Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gear Indicators: Necessity or Luxury?

HealTech GI Pro Gear Indicators

The evolution of motorcycles, and in particular, sportbikes, over the years has been absolutely tremendous. Riding these days has become far more technical, much more enjoyable and has certainly become more than just a mode of transportation. The range of accessories available to make riding safer has also increased and one such popular accessory device is the digital gear indicator. More specifically, we're going to talk about the line-up of Healtech Gear Indicators.

Whether you're new to riding or you're a seasoned pro, it's no secret that there's more to riding a motorcycle than pointing it in one direction and opening the throttle. Thinking about your body's positioning, proper braking techniques and observing traffic and road conditions all fall squarely into a good rider's repertoire of skills. On top of that, trying to remember the gear you're in at all times, begins to complicate an already complicated situation. After installing a gear indicator, it'll be one less thing you'll have to keep tracking of while riding.

Once installed, a digital gear indicator is a small device that tells you which gear is currently engaged (or what gear you're in). There is usually a lot of trial or guesswork involved in the absence of an indicator and although most seasoned riders may not need it or find it unnecessary, a gear indicator is considered very useful nonetheless. The presence of a gear indicator reduces the instances of over-revving the engine during multiple down shifts which can result in your back wheel getting locked up. It is also helpful in finding neutral easier.

HealTech Electronics, Hungary, though best known for their speedometer calibration device, the SpeedoHealer, also makes gear indicators. Healtech's GI Pro, the leading gear indicator on the market, has three different product ranges to offer. The products in the different ranges have distinct features suitable for all types of motorcycle riding.

Healtech gear indicators offer:
- A rapid gear change display
- Bright and clear indications
- Choice of display colours
- A neat and small design
- Easy installation procedure
- A 2-year replacement warranty
The GI Pro with ATRE series comes with an advanced timing retard eliminator function which improves acceleration and makes the throttle response smoother. Though the number one choice with riders, the products of this range support only limited models.

The GI Pro DS series is an unique Gear Position Indicator and is specially designed for the bikes which have a Diagnostic System connector and so is compatible with a greater number of motorcycle models. The indicator is more reliable and has a faster response time since it receives the gear position information from the ECU. A fully automatic unit, it has no programming wires or buttons. The unit is smaller and more compact than the GI Pro with ATRE, since it doesn't have the ATRE add-on.

The indicators of the GI Pro X-Type series are compatible with all the motorcycles as opposed to the previous two series which work only with selected models. For bikes without a gear position sensor or a diagnostics port, the indicators on the X-Type are the best device for an accurate gear reading. It provides a more reliable display and a quicker readout.

Based on the model of motorcycle you own, one of the indicators is bound to be compatible. Once installed, it will free you from the constant worry about what gear you're in and it'll make your ride more enjoyable.

What do you think? Are gear indicators a luxury that a rider should go without, in order to learn the ropes, or is it a safety essential? Comment below!

You can order HealTech Gear indicators here:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trail-Side Tire Repair Tools for Off-Road Riding

Tire repair is a necessary skill when you ride a motorcycle into the backcountry. Dual sport riders routinely travel well outside the range of support vehicles, so it behooves the rider to have the tools necessary to be self-sufficient on the trail. Having everything you need makes the whole experience all the less intimidating. We definitely recommend practicing at home or with friends before an actual field repair is necessary. Riding with more experienced riders was definitely the way to go for us until we got the hang of it.
There are a few items that we have found to be helpful when changing tubes on a ride. The first is an actual tube! Heavy duty and ultra-heavy duty tubes are difficult to get into the tire on the trail, so it's best to carry a standard tube for emergencies that you can swap out later for a thicker tube. If space is at an absolute premium, a lot of guys carry a front tube by itself that can be used on the front or the rear in an emergency. We have a number of tubes available here.

