Icon Overlord Type 1 Jackets

Type 1 meets Type A. Aggressive, ambitious, and highly competitive. These are the the hallmarks of the Type A personality. Through years of research and development, we’ve extracted these traits from our Icon riders, such as Jason Britton, and imbued them into our textiles, armor, and patterns. The result is our new Icon Overlord Type 1 jacket. Its lightweight yet rugged chassis, tailored attack fit, and multi-tiered defensive armor package expose its true nature. Aggressive, ambitious, and highly competitive. In the urban sprawl, only the strongest survive – choose your gear accordingly.

Pirelli Angel ST Tires – Putting Them to the Test

I have a problem: my bike likes to eat tires for breakfast.  Ok, so maybe it’s more a problem with my right wrist, but whatever the case may be, I normally go through a few sets of tires a year.  My riding consists of commuting to work every day, weekend blasts in the twisties, longer distance moto-camping trips, and the occasional track day.  My do it all bike is the venerable Kawasaki ZRX 1100.  She’s a bit of a heavy girl, but she has a great personality.  The 1100 puts down its fair share of power (hence the tire eating), and since I ride every day, I need a tire that will last and not wear out in just a few weeks of riding.  I also need a tire that will give me the traction I need for the kind of riding I like to do.

 

But you can’t have your cake and eat it too, there is a definite tradeoff between tire life and available traction.  Tire manufacturers are always trying to squeeze as much traction and tire life as they can out of a given design.  Obviously there are dedicated sport tires with traction being the number one priority.  If the majority of your riding consists of track days and weekend corner carving, they can be a great choice and offer an amazing amount of stick.  Then on the other end of the spectrum you have touring tires that can last 10,000 plus miles on a big heavy touring bike; but those tires aren’t made to withstand the forces of really aggressive riding.  Right in the middle you have the sport-touring class of tire, a compromise of tire life and traction that makes them more affordable to run (because you aren’t replacing them every 2,000 miles), and sticky enough to enjoy on a good weekend spirited ride.  Well, the folks at Pirelli have decided to create their own tire category: Extended Mileage Sport (or, EMS for short).  Pirelli proved that the new Angel ST tires live up to the EMS moniker at Italy’s Nardo ring back in 2009.  They installed a set of Angel ST tires onto a Suzuki Hayabusa and a Kawasaki Concourse 14, both big, powerful motorcycles.  They went on to set 7 FIM world duration records by running non stop for 24 hours at an average speed of over 130mph and for a distance of  3,200 miles on a single set.    That’s impressive, but how do they handle in the real world?

 

I currently have over 5,000 miles on my set, with a bit of tread still to go on the rear.  The last tires I ran were showing cords on the rear tire at 3400 miles, so I am very happy with the tire life.  BUT! The real kicker is how they FEEL.  I have never felt more confident pushing my bike hard on a “sport-touring” tire.  The front end has great feedback, turn in is smooth, easy, and predictable, and stability at high-speeds and high lean angles is very good as well.  Last month I took my ZRX to a track day at Road Atlanta.  July in Atlanta can be brutally hot, and this particular day was no exception.  The Pirelli Angel ST tires did extremely well, with only one little wiggle out of the rear all day – which was probably due to the extreme heat and an imprudent application of throttle.  Just this past weekend I put another 1,000 miles on the tires riding through North and South Carolina and Tennessee.  I rode some of the twistiest roads in the country, with some of the best scenery it has to offer.

 

Sunday turned out to be a wet, rainy day, which was the perfect scenario for testing their wet weather grip.  Keeping the speeds up, the tires never once lost any feel.  The tread pattern disperses standing water very well, and Pirelli claims the high silica content in the rubber gives the bike a more planted feel in the wet.  I can attest to this, as even full throttle application in lower gears didn’t break them loose.  I was impressed.  And tired… the last two hours in the pouring rain weren’t much fun, but the tires never skipped a beat there either.  If you are a rider who enjoys all aspects of riding and racks up the miles, take a really close look at the Pirelli Angel ST EMS tires, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Check out our Pirelli Angel ST EMS Tire Video Review here!

Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket on Closeout!

The Firstgear Kilimanjaro Mens Jacket is now on closeout for $185.99 and the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Womens Jacket is now on closeout for $185.99 as well!!!
The Firstgear Kilimanjaro – just the name alone of this jacket should give you BIG ideas for your next ride. The FirstGear Kilimanjaro Jacket has been a standard piece of gear for many touring and adventure riders the world over. The Kilimanjaro has a waterproof outer shell, excellent ventilation system, and an inner jacket liner that can be worn separately. This Menage a Trois of features creates a jacket that works very well in just about any climate, and thus why the First Gear Kilimanjaro is the jacket of choice for so many riders. The overall fit and finish of the FirstGear Kilimanjaro jacket is top notch! Check out our blog post comparing the Firstgear Kilimanjaro to the Scorpion XDR Commander. Be sure to look at our Firstgear Kilimanjaro Glove Review as well!

Michelin Commander 2 Tires – Preview

Michelin Commander 2

Michelin Commander 2 Tire
Michelin Commander 2 Front Tire

The Michelin Commander tires have been around for many years and frankly the competition from tire manufacturers like Dunlop, Avon and Metzeler have really beaten them up in the market place. As a result, Michelin created the Michelin Commander 2 tires. Michelin has made it there mission to construct the best touring tire available in the USA. So last year Michelin set out on a mission to improve the original Commander Motorcycle tires.

Michelin’s launch of the Commander 2 Tire will deliver unrivaled tire life. Independent tests carried out in the United States using a Harley-Davidson® Electra Glide® Classic prove it: a rear Michelin Commander II tire is capable of covering up to 25,000 miles. That’s nearly twice the distance covered by its direct competitors, while the longevity of the front tire is even greater. The Michelin Commander II creates a new standard with regard to durability, yet without making any compromises in terms of wet weather grip, maneuverability or stability. This performance balance provides yet another eloquent illustration of Michelin’s research and development philosophy: no performance gain to be achieved on one front to the detriment of another.

Michelin Commander 2 Tire
Michelin Commander 2 Rear Tire

To make tread life last as long as possible on these tires, Michelin has developed a new rubber compound. The carcass of this new radial tire is associated with Silica Rain Technology (SRT) which integrates silica into the compound of the tire tread, while the Michelin Commander 2‘s tread pattern has been designed to prevent all forms of uneven wear.

The exclusive architecture of the Michelin Commander II brings both maneuverability and stability. The tire’s more rigid, high-density carcass improves maneuverability, while the aramid fiber crown ply of the rear tire enhances resistance and lightness for impeccable stability, even at high speeds.

Last but not least, the numerous longitudinal grooves of the new tire’s tread pattern optimize water dispersal for outstanding wet weather grip.

Thirteen sizes will be available from release, while two other sizes will be released at the beginning of next year.