Time Savers or Trouble Makers?

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The Helmet Sunblocker™

Isn't it funny how a thin strip of plastic film can cost so little and yet be worth so much? The patent pending Helmet Sunblocker was crafted from material used in aviation. Creator, Peter Harris, tells of its origins: "I am a private pilot and I had a sheet of the Sunblocker material which I used in the airplane. Wherever the sun was shining, I would slap it in the window of the plane. I got the idea to cut a strip out of it and put it in my helmet. It worked great and so I gave one to all my riding buddies. We had them in there for years and never thought much about it until one day, I was riding along and raised my head to get my eyes out of the Sunblocker protection and about blinded myself. I thought, "How can anyone stand to ride without a Sunblocker?"

The Sunblocker works like the visor in your automobile in that it will cut the sun's rays just as they start to aim right into your line of sight. It's made of a flimsy film that is applied to the inside of the lens. With a little bit of warm and slightly soapy water, slid the Sunblocker on, align it so that the top edge of the Sunblocker is even with the top edge of the lens, wipe off excess water then let it dry for a few minutes. After a little drying time check to see if any air bubbles are present. If so, simply but carefully push them out with your finger or a soft cloth. The directions call for dry time of at least an hour or as much as overnight. Gabe was able to use his almost immediately after installing it on his Shoei. Bottomline: this thing works! With plenty of setting-sun opportunities, we found it to be similar to the experience of stepping outside into the brightness, then putting on your sunglasses. When properly installed it never impeded normal vision as the bottom edge of the Sunblocker should be just above your line of sight. The exception to this may be when riding sportier bikes that may require a more aggressive riding position. In this instance the natural position of the riders head will cause them to look through the top portion of the shield more often, thereby forcing them to look through the Sunblocker.

One advantage of the material is that is still clear enough to see through, again like a pair of sunglasses, while doing a good job of cutting the sun's rays. We can't speak for reducing stress, tension and fatigue as the packaging claims but it definitely reduces annoying sun glare. And the fact that the Sunblocker can be moved from helmet to helmet with little effort only adds to its value making it worth far more than the $15.95 that you'll pay. If for some odd reason you don't like it, return the Sunlblocker within 90 days with proof of purchase for a full refund.


Shift Cush

You've done it again! You agreed to meet someone right after work for dinner but you won't have time to change in and out of your riding gear without being late. With a sigh of disappointment you resign yourself to the fact that you'll just have to wear your good shoes and hope they don't get too scuffed up. But then you remember that you just installed a Shift Cush on your bike last night. Hoorah! Now you can arrive at dinner and no one will ever know you wore your Stacey Adams on the bike.

The Shift Cush is one of those, "Why didn't I think of that!" products. It looks like a typical shift lever rubber piece. The exception being that it has a "platform" on one side with a tiny air bladder sandwiched in between a vinyl cover that is neatly secured with a small zip tie. It's put together seamlessly and works incredibly well. And durable seems to be a hallmark of this little gizmo too. It takes all of about five minutes to remove the original shift lever rubber and install the Cush. Once on, you can rotate the Shift Cush to just about any position you'll need, as it isn't a permanent fit. But it never moves excessively and is quite secure once in place. It's comfortable to use with almost any type of footwear, as the pad is soft yet firm enough to allow sensitivity for shifting.

The only potential drawback could be with going back to using a typical boot, like a construction type boot for example that many people use. Extra effort was required when trying to wedge the toe of the boot under the shift lever with the Cush in place. In this instance we suspect it had more to do with the length of the shift lever and the relative distance from the foot peg that caused us to work harder to manipulate the shifter. Boots also typically have a larger toe box than most street shoes or even some race oriented motorcycle specific boots do. So this may or may not be a problem.

Whatever the case the Shift Cush does such a good job of keeping your shoes shined that you may never go back to wearing boots on the bike. But that could be a whole other MO debate in and of itself. Designed to fit all bikes with a standard 8mm round shift lever for$13.95, it also comes in a 5/16" size to fit Harley's at $19.95. And yes, they even make one in chrome for the Hogs at $59.95.




Canyon Dancer Bar Harness

Gabe was strapping a motorcycle down in the back of a pickup truck when Ashley noticed something. "Wow, Gabe, that thing is really cool. Where did you get it?" Gabe blushed and made a little coughing sound before he realized she was  referring to the Canyon Dancer Bar Harness he had used to prevent tie-down hooks from getting too close to the paint of the motorcycle he was transporting and said, "oh, that!" He thought everybody knew about them.

But if Ashley, who has more knowledge of motorcycles and the motorcycle industry than most of us didn't know about it, than maybe you don't, either. It's an ingenious device, a two-piece sliding strap that loops over the handlebars, keeping tie-down hooks from your soft, delicate plastic and paint. A soft, padded loop goes over the central strap to keep your tank from being scratched. It's designed for sportbikes but it works well on any machine with low bars.

It costs $29.95, which seems like a lot until you consider even the smallest scratch on your new GSXR or whatever can cost you five times that. As sportbike people, we transport our bikes a lot, and cheaping out when it comes to securing our investment in the back of your transport rig is foolish. There are those of us out there who refuse to buy so much as a pair of locking tie-downs and insist on performing acts of nautical wonderment with long lengths of clothesline to tie down their bikes. We think these people are insane. Buy some good tie downs, buy a Canyon Dancer and enjoy the peace of mind.

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