Sport-Touring Tire Buyers’ Guide Part 2

Metzeler Roadtec Z6 INTERACT

The Metzeler Roadtec Z6 has a new INTERACT™ technology guarantees a progressive and intelligent pressure distribution all along the profile ensuring performance exactly where needed for high adaptability to different riding styles. Flexibility of usage thanks to new highly efficient compound mixing technology designed to give maximum stability in all riding conditions. Increased silica / carbon black ratio improves total wet behavior for maximum confidence in every weather condition.


Michelin Pilot Road 3 ( NEW for 2011 )

This is a completely new upgrade to the existing Michelin Pilot Road II tires.  The new pilot road 3 tire uses their Revolutionary X Sipe Technology maximizes wet traction. Michelin’s newest technology delivers all-weather performance without compromising tread life or handling. Patented innovation resulting from years of research and development. Two Compound Technology combines tread life and cornering grip. 2CT incorporated into all tire sizes, front and rear. Wider soft-compound shoulders on the front tire, compared to its Pilot Road 2 predecessor. High performance and environmentally sound. 100% non-aromatic-oil rubber compounds.

So how do you know which Pilot Road tire to use?

During our extensive training with Michelin.  They told us the Pilot Road 2 or Pilot Road 3 are both great for the normal rider. ( Both have excellent grip and tire they both will have similar mileage ).  The key they said is the new Pilot Road 3 tires have even better wet weather traction.  So for the heavy user or commuter that routinely rides in the rain, the Pilot Road 3 is the better choice..  Otherwise save the money and get the lower priced Michelin Pilot Road 2 Tires.


Pirelli Angel ST

The Pirelli Angel ST  tire is built especially for addressing the needs of current sport-touring bikes and from a technical point of view it contains all the major product innovations developed by Pirelli in the last years. The Angel ST has a unique personality which is communicated through the tread pattern. In fact, its features clearly show the image of an Angel to inspire confidence and safety to the rider in any kind of riding conditions: during long journeys as in everyday riding. But after approximately 1000 kilometers (600 miles), the initial angelic image passes – unveiling the icon of a Demon, with its distinctive tail and the other unique features. The Angel ST is a tyre devoted to motorcyclists who like to travel in safety and comfort without sacrificing the thrill of the curve. The first tyre with a double soul.


Michelin Pilot Road 2

Michelin is launching a series-produced tire capable of reconciling longevity with optimum wet grip. This balance was achieved using Michelin’s famous MotoGP technology and its unique strategy of transferring solutions developed in competition to series-produced tires. All shapes and sizes of Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires, both front and rear, are made with Two-Compound Technology (2CT). 2CT combines different rubber types on the tread surface to optimize performance in each specific zone. Used on the Michelin Pilot Road 2, this technology provides excellent traction on wet roads owing to the soft rubber on the shoulders and less wear at the tread center where the rubber is more resistant. As a result, the new Michelin Pilot Road 2 combines qualities that were previously thought to be mutually exclusive. Its excellent grip on wet roads ensures a safe ride while its remarkable wear-resistance offers unprecedented longevity.


Shinko 005

A large block-type tread pattern makes the Advance an excellent all-around Radial tire, offering exceptional braking, cornering, and acceleration characteristics. Other features include a specially designed tread grooves help dissipate water efficiently on wet surfaces, Intermediate rubber compound, and Aramid belts enhance high speed performance.

Attending a Race: A Fan’s Guide

UBGWe’ve got a number of racers on staff here at AAB who can tell you all about the stuff that takes place on the winding tarmac. I’m not one of them. I am just a guy who loves motorcycles and has been going to races for a couple of decades.

There are a multitude of great races to attend in all regions of this fine country. So after attending years of races, here is a fan’s perspective on getting the most out of a race weekend.

Picking a Ticket Package

You typically have a plethora of choices when doing your pre-race ticket shopping. First, you need to decide if you will spring for the full weekend of racing, or focus your viewing efforts on just the final day. To some extent, this is a matter of distance. If the race happens to be semi-local for you, maybe you’ll just focus on the main race day. However, if you are traveling to a distant race venue, you might as well extend your viewing to the whole weekend.

You also need to think about the cost and feature level of the ticket package. Typically, you have the option of general admission, reserved seating, or a premium race package. I have opted for each of these choices. For something like an AMA Dirt Track event, I typically choose a general admission ticket. For a race like this, I like to do a lot of wandering since they are typically not as densely attended as many road races. I also choose this option for motocross if I know I can get near a jump or woops section.

For a race like a National level road race, I usually like to insure a good view with reserved seating from an elevated vantage point. If the reserved seating is elevated, you can typically get a good view of most of the track.

MotoGP_PitsI am usually a penny pincher; however, I often splurge on the premium ticket packages at the biggest races like MotoGP. These packages can run several hundred dollars for the weekend. For that cash outlay, you get covered and elevated seating at a prime spot (like turn 3 at Laguna Seca). You also get closed circuit TV, so you can keep track of the full race. Another huge bonus is that the premium packages typically include food and drinks in the price. Really, when you add it all up, this can be a really good deal.

No matter what package you pick, you should seriously consider getting a pit pass. For me, walking through the pits is always a highlight. Also, don’t forget to purchase a parking pass.


If you are traveling long distances to the races, you need to think of a place to stay. Here again you have some choices. Many tracks offer camping of both the tent and RV variety. This can be a great option for getting the whole race experience.

