Category Archives: Product Reviews

They’ve got your size!


Life is a series of shit storms, with brief periods of calm in between. SchitStorm is a release valve, just like riding a motorcycle. The world has gone just a bit more crazy than usual. Maybe it’s the media screaming at us 24/7/365, maybe it’s the dark powers of the internet, maybe it’s natural erosion of civilization, who knows. SchitStorm is here to have a little fun with it, cause if you can’t laugh, you might as well be dead.

It started as a joke between my cousin and I several years ago that we decided to run with this year, both as an outlet and a statement that no matter what life throws at us, you just have to push through it and laugh about it after. Think of that time on your bike and you just knew the weather was going to turn against you, and you have no choice but to press through it knowing you’ll have a great story to tell down the road.

The SchitStorm line is a series of t-shirts and hoodies.  We only print on very high-quality cotton to make sure it’s one of the shirts you want to wear for comfort alone. There are several moto inspired designs in the line that are just subtle enough, but if you want in-your-face, we have that too.

 

The world may come to its senses sooner or later, but until then we’ll all be living through a SchitStorm so we might as well just ride it out and have as much fun as we can along the way.

 

Free Stickers! – Just visit the website, sign-up for our infrequent emails and send us your address to info@schitstorm.com

Helite Turtle Airbag Vest Hi-Viz

I’m no longer indestructible! Technically, I was never indestructible, but I was really proficient at bad judgement. I can remember back in the day when I used to ride my Harley-Davidson Sportster wearing my Van Halen T-shirt, and a pair of shorts, Ray-Ban sunglasses and a pair of gym shoes. Oh, let’s not forget I was wearing headphones connected to my Sony Walkman. A little history lesson here, a Sony Walkman was this gizmo that you put a cassette tape in it. This cassette tape had audible information on it to play through headphones. These were very dark days, way before iTunes showed up.

Back on track. Yup, nothing but safety first back in the day. Nowhere, in my motorcycling outfit collection, was a helmet, a leather coat, a pair of gloves, reinforce jeans or a pair of boots. I’m trying to remember, I think bought a helmet, but never used it. I think it was still in the box when I gave it away.

Of course, now, I’m at a different place in life. I am amazed every day that this biological machinery which enables my consciousness is still operating at my age. They’re very few things in my realm that are as old as I am. For example, we don’t own a sixty-year-old car. The useful life of my toothbrush, computer, motorcycles and so forth are fraction of my current age.

There are times when I look at my hand and move my fingers back and forth. During this little weird exercise. I can stop thinking about all of the biological systems that have been replaced, repaired and whatever else is going on in my body during my time on this planet.

My main goal when riding motorcycle now is to decrease chances of injury. Over the years I have slowly incorporated more and more motorcycle safety gear. 2005 was ground zero for my safety gear enhancement mode. I no longer just looked at the price of the equipment. Nor do I search out one particular brand. I actually spend a lot time research each piece of motorcycle safety equipment.

In 2008, I bought a Honda Goldwing with an air-bag. It made the cost of the motorcycle about $2,500 more, but I figured it added another level of safety. Of course, I caught a lot of shit from my motorcycle tribe for riding around on a motorcycle with an air-bag.  My Goldwing is almost ten years old now, so now that air-bag has cost me about $250 per year so far. Except, this year the air-bag was replaced under a massive recall by Honda. Ruh-Roh, more math, a new equation! It’s your turn to figure out the cost per year. Give it hell.

Motorcycling is high risk endeavor. It’s a risk-taking behavior. People who ride motorcycles are engaging in an activity that has the potential to be harmful. You may think you have the ability avoid the dangers through your motorcycle riding prowess. Or you might think, making the exhaust system on your motorcycle as loud as possible will fend off the “cagers.”  Well, I say good luck with that! Me, I’m going to pack on the safety gear.

I’ve decided to purchase a radical piece of motorcycle safety gear. The Turtle Airbag Vest is a relativity new product. Here’s a link to their website Helite, you can get all the nuts and bolts stuff from them. Yup, I’m one lazy-ass-blogger, back on track! I’ve been reading about this technology for two years. Read about all of the iterations before it was brought to market place. Collect as much data as I could about the effectiveness of the product. The data can from the manufacturers and not from any governing body.I’d better throw this out there before someone gets the wrong idea or tries to sue me. I do not believe that my safety gear will keep me from getting hurt. But, I do know the outcome will be much better than if I was wearing my long-gone trusty Van Halen T-shirt.

