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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Automotive Chat > The John Norwich Riders Corner

The John Norwich Riders Corner In honour of our fellow moderator: John Norwich R.I.P. September 17th, 2014
Buy, sell, trade bikes and gear, set up bike rallies, meet discussions. #revscenebikes

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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What's the Last Piece of Gear You Bought and Review It Thread

Stole this idea from another RS subforum - I think it'd be helpful to get some honest reviews, as the stuff people post on Revzilla tends to be pretty brief. If you have time, post some reviews of your older gear too.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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I'll start with my post from the Back Protector thread.

Spoiler!


So I just picked up the A* SMX Bionic 2 back/chest protector on Friday, rode with it through the weekend.

Definitely comfortable, I don't feel too much difference between riding with this on vs having the original foam inserts in the jacket. It's not very heavy, fits pretty good.

The outer shell kinda bulges out in the middle especially with the chest piece, which is actually hollow by about a quarter inch before there's foam, and I guess it kinda acts as an air channel because I'm not really sweating much under there in warm weather in an unperforated leather jacket. There's a bit of the same going on with the back piece.

For negatives:
1) The back piece always seems to slide up a bit no matter what, and ultimately what happens is that it no longer covers my tailbone, which really sucks. It looks like the Forcefield L2 wouldn't have this issue as it looks to extend pretty far down. The shoulder straps also seem a little short, even adjusted to max, I can just barely get the back piece to go down to my tailbone. And I'm just 5'10, wearing the L/XL.

2) I don't like how the chest armor seems to bulge out excessively. While I appreciate the air pocket they built in with the outer shell, it's way thicker than it has to be and looks like a little much. The Forcefield equivalent just lies flat.

3) Maybe this is typical A*.. the fastening straps and materials used on this thing seem a little cheap. Couple of stitches came apart as I was adjusting the shoulder straps.

All in all, I guess it was an alright purchase. For the price, I would've expected just slightly better, but relative to what else is available out there, I don't think you could do much better than this.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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I picked up a pair of RS Taichi Knee Guards off Gabe from redlinegear.ca yesterday and went for a quick ride today. Redline Gear - Authorized RS Taichi Dealer for Canada Here's my review:

I was originally in the market for riding jeans, but I couldn't find anything that fit my budget and offer the protection that I wanted.

So I decided to buy the next best thing, armor you wear under your jeans/pants. After breaking my knee cap last year (unrelated), I can't imagine the pain I would experience if I fell on it again without any protection.

The knee guards offer a simple solution for quick trips around town, to work, to school, etc. They slide on and off under my jeans with little effort. I ended up getting the medium because the large was a little too big. Although the large would have covered the sides of my knee better, I lost a lot of muscle around my knee so the large sleeve was too loose for my liking. I also have skinny asian legs. For reference, I am 5'11" and 172 lbs.

The knee guards are CE certified (level 1) and the sleeve itself is a spandex dry-fit material (think Under Armor). The back of the knee is mesh, which you can see in the picture and provides adequate cooling. The mesh also prevents the material from bunching up. For added support there is a velcro strap on the bottom. The medium is pretty snug on me so the strap is just for added security.





Visually, you can't tell that I am wearing them under my jeans. The large I tried on was a bit bulkier so it was a bit noticeable, but function>form.

Overall, I would rate this purchase a 4.5/5. I would have given it 5 stars if there was a size in between the medium and large. Like a medium.5 if you know what I mean. For those wanting even more protection, RS Taichi does offer a hard shell version of the knee guard, but I have read that it does not conform as well as the soft shell version.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Bell Flying Tiger helmet



Cheaper helmet brow vent works really well on ur forehead, not great for riders who ride pretty straight up, flows better in a more tucked position. for this price its pretty damn comfortable..its suprisingly quiet and the magnetic strap holder is freaken awesome to have. Has built in speaker cavities waiting for you to put in your bluetooth devices etc. Bang for buck a really solid helmet, obviously for longer/ hotter days it would be nicer to have a higher end helmet that flows better but for city driving / light highway its a keeper / if u need a passenger helmet and don't wanna go super cheap sub 100$ (also its snell 2010)


oh and last but not least , it looks like a WW2 bomber so its freaken badass
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Sidi Cobra



I was looking to get some shoes like the alpine stars SMX-2's but then thought it would better to get a track style boot, the price difference was under $100 for more protection.

This is my first full size boot and I thought they would be uncomfortable, but surprisingly they fit good, I'm sure after they get broken in and get some more miles on them they will feel even better.

My own issues are just getting used to shifting with the boot, feels unnatural not feeling the shifter as when wearing a shoe.

