Blog

Welcome to the SoloMotoParts.com blog. We'll be writing about different motorcycling segments like sport, cruiser, adv and off-road as well as sharing tips on motorcycle riding and safety. You'll also find insider 411 on hot motorcycle parts & accessory brands. We encourage you to interact with us by sharing our content on social media and commenting on the posts with what you think! Have at it!

CRG Bar End Mirrors: The Best?


Even on high-end motorcycles, stock mirrors often lack the quality to match the rest of the bike. I've owned many sportbikes, and vintage and modern motorcycles, and I've swapped out the stock mirrors with aftermarket mirrors on almost every bike.

One particular aftermarket mirror -- the CRG bar end mirror -- has consistently delivered what I'm looking for in an aftermarket mirror:

- Dampen vibrations
- Sturdy, quality CNC construction
- Adjustability
- Crisp, clear visibility

Today, I'm going to cover a bit about CRG, their background and going into quick details about how
each of the top selling mirrors differ.


The CRG Brand

The CRG brand originates in Santa Cruz County, California. Founder and designer, Spencer Owyang, grew his roots in the winter Superbike Dunlop Tire testing sessions at Laguna Seca in the late '90s. The product line started with adjustable brake levers in racing applications and grew into a company known for high-quality aftermarket motorcycle parts with adjustable levers, RR Race Rearsets, SSR Rearsets and mirrors.

CRG (Constructors Racing Group) parts are designed and CNC-machined in the USA. Their target market is and will always be the American motorcycle rider, but their parts have gained worldwide recognition and are also sold in Europe, Asia and Australia.

There's a wide variety of mirror types, each with different strengths, weaknesses and features. Today, I'm going to showcase three top selling Bar End Mirrors, including the famed Arrow Mirrors...that have the highest sales numbers and most raving fans.

Installation Note: Each mirror can be installed by clamping on any exposed 7/8" bar end but many riders tend to go for customized bar ends that minimize invasive installation, such as Rhinomoto Bar Ends. They're a bit of a match-made-in-heaven, especially for the naked/streetfighter bikes. Alternatively, CRG also makes an internal bar end adapter for those with hollow handlebars to aid in easy installation.


CRG Arrow Bar End Mirror


The CRG Arrow BarEnd Mirror is  favorite among naked/streetfigher bikes as it accentuates the already mean stands. They also have some cool specs:

-  Adjustable multi-point mount system
-  Convex shape with aesthetic design
- Easy installation
-  Lightweight body is made up of tough billet aluminum, not plastic
- Sturdy design doesn't move at high speeds

CRG Hindsight 3" Hindsight LS (Lane Split) Mirror


The CRG Hindsight 3" LS Bar End Folding Mirror is the perfect answer for most sportbike riders looking to clean up the front end of their bike for a sleeker appearance and allows you to squeeze into tight places and in between cars with their folding action:

- Automatic folding mechanism; retracts when mirror comes in contact with an immovable object.
-  Rubber mounting minimizes glass vibrations
-  Easy installation and removal


CRG Blindsight 2" Bar End Mirror


The CRG Blindsight 2" Bar End Mirror is one of the sleekest bar-end mirrors on the market, making it a high-volume seller. Buyers are saying great things about their experience with this mirror:

- Perfect for bikes with a slim line and sleek design.
- Convex design enables cyclists to see behind them, not just over the shoulder.
 Optional adapter for mounting covers almost all aluminum and steel bars/clip-ons.

When I swapped my stock mirrors for CRG Mirrors, I became part of the CRG fan club for life. With a variety of adapters, options and replacement parts, I have had great results when adding these aftermarket motorcycle mirrors to a variety of my bikes.

Love 'em? Have 'em? Hate 'em? Comment below!
By Daniel Relich

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Rizoma Turn Signals



Rizoma tends to sit atop the aftermarket accessories pyramid with their ridiculously beautiful and expertly machined motorcycle accessories. Generally associated with Italian and European manufacturers such as BMW or Ducati, due to the high price entry point, Rizoma aims to provide the best of Italian designed luxury bits for your motorcycles...if you can afford it. With their huge arsenal of accessories too big for one post, today we'll cover turn signals.

Rizoma turn signals or marker lights are the pinnacle of design and technology with the following features:
- CNC Machined from Billet Aluminum
- Superbright LED Technology
- Sophisticated Design

When you purchase Rizoma turn signals, consider it an investment piece. They're made to last and made to the highest quality standards for those that appreciate it. We're not trying to sound stuck up or anything, but do consider Rizoma's audience isn't likely the guy rockin' the late 90's Gixxer to bike night.Yeah, we said it (sorry!).

With plenty of turn signal options to choose from, whether you're into sportbikes, adventure or touring, you'll likely find what you're looking for. The top selling signal, for us anyways, is the Rizoma Action Turn Signal. With its sleek lines and unique design, the Action is great for most applications. Maybe that's why its a bestseller! As with most Rizoma turn signals, the Action comes in more than one color option. In this case, you can opt for Black or Silver.