My HD Ultra Limited is getting new shoes!!

Photo courtesy of Michelin and used with permission.

First off and foremost I’d like to thank the folks at Michelin for sending me a set of new motorcycle tires for my 2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited. Obviously, my Harley Davidson doesn’t wear gym shoes. (I was trying to use some urban slang to connect with the hip people who read this blog.) Again, I’d like to thank the folks at Michelin for finding my blog in the ocean of motorcycle blogs on the Internet and contacting me. I plan on provide updates on these tires throughout their life. Please check my blog, You Tube channel, and podcasts periodically for these updates.

 

Photo courtesy of Michelin and used with permission.

 

Michelin motorcycle tires have always been a big player in the MotoGP circuit. There must be a lot of smart guys working for Michelin. Not only are they good at mixing rubber compounds. They’ll be pressing ahead with the introduction of enabled wireless technology in their tires for the 2017 MotoGP season. The data from these tires will be shared with the media broadcasting the races. This will give the fans an opportunity to get real-time data from a tire that is zipping around a track at speeds in excess of 200 mph.

Michelin’s line of Scorcher tires have been available through Harley Davidson as OEMs for a while now. But now they can be purchased through authorized Michelin tire dealers. Michelin Scorcher tires offer superb tread life and excellent durability, while Michelin’s ADT (Amplified Density Technology) technology delivers excellent feedback and handling. The tires come in three versions: Scorcher 11, 31 and 32.

 

Photo courtesy of Michelin and used with permission.

The link below is for the current line of the Michelin Scorcher series tires for Harley Davidson motorcycles. This is by no means a complete reference, and in the near future, could possibly be out of date. I would recommend that you contact Michelin or a Michelin motorcycle tire dealer directly.

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My 2014 Moto Guzzi Touring Motorcycle gets an upgrade!

Yep, we’ve put a man on the moon around 50 years ago and my 2014 Moto Guzzi touring motorcycle still does not have self-canceling turn signals. How is that possible in this day and age? Three out of the four motorcycles that I own have self-canceling turn signals. The other three were manufactured in the United States. I own a Harley-Davidson, an Indian and a Honda. The Honda is a 2008 Gold Wing with an airbag. This was the last year that Honda assembled Gold Wing’s in the United States.

I know that there are a lot of less expensive motorcycles that do not have self-canceling turn signals. I’m going to guess this is some type of cost-cutting measure to make the motorcycles more competitive in the marketplace. But, it’s hard for me to imagine why my 2014 Moto Guzzi touring model doesn’t have this modern feature. For God sake, it’s the Moto Guzzi damn flagship!

I’m really surprised that, to my knowledge, the European Union doesn’t require self-canceling turn signals on all of the motorcycles used over there. They have all kinds of other regulations. It just seems weird they left self-canceling turn signals off of the rulebook.

I also find it kind of weird that Harley-Davidson, Indian/Polaris and Victory/Polaris all have self-canceling turn signals on their models. Since I brought up Victory motorcycles, let’s take time for a moment of silence. Polaris, in its great wisdom, has decided to make the Victory motorcycle line go the way of the dinosaur. With all this said, I’m going to guess that these manufacturers have determined that self-canceling turn signals are a plus for schlepping those brands out of the dealer’s showrooms.

And let’s not forget the average age of the individuals piloting these motorcycles. In that age bracket, which I am familiar with, you start to lose your memory, your car keys, your cell phone, and so forth. The idea that you activate your turn signal and have to go back to remember to turn it off is a bad idea. In my case, the turn signal might not go off until I remove the key from the ignition. So, it sure would be nice if there was a gizmo to turn my turn signals off on my 2014 Moto Guzzi Tourer.

