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!

Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Safety (USA)


Ride Free, Ride Safe: Helmet Laws and Safety

I love riding a motorcycle. Love it. The sense of freedom is unmatched by any other form of transportation. Riding with the wind in my hair is amazing. However, most states impose safety regulations that limit how much freedom we have on our bikes.


Where Can I Ride Helmet-Free?

There are only two states that have no helmet laws: Illinois and Iowa. These states do regulate helmet manufacturers, but there are no fines or other punishments for anyone riding without a helmet. In fact, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that helmet laws were unconstitutional. Iowa also once had a helmet law, but it was repealed in 1986.

It's also legal to ride without a helmet in Florida and Michigan, within certain restrictions. In those states, helmetless riders must be over the age of 21. However, both require that helmetless riders carry insurance. Florida requires health coverage of no less than $10,000, and Michigan requires coverage of at least $20,000. In New Hampshire, those over 18 can legally ride without a helmet.


Partial Freedom

There are 27 states that are partially free and 19 that have no allowances for helmetless riders. You can check your state's requirements using this handy map, provided by a Pennsylvania law firm. If you are unsure about your local helmet laws, be sure to contact your state's Department of Transportation or whatever state agency regulates motor vehicle laws.


Shopping Helmets at an Online Motorcycle Parts Store

Whether the state requires a helmet or not, safety is important, and we all need to operate our bikes within the bounds of the law. Thus, when I point my browser to an online motorcycle parts store, there are certain things I'm looking for. First, I want a helmet that looks good. You've got to look good, right? Then, I check out the style. I prefer full-face helmets. I think they're attractive and add to my aerodynamics.

Since I know my size, I'm confident that the helmet will fit, but I'm also interested in safety. After all, if I have to wear a helmet, I want to make sure that it will do what it's supposed to. There's no room for excess baggage on my bike.

When my new helmet arrives in the mail, I'm sure to check a few things:

*Size: Even though I'm confident my helmet will fit, before I get on my bike, I make sure the helmet is snug and not at all loose on my head.
* Fit: My helmet should ride just above my eyebrows. I check this in the mirror, and I ask my wife to take a look, too.
*Strap: I need confidence in my chin strap. I make sure it's comfortable and under my chin. I tighten the strap and ensure that my helmet doesn't wobble at all.
DOT Certification: The U.S. Department of Transportation certifies helmets to. Make sure your helmet has a DOT sticker on the rear exterior. This ensures that your helmet meets the US Government's minimum safety standards. Without this certification, your helmet may not be legal.



SNELL Certified Helmets

The Snell Foundation has been testing helmets since 1957. It's an independent organization that looks for one thing: performance. I trust that philosophy. Snell has upgraded its testing equipment and methods over the years, and I truly believe the people who work there are dedicated to the safety of riders. The Snell website lists a few important guidelines for choosing a helmet, the chief one being whether or not the helmet carries a Snell sticker of approval.

Sources

Recommended Reading
Dant, Alastair and Fairfield, Hannah. "Fewer Helmets, More Deaths." New York Times, 2014.
By Daniel Relich


How Does Motorcycle Suspension Work?


Motorcycle suspension is the foundation of performance, yet it's the most misunderstood and often an overlooked upgrade. Even if you have a high-end motorcycle or sport bike, there is likely room for improvement in the suspension department. Trust us: The best you know is only what you've experience so far! This sentiment applies to many things in life.

While we tend to see more exhaust first-purchases when riders are buying motorcycle parts online, those that are looking to go faster and ride more confidently should absolutely think about getting their suspension dialed in through tuning and using the correct spring rates, etc. - at least as a baseline.

Suspension on my bike has always had a bit of voodoo behind it and, for this reason, I would shy away from making this major leap in performance when I should have been running towards it.

Investing in an aftermarket suspension setup will improve almost every part of your ride or race. For example:
* Better overall handling
* Improved control and traction
* Enhanced safety
* Reduce rear end chatter/skipping (more power to the ground)

With so many benefits, suspension is hard to ignore when considering upgrades for your bike whether you're taking a spirited ride through the canyons, hitting the occasional track day or just on-ramp warrior-ing it. I'm going to try and give you an overview about how motorcycle suspension in particular works so we can shed a little light on this subject and, hopefully, make it a little less scary.

Motorcycle Suspension Basics

Forget everything you know about automobile suspension. The rider/bike weight ratio is much larger, requiring research and time to adjust sag, compression and rebound settings. Rear suspension is comprised of a damper and a spring -- aka the shock absorber. Suspension enhancements and personalization can improve handling and control when hitting a bump in the road or track.

Suspension Sag and Springs

Loaded sag refers to the amount of suspension travel used when a bike settles with the rider on board. Adjusting the sag to match your weight helps your suspension work at optimum levels. Before you begin, write down the original settings so you can go back to them if you go too far. If you're dealing with a pre-owned bike, refer to the owners manual to revert to the original settings.

If you buy aftermarket tools or parts to help with sag adjustment, an instruction guide will be provided. Also, refer to the owners manual. It's definitely a two-person job. Or you can take it into a shop.

