a completely separate room from the actual museum). Tom had some later experience at Saddleback Motocross Park here in Orange County. (See old video footage here.) The track is long gone, but the locals still ride 'Saddleback'!

I may as well complete the bio... Tom joined up with brother, Dan, to create White Brothers, a corporate giant in the motorcycle industry whose name is still recongized to this day. I'm always excited to be in the company of experience and knowledge, especially when motorcycles are involved. I told Tom I was dizzied by my attempt to absorb all of the vintage race machines I was viewing, and he assured me that that was nothing compared to riding them. I've only ridden a couple of the motorcycles on display, but I'm sure some of these shots will bring back some memories for some of you. Enjoy!




By Aram

Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet: Visor Peak Extension

 Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet

Just a quick blurb on the Tinted Visor Peak Extension included with the Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet...

visor extension installed
Included with the helmet are a number of accessories. Among them is the Tinted Visor Peak Extension. This bolt-on accessory extends the visor of the helmet nearly 2 more inches beyond the visor itself. The standard visor lip is a little more than 1/2-inch, so the total standard visor length is about 3-1/2 inches, while the overall length from the outside of the helmet above the brow to the tip of the installed visor extension is about 5 inches. An inch-and-a-half or two might not sound very significant, but it absolutely is when you consider the small scale of the visor. This is apparent by just looking at the helmet with the Tinted Peak Visor installed.

visor extension and stock visor lip
If you attend enough motocross races in the rain, you'll inevitably see a rider with a goggle lens taped to the visor of his helmet. Eventually, there will be a product for everything, so here we are. The cool thing is, the visor extension is included with the purchase of the Airoh Aviator 2.1.

Airoh includes a small tool on a lanyard to use for the visor change. The same tool is also used to install the top vent shields. Keep an eye on the threaded backs of the screws! They keep the visor fitting beautifully once they're on, but odds are you'll never see them again if they're dropped in the mud.

visor extension bottom
Motocross racers, track riders, and hardcore trail riders will appreciate the extra coverage in the event of muddy or wet conditions. I'm even looking forward to keeping the Tinted Visor Peak Extension in my pack and trying it out riding into the sun at the end of the day. It always seems like I'm missing a smidge more to keep from squinting all the way back to the truck.

You can check out all our Airoh helmets, custom product descriptions, videos and more pictures here: http://www.solomotoparts.com/Airoh/


By Aram

Klim Induction Mesh Jacket, New for 2014!


Yes, that's a full-sized adventure bike being suspended in the air by the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket!

Please don't go out and purchase a motorcycle jacket that isn't going to protect you in the event of a crash. There are so may unintended distractions awaiting you out there in consumer-land, and I'd like to take a moment to highlight some reasons why the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket is an excellent all-round warm weather jacket.

It's hot. You want to ride. You take one look at your big touring jacket and start to sweat, already dreading the possibility of sitting at a stoplight in the hot sun. Time for a mesh riding jacket- but, is it going to offer anything near the protection of a structurally reinforced and armored touring jacket? If you go with Klim Induction Jacket then yes, yes it is!

Klim's Karbonite Mesh is incredibly strong, up to 750% stronger than the polyester used by competitors, and it excels at allowing consistent airflow both while riding and at a stop. Also included is super comfortable, CE certified, 3DO armor in the shoulders, elbows and back.

Klim has you covered with several specialty materials including tear-resistant rhino-stitch construction technology and 840D hi-tenacity 6.6 nylon at the elbows and shoulders.

The inside of the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket utilizes a breathable moisture-wicking mesh comfort liner with a fleece-lined collar that gives the jacket a very casual, comfortable feel to wear. When you combine the internal comfort materials with the D30 armor, you arrive at a new level of comfort and protection that is complimented by high airflow through materials that will actually keep you safe in the event of a crash.

