This Week's Motorcycle Gear Deals
–We’re constantly on the look for great deals on motorcycle gear. We’ll be updating this post each week with the latest sales on gear and accessories, so keep checking here for new deals.
HEY! Did you know you could help support us MOrons by buying stuff at Revzilla? It’s true. Whenever you click on over there after seeing a thing here, we get a piece of the pie. It’s a win/win situation – especially when the thing is on sale. You get a deal on what you needed anyway. We get to keep eating. Here are a few of this week’s retail therapy opportunities.
Best Motorcycle Airbag Jackets
Motorcycling airbags systems have now been in development for upward of 30 years. Companies like Alpinestars and Dainese have brought products to market, revised them, updated them, and developed new airbag systems to cover a broad range of motorcycling such as track riding, commuting, and off-road riding. We’ve seen these systems go from being integrated into specific garments, to standalone units that can be worn universally (with proper fitment). Now, we even have subscription-based systems that offer a lower barrier to entry price-wise than initially available.
Here at MO, we’ve done our best to cover the cutting edge of this technology as new products and airbags emerge. Heck, our own Troy Siahaan has proven himself time and time again to be a most excellent crash test dummy and because of this, he won’t be caught on two wheels without an airbag between him and impending doom. Do yourself a favor and read through Troy’s copious crash tested articles for first hand experience of airbag deployments. Due to his experience, I couldn’t think of a better person to lend a few keystrokes to this article.
Before we get into the five airbag systems we were able to test, we want to address the lack of a major player in the biz. We contacted Helite, which initially showed interest in being involved, but was then later unresponsive. Helite makes a range of airbag products from vests and jackets, to airbag backpacks, and now, airbag riding pants. All of the company’s current product line relies on mechanical tethers to the motorcycle which, when pulled, opens a CO2 cartridge which then deploys the airbag. There are other interesting features to Helite products and we are disappointed to have not been able to include them in this buyer’s guide.
While we know there are other companies out there, these were the latest products we were able to have on hand to review.
With all that said, let’s take a look at how airbags from the other major players stack up.
Best Motorcycle Touring Tires for Going Further
Pity the poor fool who’s got nothing to do for a week or two but roll around on his motorcycle – no job, no cares, no particular place to be. And if you’re fortunate enough to have all those things working in your favor, chances are you’re carrying around quite a bit of loot in the saddlebags and trunk of your Goldwing, Ultra Glide or big BMW K-bike – possibly even an accomplice. What you want on all of those bikes are tires that stick to the pavement, wet or dry, upright or dragging peg, carry a heavy load safely, and preferably wear like iron. Is that too much to ask?
Burning Rubber: Best Sportbike Tires
The job of a sportbike tire is a tough one. Considering the performance – and variety – of today’s modern sporting machines, an ideal tire needs to be able to warm up quickly, offer good grip in both wet and dry conditions, transfer feedback to the rider, and provide good handling capabilities. Thankfully, all the major tire companies work tirelessly to improve their tires to meet these demands. Of course, longevity is a concern as well, but compared to a sport-touring tire a sportbike tire won’t quite measure up with all the other duties it has to perform.
Here, we’ve gathered seven different tires that are great at handling it all. We’ve focused on street-based tires, since that’s where the majority of sportbike riders spend their time, although all of the tires here are more than capable of handling the occasional trackday or two. If you’re the serious trackday/racing type, we’ll have a separate guide for you coming soon.
Your Best Motorcycle Chain Lubes
Right, the MO staff has spent the last nine months exhaustively testing every chain lube on the market in all possible climatic conditions, over thousands of miles, to bring you this, the most authoritative work on motorcycle chain lubes ever assembled. Just kidding.
What kind of chain lube to use is right up there with what kind of oil. Earlier we learned that WD-40 is probably not the way to go, but you know we’ll get mail even about that. We also learned at the same time, that even though they’re sealed, O- and X-ring chains do still require lubrication to keep those seals pliable, so that they keep the internal lubrication inside and dirt and debris out. It’s all about the seals. Just make sure whatever you use says O-ring compatible. We can’t really tell you which lube is best, but we can tell you which lubricants lots of people swear by. In the end, it probably doesn’t matter which lube you use as long as you use lube.
(PS: We’re talking modern sealed chains, not the non O-ring type that people used to put on TZ250s and maybe still do on Moto3 motorcycles to “free up” horsepower.)
Best Motorcycle Helmets for Harley Riders
If you don’t understand, we can’t explain it to you. But you know who you are. It’s not a universal rule, but for many, many motorcycle riders, it’s Harley or nothing. For many of them, the best Harley helmet has to continue the theme that often but not always includes the leather vest, the chained wallet and the tattoos. For even more Harley riders, a good helmet is a good helmet. In truth, everybody’s skull is basically the same shape, on the outside anyway, so the best motorcycle helmets for Harley riders are still great helmets no matter what you ride. But there are definitely variations that make some of them the best motorcycle helmets for Harley riders. And away we go…
Functional Fashion: The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets
If there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. The leather jacket is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for Halloween, or down for any occasion that calls for cool. No matter what you ride, the best leather motorcycle jackets are versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. A premium leather jacket will never go out of style, and the more you wear a quality one, the more comfortable it will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. Bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. So here we’ve gathered a small sampling of the best leather motorcycle jackets the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.