Any off-road rider worth their salt is aware of their air pressure in their tires. Pick yourself up a simple tire pressure gauge to keep with you while you ride. Everyone has a different preference with what pressures they like, but remember, if you go too low you increase the chances of a pinch flat, in rocky terrain at least. You'll need a broader gauge for larger bikes and a gauge with a narrower range for smaller bikes since a pound one way or the other makes a much bigger difference on a smaller tire.
We've made an air compressor a mandatory tire repair item on our adventure bikes. It's relatively light for the torture it would save trying to hand pump, and I don't even want to know how many CO2 cartridges it would take to fill a 150/70-17. The best bang for the buck is the Slime Mini 12-Volt Pump, measuring about 6x6x2-inches. It's nice to have an SAE outlet installed from the battery to a convenient area on the bike so you can plug the pump in, but it also comes with alligator clips that attach straight to your battery.
Not on an adventure bike? We love the Genuine Inventions Mountain Pipe pump for our light-weight dual sport bikes. A few minutes of spirited pumping will inflate a 120/90-18 rear, or you could use a couple CO2 cartridges to make life even easier. The valve adapter screws onto the valve, allowing you to pop the pump on and off quickly without releasing a significant amount of air. The pump itself is well-built, very compact, and easily hidden in a backpack or bike bag. It comes with a C02 cartridge, but don't forget to buy extras.
Next, are tire irons. It takes time to learn good technique, and there's nothing worse than banging your knuckles on the wheel after slipping off the end of a tire iron. The MSR Handle Grip Tire Iron is a huge help in coaxing the tire off the rim and creating enough leverage to slip it back on. also like the Motion Pro Bead Pro breaker/levers, which double as a bead breaker and tire iron in one. It's a clever design that will help break the bead to remove the tire while saving room in your pack by being able to use them as very capable tire irons. The spoons are nice and wide and the length is perfect for slipping under the brake rotor to hold your place. Lang Valve Stem Fishing Tool doesn't catch fish. It catches hard-to-reach valve stems once you're trying to put the tire back on. Even with a little air in the tube, it's often very difficult to 'fish' the valve stem out of the tiny hole in the rim. Try it, and you won't want to live without it.
Unless your tire has been sitting out in the sun long enough to get nice and soft, it's tough wrestling the bead over the rim. If you're a fan of stiff sidewalls, it's even more difficult. No-Mar Tire Mounting Paste is super slick and has no ill effects by leaving residue on the tire. In fact, it will moisturize all the rubber parts, inhibit rust on the metal parts, and it's vegetable-based and water soluble. That means you can mix it with water, keep it in a tiny spray bottle, and spray it on in a rush.

Oh, and pick yourself up some baby powder or talcum powder for your tubes to eliminate friction inside of the tire. If you can do this ahead of time and keep the tubes in zip lock bags, you'll be ready to go!

Monday, September 8, 2014

$1k Giveaway celebrates 10 years with $1000 product giveaway

This is our 10th year in business and to celebrate, we're giving away a $1000 worth of product to one lucky rider!  It is, quite possibly, the easiest online giveaway to enter and the rewards are epic. Follow Solo Moto Parts on Google+ to be eligible to win $1000 of gear, parts or accessories from participating brands.That's right, just follow us and you're eligible to win!

Participating apparel brands include Kabuto Helmets, Spidi and Fly Racing with rider accessories from Uclear, Cardo and performance parts from Shogun, DMP, Vortex, Puig, K&N and Two Brothers. One winner will be selected at random and announced on our Google+ page on October 3, 2014. Enter by following us on Google+, here.

Please only one entry per customer. One winner will be randomly selected from the users that have followed us on Google+. Product rewards must consist only of currently available products from listed brands. $1000 reward is at retail price, and in USD (US Dollar). Winner may choose from any combination of products from participating brands. Full reward amount must be claimed at one time. No further entries after Oct 1, 2014 11:50pm PST.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Doubletake Dual Sport Mirror [Video]

We took a moment to do a quick overview of the Doubletake Mirror on a recent trail ride. Yes, we use them. Yes, they're awesome!