Well, it looks like I’m not the only one who reads my blog. Apparently, they’re lonely on the other side of the planet and they decided to read my blog. I got an email from a company called Smart Turn System. We volleyed a few emails back and forth and the next thing I know, this package arrives at my doorstep. In this package is a device which will automatically cancel my turn signals without my interaction.

I’m not going to lie to you, I have not opened the package yet. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Why haven’t you open the package?” The reason I haven’t opened the package is because there’s a high probability I’ll lose the parts. So it’s just best to leave it on the box and wait until I take motorcycle to my ”Moto Guzzi Guy” to have it installed.

Stay tuned for updates. But in the meantime, check out their website at Smart Turn System

Instant Bolt-On Style For Harley Davidson’s Softail Slim

Your bike says a lot about you, and having a kustom look that fits your style should be easy to accomplish, and not break the bank. There’s no better way to achieve a kustom look with such ease than replacing the stock fenders on your Softail Slim.

“All Klock Werks Fenders are stamped from 14-guage steel using precision deep-draw stamping technology,” said Brian Klock, president and visionary of Klock Werks. “A consistently smooth and flawless finish, with all the right curves, will give your Softail Slim instant style!”

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Klock Werks is excited to offer the new “Knuckler” style stamped steel front fender for your Softail Slim (will also fit Heritage, Fatboys and any other FLST model except Springer)! This direct bolt-on replacement fender uses stock mounting locations and hardware. After Klock Werks steel fenders are stamped, they are e-coated to prevent rust and corrosion.

From manufacture to paint booth and beyond, Klock Werks Fenders continue to resist rust even after paint. Precision laser cut technology ensures accurate fitment. Our updated take on the classic front fender design will also fit FL Softails with 16”-18” up to 130 mm tire.

Klock Werks also designed a rear fender for the Softail Slim that flows with the rear fender strut shape of this popular model. Klock Werks Rear Fenders use factory mount hardware and will utilize OEM seat or any direct replacement. The fenders are compatible with 2012-2016 FLS (Softail “SLIM”) and are available in Smooth and Frenched License Plate Pocket versions.

These new fender fitments are available online at www.kustombaggers.com or through your local Drag Specialties Dealer. Remember, painters love Klock Werks sheetmetal, and you will too!

About Klock Werks

Located in Mitchell, South Dakota, Klock Werks has grown from humble beginnings to a nationally and internationally recognized Brand. Achieving status as “Air Management Experts”, Klock Werks credits this to the success of the original, patented, Flare™ Windshield. Also supplying fenders, handlebars, and other motorcycle parts, Klock Werks proudly leads the industry through innovation in design and quality of materials and fitment.

Team Klock Werks has been successful for years designing parts, creating custom motorcycles, and setting records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. You will find motorcycles, family, and faith at the core of Klock Werks, along with a commitment to caring for the needs of enthusiasts around the world who enjoy their products.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are wanted for an exclusive online community. That means you!!

Are you a rider looking for a new challenge? Motorcycle enthusiasts are wanted for an exclusive online community. Members who qualify will have the opportunity to interact with riders like them, as well as make an impact in the industry by advising decision makers on their products and services. Contributing members will receive Amazon gift codes for their participation.

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See if you make the cut here:http://mayweask.com/riders3

First things first, I’m getting paid for this post. That’s right coolcycledue is a sellout working for the Man. This day had to come sooner or later. It was just a matter of time. I’m pretty sure I’ve got to disclose that I’m getting paid or I might go to blog prison . With all that said I ‘m part of the community, yep, I signed up. This is real cool idea, the opportunity to have some input! Please join me!

Communispace, a consumer collaboration agency, has built an online community for 300 riders to share their experiences and opinions with members like them, as well as interact directly with decision makers in the industry. Members who qualify for this exclusive group will have the opportunity to weigh in on products they use, what’s most important to them about their riding journey, and anything else they feel would be beneficial to the community. Participating members will receive a $10 Amazon gift code for joining, as well as Amazon gift codes often for their participation. Members can stay in the community as long or as little as they like, what matters is the impact they make with their experience and contributions.

J&S Accessories Advent Calendar: Massive Discounts and Christmas Treats

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We are proud to announce the launch of the J&S Accessories Advent Calendar where you can find amazing deals and discounts on motorcycle clothing and accessories.

