Steve and Crash go live from the Revival Rally in Florida.
Steve and Crash rant about driving situations on the road while discussing the Cafe Racer TV show. Honda introduces slightly different version of the CB1100. We talk about 2 more giveaways and some other fun events coming up soon.
Steve and Crash discuss the AIM Expo, Crash's recent work trip to San Diego, and some of the stuff coming out of EICMA. This episode sponsored by Cafe Racer TV and the MSTA.
This is the first set of interviews that Steve got while at the Barber Vintage Fest.
Steve went to the Barber Vintage Fest. Lucky guy. Chris lives vicariously through his experiences. We also talk about our experiences with the 180 Stove.
Steve joins me from the monthly bike meet of the Vintage Iron Club. We talk about all kinds of stuff and give away one of the Visor Vision Visor Cleaning Sponges.
Short list of notes equals lots of rambling from Crash and Guzzi Steve. We talk about our bike nights, cops, new Royal Enfields and the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.
Possible Ducati Scrambler. Royal Enfield Cafe Racer. Road closed to bikes near Ace Cafe. ICEdot. Steve bought a new bike.
Stephen interviews Bob Gilbert from Bob's British Bike Company
Stephen and I each held our own bike nights, Stephen reviews a cool backpack, Horex makes a retro VR6 and more.
Remember to use code: caferacerpod at Kriega.com for free shipping!
I rode 4000 miles and talk about it. Stephen visited Metal 305 and talks about. Also we talk about other stuff.
Special guest host means special long rambling podcast. Also, there was no news.
BMW Concept 90 video. The Long Ride Home. 90 Years of TT Side Cars.
I'm back. My truck lives to fight another day. MCN needs Bonneville riders. Piaggio/Vespa off free gas. Motorcycle Cop POV video. On Any Sunday gets a sequel.
Flip-up or modular helmets have become very popular with touring and sport touring riders due to the added protection of a chin bar combined with some of the conveniences of a ¾ helmet. Like anything else, modular helmets can be found at many different price points and with many different feature sets. For several years, companies like Shoei and Schuberth have been building a reputation for making the top-of-the-line modular helmets. New for the US in 2013, and taking aim at the high end of modular helmets, is the Lazer Monaco Carbon.
Lazer, a Belgian company, was started all the way back in 1919 and claims to be the oldest brand of sports helmets in the world. They started out making padded leather items for motorcyclists and it is clear by what arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, they have come a long way.
To give a little of my personal history with modular helmets, I have owned a couple of HJC modular over the years. The reason I wore them instead of others was mainly due to a lack of selection where I was living and a fear of buying helmets online. Thanks to resources like Webbikeworld.com and retailers with easy exchange policies I am no longer worried so much about ordering online.
When I took the helmet out of the box the first thing that struck me was how light it really is. Lazer claims it weighs 1,350 grams, or 2.98 pounds, but they don’t specify what size helmet they used. According to Web Bike World a size large Monaco weighs in a 1,406 grams, or 3.1 pounds.
After marveling at the lightness I was then impressed by the overall quality feel of the helmet. The fully removable and washable liner feels very nice, as does the flip-up mechanism and pivot. The chin bar is not actually made of carbon, but is instead painted fiberglass. Personally, I like the two-tone black on black effect it gives the helmet.
The two best features of the helmet both relate to the face shield or visor. First, the shield itself is photochromic. This means that it changes tint based on light conditions. The transition from clear to dark is gradual and I didn’t notice just how dark it had gotten until I flipped it up at a stop light. According to the paperwork that came with the helmet, the face shield tints to about 20% light transmission.
The second visor related feature that sets this helmet apart is the inclusion of a pinlock visor. If you haven’t used one, it basically creates a double-paned section in the visor and keeps it from fogging up. I live in the Pacific Northwest and the humidity combined with temperatures in the 30’s are a sure-fire recipe for fogged visors. With the pinlock visor in place, I cannot get it to fog.
Having said all of that, the helmet is not perfect. Despite being almost 3 times the cost of my HJC, it isn’t noticeably quieter. According to Lazer, they did this on purpose. They could have spent more time and money making it quieter, but they’re target audience usually wears earplugs, so it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. I do wear earplugs. They were right; it doesn’t really matter.