Can't give a really in depth review since this is my first boot, but I'll fill you guys in as I use it more.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Only wear Suomy cause it fits my head snug. Everything is good except one complaint...one of the tabs broke for holding the visors on. Suomy America was kind enough to send me a replacement piece under warranty though.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Just picked up a Bell Star for the girlfriend. The last XS was available on closeout so I got a killer deal on it. I tried on the Bell Star from one of the vendors at a track day and I really liked it. I would say it's the only helmet I've worn so far that feels on par with my Arai Corsair (for the shape of my fat round head). The viewing angle from top to bottom is wide enough to see out of the corners when hanging off the bike, and the fit and finish feels very solid. A top of the line SNELL2010 approved race helmet for $350... notbad.jpg
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Just picked up my new Akuma helmet in LV. First impression is it's pretty good fit and finish, very well padded inside and comfortable. Got the tint on demand visor so can't wait to put it to the test when I get back!

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Got a Knox contour race back protector. I would say this is a "back protector" not just a "spine protector". It offers great coverage, in return sacrifices in bulkiness.

Pros: Low speed crash-tested at the track already. Rolled a few times, didn't feel a thing, picked bike up and finished 3rd place. The race version of the protector has great coverage for your tail bone. Clever design on the shoulder strap allows quick removal. Comes with kidney protectors... but they're heavy and bulky so i don't use them. Also, this thing breathes pretty well. Weight is fairly light. build quality is sturdy. velcro adjustment has tons of range, Strong quality velcro. Looks like it's made to last.

Cons: It will not "disappear". it is BULKY, You will need a bit of room in your suit to fit it. You think you have a hard time getting in your suit now? just wait til you try to fit this sucker in. Takes time to break in, but becomes quite flexible after.

Verdict: BUY IT! at the close out price this model is at right now, i think it's a buy for sure. I didn't like how little the coverage on the Alpinestar ones. I also didn't like the dainese protectors because they can only survive one crash and you'll have to junk it. The Knox will be bulky, but it gives you massive back coverage and mobility is pretty good too. Best bang for the buck if you don't want to spend a fortune on it.

Reference: I'm 6'2, 148lbs (tall and super skinny), I opted for size small. Reason being my jean waist size is about 31" and the waist strap on size large would have too much play, and therefore bunch up / unable to strap tight.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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RS Taichi Stealth Knee Guards (Hard Shell)

dru did a review of the soft ones so these are the hard ones!

Chose kneepads because it is more versatile than riding pants. Kneeded (haha) low profile so i can wear under any sort of pants. Im pretty sure its the same outer material as the soft ones so its pretty comfortable. The hard shell part of it has foam backing and it is in a sleeve within the tube so the foam does not directly contact you.

Anyways, wearing them is comfortable, the very first time i wore them i put the stretchy strap too tight and i got a blister, but now i just loosely attach the velcro (still is very snug) and now i prefer to ride with them on. Allows me to get a better grip on the tank and squeeze tighter with less fatigue.

Verdict! BUY! I probably will wear these all the time now, they barely show through my jeans, and just the tiny bit it bulges it doesnt look dumb as hell.

Bought a Medium and im 130lbs 5'10
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:56 AM   #11
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Got a few things this season...


1. Alpinestar SMX Vest
-CE Level 2
-Good comfort level
-Doesn't move around like the non-vest back protector style
-Blocks airflow, could be a plus or minus
-Looks good


2. Sena SMH10
- VERY convenient
- Less hassle of putting your headphones on n off
- Hard to hear with my exhaust, but people can still hear me, even though its hard for me to hear them at times
- The battery life is AMAZZING
- Only owned it for a couple months and Sena released 2 firmware updates. To me, that shows that the company has support and is not going in for a quick buck
- A bit on the expensive side...but totally worth it, it's one of those things you invest in once and your good for quite a while. For ex. I went through 20-40$ bluetooth headsets and they've all been crap...I bought Jawbone headset for 120$ 3 years ago and its still goin really well


3. Shoei X-12
- Very good ventilation. My head gets cold when going fast
- Noisy...at least compared to my Suomy Spec1R
- A bit on the heavier side in comparison to AGV helmet and Suomy
- Fogs up easily when putting around town...helmets meant for faster speeds definitely
- VERY comfortable
- color scheme selection was kind of lame...so i got matte black

Last edited by rk604; 08-15-2012 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
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Bored at work so gonna put reviews of all my gear, they were all bought within the last two months.

