Galfer Rear Wave Rotors

When I checked my rear rotor on my 800GS at approximately 18,000-miles, it was about 1mm away from needing to be replaced (according to BMW specs). I happen to relish the opportunity to bolt new farkles on my bike, but maintaining minimum safety standards is a no-brainer. If safety is good, then more safety is surely better. So, let's take things a step further and add a better performing brake system to the rear wheel. Introducing the Galfer RearWave Rotor for the 800GS.

Our 800GS utilizes the rear brake heavily in a variety of conditions: wet pavement and water crossings, dirt, mud, snow, sand, and desert temperatures well over 100-degrees in the summer. We need a rear rotor that will dissipate heat and fight brake fade while maintaining bite in all of the messy off-road conditions we plow this motorcycle through. Galfer has been a trusted name in brakes for over 50 years, and we?ve used a number of their performance braking applications with great success.

The Galfer Rear Wave Rotor installs without any issue since it's a direct replacement for the stock BMW rotor. Do-it-yourselfers may want to make one note: the brake caliper floats on the carrier as the pads wear to keep each side even on the rotor, so you?ll need to slide the caliper over to fit the new rotor and pads into the caliper. That little trick aside, the installation was about as straight forward as it gets.

The performance on the Galfer Rear Wave Rotor is outstanding. We can pound on the brake pedal all day and it responds beautifully without fail. The rotor sheds water through its self-cleaning properties thanks to the wave shape, which also aids in cooling- paramount to a good rotor. Heat will cause brakes to fade, meaning that they start to feel soft and lose their bite. Galfer has worked tirelessly on solving this problem by actually inventing and patenting the Wave Rotor. Thanks Galfer!  
By Aram

Gaerne Balanced Oiled Boots

Choosing my pair of boots was real difficult. I wanted a full blown MX boot with ankle protection, a waterproof boot that I could ride in the rain with, and a boot that I could stand all day in at work. I found out quickly that getting all three of these attributes in one boot was going to be impossible.

I tried on the popular dual sport boots like Sidi Crossfires 2 SRS, Alpinestars Scouts, and a variety of more Alpinestars geared more towards MX. Having heard of so many good things about the Gaerne, specifically their line of trials boots, I decided to throw my money down on a pair of Gaerne Balance Oiled's. I would be losing the complete ankle protection I was looking for but I would gain the waterproofing and the all-day comfort I desired.

I normally wear a size 11 to 12 tennis shoe and about 11.5 boots all depending on the company and ended up ordering the 11's. The boots were tight at first but quickly started to break in. I felt no strange pressure points and the leather that was supple to begin and quickly became more nice and soft. The only complaint I have of the boot is a lack of shifter protecting on the boot. After laying the bike down and riding with a bent shifter my foot got a bit sore since its just leather on top of the boot. Normally this doesn't cause a problem at all. Another thing to note is the lack of a raised heel. I had to adjust the shifter up a notch so that I could comfortably shift as the boots I was used to wearing with a heel allowed more room with the narrower vertical clearance caused by the void in front of the raised heel.

Over all I am really happy with the boots. Riding fire roads on my DR650SE with stock suspension I find these boots great. Before with my work boots my lower legs would bash against the frame sometimes but the Gaerne's have enough padding to make this a non-issue. I have worn the boots for 17 hours at a time; split between riding, standing at work, lounging around, and riding again with no discomfort to speak of. I haven't tested how waterproof they are but did step in a couple of puddles a few inches deep and felt no moisture. When it is hot they breathe surprisingly well but do get a little warm while standing in 85 F plus degree weather. For hardcore dirt riding a different boot ought to be used but for a casual boot that can be worn all day, walked around with no annoying squeaks, the Gaerne Balance Oiled Boots are my boot of choice.

By Sir D

Moto-D Pro Series Dual Temp Tire Warmer Review

I purchased the Pro Series Dual Temperature Tire Warmers from Moto-D brand new a little under 1 year ago now, and WOW! They are working out as well as I could have ever imagined. Coming from a top of the line brand (ChickenHawk), I was a bit skeptical to be trying out a new manufacturer's product with no real track record yet. They come with a super cool carrying case to keep them in, and have 3 settings on the warmer; Off, low, and high with the use of a rocker switch. I typically use high for getting the tires up to operating temperature, and low for keeping the tires from heat cycling in between sessions or for rain tires.

Moto-D's claim to fame, in my opinion, would definitely be their unique Carbon Coil Wire technology. I have noticed a noticeably faster heat up time over the traditional wire element that was used in my old ChickenHawk's. In addition, the carbon coil wires are supposed to last for much longer and are more resistant to tears, breaks, and ?dead? spots. The exterior is made from a durable Carbon Fiber looking Poly-Nomex material, looks pretty awesome when the sun catches it just right!

Moto-d's product support is also top notch, they will replace the warmers, free of charge, within 2 years if they ever stop working - even if it's your fault because you leave them plugged in accidentally! 

