Desert Ride – Sports Bike On Sand

Now this is a twist on machines, ICON & Triumph have teamed up to make this very cool video and they haven’t used your typical off-road motorcycle. They have turned a Triumph Speed Triple into a dune jumping machine with those ridiculous tires. The stunt rider on the desert prepped Triple is named Julien Welsch. I have seen stunting done before but not in this type of environment or the seaside. I like the videos that ICON put together and this is one of the coolest.

My Favorite Gear From 2012

This has been an interesting year with a lot of new hardware being introduced from everyone, from TVs, Cameras, Laptops, Tablets, Phones and a whole lot more. My list for electronics was freaking long, I had about 20 items on her and it was hard bringing them down to this, so many good pieces of hardware but I wanted to just list the gear that I really use. Basically what was abused, even if it was in a short period of time like the Nexus 4, but I have been waiting for that phone for so long and I’m happy that I’m using it. A few items didn’t make it to the list like the GoPro Hero 3 because its a bit too soon to judge, it has its crappy moments and its great moments. Still too many pieces of hardware to review but I will get to them.

  • Nexus 4 – Best Google Phone Yet
  • Nexus 7 – Still The Perfect Size Tablet
  • Canon G15 – Awesome Camera, Reviewing it Later
  • Nike Fuel – Loved it when I used it, and now don’t want to see my crappy numbers
  • Canon G1X – Great Camera, except for the Macro shots
  • Apple iPod Touch Gen 5 – Loving it! And so small
  • Asus Zenbook – Best Windows Laptop Ever!

How Long Does A Helmet Last & What Happens When You Drop It?

Using The Helmet:

A Helmet has an average of 5 to 6 year shelf life from the day its manufactured, with about 3.5 to 5 years of use. The helmet is single use protective gear, one impact it will protect your head and thats it, that is what it is supposed to do. It has a hard outer shell, impact lining, foam, and then the padding. The foam starts to lose it’s elasticity and starts to become a bit brittle after the four year mark but it depends on the manufacturer. As an example Arai stop’s servicing helmets after 7 years from date of manufacturing, so they are very confident of their helmets and they are one of the best.

Personally I tend to replace my helmet every three and half years but then again I have more then one helmet since there are a lot of cool helmets out there.

A Dropped Helmet:

As I mentioned Helmets are a one time impact time of product, one time and then buy a new one. In reality dropping it off a chair or a low high won’t do anything but cosmetic damage. I have recently dropped my Scorpion Helmet and the rear wing cracked but the helmet seems intact, and it fell off my bike onto the asphalt. It also depends on how well the helmet was constructed, keep in mind that it was designed for an impact with your head inside of it, so if it falls on its own it isn’t too bad. But you can not guarantee then integrity structure without having the helmet xrayed by an expert. If you can’t then it isn’t worth the risk since its supposed to be protecting your head your better off just getting a new one.

So after what the Scorpion has been through, I will be retiring it and using my other helmets at this stage.

Cross UAE & Oman

This will probably be one of the most intense rides I will ever take, we have been planning this for over three months, but the real planning started about a month back. We got our bikes prepped, we were initially supposed to be 6 guys but due to work conflicts we dropped down to 4 guys on this little adventure.

The Machines On This Trip

  • 1 Diavel Carbon
  • 2 Diavels
  • 1 Monster SR2

I have done some long distance traveling before but not in the Middle East so this is going to be a new one. We are as preparred as can be at this point. I mapped out everything on Google Maps and ported it to my Garmin Device which is mounted to the left side of my handle bar. I mapped out our routes exactly, calculated what we needed and the distances between stops and the gas stations in the vicinity and some areas don’t have gas stations so we needed to plan for that.

I have to thank Tristar for all their support in setting this up. We know its the beginning of riding season but they took our bikes serviced them, and even recommended changes for a long trip. I got a rear bag mounted to the back of the Diavel which doesn’t look too bad in my Opinion. I changed out my rear tire since it was a little abused so I had to ride it out a bit before taking it to UAE. They also recommended a transportation company for us since we didn’t want to ride through Saudi, so they were very helpful getting this trip off the ground.

Right now all our bikes are waiting for us in a storage area close to Jebel Ali. We get there, we ride them to Dubai and then the 1000 KM+ adventure begins.


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Shoei Qwest Blood Flow

I have always been a user of Arai and a fan of Shoei, usually people start off with one or the other in the motorcycle world. In my case I started off with Arai since 2001 and never looked back. Over the years I understood what companies did and at the top Shoei is one of the best with Arai. With that I picked up a Shoei a few months ago and got this Qwest Blood Flow, the Qwest is the sport touring line, not the super sport line but I loved the design and couldn’t resist the helmet. I love that its fully Matte Black and Matt Red, and it luckily matches the color of my Diavel.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Amazing Design, Love the Matte Black and Matte Red
  • Decent Price
  • Great Protection
  • Decent Airflow But Could Be Better
  • Looks Good With Tinted Glass

Cons:

  • The Lining Could Be A Bit Better
  • A Bit More Air Flow

Price:$445
Rating:
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An Amazing Night Ride

Riding season is upon us and so we must ride, honestly there is no better feeling of that rush when you first hit the road. I tried with all my will to remain calm and collected, to take it slowly when I get back on that bike, its been a few months since I was on, to get my bearings and the feeling right, but I was TOTALLY over the top and gunned it the moment I could, I didn’t even realize I only had a quarter of the tank left. This was right after work and Tristar just brought my bike back, I just updated my playlist and was ready to ride.