Compression Damping and Shock Rebound

Compression damping helps keep the wheel on the ground when going over a bump. Shock rebound returns the wheel to the ground as smoothly as possible. Many aftermarket suspension kits come with instruction manuals and customer service.

Ride Height

If the ride height is incorrect, it can affect the stability and safety of the rider. Aftermarket spring shocks offer preload adjustment features to set the right height.

Front Forks

Aftermarket front-fork suspension kits can alleviate a harsh ride due to weak springs, worn parts or binding.

Bearings and Tires

Bearings and tires are also suspension items. Be sure to check all wheel bearings, swing arm bearings and steering head bearings. If you're not certain how to do it, a reputable shop can help you.
Tire stability involves more than a pressure check. Too much compression or insufficient compression can negatively impact tire stability and traction when taking corners or pulling out. If tire stability continues to be an issue, go back to your shock compression settings. If you don't have proper control, the settings are wrong.

Final Thoughts

Don't be afraid to dive into your first suspension evaluation. Once you improve the handling of your bike through suspension adjustments, you'll feel the difference, and you'll be ready to dive into even more suspension troubleshooting.

We carry many different brands of aftermarket motorcycle suspension components like springs and gold valves from Race-Tech Suspension as well as world renowned, direct bolt-on replacement shocks, kits and forks by Ohlins Suspension.
By Daniel Relich


Ohlins Steering Damper Kits



Given a choice, I'd rather have a smooth ride than a wobbly one so I can ride confidently (and quickly). Most riders would undoubtedly answer the same, but for some reason, many don't know that one of the secrets to having their bike react the way they'd like is hidden within the parts they can by for their motorcycle. Specifically, the steering damper serves the express purpose of countering uncontrolled movements (wobble) while riding. Oh, and they're also often called steering stabilizers.

What Makes Steering Dampers Great For Sport Bikes?

Sport bikes are tuned for precision and performance. They maximize factors like acceleration, speed and braking ability. In many cases, they also have shorter wheel bases and a tendency to be more difficult to control. For these kinds of bikes, dampers are almost a "must-have" for obtaining the greatest amount of stability possible.

The stabilizer/damper attaches to the motorcycle and works by reducing the amount of shock transferred to the motorcycle bars (and arms). This lessens an effect known as oscillation, making the bike easier to control. It reduces lateral (horizontal) movements, much in the same way that the suspension on your bike corrects for vertical movements.

This equates to less energy expended trying to hold the bike steady, and less fatigue as a result. Additionally, the likelihood losing control of the bike while performing tricky maneuvers, such as a tight turn or a wheelie, is greatly reduced.

What About Ohlins Steering Dampers?

Sometimes, bikes will come with steering dampers. Many riders that want a higher-quality ride, however, will turn to various motorcycle parts stores for high-end aftermarket motorcycle parts for exacting specifications. Ohlins is one such brand, a company with a deep history in world-championship racing that you can trace back to the 1970s. Ohlins produces a rather well-regarded piston-style damper that sport bike enthusiasts have come to trust and love. You can shop for Ohlins Motorcycle Suspension products and steering dampers on our website.

In contrast to rotary-style dampers like a Scotts Stabilizer, piston-style dampers can mount in the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) location on most bikes, where they install with ease. There's no need to worry about them much afterward once they are dialed-in. Rotary-styles are almost always top-mount devices, which makes taking the tank off more difficult -- something track bike owners may frequently be doing during competition.

Some feel that piston-style dampers are more difficult to adjust on the fly and might sustain more damage during an impact, but, with some practice, adjusting settings becomes nearly as easy as it would be with a rotary device.

Continue reading about the benefits of upgrading motorcycle suspension...

By Daniel Relich


Rizoma Grips Are Beautiful


"Dude, you bought a $50 set of motorcycle grips? Really?"

If you've never heard of Rizoma before, you'll need to first know that they design, engineer and produce amazing motorcycle accessories with unique CNC processes and finishes you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. It's about attention to detail and striking aesthetics when it comes to Rizoma. After all, they're Italian. With their involvement in superbike and MotoGP racing, they have some serious R&D under their belt too. Rizoma motorcycle parts and accessories look as good as they perform but you'll have to pay to play.

The first Rizoma part I was ever exposed to was a set of Rizoma Sportline Grips. They were the first widely popular Rizoma part to hit the US shores from their Italy HQ some 10 years ago. At the time, I was rockin' my R6 and the thought of a $50 grip was totally foreign to me since the good old rubber kind worked just fine for me at around $8. I was all about going fast and charging hard - performance all the way. What was I going to do with a CNC Machined Billet Aluminum Grip?

That said, Rizoma Grips aren't exactly targeted to performance based supersport riders looking to drag knee at the track but rather a specific sub set of motorcycle enthusiasts that blend motorcycle culture into a more relaxed riding and social experience. Let me be clear: one isn't better than the other. It's just different worlds.