This Christmas, J&S are giving you the opportunity to take full advantage of their festive discounts. With an Advent Calendar revealing products at extra low prices, all you need to do is click on today’s window to view the item and discount of the day.

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With 30 years of experience in the industry, J&S Accessories are a reputable motorcycle accessory retailor with an outstanding reputation. As one of the leading UK retailors in the business, their aim has always been to provide the highest quality products at affordable prices. With accessories ranging from the finest Alpinestars leather jackets to the top of the range motorcycle helmets, it is definitely worth checking out their amazing deals!

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Each day a new product is revealed at a deducted price – it really is too good to miss! Products include Castor Goretex Gloves, Armadillo Parkas and Alpinestars Druitt Flat Hats. With these prices, why not treat someone this Christmas, or even yourself! Check out the J&S Accessories Advent Calendar for the product on offer today!

Victory for Polaris!

I got a chance to ride Victory’s 8-Ball motorcycle. I was pretty surprised on the overall experience. A matter of fact, I was really surprised. As soon as I hit the start button I knew this motorcycle was for real. I had my doubts that Polaris glued some motorcycle together as fast as they could to try to give Harley-Davidson a run for their money. But it would seem a lot of thought went into building this motorcycle.

I do have one concern and that is the name of the motorcycle. Always thought ”8-Ball” referred to some sort of leisure drug. I myself did not participate in leisure drugs as a wee lad, but I did consume plenty of alcohol to make up the difference. So I would have a better understanding of the term “8-Ball” I fired up Google and found this urban dictionary site. Typed in ”8-Ball” and whammo! I got these two definitions. One eighth of an ounce of cocaine or an Old English 800 malt liquor. Not a single reference to anything to do with motorcycle.

Well I have never attended a school for marketing and I probably would never be hired to market a product. That’s assuming that the company is interested in selling the product. So in reality my opinion means exactly zero. So I’m going to assume that Polaris spent a lot of money determining that ”8-Ball” was a good name for a motorcycle.

Enough talk about marketing a product. I think the major focus or probably were the most R&D was spent was in the engine. This baby has a 50° V twin with four valves per cylinder. Lighter springs, smaller valves, it’s all about moving air through the engine. The brochure says that the engine produces 97 HP at 113 foot-pounds of torque. I could’ve gone on the Internet and did a little research but my wife is continually telling me I have trust issues so I’m going to go with what’s in the brochure.

During my ride I decided to see if this power was actually available. And I can say it definitely was available. So much so that I broke the rear wheel loose on three occasions during my ride. So I decided to quit testing my available power theory before I crashed this motorcycle. Also there was no delay or notification that the power was going to be delivered to the rear wheel. It just happened and you better be ready for it. Not that it was uncontrollable but it definitely was a surprise.

I do have one complaint about the engine and it’s the noise the valve train made. The engine has a single overhead cam that is driven by a chain, no pushrods moving the valves. This may be nitpicking and I’m sure I’m going to catch hell for saying this but I heard a distinct whining from the top of the engine. A matter of fact it reminded me a lot of my 2002 Suzuki 750 GSXR motorcycle. Now this whining wasn’t so deafening that it destroyed the whole experience but it was unexpected for of the twin.

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I own a 2005 Honda VTX 1800 with a very similar valve train system. The only real difference is that the Honda has three valves per cylinder and the Victory has four. The Honda doesn’t produce a whining sound probably because of extra mass of the cylinders because they’re water-cooled. Either way the whining wasn’t the end of the world just seemed a little weird for a V twin.

The victory engine which is called “Freedom 106” is air and oil cooled. I don’t know this for a fact but I’m pretty sure that oil is being sprayed inside of the engine and use as a cooling medium. One thing I’m a little bit leery of is air cooled engines that are wet sump. The oil comes in contact with the majority of the hot surfaces and is always pulling heat away. Getting this hot oil out of the engine seems like a top priority to me. But I’m pretty sure that the engine has been tested over and over again for reliability. Also it holds I believe 5 quarts of oil and it has an oil cooler.

