Grand Canyon Adventure with Giant Loop Motorcycle Luggage

We recently had the opportunity to try some motorcycle luggage from Giant Loop. I'd heard great things about their soft luggage so I was excited to pick out a new tank bag and rear saddlebags for a 700-mile big-bike adventure to the north rim of the Grand Canyon through Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Giant Loop embraces the "go light, go fast" concept, which is reinforced by building luggage that doesn't outweigh your gear. This makes sense to someone like me who is always concerned with weight and performance so I can maximize fun along the way. 

I began with the Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag. I started using the bag around town, back and forth to the office, running errands, etc. Even though the Diablo is the smaller of the two tank bags offered by Giant Loop (the larger being the
Fandango tank bag), it had more than enough room for my needs. Things get more critical with space on long trips, and this little tank bag swallowed everything I shoved in it: sunglasses, goggles, spare goggle lens, camera, GoPro, chapstick, sunscreen, knife, spare batteries, cables, chargers, phone, rags, pressure gauge, leather riding gloves, insect repellent, and a map and itinerary in the see-through sleeve on the top. I was able to store all of those items in the Diablo and still have room to sort through it all and zip it closed very quickly with my gloves on. I tugged on the zippers a million times and the Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag took the abuse over hundreds of miles of dust and dirt. 

I've put another 4,000 miles on the motorcycle since this trip and the Diablo works incredibly well. It's important to mention that the Diablo slants up and out of the way so you can stand up and lean forward all day without crushing the contents of the bag. Other riders have complained about their tank bags fitting around them in a seated position and being in the way while standing. Something to think about when considering a tank bag. Click any of the links to the tank bag in this post and you'll see what I mean.

The bulk of my gear was stored in the Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag. The Great Basin goes over the seat where a passenger normally would and uses the passenger pegs as a mount point. The straps over the top of the saddlebag allow you to compress softer items at the top of the bag while storing heavier items like tools and tubes lower on the sides. This is extremely helpful with weight distribution on the motorcycle, which means better handling. The compression straps and cam buckles tighten as you pull, so it's quick and easy once the bag is zipped up. I stored all my food, cookware, clothes, shoes, basically everything outside of my camping gear in the Great Basin. As I used consumables along the way, the straps cinched down and kept the load close to the motorcycle. I'm rough on my gear, and this saddlebag was tugged on, pushed, and dragged over dirt and rocks- all the while, acting as one unit with the motorcycle. The Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag delivered a flexible, scalable, sturdy unit of storage for all of my necessities during the trip. 

Both the Diablo Tank Bag and the Great Basin Saddlebag are removed from the motorcycle with ease. I would throw my GPS and Spot in the tank bag, unzip it from the harness that remains on the motorcycle, and carry the bag by the built-in handle. The Great Basin was just as easy, which made me feel like a total stud when we got to camp because I could un-strap the bag, throw it over my shoulder and drop it next to my tent with very little effort. It might not sound like a big deal, but at the end of a long day it made all the difference not having to make multiple trips from the motorcycle to my tent.

One more thing about the Great Basin Saddlebag: it comes with 2 heavy-duty Cordura internal pannier pods (with handles), 2 yellow nylon stuff sacks (I used for freeze-dried food and clothing), 2 integrated bottle carriers attached to the inside of the bag (which stay flat and out of the way if you don't need them), and a healthy zippered top case lined with high-visibility yellow nylon (which also stays flat and out of the way when not in use). All of these little compartments and storage containers were extremely useful for someone like me who doesn't want to go out and buy containers for all his junk- especially when you consider how much it would cost. Each internal bag is sized to a specific area of the saddlebag so, once you fit your possessions into all of the internal containers you want to use, you just slip them into the areas they're sized for in the saddlebag. This made life a lot easier because I just used these containers in my tent and around camp and then loaded them into the saddlebag when it was time to go.