Solo Moto stocks the full line of Doubletake Mirror kits and all replacement parts!

Click here to see all Doubletake Products

Model-specific applications:
BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Triumph, Husqvarna

The Universal Kit will work on any handlebar.

The Doubletake Mirror is the ultimate mirror for dual sport and off-road riding. The Doubletake Mirror has a lifetime guarantee from Doubletake and the Ram Mount components are also warrantied, but directly through Ram. All of the pieces sold with the kit work together flawlessly to form a very rugged and functional mirror that can be mounted to any motorcycle with handlebars. We offer bike-specific kits for all the major brands. We also offer a universal kit that utilizes a split-clamp assembly that attaches the mirror components to the handlebars much like a stock mirror mount.

The Doubletake Mirror is simple to adjust to the precise position you desire. Loosening the knob on the Ram Mount gives you adjustability on the top and bottom knuckles at the same time. Since the Ram arm is held in place by the pressure you apply to the adjustment knob, you can move the mirror around and see where you like it without it falling out of place. When you find a position you like, tighten the knob to keep it there while you ride.

The Doubletake Mirror folds down in front of the handlebars to stay out of the way when it’s time to hit the trail. Some riders even prefer to leave their mirrors up on mild off-road terrain to keep an eye on people following in the same group.

Motorcycles traveling off-road tend to take more lumps than road-fairing motorcycles. Often times, mirrors will cause damage to the motorcycle or the rider in the event of a crash. The Doubletake Mirror’s design allows it to move in a cash which not only protects the mirror, but the bike and rider as well. If the mirror were to get hit hard, the rubber-mounted base lessens the possibility of damage occurring to your clutch perch or other bar-mounted controls.

Overall, the Doubletake is the best mirror we’ve seen for the hardcore dual sport crowd. There is a lot of value in this product, and we’ve seen it first hand through all of our own crash testing.

R&G Racing, Engineered to Perform

R&G Racing has made a splash in the aftermarket motorcycle accessories scene and has been steadily growing in the US market for the past few years.Their sleek and sexy European styling easily bests the designs of boring frame sliders while safely staying away from being tacky or looking cheesy. Just simply looking at the product makes me want to buy. Further, the real genius behind the brand is that their products are properly designed and engineered. On the surface, this might seem like an easy task but, sadly, a lot of brands aren't up to snuff.

R&G Racing hails from the UK (their facility is bit outside of London, to be exact) and we actually had a chance to meet the two founders at an industry event a few years back. We learned that R&G Racing is unique because their products are actually engineered (like, by an actual engineer with a degree and stuff) to work. For instance, the frame slider bolts are designed and the metal treated to bend, given enough impact force, so you don't need to worry about the bolts snapping off in your frame in the event of a crash. That's how it should be done.

Research and development doesn't come cheap from a manufacturer's stand point but it pays to buy a quality product that won't end up costing you more money or hassle down the road. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You always get what you pay for.

We were one of the first dealers in the country to roll out the R&G line-up on our website and the public reception of the product was great. Riders were buying R&G products because the parts looked amazing and functioned as they should, without surprises. There are a wide array of protection accessories offered for motorcycles from frame sliders, spools, fender eliminators to radiator guards and so on and so forth. Even their case covers are approved for racing by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). There's something for every rider and R&G doesn't just make accessories for sportbikes, either.

I'm no stranger to London and I really love how the English have a way with words. If you've ever been on the Tube in London, you've likely relished the opportunity to say "mind the gap" instead of "watch your step", hah! You'll find that R&G is no different when it comes to naming their products. They refer to their fender eliminators as "Tail Tidies" and their spools, "Reels". Do I have a point? Maybe not. Is it fun to say? Definitely.

