As a watch lover, the idea of combining two of my passions—watches and motorcycles—was one I contemplated for several years. I decided to ride the roads of Switzerland while at the same time visiting the finest watch companies in the cradle of the industry, the Jura valley—known as Watch Valley—to find the perfect watch.
Indisputably, the most important item of protection we wear is a helmet, especially for riders who habitually push the speedometer needle hard to the right. Therefore, it is crucial that the helmet you choose refuses to compromise on protection, while providing the luxurious comfort required for all-day, everyday excursions.
The hawaiian surfer-cool paint job by Chris Wood of AirTrix is certainly eye-catching and refreshingly different, but the truly unique feature of Wiki's new Wave-100 helmet is the WikiShift photochromatic face-shield that darkens in sunlight. Using the same technology as sunglasses, the idea works well and gave me the flexibility to ride during the day and after dark without swapping shields. The helmet has earned Europe's ECE-certification, a sign of quality engineering design. Its fiberglass and carbon shell is nicely finished and, at a mere three lbs, the helmet is pleasurably light.
The timeless styling of the Ultra Classic Electra Glide requires apparel of appropriate distinction. River Road's Mesa leather jacket is, of course, at home when you are in the saddle, yet does not feel out of place when stopping for refreshments at establishments a few stars higher than a rough-and-tumble roadhouse. The
As with every motorcycling discipline, touring has its own apparel demands. Shoei responds to a touring rider's need for a convertible helmet with the Multitech, a flip up helmet that offers three options. With the chinbar up, the helmet becomes an open-face for easy conversations with your traveling companions. With the chin locked down, it provides the rider with the protection of a full-coverage helmet, along with a third option of flipping up just the face shield.
For two of our recent off-road tests--2007 Yamaha WRs (April/May 2007 issue) and 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 (in our August/September 2007 issue)--we were outfitted with Shift Racing off-road apparel.
A motorcycle helmet really has three jobs: 1. Protect your head in a crash. 2. Keep road debris off your face. 3. Look cool! And, of course, it has to be comfortable while performing those three jobs. The Shoei X-Eleven motorcycle helmet does all that for me.
For many, riding a motorcycle is all about flying solo. On the odd occasion, however, one might need to phone ahead for dinner reservations or receive an important business call. Utilizing Bluetooth technology, Cardo Wireless has created the Scala-Rider, a hands-free communication device designed specifically with motorcyclists in mind, making it unnecessary to interrupt your ride to pull over on a dangerous shoulder.