Overall, I was very happy with the look, function, and quality of the Giant Loop luggage I used on this trip. Road travel is even better with this soft luggage because the bike remains narrow for splitting lanes and navigating congested areas and traffic. I was very happy having everything secure and close to the motorcycle. I don't know how someone would deal with the kind of weight I was carrying off-road with panniers or top racks. I found a great solution in Giant Loop's luggage for traveling hundreds of miles in rough terrain with a lot of gear. I would highly recommend their products to anyone looking to do the same.

By Aram

Cardo Scala Rider G9

The new Scala Rider G9 brings some new technology to the motorcycle communications market and gives riders exactly what they've been asking for in a motorcycle communications system.
The One+8 intercom allows you to toggle between 9 different G9 users in a full duplex toggle mode - this is in addition to being able to connect (simultaneously) 4 G9's in conference mode.  With the G9's flash pairing, you can easily just bump 2 devices together and they'll be paired.

The Cardo Systems Scala Rider G9 also offers voice recognition with the ability to name your intercom so if you're in a large group of riders and you want to talk to a certain person all you have to do it say their name (for instance) and you're connected. That's pretty amazing!!

There is also a group buzz (signaling) feature that allows you to send a signal to up to 8 other G9's in your group as a warning for road hazard or what have you.  The G9 also allows for a conference call between your phone, rider and passenger. The G9 is iPhone compatible.

The Cardo Scala Rider G9 is available as a single unit or as a G9 Powerset with 2 paired units.

I'm absolutely floored by the features of the new G9. Get one today.

You can shop for more Cardo Systems Scala Rider communicators and accessories on

By Sir D

RK Chain Tool New Lower Price

The RK Chain Tool is now $113.81 from SoloMotoParts! Pricing is for a limited time!

Heavy Duty RK Chain Breaker Press Fit and Rivet Tool. We recommend this Chain Tool. 

Quickly and easily breaks 40 & 50 type chain. Easily press-fits tight tolerance 40,50 & 60 O-ring chain sideplates to the correct depth for clip or rivet link installation. Flares RK's special pin hole rivet links to the proper dimension to secure sideplates in place. Works on most brands. Lifetime warranty on tool body & Handle. 
  • Manufacturer Part#: UCT4060
  • Sold As: EA

By Sir D

Sunstar 520RTG1 Racing Chain

The Sunstar 520RTG1 Works Triple Guard Sealed Racing Chain is a top level racing chain designed for high performance street/racing 600cc and 1000cc applications. It's direct competitor is likely the DID ERV3 Chain.

Sunstar's exclusive TG-ring (TripleGuard) is employed where the ring seals with three lips per side for the ultimate in heat prevention and keeping the chain lubricated even in extremely harsh conditions.

The 520RTG1 is extremely strong with a tensile strength rating of 9,270 lbs, yet also in a lightweight design - weighing just over 4 lbs per 100 links. The chains come in Gold and a rivet connecting link it is highly recommended.

The Sunstar RTG1 chain is also available in a 530 variation (530RTG1) and provides about 9,900lbs of tensile strength.

Sunstar has a long heritage of road racing and sprocket development but has had some absence in top level sportbike racing in the recent decades which could lend a slow market uptake to their racing chain. I've been assured the quality is among the best and with Sunstar's OE collaboration it's not hard to convince me.

We recommend the RK chain tool for installation.
By Sir D

DID VX Gold Chains

DID released the new VX chain series in 2012 designed to bring a new high performance street x-ring chain to market at a price point similar to budget o-ring style chains. These new chains have a greater resistance to stretching under load that give it a better real-world application and make it a great street chain. DID's proven x-ring design matches performance with today's high-performance machines.

The VX Series is the ultimate in performance and durability, now available at a new low O-Ring Chain Price. VX Series Chains are available in Gold 520VX2, Gold 525VX and Gold 530VX as well as Natural 520VX2, Natural 525VX and Natural 530VX. The VX series chains do not come with a rivet connecting link but we highly recommend using a rivet connecting link for street applications.

DID's New PRO-Street X-Ring VX Series Chains are a perfect match for your dual sport, sport bike or sport touring bike.