With a high quality product, we'd naturally expect the price point to be higher compared others. For example, Rizoma makes a very, very high quality product that is unquestionably luxurious and impeccably designed but sometimes it can be a stretch for the average rider to spend three hundred dollars on a set of mirrors, for example. It's true, R&G Racing accessories are bit pricier than cheaper brands on the market but once you handle the parts, it doesn't feel as if you've overpaid for any of it. It's good stuff, all around and the pricing isn't ridiculous. As an added bonus, props goes to whoever can figure out what the difference between England, Britain and the United Kingdom (UK) are!

If you have any questions about R&G Racing accessories or if you simply want to hear us say tail tidy on the phone, give us a shout and we'd be happy to help!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Early Years of Motocross Museum

I'll admit I'm a little young to appreciate the awesomeness I was beholding earlier this week so, after speaking with a few senior riders I felt inclined to post what I came across at The Early Years of Motocross Museum.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tom White, as it was his establishment, and he was a very gracious host. As many of you know, Tom started out as a dirt tracker, racing against some of the greats, but really started kicking ass once he got on a Harley (which I was lucky enough to capture in a completely separate room from the actual museum). Tom had some later experience at Saddleback Motocross Park here in Orange County. (See old video footage here.) The track is long gone, but the locals still ride 'Saddleback'!

I may as well complete the bio... Tom joined up with brother, Dan, to create White Brothers, a corporate giant in the motorcycle industry whose name is still recongized to this day. I'm always excited to be in the company of experience and knowledge, especially when motorcycles are involved. I told Tom I was dizzied by my attempt to absorb all of the vintage race machines I was viewing, and he assured me that that was nothing compared to riding them. I've only ridden a couple of the motorcycles on display, but I'm sure some of these shots will bring back some memories for some of you. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet: Visor Peak Extension

 Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet

Just a quick blurb on the Tinted Visor Peak Extension included with the Airoh Aviator 2.1 Off-Road Helmet...

visor extension installed
Included with the helmet are a number of accessories. Among them is the Tinted Visor Peak Extension. This bolt-on accessory extends the visor of the helmet nearly 2 more inches beyond the visor itself. The standard visor lip is a little more than 1/2-inch, so the total standard visor length is about 3-1/2 inches, while the overall length from the outside of the helmet above the brow to the tip of the installed visor extension is about 5 inches. An inch-and-a-half or two might not sound very significant, but it absolutely is when you consider the small scale of the visor. This is apparent by just looking at the helmet with the Tinted Peak Visor installed.

visor extension and stock visor lip
If you attend enough motocross races in the rain, you'll inevitably see a rider with a goggle lens taped to the visor of his helmet. Eventually, there will be a product for everything, so here we are. The cool thing is, the visor extension is included with the purchase of the Airoh Aviator 2.1.

Airoh includes a small tool on a lanyard to use for the visor change. The same tool is also used to install the top vent shields. Keep an eye on the threaded backs of the screws! They keep the visor fitting beautifully once they're on, but odds are you'll never see them again if they're dropped in the mud.

visor extension bottom
Motocross racers, track riders, and hardcore trail riders will appreciate the extra coverage in the event of muddy or wet conditions. I'm even looking forward to keeping the Tinted Visor Peak Extension in my pack and trying it out riding into the sun at the end of the day. It always seems like I'm missing a smidge more to keep from squinting all the way back to the truck.

You can check out all our Airoh helmets, custom product descriptions, videos and more pictures here:

Klim Induction Mesh Jacket, New for 2014!

Yes, that's a full-sized adventure bike being suspended in the air by the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket!

Please don't go out and purchase a motorcycle jacket that isn't going to protect you in the event of a crash. There are so may unintended distractions awaiting you out there in consumer-land, and I'd like to take a moment to highlight some reasons why the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket is an excellent all-round warm weather jacket.

