2005 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Review by John Gilgannon

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I have a 2005 Suzuki Boulevard C50. When I found it, it was on Craigslist at an unbelievable price – I had to go check it out. I went to go see it with my father and immediately fell in love with the two tone color on it. When I bought her, she only had 900 original miles and he needed a quick sale. I left the next week with the title in hand. When I picked her up, the original owner had already done a lot of the work for me: Windshield and bags put on, studded Mustang Seats and also a solo luggage rack on the back (in place of the passenger seat). The very next day I had it registered and insured and on the road.
    As my Irish luck would hold it, the week after I started the bike on the road, the transmission in my SUV died and the bike was my only mode of transportation. I was told to sell the bike to pay for the truck, but I refused to sell something I worked so hard to obtain and dreamed of. I rode the bike in the sun, rain, sleet, and even Hurricane Irene at one point till I had enough money to pay for a new transmission.
    It will be 2 years in May that I’ve had her and since then I have joined the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club, escorted numerous pieces of WTC Steel from New York to cities along the East Coast, escorted Fallen Soldier’s funerals, fundraisers and homecomings (including my brother’s). I have put over 6,000 miles on it in my first year (to me it’s a lot), and I love every minute of it. I recently started carrying a passenger (after some convincing), my girlfriend Danielle. I also decided to add a Cobra sissy bar for her comfort and my peace of mind, a set of Cobra engine guards, and I bought a speaker system for those long rides where something else other than the wind blowing in my ears is needed. I also decided to add a little bit of flare to it and added some blue LED accent lighting.
    I would recommend this bike to anyone, amateur or expert. It’s a bit smaller (800cc’s approx), but has plenty of power to keep up on the NJ Parkway, Turnpike and any other road I’ve been on. I love the handling. At just a little over 650 pounds without a driver and passenger, it is easily maneuverable. The stock exhaust didn’t seem like it was loud enough for me at first, but it has since grown on me. It’s loud enough for people to hear you on the road, but not loud enough that I’m waking everyone up coming home or leaving in the early hours of the morning. The gas mileage on this bike is about average…nothing spectacular to brag about. Being a small guy (only 5’5”) I don’t find the seat to be too high or too low. I also think the tank is just the right width where it prevents my thighs from cramping on the long runs. The handlebars sit perfectly for me, with absolutely no adjustment needed. My arms have a nice relaxed feel and rarely cramp or tire.
    The ride is nice and smooth. I have hit some big bumps and pot holes with this bike, and never felt a loss of control. Cornering is a dream, and I feel like I can turn on a dime with it. The braking needed a little adjustment at first when I had bought it, and I feel like I will be tightening it up again this season. Brakes fine though if you need to stop quickly and have only locked it up twice.
    Only thing I find is a problem is the air filter – it’s big, bulky, and my leg is right up against the back part of it when I ride (as you can see in the pictures). During long rides I have found this to get not just warm, but hot and I find myself angling my right leg outward. I have found aftermarket ones, but I have yet to do my homework on them. Maybe that’s something I will do this season.
    All said and done, I find this bike to be very reliable. I would recommend this bike to anyone that is looking for one. I have had numerous people ask me what type of Harley Davidson it was and were floored when I told them that it was an import. So if anyone has any kind of questions about this bike I would be glad to help them out with them to the best of my knowledge. It’s a very reliable bike so they shouldn’t have any problems. Or, if anyone has any recommendations for me I will gladly hear them and take them into consideration!
Thank you,
John Gilgannon

2009 BMW R1200RT Review by Edgar Larrea

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My first bike was a Yamaha 400cc, but I’m not reviewing that one.  After I sold it, I wanted to get another bike which it was postponed for the usual reasons, job, marriage, etc.

Few years into my marriage the bike bug started again, now I just had to convince my wife, not an easy task as you might know.  She wasn’t very keen on me riding a motorcycle,” to dangerous to ride”

I got transferred to Europe (Austria) because of work, and she agreed on me buying a motorcycle there, since people in Europe are more familiar sharing the roads with motorcyclists.

My furniture and car were transferred over there and when I was in the customs office filling the paperwork the person approving the importation asked me if I brought a motorcycle.  I said no, he looked perplex and asked why. My answer was I’ll get one here and he seemed pleased.  Living in a new country and new challenges at work, kept me pretty busy, so time passed.  By the time I knew which bike I wanted I was transferred back to the USA with no bike.

I moved to Texas.  Since I couldn’t get my bike in Austria, my wife kept her promise to let me have one.  We had only one car so my options were at that time to get a car or a motorcycle.  It was a no brainer for me since in Texas you basically can ride all year long.  i finally I bought my motorcycle in October 2011, it was a 2009 BMW R1200RT with only 3464 miles and still under warranty, I guess living in Europe had some influence on my decision.

I couldn’t have been any happier with my choice.  It has almost everything, heated seats and grips, cruise control, Integral ABS brakes, ESA (Electronic suspension adjustment). It takes just a touch of a button to have 1 up, 1 up plus luggage, 2 up, normal, sport or comfort suspension.  The windshield height adjusts  with the touch of a button.  Two sockets for plugging GPS or charging electronics, panniers and top case.  Last but not least, on board computer with tons of information like temperature, miles to go on amount of fuel left in the tank, MPG, oil check, suspension setting, just to mention some.

All that wouldn’t matter if the ride was rough, however that’s not the case.  I had my share of different motorcycle rides and nothing compares to this.  It’s very comfortable, it’s a surprise how agile and docile it is for a heavy bike.  It follows the lines without a hitch, the acceleration is amazing and it is very reliable,  I guess the saying, “you get what you paid for”  is true.