Rizoma Action LED Turn Signal


One of the newer releases in the Squardo Bar End Turn Signal that looks like it will be a hit with the cafe racer / retro crowd. I can totally appreciate the minimalist design. Available in Black or Silver.

Rizoma Squardo Bar End LED Turn Signal



Don't forget Rizoma fairing adapters (or bar adapters) to properly fit the turn signals onto your motorcycle! If there's any questions, feel free to reach out to us and we'll help you out!
By Daniel Relich

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Best Motorcycle Battery: Lithium or Lead Acid



Let's talk about motorcycle parts. Well, one specific motorcycle part--the battery. There's a wide array of different manufacturers and cell types, each with different strengths, weaknesses and specific applications. Today, we're going to jump into a few of the particulars on lithium and standard lead-acid batteries, so you'll be well informed before heading to the motorcycle parts store to pick out what you'll need.

Lithium Batteries

The common points you'll hear about lithium batteries is that they are smaller, lighter, more "energy dense" and don't contain the same harmful substances found in lead-acid batteries. You'll get more cranking amps from a lithium battery (comparative to their size), but on the flip side, you might find yourself spending extra time on a colder day trying to get them to crank properly. Lithium batteries have a higher initial cost than lead-acid batteries and aren't quite as resilient either.

In general, you'll find that lithium batteries will:
- Last longer on the shelf
- Provide more charge cycles
- Incredibly lightweight
- Provide greater cost value over time
- Stay cooler when in use

Because of these factors, lithium batteries provide an advantage in high-performance situations like racing. Aftermarket motorcycle parts dealers will supply a range of manufacturers, but two of the most in-demand brands are Shorai (the LFX) and Ballistic (the EVO 2 & 3).

Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are cheaper to purchase at the onset and more durable than their lithium counterparts. You can bring a lead-acid battery back from near-death in situations where a lithium battery would be done for, so what are the drawbacks? For starters, they're heavier, so they aren't as suitable for high-performance situations. Most notably, though, the discharge from lead-acid batteries can reduce their capacity. Leave a lead-acid battery too long without charging, and the build-up of lead sulfate crystals -- a process called sulfation -- can render it useless.

Still, you'll find that a lead-acid battery might be preferable if you're planning on doing any distance or adventure riding. They don't suffer from the cold-start problem that lithium batteries do, among other things. Among the lead-acid brands, Yuasa is an old standby. The company has decades of experience producing conventional motorcycle batteries, and in recent years have taken steps to improve their lead-acid batteries by increasing their safety, environmental friendliness and reliability (particularly in low-temperature conditions).

Conclusion

You'll find that lithium batteries may last longer and the reduced size and weight more suitable for your bike. Lead-acid batteries present a lower initial cost and are more rugged. No matter which you feel is best for you, procuring your battery aftermarket from an online motorcycle parts store is a great way to maximize the safety and performance of your gear. Good luck!
By Daniel Relich

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Seat Concepts Review



In the quest to build the ultimate motorcycle, avid riders naturally turn to the world of aftermarket motorcycle parts to create the safest and best riding machine possible. Motorcycle riders like the look of stock parts, but when it comes to a better seat, Seat Concepts provides superior comfort and support without sacrificing style.

No longer tied to the brick-and-mortar motorcycle parts stores, veteran riders have been shopping online for the Seat Concepts brand for quite some time now. Founded in 2004, Seat Concepts is now a leader in the aftermarket motorcycle seats market, enabling both distance and competitive riders everywhere to improve the quality of their rides. The seats are well-known for value, comfort, quality and design.

Seat Concepts designs all of its seats to fit the bike and its rider, which is a clear improvement over the stock option. The Seat Concepts company has enjoyed a grass-roots start. Two motorcycle-riding enthusiasts started the business in a home garage. From there, the brand grew into a well-known motorcycle accessory company - with all seats and parts made and proudly produced in the USA.

Seat Concepts provides aftermarket motorcycle accessories for the following brands:
- Aprilia
- Beta
-  BMW
Buell
- Ducati
GasGas
- Harley Davidson
- Honda
- Husaberg
Husqvarna
- Kawasaki
- KTM
- Suzuki
- Triumph
- Yamaha

Comfort/Sport Seats

There's no losing style in gaining more comfort, as Seat Concepts offers a variety of colors, textures, and seat kits or full seats to achieve the right look for each and every customer. The company's cover materials include gripper, carbon, embossed, grain vinyl and suede.

All pricing quoted is for self-installation of the foam and cover kit without the pan or the entire seat. Seat Concepts comfort and sport seats can be mistaken for stock seats once they are installed. Seat Concepts offers cover color options, colored stitching or piping, and more.

The comfort transformation is provided by higher foam density, improved shape and support and height options. Redesigned shapes help keep riders from sliding forward, and many models come with heat/sound damping material. Online reviewers rave about 12-hour motorcycle riding without the usual aches and pains caused by stock seating.