The Klim Induction Mesh Jacket is available in three color choices:

Yellow (HiViz)
Gray
Black
Please visit our product page HERE to read our custom-written product description, watch videos, and find pricing and availability for the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket. As always, we're happy to match pricing whenever possible and we never charge restock fees for sending back gear for any reason. We also allow a FREE SIZE EXCHANGE within the US48 for this jacket, so if it doesn't fit, we'll pay for the shipping back to us and send you another size for free!

Thanks for reading. Ride safe.
By Aram

Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag, 2-Year Rider Review


The Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag is at the top of its class as far as light-weight off-road on-the-bike storage goes. The Mojavi Saddlebag is constructed of super tough trucker?s tarp Bombshell, which means you're toting around 22 ounce vinyl-coated polyester, reinforced with ballistic nylon! This is military-grade construction that can withstand even the clumsiest of riders, namely myself, haha. I dump my bike a lot, and in the full two years I've been testing the Mojavi Saddlebag, there hasn't been one aspect of that's let me down.

All of the beefy, water resistant YKK zippers work just as well as they did the day I bought the Mojavi Saddlebag. I use olive oil to cut the dust and keep them slick, but I have a lot of friends that prefer silicon because they don't want to be attacked by bears, haha. So far, no bear attacks. :) All of the military-spec buckles and compression straps are in great condition despite thousands of miles of dust seeping into every crack and crevasse of my bike. Dumping the bike in brush, rocks and ice has yet to be an issue for the Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag. For a guy that breaks nearly everything else on his bike, this is a dream come true!

I'm able to store just about everything I need for a day (outside of the water and snacks in my hydration pack) in the Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag. Every single tool I could ever need goes in the Mojavi Saddlebag. I typically pack 2 tubes, an electric pump, tire irons, para cord, WD-40, baby powder, valve core remover, wrenches, sockets, hexes, screwdrivers, extra fuel pump, headlamp, and I've even packed extra fuel in there!

Everything stores nice and tight against the body of the bike inside the Mojavi Saddlebag. There's never been any shifting around or annoying trail-side adjustment required. Once I pack up, I'm ready to go! The weight of the packed items is kept close to the bike and everything is easily accessible during a ride. The small center pack on top is perfect for even quicker access, or storing semi-breakable items that might be crushed on the sides. The top bag is removable if you find it to be unnecessary or prefer to use another tail bag.

I say this a lot, but the best type of gear is the gear you don't have to spend any time worrying about after the purchase. The Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag definitely fits the bill, and I couldn't be happier with what appears to be the most effective, durable and light-weight off-road saddlebags out there. I personally recommend them over and over at our store, and I continue to use them myself with confidence and appreciation for such an outstanding product. Thanks Giant Loop! The Mojavi Saddlebag was also developed with help from one of our former local riders, Javier Gonzalez, which doesn't hurt either. :)

Pricing and availability here: http://www.solomotoparts.com/Giant-Loop-MoJavi-Saddlebag-Black/

We're an authorized Giant Loop stocking dealer. Found a better price? Let us know!


By Aram

Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet: Unboxing, Accessories & Fitment


Once again, I have injuries to recover from this year before I can enjoy riding. My collar bone, rib and lung all seem to be coming along well enough so I've had more than enough time to drool over new dirt gear for when the snow melts. One item I'm especially excited to see here in the US is the Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet. I've seen them all over the pro moto scene in Europe, in epic helmet cam footage on YouTube, and on very select pro riders here in the US. Any time I can be one of the first dudes in my area to get my dirty mitts on a piece of gear like this, I'm stoked!

Airoh Aviator 2.1 unboxing
Lot's of extras!
The unboxing did not disappoint. There was a lot of extra stuff in that box that I've never seen included with a motorcycle helmet!