I love riding the Ducati Diavel is appeases my need for top-speed horsepower and throttle-cracking torque. This really feels like an Italian bread machine, everything about it screams Ducati attitude, I especially love the color scheme of carbon fiber and red. Heading down the road I was on a high, taking corner to corner as if my life depended it on it. I tried riding a bit more sensibly but I couldn’t get the excitement out of me. I could even see other riders and how happy they were riding, there were a few idiots on the road but they couldn’t ruin my mood. I was only out riding for two hours but it was a world of time and I made the best of it. Ducati has really come along over the years and the last thing anyone thought they would do a few years ago is make a cruiser, they thought they would stick to race bred machines, but instead they built the Diavel which is stylish, powerful, and an elite enthusiast machine.


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Shoei Qwest Bloodflow

No matter what we ride, where our final destination, or the path we choose to get there, every motorcyclist shares the same common thread when throwing a leg over their machine. It’s the exhilarating search for adventure that draws us to the road, and Shoei’s all-new Qwest embodies what every rider seeks to experience along the way. Revolutionary noise-reduction technology, unsurpassed long-distance comfort, advanced ventilation performance, a light-weight, balanced fit and feel, and over 50 years of helmet-building experience have combined to deliver the finest touring helmet known to man. The all-new, groundbreaking QWEST—It’s your journey… Enjoy every mile of it.

Every once in a while there is a helmet that just pops up and grabs my attention, and I am huge fan of Matte finishes, always gives it a clean look. And the Shoei Bloodflow is that helmet, I don’t have a lot of Shoei, mostly Arais but they do come up with some amazing designs, and this one is subtle yet it grabs your attention. I think this would go very nicely with my Ducati.

Link: DucatiPerformance

Sidi Stivali StreetBurner

Riding gear is very improtant to me since its the one thing protecting you when needed and I think bike gear is extremely cool. I have been using my Daytona Racing Boots over 7 years at this point, and I was thinking about getting another set for quick use. Protection to my legs and ankles is very important to me so I have always been a little bit skeptical about getting different boots. I saw the Sidi Streetburner a little while back and decided to try it out. These more like quick riding sneakers and not full on boots, they will protect to a degree but not to the extent that I am used to. These boots get a four out of five because they are extremely comfortable, slip on very easily and its a simple mechanism to tighten it, and I love the aggressive look of the boot. One major point is that they are very easy to walk around in, it feels like normal shoes rather then the armor lined biking shoes that I am used to, and the cool ventellation on the shoes is excellent and I can feel it when I’m riding. For $250 I think they are great boots but keep in mind that they won’t protect your ankle or shin in a crash, thats the only reason it gets a four out five. Other then that I really do enjoy using these boots for a quick ride around town.

Link: Amazon Sidi Streerburner
Rating:
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Arai RX7 Corsair HAGA 41


I ordered this helmet and today I saw a nice very large box. I knew what it was but the anticipation was also nice, this is one Arai’s new design and now I have two Haga helmets. The first one I got about three years ago now, and now this one, I’m a fan of Nitro Nori and so I get the helmets. It also helmets that the RX7 line of Arai is very highquality and a perfect fit for me. Now I just want the weather to cool down a bit before I use it, I don’t want to sweat in the helmet from the first time I use it.


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J.D. Power Associate Motorcycle Helmet Study

I always look into the latest J.D. Power Associates study for helmets and other items. They have a very clear criteria when it comes to motorcycle helmets, its based on a 1000 point system and owners of these helmets are surveyed. 11 key areas which affect helmet scoring:

  • quietness
  • ventilation/air flow
  • de-fogging
  • face shield ability to keep wind out
  • face shield ability to resist scratching
  • ease of replacing face shield
  • scratch resistance of shell
  • color/graphic design
  • weight
  • ease of fastening the strap
  • comfort/fit.

Arai has been the number one for the past 10 years in a row. I have to say that I am one of there very satisfied customers. Arai comes in first at 819 points, and Shoei in second with 816 points. I always recommend both Arai and Shoei, and I also recommend Scorpion as an alternative to the usual brands.

Ranking:

  1. Arai
  2. Shoei
  3. Icon
  4. Scorpion
  5. Harley-Davidson
  6. Nolan
  7. KBC
  8. Bell
  9. Fulmer

Link: Clutch&Chrome