Competition Seats

Options for narrow cuts, better grips, foam inserts and lower centered designs give riders a competitive advantage. These design changes not only give riders improved traction during acceleration and braking, but they also include proprietary foam density for better comfort. The design also offers resistance to damage caused by knee braces.

Seat Concepts competition seat product reviews identify the gripper top as a significant design improvement for handling normal and less than ideal conditions. Riders who wear knee braces rave about the longevity of the seat.

Seat Concepts products work for those in the weight range of 160 to 240 pounds unless stated otherwise in the product description. All seats come with a one-year manufacturer product defect warranty. Brands sold through SoloMotoParts.com have been vetted and tested, including Seat Concepts aftermarket motorcycle products.

Some items can take one to two weeks for delivery, so be sure to place the Seat Concepts order well before a motorcycle riding adventure or Motocross event. The SoloMotoParts.com customer service team is always available for questions by phone and email, we'll do whatever we can to make a Seat Concepts purchase an outstanding experience.

Here's some top selling Seat Concepts Covers & Seats:
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-for-KLR250-81-05/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-for-R1100GS-94-04/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-for-XT225-92-12/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-for-TE-630-10-13/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-for-Grom-13-15/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Complete-Seat-V2-for-KTM-EXC-04-07/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Front-Foam-and-Cover-Kit-for-XT-1200Z-Super-Tenere-10-16/
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Seat-Concepts-Seat-Cover-Kit-Commuter-for-DR650-96-15/
By Daniel Relich

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Small Measures to Keep Your Bike Protected


We're always talking about protection. More specifically, protection for yourself. But now it's about time we show our bikes a bit of love too.

Our motorcycles also need protection from potential crashes and the often harsh conditions of the road. After all, no one wants a damaged bike and I don't care what you say, no matter what, it hurts to shell out hundreds of dollars in repairs. Not to mention it's a hassle.

We can take some preemptive measures by installing some small protective items. To me, it's well worth it to invest a little bit of money now in bike protection, than to risk it and have to pay hundreds (or even total your bike!) later when something does happen.

These are some very simple ways you can protect your bike:

Frame Sliders

We all know how devastating it can for our bikes during even minor crashes, especially if the bike slides. Heck, even an accidental tip-over can be super costly.

Frame sliders are the easiest protective measure for your bike in these cases! These are a little cylindrical piece that you mount to your bike's frame, so that if your bike goes down, this piece will catch it and slide across the road.

This measure minimizes the damage to your fairing, or if you have a naked bike, to the frame and hard part (which you definitely don't want to damage!). It's not a guarantee that you can ride away with a completely undamaged bike, but the point is that you can ride away with it with just superficial damages.

For around $50-$200, this is one of the best things you can do for your bike. It's silly to think that you won't ever be involved in a crash. There are no-cut kits (no bodywork cutting required for installation) available for more modern sportbikes, so for such an easy installation and good price, you'd be sorry you didn't get one if anything did happen.

Bar Ends

In a crash scenario, the bars are often at the forefront of taking the damage from the crash force. Bar ends are designed to take the hit of the crash so your more expensive parts don't take the brunt of it. 

In addition to protection, they also serve another important purpose: the additional weight of the bar ends also help to dampen the vibration at the handlebar area. Which means more comfortable and stress-ride long rides. Seriously, just try the difference between riding with bar ends and without. Your hands will thank you for it. 

Because of how important bar ends are, make sure to choose high quality ones. Bar ends also add some style to your bike. Some bar ends are even designed to accommodate bar end mirrors. Most manufacturers offer both frame sliders and bar ends, so make sure to buy a matching set! 

Engine Guards/Crash bar

Same thing, different name. Crash bars are typically used on dual-sport/adventure bikes, though some cruisers use them too. They are tubes of steel attached to the bike for the purpose of distributing the force of the impact in case of a crash. When the bike goes down, the crash bar will be first part of the bike to hit the ground.

Just like with frame sliders, its purpose is not to completely protect the bike from damage, but rather to protect the vulnerable expensive parts from damage. Most of the time, this is the frame, engine, and gas tank.

It's important to get high quality crash guards, since they are meant to protect the important pieces of the bike. A cheap engine guard won't even protect what it claims to guard - the engine.

Note that crash bars are meant to protect the bike, not the rider. This seems to be a huge debate in the motorcycling community. If you're in a crash and are thrown from the bike, guess what, a crash bar isn't going to do you any good. Only if you fall over with the bike, it may limit injuries to the leg/ankle/foot. So do NOT get a crash bar and think that it means you can lessen awareness.

Handguards

This one is a necessity for all the dual-sport/adventure enthusiasts out there. Handguards serve the dual purpose of protecting both you and your bike.

Because of the nature of this type of riding, the hands often take the worst of the beating. Even if you're smart and wearing gloves, your hands can be subjected to slapping of branches, flying rocks, roost, etc. And at worst case scenario, if you ride your grips into a tree, your hands are going to be in big trouble. Basically, gloves alone will not do the trick when you're taking your bike off-road.