Aviator-2.1-specific GoPro mount for the top of the helmet. This mount was actually made specifically for Airoh by GoPro for this helmet. The mount adorns the Airoh brand name on the side and sits perfectly on top of the helmet behind the top visor adjuster. How else would you make all your friends jealous on Facebook? I'm talking about the Airoh helmet- not your riding. :)
Sometimes the little things add up to be a lot. I appreciate the forethought that is evident in Airoh product development, especially considering that the helmet sells for over $500 (at the time of this post). Contact Solo Moto to get your Airoh Aviator 2.1 Helmet today. 

Tinted bolt-on visor peak extension for wet or muddy conditions (screws included). This is such a simple addition as far as manufacturing demand is concerned, and yet riders who are looking to be as competitive as possible during their motos (without taping goggle lenses to their visors) will look like pros as they battle to the front of the pack through rain and mud. See more on the visor peak extention here.
    Airoh Aviator 2.1 top vent covers
    Top vent shields for mud/weather
Tinted top vent covers (screws included). The vents on top of the shell appear a lot larger than they actually are, and yet it's probably best to keep any open holes on the top of your head covered if you'll be riding in inclement weather. Three screws secure the top vent shields to the helmet, and they are easily replaced by screws that attach the vent covers. It is important to note that they don't seal up the vents. They create a covered channel over the exit vent holes with open ventilation slots along the top that flow air through an open rear exhaust.
Hex/Allen tool on Airoh lanyard
I never even knew what a lanyard was in years past, and yet here I am, getting a quality production publicity-event-access-pass-carrying-name-tag-necklace-thing for no apparent reason with my helmet, haha. Perhaps Airoh assumes that you will be at a number of high-profile events that will require ID, and as such, you should be adorned in quality Airoh attire.

Custom Airoh allen tool with a very nice Airoh lanyard. Once again, it appears that Airoh has thought of everything before releasing the Aviator 2.1 helmet. No need to begrudgingly hunt for an Allen (hex) tool in your tool box with a drenched head- you'll already have one ready to go since it was gifted to you at the time of purchase. I don't ever remember having the need for a lanyard before getting into the moto industry, but alas, Airoh has included one for you to do what you will. Chilly suggests using a lanyard like this to keep your dual sport key clipped into the bike so it doesn't fly off into the bush during a ride. Good advice!

Silk Airoh helmet bag. It is what it is. Silky smooth, but nothing to write home about as far as actually protecting the helmet. So, if any of you dorks are actually still reading this (I hope so!), you'll be on the ground floor with what it's like to open the box, haha. Alright, let's get down to business!

Literally 2.1lbs!!!
What about the helmet itself? The Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet is light, light, light. I have a little coconut so when I put my Medium Aviator 2.1 on the scale I suddenly realized why the awkward name made sense... my helmet weighs exactly 2.1lbs! Damn, that's light! I've never personally worn anything lighter that was DOT and ECE certified, so immediately, I was pretty excited. Not to worry- the next shell size, L/XL is only 2.5lbs!

How does it fit? My first impression after putting on the helmet was that it was more snug than other Mediums I have worn. I'm always a Medium with my 57cm head, so I was actually a little worried that it was too small at first. I left the helmet on for 5-10 minutes and everything started to settle in. I didn't get a headache or experience any discomfort so I decided to go for a ride. As soon as I gained speed I was shocked with how advanced the aerodynamics were on this dirt helmet. Little did I know at the time, but Airow had actually wind-tunnel tested this helmet! Who does that with a dirt helmet?! It remains relatively quiet at speeds exceeding 40-50mph. More importantly, the visor allows air to travel through it instead of catching the wind like a sail. This helmet has a lot of potential for dual sport use at this point for me! Anytime I'm on my plated dirt bike I wear a DOT dirt helmet anyway. This is a welcome benefit that I did not expect.