Riding this motorcycle was a lot of fun it was very comfortable all the controls were well positioned and accessible. The seat was about a 25 inches off the ground which is probably good for somebody with short legs. The speedometer had an analog display for speed. Also there was a small rectangle digital display that indicated RPM and gear position. There’s whole bunch of warning indicators on the inner circle of the speedometer. Speedometer looked pretty good on the bike and easy to view while you’re riding the motorcycle.

Plenty of usable power through all six speeds of the transmission. Transmission shifted like a charm neutral was always easy to find. I know sometimes when I get on a new motorcycle I have to play “find neutral”, of course this could also be a lack of foot eye coordination on my part. The motorcycle was very stable at approximately 65 MPH and easy to push through the corners at a relatively high speed. Both the front in the rear brakes responded very well during usage.

Okay, the only complaint I have about this motorcycle is that my hands went numb. Now this hasn’t happened in a long time to me. I could attribute this to a poor circulatory system, but my hands have not fallen asleep on any other motorcycle that I’ve ridden lately. So I’m going with it’s not me. This is usually easily corrected by either changing the position of the handlebars or putting some material in the handlebars to dampen the effects of the vibration.

Well I guess I would call this a “Victory for Polaris.” This baby ain’t too shabby. I’m pretty sure shabby is not a technical term.

 

 

Rode a Battery Powered Motorcycle and Chicks Dig Me Now!

Before you read any farther, I think I need to clear up the title of this blog a little bit first. This needs to be made perfectly clear. Chicks have always dug coolcycledude. Yep, I’m a chick magnet. I guess the truth be told I’m a super conductor chick magnet.  The title of this blog was just a cheap ploy to get you to read it, sorry. You have no idea how low I will stoop to get you to read my blogs.

This last summer I got the opportunity to ride an electric motorcycle. Electric motorcycle, sounds a little bit weird doesn’t it.  Now that I think about it, it was weird.  That’s right a motorcycle that didn’t use any gasoline for fuel. No internal combustion engine, clutch or gearbox. A motorcycle from the future! This would be one of motorcycles that you would say “where in hell do you put the fuel in. Then someone tells you “it doesn’t use gasoline, it uses a battery for fuel.”

Not the plastic ones you rode as kid. With the plastic tires or wheels. I guess you wouldn’t call them tires so I guess wheels are a better term. You know what I’m talking about, remember how cool you looked on it. You were cruising up and down the sidewalk in front of your parent’s house at about 2 to 3 MPH. It seemed pretty dam fast at time. That baby was powered by one of those flashlight lantern batteries with those little springy things at the top. You had 6 Volts of massive power to cruise up and down the block.

I must say it was odd to ride a motorcycle without the pulse of an internal combustion engine between my legs. Instead there was the wine of an electric motor. During the ride I found myself trying to shift gears with my foot out of force of habit. Even though there wasn’t any shift lever or clutch lever. I can remember one time during the ride actually looking down thinking maybe the gear lever had fallen off like on my old Harley sportster. Yep, I owned a Harley sportster during the AMF years and there was no Loctite. Can you see this picture?

That’s right coolcycledude is all about saving the planet. The coolcycledude is a tree huger! Sorry third party speak, trying to build a brand. I don’t want to get rid of all the icebergs so polar bears will have a place to do polar bear stuff. What in the hell are polar bears during on icebergs anyway. But with all that said I do have problems with electric a vehicles that need to recharge their batteries. I think one of the things people forget is that you are just pushing the carbon monoxide production down the chain to a power plant. Imagine if we all decided to get electric cars. One day we wake up just like the Borg and decide to drive electric cars, motorcycles, boats and so forth. The “Borg” was a Star Trek reference sorry about that. Think about the amount of energy that would then be required from our power generating facilities.

I can hear what you are thinking right now “coolcycledude you dummy, we could use solar cells and wind turbines to power our electric vehicles.” Well only thing I have a say is good luck with that and put down the wacky weed. Solar and wind turbines produce about 2% of our energy needs.

I was somewhat surprised on the ability of this electric motorcycle to accelerate. I was expecting a lot slower response than I actually got. But the reality is this motorcycle had some get up and go and it. Riding it felt like I was on a motocross bike. It had a very light feeling to the steering. This motorcycle would probably be a great intro motorcycle to someone just getting started. There are no gears to shift, clutch to operate just turn the throttle and work brakes. It’s just that simple to operate.