My buddies and I usually opt for hotel lodging. We usually ride to the races (often over a thousand miles), so packing for camping is not convenient. However, finding lodging at a big event takes early planning. Hotel prices skyrocket during an event like a MotoGP race and available lodging fills up early. Start your search months before a big event, and make your reservations early.

Where to Watch

Where to plant yourself on race day varies greatly depending on personal preference and the type of racing. Here are my personal preferences.

MotoGP_StandsFor motocross, I like the big jumps. So does everybody else, so get there early. For flat track, the turns are where it’s at. My personal preference is a vantage point at the entry of the corner. I like watching the riders’ corner preparation.

Road racing affords the biggest spectrum of choices. If you love triple-digit speeds, find your way to the big straight (usually the start / finish straight). If you are a fan of the turns, get yourself to the track’s version of the chicanes. I love all of the perspectives at a road race, but I most often gravitate to the high speed sweepers. This is where you see spectacular passing.

There are many great spots from which to view a race, so don’t grow roots in one spot.

Random Tips

Here are some tips to help you get the best experience on race day.

  1. Most of the freebies (tee shirts, key chains, caps, etc.) are given away early. So get yourself to the vender and manufacturer area early in the day.
  2. Take an early pit walk. Pre-race activity by the race teams is fun to watch. This is also a time when you may get an autograph or two from a racer.
  3. Take sunscreen and drink a lot of water.
  4. Take earplugs. For example, MotoGP bikes register over 130 db.
  5. Make your way to where the post-race interviews take place after the finish. They are often very entertaining.

Yes, it is probably true that you may get the most complete race perspective watching on TV. However, the sights, smells, and sounds – the total experience of a live race is unbeatable. Plan well and enjoy the races!

Bill Introduced to Block Motorcycle-only Checkpoints

AMA_American_Motorcyclist_AssociationA federal lawmaker has introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from giving money to states and local jurisdictions for motorcycle-only checkpoints, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On March 3, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced the bill. The legislation, with original co-sponsors Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would prohibit the DOT “from providing grants or any funds to a state, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or other local government to be used for any program to check helmet usage or create checkpoints for a motorcycle driver or passenger.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the Transportation Department, recently gave Georgia a $70,000 grant to conduct one or more roadside motorcycle-only checkpoints. New York state has operated a similar program using state funds. The AMA has been tracking this disturbing development of motorcycle-only checkpoints since it first appeared in New York several years ago.

For more information, go to

[Press Release Courtesy of the AMA]

50 Lawmakers Now Support The Kids Just Want to Ride Act

AMA_American_Motorcyclist_AssociationLegislation that would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans them at the end of the year is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

There are now 50 co-sponsors to H.R. 412: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) The bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

“As a motorcycling enthusiast myself for many years, I fully respect the importance of improving the safety of kids who ride off-highway motorcycles and ATVs,” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), one of the latest co-sponsors. “But this is just another example of regulations creating the exact opposite effect of their original intent. This law actually makes kids less safe by eliminating appropriately sized off-highway motorcycles and ATVs, and forces young riders onto larger and more powerful machines not designed for them.

“I’m proud to support the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and know that it will keep youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs available for safe and responsible use as they are intended,” Ribble said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), another co-sponsor, said: “The Kids Just Want to Ride Act will fix the illogical mandate of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will once again allow our children to safely enjoy outdoor recreational vehicles. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation to protect our youth while working to create jobs.”

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked lawmakers for their bipartisan backing of the bill. He noted it’s important to get as many co-sponsors as possible to increase the bill’s chances of passage.

Moreland urged all concerned riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers to ask for support.

The easiest way to contact lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at

In addition to Ribble and Landry, the latest co-sponsors of the Kids Just Want to Ride bill include Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), John Kline (R-Minn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For more information, go to

[Press Release Courtesy of the AMA]

Dainese To Remain Official Safety Sponsor of Isle of Man TT Through 2012

daineseDainese, the official safety partner of the Isle of Man TT, will continue its relationship with the Isle of Man through 2012. Dainese has been the official safety sponsor for the IOMTT for the last three years.

In addition to being the safety sponsor of the TT, Dainese will also be the official safety partner of the British Superbike series. Dainese will also be continuing their relationship with Guy Martin, and has started a new deal with Josh Brookes, in order to make sure that their safety standards remain top notch.

“The TT for us is a great brand link and we see it as a global communication platform,” said Dainese’s marketing manager Fabio Muner. “Guy Martin is now a great friend of Dainese and he has helped a lot in our D-Air development program, taking the product from the MotoGP track, through road racing and into the retail market.

“We are proud to continue our association with this great event.”

Dainese has worked with racers like Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to help develop the best safety products in the racing world. They are currently finishing up final testing on the innovated D-Air race suit, which will soon be available to the public.

“We strive to be associated with proactive partners at the TT and Dainese has been exactly that by using the TT as an active test-bed for their innovative D-Air system,” said TT Motorsport Manager Paul Phillips.

“The company has also delivered to the TT names that we could only have dreamed of in earlier years, including Giacomo Agostini, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. They get the TT, and we’re very happy to see them continue this relationship for another two years.”

The TT Superbike race which will be held on June 6th this year, will be called the Dainese TT Superbike race.

Courtesy of