2010 Dainese Laguna Seca 2 Piece Suit Review

Every sport bike rider could use a set of leathers in the closet.  They’re required for track days and nothing protects better on a canyon ride.  The choices are endless, ranging from several brands of pre-made suits to custom one-off suits based on your design and measurements.  There are even 1 and 2 piece varieties, though 2 piece suits are less common.  I chose what many consider the best off-the-rack 2 piece suit available, the 2010 Dainese Laguna Seca 2 piece.  It happened to fit me pretty well, much better than my old Alpinestars suit, and I like 2 piece suits because I can easily remove the jacket when I stop to eat on a canyon ride.  Now that I’ve worn it at a track day and on a few rides, it’s review time.

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Protect Your Head Part 2: Confusion About Snell M2010

If you saw my recent review of the Arai Profile, you know part of the reason I purchased a new helmet was to get one that was compliant with the new Snell M2010 safety standard.  Snell’s own website lists the Arai Profile as M2010 certified so I was confident that’s exactly what I was getting when I ordered it.  It wasn’t as clear cut as I had hoped.

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Arai Profile Review

Arai Profile in Riptide Silver

Updated 4/23/10 (notes at bottom)

After four years with my trusty Shoei X-Eleven and the new Snell M2010 standard in full effect, I finally felt justified in buying a new helmet.  It’s a big deal for me since I’m not the gear hoarder that some of my riding buddies are.  I could have extended the life of my X-Eleven by just replacing the flattened cheek pads, but it’s a good idea to replace helmets every few years anyway and more importantly I wanted a helmet that was either Snell M2010* or ECE 22.05 compliant.  Enter the Arai Profile.

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Arizona to Allow Lane Splitting?

Arizona House Bill 2475 would make it legal for motorcyclists to split lanes in Maricopa county.  The catch?  It’s only for one year (2011) and only applies during stopped traffic.  It’s interesting progress nonetheless and will undoubtedly spark its own controversy (just check out the comments in the source article).  What’s also noteworthy is that if the bill is passed, it will be the first time a state has explicitly allowed lane splitting.  California has always tolerated it, but there are no laws specifically allowing or disallowing the practice.

Source: ABC15.com

Update:  the bill was vetoed by the governor.
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2475o.asp

Sportbike Tire FAQ

Tires are always a hotly debated topic amongst sportbike riders.  Fierce brand loyalty, strong opinions and even occasional misinformation can make it hard for newer riders to get helpful information from the forums.  Nobody knows everything about tires but there’s definitely a common base of knowledge you should have when thinking about your bike’s buns.  Here are some frequently asked questions I get along with my answers.

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Dainese Axial Race New Boot

Some of you new and aspiring sportbike riders will (and should) eventually make it out to the track for some track day action, and you’ll definitely need a good pair of boots to protect your lower extremities.  Since I recently bought a set of Dainese Laguna Seca leathers, I decided to get a matching set of Dainese boots to go with them.  I opted for the Axial Race New model which features the “in” design – they’re designed to go underneath the bottom of your leathers as opposed to tucking your leathers into the boot.

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Honda 3R-C Concept Vehicle

Okay so 3-wheelers aren’t exactly motorcycles, but most offer a similar experience far removed from that of driving a car.  Models like Can-Am’s Spyder can make decent (albeit expensive) alternatives for some people that really want the open air sensation of riding a motorcycle but can’t quite come to terms with handling one.

This is Honda’s 3R-C concept vehicle, a battery-powered electric 3-wheeler designed for urban transport.  The canopy cover moves forward and becomes a windshield when it’s actually in use.  It was designed by Honda’s R&D facility in Milan, so it’s easy to imagine they have dense, car-unfriendly cities in mind with this concept.  I’d definitely use it to pick up some groceries… if there’s anywhere to stow them.

http://world.honda.com/news/2010/4100224Geneva-Motor-Show/

California Motorcycle Accident Statistics 2008

2008 wasn’t a great year for motorcyclists in California, continuing an increasing trend in accidents and fatalities coupled with a large increase in registered motorcycles over the past several years. Fortunately the first half of 2009 has broken the trend and saw a greatly reduced number of fatalities vs. the same period in 2008, so let’s hope the trend continues.  Here are some interesting statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety’s California Traffic Safety Report Card for 2008.

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193 HP In Your Face

Let’s just get one thing straight, BMW’s S1000RR is most definitely not a beginner’s bike. This beast makes 193 HP (at the crankshaft) from just one liter of displacement – amazing. In any case BMW put up this really cool video of the valves in action. After a certain RPM it’s impossible to see what’s happening with the valves (slo-mo would’ve been nice), but still, it’s incredible to think this is also happening inside your bike’s engine. Maybe not this furiously, but you get the idea. In case you’re wondering, some MotoGP bikes use pneumatic valves (instead of springs) to deal with the even crazier RPMs involved at the world’s top level of motorcycle racing.