I’m not going to go into the technical stuff on this motorcycle I would recommend that you go to  Zero’s website (Link, go ahead click) for that information. I would recommend that you at least schedule a test ride on this motorcycle because there’s a possibility that it may fit your driving style. Please check out my videos on YouTube about riding this motorcycle. The first one being a walk around (Link, go ahead click) then my riding experience part one (Link, go ahead click) and part two (Link, go ahead click).

I would like to thank you very much for taking your time to read my little blog. And if you have a chance please sign up so you can receive e-mail updates when I write another blog. Also don’t forget to follow me on twitter @coolcycledude. Thanks again for reading my little blog.

No Moto Guzzi For Me!

I finally got to ride a Moto Guzzi. Sort of a life long dream for me to ride this brand of motorcycle. Was really looking forward to it. This was supposed to be one those moments in my life. I hate to use this analogy, but I will any way. It’s like losing your virginity with someone  is one of those moments. Losing it by yourself doesn’t count by the way. I don’t care what they told you. Those are one of the moments we’re taking about here. Hopefully it lasted longer than a minute for you. Oh, don’t you pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about either. I have one word to describe this losing my virginity-like moment: primitive.  That’s right, primitive. I thought for a moment that I had slipped back into time and was riding my very first mini-bike.

Before I go to far into this blog I need to frame a few things. The motorcycle had 16,000 miles or 26,000 kilometers on it. There was oil seeping from bottom of the cylinder and the tires needed to be replaced. Also, there’s possibility that I have been spoiled because I ride mostly Japanese motorcycles. Just in case you don’t know it, I can hear what you are thinking. “Coolcycledude, you suck, you loser. Why don’t you own a Harley Davidson?” I can answer that. Yes, I sure can. I did own a Harley Davidson during the AMF years. Enough said!

Well, let’s start with problem number one. When I used the center stand, the foot peg smashes into my calf. Ouch! I tried three different approaches to keep from hitting my leg. Still ouch! Even though I like the idea of a center stand, I don’t like the one on this bike. Just to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong with me, I had the shop owner put the motorcycle on the center stand. From the other side of the motorcycle, I saw the look on his face that said “ouch!” This stand punishes you when you use it.

This is my own personal bias but I don’t like motorcycles with dry clutches, never have, never will. They’re noisy making that clanging racket. Like something is lose or about ready to fall off. When you are in neutral or pull in the clutch lever the clanging starts. It’s on the loud side. Dry clutches never seem to grab just right always very very touchy. Tough to use in stop and go traffic. You might as well get off the motorcycle and push it in these situations. The clutch lever pull was very light so that wasn’t a problem.

Engine vibration, oh, I mean whole motorcycle vibration. Don’t bother trying to use the mirrors anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500 rpms. Looking at the mirror during those RPMs was like watching a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Things in the mirrors were moving side to side, up and down, all over the place. You couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on behind you. The foot pegs vibrated like they were connected directly to the engine. The whole motorcycle vibrated like on of those beds you put a quarter in. It might be more money now, it has been a long while since I’ve been on one of those.

Steering the motorcycle didn’t seem right either. As the turns got tighter, it got harder to turn the handle bars. It was like driving  a “Total Work Gym” or what ever in hell that thing is called. You know, the thing that Chuck Norris pushes late at night. I didn’t try to lean the motorcycle into the corners. The feedback seemed delayed or something. It reminded me of driving a  snow sled on ice. I think the engine is mounted too high in the frame. This raises the center of gravity. Gives it an old feeling in the corners.

Okay, let’s talk about the good. I liked the instrument cluster, really liked the analog  gauges. The seat was nice and comfortable. It comes with Belimo brakes and they work well. That was pretty much it.

Let me make a prediction, Moto Guzzi will never advertise on my blog or website. I would not buy this motorcycle, period. But that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. Riding a motorcycle is a very enjoyable experience and everyone has different tastes. Thank you very much for reading my blog. Oh, by the way I’m still trying to get you paid when you read my blogs.