The Airoh Aviator 2.1 helmet feels very form-fitting. The area between the shell, EPS liner, and your head seems to have magically shrunk compared with other helmets. This creates an immediate adjustment for the average user to become comfortable with, what appears at first to be, a little tiny helmet. The wonderment begins when you realize that the helmet actually fits! No hot spots. No restrictive blood flow. It just fits so snug, and some might say 'perfectly', that you actually need to adjust to an entirely new level of head protection. This is part of the reason I've taken the time to write this post.

I've seen other online stores say outright that you should buy a size larger because 'the Airoh Aviator 2.1 runs small', but this wasn't the case for me. My head measures 57cm which is right in the Medium range for the Aviator 2.1, and I fit just fine in the size Medium. Given my measurements, Airoh's size chart, and the actual fitment of the Aviator 2.1, I would venture to guess that if you are at the higher end of the size range, you may want to consider a size up. This is about as subjective as it gets since each person has a uniquely shaped head.

Please note, I'm not trying on the helmet once in an office and giving advice to riders. I can't say I have a lot of respect for internet personalities that do this. That being said, you may need to take some time, as I did, to acclimate to a helmet that could very well be more advanced than anything you have ever worn. I've had the helmet on and off for several rides in the past couple weeks and it has changed my expectations of what an off-road helmet can be.

Click here to view more original content, pricing and availabilty on the Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet.

More to come on the Aviator2.1 soon, as well as the Leatt 3DF Airfit Body Protector. I'm super pumped on these two items for the summer riding season. Big Bear here I come!
By Aram

Knobby Knife Breathes New Life Into Your Knobbies!


I was surprised and excited to hear about Knobby Knife from a riding buddy in Johnson Valley on a recent trip. He showed me his tires and described a tool revolutionary in its simplicity. He described a heated blade that allowed him to reshape his knobbies back to nice square blocks. It hit me all at once: why had I not heard of this?! Everyone knows you get some of your best riding on a fresh tire, and who wouldn't want to have that feeling over and over without having to pay for new tires and go through the hassle of changing them out? We all like to pretend we're monster mechanics that can have an off-road tire off a dirtbike in no time but come on, I know I have better things to do, like, oh, I don't know... ride!

Knobby Knife was created to cut your worn and rounded knobs on your off-road and dual sport motorcycle tires back to nice square edges. It is effectively a soldering iron with a nice big handle and a blade on the end. I've seen people suffer with razor blades, trying to get a little extra bite out of their old tires, but Knobby Knife eliminates the grunt needed with a razor blade by cutting through rubber like butter. Riders claim to be able to go over an entire rear tire in ten minutes after some practice.

Knobby Knife caught my eye because it's something the every-day rider can use to save a few bucks and stretch some mileage out of their tires. If you pay for racing out of your own pocket, Knobby Knife is probably a good addition to your tool box as well.

See pricing and availability here: http://www.solomotoparts.com/Knobby-Knife/

By Aram

Ballistic Evo 2, Evo 3 Lithium Batteries


A few years back, Ballistic introduced one the first widely available light weight lithium batteries to the motorcycle aftermarket industry. Performance motorcycle enthusiasts no longer had to drag around heavy lead acid batteries and could upgrade to a ballistic battery to save, up to 9lbs in some cases, some serious weight. The Evo2, as they were called, were designed to be as light and compact as possible but they lacked OEM sizing; so, once installed, there was a large amount of unused space in the battery compartment. For most racers and performance junkies, this wasn't a big deal because lithium batteries wouldn't spill and could be used on the their sides or even upside down.

Like many new technologies, the early adopters understood the potential challenges and could live with any early issues (that have since been ironed out). Current Evo2 batteries now have a balance charging port that allows each individual lithium cell to be charged to full potential. We found this is the best way to charge a lithium battery, although they don't need to be charged often under normal usage conditions.
Now, in 2014, Ballistic has gone back to the drawing board and developed a new Evo3 battery that is designed to fit securely in your stock motorcycle battery box without modification. Essentially, it will drop in and now should provide the ease of use a traditional battery with the weight savings and longevity of a lithium battery (often lasting multiple times longer than a traditional lead acid).