To be quite specific I wear a pair of Westone in-ear monitors. This allows me to have great noise reduction and the ability to listen to music or podcasts while I ride. On occasion I will wear a pretty basic pair of ear buds and in those cases, the area surrounding the ears in the helmet seems a bit small. If you wear a pair of low profile ear buds or just use helmet speakers this is unlikely to be a problem.
On the subject of speakers, the helmet is pre-wired for the Lazer Blue system. This is similar to the Sena or Cardo Bluetooth systems and can be used to communicate with people using those systems. I don’t ride with anyone or have much use for a communicator so this feature is mostly wasted on someone like me.
The other feature I am apathetic towards is the chin strap. It uses a microlock buckle which in my sport touring position doesn’t irritate me. If I were sitting more upright I feel like the buckle would sit right against my larynx and irritate me. It is supposed to be more convenient because you can undo the clasp with one hand, but I was never irritated by the plain double D ring system of my other helmets.
Overall this helmet is a big improvement over the other modular helmets I have used and I look forward to getting many more miles out of it. Keep an eye out in July for a long-term wrap-up of my experiences.
I'm excited to announce that this review, and more in the future, can also be found at www.roadrunner.travel
It’s hard to be an everyday rider or long distance tourer without decent waterproof boots. When I set out to find a pair, I wanted a reasonably priced sport-touring boot, not something that looked like a race boot or a big enduro/adventure boot. The $200-$250 range of boots has become much like the smartphone market. Everyone seems to be making a really good product and most of them look very much alike.
If you have seen other sport-touring boots, the Gaerne G. Kings are not going to surprise you in terms of styling, features, or price. These boots are about as average as it gets for close to 200 bucks. The G. Kings are tall and made of top grain leather with plastic inserts for protection in the ankle and shin. They have an elasticated front panel to allow for flex and reinforcements around the shifter area and the outside of the toe. Like most other boots of this style, they are kept closed with a zipper on the inside and hook and loop at the top.
The G. Kings initially felt a little tight in the store, but while on the bike, they felt good. After about 3,000 miles, I can say that they aren’t the most comfortable boots when you’re off the bike, and they do still feel a wee bit narrow. The sole is pretty stiff and absorbs a good amount of vibration, but that doesn’t translate into a great boot for walking around in. I have worn them for 10-12 hours or more on several occasions, and they are okay overall. If I were to give a one to five score for comfort, I would give them a four when riding and a 2.5 off the bike.
I bought these boots specifically to keep out water, and they do a great job of it. The inner Dry Tech liner has kept my feet dry in the rain for several hours at a time. The liner is also supposedly breathable, but with no venting panels, it doesn’t make a noticeable difference. Keep in mind that I live in a part of the country that doesn’t get very hot or cold, so these may not be four-season boots for you like they are for me.
Overall I would say the G. Kings are a good value if you are looking for a waterproof sport-touring boot. Some might say that being right in the middle of the pack in every way is a bad thing, but if I had summer rain boots, I would also need winter rain boots. These are good enough that I can get by with one pair for both jobs. There are so many boots that fit in this category that it is hard to recommend one over the others. My advice is to try on as many as you can and get the ones that fit the best. The Gaerne G. King boots are available for a little over $200 and come in any color you want—as long as you want black.
Sizes: Men’s 8-13
This episode is dedicated to my good friend and fellow rider R J Toland, who passed away after he was struck by another driver while riding.
Getting the bike out for a new season, tips for noobs(and veterans), Euro Moto 2013, Interview with Jack from Riders for Health
I interview Vicki Gray of Motoress.com, Oxford redefines "biker." Euro Moto 2013 happens next weekend.
When I rode from Seattle to Salt Lake City last year I didn’t camp anywhere, so I didn’t need to pack as much stuff. As a result, I took a big waterproof duffel bag, my tank bag and an empty backpack just in case I had more stuff on the way home. This time around I am going to be camping and that means I have to figure out where to pack all the extra gear.
When I opened the package containing the bags, I found that there was some hardware and a large folded sheet of plastic inside. Initially I was not sure what to do with the pieces as there were no instructions included. Fortunately my googling skills resulted in a nice PDF with simple instructions that had no words, just pictures. I contacted Aerostich about the lack of instructions and Andy Goldfine, the company’s General Manager, assured me that they would be including the aforementioned instructions with every order.