Get your DID VX Chain today from Solo Moto Parts!

By Sir D

Hanging Out with Jonah Street

I had the privilege of hanging out with rider Jonah Street in Indianapolis earlier this year. It was a big moment for me considering that it wasn't a meet and greet or an autograph signing. I had heard (and seen) so much about this rider since moving into the ADV scene and I have to say- what a nice guy! He started off by telling me we were going to have to wrestle right there and then since I didn't have any of my Klim gear on, but when I offered to buy him a beer (from the complimentary bar) he seemed willing to pass on the wrestling. Everyone was relaxing while we watched the current round of Supercross. It was the race from this season (2012) with the Chad Reed injury so, perfect timing to be in close quarters with so many people that love motorcycles!

I got to talk to Jonah about everything from movies and music to riding growing up and his early days looking for sponsors. He had it rough for a lot of years and it doesn't seem like things got any easier as the road went on. I didn't expect to find so much common ground with a seasoned rally rider. This was just part of the charm that is Jonah Street. He was vocal about loving what he does and how lucky he is to do it. I happen to share this sentiment as well. All this bonding and I still wanted more so, I captured his attention at the exact wrong moment- right when Reed hit the ground live on TV!!! Uh-oh... back to wrestling we go.

So, thumbs up to Jonah for endlessly humoring a fan and best of luck to him as spokesperson for Top 1 Oil.
By Aram

White Pazzo Levers at SoloMotoParts!

White Pazzo Levers are now available from SoloMotoParts! The white levers are the newest color to be added to standard pazzo lever fitments. All the existing adjuster color options can be used with the solid frost white color. Solid frost white Pazzo levers are $189.99

By Sir D

Brembo T-Drive Floating Rotors

Using technology developed in Moto GP this revolution in brake rotor technology takes performance to a new level. The patented ?T? drive system allows the transfer of brake torque to transition more efficiently between the contact area of the rotor and carrier when compared to the 
traditional button design. This assures a fully floating action in both radial and axia directions The redesigned 8 fixing rotor is lighter in comparison to any other high performance rotors currently on the market. 
* Moto GP inspired 
* Stainless Steel 
* 5.5mm thickness with a 33.2mm wide friction surface 
* CNC machined aluminum carrier 
* Available for all current European and Japanese sportbike models 
* Sold in Pairs
* From $799.95

Shop for the Brembo T-Drive and other Brembo Rotors at SoloMotoParts!
By Sir D

New Pazzo Folding Levers Photos

We took a couple pictures of pazzo folding levers or, technically, the Dual Pivot Folding Series levers from Pazzo Racing. The new Dual Pivot Folding Series levers from Pazzo Racing (Canada) gives road racers, touring and street riders the ability to install a bi-directional folding lever. During a crash, the lever will pivot either down or up to minimize the damaged caused by the crash. It's then possible to snap the lever back into the place so you aren't stranded by the crash site, making the trip home (or the ability to continue the race) an easier one without having to deal with broken or bent levers.

As with all Pazzo products, expect the highest level of quality and the use of the best materials. Pazzo prides itself in manufacturing levers to the highest tolerances for a great fit.

Features Include:
- All parts made from aircraft quality 6061-T6 aluminum
- CNC machined lever, adjuster assembly & perch adapter
- Endless lever and adjuster anodized color combinations
- Ready to bolt on (with necessary tools if required)
- All stainless hardware

By Sir D

16 Cell HD Ballistic Batteries are here!

The all new Ballistic 16 Cell "HD" Evo 2 battery is here! This bad boy will crank just about anything you can throw at it including built up Hayabusa's, ZX14's and large displacement Harley Davidson's and metric cruisers. We think this is the best Harley Davidson battery on the market. It weighs in at about 3.6lbs and is a completely dry cell battery like the rest of the Ballistic line-up. Get a Ballistic 16 Cell HD Battery today or any other Ballistic Battery at!

By Sir D