This is when handguards come in handy (ha!). These are durable plastic pieces that attach to your handlebars, so that your hands stay completely protected from all kinds of extreme weather and road conditions. Not only do they protect your hands, they also protect your delicate clutch levers (for in cases if you run your bike into that aforementioned tree).  

Handguards are easy to install and remove and come in a variety of options and colors, including vented ones and spring-loaded ones, which will flex back in case of a crash.

Our favorite handguards manufacturers are Bark Busters and Moose Racing, both of which are known for their high-quality, durable, and sleek designs.

Skid Plates

This one is another must for the off-roaders. Skid plates protect the delicate underbelly of your precious bike from flying rocks, branches, other debris. This is where all the expensive parts of your bike are located! A stray rock or branch can easily damage your casing or oil filter, causing you to not only end your day early, but also hundreds of dollars worth of damages.

Skiplates are not the cheapest (most are around $150 to $300), but trust us, it's a small investment to make to avoid a far, far more expensive repair job. When you wish you had one, it's already too late. We recommend a skidplate made with durable, lightweight aluminum or steel (NOT plastic), as plastic just can't stand up to the constant beating of rocks.

A lot of people wonder if they really need these. The answer is no, you don't NEED them, but you'll be glad you had one in case anyone happens. Like I said, it's silly to think that you will never experience a crash. It's better to invest in these now, than to have to deal with the consequences of not having them later.

Do you use any of these on your bike? Has there been instances where you were glad you had them? Share your experience! 


By Anna

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Top Dirt Bikes Worth Noting (2016)


We talked about choosing the best Motocross bike, and now let's talk about versatile dirt bikes that work on the track as well as on the trail.

Choosing the right dirt bike can be a tough call for someone new to the sport. There are even more variables to consider as compared with selecting an adventure bike or even a road bike. Because of the nature of dirt riding (whether that be motocross or enduro or dual sport), there are many factors to consider. The best bike for you depends on your ability, style and preferences.

Choosing a dirt bike

In our Motocross bikes post, we've already talked about how to choose a bike suited to your skill level and size (basically, don't buy a bigger bike than you can handle!). We also briefly went over why you would want to choose a 2-stroke engine over 4-stroke, or vice versa. To refrain from repeating information, we'll refer you over to that article.

There is one other big factor when thinking about what kind of dirt riding you want to do.

You want the right transmission for your specific type of riding. This is something that a lot of beginners fail to consider, but it's important as the gear ratio is different for the various types of off-road motorcycles.

If you're purely going to be riding MX, you want a close ratio gearing that is great in tight, technical terrain. MX bikes have close gears as you need acceleration to navigate the track, and NOT high speed riding over long distances.

If you're not going to ride mainly on the track, you can go more the enduro/dual sport route and you'll want a wider ratio of gears. This will be a lot more practical for varied riding in the real world. 1st and 2nd gear are usually lower than those on an MX bike, with 3rd and 4th about the same. 5th gear is definitely taller on the enduros and most come with a 6th gear that a lot of MX bikes don't have. This is great when the terrain is calling you to open the bike up. But this is probably best suited for another article.


We'll split our recommendations up into 2-strokes and 4-strokes. Let's get into it!

2-Strokes

The classic, tried-and-true 250 2-stroke has been a popular choice for a lot of technical off-road riders. 2-stroke bikes are more powerful and more nimble, which is great for navigating extreme riding conditions. But because of their power, they're best suited for more experienced riders.

KTM dominates the market of the 2-strokes. And there's none better than the 250XC.


The KTM250XC is a classic favorite for serious dirt riders. This fierce little machine features electric starter and a 6-speed transmission. At 222 pounds, the 250XC delivers awesome power-to-weight ratio for unrivaled performance. The modern frame is designed for maximum longitudinal stiffness and optimum torsional stiffness. And the WP Four Chamber System (4CS) upside-down fork and WP shock are specifically tuned for racing cross-country. 

If 250cc is not quite enough power, 2-stroke aficionados have even more options with 2-stroke 300cc MX bikes from KTM, Husky, Beta, and Sherco. Popular options include Beta 300RR, KTM300XC, Husky TE300, and Sherco 300SE.  Made popular by the world's best hard enduro riders, they put more power in lighter packages than most of us mere-mortals know what to do with.


Husky TE300 293cc 2-stroke

The Husqvarna TE300 is arguably the most powerful 2-stroke engine on the market with an output of 54 hp. Already a multiple championship winning bike, the 2016 version has many updates to make it even better. Most noticeably, the front-end geometry has been revised for improved handling. The 4CS fork and shock have been adjusted to improve damping, handling, and comfort. The lightweight 6-speed gearbox has been updated with enduro-specific gearing. This is a machine built to conquer every kind of terrain.

4-Strokes

4-stroke bikes, while not as powerful as their 2-stroke counterparts, are much more technologically advanced. This leads to smoother power delivery and a more comfortable ride. As such, it's a good choice for beginners.

Celebrated entries by Yamaha with the YZ450FX and more recently Honda's CRF450RX are moving from motocross-style machines to more of an off-road/enduro, GNCC type of discipline. This makes for a more practical performance machine in more natural terrain.