Most motorcycle models will have three Ballistic battery options. The Evo is the lightest and smallest, designed for racers and performance junkies that want the lightest equipment possible. The Evo3 is OEM sized and designed for the every day rider seeking to extend the life of his traditional lead acid battery and save weight in the process. The Evo3 "upgrade" has the same features as the standard Evo3 but provides even more power for the adventure or cruiser rider that has additional electronics on board.

Ballistic Battery Features:
* Up to 80% smaller compared to your stock battery 
* Up to 10lbs lighter compared to your stock battery
* The service life of a ballistic battery is double compared to a lead acid battery operated in similar conditions
* Comes with an industry leading 3 year warranty
* Have been designed, developed, and assembled in the USA
* Comes with hard mounted terminals of brass for a direct replacement installation
* Use of absolutely dry technology to enable mounting of batteries in any direction 
* The product is non-toxic, recyclable, and can air shipped
* The product is for use in powersports vehicles from 50cc - 1800cc
* Batteries are tested extensively by professional race teams
* Impact and water resistant
* No requirement of special charger
* The batteries lose only 10% charger over a year of static use, hence there is no requirement for trickle charger

You can order Ballistic Batteries here:
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Ballistic-Battery/


By Daniel Relich

Doubletake Mirrors: The Best Dual Sport Mirrors Out There!


Doubletake Mirrors are hands down my favorite dual sport mirrors out there. Who cares what I think? Well, Dirt Rider and Dirt Bike Magazine agree! Doubletake Mirrors are functional and tough. Those are really my biggest requirements for any type of off-road or dual sport equipment. I beat the crap out of all my gear and I need equipment that can take the abuse. Just ask the guys I ride with.

click to enlarge
Doubletake Mirrors utilize a well-known manufacturer to keep the dual sport mirrors right where you need them. RAM Mount hardware compliments the well-constructed mirror by allowing you to adjust the height and angle of the mirrors in just about any direction. The most significant benefit of pairing the RAM Mount hardware (included with the Doubletake Mirror) is that you can swivel the mirror all the way down in front of your handlebars (behind your number plate/headlight) and lock them in place to protect them when riding in rough conditions off-road. The mounts come in different lengths and are offered with threaded options that will fit the stock mirror mounts on most dual sport motorcycles. If you have an unusual motorcycle or custom application there are universal mounting options for Doubletake Mirrors as well.

I have had the Doubletake Mirror up for very rough sections of terrain off-road and it stays put. If I'm on and off of roads or highways that connect trails I don't have to worry about adjusting the Doubletake Mirror. It's easier to actually leave them up and enjoy the ride. When things get hairy on hill climbs or situations where I need to be over the bars a lot, the Doubletake Mirrors can be folded down towards the middle of the handlebars and tucked out of the way.

Visibility on the road is about as good as it gets for an aftermarket dual sport motorcycle mirror. I have a small bore dual sport bike that revs like crazy on the highway, and yet the Doubletake Mirrors remain relatively stable when compared with softer plastic-mounted fold-in mirrors or tiny pop-out mirrors that hide behind your handguards. The Doubletake Mirrors are what work best for me, and I can recommend them based on my personal experience. Check them out, and you'll probably like them too.
By Aram

Heidenau K60 Scout Rear Tire: All-Round Winner For Big Dual Sport Bikes



Heidenau is a brand that we've been using here at Solo Moto for some time now, and we haven't felt the need to use any other rear dual sport tire on our adventure bikes since finding the brand. The TKC80 is hands down, our favorite rear knobby on the big bike, but it wears down too fast, sometimes after as little as 2-3,000 miles of dirt and street riding. Click here to see our review on the Continental TKC80. I personally like to pair the TKC80 front with the Heidenau K60 Scout rear. It seems to be the best combo for mileage and road manners without sacrificing off-road performance.

