Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Calendar Alert: Ride to Work Day

Even if you're not a regular motorcycle commuter, be sure to mount up on Monday, June 17th in support of International Ride to Work Day!  For more info, visit

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Hi-Viz for backpacks

Here's an interesting idea to increase day and night visibility for motorcyclists who wear backpacks/rucksacks.  Click here to support this Kickstarter project.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Product Review: Fuse Cell Phone Case

You're a motorcyclist, specifically a Harley rider, and you're a cell phone user, so why not both protect your expensive phone and represent your brand at the same time?  Even though I've never owned a Harley, I've been using the $24.99 Fuse officially-licensed snap-on Harley-Davidson case for over a month on my iPhone 5, and can recommend it highly.
For me, product packaging makes a huge initial impression, so I was very pleased indeed to find that the Fuse's retail packaging was not only very protective, it only required snipping two small tapes to open.  The case itself is a two-piece affair, constructed of what I'm guessing is a rubberized poly-carbonate frame. Finish on the case is excellent, and the H-D "flaming logo" is clear with great coloration and precise edges.
Though there were no directions included for installing the two-piece case, it was so evident that anyone requiring directions probably shouldn't be operating a motorcycle: the front and back pieces clamp on to the phone faster than it took you to read this sentence.  The fit between the two pieces is precise and once installed, the case is not going to come apart until you want it to. Fuse thoughtfully included a notch (perhaps for a coin) to aid in parting the halves for those times when the case needs to be removed. I tried it and the case parted without drama or damage.
The Fuse case adds negligible bulk to the iPhone, and the rubberized coating provides a much more secure grip than uncoated hard plastic cases or the naked phone. It's not cushioned, but the lip of the top half of the case rises higher than the surface of the screen, so the screen is protected if the phone if set screen-side down on an abrasive/dirty surface. The Fuse doesn't incorporate a cover for the screen, so you'll need to add one if desired. To me, that's a plus because built-in screen covers notoriously interfere to varying degrees with the user interface.
Phone cases are always a compromise between size, accessibility and protective capabilities, and the Fuse isn't aimed at folks who want the impact, dust-proof and water-proof capabilities (and are willing to put up with the huge size) of say, an Otter Box. While riding, a phone in the Fuse case needs to be kept in a secure jacket pocket or in a tank bag, etc., better if it's a waterproof location.  (I always carry small waterproof kayaking-type bags (Lok-Sak brand) when I ride, and I also keep a small waterproof Pelican case in my tank bag.)  I think its useful to think of the Fuse case as more of a "grip" which lessens the chance of a drop, while still providing some degree of protection from impacts and screen scratching should it get fumbled.

Believe it or not, many cases interfere with phone functions.  The Fuse is free of such problems, with all ports remaining open and all buttons free and easy to operate.  I shot a few photographs, with and without flash, and found no ill effects of the type caused by some case designs that have insufficiently-sized lens windows or that cause interference with sensors or the flash.

The case has also proved durable; it still looks new, without a scratch or scuff, and most importantly, it has totally protected by precious iPhone 5 from life's (and motorcycling's) perils.

Check out Fuse's website; it sells other cases in its Harley-branded line, including aluminum and leather cases of varying designs, and non-branded cases of many varieties.  Now if they'd only sell a Kawasaki case...

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Motorcycle Sunglasses Made Easy by ADS Sports Eyewear