Yamaha YZ450FX 449cc 4-stroke

The Yamaha YZ450FX (MSRP $8,999) has a 449cc liquid cooled 4-stroke engine derived from the popular YZ450F, and 5-speed transmission that makes it versatile in different terrain. Yamaha's goal for this bike is something that would be durable and nimble enough to stand up to the harsh demands of cross-country/enduro riding.  It has become one of the top bikes to beat in competitions, and has helped Yamaha achieve notoriety for being one of the few brands to actually manage to gain relevance in both the 2-stroke & 4-stroke markets.

Honda CRF450RX 449cc 4-stroke

Honda birthed the CRF450RX to move the previous CRF450X forward for riders who needed a better long distance off-road experience. This GNCC bike is designed for cross-country competition with electric starting as standard (with manual backup starter), new Geomax AT81 tires, and fully adjustable Showa Spring Fork and suspension. The RX also has an 18" rear wheel and a larger plastic fuel tank.

What other dirt bikes do you like?

*photos courtesy of manufacturers

By Daniel Relich

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Cool Weather Gear by Alpinestars Fall 2016


It's still hot as hell in Southern California (hey that just means extended riding season!) but we know some of you guys are already experiencing the chill.

Whether you're braving the cold or want to extend your riding season, it's essential to keep yourself warm. The wind chill is no joke at high speeds. We've put together the essentials you'll need for fall riding from Alpinestars.

Warm technical base layers


The base layer is what is right up against your skin, so it's important that this layer is super comfortable and, most importantly, not trap moisture so you can stay dry.

Alpinestars' Tech Performance base layers are our go-to when the weather turns cold! They are specially designed for providing core temperature regulation, with double density fabric and moisture wicking material. The material is polypropylene with elastine fabric that'll hold up under abrasion. It's also compression fit for muscle support to reduce fatigue.

Shop Alpinestars Technical Base Layer Top and Alpinestars Technical Base Layer Bottom.

Warm Mid-Layer


The mid-layer is used between the base layers and the outer jacket for extra warmth. Alpinestar's Tech mid-layer is ergonomically shaped with pre-contoured sleeves. It's made with arctic fleece and has added wind-proofing performance for long rides in the cooling days. Details include zipped pockets and seamless lycra cuff with thumb loops.

We love that the jacket is stylish enough for everyday use as well as riding use. Multitasking item = more savings!

Shop Alpinestars Tech Mid-Layer.

Warm Balaclava & Neck Warmers


Admittedly, not the coolest looking gear, but when it gets really cold, these may just become your new favorite accessory. The Alpinestars open face balaclava is designed with heavyweight moisture wicking material to keep you cool and dry in any season. It's extra long for added neck protection and has flat lock seams and a strategic chin panel for comfort.

Or if you're not a fan of the balaclava, you may find that the Tech Neck Warmer is more comfortable and offers moe freedom of movement. It's made of a super soft 4-way stretch reversed micro-fleece in a moisture wicking material. There's an elasticized insert to keep it in place.

Shop Alpinestars Open Face Balaclava and Alpinestars Tech Neck Warmer.

Gloves

And lastly, we've got a few great options for cold-weather gloves from Alpinestars. It's extremely important to keep your hands warm (and dry!) as cold fingers mean less control. Therefore, it's important that the gloves be waterproof and insulated.

For shorter rides or commuting, we recommend the Corozal Drystar Gloves. This durable leather short-cuff glove is made with Alpinestars' waterproof DRYSTAR technology for excellent wet weather protection.

It features:

- over-molded hard knuckle protector
- stretch polyamide fabric upper and goatskin leather palm
- patented 3rd & 4th finger bridge to prevent finger roll and separation during impact
- EVA foam padding reinforcements on key impact areas
- pre-curved finger construction
- touch screen compatible fingertip on the index; visor wiper on the thumb

The Valparaiso DRYSTAR Gloves is a longer-length glove made for versatile adventure touring in all weather. It's made with Alpinestars' DRYSTAR waterproof and breathable membrane and a warm insulating layer. It has a leather palm and a textile & leather back, fourchettes, and cuff. It has all the protective features, including knuckle protectors, patented finger bridge, EVA padded finger protection, and reinforcements in key impact zones.

The Apex Drystar Gloves is made with a mix of leather and textile and features an extra warm thermal velour liner. It's made with Alpinestars' 100% waterproof DRYSTAR membrane to keep your hands dry. You can expect all of Alpinestars' protective features, including knuckle protectors, patented finger bridge, EVA padded finger protection, and reinforcements in key impact zones.

A great all-weather glove is the Archer Gore-Tex Gloves, which is designed for high-level performance no matter the weather condition. The premium glove has an innovative X-TRAFIT triple-layer fit structure with a fully waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX membrane. This special design allows for the glove to be lightweight and promote superb dexterity without the bulk of normal winter gloves.