.. And, Yes, we REALLY use them :)
By Sir D

Superbike Rear Brake Reservoir Kit

The superbike rear brake reservoir kit makes for a great sportbike winter mod that adds a serious custom look to your machine. They're priced under $20 and come with everything you'd need for installation except for the brake fluid. Kits include 12 inches of Tygon 2375 Ultra Chemical Resistant Tubing, one stainless steel hose clamp and one breather cap. Many customers even pick up an extra Tygon tube and update the front brake reservoir line to clear as well.

This kit also makes a great stocking stuffer for your motorcyclist!
By Sir D

Heidenau K60 Scout Tires In Stock

Heidenau K60 Scout tires are back in stock at The K60 is considered a 50/50 dual sport tire which means it is designed for riding half of the time off-road and half of the time on-road. We've seen it being used up to 70% on road with great tread life (in the 6,000-8,000 mile range). We use the K60 rear on our shop BMW F800gs and absolutely love it. Read reviews on the K60 scout from real riders on our website.
By Sir D

Brembo 19RCS Brake Master Cylinder

The Brembo 19RCS brake master cylinder is back in stock! Brembo has put together a very nice platform for street and track duty motorcycles. The 19RCS brake master cylinder comes with a folding lever, brake light switch (for brake light activation) and, best of all, an adjustable pivot distance allow a rider to select from 19x18(street, for instance) or 19x20 (track, or vice versa). This feature effectively puts 2 master cylinders into one unit.

For most modern sportbikes with an existing radial brake master cylinder the 19RCS brake will be direct bolt-on. I would suggest additional Tygon tubing as the length may need to be adjusted to suit your needs - and, hey, it looks trick! Brembo makes a stand-a-lone reservoir kit for those without a stock radial brake system.

Learn a little more about Brembo and their industry leading brake technology.

By Sir D

Does an Aftermarket Motorcycle Seat Really Make a Difference?

I have the Sargent seat on my touring motorcycle and it makes a huge difference in the amount of time I can spend in the saddle. Never the one to complain about a motorcycle I'm still paying for, I try to cope with the stock parts on the machine for as long as possible. Most people can't go out and customize their bikes after spending their budget on the bike itself. When it came to the seat, I was conflicted with how much of a difference it would actually make. One 4,000-mile ride answered that question for me!

My experience with the stock seat wasn't all that bad. It wasn't until I was spending day after day on the bike when I started to have problems. I ended up shifting my weight to one side, then to the other, and eventually just had to stop to stretch and take a break. That's not what riding is about to me. I bought the bike to ride do cover some miles, and I?m old enough to realize that suffering is not always a necessity. There are only a few locations that your body actually contacts the bike so I decided to remedy the most obvious contact point with a product I?d heard so many good things about: the Sargent World Sport Performance Motorcycle Seat.

Sargent seats are well known for their comfort and superior fit on every popular touring motorcycle out there. This became apparent as soon as I popped the seat on the bike. The fit was just as good as stock and it even had an additional storage compartment under the seat. The finish is actually a lot nicer looking that the stock seat which is a bonus. I've had the seat in rain, mud, dirt and dust, and it still looks awesome after thousands of miles. I can ride a looooooong way on this seat. Much, much further than I ever could on the stock seat, that?s for sure.

So, in summary, I would highly recommend the Sargent seat for any motorcycle you?re looking to put some miles on. It will be a noticeable improvement for someone commuting or just putting around on the weekend as well. My friend sat on my bike over the weekend and exclaimed ?nice seat!? So, it does make a difference, and I?m glad I have one on my bike today so I don?t need to turn down long rides to places that I've always wanted to go. This is an upgrade that allows you to do more with your motorcycle, which is the whole point, isn't it?
By Sir D

Look Good, Perform Better with Slip On Exhaust

Exhaust systems are an enormously popular upgrade for every type of motorcycle out there. I've owned and ridden dirt bikes, dual sports, track-only race bikes, touring bikes, cruisers, scooters?just about anything with two wheels, and people buy and use aftermarket exhausts on all of them. The most popular exhaust application for any segment of motorcycle cycle riding is the slip on exhaust.

A 'slip-on' basically consists of a muffler or silencer with a connecting pipe that fits into the rest of the stock exhaust. This replaces the end of the exhaust pipe where the exhaust exits the motorcycle?s engine. There are a few reasons why this is such a popular upgrade. First, it's easy to do. All that's required to install a slip-on is to unbolt the stock muffler/silencer and bolt on the new one. All exhaust manufacturers make model specific slip-ons in a variety of styles for all different types of motorcycles. They essentially slip onto a stock exhaust pipe.

Another reason a slip on exhaust is so popular is because of its visibility. The muffler is typically right out there in plain sight for the world to see. Often times, the stock muffler is much larger and usually much uglier than its aftermarket replacement. You can save a lot of weight if you're focused on performance, but the bike night guy is just as pleased with his new carbon fiber, aluminum, or titanium pipe on his bike for everyone to ooh and aw over.