So what were the hardware and the plastic sheet for? The plastic sheet forms a U shape along the bottom of the bag and the hardware attaches it to the bag. This causes the bag to retain its shape even when it’s empty.
Once assembled it is quite clear that these bags are made to be tough. The material seems similar to typical camping dry bags but feels thicker and more durable. The bags differ slightly from the ones pictured on aerostich.com but they are clearly just a newer revision of the same bag. In addition to very solid construction, the bags have reflective material added in key areas. These bags are made to be installed on either the left or the right side so there are reflective patches on both the front and the back of the bag. Inside each bag is an organizer pocket area with slots for pens and pencils and other small pockets. I doubt they will be useful at all to me but if you didn’t have 4 other bags on the bike you may find them handy.
According to Ortlieb’s website, the bags are about 1700 cubic inches each. To give you a better idea of what they can hold, I was able to get all of my camping gear (sleeping bag, cooking stuff, 2 person tent, camp pillow, etc.) into both bags. The only items that would not fit were the tent poles and sleeping pad. Both are too long to fit into the bags.
When it comes to fitment on the bike itself, ideally you would want some sort of tubular saddlebag rack that allowed the top latches to grab onto it and then the bottom pieces would hook inside the bottom of the rack. My Bonneville doesn’t have that sort of rack. The top latches are able to lock onto the top portion of the saddlebag supports but I had to get creative with the placement of the bottom pieces. Included in the packaging are some inserts for the top latches in case you have smaller diameter tubes. Ortlieb advertises that they will fit tubes from 11-16mm in diameter but they include a piece for an 8mm tube as well. My racks are ½ inch tubes which is about 13mm. The only inserts were for 8mm and 11mm. In order to get a tight fit, I ended up using the 11mm inserts. It doesn’t feel like it is putting too much tension on the locking mechanism.
For those of you that don’t have a way to attach the quick release bags, Ortlieb makes a nearly identical set of bags that are designed to be thrown over the passenger seat. To be perfectly honest, I probably would be just as happy with those as I am the quick release ones.
Other than getting them to fit on the bike and doing a sort of “test pack,” I have not been able to use them, yet. Once I get in a camping trip or two with them I will be sure to post a more thorough review. These bags are sold individually and can be found in Aerostich’s catalog at www.aerostich.com. They retail for $127 each.
Aerostich have been making messenger-style bags for over 20 years now and have become the go-to source for minimalist over-the-shoulder bags. So when it came time for me to get a new bag to use for my commute and as a sort of catch-all for odds and ends when I travel, the Aerostich Courier Bag was on the top of my list.
Aerostich sells messenger bags in 4 sizes, all of which have postal service inspired names. From smallest to a largest they are as follows:
Letter - 300 cubic inches (very small, almost like a purse)
Dispatch - 1100 cubic inches (big enough for a small laptop and your lunch)
Courier(pictured below) - 1700 cubic inches (big enough to carry a laptop, change of cloths, lunch and many other odds and ends)
Parcel - 2700 cubic inches (huge. This is probably past most rider's upper limit on size for a bag. You could probably fit a body in here.)
The bags all come in 2 fabric options, Cordura (the same as their Roadcrafter riding suits and many high-end motorcycle clothes) and Waxed Cotton. All of the bags, regardless of outer fabric, are lined with a yellow reinforced vinyl to aid in water proofing and have a wide reflective stripe on the flap. These bags aren't completely waterproof but should withstand a light to moderate rain.
I chose the Waxed Cotton Courier Bag for a few reasons. First, the bag I am currently carrying is close to the same size as the Dispatch and I needed a little more room. Second, the waxed cotton just looks and feels great and goes with the retro look of my Bonneville perfectly. Also, I really have a thing for brown and the Cordura bags don't come in brown.