Are you ready for riding this winter? Get what you need to stay warm, and don't forget the tea!
By Anna

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The Best Motorcycle Seats

best motorcycle seats

When you've got your bum glued to a seat for hours, you'd want it to be comfortable. If your bum's going numb or slip and sliding around too much, then you know your stock seat is probably not doing it. You'd be amazed at how much difference an aftermarket seat will make to your comfort. Just say no to monkey butt!!

Here are our favorite brands for aftermarket motorcycle seats.

Sargent Seats

Sargent (with a history spanning over 80 years) is renowned for their World Sport Performance Seats for all biking segments. Their products have become the go-to aftermarket motorcycle seats. Their mission is to provide high-quality, comfortable, lightweight, and attractive seats for all riders.

Each Sargent seat is made in the USA with a precision molded base pan. Sargent seats are come with a high-tech CarbonFX vinyl cover and Super Cell Atomic Foam for superior comfort and support. They are lightweight and each has a under-seat storage system.

Sargent World Sport Performance Seats:

Sargent's World Sport Performance Seats are made with precision technology and high-quality materials. Each seat is tailor made to be a specific fit for its designated bike model. The seats are made of an advanced Super Cell Atomic Foam that increases comfort, while avoiding the excess weight of gel. And they are covered with a marine-grade UV-stablized, mildew-resistant, damn near waterproof carbonFx vinyl.

The Sargent World Sport Performance seat is available in several configurations: Standard, which is designed to match the lines of your bike; Enduro, designed for dual-sport where you'll have to shift back and forth on the seat (it's also super comfortable for long-distance rides, whether on or off the road); and 2-UP, which is absolutely the best for long rides with a passenger.

Read our review of the Sargent World Sport Enduro and 2UP Seats for BMW F800GS.

Saddlemen

Founded in 1987, Saddlemen has become an industry leader in motorcycle seats and luggage, redefining the way riders transport their belonging on a bike. Their products are known for their comfort, quality, and stylish design. Saddlemen seats are made with an exclusive combination of saddle gel and formulated black magic foam with carefully shaped contours. All seats are designed to fit the driver and passenger comfortably in various riding conditions.

Saddlemen SaddleGel:

Saddlemen is known for their special Gel Core technology and is the industry leader in gel seats. Their SaddleGel seats are engineered to absorb and dampen engine & road vibrations that are usually transferred in foam seats. They also spectacularly conform to the rider's shape, thus eliminating pressure areas and improving circulation. This makes long term riding so much easier on your butt.

One of our best selling line is the Saddlemen Gel-Channel Sport Seat. This features a patent-pending gel channel technology that incorporates a split piece of SaddleGel and a channel in the base foam to better relieve pressure on the perineal area. In simpler words, the gel channel seat made long term sport-riding much easier on your crotch. 

Shop Saddlemen Motorcycle Seats & Luggage.

Shop all Street Motorcycle Seat & Seat Covers - Sargent and more.
Shop all Dual-Sport/ADV Motorcycle Seats.

Mustang (for cruisers)

Mustang was founded in 1980 by Al Simmons, a motorcycle enthusiast with an engineering degree. He used that knowledge, his own riding experience, and also time to travel to every State to listen to what motorcycle riders want. Starting from just a tiny operation making a few dozen seats a day, Mustang is now a worldwide leader. Today, Mustang is known for the highest quality seats for metric cruisers, Victory, and Harley-Davidson. 

All Mustang seats are handcrafted in the USA by true craftsmen who manage to transform high-quality raw materials into beautiful, comfortable seats. Each seat is designed for both the rider's and passenger's comfort. Their mission is to produce comfortable seats at an affordable price for everyone.

Roland Sands (for cruisers)

Roland Sands Design (RSD) is relatively new, having just been founded in 2005. But already, they have proven to have become a worldwide influence. RSD is a motorcycle, product, and apparel company with roots in racing and custom bike building. Their fleet of custom motorcycles have been featured in over 500 magazine articles worldwide, with over 100 covers. They have a unique design style that has made them incredibly popular, and now their designs are available as aftermarket parts for any rider. 


*photos courtesy of manufacturers

By Daniel Relich

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Motorcycle Riding Adventures In California


Fall is gonna be in full swing soon! For many of us, that means the last couple of months to ride before storing our bikes for the winter. The weather is usually perfect and it's just about the best time to take your motorcycle for a spin.

Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year to ride as we get a reprieve from the blazing summer heat. And California is a paradise for motorcycle riders. The State has practically any kind of natural terrain you can imagine, as well as iconic paved routes.

Whether you're a street thrill-seeker or an off-road enthusiast, here are 9 best places to ride in the fall in California!

1. Angeles Crest Highway - The Sportbike Mecca


Angeles Crest Highway is a favorite for SoCal riders. It's so close to Los Angeles, but you can feel
completely separated from the big city. Cutting through the Angeles National Forest, this 60 mile stretch of road boasts a lot of twisties in a beautiful mountain forest setting. The road condition is very good, so you can get into those turns and switchbacks without worrying about uneven surfaces. Go as high as 7,000 ft in elevation and see stunning view of the Angeles hills.