It's hot. You want to ride. You take one look at your big touring jacket and start to sweat, already dreading the possibility of sitting at a stoplight in the hot sun. Time for a mesh riding jacket- but, is it going to offer anything near the protection of a structurally reinforced and armored touring jacket? If you go with Klim Induction Jacket then yes, yes it is!

Klim's Karbonite Mesh is incredibly strong, up to 750% stronger than the polyester used by competitors, and it excels at allowing consistent airflow both while riding and at a stop. Also included is super comfortable, CE certified, 3DO armor in the shoulders, elbows and back.

Klim has you covered with several specialty materials including tear-resistant rhino-stitch construction technology and 840D hi-tenacity 6.6 nylon at the elbows and shoulders.

The inside of the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket utilizes a breathable moisture-wicking mesh comfort liner with a fleece-lined collar that gives the jacket a very casual, comfortable feel to wear. When you combine the internal comfort materials with the D30 armor, you arrive at a new level of comfort and protection that is complimented by high airflow through materials that will actually keep you safe in the event of a crash.

The Klim Induction Mesh Jacket is available in three color choices:

Yellow (HiViz)
Please visit our product page HERE to read our custom-written product description, watch videos, and find pricing and availability for the Klim Induction Mesh Jacket. As always, we're happy to match pricing whenever possible and we never charge restock fees for sending back gear for any reason. We also allow a FREE SIZE EXCHANGE within the US48 for this jacket, so if it doesn't fit, we'll pay for the shipping back to us and send you another size for free!

Thanks for reading. Ride safe.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag, 2-Year Rider Review

The Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag is at the top of its class as far as light-weight off-road on-the-bike storage goes. The Mojavi Saddlebag is constructed of super tough trucker’s tarp Bombshell, which means you're toting around 22 ounce vinyl-coated polyester, reinforced with ballistic nylon! This is military-grade construction that can withstand even the clumsiest of riders, namely myself, haha. I dump my bike a lot, and in the full two years I've been testing the Mojavi Saddlebag, there hasn't been one aspect of that's let me down.

All of the beefy, water resistant YKK zippers work just as well as they did the day I bought the Mojavi Saddlebag. I use olive oil to cut the dust and keep them slick, but I have a lot of friends that prefer silicon because they don't want to be attacked by bears, haha. So far, no bear attacks. :) All of the military-spec buckles and compression straps are in great condition despite thousands of miles of dust seeping into every crack and crevasse of my bike. Dumping the bike in brush, rocks and ice has yet to be an issue for the Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag. For a guy that breaks nearly everything else on his bike, this is a dream come true!

I'm able to store just about everything I need for a day (outside of the water and snacks in my hydration pack) in the Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag. Every single tool I could ever need goes in the Mojavi Saddlebag. I typically pack 2 tubes, an electric pump, tire irons, para cord, WD-40, baby powder, valve core remover, wrenches, sockets, hexes, screwdrivers, extra fuel pump, headlamp, and I've even packed extra fuel in there!

Everything stores nice and tight against the body of the bike inside the Mojavi Saddlebag. There's never been any shifting around or annoying trail-side adjustment required. Once I pack up, I'm ready to go! The weight of the packed items is kept close to the bike and everything is easily accessible during a ride. The small center pack on top is perfect for even quicker access, or storing semi-breakable items that might be crushed on the sides. The top bag is removable if you find it to be unnecessary or prefer to use another tail bag.

I say this a lot, but the best type of gear is the gear you don't have to spend any time worrying about after the purchase. The Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag definitely fits the bill, and I couldn't be happier with what appears to be the most effective, durable and light-weight off-road saddlebags out there. I personally recommend them over and over at our store, and I continue to use them myself with confidence and appreciation for such an outstanding product. Thanks Giant Loop! The Mojavi Saddlebag was also developed with help from one of our former local riders, Javier Gonzalez, which doesn't hurt either. :)

Pricing and availability here:

We're an authorized Giant Loop stocking dealer. Found a better price? Let us know!


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