Motorcycles are beautiful things. It’s one of the reasons we all love ‘em. The problem is that bad guys love ‘em too. Other than a locked garage, a good disc lock may be the best anti-theft device available to us. The theory is if thieves can’t roll them, they can’t steal them.
The OnGuard Boxer Disc Lock is a quality little protective device. It has an armored hardened steel case and special titanium plating. The locking system is easy to use and the “M-cylinder” mechanism is said to be extremely secure.
The lock comes with 5 laser cut keys and a light key. I think they must know how I lose keys! Also included are a carrying pouch and the reminder cable. That reminder cable is vital. Trying to ride away with a lock in place can do some serious damage to your brakes or rotors.
I don’t know exactly how lock ratings work, but the Boxer disc lock is rated three star plus. This rating is appropriate for high crime areas.
You can get exactly the right lock because it is offered in three pin sizes – 5.5, 8, and 10mm. Retail for the lock is $30 - $40 depending on the pin size.
I’m not big on soapbox rants – but here we go. I have had it with obnoxious, socially irresponsible bikers.
It seems that an increasing number of novice riders are compensating for their lack of skill, or their shortcomings elsewhere, with ridiculously loud exhausts.
Here are some facts. An average stock Harley emits about 80 decibels. Conversely, the same bike with open straight pipes puts out over 120 decibels. That 120 decibel level is at the pain and ear damage threshold. For comparison, a screaming chainsaw puts out about 110 decibels. Just so you don’t think I’m picking on the Harley crowd, I am just as put off by unreasonably loud sport-bike exhausts.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a big fan of the overzealous regulations that have rendered stock motorcycles almost mute. I love the visceral sound of motorcycles of all cylinder configurations. But you can get too much of a good thing.
I see riding an excessively loud motorcycle as comparable to smoking in a restaurant. That smoke is not just affecting your lungs. The analogy is probably obvious. That noise you are emitting is leaving a ringing in more than just your ears. You may also be affecting my rights as a motorcyclist with your irresponsibility.
Fellow riders, let’s consider the perception of the larger motorcycling community, and get a grip on our noise. We have made major strides in breaking the negative stereotypes associated with our beloved activity. Let’s not drown that progress in our sad attempts to be noticed.
Here are two examples of what I’m talking about:
The premier motorcycle race in America is the Laguna Seca MotoGP. You need to attend it at least once if you are a race fan. With the Alpinestars MotoGP 110 Leather Jacket, you can ride to Monterey in leather that shows where you are going.
MotoGP and Alpinestars logos abound on this premium leather jacket. The styling is bold without being obnoxious.
Obviously, the most important thing in a motorcycle jacket is protection, and the MotoGP 110 does not disappoint…almost. There is CE approved armor in the shoulders, arms and elbows. Unfortunately, Alpinestars does not include a CE spine pad. You can buy one as an option.
The jacket’s body is built from full grain and perforated leather. There are Kevlar stretch panels in the arms. I don’t always love these non-leather panels in the arms of serious sport jackets, but they do maintain a nice tight fit without being restrictive. There are a good number of internal and external pockets on the 110.
The jacket’s ventilation is handled by ample perforations in the body and arms. For cooler weather, an insulated liner is included.
The Alpinestars MotoGP 110 Leather Jacket is offered in three color combinations: black, black/blue, and black/red. Euro sizes 46-64 are available. The retail price of the jacket is around $450.
The sport-bike world can be a testosterone-filled, chest-beating, bicep-flexing speed-fest. It’s a game of numbers – peak horsepower, peak torque, roll-on specs, ¼ mile time…the list goes on. A manufacturer that can squeeze one more horsepower out of a high-revving hunk of aluminum will reap benefits where it counts – at the cash register. What we don’t see advertised anymore are the top speeds of the fastest motorcycles in the world.
What is the fastest production motorcycle? Short answer: there isn’t one. Since 2001, the major motorcycle manufacturers have been adhering to a “gentlemen’s agreement” to limit their hyper-bikes to 186 mph (300 km/h). You may ask why would manufacturers who sell bikes based on astronomical performance numbers “agree” to this. Simply put, they did not want Asian, European, and North American governments to place outside restrictions on them.
In the late 90s, there was a growing push in both Europe and America to place import limitations on open-class motorcycles due to their ever expanding speed ceiling. Societal and rider safety was clearly the reason. You may ask, “What’s the difference between a 186 mph crash and a 200+ mph crash?” Probably not much. Both would reap total and spectacular destruction. However, for manufactures to seemingly promote such reckless quests for speed by advertising astronomical top speeds, would be a public relations nightmare. It would also surely attract negative governmental attention.
In effect, what the restrictions have done is change the question to, “What is POTENTIALLY the fastest motorcycle?” You know what I’m getting at here. We motorcyclists are chronic modifiers. An exhaust system here, an intake de-restriction there, and a computer remap to eliminate the “gentlemen’s agreement” settings – then what’s the fastest? Do we really need to know? On the drag strip, yes. On public streets, definitely not.
Let me give you a little author perspective here, lest you think I’m some kind of anal-retentive, Vespa pilot. I own a very fast motorcycle – one that produces over 150 horsepower and has a top speed somewhere north of 180 mph. Yes, I sometimes ride fast – sometimes I’m too loose with my adherence to posted speed limits (especially when the road gets twisty). However, I have never hit the speed limiter on my motorcycle. An unexpected pothole or a deer at those speeds would ruin my whole day.
Now you may ask, “Then why do you own a really fast motorcycle?” There is a simple answer – POTENTIAL is a cool thing. Riding something that COULD go 180+ is exhilarating. Also, most really fast motorcycles are a blast to ride at more reasonable speeds. I simply would not have as much fun on a 60 horsepower motorcycle. Plus, who knows, if Armageddon happens, I may NEED to outrun a billowing nuclear cloud at 185 mph. Then the risk would probably be worth it!
So there you have it. There is no fastest production motorcycle, and that’s OK with me. I will keep looking at horsepower and torque charts. I will still be interested in braking distance. Heck, I’ll keep trying to understand things like the rake and trail of a motorcycle. All of those things matter to me at every speed at which I ride. Top speed? I don’t need to know, because I won’t use it. If you do, more power (or should I say speed) to you. Just steer clear of those pot holes and deer – and most importantly steer clear of me.
Just so you don’t have to do it, here is a video of a stock Suzuki Hayabusa hitting its top speed limiter. The run is done precisely where it shouldn’t be – on a public street.
Joe Rocket may not be the first name you think of when looking at adventure-touring apparel. Aerostich and Tourmaster are the established names in the adventure-touring vocabulary.
Joe Rocket may put a dent in the paradigm with the Survivor Suit. The Survivor has a primary shell of Rock Tex 600. The textile is doubled up in the high impact zones – the shoulders, elbows, and the knees. A melt resistant material is layered on the lower leg area where the suit is vulnerable to hot metal parts. The suit is claimed to be 100% waterproof.
Ventilation is handled by what Joe Rocket calls “Big Air”. The company is so impressed with their innovation that they have applied for a patent. On the other end of the spectrum, there is a fully insulated suit liner for the chilly months.
CE approved armor is featured in the shoulders, elbows and knees. There is an included back pad but unfortunately it’s not a CE unit.
The Survivor Suit is adjustable at the waist, chest, upper legs and ankles.
Only time and miles will truly tell if the Joe Rocket Survivor Suit is up to the standards of the premium touring suits. However, this new for 2010 offering looks like it has real potential. It retails for under $500 which is less than half of many comparable suits.
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