Start in La Canada and take Highway 2 up into the mountain, ending in Wrightwood (or choose various other paths). The ride starts with wide sweeping turns, but quickly goes into sharp corners and fast switchbacks. With corners named as Squid's Leap, make sure you have fun but ride carefully as motorcycle accidents are prone.

If you're in the mood for some grub, Newcomb's Ranch (about halfway up) is a popular spot for riders to meet up, get some tummy fuel, and socialize.

Time to ride: about 90 minutes

2. Malibu Canyon Roads - Tons of Options


Malibu Canyon is another favorite for local Los Angeles riders. You get incredible changes in landscape on this road, from the sparkling ocean to canyon roads to forest scenes.

Take the Latigo Canyon Road that starts from Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The 10 mile road up Latigo is one of the twistiest roads you can find in the Los Angeles area with challenging switchbacks and sharp turns. You can then connect to Kanan Dume Road, which leads to the famous Mulholland Drive - another fun twisty road that you can ride on until you reach the inaccessible part. 

A stop by The Rock Store on Mulholland Highway (a building made entirely out of volcanic rock) is a must since you're already in the area. This a famous biker hangout/pitstop where on weekends, you may see hundreds of bikes out front - the ultimate biker community!

Time to ride: with all the mixed canyon roads, you can spend all day there!

3. Azusa Canyon - Fun day ride in greater Los Angeles 

This mountain road in the northeast region of Los Angeles is located in the San Gabriel Mountains. This ride has beautiful scenery with a variety of mountain terrain and a large change in elevation.

The difficulty level of the beginning sections is not too hard; the roads are made of wide, sweeping turns - perfect for novices. But the higher up the canyon you go, the road becomes much more technical. This includes hairpin turns, steeper inclines, and decreasing radius turns with multiple apexes.

Up the mountain is an intersection known as the Y - where East Fork Road, Glendora Ridge Road, and Glendora Mountain Road meet. Riders commonly reference 'the Y' as a landmark when preparing at the gas station at the freeway exit at the mouth of the canyon. Glendora Ridge Road, which is gentler and smoother, will take you across the range all the way to Mt. Baldy. Glendora Mountain Road, on the other hand, will take you back down. It's the most technical road of the three, so it's the preferred route for many. Why not ride down and back up?!

4. Ortega Highway (Hwy 74) - Quick canyon run



Ortega Highway isn't the most radical, knee-dragging highway in SoCal, but it's a solid go-to for anyone in Orange County, and is worth visiting if you're in the area. It can be great fun to ride through this twisty highway if you?re careful (watch out for deer! ? accidents are incredibly common). Beginning in the historic town of San Juan Capistrano and ending at Lake Elsinore, this 30-mile road up the mountain carves through the lush national forest and ends with a sweeping view over the glittering lake.

A huge bonus for Dual Sport riders are the well-traveled dirt roads via gates into the Cleveland National Forest. Beginners that take their time and watch for oncoming traffic will enjoy a ride on the Main Divide trail that spans all the way across the mountains, offering numerous opportunities to adventure in various distances with different destinations on either side of the mountain range. Check your map or GPS to make sure you stop at Santiago Peak, and be sure to verify that the exit gate you plan to use is open before you plan your route!

You'll also find the famous diner Hell's Kitchen along Highway 74 - a popular hangout and must-stop with the Harley crowd, but all riders are welcome. We stop here regardless of the bikes we're on! Another option is the Lookout Roadhouse at the top, which is a nice place to grab a bite and enjoy the view of Lake Elsinore.

Time to ride (pavement): less than 1 hour

5. California Route 36 - The twistiest road!

For street riders seeking some serious twists and thrills, you?ll have a lot of fun on this route, but BE CAREFUL! This 140 mile-long road in the Redding area (starting from Redbluff and ending in Fortuna) is EXTREMELY twisty. An entire 140 miles of twists, in fact. This is an exhausting ride purely because of how extra-alert you have to be at all times. But other rides may seem boring after this! The road is mostly smooth to ride on, but be alert because some parts don?t have guardrails, and it?s a long drop.

Time to ride: about 4 hours.

6. California Hwy 1 - Scenic ride along the coast


It is a rite of passage for SoCal dwellers to take this route at some point. For riding enthusiasts, it's a must. Hwy 1 is a favorite for those who want to take the more scenic route up north to San Francisco. Sure, it'll take you half as long if you just go directly up Hwy 5, but what's the fun in that? Aside from riding right next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean, you'll also hit some pretty awesome mountain curves once you get into Monterey County.


There are several insanely gorgeous stops along the way, such as Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Big Sur, and Monterey Bay. Don't forget to stop by San Simeon to see elephant seals sunning themselves on the beach! It really is remarkable to pull off in the lovely designated parking area and peak down at these massive animals in their natural environment.

Time to ride: The long length of this ride is taxing, so allow for 2 days if you started by Malibu and your goal is San Francisco. There's plenty of sights along the way so plan accordingly!

