Memorial Day Motorcycle Deals

Aside from honoring those who have fallen in service to our country, Memorial Day is also seen as the unofficial beginning of summer. For motorcyclists who live in parts of the country that experience cold weather, summer is prime time for riding our bikes. Just like the beginning of riding season tune up for your bike, sometimes the new season reveals items of riding gear we need, too. Take advantage of all kinds of deals on motorcycle gear.

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MO Tested: Bell Star Helmet Review

Bell has got four new Star helmets: Pro Star, custom-fit Star Carbon, Race Star, and the one under review here, the plain old Star. They range in price all the way from $1299.95 for the most expensive Pro Star to $499.95 for the Pace Orange/Black Star pictured. Compared to the others, the Star’s eye port is more oriented to upright riding than to peering out the top while tucked-in behind the bubble at Daytona. Though it’s of course a tad heavier than the more expensive Stars, it seems no heavier than a comparable premium helmet.

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Best Motorcycle Spark Plugs

There was a time when spark plugs required constant maintenance or replacement. With improvements such as electronic fuel injection, cleaner burning fuels and more exotic metals such as iridium and platinum, modern spark plugs can last much longer than they used to, with service life stretching to 80,000 miles or more. These technological advances mean these are the best motorcycle spark plugs ever manufactured, and we benefit in several ways when it’s time to upgrade.

Still, there are reasons why upgrading from a healthy stock spark plug can be a good idea. Better quality spark plugs can improve starting power, engine performance and fuel economy. Modern spark plugs still use a copper core, but the center electrodes are tipped with platinum which runs hotter and last longer. Iridium tips are even more durable, but also more expensive. That being said, spark plugs are relatively inexpensive compared to other upgrades you can make, and the longevity of iridium spark plugs may make up for the extra cost over time.

We’ve put together a list of some of the top motorcycle spark plugs below. Keep in mind that spark plugs tend to be model specific, so be sure to check your motorcycle’s manual to learn what size, heat range, and, most importantly, the gap size between electrodes.

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Nexx Helmets: Everything You Need to Know

Nexx helmets has been producing motorcycle helmets since 2001, in Portugal, and is proud of the fact that it’s still 100% located in Amoreira da Gândara, 160 miles north of Lisbon. Why? Because “we believe in having all our knowledge concentrated; this not only allows us to maintain our unique philosophy but also, as we develop and produce our helmets, we know them inside out and we can support and improve them better than anyone else. Plus, doing everything in-house allows us more flexibility while providing a higher level of Customization and Service.”

Nexx helmets are now sold in at least 60 countries, though Nexxes seem to be rare on the ground in the US. That rareness means we haven’t even reviewed a Nexx helmet at MO, far as I can tell. But our most excellent contributor and gear connoisseur Thai Long Ly has owned several of them. TLL says:

“Yes, I have a NEXX or two. Have had several, actually. The X.R2, X.R2 Carbon and a Blade. The plusses are they’re super lightweight… incredibly light, actually. Aerodynamics are excellent, as is the peripheral vision. The view port is wide and tall, so you see everything. No whistling and because it’s so light, you get minimal neck fatigue when on a long haul. They’re not too expensive, either.

“The minuses: They’re not the most robust things I’ve ever had. The lining peels, the fit and finish degrades with time, and the thing just kinda falls apart with continued use. Oh, and they’re kinda loud… not as serene as a Shark or even Arai, but quieter than most barnyard animals.

“Overall, I love the way they cheat the wind; a result of the incredible lightweight construction combined with excellent aerodynamics. For long rides or track days, this is a great helmet to rock. Don’t be afraid to scuff it up or scratch the finish as you’ll have to replace it soon enough anyway.”

In Nexx’s defense, Tai rides a lot, and his high energy lifestyle shortens the lifespan of lots of things. YMMV, and Nexx offers a two-year warranty on all its helmets, of which there are now quite a few – ranging from a newish retro line and extending into the usual sport, touring, modular and adventure categories. Which leads us nicely into a quick look at a few of Nexx’s latest and greatest lids.