(Helmet+tech) Scorpion EXO-400 + aeroskirt (medium) with Sena SMH10 attached







Pros
-looks awesome
-cheap
-communication with other SMH10
-SMH10 battery life is awesome!
-Music while riding
-Firmware upgradable

Cons
-could have better ventalation
-paint durability could be better
-Pretty barebones in terms of helmet, associated with cost of course
-SMH10 a little chunky, but its probably purposely designed like that so you can control with gloves.

Helmet looks so damn cool, when you look at it straight on its green, but the more angled it gets (farther away from your vision) it turns brownish red, awesome paint work. As for durability I am iffy about it, theres a pretty large scrape on the top of my helmet and I have no idea when that even happened. Since then i dropped my helmet from about 4ft twice by accident and there hasnt been any marks except on the visor.

Wind noise is pretty quiet considering the price range (i paid $~159) and the ventilation is decent as well. If im at a stand still or low speeds i had some condensation issues just at the very top of the visor but pushing the visor up 1 notch and riding for 5 meters has been my bandaid solution so far. All in all very decent for the price. I got the aeroskirt installed a few weeks after i bought the helmet and i did notice some noise and wind differences, chin not so plummeted by wind and quiets it up just a touch, its mostly helpful with the SMH10 as it puts a very nice place to put the microphone which will never pop out. The aeroskirt installed has improved sound quality through the microphone infinitely, on the move its quite accurate, at a standstill its dead accurate vs before on a move it was soso, standstill was pretty good.

SMH10 install in this helmet was pretty easy. I used the velcro stickers that came with it and while the stickers fit fine the speakers were a tad too big. By a tad i mean maybe 2mm, I just forcefully pulled the liner until the speaker fit right in and its been very good! Bluetooth connection is super easy never had issues, after the initial pairing i just leave my iphone BT on all the time and when i turn on the SMH10 it greets you with a "hello" and about 5 seconds later it never fails to say "phone connected".

Sound quality is good considering its a helmet. At first I thought bass response kind of sucked but its... alright, its not horrible enough to not want to listen to music. Siri in my helmet is pretty fucking awesome because i feel like iron man, but I have had some issues with siri and volume/how good she is but that is Apples fucking problem.

Battery life is very very good, my only issue is that a few days ago I was riding from richmond to north van. When i put on my helmet and turned it on i held the two buttons for 3 seconds so I can hear what the battery level is. SMH10 said battery level was high, but on the way there about 75% of the way the unit died on me. Yea i listen to music the whole way but the ride should warrant maybe a medium instead of high? I would prefer a percentage rather than high med low, maybe it can be fixed with firmware! Which is awesome because its firmware upgradable!

I rode in the some light/medium rain and never had a problem with the SMH10


(Helmet) Scorpion EXO-1000 (medium)


Pros
-Cheap!
-ventilation quite good
-quiet
-sunglasses

Cons
-Paint could be better, but it is a really cheap helmet

This is my Gfs helmet, dont ask why the hell its cheaper than the exo 400 again im iffy on the paint i just saw yesterday that there are is a pretty long jagged scratch on the side and my gf only had it for 4 days or so. But then again its different from my exo 400 because I dont really trust my gf in terms of taking care of stuff so YMMV.

I tried the helmet and it vents better than the 400, and wind noise is much quieter. The internal sunglasses are pretty cool and works well. The size is the same as mine but the fit on the top of the head is a little tighter but not uncomfortable, and the air pump to the cheeks works relatively decently, just a gimmick in the end IMO. On the top of the liner there are spots with no padding for airflow im assuming which differs from the EXO 400 which has full lining inside, I see that as both pro and a con depending on season. For the EXO 1000 the aeroskirt is pre installed.

For both EXO400 and 1000 the visor is clear, easy to clean, easy to pop off. I like the EXO 1000 visor a little better because it has push up tabs on both sides rather than mine with the push up tab just being on the left side.


S-MX5 (forgot the size but will update when i know)



Pros
-Ride better!
-Comfort
-Casual looks

Cons
-I wish the velcro extended a little farther. Not really a product problem, im just a thin mother fucker.

Got the boots because they were casual enough to wear around if i did not want to bring shoes with me and the velcro is really good on it. It allows you to adjust very easily how tight it is to your skin. Im very thin so it helps boatloads, under jeans no problem. Flexability is awesome, I am very comfortable walking around, but its stiff enough that if i were to drive a car it would suck. Tried it once and never again, its too stiff cant control the gas comfortably.

It took maybe 30 min of riding to get used to it, and since i bought them i never ride without them. Few days ago I had to get something at canadian tire and its not that far so i decided to just go in regular shoes, that ride was so shit, the difference between riding shoes and real shoes is night and day and I can say out of all the gear, if you want to be a better rider get some decent riding shoes! I love them!