My first thought upon opening the box from Aerostich was, "Wow, this is bigger than I thought it would be." Sure I had read the dimensions on the site but it really didn't hit home until I had it in my hands. The next thing that hit me was how solid this thing feels and how nice the waxed cotton fabric feels. It makes me want to pick up the Aerostich Falstaff jacket but that certainly isn't in the budget. My wife commented that the fabric shows scratches easily and I attribute that to the same way you can brush all the pile in your carpet one way and it looks like a slightly different shade of the same color. Overall I am very impressed with the bag and it definitely has plenty of room for the stuff I need to carry back and forth on my commute. I commented to the guys over at Aerostich that the bag was bigger than I expected and they reminded me that they would be happy to exchange it, should I find it to be too big. In all my dealings with the company I have always had exemplary customer service and they have never left me unsatisfied. Once I get a chance to ride with the bag some more I will be sure to follow up with a more in-depth review. Take a look below for a picture of the bag with my 15.6" laptop sitting in front of it. That should help you understand the exact size of this bag. The Aerostich Waxed Cotton Courier Bag retails for $107. Find them at www.aerostich.com
Calendar giveaway winner announced, Motorcyclist Blog ponders Cafe Bikes and Art, KTM Duke 390 comes to US in 2014, I go to the 1 Moto Show in Portland.
Catching up in the news after missing a show. ADV Cafe video blog launches. Calendar giveaway begins. 1 Motorcycle Show in Portland Feb 8-10, I'm going. You should, too.
California DMV to offer vintage style plates. Mandatory ABS coming to USA? Bike EXIF 2013 Calendar is out, get one! I interview Robb Hindle about his motorcycle project and blog (pictured below)
RIP Father Graham Hullet of the 59 Club. Some quick news, Cafe Racer TV Season 3 DVDs are out! Coverage of the International Motorcycle Show in Seattle.
MCN has a spy shot of a possible new Bonneville. Matchless might make a comeback. French journalist rides an FJR off a pier. BMW celebrates 90 years. I interview Mike Cripps from Triumph Twin Power.
Honda brings the CB1100 to the USA in 2013. Hero might be building a 250 sportbike with Erik Buell. Bimota builds a supercharged bike with a Ducati Testastretta motor in it. The winner of the 1 Year 100 Likes Giveaway is announced! Also I have a nasty looking CBR wheel in my garage.
I'm giving away a long sleeved T-shirt and $25 gift certificate from Dime City Cycles. Go to facebook.com/caferacerpodcast to enter in the contest!
I got to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Military Sportbike Rider Course and I interview Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton(pictured below)
I was on the Pace Podcast a few days ago so not much news to talk about. The podcast had new sponsor, Cafe Racer TV! Check them out!
This is just a quick note to say that I was recently honored to be a guest on The Pace Podcast. Chris and James do a great job every week and I enjoy listening to their conversations. Check them out at www.thepacepodcast.com
Brief news followed by an interview with the director of Cafe Racers Japan, Christopher Andrew Cooke.
As promised here is a quick video of the bike over at NYC Norton so you can hear what it sounds like. Kenny Cummings is the one speaking.
Cafe Racers Japan is almost done and I get a sneak preview. Peter Billow talks about his completed Norton 750. See below for a picture of his bike.
As you may have guessed, the show is back from summer break. I talk about a trip to Utah that I took and there is the obligatory news. The picture below was taken on my way through the East side of Washington.
2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio is coming to America (yes, all 3 US Moto Guzzi dealers) Congressman things motorcycles and scooters are a viable transportation option. Who knew? Cafe Racer TV, Mods vs Rockers Seattle and more!
Harley puts Tsunami bike in museum. KTM demos dirt bikes at Vintage Motorcycle Days. Kawasaki unveils 2013 motocross bikes. Cafe Racer TV is back.
Desmo Show in Bologna. KTM Super Duke 1290 spied. Another short film from Cafe Twin in Italy and I test ride some electric bikes.
This episode sponsored by CafeRacerNews.com, Metzeler sends your to Oktoberfest, new MSF and VA Tech study for motorcyclists, I hang out with the Cretins MC and more!
Harley washes up in Canada, Zero starts a demo program, Man sues BMW over 2 year erection.
(above) Eccentric Bushing for anyone having trouble visualizing.
The show is going weekly! The guys at Dime City Cycles sit down for a chat in an upcoming episode and I interview Sam from Newport News VA for "What do you ride?"
(above) Sam's 2005 Triumph Bonneville and 1988 Honda CBR600
Cafe Racer TV Starts up again soon, MSF releases new video about gear, Horex VR6 motorcycle engine explained. Also, there is a small teaser about an upcoming interview with the crew from Dime City Cycles
So I just opened my package from the Dime City Cycles crew and first of all I want to say that their level of customer service has been fantastic. The order was slightly delayed (I hadn't even noticed) and I received an email from Chris informing me that the shirt I wanted was going to take a couple of extra days.