7. Baja California - ride down a peninsula


Or, you can head South and reach Baja (the original California) - now a spectacular Mexican peninsula where you can find innumerable sleepy little towns on your way through mountains, deserts and sandy beaches. It's also a dream for off-roaders, as there are hundreds of miles of dirt trails of all different terrain. Just don't get lost in the wilderness out there! Also be careful to plan around large-scale professional events like the Baja 1000.


For the street-riders who are craving an epic adventure, you can ride 1,000 miles of paved road (Highway 1) down the entire peninsula, starting in Tijuana and ending in beautiful Cabo San Lucas.

Tips: this is at least an overnight trip if you're starting from Los Angeles. Bring your passport and proof of ownership of your bike. And be extra careful of safety and don?t do anything stupid (ahem, as in, don?t bring anything illegal and keep your wits about you).

8. Big Bear - SoCal mountain trails for all riders


Big Bear has lots of options for off-road enthusiasts and thrill-seeking street guys. There are dozens of off-road trails snaking through Big Bear Mountain and the surrounding areas. You'll have fun discovering and conquering each one. Most of them are hard compacted dirt with loose rocks, but there are very challenging trails with large rocks as well. If it's your first time in the area mind the posted signs and be prepared for a variety of weather and change in temperature.

On the other hand, if you prefer street riding or have a passenger, an option for you is to the do the loop around Big Bear Lake. You'll start at the base of the mountain in Highland and continue up 330 and 18 East until you get to the Lake. This is a fun twisty road. After you make a loop around the lake, Big Bear has a charming little village where you can chill and grab a bite.


This is absolutely one of our favorite destinations since it feels like you're worlds away even though it's right on our backyard.

Time to ride: about 2.5 hour for the lake loop to go up and down.

9. El Paso Mountains - Off-road canyon fun


El Paso Mountains in the northern Mojave Desert is an awesome fun ride for the off-roaders. The desert landscape is almost surreal. You'll go through incredibly rocky areas where the ground is littered with rocks as big as your fist, dirt paths with the red canyon cliffs rising up on either side of you, and flat desertscape where you can see for miles. You may even spot a few native desert tortoises (please don't touch)! As you gain elevation, the view of the valley below is just amazing.

A good target destination is Last Chance Canyon, a depression-era mining site, and the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, a mysterious half-mile long tunnel entirely dug by hand through solid rock over 3 decades.


Tips: El Paso is a great time to ride in the fall (October and later) as it's very hot in the summer. Be careful though that you can only ride in areas where there is an "OPEN" sign; a fine is very costly here!

10. Lake Tahoe - Breathtaking alpine scenery


Tahoe is another location that offers a ton of riding options for riders of every level. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States, and the 80-mile loop around it is perfect for the novice rider, not to mention the breathtaking scenery by your side at every turn. If off-road riding is more your style, there are also hundreds of miles of trails in the Tahoe area.

If you want to venture out into the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, you can go to the tiny town of Genoa from 207 through Kingsbury. There, the main attraction is the charming little Genoa Bar and Saloon - the oldest drinking establishment in Nevada! This bar has seen a lot of famous visitors throughout its decades, and is now a famous pit stop for bikers to cure their thirst while reveling in a part of history.

11. Death Valley - Desertscape and Sand Dunes


It doesn't sound like it, but Death Valley is a beautiful ride. This ride takes you through the California desert into Nevada. You can have a really fun rocky ride in Echo Canyon, and then really get up to speed through a wide expanse of desert while dodging lots of cacti. A distinct landmark of this area is the Mesquite Dunes - massive rolling hills of soft sand shaped by the wind.

This is a great place to include on your route since you will have ridden through narrow, rocky canyons, riverbeds, and beautiful open desert to get here. Heads up noobs - the sand is super soft, and your bike can easily end up like this (ha!):




Watch footage of our ride through Death Valley:



Are you gonna hit up any of these epic routes/trails this fall? Remember, bring plenty of water, extra fuel, and tire repair materials. If you're going alone, make sure someone knows where you are going, even what specific trail you're planning to ride. We've had too many crashes on desolate trails with our Solomoto team alone, so we urge everyone (especialy the solo-moto-ers) to take extra precautions!

Get out there this fall and have fun!

By Daniel Relich

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New Yamaha YZF-R6 for 2017 Coming?



Is this the new 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6? It seems to have been forever since a big revamp of the R6 has surfaced. It feels like the same bike since the major platform update debuted in 2006. Yes, I know, there has been changes since them but it's kind of ... been lookin' the same. We've been R6 fanboys, owning many ourselves including pair of 03 R6's and a pair of 06 R6's - that we've turn into trackday machines.

There's talks of a 3-cylinder, but we can take cues from the engine sound in Yamaha's teaser video. Perhaps not. I'm hoping we'll seeing something extraordinarily different. We're looking forward to a possible engine revamp, perhaps some high tech electronics and, of course, a re-do of the body style and fairing.

Will we see technology from Moto GP make it to the baby R1? It's hard to say. Stay tuned. The world will know what Yamaha's been up to on October 4, 2016.
By Daniel Relich

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