I use it to go back and forth to my work place. I have been in rides with friends and by myself all around the Texas Hill Country, with nice twists and ups and downs,  I look for excuses to go out for a ride, like grocery shopping, going to the post office, etc. Of course I take the long way.

I have added a few things like 3M light reflectors in the panniers, a rear brake lever enlargement, an extra socket to plug a tire inflator (mine said not to use it with a can-bus system).  I also added another socket to  plug  jump start clamps just in case since I still have the original battery.  There’s plenty of aftermarket accessories and you can go crazy and broke at the same time. I plan on adding a cylinder head protector and an engine protection bar in the near future.

After this bike, when the time comes, I’m sure I would not buy anything else but a BMW.  It is an incredible machine.

Alpinestars Roam Waterproof Boots are the Comfort Commuters Demand

Alpinestars Roam Waterproof Boots are a comfortable waterproof boot designed with a sport touring look, ready for the daily commuter.  Alpinestars continues to produce quality products for motorcycle riders. The Alpinestars Roam is no different.  With a retail price of under $180 dollars,  the Roam Waterproof boots will get you there and back,  while keeping your feet dry and comfortable.  Drystar lining is a fully waterproof membrane that helps keep your feet at a comfortable temperature with its breathable characteristics.

A softer boot, not a ton of protection,  but great for those commutes that require a bit of off-the-bike maneuverability.  These mens waterproof boots have a dual density lateral and medial ankle cups for support and protection that will satisfy most riders.  For added safety, a rear reflective insert adds visibility at night and in low light conditions.  With adjustable Velcro straps,  you can set the support to the level you want.  The advantage of Velcro straps over a zipper is the ease in providing a custom feel.  The Alpinestars Roam WP Boots are easy to put on and take off.

The Roam Boot reminds  me of a step up from the Tourmaster Solution 2.0.  While both boots are extremely comfortable and waterproof,  the Alpinestars has a more custom feel by use of the Velcro straps.  All-in-all,  the Alpinestars Roam Waterproof Boots won’t break the bank at an affordable price your feet can appreciate. If you have any questions about the Roam Boot, post a comment or give us a call. We are here to help you better understand most all motorcycle products. No questions?  Add the Alpinestars Roam to your waterproof gear!

HMK Hustler Womens Jacket Review

Media Pocket w/ Headphone Routing

The HMK Hustler Womens Jacket has been constructed from a laminated soft shell outer material, with a waterproof, breathable, Reissa membrane. The inside of the jacket is lined with a soft poly-moisture wicking mesh lining. For ventilation there are taped seams under the arms. The HMK Hustler jacket has a powder skirt with a bottom hem adjustable cord for a customized fit. For storage, the interior of the jacket has a goggle pocket, as well as a music pocket to allow you to easily carry your mp3 player, and listen to your favorite songs. The pocket even comes with convenient headphone routing. All of the zipper pulls on the Hustler jacket are ‘glove-friendly’ with water resistant, locking YKK zippers. The collar and cuffs have been lined with fleece for comfort, and the front closure has a magnetic flap; with a detachable hood. The HMK Hustler jacket is also available in a Men’s version. Be sure to check out other HMK women’s jackets, HMK men’s jackets, and snow gear on our website: CompetitionAccessories.com!

 

1997 Honda ST1100 Review by Daniel Hughes

This is my 1997 Honda ST1100. It’s not the newest, fastest, or prettiest in my line-up, but I really love this bike. Before I met my wife, Christine, I ended up having to sell my bike and was without one for a couple of years. One of the first things Christine knew about me was how much I love motorcycles, even though I didn’t have one. I dragged her to my favorite bike shop every time we were within a 20-mile radius. She watched with amusement as I sat on every bike that I thought should be mine (a habit I still have, despite now owning five motorcycles).

After we were married, I started casually bike shopping (and continued dragging her to every bike shop we came across), but nothing really worked out. Shortly before our first wedding anniversary, my riding buddy found the ad for this bike and I must have mentioned it to Christine at least a thousand times. I came home from work one Friday night and she told me to get in the car, that we were going for a little drive. We drove for almost an hour, through rural eastern North Carolina, and I could not imagine where we were going. Turns out we were going to look at this bike I’d been going on about.

The guy who was selling it rolled it out of his garage with a sad face. He clearly loved this bike and didn’t really want to sell it. I guess Christine thought it had been a pretty good year, because we left that night with her in the car and me on the ST.

The ST, which we’ve taken to calling the STeed, has taken me all over the Appalachian Mountains, on a marathon Iron Butt run, and to every county in North Carolina. There’s no where I wouldn’t go on this bike.The ST has taken Christine with me on many of these rides. The trusty old STeed is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

I love this bike. It’s comfortable enough for long rides – solo or two-up – and days-long mountain trips. It’s also easy enough to take on short in-town trips. I can pack a ton of gear on this thing so I am prepared for whatever the journey holds. It has fantastic ergonomics for a tall guy like me. I haven’t had to do too much to it to get it just right. The first thing I did was have a custom Spencer seat made. I’ve added a Laminar Lip to the windscreen for a little extra wind protection. I have also added bar risers, a power outlet and a throttle lock. And, at Christine’s request, I’ve added a back rest…I figure it’s the least I could do after all.

No matter what else comes and goes from my collection, the ST is here to stay. It’s the most versatile, easy to ride bike I’ve ever owned!

Here is me the night we got it along with a couple pictures of my adventures.