Sound is a major reason for the upgrade as well. A lot of riders will describe their motorcycle as having a sewing machine sound when they buy it and that they would prefer a deeper growling sound. Many mufflers use different baffling from the stock exhaust or even none at all. That's why it's also important to know what the law is for your state or region so that you are not making an illegal upgrade to your motorcycle that will get you in trouble later by law enforcement.

A lot of off-road vehicles are required to have a spark arrestor in the muffler/silencer. This doesn't mean that the motorcycle has one if you bought it used or if you are attempting to re-purpose the motorcycle for use in different areas than it was intended. There are also sound requirements for a lot of off-road motorcycles and track-only motorcycles so the muffler/silencer becomes an important aspect of the bike to consider. All the best exhaust makers have exhausts that you can bolt right on to your motorcycle that have all the legal spark arrestors and noise requirements but still offer improved performance. Stock sucks. Why not have your cake and eat it too?!
By Sir D

5 Staple Streetbike Mods

With so many options available, it's sometimes hard to find a good upgrade path for your streetbike. Well, dear reader, here's a quick and dirty list that will apply to most street riders:

1) Fender eliminator kits clean up the tail end of your motorcycle and have been a popular sportbike upgrade for some time now. These are great first additions to your sportbike as most OEM license plate fenders are awfully ugly. You'll be road ready to no time!

2) A new windscreen is a staple upgrade born on the race track. Puig and Zero Gravity dominate the sportbike windscreen market. For less than a $100, you can drastically change the look and feel of your sportbike with various windscreen shapes and colors. The full tuck friendly 'double height' or 'double bubble' profile sell best.

3) Frame sliders are a very popular upgrade as well but have taken some heat over the years (usually when people expect them to protect the bike in any crash scenario). Frame sliders work well in most tip-over incidents. They'll save your precious (and expensive) bodywork from taking a beating when your bike hits the pavement but don't expect them to do much if you experience a highside crash. Remember to round out your bike protection with bar ends and spools!

4) Get some levers! Now-a-days, aftermarket levers are adjustable and are designed to improve rider comfort as the stock levers are not adjustable or are not adjustable within a wide enough range. Pazzo levers took the US by storm when releasing their levers with multiple color options and in shortly and long variety. People flocked to them and a revolution was started. Lever combinations are near endless and will fit into most budgets at around $170 (street price) a set.

5) Nothing culminates the motorcycle riding experience quite like the ubiquitous slip-on exhaust. It's popularity is gained by the relatively affordable price (as compared to a full system exhaust) and, generally speaking, additional fuel management (via a Power Commander or similar device) won't be necessary. Rev happily through the urban jungle while setting off car alarms and frightening the occasional pet -- oh, my!
By Sir D

SW-Motech Allows For Use, On Top Of Abuse

There are a lot of options for bike protection these days. When it comes to big bolt-on parts like engine guards, skid plates, and racks, there are a few points to consider when making a decision on what items will be right for you. SW-Motech offers a variety of solutions for different touring and adventure motorcycles.

One thing that confuses some people is compatibility with other components on their motorcycle. Your skid plate needs to fit with your engine guards, and vice versa. All racks, whether they mount to the sides or the top on the back will need to match the accessories you plan to use with them, usually bags, hard cases, storage containers for fuel or water, and any other bolt-on items that require specific mounting points. I look for the most compatibility and scalability so I don't get stuck with hardware that is only compatible with one solution.

I started out all matchy-matchy with an SW Motech skid plate and engine guards, or 'crash bars' as they're also called. I didn't give the skid plate much thought at the time since it appeared to me that bolting a 3mm slab of aluminum under the bike would be hard to mess up. The skid plate left plenty of room for the crash bars, which was my main concern.

I fell in love the with the SW Motech crash bars for a few reasons. First, they were the narrowest profile I could find, which is a huge plus for splitting lanes and fitting the bike into tight spots. Second, they were extremely stout and offered an enormous amount of coverage from the headers all the way up past the engine next to the radiator. They fit the bike beautifully and came in a nice shiny black to match all the hardware on my motorcycle.

To this day, over 12,000 miles later, when the bike falls over or hits the ground in a crash, everything is protected. I can lay the bike on its side on the ground without worrying about any damage occurring, but the impact that the equipment can handle is pretty amazing. You're welcome to check out our Riding Videos to see some of the abuse we put our bikes through.

When on the ground, the bike rests on the rear passenger peg, the crash bar, and the hand guards (I went with the Barkbusters). Unfortunately- or fortunately for you, I've taken SW-Motech to task on the trail with more spills and crashes than I can count by now, one of which occurred fully loaded at a gas station on concrete. Onlookers seemed more affected by the sight of the bike on the ground than I was since I was prepared for this inevitability, and the bike was fine. I can attest that SW-Motech is making quality equipment that stands up to real world use and abuse, and I would highly recommend their hardware for use on adventure and touring motorcycles.

Here are some photos of the installation of the SW-Motech crash bars on the F800GS. The SW-Motech skid plate is also pictured below. (We had it powder coated black to match the bike).

By Aram