The Heidenau K60 Scout checks all the boxes for durability and mileage as well as street grip and traction off-road; so much so, that I haven't used another rear tire on my adventure bike since I started using the Heidenau. I routinely get well over 5,000 miles on a K60 rear and often reach over 8,000 miles. We've heard reports of adventure bikes getting 12,000 miles out of this Heidenau tire, but we're pretty hard on our equipment so I'm not holding my breath on making that mark.

If you're like me, and you ride a low-maintenance, high-mileage adventure bike on rides stretching thousands of miles over lots of different terrain, you'll love the Heidenau K60 Scout. Its street manners are what you'd expect from a true 50/50 dirt/street tire in the sense that it works exceptionally well in dry weather and is perfectly safe in wet conditions with a careful rider.

We've tested the traction of the Heidenau K60 Scout off-road in dirt and rocky conditions with outstanding results. It's actually hard to believe how many miles we get out of the Heidenau after tearing through rock gardens for days and then slabbing it home hundreds of miles. Sand is a tough proposition for a big bike and the K60 does about as good of a job as can be expected. We have no complaints. Extreme mud or slushy snow could be a problem for a Heidenau K60 Scout since the big center ridge of the tire has a tendency to spin in slop. This is also an integral part of the Heidenau K60 tire design that gets you the mileage on pavement so, you'll have to decide for yourself what your specific needs are.

All-around, the Heidenau K60 Scout is our favorite rear tire on the big, dual sport bike and we use it every day to commute to work and on the weekends for adventure rides through highways, deserts and mountains.

See pricing and availability for the Heidenau K60 Scout by clicking here.
By Aram

Klim Latitude Pants

Klim Latitude Pants: Buying Decisions


I bought my first motorcycle, a Suzuki DR650SE, at the beginning of summer which was a great way to commute, especially living in Southern California. As fall came around, the first couple of rainy days caused some issues. I had no motorcycle-specific rain gear. I really needed some new riding pants.

I wanted a motorcycle riding Pant that would keep me dry and hold up to the rigors of riding in the dirt. When I began looking at waterproof pants, I was worried that whatever I got would cause the same problem as my traditional rubberized rain bibs so I started looking at materials first. I quickly realized that GORE-TEX was the way to go. Klim was the first company I really looked hard at as their reputation in the dual-sport, adventure, and enduro world is so good. Although pricey, I felt that Klim pants were the solution for me.


Klim's pant line-up covers much of the different scales necessary for different riders and includes various upgrades such as GORE=TEX, Cordura and optional armor. I found 
the Klim Latitude Pants (the ones I would end up getting). I feel these are a great balance for the mixed riding I do in the dirt and on the street. The Klim Latitude Pants are waterproof, warm in the cold, cool enough in some heat with the vents open and very comfortable while on the bike. The latitude pants are not designed as an over-pant and, fortunately, the material inside is comfortable against bare skin. I have not crash tested them on the street but have done so in the dirt a few times now. The hip and knee pads CE rated and are in the correct locations (and stay there) for me. They don't really pick up dirt that much and they stay pretty clean. It seemed I have found my salvation in a pair of Klim Latitude Pants.

The pants have two normal sized hip pockets and one pretty large thigh pocket. For ventilation there are two long vents on the outside of the thigh. These work well at catching the wind and pushing air into the pants. The key to this working is the two small exhaust vents on the back of thighs. These allow air to pass straight through the pants and keep you cool. The zippers are waterproof and take a little bit of working at first but quickly start breaking in. At the bottom of the pants, a zipper allows you to re-tighten that buckle that magically opens somehow on its own and a snap keeps everything closed and allows for a little adjustment. 


I tried on other pants but felt that the Klim Latitudes were the best for my needs. The Latitude Pants keep my dry, protect me somewhat from my mistakes, and do not get terribly sweaty. I'm pretty happy with my purchase.


By Sir D