(Jacket) M2R Sabre (Small)



Pros
-Leather and armor at a pretty good price
-perforated for coolness

Cons
-Perforated so rain is probably a nono but I have not tested it myself
-speed hump is ugly as hell and cant remove, but if you did remove it would still be ugly as hell because the jacket is shaped for it
-Made 2 Race logos are uglyier than your cousins 3 generations of incest babies, but luckily easily removed.

Paid $~179 its leather and pretty heavy, its got padding on the shoulders, elbow, forearms, and upper back and feels pretty good. Its pretty comfortable, not really sure what else to say, the speed hump is a little ugly but whatever. Oh yea, if you have a m2r jacket you can leave the M2R logos, but the logos that say "Made 2 Race" look ugly as shit, and make me feel like a 12 year old that is wanting to be a man by getting real into fast and furious and shit. I ripped that shit off and it looks fine! I dont even notice where they used to be, the only indicators that a logo was there is the holes that the thread went through and its not that big.

Its a perforated leather jacket so riding in rain im assuming is a nono. I rode it in light/medium rain and I didnt have issues, but it was a short 6 min ride so thats probably why.


Not really gear but eh, ill put em here too.

(Lighting) DDMTuning 55watt 6k HID kit



Pros
-Looks awesomely white
-Bright so people can see you
-Cheap!

Cons
-Ships from china so takes a little long to arrive, but not absurdly so (shipped to US though
-People probably are slightly blinded/mirrors auto dim. Its a good thing because they know you are there, but bad because it might piss them off.

Paid $~35. Ballast is pretty small, I mounted on a piece of plastic slightly in front of my air vent. Install was pretty easy, I just DIY it. Just need to clean up the wiring a little.

Lighting is awesome! So bright so white! I love the line cut off because when i ride at night and i turn it makes me feel like a fighter jet! Its fucking cool

So far never had issues with ballast or bulb, my friend tells me stories of the housing melting at 55watt but so far I have no had any issues.


(Controls) Pazzo levers Black on Blue (Shorties)
Picture in spoiler because its a big picture

Spoiler!


Pros
-Better fatter feel
-Gear kicks in earlier
-More ergonomic
-Looks badass!
-Shorter! Clutch side doesnt demand 4 fingers

Cons
-Cost
-Other brands are essentially the same but cheaper

Got the levers where they manufacture them in Langly. Aside from the fantastic customer service (see thread "lets see your bike") the levers are awesome! I thought it was mostly asthetic, with SOME differences in feel, but boy was I wrong. At a stop gear kicks in a little earlier which i prefer, the fatter levers feel better in the fingers, super easily adjustable (my clutch is at 1, my brakes are at 2), and the gear shifts just happen to be more smooth right off the bat. Im guess I was releasing too late with the stock ones and the Pazzo levers fixed it right up, so more of an issue with me YMMV.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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Here's my quick review of my new 1pc Arlen Ness K11 Kangaroo Suit.

Got it from Amazon at $695 (60% off), due to being in limited sizes.

Got a 38/48US, sizing fits bit bigger from what I read, so I gave it a shot, i'm normally a 40/50. Amazon Prime free shipping and no problem with returns if it didn't fit.

I'm 5,10", 145lbs, suit fits perfect. I have a longer torso, so suit fits good, it might be a bit tight in the junk if you have a longer inseam (i'm a 31")

Suit is amazing, definitely on the light side, compared to my 2pc Rs Taichi suit and my beatup Spidi suit, on the home scale, it's nearly 6lbs lighter.

Airflow is good, especially on the lower half of the suit., 3D liner material is really nice, does get a hard to get out of the suit when i'm coming off track.

Shoulders, elbows and forearms have hard sliders in them. Pucks have magnesium in them, fancy, will try them after my klucky pucks wear out.

Last I checked, white suit was sold out. but few other colours were available.

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Old 08-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #14
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^

i think jd13's running the same suit. i can't believe you got a kangaroo suit for $700 :|

good find lol
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:56 AM   #15
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Ya, great suit so far.

If anyone is looking for a top end suit, this is crazy deal on the K11 Arlen Ness Kangaroo Suit. Size 46/56 is $444.61, nutso, only in blue.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N6Z2P4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005N6Z2P4&linkCode=as2&tag=httphienertum-20
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:55 PM   #16
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Gerbing heated jacket liner + dual temp controller

Gerbing's Heated Clothing // The World's Warmest Clothing!



Easy hard wiring to the bike, heats up in less than 4 seconds which is nuts. Comfortable, never felt a wire.

Also bought gloves but not cold enough to try em out.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
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I don't know about you guys, but even if I'm not a rider atm, I'm learning a lot from these reviews. Thanks
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