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The 10 Best Motorcycle Helmets You Can Buy Today

Your head really is the most important thing to keep safe, whether you’re on a motorcycle or not, as your ECU is inside it. You don’t have to spend as much as most of these 10 cost for a truly great helmet, but if our mission here is to seek out the best motorcycle helmet, well, you have to open up the purse a little. The following are some of the best money can buy – including some modular options for street riders or those who like the versatility flip-ups provide. And also bear in mind that fit is the number-one determinant in which helmet is best for each individual. If you can try helmets on in a real store, do so, and please give that store a chance to match your best online price. We hereby present what the MO staff collectively agree are the ten best motorcycle helmets that have brought the game forward in terms of safety, comfort, design, practicality, or all of the above.

(Our lead shot is the HJC RPHA11 Pro Otto Minions graphic, available for pre-order now. You’ll find the same excellent lid in Captain America colors below.)

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Pirelli Motorcycle Tires: Everything You Need To Know

Founded in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, the company we now know for its expansive range of tires got its humble beginnings in a different industry: telecomms. Back then several new technologies and industries were emerging, including energy and telecommunications. Throughout Europe, kilometers upon kilometers of power cables and phone lines were being put into the ground and into the ocean. All of them needed protection. Enter Pirelli and his expertise in another emerging field: rubber. Pirelli founded a limited partnership, “G.B. Pirelli & C.”, in Milan to produce elastic rubber items – primarily sheathing to protect all these wires buried in the ground. According to Pirelli’s corporate history website, by 1873, only a year after its foundation, Pirelli already had a plant in Milan. Production of carriage bands (they weren’t exactly tires) started in 1885, and by 1894 the first velocipede tire was born.

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Best Adventure Motorcycle Touring Suits for Braving the Unknown

Adventure riders know that choosing a jacket and pant that will offer versatility in a wide variety of scenarios is paramount to enjoying the ride. Fortunately for us, most manufacturers now make matching jacket and pant combos to offer suits that integrate seamlessly from a fit and function standpoint. It’s always a good idea to be realistic of your intentions when considering new gear, but thankfully with adventure gear, like adventure bikes, most are designed to do a little bit of everything. Below is our list of the best adventure suits on the market today.

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Best Motorcycle Racing Tires You Can Also Use On The Street

In our Best Sportbike Tire series, we compiled a list of sportbike tires primarily suited for spirited street riding. In this, our Best Motorcycle Racing Tires series, we’re catering to the hardcore track rider, or even club racer, who still fancies the odd street ride. If you fall in that category, this list is for you. Here we’ve compiled some of the best track rubber you can find while still being approved by the Department of Transportation. In case you didn’t get the subtle hint, you won’t find any slicks on this list, but what we have here are nearly as good. As with many things in life, there’s a catch – some of these tires you’ll have to get through your local track vendor and can’t necessarily buy online. To put a positive spin on this scenario, at least you can feel good knowing you’re supporting a local business. Better still, your local track vendor will have the best advice as to what tire pressures to set for your local riding areas. Where possible, we’ve linked to staff member reviews of said tire(s), so here they are.

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Michelin Motorcycle Tires: Everything You Need to Know

In addition to being the largest tire manufacturer in the world, Michelin is also one of, if not the oldest tire maker, with a brand that’s known worldwide for much more than tires, and a mascot, Bib, who’s also instantly recognizable (even though he quit smoking cigars some years ago). Michelin’s road maps, travel itineraries, and hotel and restaurant guides have told people where to go ever since the miracle of internal combustion made it possible for them to go there. The fine dining industry lives and dies by the Michelin stars its Red Guide awards to restaurants for their haute cuisine. In fact it may have been Michelin that coined the phrase so many motorcycle riders have taken to heart: “Eat to ride, ride to eat.”

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Best Motorcycle Goggles to Keep Your Ojos Safe

Motorcycling and eye protection go hand in hand. Heck, even most states without helmet laws require eye protection. When riding off-road, good goggles are an absolute necessity. Everything from bugs and sticks, to roost and rocks are coming toward you at warp speed just hoping to put your eye out. Sure, goggles are first and foremost about protecting your eyes, but as technology has advanced, so have the features of modern day off-road motorcycle goggles. There are now options such as: the best tint for the terrain or time of day you’ll be riding, dozens of anti-fogging solutions, and flashy colors with equally flashy reflective lenses.