The Best Of Both Worlds: Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets
Like most things in life, we can’t always have everything we want. The same principle holds true with motorcycle helmets. For ultimate protection, full-face helmets are the way to go. But sometimes the ease and convenience of an open-face is really hard to pass up. What’s a motorcyclist to do if he or she wants both? Thank goodness modular motorcycle helmets exist. Offering both full-face protection with open-face convenience, modular helmets are a compromise everyone can live with. Here, we’ve gathered some of the top modular motorcycle helmets available today from a variety of manufacturers.
The Best Motorcycle Oil to Keep Your Bike Running Smoothly
Evans: Writing about oil is like discussing politics, guns, abortion, and religion all rolled into one. You’re sure to offend a few people, from the “any oil is fine as long as it’s changed regularly” set to the “I only use the most expensive stuff on the planet” types. Then the interval will raise hackles, too. I wish you luck, Ryan.
Great, I thought to myself after being sent the assignment. There are a few ways to approach this topic. I could try and defend marketing claims from major corporations about how great their oil is or, I could give some basic information about what makes motorcycle oil different and what certifications to look for – which you’ll find after the product recommendations – and also a few options our staff has used or knows to be of good quality. But first an explanation…
Take A Deep Breath: Best Motorcycle Air Filters
In essence, an internal combustion engine is just a big air pump. Air comes in, then air goes out again. In a perfect world, engines wouldn’t even need air filters, but as we all know, there’s a ton of dirt, grime, and other airborne crud on the roads (or off the roads!) which, if ingested by your engine, could spell terminal damage. Or at least a lofty repair bill. Many of today’s motorcycles have well-designed intake paths and airboxes, but in many cases the stock paper filter element restricts the amount of air your engine could be breathing, robbing power in the process. Here we’ve gathered some aftermarket air filter options to help your motorcycle breathe as best it can. Of course, the most obvious plus side in doing so includes gaining more power, but in some cases you can achieve better fuel mileage. You can even save money in the long run, too, as some aftermarket filters are designed to be washable and reusable. See our top picks for best motorcycle air filter below, and remember, the prices will vary depending on the application.
Keeping Your Domepiece Safe: Best Motorcycle Racing Helmets
Congratulations. You’ve made the decision to go to a trackday (or even a race). We think that’s one of the best decisions you can make with your motorcycle. Not only is track riding fun and addictive, but it’s also a great environment to improve your skills. But there’s a lot to do to get ready, like getting all your gear in order. Most important, of course, is your helmet.
Do you have a proper track helmet? Generally speaking, a good helmet for the track is full-face, with a double D-ring closure, that meets or exceeds all federal safety guidelines. You’ll have to consult with your local track or track/race organization for the specific helmet regulations they require, but the following selections are helmets we know will easily pass any tech inspection held anywhere in the US of A, and probably the rest of the world, too. A really good track helmet will have all of that, along with a bigger eye port that lets you see ahead when you’re prone on the gas tank, as aerodynamic and light a shell as possible, and great venting so you can keep a cool head.
There are many reputable helmet manufacturers out there, going about the task of head protection in their own unique ways, and there’s no way for us to sample all of them. But the helmets presented here all come from manufacturers we’d trust with our heads. Hours upon hours of time, money, and resources go into the science of making helmets as effective as possible – not just from an impact perspective, but lately, some manufacturers have poured resources into minimizing the effects of brain rotation during a crash as well. Those resources don’t come for free, however, so if you’ve wondered why top-shelf helmets cost so much, it’s because innovation has a price.
CYA: Best Motorcycle Overpants
You’ve already got the jacket, and hopefully it’s a nice, warm one as Fall will once again begin reasserting itself across the land in a month or two. Or, we hope Fall reasserts itself. Now that you’re sophisticated enough to have gotten that far, maybe it’s time to think about completing the ensemble with one of our picks for best motorcycle overpants. You can get them to add warmth and protection your jeans can’t provide. Or you can get overpants that flow air to keep your lower body cool while adding protection. Or you can get both, via the miracle of removable liners. We rounded up a quick assortment of some nice ones.
REAX Motorcycle Gear: Everything You Need to Know
Reax is a relatively new name in motorcycle apparel, but most riders are probably familiar with the company behind it: retailer RevZilla and its parent company, COMOTO. Reax was only founded in 2018, but it’s been able to establish itself relatively quickly, thanks to RevZilla’s large online presence, along with its sister brands, J&P Cycles, and Cycle Gear.
RevZilla’s experience as a retailer gave REAX a head start on knowing what consumers want in motorcycle gear. REAX gear tends to have a very understated style, with a clean look and minimal branding. REAX motorcycle gear tends to be functional, providing features and a level of protection riders want at a reasonable price point.
MO Tested: Reax Gloves, Jacket, And Jeans
As an in-house private label, REAX is only available through RevZilla and Cycle Gear, which does limit your ability to shop around for better deals. The plus side, though, is that there’s no middle-man, allowing REAX to keep the prices fairly reasonable.
Best Motorcycle Cover Buyer's Guide
In a perfect world, you’d probably park your motorcycle in your bedroom, where it’ll be nice and cozy, and well out of harm’s way. But, as we know, the world is not perfect, and many of us are left parking our beloved motorcycles outside, exposed to the elements and even the prying eyes of those with bad intentions.
Enter the motorcycle cover. While not as effective in protecting your bike from Mother Nature or vandals as keeping it parked inside, if you have to leave your bike outside, a cover is the next best line of defense. This is your guide to some of the different types.
There’s a surprising amount of variety when it comes to motorcycle covers, and while this guide is not intended to cover every single one of them, it should at least open your eyes to what’s available, and maybe even point you in the right direction as to which is the best motorcycle cover for you.
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 Motorcycle.com staff member reviews of said tire(s), so here they are.