Welcome to the SoloMotoParts.com Blog! We'll be writing about different motorcycling segments as well as sharing tips on motorcycle riding and safety. You'll also find content on your favorite 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!

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. We recommend purchasing Rizoma items in the USA through a reputable online retailer.

Continue reading about CRG bar end mirror options - they pair really well with aftermarket grips and Pazzo Levers.

So which is your favorite? Let us hear it!
By Daniel Relich
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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.

Continue reading about CRG Mirrors and USA made Seat Concepts Seats.

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
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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.

While we're talking about the control area, getting a set of Pazzo Levers really makes a huge difference! Check out our review on Pazzo Levers.

Love 'em? Have 'em? Hate 'em? Comment below!
By Daniel Relich
Published Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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
Published Monday, March 13, 2017

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).


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
Published Saturday, March 11, 2017

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
- Ducati
- Harley Davidson
- Honda
- Husaberg
- Kawasaki
- Suzuki
- Triumph
- Yamaha

Complete Seats vs Seat Foam & Cover Kits

One important aspect of Seat Concepts seats is to remember that, for most models, Seat Concepts offers two types of kits. The complete kits are a full bolt-on replacement seat with new seat pan, foam and cover all ready to go.  This is the easiest option as it doesn't require any installation work aside from taking your old seat off and replacing it with a new Seat Concepts one.

Foam and cover kit are the most cost effective of the two choices from Seat Concepts. The seat cover kits come with higher density foam and a new cover from Seat Concepts that is ready to be installed on your stock seat pan (essentially re-purposing it). Using a seat kit would require modifications to your stock seat so some riders chose not to go this route.

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. We love these seats!

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:
By Daniel Relich
Published Monday, March 6, 2017

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.

Additionally, they're useful when transporting your bike by providing additional protection in the event of a tip-over during loading and unloading.

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.


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
Published Monday, November 7, 2016

Top Dirt Bikes Worth Noting

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!


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-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
Published Monday, October 17, 2016

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.


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
Published Monday, October 17, 2016

The Best Aftermarket 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.


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
Published Wednesday, September 28, 2016