But, worry not, Rizoma parts are just as happy on Japanese or European sportbikes or, better yet, streetfighters and naked bikes. Give me a set of grips in black, some CRG Arrow Bar End Mirrors on a modern FZ-09/07/10 or Monster and I'd be stoked. Let's toss in a set of Rizoma mirrors for good measure too!

So... there's a somewhat wide-ish range of Rizoma Grips available on the market but today we're going to focus on the most popular ones. Rizoma grips are CNC-machined, have near universal mounting options for 7/8"/22mm bars and are generally available in more than one color option.


Rizoma Universal SportLine Billet Aluminum Grips GR205 (~$50)




Rizoma Universal Lux Billet Aluminum Grips GR213 (~$110)




Rizoma Urlo 22mm Universal Billet Aluminum Grips GR221 (~$85)


They are pricey but, seriously, just look at them. They're beautiful enough to cause lustful inspiration! It's pure moto love.

So which is your favorite? Let us hear it!
By Daniel Relich


Made in the USA: Buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts


Made in the USA: Buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts

Firstly, this isn't intended to be a political post - we're not trying to ruffle feathers. This topic has been a trend emerging across several US industries over the recent years and I wanted to address it, given that there are quite a few brands in the moto aftermarket parts industry that are made here, in the USA. I know, I know, I can already hear the groans about writing about American made aftermarket parts that are very likely to be installed on European or Japanese made motorcycles. That's another huge can of worms to open - later. Either way, I think the topic of American made motorcycle parts is worth going over.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "made in America?" For many, it conjures up a kind of patriotic pride about supporting American businesses and, by extension, American workers. The economy is naturally a part of that train of thought as well. And that's a good thing, right?

Giving back to the community in this way is something just about everyone can get behind -- at least one survey estimates that around 75 percent of people living in the United States would prefer to buy American-made products* specifically for that reason.

I wouldn't argue against that being a worthy goal, but after doing some more thinking on the topic, I feel like the reasons go even deeper than that, specifically in relation to the aftermarket motorcycle parts industry. Even though many of the hot bikes these days are made in Japan and Europe, there's plenty of great aftermarket parts and accessories for these bikes made in the USA.

Stay with me...When looking for motorcycle parts, exhausts and other things to upgrade, there's not a single rider who says, "Gee, I'd sure like to put some substandard products on my bike."

Often times, we research the best part that works with our motorcycle and our upgrade goals. Each rider is different so there's ton of brands to help fill that upgrade void. We scour online motorcycle parts stores for our favorite aftermarket brands and then we look for the best price.

The reason is as simple as aftermarket parts often provide:

Greater selection: Compared to factory parts, you'll usually find a greater breadth of options in aftermarket parts. As they're produced by third party companies, you'll also find a greater variance in individual features among them.

Superior quality: Since aftermarket part suppliers don't have to conform to the generic masses, they can fine-tune their products to provide improved performance. Aftermarket parts often feel unique and better crafted than their factory alternatives.

Better prices: Because there is so much competition among aftermarket parts, not only is the quality going to be higher, but providers duke it out to offer better prices -- free market economics in action.

More freedom: You're more able to shop around for the best deal with aftermarket parts and more likely to find what you need from an online motorcycle parts store (like our store - yay!)

So, how does this relate to buying American made?

I think the better question would be how does it not? There might be a perception that American manufacturing has fallen off, that the products just aren't what they used to be, but when it comes to motorcycle parts, this assumption couldn't be further from the truth.

Look at aftermarket motorcycle part brands like Driven RacingCRGM4 Exhaust or Dynojet Power Commanders - they're killin' it in the market place and are near household names for most motorcycle riders and - guess what? - their products are made in the USA.

They all exemplify what an aftermarket parts manufacturer is supposed to embody and do it all while supposedly having a disadvantage of not sending manufacturing off to China, for example. The list goes on, and the implication couldn't be more clear: buying American made isn't just a way to support American businesses. It's a good way to ensure you get great products whether the decision is a conscious one or not!

With increased overseas competition (I'm yelling: globalization) and low priced knock-offs on eBay, giving a thought to where our money is spent and on what brands is also very important. Sometimes the lure of low cost items is too hard to pass up. To each their own, I suppose.

As a business model, "American Made" can prove to be quite difficult in certain industries like fashion or electronics but, it feels like, for moto parts, business doesn't seem to be booming or busting in relation to the geographic location a part is made in (assuming it's all for US market consumption). In a way, our industry is still recovering in this post-2008 world. I mean, its not that difficult of a pill to swallow when you consider that new Japanese sportbikes are just now being released.

How important is the sportbike to the overall health of the motorcycle aftermarket parts industry? If you consider the sheer number of products available for sportibkes and the average number of upgrades a sportbike rider makes....the answer is: HUGE. There's plenty of new parts being developed and manufactured and readied for the new crop of riders.

I've started my wish list already. What will you chose? Comment below!

* Citation: https://morningconsult.com/2016/12/13/americans-want-buy-american-unless-expensive/

By Daniel Relich


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


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


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


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


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