Whatever type of riding you’re doing, it’s likely there are goggles on the market designed for it. We put together a list of the best off-road motorcycle goggles from the best manufacturers in the business to give you a one-stop guide to the gear you need to keep your ojos intact.

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Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots For Those Looking to Go Further

Adventure boots are designed in a similar vein to adventure motorcycles, ready to handle the rigors of off-road, yet still be comfortable enough to use day in and day out. Adventure boots are made to be protective, but not as stiff as a motocross boot so that you can comfortably walk around the interesting places you may find along your way. Our list of the best adventure motorcycle boots shows what adventure riders have to choose from with but one click of the mouse.

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10 Great Gloves for Under $100

Updated April, 2021

We’re constantly saying that you should buy the best gear you can afford, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. We’re gonna pull back a little here, and focus on how nice gloves that cost less than a hundred bucks can be. Some of these motorcycle gloves are almost inexpensive enough to buy two pair without breaking our self-imposed ceiling. Even better, buy two different pairs: one for hot dry summers, and one for cool, rainy falls and springs. Your hands will thank you.

That’s because, after your helmet, gloves are the most important piece of gear you can buy. It’s a natural reaction to put out your hands to break a fall, and realizing yours are bare as you reach for the asphalt at 50 mph is the wrong time to realize that gloves, any gloves, are an excellent investment in yourself and those you love. The things you can’t do while waiting for scabbed-up fingers to heal is long and humiliating. (Say, I can’t think of a better place for this link.)

So, dive in and see what we’ve rooted out (in alphabetical order, no less) from the tubes of the internet: 10 (or so) great motorcycle gloves under $100.

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Best Motorcycle Touring Gloves

Updated April 2021

Well, there really is no “best touring glove,” because when you’re really going places on your motorcycle for days, the climatic conditions are liable to change more often than your underwear. From baking desert to bone-chilling mountaintop and all points in between, we know of no gloves with adjustable ventilation systems. Touring also implies that you’re probably on a bike with enough storage to carry more than one pair of gloves, which is really the way to go. Having heated grips gives way more flexibility to your glove selection as well. With them, behind handguards or a fairing, you can probably get away without needing really heavy winter gloves.

There are tons of gloves with the features to deliver the comfort and protection from the weather and mishaps that you’ll need out on the long and winding road. What makes a touring glove a touring glove is the ability to be worn comfortably for extended periods. Just like with a helmet, there’s no substitute for trying them on in an actual motorcycle store – most of which will gladly match your best online price. Add multi-weather adaptability. Finally, you need crash protection. All of the gloves featured here have these qualities in spades.

Here are more than a few of our favorites, in alphabetical order.

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Best Two-piece Motorcycle Leathers

Updated April, 2021

Wearing a one-piece leather suit can be such a commitment; they’re a chore to put on, you’re stuck in a racer-like position even when you don’t want to be, and what do you do when nature calls? That last reason must be why apparel manufacturers decided to make two-piece leathers. That, or lots of people just want to wear the jacket most of the time, saving the pants for sporty rides and track days. Two-piece suits offer nearly the same amount of protection as their one-piece counterparts, but they’re way more convenient for those who only see the track once or twice a year. Or never. As you can probably guess, two-piece suits consist of a jacket and pants that zip together in the middle via a circumference zip. Some jacket/pant combos out there connect via a zip connection that’s only six inches or so in length, in the back. We don’t trust them as much as a zipper that goes all the way around, and most sanctioning bodies won’t allow them on the race track. What we have below is a collection of dedicated two-piece offerings from a few of our favorite, trusted manufacturers.

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Best Waterproof Motorcycle Boots

Just because we’re California weenies doesn’t mean we don’t get rained on now and then. In fact, our arid lifestyle makes us even more sensitive when our dogs get dampened. You don’t have to be a veteran of trench warfare to know your feet are happiest when they’re dry. Especially if it’s not particularly warm, and especially if you’re whipping up a nice wind-chill factor for yourself at the same time. Now that Gore-tex and copycat breathable waterproof membranes are here, the days of plastic bags over your feet are over. Though that’s still an option. Naturally, these all come in various sizes to fit most feet, and many come in womens’ sizing as well. Here’s a light sprinkling of our favorite waterproof motorcycle boots.

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