Along with the shirt I had ordered a pair of their logo stickers, one for my bike and one for my laptop. I don't know if they were being generous because the order was delayed, they are always generous with stickers, or the person filling the order has problems with large numbers. No matter the reason, I am going to happily slap these extras on whatever I can find lying around. If pictures pop up of a flying piston somewhere crazy, I didn't do it....
Ducati up for sale? Ashley Fiolek gets more publicity. Piaggio opens design shop in Pasadena.
(above)Peter Billow's Honda CL450 Cafe Racer
Hey guys. New episode coming soon! In the meantime the new shirt just arrived. At the moment it is a one-off so it is not available but if enough people are interested I may try to make it available for sale.
As much as I want to record a new show and get everyone up to date on the bike debacle and all the news over the last 2 weeks, I cannot. I have some sort of sore throat related illness and it is killing me. As soon as I am back to being able to hold a normal conversation I will record a new show. In the meantime, I want to start a new segment called "What do you ride?" I plan on getting various personalities and also taking submissions from listeners about the bikes they love. If you want to come on the show and talk about what you ride, msg me. I will also take email submissions that I can read on the show! Join in!
Hey guys, I just wanted to post a little photo/video update on how things are going on the Bonneville (her name is Carrigan, by the way).
I took a $30 LED taillight from kapscomoto and made a new LED circuit card for it. Now there are 2 taillights made by this company that from the outside look identical. One has integrated turn signals and one does not. The one without the turn signals is nice and bright and personally I think it is a fine light. The integrated one however is not nearly bright enough, as a result of losing some of the LED's to the turn signal circuits. Using the instructions I found here as a guide I set about making my own light. I have since done it to an old Lucas style taillight I had lying around as well. By using the proper resistors, the turn signals do not need an LED compatible flasher and the do not flash in a pattern likely to give people with epilepsy a problem. Anyway, enough talk. Pics or it didn't happen right? Here they are. If you would like to do this or you would like me to do this for you, send me an email.
The first circuit is the original. The second is the one I made.
Victory unveils yet another "new" bike. Honda finally brings a Euro staple to the US. Scorpion throws lids at heads and I fry some LED's while working on my motorcycle.
I start a new project on my motorcycle. Victory has a new ape-hangar bike. Steve McQueen's bikes up for auction. Illinois lets riders run red lights.
The above picture is a sort of "Before" picture of my motorcycle for the project I am starting.
JD Power tells us what we already knew. BMW releases a new version of an old bike. Edelweiss takes you to Austria on a Triumph, and I talk about winterizing your motorcycle.
Honda recalls the Goldwing. IMS unveils a new feature at its motorcycle shows. BMW and Triumph experience growth in a poor economy. MIC publishes a tire guide, no mouse ears. Aprilia joins the 200mph club. Suzuki heavily discounts saddlebags, if you buy a bike and finally we celebrate the 40th anniversary of On Any Sunday.
As you may have already noticed, there was no episode posted yesterday. That is because I did not record one. I am taking the time off for Thanksgiving and to finish my Nanowrimo story. I would also like to take this time to put a call out to anyone that has feedback, comments, or ideas for the show. Do you have an interesting motorcycle story you would like to tell? Let me know. I am open to just about anything. Thank you for listening. We should be back on schedule in 2 weeks.
A couple quick bits of news from the 2011 EICMA at Milan, a cool new screwdriver and MotoGP Valencia results. Also the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Competition. Finally, a quick review of Two Wheels Through Terror by Glen Heggstad.
I realized that I didn't specify a frequency for the podcast. With my current level of activity, I want to post a new show every two weeks. Also, I will probably post on a different day than Friday, since so many other shows come out on Fridays. Thanks for listening. Again, the more feedback I get, the better I can make the show for everyone. See you next week.
On this inaugural episode of the Cafe Racer Podcast I explain what the hell I am doing here as well as cover some news from the last week or so and review some gear from REV'IT. Rockabilly music begins and ends the show. Hope you enjoy!
Welcome to the new Cafe Racer Podcast. Despite the name, we plan on covering all the many facets of motorcycling. We are currently building the site and getting the first show in the can. Check back for updates.