Motorcycle sunglasses are an important piece of equipment for any motorcycle enthusiast. This article will help you make an informed decision as you select the type of frame and lens color best suited to the way you ride. ADS Sports Eyewear publishes more detail on their web site at
Lens Materials:
There are only two lens materials that are approved for use on a motorcycle.  These are Polycarbonate and Trivex.  SR-91 is also approved for use in this environment.  This is a polarized version of Trivex.
All three are shatterproof and block UV rays naturally. SR-91 is roughly 50% more expensive than polycarbonate, but the optical quality is phenomenal. Polarization is optional with polycarbonate and Trivex while all SR-91 lenses are polarized. Polarized lenses cut glare to minimum making reflections from the sun less intrusive, allowing a rider to see more detail on any reflective surface.
Lens Colors:
Copper-based lenses will provide the best contrast. This is the best lens color option for riders who are not exceptionally light sensitive. Grey is best for maintaining true color. The grey lens color does not provide any increased contrast it just makes everything darker. It is the best option for riders who are often squinting when they wear a copper lens in bright sunlight.  People with light blue or light green eyes are statistically more likely to be light sensitive, but this is not always true.
Night riding requires a clear lens, or a lens with a light contrast tint. Photochromic or Transitions lenses are the most versatile lens. A Transitions lens will not get as dark as a tinted or polarized lens, and it may not darken at all if you wear it behind a shield.  Even a half shield may block enough UV light to keep a Transitions lens from darkening. Transitions lenses do not darken as much or as fast in hotter weather, and after about 3 - 5 years the lens will start to “fatigue” or wear out. Transitions motorcycle glasses are your most versatile option, but these are not a good option for riders who prefer a darker lens.
Prescription Oakley Sunglasses and non-prescription sunglasses offer a larger variety of lens colors that are well suited to motorcycling. Polarized lenses are available in many more colors than the standard grey or brown in polycarbonate, and the Oakley Iridium coatings offer an additional layer of contrast that is unique to Oakley. The new Oakley Wind Jacket is a favorite frame amongst motorcycle enthusiasts because of the removable eye seal and easily interchangeable lenses.
Prescription motorcycle sunglasses are now available with a new free-form digital surfacing design that completely eliminates the “fishbowl effect” traditionally associated with putting a prescription lens in a wrapped frame. This has been a lifesaver for athletes in many sports.  But this has proven to be more important to motorcyclists than anyone else. This also allows much higher prescriptions to be placed in these wrapped frames.

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Monday, April 01, 2013

New Product Release: Aerostich Magnetic Baby Onesie

Hot of the presses from Aerostich:

Aerostich   Magnetic Baby Onsie

Having a baby changes everything -- including your motorcycle riding. This new Aerostich Magnetic Baby Onsie (View action video.) helps you manage it without giving up your bike. Simply place any child within the Onsie and position it on your gas tank as if it were a magnetic tank bag. Then clip the safety leash to handlebar and ride! Prototypes have been endorsed by experts and baby-tested at over 140mph! For security and peace-of-mind it’s made of strong abrasion-resistant GORE-TEX Cordura with a full-length water-proof zipper, an internal comfort pad and three strong rare-earth magnets per side. A large strip of 3M SOLUS reflective provides nighttime conspicuity and inside is a removable, washable, fire-retardant 100% cotton fleece lining. There’s also a detachable 36” shoulder-strap to maximize off-bike portability. Available in Small (1-6 months) or Medium (6–18 months) and either Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, California Raisin, or Spiderman-licensed styles. A Millard-Marcus-Rebeka product. View action video.
Along with the Magnetic Baby Onsie, the all-new 2013 Aerostich Catalog features thousands of useful products for riders, and hundreds of new and updated items, including the all-new Roadcrafter City andRoadcrafter Tactical rider’s suits. The 262 page catalog is the company’s largest ever and features the usual assortment of customer supplied photos, interesting sidebars, moto-related quotes and a few hidden 'Easter Eggs' to keep things interesting. All items are also available to view and order, where you can also find an interactive suit 'color picker', downloadable digital catalog sections, more detailed product images and reviews and more. To get your FREE copy of the2013 Aerostich Catalog, call 800 222 1994, or email
Aerostich 2013 Catalog - Front CoverAerostich Magnetic Baby Onsie 
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PDF (193KB)
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PDF (561KB)

Aerostich  Features:

  • Bring your baby along on every ride.
  • Abrasion resistant and waterproof.
  • Attaches securely to tank with strong rare-earth magnets.
  • More riding time combined with parental bonding.
  • Tested to 140 MPH.
  • Colors and styles for both boys and girls.

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